The internet has opened up many opportunities not available even 20 years ago, from widespread remote working to online investing. Financial speculation has always been a complicated field that requires knowledge as well as instinct. If you are new to the stock market, you may have monetary intuition but lack familiarity with procedures and practices. You may also have questions about the best investments, the process itself, and sources of financial news. The good news is today’s internet helps you learn about investing. Here are five good ways to research investing online.
1. Study annual reports.
Reading annual reports is a good way to get a feel for a company’s values as well as its bottom line. If you are a beginning investor, you may want to take the annual reports of the companies you are interested in with you to your meeting with a financial adviser. They can help you with analysis and interpretation. Here are several key areas to examine when looking at reports.
- Earnings per share—Prosperity of each share
- Net income—What is left after taxes and other expenses
- Return on equity—Funds made for each dollar of shareholder investment
Publicly traded companies often post annual reports on their websites in their Investor Relations sections. You can also visit AnnualReports.com or a similar site with a large database of corporate annual reports.
2. Watch videos.
Many people are visual learners. In fact, studies show about 65% of the population learns best through visual content. The popularity of videos has skyrocketed in the past few years. Social media channels, including YouTube, are platforms for videos that entertain as well as instruct. Watching informative videos from trustworthy sources on investment topics is an effective way to learn. For example, these finance videos by Fisher Investments, an investment adviser, are short and focused on one topic per video, and you can watch them as many times as you wish.
3. Research relevant documents.
Many key corporate documents are available online, including financial information about company revenues, expenses, and income. Examples are Form 10-K, Form 8-K, and Form 10-Q. There are other important records that can give you facts that help with investment decisions. Learn more about researching investments at Investor.gov, a site operated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Other helpful sources of information are trusted independent money managers such as Fisher Investments.
4. Peruse educational websites.
A great way to learn about investing online is to visit websites that give you high-quality, relevant information about investments and the stock market along with analysis of trends.
- Investopedia—This helpful site features definitions, explanatory articles, expert insights, and current news to help investors make sense of today’s financial environment.
- The Street—This U.S. site provides financial and investment insight, analysis, and news.
- MSN Money—This website delivers helpful information about finances and investments. It is associated with CNBC.
There are also many other helpful websites that can help you learn more about investing and personal finance, but these three are good places to start.
5. Stay current with investment news.
Before you can make informed investments, you need to know the state of the stock market on any given day and at any given hour. Stay informed through investment news websites.
- Marketwatch News Viewer—Time-stamped news items and analysis
- com—Information for active trading
- Download a stock news ticker that scrolls across your computer screen with constant information about stock prices.
Using the internet to stay current on financial news helps you make sounder investment choices and learn how the market works.
The internet makes not only investing easier but it also simplifies the process of learning about the stock market. It offers investors of all levels, from veterans to beginners, multiple tools to research companies and learn solid investment practices. By using the internet wisely, even novices can soon feel more confident in the complex world of investing.