An Opinionated Guide to

the Web's Best Investing Sites
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Industry/Sector Information

Analyzing a stock requires staying on top of trends in its industry, and where your company fits in the big picture. Here's where to find that info. 

Banking,Com (banking.com): Published by the American Bankers Association. Offers news and analysis of banking industry trends.  

Advertising Age (www.adage.com): Although ostensibly about the advertising business, keeps you tuned into the ‘buzz’ about many industries.   

American Printer (www.americanprinter.com): Covers the traditional printing and quick print industries.  

Apparel (www.apparelmag.com): Focuses on business and technology issues affecting the clothing industry. 

Biotech (www.biospace.com): The place to go for biotech industry news. Especially interesting in that regard is the Clinical Development News accessed from the Investors section. I pay most attention to Phase III section. The approval cycle for new drugs can drag on for years. News coming out of Phase III trials (the final phase) can signal big stock moves in either direction. 

Network Computing (networkcomputing.com/): News about the networking infrastructure industry. 

Capital Link Marine Transportation (marine-transportation.capitallink.com): A good place to find profiles and news headlines for all types of ocean shipping companies including drybulk, LNG/LNG, tanker, and container shippers. Shows current and historical charter day rates for dry-bulk and crude oil tankers. Check the Industry Reports section for analysis reports that I haven't seen anywhere else.

Chain Drug Review (www.chaindrugreview.com): Here's where to keep up with the drugstore industry. 

Chain Store Age (www.chainstoreage.com): A good place to research trends in retailing as well as firms that supply hardware, such as computers and checkout systems, to retail stores.  

Dental Economics (de.pennet.com): Here's where to learn about new products aimed at dentists. 

DrugTopics.com (www.drugtopics.com): The online version of Drug Topics Magazine, although targeted to pharmacists, is a good, easy to understand source of news about the pharmaceutical industry.  

Edmunds Industry Center (edmunds.com/industry-center/): The place to keep up with news about the global auto industry.

Energy Information Administration (www.eia.doe.gov): This U.S. government agency site has all sorts of data about petroleum, natural gas, and electricity production, supplies and usage. Click here for current and historical coal prices, and here for current and historical crude oil, gasoline and heating oil prices. Click here for current and historical natural gas prices. Click here for historical and forecast energy consumption figures through 2040.

Energy Pulse (www.energypulse.net/centers/): Dedicated to providing commentary on the global power industry. Very good!

Farm Industry News (www.farmindustrynews.com): News and views about farming and more importantly, farm equipment suppliers.  

Food Navigator.com (www.foodnavigator-usa.com): Best source for news about food and beverage development. It's strongest point is its coverage of the science and nutrition aspects of food development, which is where all the industry action is these days. 

Food Processing Magazine (www.foodprocessing.com): News and feature articles about food makers and grocery stores.   

Health Data Management (www.healthdatamanagement.com): The healthcare industry is rapidly embracing information systems to reduce paperwork and improve patient care. New systems allow a consulting doctor anywhere in the world to view a patient’s medical history, lab results, current condition, and treatment plans. HDM is written for healthcare executives responsible for implementing these types of systems. It’s a good resource for investors interested in tech companies serving this market. 

Insurance Journal (www.insurancejournal.com): Covers the insurance industry and its suppliers. 

Light Reading (www.lightreading.com): Optical networking news and analysis. They’re very good at explaining the various technologies, and even better, naming the important players in each sector.  

Modern Healthcare (www.modernhealthcare.com): A good resource for investors interested in the healthcare field, including medical equipment makers. Covers hospitals, clinics, drugstores, and their suppliers. 

National Real Estate Investor (www.nreionline.com): News and analysis about commercial real estate, including retail shopping centers, multi-family, and real estate investment trusts (REITs).  

Nation’s Restaurant News (www.nrn.com) provides excellent coverage of the restaurant industry, especially from an investor’s perspective. Free registration required to read full articles.

North American Windpower (www.nawindpower.com): News and analysis about the wind power industry focusing on North America. 

Oil & Gas Investor (www.oilandgasinvestor.com): Subscription required to read full articles.

