Step #1 in getting started for a brand new individual investor is to set up an online finance page.
You can do this with any search engine – Google, Yahoo or whatever, but IFO prefers Yahoo. Despite some frustrating glitches, especially for people using Mozilla Firefox, Yahoo gives you the best and fastest way to look at a number of stocks.
First, create a My Yahoo page. This is the hardest part. Under the Yahoo logo is a button labled “Themes.” Here you can choose formats, colors and designs for your page.
Another button under the Yahoo logo is “Content” with a big green plus sign. This is where you build your own page. You can add weather reports, news headlines and other stuff on the page. On the far right-hand column in the Options page, you will see a list of items. Fourth down is “Money.” Click on that.
On the left a series of boxes comes up listing various choices, beginning with Stock Portfolios. Click on that. You will see other financial choices you might be interested in. IFO likes “Company News” which she couldn’t find again until she typed that phrase into the little search box above the Browse Content column on the right hand side. “Company news” gathers all the news Yahoo knows about about each company on your Portfolio list. Very cool.
You can quickly skim that column looking for interesting headlines. Click on the headline to get the whole story. Each item also notes how old the news is. Some companies don’t have much written about them, so stories will be several weeks old.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how to select companies for your Model Portfolio list. If you already have a broker, you can do much of this on the broker’s page, but IFO has found that they are not nearly as easy to use as the My Yahoo page.