Investing Information Sources

Revised 2017-05-29

New or updated entries indicated with New or Updated. Labels expire in 30-60 days.

drama-mask And we say…

Introduction

The purpose of this writing is to detail sources of investing information I find useful. The items are grouped as follows:

The following material is based upon my interests and research, and opinions are mine. Understand that this material is not to be taken as professional advice, and you must do your own due diligence. I have been retired for a number of years now, and fortunately have the luxury of time to read, listen and watch. I did not work in the financial industry, nor was I a CPA. I consider myself a news junkie and a techie (first personal computer in 1979, first mobile phone in 1992).

Time Converter

Unless stated otherwise, times given are Eastern (USA) time. Are you in a different time zone or continent?

Must see TV

These are the sources I look at on a daily basis. Actually, I probably should add a modifier of mostly as there are a number of very useful sources that can be time consuming, but check these out to see why I use these most frequently.

Additional media notes

While the NYSE and NASDAQ markets are open, I usually do not continually watch the TV programming on the three business networks with the exception of looking at the European market close. Otherwise I may leave the television on at a low volume and occasionally glance at the screen, turning up the volume if something of interest appears. The push alerts from the various mobile apps are normally sufficient to attract my attention to breaking business news.

The routine program content of Bloomberg, CNBC and Fox Business differ. My perception is Bloomberg's massive worldwide resources delivers international business and market news. CNBC tends to cover individual companies, often supplemented by interviews of company officials. Fox Business depends upon a relatively few number of on air personaltiies.

The BBC World Service Business News airs at H+30 at Midnight and 1 am (probably all night, but I do sleep) and incorporates cut-ins from studios in the Far East as market news dictates.

On NHK World Japan, the business news segment embedded in the hour or half hour newscast is usually somewhere in the H+5 to H+15 minute time period. I usually catch the 8-to-10 minute segment at 11 pm, Midnight or 1 am. It is more-or-less midday in Tokyo, and you may catch the segment during the exchange's lunch break. The segment carries news of the Japanese and Korean markets not always well-covered, in my opinion, by the BBC, Bloomberg and CNBC broadcast personnel based in Hong Kong. NHK World Japan's English language TV service is carried OTA (over the air) by a local public television outlet, and therefore is required to be carried by the cable TV service. Apparently it is streamed on the net as well.

The add-on Roku devices stream via the internet additional TV channels to your TV. The connection is made through an HDMI port. Channels include Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business and numerous additional sources of business and finance news of interest to investors. A few Roku channels stream live; most are video clips.

Do you have SiriusXM in the car or on a smartphone or tablet? Listen to the simulcast TV audio of CNBC on channel 112 and Fox Business on channel 113. Bloomberg has a standalone radio network on channel 119 that inserts simulcast TV audio at various times in the 24-hour day and has a number of AM and FM outlets. WBBR-1130 New York City is the base of network operations; use the iHeart website or the Android/iOS app to listen if you are not in range of one of the USA outlets.

Pluto TV is a free third-party TV streaming service. Bloomberg (ch 143) and CNBC (ch 111) are included within the otherwise seemingly strange collection of channels. Some programs are live, others delayed. Outside the USA, use a VPN product (such as the ZenMate solutions) to watch.

Time Converter Unless stated otherwise, times given throughout this writing are Eastern (USA) time. Time shifts for winter (standard) and summer (daylight savings) times, but vary between continents and flip seasons between hemispheres. In the USA, Arizona and areas of Indiana remain on standard time year round. Some countries, especially those near the equator, stay on one time all year. The Time & Date website can help on deciphering time shifts. Wikipedia lists exchanges' hours of operation around the world, but I would also look at the exchange websites' home pages to verify the accuracy of the information.

Mobile apps and websites regularly used

Comments on websites, Twitter and RSS

Websites that deserve one's periodic attention might include those that report data the financial community lives for. The Federal Reserve is the home of the FOMC statement, under News and Events, that answers the question of will the FOMC raise the federal discount rate or not. The Bureau of Labor Statistics issues the several unemployment statistics. The Conference Board publishes the Leading Economic Indicator, a composite predictive measure of future economic activity. Similarly, actions of the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund attract the attention of financial community pundits.

There are many business news and investment websites to choose from. Wading through all of the sites and material is time-consuming at best and a time-waster at worst. Information overload fries my synapses. I find a more efficient way to use my time is to follow those potentially interesting websites and persons in the investing and finance community via their respective Twitter accounts. If the short message grabs my attention, clicking on the link takes me directly to the story.