Oil & Gas Journal (ogj.pennnet.com): Full of news and research about all facets of the oil and gas industry including exploration, drilling, production and processing. 

Outsourcing Center (www.outsourcing-center.com) Monitors outsourcing, the practice of reducing costs by farming out tasks such as manufacturing or customer support call centers to third parties. The site covers both sides of outsourcing; the third-party contractors as well as the firms that are farming out the work. Outsourcing is one of the fastest growing business trends and as an investor you can benefit by spotting companies that are improving their competitive position by outsourcing as well as by pinpointing publicly traded contractors benefiting from the trend. 

The Register (www.theregister.co.uk): This U.K. based site’s logo “Biting the hand that feeds it,” describes its intentionally provocative approach. The Register covers technology with mostly original stories. It’s not a techie magazine, it focuses on the business side of the industry. The Register is always interesting, but sometimes they get it wrong. 

RFID Journal (www.rfidjournal.com): RFID (radio frequency identification) is the new technology that may someday replace the ubiquitous barcode systems. This free magazine has everything you'd want to know about RFID, including the scoop on what all the industry players are doing. 

Security Info Watch (www.securityinfowatch.com): covers the security industry from drones to access control systems and everything in-between. The site features dozens of recent news stories and feature articles that may give you some good investing ideas. You can also use the site to find companies active in a particular sector such as facial recognition systems.

SolarBuzz (www.solarbuzz.com): The place for news and commentary about the solar energy industry.

SteelGuru (www.steelguru.com): Although mostly targeted to people working in the steel industry, SteelGuru is a good source for industry news.

TechNewsWorld.com (www.technewsworld.com): A good resource for analysis of happenings in the tech world.

Tech Web (www.techweb.com): News and features covers a wide range of computer and communications sectors.  

Telecommunications Online (www.telecommagazine.com): Oriented to industry professionals, sometimes goes into more detail than you want to know.  

Transport Topics (www.ttnews.com): The place to keep up with happenings in the trucking industry.

Yahoo’s Industry Center (finance.yahoo.com): A  good place to start your industry analysis. For each major industry, Yahoo lists the top five companies by market capitalization, recent news stories, a calendar of upcoming earnings reports, and a list of recent analyst upgrades and downgrades for firms within the industry. Especially valuable are the industry profiles from accessed from a link at the bottom of each Industry overview page.

Wards Auto World (www.wardsdealer.com): Covers the automobile industry, mostly from the dealer's perspective.  

Waste Age (www.wasteage.com): News and analysis about the recycling and waste removal industries. 

Wind Power Monthly (windpower-monthly.com): News and analysis about the wind power industry from a global perspective.

WorldOil.com (www.worldoil.com): News, in-depth reports, current prices, forecasts—it’s hard to imagine what you’d want to know about the oil industry that you couldn’t find here.   

Industry/Sector Selection Strategies
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“Stocks like sheep, move in herds. If you want your sheep to move north, you better pick a sheep in a herd moving north.” That pithy advice from technical analyst John Bollinger explains why many professional investors believe stock picking success depends more on picking the right industry group than the right stock. 

Big Charts (www.bigcharts.com > Industries): Big Charts 10 best and 10 worst industry group ratings are easy to use. Click on a group name to see the 10 best and 10 worst performing stocks within the group for the same period. You can select time spans ranging from one-week to five years. 

John Bollinger’s Equity Trader (www.equitytrader.com > Structure): Bollinger divides the market into sectors and divides those sectors into industry groups containing stocks that exhibit similar historical trading patterns. Bollinger calculates “performance” and “potential” ratings for each sector, each industry group, and for each stock within a group. 

What's Hot Now (DividendDetective.com/scoreboard): Dividend Detective's exhaustive list of hot and cold high-dividend industries.

Insider Trading
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Would you want to buy a stock if the CEO is dumping all of his shares? I didn't think so. So check on what the important insiders (CEO ad CFO) are up to before you make that trade. 

Insider Cow (www.insidercow.com): Detailed display of insider transactions by company going back at least four years.

