A value investor spends most of his time reading. As investors, we all need to be able to connect disparate trends, concepts and thoughts together to formulate a coherent thesis. More often than not, the type of reading we do that is served up by the financial media, focuses on one topic at a time. The connections that we need to make to arrive at a full understanding of any investment situation, we have to do it ourselves.
Therefore it is not a surprise that my reading is varied and normally not restricted to traditional financial material. The following list is of course not prescriptive, but generally meant to be illustrative. An investor needs to read. Reading exposes you to different points of views. You can agree with some and disagree with some, but in doing so, you will start to formulate your own philosophy. When you do that, you will become more decisive. This is what will allow you to stick to your convictions, which is the key to success in investing.
Let’s start with the very basics first.
Just Starting to Learn Investing?
Wall Street Survivor is a great resource for new investors who are looking to learn about different aspects of investing. If you are a beginner investor in the stock market, you should start with their investing courses. They also run a very popular stock market game that you can practice investing with, without risking real money.
Keeping Track of the News
I try to focus on the news that helps me keep track of the major currents that might affect the financial markets. You can imagine this includes geo-politics, economics, business and many things in between. The news that doesn’t interest me are of the short term transient variety. The following websites/media outlets are a must read in my opinion
For sites oriented towards investment news, the following can be great reads. However, every recommendation and idea needs to be taken as a suggestion and own due diligence has no substitute when you are investing your own capital.
- Seeking Alpha
- Talk Markets
- Harvest Exchange – This is more of a network of hedge funds, asset managers, etc. Any one can join for free and read the ideas and views from professional investors.
Need to know everything and anything that may affect your investments? Accern is a service that tracks over 20 million websites (news, blogs, filings, social media, etc) to bring you every analysis, sentiment and news that you need to get an edge over the market. It is a paid service but comes with a 14 day free trial. Surely one of those things where one piece of good outcome can easily pay for many years of this service. Check it out here (I use it for my work but you should know that if you choose to get the paid plan, they will compensate me for referral)
Not recommended sites include CNBC, Motley Fool, Zacks, The Street, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Zero Hedge, etc. These sites are great for wasting time and getting sound bites that are at best useless, and at worst, will cause you to become emotional investor which you do not want. Also, their recommendations are mostly wrong as they tend to suggest what they think will be acceptable to their readers. Following the herd has never been a successful investing strategy.
The following are some of the unconventional news sources that may be of interest to you depending on your industry/sector interests.
- Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide – To understand what is going on in global trade and the shipping industry in particular
- International Energy Agency – A barometer of the Energy markets. Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, Electricity, Nuclear, Renewables, etc.
- Platts – News and forecasts for oil, energy, metals, agriculture and other sectors from the McGraw Hill Financial
Value Investing Websites and Related Resources
It is said that value is in the eye of the beholder. You may or may not agree with other value investors, and that is fine. In fact, that is what we all need – to be able to pass our own judgment on any investment opportunity that presents itself. After all, you will have to manage your own investments long after these websites have stopped talking about them. Still, it is always a great learning experience reading some of the well regarded writers in the value investment field. I will present some of these websites that are part of my regular morning feed. If you do not know them, you may want to check them out.
- Arbor Asset Allocation Portfolio
- Barel Karsan
- Base Hit Investing
- Investor in the Family
- Market Folly
- Odd Ball Stocks
- Old School Value
- The Brooklyn Investor
- Value Investing News – This is a user submitted news site and you can often discover new sites or read writings from smaller sites over here.
Useful Data Sets is a resource maintained by Aswath Damodaran at Stern School of Business. As you analyze companies and markets, you will suddenly have a need for some data or other that you may not know where to get it from. For example, you may want to estimate the discount rate to use in a DCF calculation, and for this you may want to look at the cost of capital for a particular industry in their home country. Aswath has it broken down by industry and countries. He collects this information from many different data sources and keeps them reasonably updated. I think this is a great resource for the investment community.
Didn’t see a website here that you really find useful? Use the Contact page to let me know and I will add it here if I like the site as well.