Investing in the stock market, especially if you’re somewhat of a beginner can be a stressful task to undertake. There are thousands of stocks to choose from, not to mention the availability of mutual funds and bonds, which can be overwhelming for many. I’ve written about starting to invest before, but today I want to cover the investment tools you can use to make better sense of what’s out there. While there are many investment tools that require a subscription fee, I like to be frugal so I use some of the many free investment tools that are available on the internet. Before I go any further, I want to make clear that the links I am providing are not affiliate links but links specifically meant to be a helpful resource should you need to make use of them. With that said, this list of investment tools is not meant to be exhaustive, but simply a sampling of some of my favorite sites.
Should I Really Be Using Investment Tools?
Like I mentioned previously, there are literally tens of thousands of investment options available in the investing world. Knowing that, how are you going to narrow down your investment options? This is where the use of investment tools comes into play. They can help you make sense of what’s available and some also give honest insight that can help you make an informed decision. Of course not all investment decisions will be successful ones, but those that are made with a well-informed mindset can help you tie your decisions to fact instead of emotion. The great thing about most of the investment tools I will highlight is that they’re very user-friendly and offer relevant information for beginners as well as seasoned investors. Some of the sites do offer more in depth analysis tools that might have a fee attached, but for many that level of research is generally not necessary. If you have an email address, that’s typically the most that’s needed to get started using these investment tools.
Yahoo Finance is by far one of my favorite investment tools. Where Google reigns supreme in the search world, Yahoo Finance is the king of the investment information world. You can get things as simple as up-to-date stock market quotes, but you can also do in depth company research, find contact information for a company as well as analyst ratings. The other nice thing about Yahoo Finance is that it they have news stories, personal finance topics as well as access to anything Yahoo offers. Being in the investment industry myself, it’s a site that’s well respected and one that many use to get information. I love it so much that it’s usually one of the first sites I go to in the morning to see what’s going on in the stock market.
The next investment tool powerhouse that I frequent is Morningstar. While Morningstar is known for analyzing mutual funds, they actually cover pretty much any type of investment vehicle you can imagine. The great thing about Morningstar is the wealth of information they offer on mutual fund offerings. They give the ins and outs of a mutual fund so you can buy into a fund with confidence. They detail what the mutual fund holds, how much it costs to own the fund and the risk associated with each fund. This can be particularly helpful information if you’re looking at the investment choices in your 401k and you need to know what funds would be best for your money.
Next up of my favorite investment tools is Investopedia. Investopedia, at times, can get a bad rap in the investing community. Some of it is warranted, some of it is not. Like the others mentioned previously they offer a wide range of services. The one I would like to point out is their way of making much information very simple. If there is an investing term or product you want to know about but don’t know anything about it then this is the place to go. Simply type in the phrase and Investopedia will give back a clear definition that generally explains what that selected item is. I refer to it often as it can really make a hard-to-explain answer very easy.
One of my newest favorite investment tools is Finviz. As someone who loves being in the stock market I need to be able to narrow down the available options and find what might be a good fit for me. My favorite thing about Finviz is the screener section. You can punch in exactly what types of things you’re looking for in a stock and it will spit out those investments that meet the selected criteria. To be fair, some online brokerages will offer similar screeners, but I like Finviz because I can go straight there and drill down further to get insight that I might not find at some brokerages.
These are just some of the investment tools available on the internet. Have you used any of these tools, or are there other investment tools you like…or do you just set it and forget it?
Photo courtesy of: Myles Davidson