Yahoo! Insider Trading (finance.yahoo.com): Yahoo! displays the insider trading information in understandable English sentences. Get a stock quote and than click on Insider Transactions. Here's a sample.

International Investing
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ADR.com (www.adr.com): The best site for information on ADRs. Select "Industry" on the top menu to see a list of all industry sectors represented by ADRs, the best way to track down worthwhile prospects.  

Mergers & Acquisitions
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The Online Investor (www.theonlineinvestor.com/mergers): A list of recently announced mergers and acquisitions going back two or three months.

Mutual Funds, Closed-End Funds & ETFs
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Closed-End Fund Association (www.cefa.com): good resource for educational information and lists of closed-end funds. Closed-end funds are a special type of mutual fund that trades on the open market instead of via the fund sponsor, as is the case for mutual funds.

CEF Connect (www.cefconnect.com): sponsored by Nuveen Closed-End Funds, CEF Connect is a good resource for information on all closed-end funds, whether sponsored by Nuveen or not. Provides extensive information about each fund, including portfolio holdings and performance statistics. Also offers a flexible CEF screener.

ETF Investment Outlook (www.etfinvestmentoutlook.com): uses technical indicators to ranks ETFs based on various price and volume indicators. Also provides a price chart including various moving averages and advance/decline line for each tracked ETF. A good resource if you want to follow a "what's hot?" approach to picking ETFs.

Morningstar's Exchange-Traded Funds (www.morningstar.com): ETF commentaries, tutorials, and a list of all ETFs that you can sort by name, category, returns, etc. Shows considerable information about most ETFs including sector breakdowns and top 25 holdings, but strangely, Morningstar doesn't describe the fund's investment objective. 

Morningstar (www.morningstar.com): Best source for mutual fund data. Also has good stock info.

Mutual Fund Observer (mutualfundobserver.com/): mutual fund performance depends on the manager. All bets are off if the manager leaves. How do you know when a manager leaves, and what will be the effect on performance? Find out here.

News  
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Experienced investors keep up with the news about stocks they’re following. News consists of press releases, commentaries, and hard news stories. Most sites archive the stories for only two or three months and then discard it. However,  MarketWatch archives stories going back several years. 

MarketWatch (marketwatch.com) carries news from several services including the Associated Press and the New York Times, but its own staff pens many of the stories that it runs. It archives its homegrown stories the longest, well over a year

Journalist Express (www.journalistexpress.com): links  to a 100 or so resources for news and reference information.

Yahoo! (finance.yahoo.com):  Many major news sources. A good overall source for news. 

Retirement Planning Tools
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Financial Engines (www.financialengines.com): Founded by Nobel Prize winner William F. Sharp, FE analyzes your current investment portfolio to assess your chances of achieving your retirement goals. 

Socially Responsible Investing
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Do you want to invest in socially responsible companies?  Mutual fund operator Calvert (www.calvertgroup.com)  maintains the Calvert Social Index, a list of firms meeting its social responsibility criteria. Another way of finding qualifying companies is to find socially responsible mutual funds, and then use Morningstar (www.morningstar.com) to see a list of their 25 biggest holdings. Two places to find lists of socially responsible funds are: Social Investment Forum (www.socialinvest.org) and SocialFunds.com (www.socialfunds.com). 

Screening  
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FINFIZ (www.finviz.com): User friendly and one of the most powerful free screeners around.

Morningstar's Mutual Fund Screener (www.morningstar.com): A user-friendly fund screener that lets you search for funds based on Morningstar's Star ratings. 

Morningstar’s Stock Screener (www.morningstar.com): Although a limited selection of screening parameters, you can search for stocks based on Morningstar's proprietary “stock grades.” Morningstar grades stocks from A to F in three categories: growth, profitability, and financial health. So you could, for example, look for stocks with A grades in all three categories. Also unique to Morningstar, you can search for stocks based on its stock type definitions such as “speculative growth,” “slow growth,” or “high yield.”

Portfolio123 (www.portfolio123.com): One of the most powerful screeners available. Includes extensive backtesting features. Requires a subscription.

