Where to get share information

The problem is not where to get the information, but what to take notice of. There is too much easily available information these days.

I prefer to educate myself on the stock market with classic investment books. My thinking is it’s a classic for a reason and the person has the fortitude to sit down and write a book plus they usually have the experience and a good track record behind them as opposed to anyone who can post articles on the internet. You can also read investment newsletters from stock researchers with a history of good returns.

You don’t need to be the smartest guy in the room to invest in the stock market, but you do need to know you is smart and take notice.

The ASX website

The ASX (Australia’s primary stock exchange) website has all the announcements for all listed companies daily. Companies have to report certain information that investors should know. There is the standard information like P/E ratio, dividends etc.

It also has educational material, which explains the stock market and investing in an easy to understand way.

Observation

You can get the best investment ideas and confirmations of your thoughts on a company going about your everyday business.

If you notice lots of campervans while driving that are from the same company that you may not have seen before-check out the company.

If someone in your family or friends are raving about a new product or service-do some research into the company.

Company competitors/suppliers/online reviews

Call or visit competitors and see what they say about the company. Same with suppliers.

These days you have online reviews, google reviews which can provide extra information on the company. Glassdoor, for example, is a website where people can review their employer and the company gets a rating, which can give an insight into its culture.

Famous investor Peter Lynch made a comment about visiting company offices, along the lines of; if you visit a company’s office and it is very fancy with expensive paintings on the wall but they have a large amount of debt to pay off then that would be a warning sign not to invest.

Alternatively, an office that is not overly fancy, may suggest prudent spending among management.

Now you don’t even need to visit the company, you can see it on Google street view!

Online brokers

Check the broker’s information is current (against the ASX website), as some will not update information daily and may be a few months out of date. You can open many online brokerages without having to place a trade. This is good as you will probably like different features/charts etc. in different online brokers.

Share market analysts

Find an independent (a researcher not owned by bigger investment banks, brokers etc) stock researcher with a long track record of decent returns.

The more sales focused they are the less likely the returns will be good.

Summary

You just need the facts and your common sense. Remember the best information is often free.

Opinions from ‘experts’, famous investors talking their own book(saying how they think this and that is going to go up after they have bought it) on TV or in the newspaper, economists predictions and friends tips should all be treated with caution.

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