It’s not hard to find decent investment tools online these days. The internet has made it cheaper and easier to get financial information.
Not too long ago, you had to subscribe to the major financial news services like the Wall Street Journal and Standard & Poor’s (which were costly) or hope your local library had a subscription.
Trust me, spending hours or days digging through the S&P annual volumes was not fun. Now, you’re a mouse click away with the tools online. The free investing tools below make it easier to get the information that matters so you can spend the rest of your free time doing what you want.
Below are some free investment tools I use to simplify things or check the full list of financial tools I use.
There are a number of great sites out there but none of them can unseat this old school favorite for quotes, charts, information, and news. Why? Because Yahoo has always been a great news aggregator. On top of that, it offers watch lists, screeners, calculators, and has built a stable of original video programs that cover the gamut of financial topics.
Personal Capital is a free service that allows you to track all your existing accounts in one location. That includes your 401k or other work retirement accounts, IRAs, brokerage accounts, bank accounts, and loans so you get a full financial picture of where you stand. This way you can track where your money is going, how it’s performing, where your investments overlap, and if you need to make changes to stay aligned with your goals.
Checklists are a great compliment to any stock or fund screener. Basically, a checklist is a point by point breakdown of what you need in a good investment so you can avoid the bad investments and prevent mistakes. It helps simplify your decision-making and quickly eliminate investments that don’t belong in your portfolio.
Morningstar has built itself into one of the best investment tools available. It’s especially known for its mutual fund analysis and the easiest place to find any mutual fund’s prospectus. I tend to focus more on the articles. Morningstar, like Yahoo Finance, also offers watch lists, screeners, fund comparisons, and portfolio analyzer.
There are a number of reat stock screeners, but FINVIZ offers the best free version around. A stock screen filters through thousands of stocks based on what you’re looking for in a stock and it spits out the results in under a second. Then you use the other investment tools available to break down each stock from there.
ETFdb is my ETF resource of choice. I regularly use it to research and compare similar ETFs. It has several free investment tools that let you compare different funds, find an ETF alternative to an existing mutual fund, and one of the best ETF screeners around.
The free SEC EDGAR database is full of useful information for investors. You’ll find all the forms corporations are required to file with the SEC along with required mutual fund disclosures. That means annual reports, quarterly reports, 13D disclosures, fund prospectuses and all the other information that the SEC requires to be made public.
FRED is the economic database hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis. If you’re into financial and economic data this is the only place to go. You can compare current and historical data or build your own graphs and charts. I use it for research and you might have seen a few of the charts on this site.
There are a number of sites that offer free watch lists. A watch list is a tool that helps track news and information about the stocks and funds you own or might want to own. I’ve used the Yahoo Finance watch list for years and most online brokers offer something similar.