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What Investment Tools and Resources Do You Use?
Old 02-10-2019, 10:05 AM   #1
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What Investment Tools and Resources Do You Use?

I am always looking for new tools and resources that are free to help guide my short term tactical and longer term financial decisions. The following are ones I am currently using and would appreciate your sharing any that you have found to be valuable.

1. While not a day trader, I often sell cash-covered puts and covered calls on stocks with weekly options. Tools that I use include Yahoo financial (provides the most info per stock listed w/realtime quotes), MarketWatch, Seeking Alpha, Dividend.com and Ally.com (only brokerage I know that will provide realtime option quotes w/o funding an account).

2. Finviz.com is a powerful screening tool but is a bit complex for me and I don't use it as much as I could.

3. The most valuable weekly podcast I subscribe to and trust is financialsense.com. I have been listening to Jim Puplava and his featured guests for many years and have found his macro perspective of the worldwide financial markets to be spot-on. His free Saturday podcast is approx. 2 hours long and is one I listen to religiously every week. He also offers a few during the week that are also free and are topic specific, e.g., retirement, real estate, health, etc. I have found his podcasts to have another benefit and that is educating/informing my spouse and helping us arrive at consensus.

4. For my 'guerrilla investing' I like to focus on down beaten sectors with oversold stocks with very limited downside but with a good potential for breakout. Precious metals and oil are two that have worked well for me recently. Industry pundits that I use include Frank Holmes, Robert Rapier and David Morgan to name a few.

This posting turned out to be a little longer than I had planned but hope you get some value out of it. Looking forward to your comments and input.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:26 AM   #2
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Q: "What Investment Tools and Resources Do You Use?"

A: "A couch."

Seriously, I picked an Asset Allocation, implemented it in a couple broad based index funds, then took a nap. I'd be surprised if your hours of analysis each week nets you anything at all. The professional money managers aren't able to do it.

For other areas, like optimizing taxes, I start at this forum, and follow up on the leads from here.

-ERD50
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #3
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Value line , better investing online tools, and fidelity used for validating stocks.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:40 AM   #4
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Patience and an understanding of the statistics that show stock picking is a losing strategy over the long term.
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Old 02-10-2019, 10:48 AM   #5
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I'm glad what you do works for you. For me, I enjoy the process much like some people enjoy playing golf or investing time in a hobby.

We are retired and derive the majority of our investment income from dividends, laddered 4 week t-bills that I renew each week as they mature and my 'guerrilla' investing. In fact, I make as much from short term 'guerrilla' investing as from my portfolio of dividend stocks but, in comparison, use only a small fraction of investment cash. I do not spend hours analyzing but have identified a handful of stocks that consistently channel between $5 to $6.50 that I can sell options on. My exposure is limited to the time I hold the investment as well as investing in different non-correlated sectors.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredberry View Post
I'm glad what you do works for you. For me, I enjoy the process much like some people enjoy playing golf or investing time in a hobby. ...
Well of course, you are free to do as you please. I also got some enjoyment/education when I followed individual stocks. So I hope this all works well for you.

But...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredberry View Post
... I do not spend hours analyzing ... .
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredberry View Post
His free Saturday podcast is approx. 2 hours long and is one I listen to religiously every week. ... .
Don't BS us!

-ERD50
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:41 AM   #7
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The tool I use the most is one that calculates my internal rate of return (IRR) and compares that to the IRR of a few benchmarks

Excel does XIRR() and MS Money does the same thing.

Without a comparison to a legitimate benchmark, one has no idea if all their machinations are improving the situation over just investing in a target date fund.

Also, I make sure that I don't pay any extra taxes, so the info at IRS.gov is important as well. I want to know my after-tax performance.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:47 AM   #8
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Did I post something that antagonized you? Your response seems to be personal. When I read your comment about '... hours of analysis each week' I took it to mean stock-specific research. I consider the financial sense podcast to be a market overview of what happened that week and what could affect the markets next week. For legal reasons there is relatively little stock-specific recommendations given. I am just looking for like-minded people on this forum to learn from.
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Q: "What Investment Tools and Resources Do You Use?"

A: "A couch."

Seriously, I picked an Asset Allocation, implemented it in a couple broad based index funds, then took a nap. I'd be surprised if your hours of analysis each week nets you anything at all. The professional money managers aren't able to do it.

For other areas, like optimizing taxes, I start at this forum, and follow up on the leads from here.

-ERD50
+1

In addition to this forum which has been very helpful to me, I also read the Bogleheads forum

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/index.php

There are some really knowledgeable people over there, as well as a good book list and a great wiki:
https://www.bogleheads.org/readbooks.htm
https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:23 PM   #10
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I use MetaStock for charting and indicators. I use it to chart and analyze stocks and ETFs. There are a lot of built in indicators or one can buy or build your own indicators. There is also the ability to do back testing on the various indicators. The easiest way to learn how to use the program is to attend one of their free roadshow promotional sales pitches usually at a local hotel. During the roadshow they will pitch their real time data service for a hefty fee but one can also download End Of Day (EOD) data from Yahoo finance for free. Unless you're day trading, the free EOD data should be sufficient. I don't remember how much the program costs but one can buy an older version of the software online from eBay, etc. for a fraction of the price of the latest version.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:27 PM   #11
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Well, as a hobby, stock picking can be expensive. But, hey, I raced sports cars and flew airplanes so I know about expensive hobbies. As long as you enjoy it and understand what you are doing I see no issue. From the OP it didn't sound like you viewed it as a hobby though.
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Old 02-10-2019, 08:40 PM   #12
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I have been investing 100% in individual stocks since 1993 (retired 2006 at 48). Sometimes I trade every month, sometimes not in a year, depending on opportunities.

Yahoo Finance and Excel are the only tools I use, to determine if any of the 50 or so stocks I have any interest in are relatively over- or undervalued compared to those I own (IMO). It takes very little time each month.

I have found no market commentators worth listening to, although I have learned general investment knowledge from some over the decades (Reitnut from the old Motley Fool boards comes to mind).

I also focus on dividend growth stocks. While I do not expect to outperform the market over time, living on the dividends allows me to ignore big price fluctuations and sleep better.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL! View Post

Excel does XIRR() and MS Money does the same thing.
You might like the discussion we were having about Money Weighted Rate of Return (MWRR) using XIRR and Time Weighted Rate of Return (TWRR). The discussion is in this thread.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:59 AM   #14
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:18 AM   #15
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I use Portfolio Visualizer (https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/) because it’s free and it’s excellent.

I pay for Fund Manager software (https://www.fundmanagersoftware.com/) because, IMHO, it’s the best independent portfolio management tool I have discovered.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:14 PM   #16
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Over 80% of investments do not require much tooling, as they are broad index funds. For brokerage with non-index investments I use a custom Google sheet to tally data, and fastgraphs subscription to evaluate specific decisions.
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