Reliable Stock Tips, Investment Advice and News
Where to Get Good Stock Tips, Advice and Financial News Coverage
Where to get good stock tips and independent financial advice.
The internet is a source of huge amount of investment information and advice, some of it good and some very bad, but where can you get good reliable information and good finance and investment ideas and tips? How can you tell if it reliable information or rubbish?
This article is particularly about U.K. investment, but these days investment is more of a global issue, so some of the content is applicable to everyone. In the USA there are a very large number of sources of information, in the U.K. rather fewer of them.
Here are some recommendations of useful sources of information from UK magazines (such as Money Week and Investor's Chronicle) and newspapers to US and global websites and books (e.g. Motley Fool).
Disclaimer: Information in this and other linked articles is unregulated and for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon in making specific investment decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision.
Where to get advice you can trust
The Financial Times Web-site
After semi-retiring from a proper well-paid consulting job, last year, I have spent a lot of my time trading shares, bonds and obscure derivatives for a living (good timing!) so accurate detailed financial information is essential. There are many competing web-sites that provide financial information, but ft.com is one of the best and certainly one to which I refer on a daily basis. The FT newspaper has been one of the best, if not the best, source of financial data and news for many decades, giving good global and local news coverage. The FT web-site is an on-line version of the newspaper, giving access to most of the articles from the daily and weekend newspapers for free, although some articles and services are only available to subscribers.
The layout of the web-site is pretty similar to the newspaper (and it's even pink, just like the newspaper) with the various sections clearly marked across the top-banner: Front Page; UK; World; Companies; Markets; Lex; Comment; Business Life and Weekend. Each page has headlines of articles in reverse order of publication, with links through to the full story. Most of these links are available to non-subscribers, but some may come up with a request for you to register for a free trial of the full subscription services.
The main news articles are concise and apparently accurate (well I believe most of them anyway) but some people may find them a bit dry or boring, when compared to the more sensational style of some other newspapers. They are not completely lacking humour, but certainly give the impression that they are business-like. The main news items cover all aspects of world new, not just business, but obviously more emphasis is given to the business related news, even on the front page. Progressing onto the Companies and Markets sections gives a very good in-depth analysis of company results and the movements of the various markets around the world.
Selecting each tab at the top of the Front Page gives an overview of the news for that section, but also breaks the news down to sub-sections. e.g. selecting Companies gives the main headlines for company news, but there are also sub-sections allowing the news to be filtered for individual types of business: Energy; Industrials; Transport etc. This is a very easy web-site to navigate.
The Markets and Markets Data sections are the most useful for me, giving me a good overview of what is happening to my various investments. There is even a Stock Screener allowing you to type in criteria you require from a share (e.g. price to earnings ratio) which will output potential shares you may be interested in. There is a good portfolio tool into which you can enter details of all of you investments and have them updated in almost real-time (20 minutes delay) Most of the articles provide information, company results, market data etc. and some provide comments or tips about possible movements in prices or even trading ideas, fund recommendations etc.
FT web-site is a very useful site with some of the best coverage available anywhere on the internet of financial news and good concise coverage of other news and sport. It could easily replace the newspaper (although I still buy the newspaper at the weekend because it gets me a way from this computer)
Advantages: Best source of financial information
Disadvantages: Have to pay for access to some data and services
Investment Books: Motley Fool
The Motley Fool range of books offer good advice, written in a way that can be understood even if you are not in the banking industry, but without "dumbing down" the content. They also offer a range of U.K. specific titles, in addition to the excellent USA specific titles. There are also UK and US Motley Fool web-sites (See details below)
Money Week Magazine
Excellent U.K. Investment Magazine
Money Week is a weekly magazine about money (no really), which gives a commentary on the most important financial stories of the week. It is edited by Merryn Somerset Webb, who also writes for the Financial Times and The Sunday Times, but also has contributions from many other regulars and prÃ©cis of articles, share tips and investment ideas from other publications, presented in an interesting and contrarian style often contradicting the mainstream view.
