I've been investing since I was 16 and have accumulated over 20 years of independent investing experience.
The Stalwart Brands Are Still the Best
If you Google stock market websites, you'll see thousands if not millions of returns. The sheer volume of sites can make it overwhelming for the new or even experienced investor to find the information they need. Despite the plethora of information, there are a few rock-solid brands that have stood the test of time. This article describes the top sites I've used and how to use them. It is based on over 20 years of investing experience. I will present a site to get detailed stock information, a site to get ideas, and a site to get up to the date news and data on the markets.
Morningstar has been providing information for investors since 1984. Morningstar is the best site to visit to obtain a synopsis of a particular stock, mutual fund, or ETF. A user can search a stock by either its symbol or its name. They are presented with a page displaying a stock's latest daily chart, price, PE ratio, dividend yield, market capitalization, and other information. A particularly good feature of Morningstar is the ability to examine the performance of multiple securities on the same chart. For example, let's say you wanted to compare the performance of Apple versus Google over the last 10 years. You would go to Apple's page, click on the Show Full Chart button, type GOOG in the upper lefthand box that says Show Comparison, and hit the 10Y button. You'll see a multicolored chart of Apple and Google with each stock represented by a different color line for easy comparison.
Morningstar also offers stock analyses for subscribers to their Premium service. Subscribers get access to reports from Morningstar analysts as well as recommended fair value and target prices. These reports are written and presented in a way that is easy for investors to understand. Morningstar also writes articles where they recommend certain stocks and ETFs and mutual funds. New articles are free without the Premium service however you will need to be a Premium member to access archived articles. Lastly, there is a discussion board where investors can post ideas and questions.
How to Compare Stocks on Morningstar
Barrons is one of the oldest, continuously operating financial newspapers in the United States. Considered by many legacy investors to be the "Investing Bible", it has been providing news and information to investors since 1921. Barrons publishes a weekly newspaper that comes out every Saturday. They also maintain a daily blog that provides daily and sometimes hourly commentary on the markets.
Whereas Morningstar is where you go to get detailed information on a particular stock, Barrons is best used to get ideas that you can research further on a site like Morningstar. They are constantly publishing articles that recommend either individual stocks, ETFs, or general sectors. Most of their best content is available to subscribers only. A first time user can get an introductory subscription to Barrons for a very low price. Given the fact that you can access Barrons for a long trial for next to nothing, it is definitely worth a try.
Like Barrons, Marketwatch is owned by Dow Jones who is in turn owned by Newscorp. Marketwatch is best used to get up to the minute news and commentary on the markets. The top of their main page tracks the major indexes like the Dow, Nasdaq, S&P 500, Gold, and Oil. A user can easily shift to other markets like Europe or Asia. The top gaining and losing stocks are tracked right next to the indexes. There is also a newsfeed that is constantly updating with the latest economic and market-related news.
You can use Marketwatch to get detailed data on an individual stock but the interface is much better on Morningstar. Marketwatch is a great site to have on in your browser to monitor the latest market news and data while you open up a window to Morningstar to research any new ideas. I like using Marketwatch for up to date market news because their content tends to stay focused on investing and the economy.
While their article titles are obvious clickbait, CNBC has a lot of good features. CNBC has great layouts describing stocks complete with price data, news, and financial ratios. CNBC's main strength, however, is its video content. As a leading financial network CNBC scores interviews with the top leaders in business. These interviews along with guest commentary offer great insight into the market. You can find video commentary in the individual stock profiles as well as the main video page.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 George Johnson
George Johnson (author) from San Antonio, TX on December 06, 2018:
I agree Yahoo finance is a good site. I don’t use it much but it’s a good interface. While I don’t like How cnbc writes their news headlines in click bait form, they’re graphics are good as well
John Coviello from New Jersey on December 05, 2018:
As someone who has been investing for 30 years, I think this article provides good advice. Morningstar, in particular, is an excellent site to investigate stocks and funds. Especially what funds you are considering investing in actually hold, their expenses, and their return histories.
One site I would add is Yahoo Finance. It's a good site to keep up with the latest news and to look at stock charts.
Jeff Zod from Nairobi on December 01, 2018:
I will really appreciate it. Since you have considerable experience do in the stock market, do you think that there are tools out there to analyze non-U.S stocks effectively?
George Johnson (author) from San Antonio, TX on December 01, 2018:
Thank you for the feedback. I will research some international sites to add to the article.
Jeff Zod from Nairobi on December 01, 2018:
I have a keen interest in stock investing.Your article is excellent though it focuses only on U.S based stocks,companies and websites.I am currently reading the intelligent investor and security analysis by Graham and Dodd.
Liz Westwood from UK on November 24, 2018:
In the UK, we read quite a lot about Warren Buffett in financial pages. I read your article with interest, as I recently had a conversation with a friend about how her returns from shares had delivered far more than from savings.