By Julie Jason, originally posted on Forbes.com:
With so many people working at home during the pandemic, it seems natural that some new to investing might be drawn to the stock market. About one-half of Robinhood.com’s 13 million customers are “first time investors.”
How do these new investors learn about stocks? Some learn by trial and error. Others do their research, which in these days can be accomplished quite effectively online using some of these popular resources, each of which I subscribe to. (Note: I do not receive any direct or indirect compensation from the resources mentioned in this post.)
Yahoo Finance has a free site that offers real-time news and stock quotes, interactive charts, stock screeners and the ability to create portfolios and a watch list of stocks. Prebuilt screeners, such as Undervalued Growth Stocks, are updated daily. Check out the filters to design your own screen.
The Premium option, for which there is a 14-day free trial, costs $34.99 monthly (or $349.99 for an annual subscription; less if there is a promotion). It provides additional features, including advanced portfolio analytics, curated third-party research, enhanced charting, daily trade ideas, historical financials and statistics, monthly educational webinars and live chat support.
Financial Visualizations (FinViz) provides a robust “gateway” to market research. In fact, there is so much data that I recommend starting with the guided tour to get a sense of what an investor can learn, all for free.
There is much to appreciate. Take the heat map, for example. You can get a read on the performance of the S&P 500 components by sector, industry and company. The map can be filtered for different time frames, from one day to one year. You’ll also find a crypto map and a world map.
A paid version of FinViz offers real-time stock quotes, advanced charts and a back tester. Called the Elite version, it is available for a monthly charge of $39.50, or $299.50 if you pay for a year.
YCharts, founded in 2009, is a “full-service fundamental research platform.”
The Standard plan is the place to start for do-it-yourself investors. This offering is robust, including charting (both fundamental and technical), screeners, and analyst estimates and recommendations.
You can also create a dashboard to monitor your stock picks and the market itself.
YCharts has an Enterprise version aimed at investment adviser teams, investment committees and asset management firms. The Professional version, which I use, is for individual investment advisers, portfolio managers and sophisticated individual investors. That version has the most features, including model portfolios, investment strategies, custom reporting and back testing.
The Professional version’s strategies can be helpful to retirees. For example, the dividend power strategy selects stocks first on earnings yield (higher earnings yield signifies a lower valuation), then on dividend yield. This selection criteria can help weather “downturns, while still catching much upward motion during bull markets,” according to YCharts.
To review pricing, it’s best to first sign up for the seven-day trial. You can also request a free demo.
What Are You Using?
These resources are user-friendly and bountiful. It takes a little time to become familiar with them enough to choose one over another. If you have experiences you would like to share, whether it is one of those mentioned above or another vendor, I’d like to hear your views. Write to me at Forbes@juliejason.com.
To read Julie Jason's books, go to: https://juliejason.com/books/julies-books.