The magazine is fairly thin, with just 40 or so pages and costs Â£2.50 or just Â£14 per quarter on subscription with a three-week free trial. It is however full of useful information for investors whether you are just wondering what to do with this year's ISA allowance or for short-term trading tips and investment strategies. Money Week typically consists of a one-page summary from the editor, two pages of general financial news and individual company news, market news, articles about investment strategy, a section called "Who's tipping what" which summarises what is being printed elsewhere in the financial press and why they might be right or wrong, "sector of the week" analysis, personal opinions from regular contributors, "Best of the financial columnists", analysis of politics and economics, funds, personal finance and property investment. There is also a section on the best information available on the Internet and a section covering how to spend your money on holidays, wine, cars and property and a profile about famous business people. It may not sound like an exciting read, but it really does have a lot of information presented in an interesting way in a small format.
In addition to all of the regular features, the main cover story is usually a fairly long article going into more depth about an important topic and there is also a monthly "roundtable" of the regular contributors and other financial pundits. The magazine has regular recurring themes, which are often the opposite of what you will read elsewhere. The magazine has been negative on the housing market for a long time, before the rest of the press caught up and predicted the "credit crunch" turmoil and recommended buying gold and selling banking shares. It has been correct about many other investment themes over the years that I have been reading it. I am however regretting acting on their suggestion to buy into Japan, but maybe even that will be correct in the long term.
The "who's tipping what" section takes tips from the financial press or from market analysts and goes into the logic behind the tip and why they might be right or wrong. The "Tip of the week" is the best tip and the "Turkey of the week" is the one to avoid. In addition to these there is the "Gamble of the week" if you like to invest in exciting/risky shares. At the end of the magazine there is also a two-page table of the buy and sell tips from various other publications with a short description of the reason behind the recommendation. The final section is "last word" which gives Bill Bonner's gloomy, but often accurate predictions for the world economy.
In addition to the printed magazine there are three free daily email newsletters: Money Morning, Money Sense and Money Week Asia covering similar issues.
If you are an active investor or just want to find the best home for your saving I would certainly recommend trying this informative weekly magazine.
Advantages: not afraid to contradict the mainstream view
Summary: All of the week's financial news compressed into one magazine
Buy Gold... Just in case
Gold and Silver should not make up a large part of an investment portfolio (e.g. 5% to 10%), but does have a useful diversification effect in a balanced portfolio; tending to be uncorrelated to other asset classes. I have written a separate articles on the subject here:
Investor's Chronicle Magazine
The Investors Chronicle magazine is published by The Financial Times Limited and is probably the most respected weekly investment magazine in the UK. It also has a very comprehensive free web-site and a free daily email service. So why buy the magazine? The magazine gives an overview of the economy and markets, but also suggested investment strategies, fund suggestions, news and comment.
I have a weekly subscription to Investors Chronicle which usually costs Â£149 for a year although there are often special offers and the price drops for longer subscriptions. Buying from the news agent costs Â£3.75 a week. I also get a daily email alert which gives me access to much of the information in the magazine, sometimes even before the magazine arrive. This makes the hard copy magazine a luxury, but it is great to get away from the computer occasionally.
The magazine has the following sections: Seven Days, which gives a good concise overview of the week's market movement; News which is a more detailed look at the week's news; Comment, which has several articles by various contributors including "Mr Bearbull" a column which has appeared in the magazine since the 1950s; Strategies, giving a selection of investment ideas for the coming weeks, months or years; Companies, provides news, reports, results, updates, director dealing, takeovers rights issues etc. and tips; Funds, for investment trust, unit trust, OEIC and ETF news, tips and manager interviews; and finally the Trading section which suggests trading ideas for the weeks ahead, mostly based on technical analysis (lots of charts and explanations)
I would be very wary of of blindly following the investment tips in any publication, even one with as good credentials as the Investor's Chronicle, but the share tips, tip updates and other strategy suggestions are certainly a good place to start your research if you are searching for investment ideas. The explanation of the technical analysis approach to short-term trading is also a useful insight for me into this higher risk style of investment.
The coverage of the magazine is very good and offers a lot of investment and trading information in a weekly magazine which would be useful even if you had read the Financial Times or Bloomberg every day. I definitely recommend the free web-site and email alerts and if, like me, you like reading a magazine rather than a laptop or mobile phone and can justify the cost, get the magazine.
Summary: Some good trading ideas
Motley Fool (UK and US web-sites)
The UK and US Motley Fool web-sites offer good quality articles, archives and forums all for free.