When you’re just beginning to invest your money, you may realize that you have little funds to work with and a large need for information. Rather than tie up your precious investing dollars in brokerage fees and failed trades, why not educate yourself by seeking out free or low-cost alternatives?
Even if you understand the basics about stocks and know how trades are made, there are hundreds of other details and factors to take into consideration. Add to that the various forms of media-induced information overload and the never-ending supply of tips, tricks and advice offered on the Internet and you can easily find yourself overwhelmed and discouraged.
But before you throw in the towel, consider using some of the following online resources (most of which are free!):
While it’s true that online brokers typically require an account to access in-depth stock and mutual fund information, there is a lot of general advice available on their websites that’s free of charge. For instance, you can view webinars, read forum posts from actual investors, watch investing tutorials and even download free stock screening and charting software.
Once you’ve identified your preferred method of investing and are ready to take the plunge, some online brokers such as E*trade buy shares on your behalf and allow you to track your investment returns and/or change your strategy in real-time.
If you’re simply looking to educate yourself via free, reliable information, Morningstar is a must-visit site. From market commentary to a wide range of in-depth mutual fund information, you can design your own free course of study. Be sure not to miss Morningstar’s fund ratings guides that offer ratings based on historical returns and risk of nearly all mutual funds.
The Motley Fool
Millions turn to the Motley Fool for its wit-infused investment advice and commentary. While the Fool has expanded its breadth over the years to include a broad variety of financial services, the heart of the mission lies in educating people in an entertaining, innovative way. If you’re looking to read about opposing investing views or are looking for unique options for your investment strategies, don’t miss the Motley Fool’s CAPS Community where members take part in ratings polls, dish out their opinions and solicit advice and tips from each other.
More Bang for Your Buck
Whether you try one or all of these tools to learn about investing and to decide what will be your own best course of action, you will gain a tremendous amount of knowledge that will help you make informed decisions.
Photo courtesy of: Paul Pasieczny