The Toolbox for the Buy & Hedge Investor: Part 1

Posted on March 5th, 2012

My co-author and I write for this blog every day – and for the Buy & Hedge newsletter at Minyanville.com. We often tend to write about the investing challenges we face in the market. But being a slow Monday with 2 weeks to go until options expiration, I thought I would write a little bit about the toolbox of the Buy & hedge investor.

By toolbox, I thought I would offer up a list and quick review of some of my favorite online websites that I use to follow the markets and form many of my investment opinions. I use these sites almost every day – and I think you will find them useful.

Favorite Blogs:

The Big Picture (www.ritholtz.com) – Barry Ritholtz has the most popular investing blog online with the most visitors – and for good reason. He does an excellent job at breaking down economic and investment trends – while keeping his eye on the trends on Wall Street also. And he posts several times a day. A must read for the individual investor.

Barron’s Income Investing Blog (http://blogs.barrons.com/incomeinvesting/) – One of the biggest mistakes that equity investors make is taking their eye off of the credit markets. Hopefully, everyone learned that lesson in 2008-09. Always remember two things: (1) Fixed income is the most popular alternative to equities meaning that the yields in bonds should always be instructive to the equity investor; (2) Fixed income investors are higher in the ownership pecking order than stock owners. This blog helps you keep an eye on income returns and credit.

Paul Krugman (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/) – While I rarely agree with the political stances that Paul Krugman takes, I do think he does an excellent job at explaining economic policy and the drivers for recover and growth. Also, understanding both sides of an economic and political argument just make you more informed. Don’t let the name of the blog throw you off (Conscience of a Liberal), Krugman has taken a lot of heat for his criticism of Obama. He is generally and equal opportunity ‘pisser-offer’.

News:

The Wall Street Journal (www.wsj.com) – An obvious choice but I might as well mention it. It covers all angles of the news and supports multiple media channels including Kindle, iPad, iPhone, etc.

Honorable mention: Yahoo Finance; MarketWatch, Minyanville.com

Research:

Morningstar (www.morningstar.com) – I am a big believer in unbiased research and I think Morningstar is one of the few sites that can claim to be completely unbiased. The research is well thought out and well explained. They explain the bear and bull side of the stocks they cover – so you can form your own opinion. But they also set a price target and rate every stock on a 5-star scale. In addition, Morningstar has other excellent tools like retirement calculators, portfolio trackers, risk analyzers, etc. But note: M-Star is not exactly options friendly so you’ll really only find it of use for understanding your equity positions or equity exposure. Overall, I would recommend the premium subscription service for around $20 per month to access the premium research.

Charts:

Bar Chart (www.barchart.com) – When I want to see a quick chart for an ETF or a stock, I use this site. It also allows a quick comparison of a couple of stocks. The charts are highly customizable and offer many studies that you can overlay on it. For a quick online charting tool of a stock price, it works.

Y Charts (http://ycharts.com) – Sometimes I want a chart of data OTHER than stock price. Maybe I want to chart PE, or revenue, or PEG ratio, or inventory turnover. Or, maybe I want to see the chart for key economic data like jobless claims, or interest rates, or unemployment. This site is excellent for that purpose. It even offers a sector comparison tool that permits you to plot sectors across 2 different dimensions on an x- and y-axis.

This is just some of the tools we like. We’ll put out an updated list with a few more sites in the next few weeks. Hope these sites help you with your investing approach!


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2 Comments

Rick Parsons - March 6th, 2012 at 12:21 PM
I would like to suggest this website for a technical overview of the market:nnhttp://www.mcoscillator.com/nnRick
Jay Pestrichelli - March 6th, 2012 at 3:38 PM
Thanks, Rick. I know many investors that value a good technical analysis website.

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