The internet is a wonderful thing. It has freed investors from having to go to their library and slowly and laboriously sift through musty old books to find information that often had (at best) a glancing relevance to their subject matter of interest.
Now, with a few clicks of the mouse, investors can access reams-worth of information, and then parse and zero in on the most valuable and enlightening information quickly. It is always nice when you can achieve better results with less effort.
But this assumes you know what to look for (garbage in, garbage out). In other words, you still have to know what to look for, or the incredible power of the internet to lead you to the best stock research sites is wasted. When searching for the best stock research sites, look for the following qualities.
- Look for a site that clearly explains the basic and unchanging nature of the stock market and the investing process.
- Look for a site that provides essential reference material on how to analyze and search for stocks. Number one on this list is a description of the most important and enlightening financial ratios, what they mean, and how to use them.
- Look for a site that demonstrates how to use this reference material, and in particular the financial ratios, on actual data.
The last point is the most important. Many investors have a frustratingly difficult time putting into practice suggested financial ratios because the devil is in the details. Exactly how an investor should apply financial ratios makes all the difference. And an actual demonstration is priceless.
A sight that explains, theoretically, how to use financial ratios, but then does not apply these ratios to actual data (in a sense) is leading investors out to the woods and abandoning them there. A website that does this is not providing useful guidance. Theory without practice is worthless.
Because applying these ratios to actual data successfully is so difficult to do, it is often the feature most often absent from stock research sites. Be skeptical of any stock research website that explains, theoretically, the features of the market and the investing process, but does not back that theory up. The best stock research websites eat their own cooking.