Tag Archives: morningstar

Where Can You Learn from The Experts?

If you’re like me then you are new to the investing you end up being on “intake”. Where you try to absorb as much information as possible. But from where? That’s the key question. I’ve been searching for different groups and forums to try to find someplace where I can find useful information. Unfortunately, they are very few reliable sources of good information.
I’ve joined a couple of groups on Facebook but the most discussion thread I see there are “I have $XXX to invest. Where should I invest it?” Wow! And then the replied come back with almost every conceivable stock ticker. But not single one with an explanation of what it was about that stock that made them pick it. Dumb!
And following certain “investors” on Twitter is no better. I’m starting to limit my follows to actual financial news outlets (i.e. Seeking Alpha. Marker Watch, The Street, etc). Most of the individual people seem to on Twitter just to sell you something. I know that there are no free lunches but you can’t even get the cutlery & place setting without paying for it. When you ask them about how they came about selecting a specific stock or series of stocks they have recommended, what you get back is “Buy my book”. Now, I’m a big proponent of buying books to learn from but I want to be able to vet the author and insure that they’re not just some snake oil salesman. That they really know what they’re talking about.
You can learn from reading:
Morningstar
Seeking Alpha

You can buy books from there guys:
Warren Buffett
Phil Town

And there are some good videos on YouTube that go through many of the fundamentals:
Learn To Invest

Just to name a few. One source of information that I am currently reviewing in order to subscribe is American Association of Individual Investors. The service sounds exclusive but it’s not. My initial review found that it’s a non-profit financial education company, that manages a real-money stock portfolio to show its members how to capitalize on the most promising academic research. It’s more on-hand than theory. They offer a free guide to profitable retirement planning. I’m still looking into them but it seems to be looking good and I am seriously going to consider subscribing to their service.

One of the key factors for me to follow someone on Twitter or to subscribe to their service or Youtube channel is that they don’t just throw a stock at you, they give you details of why and what details they were considering. Or they’re actually walking you through the calculations and analysis that they went through. You’re not left on your own. Jim Cramer is another good one to follow on YouTube; and YouTube allows you to replay a portion or the whole segment if you weren’t able to keep up with him initially.


Useful Tools

One of the important things I did when I started investing was to determine the tools & services that would be most useful to me. In my research I came across many of them but only a few I felt were useful to me. I have many more tools available to me with my TD Ameritrade account. Many more than I currently use. But if you don’t have a TD Ameritrade account then here are a few that you can use with your investment strategy to attain your financial goal.

  1. One of the better research tools I found was Seeking Alpha. You can register for free and use this service to research company stocks that you’re interested in. Looking to see what a company’s dividend activity looks like then enter the ticker symbol in the search box and get that company’s summary information on your screen. You also have different tabs that you can click on to access that information. Click on the DIVIDENDS tab and see the dividend metrics for that company. You can find almost any information pertaining to your investment selection criteria.
  2. Another one that I found useful was Financial Visualizations, FINVIZ. This is also free to register. The one feature that I used the most was the Screener feature. This is where I put in my investment criteria to search out company stocks that met my criteria. I could then do further research to determine if the stock was one that I would include in my portfolio.
  3. Then there’s Morningstar. It’s a great resource for researching details about a specific stock. Has a few useful tools that I use. One is the PORTFOLIO where I can list all of my investments from different platforms. It keeps track of the current market price and the total value. It gives you analysis and news items for any stock that is publicly traded. Unfortunately, to unlock the more robust analysis and information you’ll need to subscribe to the premium service.

These are the information services that I used when I first started investing. When I first started I started investing on Robinhood. It was a good platform for a newbie like myself and getting a free stock wasn’t a bad move for me. I later sold that stock. As I learned more about investing and fine tuned my investment strategy I signed up for a TD Ameritrade account (without a free stock). Initially, I used Robinhood for individual stocks and TD Ameritrade for ETF purchases. Now, however, I am seriously considering moving almost all my shares over to TD Ameritrade. I still like Robinhood because they allow fractional shares trading while TD Ameritrade doesn’t. But then TD Ameritrade allows option trades and Robinhood doesn’t.