Some websites offer RSS (really simple syndication) feeds. It is much quicker to review news stories with a newsreader than visiting multiple websites one after the other. I like Feedly, also available as a mobile app, but there are a number of other newsreaders to choose from.

If there is breaking news of interest on Twitter or on the business TV channels, I'll look up a local newspaper or media source for a more complete story.

Investing message boards

Message boards and stock forums, providing gathering places for investors to discuss investments et al of common interest, populate the web. Rather than operate as a message board unto itself, The Lion aggregates and indexes message headers, with links, gathered from blogs and forums on numerous (obviously not all) websites. (Note that links to the defunct Yahoo! Finance boards do not work.) It can be a significant help in looking for investor comments on lesser-traded stocks. I like it, but it is important to engage one's common sense filter.

For any board, if you are visiting or posting a message for the first time, look through the message headers to see if the topic already exists or if your question has been asked and answered. I suggest you also look af the posting dates. Unfortunately message threads live forever. If the last post is more than a few weeks or months old, you may want to start a new thread.

A suggestion: if you are writing a longer, complicated, forum post that includes web links, board formatting codes, and details, consider composing the post in an external ASCII text editor. Do not use a word processor program/app that inserts its own hidden formatting codes. It should be easier to write, edit, reorganize, spell-check and review your masterpiece in the separate text editor than within the peek-a-boo scrolling window afforded by the the board's website design. When your message is complete, copy and paste your work into the board's editor.

Investing chat rooms

Hashtag Investing (HI) is not a linear message board. Rather, it is a community of investors exchanging ideas and questions in realtime. Its functionality reminds me of the IRC (Internet Relay Chat), but clearly the Slack platform is more significantly capable. HI began in the summer of 2016 and now has hundreds of members. Members, ranging from experienced professionals to beginners, are from all areas of the world and different perspectives are interesting. The owner continues to grow the community. Activity levels vary during the day (work intervenes for some members) and evening; check periodically, even during the off hours. The most active "channels" are general, stocks. options, and personal finance; others are also available. Have a look, participate (don't be a lurker} by asking questions and sharing knowledge, and stick around as the community grows. Recommended.

Two stock-oriented chat channels—#stocks and #trading—are still found within the decades-old IRC network EfNet. These channels are a bit tough in terms of language and decorum—be warned—but may be interesting at times; do note HI is a much better first choice to explore live chat rooms. Although the EfNet website provides access to its channels, standalone client software such as (Windows) Icechat or (Android) Yaaic is more flexible and provides channel logging; those seeking iOS IRC clients will find several in the iTunes store.

Something for those new to finance and investing

Investopedia is the go-to reference encyclopedia for everything finance and investing. Similar to Wikipedia, Investopedia covers the waterfront in an unbiased unopinionated writing style. Reading something with unfamiliar subject matter, terms or words? Pop open a second web browser tab, copy and paste.

Moneychimp isn't a market news source but it may be useful for those persons wanting to get started on learning how to begin investing (see "Investing 101"), how to manage credit and considering retirement. Unlike Investopedia, Moneychimp offers a wide variety of easy-to-read beginning reference material that can lead to detailed information. The site originally attracted my attention with some of its calculators. The "frugality" section includes calculators on savings, credit card debt, and index versus mutual funds. Judging from various forum threads on credit issues, the credit card debt calculator should shock some people. Just for grins, I plugged in a $5,000 bill, paying $100 a month at 18.5% to see how long it would take to pay off. The result? Just shy of 8 years (94 months), with interest totalling $4,300. Urk! There are a variety of financial calculators, including mortgage and retirement. I played with the retirement payout numbers (how long will money last), and the results just reinforce my philosophy of paying yourself first during your working years. Is Moneychimp perfect? Probably not, but it may be an interesting and useful website to begin exploring investing and financial areas. Moneychimp is not the singular source to explore and learn, but I feel feel it does raise an awareness level.

Senzu isn't a market news source but it too may be useful for those persons wanting to get started on learning how to manage personal finances, including credit cards, and begin investing. Follow a check list to get started on organing your fiscal side of life. The new site, more attractive than Moneychimp, is evolving and expanding. Check back often to see its development.

Conclusion

In conclusion, these comments are assembled from multiple tagged notes in my Evernote account. I apologize in advance for grammer and syntax that may not be consistent, and the tablet's autocorrect may have tripped me up in places. Nevertheless I hope this information helps. Your mileage may vary.