A reader of this column wants help with stock research tools; he is particularly interested in free or low-cost resources.
If I were a do-it-yourselfer, I would turn to nonprofit organizations, such as the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII) or BetterInvesting, for low cost, value and their culture of education.
Both of the organizations I’ve mentioned are focused on education, which means a lot to me. Their materials are intended to help you become a more informed investor.
On its website (aaii.com), the AAII offers a number of free products, including webinars. You also can look up any stock for free by entering the company name or stock ticker symbol in the search bar at the top.
Members have the unique advantage of studying pre-built screens that replicate the screens used by noted investors, such as Warren Buffett, Benjamin Graham and Geraldine Weiss, as well as other screens based on performance and on risks and returns, among other themes.
This alone is worth the price of membership, which is decidedly inexpensive. The annual “basic” membership is $49. There also is a “plus” membership at a higher cost. You can find out more about the plans here: aaii.com/join/indexc.
But before taking the plunge, you can sign up for a 30-day trial for a mere $1. The trial will allow you to explore and set up your own screens. It may take you the full 30 days to fully appreciate AAII’s resources.
BetterInvesting was previously known as the National Association of Investment Clubs. The site (betterinvesting.org) also offers free and low-cost educational materials.
BetterInvesting is known for its Stock Selection Guide (SSG). The SSG “organizes a company’s historical financial data to help investors identify the characteristics of quality growth companies and enable plotting of potential future growth from historical trends.” You can take a look at an SSG example at tinyurl.com/yxce68hv.
To get a better feel for BetterInvesting’s resources, sign up for a free three-month trial at tinyurl.com/y4mnu3kz. When you click through to sign up, note the red lettering that shows the membership at zero dollars. (On first glance, the shopping cart shows $19.99, but then goes to zero after applying a 100% discount.) For more information about membership, explore the website.
Once you sign up, you can register for a StockUp, which is a study on a particular stock. For example, on Nov. 10, Costco Wholesale (COST) is the subject of an online program sponsored by BetterInvesting. The program will include a review of the company’s business practices and financial reports. You’ll be able to see how to complete an SSG guide as well.
Armed with the AAII and BetterInvesting, there is no question that you will be a better-informed investor.
Finally, if you are a beginning investor, you may be interested in a free virtual presentation I am giving as part of the Investment Basics series sponsored by the Greenwich (Connecticut) Library. The topic: “Why a Portfolio Review Is Important and How to Do It.” The date and time: Thursday, Nov. 12, at 10:00 a.m. To register, go to tinyurl.com/yy3fu4qp or contact Yang Wang, 203-622-7924, email@example.com. This is part of the library’s financial and investment programs.
Julie Jason, JD, LLM, a personal money manager (Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers Inc. of Stamford, Connecticut) and award-winning author, welcomes your questions/comments (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please visit www.juliejason.com.
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