StockTables.com (www.stocktables.com): A specialized, easy-to-use screener designed to pinpoint momentum candidates. Momentum investors look for stocks with strong recent earnings growth and strong relative strength, meaning that they have already outperformed the overall market. StockTables is a pay site but I included it here because it offers a free 14-day trial. You don’t need a credit card for the trial; all that’s required is an e-mail address and password.

Yahoo's Basic Screener (finance.yahoo.com): If you want a very simple screener, Yahoo’s Basic Stock Screener fits the bill. You can limit your search to stocks within a particular industry and/or a member of a particular index such as the S&P 500. Then you can choose from 13 additional selection factors such as price/earnings ratio, expected earnings growth, or dividend yield. Find it from Yahoo's main finance page by selecting Screener in the Stock Research section and then clicking on Launch HTML Screener.

Validea (www.nasdaq.com): Pre-made screens for picking stocks by emulating the published strategies of famous market gurus such as Benjamin Graham or Peter Lynch. Use of Validea's site  (www.validea.com) requires a subscription, but you run stock searches based on Validea’s guru selection formulas free on the Nasdaq stock exchange site. 

Zacks (zacks.com/screening/): Zacks compiles the analysts’ earnings forecasts and buy/sell recommendations you see everywhere. Zacks’ screening program lets you search for recent rating upgrades or downgrades, changes in quarterly earnings forecasts or long-term earnings growth rates, stocks likely to spring a big surprise on report date, and more. You can use their Predefined Premium Screens or design your own free screens using their Custom Screener.

Selection Strategies  
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Selection strategies, a.k.a. models, are formulas for selecting stocks based upon screening criteria that has been found to work in the past. 

Dogs of the Dow (www.dogsofthedow.com): Dogs of the Dow is a conservative value strategy for selecting members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. You don’t have to calculate anything. They do it all for you right here.  

Magic Formula Investing (www.magicformulainvesting.com): the site associated with the best selling stock market book, “The Little Book That Beats the Market,” written by hedge fund manager Joel Greenblatt. Once registered,  pick the minimum market capitalization that you’re looking for and how many stocks you want to see and the site gives you a list of corresponding Magic Formula stocks.

Spy on Mutual Fund Managers
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Why waste time screening and researching if we can get mutual fund managers to do the work for us. They spend all day researching and analyzing investment opportunities, have access to more information than we’ll ever see, and often have a full time research staff. Here are my favorite sites for spying on fund manager's trading. 

American Funds (www.americanfunds.com): American displays the top ten holdings of each of its two dozen or so funds by around the 10th of the following month.

Buffalo Funds (www.buffalofunds.com): Buffalo makes the top ten holdings of each of their six funds available by about the 10th of the following month. Be sure to check out the five-star rated Small Cap fund and their new Science and Technology fund.

John Hancock Funds: (jhinvestments.com/Fund/): Displays each fund's top ten holdings about a week after the end of each month. Hancock's Large Cap Value and Small Cap Value funds are both rated five stars by Morningstar. Select Open End Funds to see a list of all John Hancock funds. 

Munder Funds (www.munder.com): Munder runs more than 20 funds in a variety of sectors. Its monthly commentary for each fund lists all of the transactions for the previous month, and the rationale for each trade. You can also see the top 10 holdings for each fund. Both are posted by the 15th of the following month. Use the Fund Quick Find link to locate funds.

Stock Splits/Dividends
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Nasdaq (nasdaq.com/markets/upcoming-splits.aspx): Shows stocks scheduled to split over the next four weeks.

All Dividends - All the Time

Free list: 800 Dividend Stocks

Dividend Detective

www.dividenddetective.com

Technical Analysis
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Technical analysts, or chartists, believe that you can forecast a stock’s future direction solely from information imbedded in its price chart. That’s an appealing concept, because if true, you could pick stocks in minutes instead of spending hours analyzing financial statements and other fundamental data. Here's where to learn about TA.

Metastock (www.metastock.com): the maker of the popular Metastock charting program, offers “Technical Analysis From A to Z.” a free downloadable textbook on TA, including a detailed definition and tutorial describing  the use of just about every technical indicator. You don't have to register, simply click here. 

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