Best Stock Investing Information Resources in 2018
The purpose of this writing is to detail sources of investing information I find useful. The items are grouped as follows:
- Must see TV
- Additional media notes
- Mobile apps and websites regularly used
- Comments on websites, Twitter and RSS
- Investing message boards
- Investing chat rooms
- Something for those new to finance and investing
The following material is based upon my interests and research, and opinions are mine. Understand that this material is not to be taken as professional advice, and you must do your own due diligence. I have been retired for a number of years now, and fortunately have the luxury of time to read, listen and watch. I did not work in the financial industry, nor was I a CPA. I consider myself a news junkie and a techie (first personal computer in 1979, first mobile phone in 1991).
Unless stated otherwise, times given are Eastern (USA) time. Are you in a different time zone or continent?
Must see TV
These are the sources I look at on a daily basis. Actually, I probably should add a modifier of mostly as there are a number of very useful sources that can be time consuming, but check these out to see why I use these most frequently.
- CNBC Fast Money (FM), airing at 5 pm, is focused on what made the markets move during the business day. The panel of traders speak to currencies, global economies, commodities, sectors and stocks that made news that day. I find it to be a fast moving engaging show that invariably gives me ideas for further reading and sometimes additions to a watchlist. I am not a day or swing trader, but I will pay attention to discussions on price moves re entry or exit. If the CNBC traders are discussing a stock or group of stocks in a sector, I certainly don't take their statements as gospel nor do I act on them immediately. If something sounds interesting I'll put one or more tickers on a watch list for possible future action while I do my own due diligence. In my opinion, FM deserves watching on a daily basis to get the most out of it. The show airs at an inconvenient time for me, so I have the DVR set up to automatically record the program to watch it later in the evening.
- Akin to FM, the CNBC Halftime Report (HR) at Noon can be interesting especially on volatile days. The traders offer insights to why the market, sectors, or stocks are moving in midday. Breaking news alters the show on the fly. Note the show airs shortly after the European markets close.
- Bloomberg additionally streams TV programming to their website, mobile app, Roku channel and Pluto TV channel without charge. Unlike CNBC's primary NA channel's prime time programming, Bloomberg carries live market shows originating in Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe beginning in the evening and through the early morning hours. I like these live overnight shows as a precursor to the New York markets opening. These "live" shows change broadcast times to follow the local time shifts (if any) of the country where the studio is located. Some markets, particulary in the Middle East, do not follow the usual Monday-Friday schedule. Use your on-screen TV program guide or (a better choice, particulary during the equinoxes) the Bloomberg TV Schedule (change regions at the upper right of the page or dialog box).
- Although the Fox Business (FB) channel doesn't have the worldwide resources and bureaus of Bloomberg or CNBC, it is worth watching. I switch to FB for a change of pace from Bloomberg and CNBC.
Additional media notes
While the NYSE and NASDAQ markets are open, I usually do not continually watch the TV programming on the three business networks with the exception of looking at the European market close. Otherwise I may leave the television on at a low volume and occasionally glance at the screen, turning up the volume if something of interest appears. The push alerts from the various mobile apps are normally sufficient to attract my attention to breaking business news.
The routine program content of Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox Business differ. My perception is Bloomberg's massive worldwide resources delivers international business and market news. CNBC tends to cover individual companies, often supplemented by interviews of company officials. Fox Business depends upon a relatively few number of on air personaltiies.
- One of the most recognized on air personaltiies is Jim Cramer. His CNBC Mad Money (MM), at 6 pm, attracts a lot of attention from fans and critics. The show may be worth a look for watchlist ideas, but Cramer is often too frenetic for my taste. Your tolerance for the man may be different. I occasionally add some tickers to a watch list, but I absolutely do not recommend viewers taking immediate action on his recommendations. Let the dust settle for a few days while you do your own due diligence. For the record, I have no opinion on his Action Alerts, a subscription service alerting the customer to trades in his charitable trust. Cramer is also on CNBC Squawk on the Street, 9-10 am, and often discusses the overnight news affecting markets.
The BBC World Service Business News airs at H+30 at Midnight and 1 am (probably all night, but I do sleep) and incorporates cut-ins from studios in the Far East as market news dictates.
On NHK World Japan, the business news segment embedded in the hour or half hour newscast is usually somewhere in the H+5 to H+15 minute time period. I usually catch the 8-to-10 minute segment at 11 pm, Midnight or 1 am. It is more-or-less midday in Tokyo, and you may catch the segment during the exchange's lunch break. The segment carries news of the Japanese and Korean markets not always well-covered, in my opinion, by the BBC, Bloomberg and CNBC broadcast personnel based in Hong Kong. NHK World Japan's English language TV service is carried OTA (over the air) by a local public television outlet, and therefore is required to be carried by the cable TV service. Apparently it is streamed on the net as well.
