We're building you a new Globe Investor that is smarter, faster and easier to use.
We'll be rolling out new sections, features and tools over the coming months.
By Larry MacDonald
Globeinvestor Magazine Online, July 29, 2008
So you would like to know more about investing and personal-finance topics. Maybe you just want to get a handle on a few basics or maybe you want to impress finance professors with your erudition. As it turns out, subscription-free websites are some of the best places for both beginning and sophisticated investors to deepen their understanding. Here are seven of the better ones (listed in order, from basic to advanced).
1. InvestorED.ca is where Canadians can find the basics (and a bit more). The site is well organized and the writing is concise, making it easy and a pleasure to obtain information. Moreover, it's sponsored by the non-profit Investment Education Fund affiliated with the Ontario Securities Commission, so the information, tools, and calculators can be expected to be unbiased.
2. Investopedia.com is one of the most popular online destinations in North America for people seeking a good grasp of investing terms and topics. The site began in 1999 with a financial dictionary that remains its top draw. Adds co-president Cory Janssen: "Aside from being what is the most comprehensive financial dictionary around, online or off, the main point of differentiation is how we try to bust through the jargon and explain concepts in plain English."
The next most visited feature is the Stock Simulator, which does a good job simulating the experience of managing a portfolio in an online brokerage account. Then there are the tutorials, numerous calculators, the "Ask Me" section, and the Stock Picking Community for sharing ideas and displaying stock-picking skills. Lastly, there is a library of articles on a wide variety of topics. Mr. Janssen and his team plan to further enhance the site by "building out" the content in the library, dictionary, and investing-tools sections.
3. Canadian Capitalist is one of oldest and most read Canadian blogs in the investing and personal-finance sphere. The writer is a proponent of passive investing with low-fee, index funds and exchange-traded funds, an approach gaining favour with self-directed investors. Besides being an interesting and informative read, the Canadian Capitalist blog can serve as a gateway to other financial blogs via its blogroll and weekly "This and That" roundup.
4. Professionalreferrals.ca offers a lengthy list of links to articles written by Canadian financial planners, covering just about all the nooks and crannies imaginable within the personal-finance field. (The list is compiled by Tim Niblett of the Donaldson Niblett Financial Group). It's situated on a referral website for financial planners, so this source may also assist with finding an adviser if you don't want to go it alone.
5. Financial Webring Forum is the online financial-discussion board with the highest level of discourse on investing subjects in Canada, thanks in large part to frequent contributions from knowledgeable participants such as Bylo Selhi (an index-fund advocate), Shakespeare (the author of an online investment primer) and Yielder (a dividend investor). And they don't mind answering questions.
6. Altruist Financial Advisors Reading Room is offered as a promotional feature on the website of a fee-only, financial services firm. Nevertheless, it's a place to visit again and again if you are serious about becoming a knowledgeable investor - the compendium of investment articles, papers, and books is one of the best online. Appended to many of the citations are capsule summaries prepared by staff at Altruist Financial. Also convenient are the hyperlinks to the publications.
7. Scordo finance portal is for keeping current with articles in peer-reviewed financial journals and working papers from research centres. So this site is for truly serious students of investing. Academic journals don't normally give free access to their articles but many let you see them up to a month prior to publication (e.g. Journal of Finance). The Scordo portal also has links to other useful sites such as William Bernstein's Efficient Frontier.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Back to top