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The informed shopper is generally the one happiest with their purchase selection and least likely to end up extremely unsatisfied. This holds true from the simplest of items to the big-ticket, once-in-a-lifetime purchases. The consequences of a bad decision can be quite severe with some things – investing in the stock market being one of them. The following 10 websites are given as research tools for the stock market investor that realizes they absolutely must be an informed shopper when it comes to putting their investment dollars on the line. While there is no guarantee when it comes to investing in any stock, knowledge can be key to at least avoiding the major pitfalls. The 10 websites given are listed in order by their Alexa traffic count rating. Use one site or use them all!
Global Alexa Rating: 1
The Google Finance website opens with a market summary, top stories, trends, a sector summary, world markets, currencies and bonds. The next tab down from markets is news which will include overall market news as well as portfolio related news if the user is signed in and has set up a portfolio. The third section is where users can set up their portfolio, which will be stored in their Google account. Once created, the portfolio will show on the main page when the user is logged in. The next section is the stock screener section which can be used to locate stocks using an investor’s particular criteria. This section can be customized to include whatever types of criteria the user desires which are grouped by popular, price, valuation, dividend, financial ratios, operating metrics, stock metrics, margins and growth. The last section is Google Domestic Trends. They track search traffic across specific sectors of the economy, which may provide economic insight.
Global Alexa Rating: 4
Yahoo Finance is a tool that can be customized by using one’s Yahoo account, allowing one to set up their portfolio on the site. They also offer the ability to track your investments by adding all your 401(k) and investment accounts from TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, E*TRADE and other brokerages. There is a lot of information on the main page with links to news categorized by Finance, Top News, My Quarter, CNBC and Yahoo Originals. The main page also includes snapshots of rates for mortgage, savings, credit cards and auto insurance: market data for currencies, commodities, bonds and ETFs; market movers including most active, % gainers and % losers; and a poll question. Options along the left-hand side of the page include My Portfolio, Market Data (stocks, mutual funds, options, ETF’s, bonds, commodities and currencies), Business & Finance (company news, economic news and market news), personal finance (career & education, real estate, retirement, credit & debt, taxes, autos, self & lifestyle, rates in your area and calculators), Yahoo Originals (Breakout, The Daily Ticker, Unexpected Returns, The Exchange, Hot Stock Minute and Just Explain It) and CNBC (Big Data Download, Off the Cuff, Power Pitch, Talking Numbers and Top/Best/Most).
Global Alexa Rating: 63
CNN Money has all the usual news and information regarding business, the markets, investing and the economy. They also have the ability set up portfolio as most sites do. One extra feature that they have that could prove quite useful is the ability to find out in less than a minute how risky one’s portfolio is. Users can track every investment they own in less than 60 seconds. Each investment will be rated for volatility as lowest, low, mid-low, mid-high, high and highest. It will also show the distribution of investors, trades per year, one-year return and average worth. Users can securely connect with their 401(k), IRA and brokerage accounts in a read-only picture of all their investments. This enables the ability to receive updates in real time – quotes and news updates on all one’s holdings. With advanced charts and comparisons users can instantly see their risk, allocation, dividends, performance and more. Users can also automatically run over 100 tests on their portfolio to find ways to cut fees and optimize investments.
Global Alexa Rating: 339
The Reuters website is available in numerous editions, including a US edition, UK edition, Canada edition and more. The site is useful for getting information on any of the markets, including US markets, European markets, Asian markets and global market data. A useful tool on the site is a stock screener with the ability to set specific criteria. One can select US domestic stocks, international stocks or both. It is not as involved as the stock screener on other sites, but its simplicity may be favored by some investors for that reason. Another interesting aspect of this website is the addition of community portfolios, which provides a social aspect in which followers can make comments on a portfolio and place votes on those they like. Users can also create a watchlist as well as a regular individual portfolio on this site.