The add-on Roku devices stream via the internet additional TV channels to your TV. The connection is made through an HDMI port. Channels include Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business and numerous additional sources of business and finance news of interest to investors. A few Roku channels stream live; most are video clips.
Do you have SiriusXM in the car or on a smartphone or tablet? Listen to the simulcast TV audio of CNBC on channel 112 and Fox Business on channel 113. Bloomberg on channel 119 has a standalone radio network that inserts simulcast TV audio at various times in the 24-hour day and has a number of AM and FM outlets. WBBR-1130 New York City is the base of network operations; use the iHeart website or the Android/iOS app to listen if you are not in range of one of the USA outlets.
Pluto TV is a free third-party TV streaming service. Bloomberg (ch 143) and CNBC (ch 111) are included within the otherwise seemingly strange collection of channels. Some programs are live, others delayed. Outside the USA, use a VPN product (such as the ZenMate solutions) to watch.
Unless stated otherwise, times given throughout this writing are Eastern (USA) time. Time shifts for winter (standard) and summer (daylight savings) times, but vary between continents and flip seasons between hemispheres. In the USA, Arizona and areas of Indiana remain on standard time year round. Some countries, especially those near the equator, stay on one time all year. The Time & Date website can help on deciphering time shifts. Wikipedia lists exchanges' hours of operation around the world, but I would also look at the exchange websites' home pages to verify the accuracy of the information.
Mobile apps and websites regularly used
- I prefer the Bloomberg app, compared to the Bloomberg website, for its ease of use, particularly during the late evening when it comes to looking at the futures and current indicies in Asia-Pacific and Europe-Middle East-African (EMEA) markets at the top of the webpage. A contagion that spreads westward around the globe is quite evident.
- CNBC's digital products are useful and worth using. News, including video excerpts from shows, are available. The live TV stream is not free. It requires a subscription to your cable TV provider.
- Seeking Alpha (SA) allows me to enter symbols of stocks in my portfolio and watchlists. It pushes news alerts for those entries, attracting my attention to breaking news, e.g., earnings reports and significant events. I pay less attention to the articles written by contributors, and the comments on the contributed articles can be more interesting than the articles themselves. For jollies, read the comments before reading the article. I am ornery enough to call out some writings that are pure drivel. I would invite you to do so as well.
- StockTwits (ST) also allows me to follow selected stocks and receive push notices of those trending with rising message volume. Functioning akin to Twitter, short comments take the temperature of followers. To be sure, there are some pump-and-dump, self-promotion and nonsense messages but common sense filters those things out. Like Twitter, you can comment and ask or answer questions. I find ST is particularly interesting around corporate news events and earning seasons. Additionally, it is also useful to perhaps figure out what causing a pop or drop in a stock you are following as it happens during the course of a day. Invariably someone will post the breaking news with a link. It should be noted that ST popularized the use of the dollar sign ($) as a prefix to the stock symbol, e.g., $AAPL, and you will see this convention elsewhere.
- I use Twitter to follow selected accounts including, but not limited to, those national, international and business news sources of interest to me, plus the related accounts of some on-air personalities. TweetDeck is a good alternative to the Twitter app, but it only is only available by using a web browser.
- For Android, I absolutely love the "Webull—Realtime Quotes: Stocks, Forex, Crypto" app for the phone and tablet. The app retrieves realtime stock quotes, charts and financial data determined by entries in one's portfolios and watchlists created in Yahoo Finance, and much more (worldwide market and indicies, news, trading services, and crypto coins, etc). The simplicity of the app is belied by its design, readability and responsiveness. The fonts make for an uncluttered screen that can be read at a glance while on the go, even when the phone is at a distance affixed to a vehicle's windshield or dash mount. Webull has been very responsive to constructive suggestions for improvement. Did I say I like this app? An iOS version is available on iTunes.
Comments on websites, Twitter and RSS
Websites that deserve one's periodic attention might include those that report data the financial community lives for. The Federal Reserve is the home of the FOMC statement, under News and Events, that answers the question of will the FOMC raise the federal discount rate or not. The Bureau of Labor Statistics issues the several unemployment statistics. The Conference Board publishes the Leading Economic Indicator, a composite predictive measure of future economic activity. Similarly, actions of the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund attract the attention of financial community pundits.
There are many business news and investment websites to choose from. Wading through all of the sites and material is time-consuming at best and a time-waster at worst. Information overload fries my synapses. I find a more efficient way to use my time is to follow those potentially interesting websites and persons in the investing and finance community via their respective Twitter accounts. If the short message grabs my attention, clicking on the link takes me directly to the story.
