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. The best investment sites help to cut through the noise and reveal what is important to a rational investor.
Therefore it is not a surprise that my reading is varied and normally not restricted to traditional financial material. I have over 100 investment sites on my feed reader that I go through throughout the week. 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.
Stock Websites for a New Investor
Read some of the best guides to value investing on our own website. We talk a lot about setting the right mental framework and attitudes to be a successful value investor. Your approach to investing determines more than 80% of your success with value investing, but sadly this is one of those things that does not get enough attention in the media and literature. We have got you covered.
Wall Street Survivor is a great resource for stock market beginners 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.
Best Websites for Stock and Market 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 investment sites are a must read in my opinion
Best Websites for Stock Research
For sites oriented towards investment news, the following can be great reads. However, every stock recommendation and investment idea needs to be taken as a suggestion and own due diligence has no substitute when you are investing your own capital. These sites allow many different people to post their stock picks and analysis, and some of them may be doing so with not too altruistic intentions.
- 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.
Best Site for Stock Research and Analysis
I use and swear by the stock analysis tool Stock Rover (click this link to read my review of Stock Rover and how it will help you with your own stock research – they have free trials available if you decide to try this from my link). This is a complete software to manage your stock portfolio, conduct market and individual stock research, run stock screens and access all company filings and other information you need when you do your stock due diligence. The stock analysis part of the tool is superb and their own stock ratings (on different attributes or strategies) are easy to follow and very useable in your own stock investment strategy. I find it the best way for me to research and analyze stocks and they have pre-built screens that cater to value investors. If you are a stock trader who likes to do technical analysis, this may not give you everything you want. But if you are a long term value or dividend investor like myself, this tool is all you need to have a very successful investment process.
Best Stock Broker to have an Account with
I may be biased here but I recommend Fidelity Investments with no reservations. I have had an account with them for over 2 decades and you will be hard pressed to find a better stock broker anywhere, regardless of your level of investment experience. Now with zero commissions per stock or option trade, there is no excuse to not use a solid broker like Fidelity.
Brokers today are evolving to meet the investors where they are. In addition to the emphasis of free trading, many (if not most) brokers now offer mobile apps to help you invest in the way that is convenient to you. Fidelity does this as well, but there is a group of brokers that are mobile only. Additionally, some brokers add a social feed for you to review from the investors that are more experienced to you. This can be helpful as well, just remember to keep your own counsel. Weigh the pros and cons of each broker you evaluate and pick that works for you.
Investment Websites to Avoid
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 stock 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.
Niche Investment Sites for Industry Specific News
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.
If you buy stocks in these sectors, please do yourself a favor and check these sites out.
Best Stock Advice Websites for Value Investors
It is said that value is in the eye of the (stock) 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 investment 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
- Market Folly
- Odd Ball Stocks
- The Brooklyn Investor
I do not buy any stock they tell me to buy. That is not the point of these sites. Read the stock research they present carefully and understand the point of view they present. Over time you will start thinking about stocks in a manner similar to these investors. These sites will help you learn the art of value investing by immersion – this is much better than taking a value investing course and diving head first into the stock market. And yes, they are also a great repository of new stock ideas that you can then explore on your own. No one site is perfect. You have to discover your own style and then borrow ideas and tricks from other successful investors so you can use them in your investment process.
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.
One Last Thing – The One Rule of Stock Investing You Should Never Forget
Don’t lose money.
If you can take care of this one rule, the compounding process will take care of making you a wealthy investor over time.
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.