Global Alexa Rating: 351
The Bloomberg Markets website is well-organized, allowing users to quickly navigate to a particular area of interest be that stocks, commodities, currencies, rates & bonds, ETF, mutual funds or viewing the economic calendar. The website has a number of 2 to 4 minute videos which can be selected based on the latest, most watched or by topic such as must-see, top news, the year ahead, futures, earnings, markets, technology, politics, personal finance, sustainability and much more. There are also links to the Bloomberg television shows. The Bloomberg website is simply one that can captivate one’s attention for hours and hours while providing insight into the world around us and how news and events can easily affect our investments.
Global Alexa Rating: 586
MarketWatch by the Wall Street Journal is an invaluable tool for not only keeping up with the latest news, but getting great advice on investing and money management. The site is loaded with fantastic articles about everything from how to recognize there is a problem with one’s 401(k) to the dumb risks to avoid. Users can login once they have become a member and get alerts and manage a portfolio. A fun part of the website is their virtual stock exchange (VSE) game which lets users trade stocks in real-time using a virtual portfolio, talk strategies with others in discussion groups, create a customized public or private game for others to play and choose a custom list of symbols to trade in one’s game. This is a great way to test the waters of investing in the stock market before putting actual money on the line.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,754
ADVFN is a website for free NASDAQ, NYSE & DJIA stock prices and 40,000+ stock forum posts each day. Users can receive real-time news alerts the email by entering the stock codes and their email address on the main page. The main page includes US stock activity on the NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX, OTCBB and Other OTC. It also includes world exchanges: TSX, TSKV, ASX, LSE and Euronext. They also have a new powerful tool called the Forex Scope that lets users analyze a basket of currency pairs by fixing one currency and comparing the movements of its pair currencies. Membership to the ADVFN website is free and required in able to see most of the information given on the website.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,595
The NASDAQ site has a number of informational tools that can assist investors in various investment options in addition to the stock market. For example, they have a tool that allows users to compare CDs and investment rates, allowing them to find nationally available highest rates or locally available products. Users can compare everything from a three-month CD to a one year jumbo CD IRA. Another useful tool is the page that includes earnings surprises, today’s recommendations and forecasts. The earnings surprises report includes fiscal quarter reports released that day that exceeded expectations, met expectations and failed to meet expectations. The today’s recommendations section includes analyst stock upgrades, downgrades and coverage initiated. The report shows the stock, its symbol, the market on which it trades, the brokerage firm that gave the opinion, what the recommendation was and what it is now. Another useful section for planning ahead is a report on upcoming IPOs.
Global Alexa Rating: 2,710
The Street is a digital financial media company began in 1996 whose network of digital services provides users with a variety of content and tools. They offer numerous proprietary premium subscription services that range from $3.00 to $20.00 per week – use the Compare All feature to compare them. They all offer a 30 day guarantee. Their website is a leading provider of financial news, commentary, analysis, ratings, business and investment content and more that is updated in real time every day to provide timely financial commentary, analysis and investigative journalism along with investing ideas, trade plans, personal finance tips and lifestyle articles and videos. Users can sign up for any of six different free newsletters: After the Bell, Before the Bell, Booyah! Newsletter, Midday Bell, The Street Top 10 Stories and Winners & Losers. The site includes some useful tools including a research center, reports, stock screener and a stock upgrades & downgrades report.
Global Alexa Rating: 4,012
MorningStar offers a portfolio manager that is more than simple performance tracking in that it also delivers independent insight, analysis, news and research to enable investors to understand their portfolio’s performance and improve upon it. Users can access their portfolio anytime, anywhere by syncing with their MorningStar.com account from their PC, iPad and smart phones. The website includes powerful portfolio tools, calculators, charts, and analyst notes, research tools and stock screens. They also offer a premium membership that begins with a free 14 day trial. There is a direct correlation between the time spent on research and the degree of investment success, and having these 10 websites at one’s disposal and referring to them regularly is a critical part of the process. Having educated and realistic expectations will safeguard an investor from falling for get-rich-quick schemes that are likely far riskier.