While reviewing her portfolio, IFO just remembered what a good resource the Motley Fools have been. We can’t believe it’s not on our blog roll… yet.
This blog, Investing for One, is more of a cheer-leading, advice-giving, fear-reducing effort aimed at (mostly) women who are afraid to invest on their own. Their husbands left them some money and other assets (land, buildings, or whatever), but they don’t know what to do with those assets. Most of them rely on financial advisers!
These women are particularly afraid to invest in the stock market. IFO seeks to allay this fear. The Motley Fool addresses people who have moved past, or never had that fear. Their site features multiple experts in various aspects of investing, including analyzing various financial metrics, like debt-t0-earnings ratios.
IFO runs from the word “ratio.” She thinks she was traumatized in high school math classes. It could be true – California education is dreadful. Unless a student happens to be in a class taught by a fine teacher, like Mrs. Woo – IFO’s high school physiology teacher, it is likely that much important information will be presented badly or omitted entirely.
In any event, she has never mastered “ratio.” However, The Motley Fools present their materials clearly, so she at least has a clue.
You can go right to their website, linked above, but here’s how she uses the service: she has listed the stocks (names, not quantities) she owns on a “portfolio” list she drew up on Yahoo! Finance. Anytime TMF or any other financial publication mentions any of those companies, Yahoo! supplies a headline/link to the article.
If she wants to read the article, all she has to do is click on it.
Another frequent commenter on individual stocks similar to TMF is Seeking Alpha. IFO hasn’t had such a good experience with those writers, but the linked article from SA is highly instructive, if you can follow it. We had a hard time, but finally plowed through the complexities in the piece.
She has given up, but may re-subscribe to, a few newsletters. One she found very helpful is the Hulbert Financial Digest, which looks at a wide universe of financial newsletters and tracks the performance of their recommendations. Very cool!!! The annual subscription price is very reasonable, too.
Years ago, IFO found the HFD to be a good source of ideas for companies to research. After all, there are something like 5,000 different companies whose shares are publicly traded! You have to start somewhere.
Today, we like the Dividend Aristocrats, but then, we are very, very conservative these days. Younger, more adventurous individual investors might like a broader selection of companies to look at.