I am a beginning investor and I need to find some places where I can get some really practical advice about getting started. Can you recommend some resources where I can get hands on tips about some of the opportunities and pitfalls of investing on my own?
The Internet is a great resource for people to gather information about investing. Advice and tips for beginning investors can be found all across the Internet. A few of the better ones include:
Financial Web Portal provides a wealth of information on basics of successful investing and advice on how to make investment decisions based on one’s own financial situation and personality. There’s also good information on investing in mutual funds, stocks and bonds, real estate, and commodities.
A consumer site established by the Securities and Exchange Commission that advocates awareness and rights for the individual investor. There are links to a number of publications on savings and investing. This site also summarizes SEC enforcement activities and provides current fraud alerts.
This not for profit site is designed to help beginning investors wade through the investment jungle. It provides hands on advice and tips about investing principles and buying stocks. This association has been an investment education group for more than 50 years.
Where can I get more detailed information about a company's stock and the industry it belongs to?
A number of good sources are available that will profile individual stocks, dividend potential, and provide industry analysis. Some of these sources would include:
Mergent Dividend Record(New York: Mergent FIS). Formerly Moody's this source is one of the best dividend sources available. It provides information on dividends, splits, mergers, and other earnings information for nearly 30,000 North American securities.
Mergent Handbook of Common Stocks(New York: Mergent FIS). Another former Moody's product that profiles stock performance, trends, prices, and prospects for about 1,000 companies that trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys(New York: McGraw Hill). This source is available in a number of different formats (e.g. S&P NetAdvantage) and provides an excellent synopsis and analysis of a number of key industries. Important figures, past performance, trends, issues, and future prospects are profiled in considerable detail. S & P has long been a respected source for one stop industry information.
Standard & Poor’s Stock Reports(New York: McGraw Hill). This source is also available in a number of different formats and profiles more than 10,000 publicly traded stocks.
Value Line(New York: Value Line Publishing). Value Line is available in a number of different formats, and contains overviews of different industries.
Where can I get information on bonds?
A number of good sources are available for researching bonds, and some of them would include:
Mergent Bond Record (New York: Mergent FIS)
Formerly Moody's this source profiles a number of current bond issues and charts their performance.
Standard & Poor's Bond Guide(New York: McGraw Hill).
This source comes in a number of different formats and provides a good overview of common bond issues.
Provides reports, statistics, insights, and surveys on bond activity, including trading volume and issuance.
Where could I go to find magazine and newspaper articles about possible investment opportunities?
A number of places will allow you to search for articles that would talk about investment related issues. A few would include:
Perhaps the best and most complete index to the business literature. ABI covers about 1000 periodicals many of which are covered full-text. Both research orientated and popular business publications are included in the coverage. Finance and investment industry journals are extensively covered in this index.
Factiva (Dow Jones).
One of the best sources for investment trade news and information. Users have full-text access to numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers as well as journals and newswires. Company and market information, including analyst reports, are part of the content as are charting tools and screening functions.
Nexis Uni (Reed Elsevier Inc.)
LexisNexis is an excellent source for business trade literature as well as local and national newspaper coverage, including full-text access to the New York Times. The Industry and Trade news section covers the finance/investment industry very well.
Is there something that lists a variety of sources that can be used to research the finance/investment sector?
Bibliographies and literature guides are excellent places to begin or expand a research project. They can provide a framework on which to build a body of research. A few bibliographies that may be of help:
The Basic Business Library: Core Resources and Services, 5th Edition(Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2012) Provides a core list of current business resources, both print and online.
Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources (Detroit: Gale Research, triennial). A common title for most library business collections. This source talks about available sources in the finance/investment area by type of resource such as directories, dictionaries, and handbooks.
Strauss's Handbook of Business Information: A Guide for Librarians, Students, and Researchers, 3rd Edition (Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited, 2012). Provides strategies and sources for business reference including research basic areas such as company information and for specific fields of business.
Making Sense of Business Reference: A Guide for Librarians and Research Professionals (Chicago, IL : American Library Association 2013). Covers business reference strategies and sources for topics ranging from marketing, to industry information, to investment research.
Where can I go to get a quick quote and current analysis of a particular stock?
The places where one can go to get current stock information is almost limitless. A few of the possible places include:
Using Thomson Reuters data, BigCharts provides current and historical quotes, key company data such as market capitalization and earnings per share as well as charting tools, portfolios, alerts and screeners.
Another website for a major stock exchange in the United States. The site has a running ticker, as well as an instant stock quoting service. It has excellent profiles of member companies and institutions.
