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Research first before converting the masses

Stock/Bond Research Tools - The Guide

It's inefficient finding the information to keep markets efficient

If you’re an investor, you need good tools to help you make good investment decisions. Unfortunately, many of the tools that exist are very expensive. Beginners or intermediate investors might not find the tools they need, and become very disheartened about learning how to analyze companies.

Luckily, my career is computer programming so I figured I would just fill the gaps in the market I discovered and build the tools. I am working to build a cheaper investment research tool to help you and me make better investment decisions. Here's my research on what other tools are out there.

When you’re looking for financial tools, it's important to know what information you are looking for. There are endless metrics to look at, but luckily you can start with the two main camps behind investment decisions. They are technical and fundamental analysis. I would reference the Investopedia website and Wikipedia whenever you run into an investment term you don't know. Between these two investing informational resources I've learned countless things.

My favorite type of analysis is fundamental analysis instead of technical analysis. I think understanding the underlying market position and earnings seem like the most solid basis for evaluating a company and deciding whether to buy or sell. I don't trust myself to be able to guess better than others what other people might do in a situation. Maybe with the right tools someday I can have a better idea, but for now I think understanding the companies current position seems much more promising than guessing how people might behave tomorrow.

The Tools

YCharts ($200 - $400 per month)

The best web based tool I've found for this is YCharts (YCharts.com). YCharts has lots of free metrics that they show (for a limited number of views), including earnings going back 5 years, revenue, PEG, sales. I find it works best if you Google the company name plus ycharts.com as your search. You can try a free trial, but after that trial it's quite expensive. I found a review saying $200 a month for standard and $400 a month for professional. Not quite the cash I have lying around, I'm guessing most beginner and intermediate customers don't have this as well too.

BarChart - ($30 per month)

At a much more affordable price, BarChart has lots of data available for free and has a decent premium offering for $30 a month. You can look at a lot of metrics via their company profile page, many years of reported financial data, options information, and even downloads of data (5 total downloads per day). I enjoy using my account here and would recommend you check it out.

Yahoo Finance - (Free)

For what you pay for it Yahoo Finance is really awesome! They have wonderful stats via their stats page, graphs, options information, and download historical price data. This site has a lot of what you'll need when you get started. Avoid reading too many of the articles, the financial world is full of fluff pieces toughting their latest position. Your best bet is to glance at the headlines but avoid being convinced by what is often a self-serving or clickbait piece.

Google Finance - (Free)

Google Finance used to be really nice, I tracked my portfolio there for a long time. Now it's pretty much useless. I couldn't tell you why they destroyed this product, but you'll have much better luck elsewhere now.

Morningstar - ($16.67 per month with 12 month subscription)

Really awesome data, I'm thinking of getting this subscription. They have a ton of good stock and bond data (although I'm having trouble with it now, so maybe that's changed) and their free offering is pretty helpful. Definitely a great place for company research.

Finviz - (~$25 per month)

I haven't used this tool extensively, but it came up in my research. There are a lot of easily accessible ratios on the front page. On their "Elite" sales page it looks like they have a lot of extra charts and "backtests". I haven't tried them out, so you'll have to check out some other resource for more information.

TulipScreener - ($5 per month)

This is the tool I'm building. Our main feature, one that I didn't find in competitors was unlimited sub minute event notifications, such as if AAPL goes below $160 notify me. When you're at work (stay productive folks) or at lunch you can get notified immediately so you don't have to check Robinhood or Etrade all the time.

We are working to build in fundamentals data to rival yCharts, but it's still a journey. Our goal is to offer the same data as the others at a much lower price, and luckily we're still building it so we can get your feedback on what's missing from the other tools from the start! If you want a walkthrough of the features, either I or the other developer would be happy to help you or you can ask for a free trial. I'm also happy to take questions, large funding packages, or criticism via email.

Institutional Tools

Bloomberg Terminal - (~$25,000 per year, or ~$2083 per month)

This product is the source of Michael Bloomberg's wealth. This product has roughly 57% of this market. I haven't used this, but I've heard nice things. If you work for a hedge fund, sovereign wealth fund, bank, research firm, or academic institution with deep pockets, this might be the tool for you. With lots of exclusive analysis, news, and rich data this is the gold standard of investment information. I would love to have a subscription someday. Please, in the unlikely chance that you found out about this tool through my website, let them know and I can try to work out a referral agreement with them for any part of the $25,000 per year subscription. I will send a very nice thank you note via email.

Refintiv (Formerly Reuters Financial) - (> $1000 per month per user?)

This seems to be the biggest competitor to Bloomberg Terminal, has about 34% of the market. I haven't used this either, but it's used pretty commonly it seems so it must be decent? Recently Blackstone (a private equity company) bought out part of it from Reuters, hence the name change. Can't tell you much more about it than their marketing page can. YouTube video tutorials probably would be the quickest source of information.

Conclusion

Every investor should know where to turn when trying to find out more about the companies they are investigating. This list is by no means a definitive list of tools available to the average investor, but these are the main ones I found over a few days of research. If you have any comment or questions I'd be happy to answer!


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