Sunday, August 28, 2016

Part 2: My Favorite Personal Finance and Investment Tools

This is the second part of the two-part post "My Favorite Personal Finance and Investment Tools". You can read the first part here: Part-1 My favorite personal finance and investing tools

Stock Research Tools
                    
The FAST Graphs (https://www.fastgraphs.net/) - This is probably one of the best and simplest valuation tools out there. The FAST stands for Fundamentals Analysis Software Tool. It's designed to display fundamentals of a stock in a stacked graphical style. This is the first research tool I use when evaluating any new stock or re-evaluating existing stocks on my watchlist. FAST Graphs helps me quickly screen a stock and decide whether it has sound fundamentals or not.


The tool provides 20 years worth of historic data pulled from reputable Capital IQ database which includes stock price, four different types of EPS, Funds-From-Operation (FFO), Dividend Per Share, EPS/FFO growth rates, blended PE, and many additional fundamental parameters. There is also a built-in estimator tool which allows the user to get a good visual on projected EPS and dividend returns based on latest analyst estimates.


The Fast Graphs basic subscription of $9.95/mo is quite sufficient for most investors and a very good deal for such a powerful tool.  This is one tool I cannot live without and don't mind paying a subscription fee. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to invest using Ben Graham's fundamental analysis approach.

SeekingAlpha.com - It is one of the best investment collaboration sites out there. The quality of articles and the follow-up comments are top-notch. I have learned so much about investing, especially dividend investing by reading through hundreds of articles and follow-up discussions. The website also offers a custom portfolio feature where all the articles, news, and discussions show up for the stocks listed in the portfolio. It makes it really easy to look up latest news and research articles for a given portfolio or watch-list of stocks. All of this is available for free by simply registering with the website. I highly recommend new investors start with this website and learn from hundreds of articles published by everyday people who turned into very successful investors.

MorningStar.com - They have a subscription service which runs for about $200 a year, somewhat expensive. However, one can get basic access for free by simply registering with the website. The basic service gives you access to 5 years worth of financial data in a nice clean tabular format. As part of the basic membership, you can also access all the key financial ratios and chart features. What you don't get in a basic membership is the MorningStar analyst reviews, reports, fair value estimates, and stock rating. They offer a 14-day trial period for anyone who wants to test drive their premium membership. I only use their basic free membership as I can access analyst reports and fair value estimates through any of my brokerages for free. 

MarketWatch.com - They are quite similar to MorningStar in terms of providing free 5-years of aggregated financial data on any given stock. They also have good and free investment news and articles on the website. I use them mainly as a second source to MorningStar and also to cross check financial data. 

Summary
These are some of the tools that I have come to like and use on regular basis. I highly recommend them to anyone who wants to invest in stock market on their own.

Disclaimer: Author of this article is not a licensed/registered financial or investment advisor and does not provide investment advice. This article is for informational purpose only. Please use your own judgment or seek a licensed financial advisor before investing. You, the reader, bear responsibility for your own investment and financial decisions. I am not compensated for mentioning any tools or products in this article.  

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