Thursday, July 3, 2008

Handy-Dandy Financial Resources

For those of you who are “staycationing” over the Fourth and find yourself with way too much time on your hands, here's a short list of some financial websites that I use regularly for research and information that you might like to peruse. Now, most folks rely on one of the more common, comprehensive sites as their primary source of financial information such as Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money Central, but there are other sites that provide niche products that these don't. Since this is a holiday-shortened market day, Dr. Kris & Co. is taking off early. So without further ado, here are the sites that I find useful along with a few brief highlights.

The Do-All/Go-To Sites
The following sites offer a variety of resources, tools, and (mostly) free services: business news, stock charts, market stats, company descriptions, mutual fund/ETF/bonds/currency centers, earnings events and economic calendars, SEC filings, insider trading, analyst upgrades/downgrades, stock screeners, financial blogs, investment newsletters, email alerts, streaming financial videos, educational tools on all aspects of investing (including options) and personal finance including calculators and portfolio trackers. And the list goes on and on. You can easily spend several hours if not the better part of a day just getting to know one of these. Of the sites below, Yahoo! and MSN are the most comprehensive.

Yahoo! Finance:
They have a new feature called Tech Ticker that is basically one big blog along with streaming video clips.
MSN Money Central:
Offers a stock screener and email alerts that Yahoo! doesn't.
Google Finance:
This site isn't nearly as comprehensive as the other two which may be a big plus for you "less is more" type folk.
You can enter their over-hyped contests from here.
Offers a nifty free screening tool plus two weeks free use of their research wizard. (Note: Some of their stock screens are subscription only.)

The Niche Sites
These are a few of the sites that I use to find specific info fast.

Full Disclosure (now
Bare-bones site featuring economic highlights, previous and upcoming earnings estimates and results for all listed companies, earnings/conference call/splits/dividend/economic events calendars. I use this site all the time.
Good investor education tools including a comprehensive financial dictionary, a description of each market index, and a free options course.
The Uber-Site for ETFs and mutual funds. They also offer in-depth reports on over 6000 hedge funds. It's by subscription but there's a two week free trial.
Have some fun in the financial horoscope section which includes celebrity horoscopes and a money matchmaker.

Options Sites
The CBOE offers free online options tutorials and courses and is the place to go for options pricing and everything else options-related. The OIC also offers free options classes as well as downloadable options software. Both links are at the top of the page.

The above sites are just the tip of the financial information iceberg. If you've always wanted to learn options, this weekend would be a great time to sit in front of your air conditioner with the baseball game in the background and your computer tuned into an online options course. I just may do that myself and brush up on a few strategies...or I just might lie on the beach and read.

Have a safe and fun Fourth!

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