Some websites offer RSS (really simple syndication) feeds. It is much quicker to review news stories with a newsreader than visiting multiple websites one after the other. I like Feedly, also available as a mobile app, but there are a number of other newsreaders to choose from.
Investing message boards
Message boards and stock forums, providing gathering places for investors to discuss investments et al of common interest, populate the web. Rather than operate as a message board unto itself, The Lion aggregates and indexes message headers, with links, gathered from blogs and forums on numerous (obviously not all) websites. It can be a significant help in looking for investor comments on lesser-traded stocks. I like it, but it is important to engage one's common sense filter.
- Bogelheads includes both an information wiki and forums, best explained on its About page. My perception is that Bogleheads' forums focus more on investment instrument choices and retirement strategies rather than specific stock discussions of interest to active day and swing traders.
- The Bull Market Board offers forums, most of which are focused on stocks, markets and other investments. The threads on stocks and forex seem to be most active. The Politics Discussion forum is particularly fun as the left and right, conservatives and liberals, tweak each in civil discourse. Have a read.
For any board, if you are visiting or posting a message for the first time, look through the message headers to see if the topic already exists or if your question has been asked and answered. I suggest you also look af the posting dates. Unfortunately message threads live forever. If the last post is more than a few weeks or months old, you may want to start a new thread.
A suggestion: if you are writing a longer, complicated, forum post that includes web links, board formatting codes, and details, consider composing the post in an external ASCII text editor. Do not use a word processor program/app that inserts its own hidden formatting codes. It should be easier to write, edit, reorganize, spell-check and review your masterpiece in the separate text editor than within the peek-a-boo scrolling window afforded by the the board's website design. When your message is complete, copy and paste your work into the board's editor.
Investing chat rooms
Hashtag Investing (HI) is not a linear message board. Rather, it is a community of investors exchanging ideas and questions in realtime. Its functionality reminds me of the IRC (Internet Relay Chat), but clearly the Slack platform is more significantly capable. HI began in the summer of 2016 and now has hundreds of members. Members, ranging from experienced professionals to beginners, are from all areas of the world and different perspectives are interesting. The owner continues to grow the community. Activity levels vary during the day (work intervenes for some members) and evening; check periodically, even during the off hours. The most active "channels" are general, stocks. technical analysis, and crypto; others are also available. Have a look, participate (don't be a lurker} by asking questions and sharing knowledge, and stick around as the community grows. Recommended. Full disclosure: I joined as member #19 on 27 June 2016. Read another review here.
Two stock-oriented chat channels—#stocks and #trading—are still found within the decades-old IRC network EfNet. These channels are a bit tough in terms of language and decorum—be warned—but may be interesting at times; do note HI is a much better first choice to explore live chat rooms. Although the EfNet website provides access to its channels, standalone client software such as (Windows) Icechat or (Android) Yaaic is more flexible and provides channel logging; those seeking iOS IRC clients will find several in the iTunes store.
Something for those new to finance and investing
Investopedia is the go-to reference encyclopedia for everything finance and investing. Similar to Wikipedia, Investopedia covers the waterfront in an unbiased unopinionated writing style. Reading something with unfamiliar subject matter, terms or words? Pop open a second web browser tab, copy and paste.
Moneychimp isn't a market news source but it may be useful for those persons wanting to get started on learning how to begin investing (see "Investing 101"), how to manage credit and considering retirement. Unlike Investopedia, Moneychimp offers a wide variety of easy-to-read beginning reference material that can lead to detailed information. The site originally attracted my attention with some of its calculators. The "frugality" section includes calculators on savings, credit card debt, and index versus mutual funds. Is Moneychimp perfect? Probably not, but it may be an interesting and useful website to begin exploring investing and financial areas. Moneychimp is not the singular source to explore and learn, but I feel feel it does raise an awareness level.
Senzu isn't a market news source but it too may be useful for those persons wanting to get started on learning how to manage personal finances, including credit cards, and begin investing. Follow a check list to get started on organing your fiscal side of life. The new site, more attractive than Moneychimp, is evolving and expanding. Check back often to see its development.
In conclusion, these comments are assembled from multiple tagged notes in my Evernote account. I apologize in advance for grammer and syntax that may not be consistent, and the tablet's autocorrect may have tripped me up in places. Nevertheless I hope this information helps. Your mileage may vary.
@baudwalk is a long-time member of Hashtag Investing. He is very knowledable and resourceful when it ocmes to investors. He is always willing to help new investors and points them in the right direction on their investing journey/