Perhaps the most respected daily newspaper in the financial world. The Money & Investing part of the paper has the most extensive stock and investment listings available. This section also has articles that give advice and tips for potential investors. The paper also profiles up and coming companies that might offer good stock purchasing opportunities for individuals.
How can I get information on publicly traded companies?
A vast amount of information about public companies is available to potential investors. A few places to look might include:
EDGAR, the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system of the Securities and Exchange Commission, contains all of the financial filings for over 15,000 publicly traded companies. This database includes things like 10k reports, 10q statements, and other financial reporting documents.
This source provides brief financial and sales profiles of nearly 10,000 companies.
Mergent Manuals: (New York: Mergent FIS)
Formerly the Moody's manuals which provide directory and financial information for thousands of companies. This set consists of a number of different manuals which include Industrial, International, Bank & Finance, Public Utility, and Transportation.
Standard & Poor's Corporation Records (New York: McGraw Hill)
This source is available in number of different formats, and it provides financial information for publicly traded companies.
Find the latest company news and company profiles, excellent charts, key statistics, financial statements, current and historical stock quotes going back to 1986, top ten competitors and SEC filings. Also, provides 51 broad industry research reports comparing the top 10 companies in each.
ValueLine (New York: Value Line Publishing)
This source comes in a number of different formats, and is most famous for providing detailed one page investment analysis of public companies.
I am thinking of investing in mutual funds, where can I go to get information about it?
Mutual funds are a popular investment and savings device and a number of tools can provide information and analysis of different available funds.
Published by the Mutual Fund Education Alliance, the not-for-profit trade association of the no-load mutual fund industry, this resource is designed to serve as an important resource for investors who want to use mutual funds to reach their financial goals. Here, you'll find a large collection of mutual fund companies, website links, fund listings and exclusive planning, tracking and monitoring tools.
A consumer orientated site that provides information about individual funds and practical advice on choosing between them. This site also tries to educate the public about investment companies and the world of mutual funds.
This popular source is perhaps the most respected guide to mutual funds. Morningstar provides a detailed overview for nearly 2000 mutual funds selected from the top investment firms. Some free content is available on their website.
What are some of the principle magazine, journal, and newspaper titles that would deal with finance/investment?
The number of available publications is almost limitless. Some of the more commonly available titles include:
One of the most respected news magazines for the finance/investment sector. Provides weekly overviews of all domestic and foreign stock exchanges. Barron's also profiles other markets and activities like bonds, mutual funds, and commodities markets.
The Wall Street Journal is the most respected business daily in the world. It has all the day's stock and market activity and analytical articles about trends and news on the financial scene.
The world of finance/investment has all sorts of strange terms. Are there good dictionaries and handbooks that define the lingo that is used in this area of business?
The terminology of this field can be daunting. A number of sources are available that might be of help a few recent examples would include:
Barron's Finance & Investment Handbook(Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's Educational Series, 2014). A comprehensive guide that includes a large glossary, directory, research bibliography, and guide to personal investment.
A Dictionary of Finance and Banking, 6th Edition(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). A good basic dictionary for finance and the related field of banking.
Dictionary of Finance and Investment Terms(Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 2014). More than 5,000 terms related to stocks, bonds, mutual funds, banking, tax laws, and transactions in the various financial markets are presented alphabetically with descriptions.
Wall Street Lingo: Thousands of Investment Terms Explained Simply(Ocala, FL: Atlantic Publishing Group, 2007). A dictionary of terms organized by subject for those interested in words that are commonly used at the stock exchange.
How do I reach people and professionals within this industry?
The finance/investment field has a large number of associations and organizations that represent investors and professionals and all levels. A few examples include:
Encyclopedia of Associations(Detroit: Gale Research). This standard directory has a large list of associations that pertain to the finance/investment area.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), 1735 K St., NW, Washington DC, 20006, (301) 590-6500, http://www.finra.org/index.htm FINRA oversees over 5,000 brokerage firms, about 172,000 branch offices and more than 676,000 registered securities representatives.
Investment Company Institute, 1401 H St. NW, 12th Fl., Washington, DC 2005-2148, (202) 326-5800, http://www.ici.org An association of investment companies that serve as a clearinghouse for information about mutual funds.
New York Society of Security Analysts, 1540 Broadway, Suite 1010, (entrance on 45th Street), New York, NY 10036, (212) 541-4530, http://www.nyssa.org An association of stock brokers and investment professionals that work in New York based trading houses.
Security Traders Association, 1115 Broadway, New York, NY 10010, (646) 699-5996, http://www.securitytraders.org The professional and trade association for licensed stock and security traders.