Resource wise, for me, there are a number of “Need To Haves” and a number of “Nice To Haves”.
Need To Haves
Need to have resources for me are…
- A resource for Technical Analysis (a Charting Package)
- A resource for Fundamental Analysis
- A resource for Live Prices
Nice To Haves
Nice to have resources are a matter of debate. Some insist some of these are “Need To Haves” and subscribe to everything going, they want as much information as they can possibly get their hands on. I used to be one of those people.
Nowadays I am a little more selective and I prefer to let my strategy (based on Technical and Fundamental Analysis) be my primary guide. I avoid information overload and much of the peripheral “noise”.
Anyway, below I will give my view on the “Nice To Haves”. First up, the “Need To Haves”…
Need To Haves
My strategy is based on Technical and Fundamental Analysis but my primary screen is Technical. I do of course come across some fundamentally sound companies (when reading news, etc.) which are not set up technically yet. In these cases I keep them on a Watchlist waiting for them to set up technically.
Technical Analysis generally means you need a Charting Package. There are many free (and paid for) Charting Packages out there such as…
I have used many of them and generally most of them do the job. Obviously, the paid for ones usually do more than the free ones but more is not always essential (to me anyway). As well as the free ones, most brokers now provide more than adequate Charting Packages too.
All you really need is something that meets your needs. Some people want Chart Pattern recognition, Ichimoku Clouds (what?), Candlestick identification, etc.
My needs are quite simple, relying mainly on Moving Averages and 52 Week Highs and Lows.
Because it provides all I need for my Fundamental Analysis I use the Charting Package (which is actually quite advanced) included in my Stockopedia subscription (which costs as little as £20 a month).
It’s simply a case of finding and using something that meets your needs. For me, some of the free Charting Packages do what I need (including the one my Broker provides). However, as I already use Stockopedia for my Fundamental Analysis, in order to keep everything in one place, I just use that.
I also use the many custom “expert” screens they provide (such as GARP, Naked Trader, Tiny Titans, CANSLIM, etc.) for finding potential stocks to invest in – Find them under the “Screens/Guru Screens” tab at Stockopedia.
You are always going to want to check the financial (fundamental) situation of any company you are going to invest in. Unless you’re mad.
As mentioned above I use Stockopedia. I can quickly find all the simple high level information I need (Revenue, Profit, EPS, Net Debt) in one simple layout.
There are of course many alternatives, including free ones such as…
I am just used to Stockopedia and like the look and feel of it – So I stick with it. There’s way more information than I need however it is also quick and easy to find the information I do need.
Real-time prices allow me to check, at market open, how all my stocks are doing. It also allows me to check on stocks I may be interested in too. This is vital for me as I can react instantly in the morning, especially if there has been a news announcement which may affect me.
There are many services out there and some are free such as ADVFN. However, like the many other free alternatives it’s full of ads and access is restricted (you usually get kicked out after a minute or so).
For paid access, I quite like the London South East option but currently I use Shares Magazine. It’s a little cheaper (just over £100 a year) and I also quite like a read through the on-line magazine each weekend (I generally find something of interest). The other thing I like is that I have to refresh the screen to get the latest prices (meaning I don’t have distracting price changes flickering on my monitor all day).
An alternative here is to open a Spread betting account, you’ll get live prices for free! Just set up a Watchlist and off you go, flickering real-time prices at your fingertips. The only downside here is the prices you see will be the Spread Betting Brokers prices which are usually slightly different to the actuals.
Nice To Haves
I have started with this one because if there is any “Nice To Have” that I consider a “Need To Have” it is this.
With the introduction of MIFID II broker information for us private investors has become very limited. The best tool I have found out there is Research Tree. It’s great to be able to find at least some broker comment on shares I am looking at. Usually I am looking for negatives that go against my decision to buy.
There’s loads out there, here’s two I used to use…
Each of the above costs about £200 a year. Usually there’s a couple of good ideas a month and the historical performance for both is pretty good. Be wary of buying the day after issue date as they can spike up due to the popularity of the publication.
Other Useful Resources (All Free)
Blog – Small Cap Value Report (SCVR) – Find it under the “Discuss” tab at Stockopedia – Usually produced every day.