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Investing Knowledge and Research Tools
In last weeks edition which can be found here, I detailed a 5 Point Framework that could be used to start investing. This week, I will discuss how to build your investing knowledge and some of the research tools available to retail investors.
Core Investing Knowledge
In terms of building basic investing knowledge, new investors should look no further than the MyWallSt Learn app, available on both iOS and Android devices. This is an incredible resource and the best part is that it is entirely free. The app contains 40 individual investing lessons written by an expert investing team. Whether you come from a finance background like myself or you have never heard of a cash flow statement, the Learn app will enable you to develop core building block investing knowledge. MyWallSt are also an Irish company and it is great to see them at the forefront in this regard.
Just like investing, reading has a compounding effect. The more you read the more you know. Some of the most valuable investing and personal finance knowledge I have gained has been from reading. Below are some of the investing books that I would most recommend. I purchase all of my books from The Book Depository as it offers free worldwide delivery and I have embedded a link in the title of each book.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is Robert's story of growing up with two dads, his real father and the father of his best friend, and the ways in which both men shaped his thoughts about money and investing. The book explores the myth that you need to earn a high income to be rich and explains the difference between working for money and having your money work for you. Extremely easy to read and a great book to start with.
Doing well with money isn't necessarily about what you know. It's about how you behave. Behaviour is hard to teach, even to really smart people. Award-winning author Morgan Housel explores the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life's most important topics. This is probably my favourite book that I have read so far. Released in 2020, it offers a very modern take on a classical topic.
Widely respected and admired, Philip A. Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today's financiers and investors, but are also regarded by many as gospel. This book is invaluable reading and has been since it was first published in 1958. Great book geared towards individual stock picking.
The classic bestseller by Benjamin Graham has taught and inspired hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Since its original publication in 1949, Benjamin Graham's book has remained the most respected guide to investing, due to his timeless philosophy of "value investing", which helps protect investors against the areas of possible substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies with which they will be comfortable down the road.
Through every type of market, William J. O'Neil's national bestseller has shown investors the secrets to building wealth. O'Neil's powerful CAN SLIM Investing System-a proven 7-step process for minimising risk and maximising gains-has influenced generations of investors. This book offers incredible insights into technical areas such as establishing entry points for the more advanced investors.
Who doesn't love a good podcast? I particularly enjoy podcasts because they are an extremely easy form of media to consume and can be enjoyed while doing something a little less exciting like odd jobs at home or the daily commute. Here are my favourite investing podcasts:
Stock Club is a podcast by MyWallSt, the same producers of the Learn app mentioned earlier. The MyWallSt team discusses the current market news, pitch stocks from their shortlist and demystifies the stock market with its jargon buster section. The guys talk with a casual tone about the current hot topics in the stock market as well as answering queries regarding topics or concepts which the beginner investor may find intimidating.
Host Chris Hill and a panel of Motley Fool investment analysts cover the week’s top business news and financial headlines, while breaking down the stock market implications for investors. Plus, interviews with best-selling authors, industry experts, and an inside look at stocks on their radar.
Another great podcast from the Motley Fool. Every day, Motley Fool analysts break down a specific industry and the stocks making headlines.
Hosts Brett Schafer and Ryan Henderson discuss the top investing and business news from the previous week, interview guests, and make light of the ridiculousness of the investing world.
Dividend Talk is a weekly podcast where two Europeans, Engineer My Freedom and European Dividend Growth Investor, discuss dividend growth investing and related news about the stock market from within their community.
Portfolio Tracker - Wallmine
I have tried a number of different tools to keep track of my portfolio but my favourite by far is Wallmine. The tool, which includes an app and a website version, is free but also comes with a paid version which is not necessary for my requirements.
The tool allows you to input each individual stock you purchase including the transaction date, number of shares and share price at the time of transaction. It takes a bit of time to set up initially but is well worth it. Visualisation is great with this tool as if allows you to view graphs and charts including portfolio market value, performance, allocation and compares your results to the market. Below you can see my portfolio return versus the market for the past month, as an example.
Watchlist - Yahoo Finance
Despite being a bit clunky, I still find Yahoo Finance to be the best tool to utilise for stock information. Whenever I discover a new stock for the first time, I jump onto Yahoo Finance to do a quick search. I will skim for key data such as:
Free Cash Flow
If I am happy with what I see, I will add it to my watch list and then come back and perform a detailed analysis later.
Yahoo Finance also has the functionality to track your own portfolio but Wallmine is far superior so I do not use it.
Opinions - Twitter
Twitter is the best social media tool to utilise when it comes to investing. There is a great investing community on Twitter. Many investors, including myself, post daily news, opinions and analysis. I have learned a tonne from some of the high-quality accounts that I follow.
However, there can be a lot of misinformation posted too. Beware of accounts that tell you that you should buy X or claim to know what is going to happen in the future. Nobody does, and if they do they are lying. High quality accounts will lay out the case for or against a stock but never tell you what to do.
In addition, Twitter has a great functionality whereby it allows you to search for the ticker and see all of the tweets related to it. For example, I can search $MSFT and I will see all of the tweets related to Microsoft. When I am doing some research on a new stock, I will often do this and take a skim read of the tweets to see if anything of note pops up from a trusted account. Separately, just before I buy a new stock I will do a quick search to ensure that there is not any breaking news that might contradict my investment thesis on that stock.
Advances in modern technology mean that it has never been easier to be a retail investor. The most accurate and up-to-date information is at our finger tips and is just as accessible to you and I as it is to the largest investment bank. The key is knowing where to look. If you have found any of the above useful, please hit the subscribe button below if you have not already done so in order to receive the latest content straight to your inbox each week. Please also consider sharing with a friend if you find the content useful.
Wolf of Harcourt Street
Disclaimer: I am not a financial adviser and I am not here to give specific financial advice. The opinions expressed are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product. The information is based on personal opinion and experience, it should not be considered professional financial investment advice. There is no substitute for doing your own due diligence and building your own conviction when it comes to investing.