How I Use Yahoo Finance to Track Stocks

Yahoo Finance Page

Finance.Yahoo.Com offers news and stock tools, plus personal portfolios

Besides Scottrade, which has excellent research tools including tutorials on investing, the place I go to most often to get information about stocks is Yahoo finance http://finance.yahoo.com/.

To be honest, I liked the site much more before they junked it up with so many inane advertisements — why Ellen Degeneres has been crying on the main yahoo finance page for months perplexes me — but I’m sure someone has a good reason for paying lots of money to do just that.

Regardless, even sifting through the junk, there is a fountain of information available on Yahoo Finance. Remember, though, that any information can make its way onto Yahoo — and since they promote drama and sensationalism over confidence and reason — proceed with caution.

Their numbers are good though —  most of the time  — and their stock quotes are real-time. That’s what I like the most. The link above takes us to the Yahoo Finance home page. I’ll offer a brief tour although most of what you see is intuitive.

See the three columns? The center column (the main content area) gives up-to-date information on the US and World Markets. I check the site when I get up each morning to see what’s happening in the world of finance and where the market futures are heading for the day. Gold, crude oil and 10-yr bonds are also tracked here with lots of links to more in-depth information.

(Rarely do I pay much attention to the right hand column. It’s mostly opinionated junk or ads — but maybe that’s just me.)

I do use the features in the left hand column, though, and have customized my stock selections under quote lookup. After a few days or if you do browser cache reset, you may find that the quotes you’ve added will go away; I find myself occasionally re-entering the key stocks I track. I actually don’t mind doing this because it offers me a quick glance at what I care about on any one day, but to keep more data in the long-term, I’ve set up several portfolios.

I’ve created and used portfolios in Yahoo Finance for years, and until recently some of my really early portfolios were housed there. They recently disappeared — which is OK, since I didn’t really need the information and I’ve added new ones.

Setting up portfolios can be a lot of fun. I create imaginary portfolios and then check their progress once or twice a week. It’s a great way to watch the potential of stocks that have caught my interest although I don’t know enough about them to buy yet.

Since I’m competitive, I like tracking one portfolio against another and then comparing them to my real portfolio. OK, maybe I need to get a life, but seriously in the long run it can add to my abundance.

Watching the progress of a stock before I buy it helps me to minimize emotions and maximize reason in my buying decisions. The longer I wait to buy a stock, I more I know about the stock I’m buying. That’s not a bad thing to do. Check out Yahoo Finance for yourself.

I think you’ll find it well worth your time.

About Liz Stauffer

Liz Morningstar Stauffer’s improbable journey—from a divorced mother of two at the age of 34 to a millionaire some 15 years later—has inspired her to create the blog “The Improbable Millionaire," offering tips, advice, stories and support for people on a similar journey—even if they don’t know it yet!

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