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.