The Good news: The economy is inching its way back into the black. The unemployment rate is dropping (however slowly). Signs of economic growth are promising.
The Bad news: The sky could fall tomorrow, and the stock market could fall with it. But what if it did? Could your portfolio survive?
If you are armed with knowledge, investment risk isn’t so much of a risk. That’s why I put so much time and effort into research before I invest a single penny. Below are some of the tools that I highly recommend for investors at any level.
1) Earnings Calendar
Whether you currently own stocks, or simply want to create a “watch list” for analyzing your future investments, an earnings calendar can be an invaluable tool. My go-to calendar is from Nasdaq. (Go directly to the source, right?) You can search by company name, date of earnings report, or even backtrack, to see what companies have reported their earnings in the previous weeks.
2) Morningstar’s Investing Classroom
If you’re a newbee, or simply need a refresher course on investing, you will greatly benefit from Morningstar’s Investing Classroom (it’s free, people). You can learn at your own pace, and develop valuable skills in the process. The online classes offer quizzes, and, you can earn credits toward 60 days of free Premium Morningstar.com–a fantastic resource for investment news an analysis. Once you have earned 790 points, your 60 day Premium subscription will kick in. A one-year subscription normally costs $199 ($23.95/month).
3) Free Investing APPS
If you are APP happy (or simply technically savvy), investing APPS are a great way to evaluate your investments (or potential investments) on the go. Here are two that I highly recommend:
Bloomberg APP: At a glance, you can see all of your stock holdings in real-time. With one touch, you can select stocks by company name. Available on virtually all portable devices.
Stock Ratings APP: Search ratings for any publicly traded company. Ratings updated daily. You can also view a daily summary of earnings and dividend announcements.
4) Bloomberg Radio
If you’re an investment nerd like me, you can sit for hours, listening to someone talk about the stock market. Since I can’t watch TV while I work, I listen online for a steady stream of real-time stock market analysis on Bloomberg Radio. You can listen in on weekdays, from 5am-6pm. You can also download their free APP, and listen via your iPhone or Android.
5) Google Alerts
By far, Google Alerts has become one of my favorite tools, not just for investing, but for news gathering on a variety of topics. But, let’s stay focused! If there is a particular stock that you own, or are considering, go to Google Alerts, type in the company name + the word “stock”, or simply the stock symbol, and you will see a list of headlines and article briefs that are directly related to that stock. If you want to save the alert, simply click save, and you will receive an email update (daily or weekly), depending on your preference, with information around the web regarding that particular stock.