Making Your Money Work for You
Looking for a more efficient way to research investments and make your money work for you? Online, you can learn the basics of investing or you get advanced stock tips and news. You can research, check in on what other investors are doing, or even use the Internet to make trades through an online brokerage. We'll walk you through the basics and show you the best investment-related sites on the Web.
There are plenty of sites on the Internet created to help you understand the financial world, whether you are a first-time investor, or are simply new to online investing. The following sites offer introductions to investing, guides to terminology, and tips for getting your finances in order before you begin. They'll also walk you through the process of investing online for the first time. Research, construct, and manage your portfolio at the click of a mouse.
- In addition to the sites directed at green investors, the top Wall Street news sites (e.g., Forbes or CNN Money) usually have links to an education section or glossary. Once you've familiarized yourself with the details of investing, you may still want to seek the help of a financial planner.
- The book One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch is available on Amazon.com and is worth a read before you even explore the opportunities on the Internet. Although Lynch is a professional investor and had a successful career running a popular mutual fund, he describes how anyone can use the everyday knowledge she already has to become a successful investor. Lynch's book is a must-read for anybody who is about to venture into the world of Wall Street or someone who needs advice on how to maximize her efforts.
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- The fundamentals of investing are the same whether you end up investing online or through a brick-and-mortar brokerage; stocks and bonds follow the same rules no matter how you purchase them.
contains information from the National Endowment for Financial Education. The site's investing page
has a link to an interactive, multimedia site, "Investing for Success" that will introduce you to investing step by step, in clear language.
provides information to educate investors. The site hosts a dictionary, posts stock quotes, and offers free newsletters. But by far the most fun (and potentially useful) tool the site offers is the “Stock Simulator”
. Sign up and you can play in the site's fantasy stock games, which are perfect as a trial run for a beginner or an experimental device for the expert who wants to try new strategies.
is a site intended to help young people learn basic money management skills. The site’s simple explanations of investment principles are a great way to teach your kids about money, and it's also a good site for adults who might appreciate reading a few oversimplified explanations.
Whether you're new to investing or have been doing it for years, you can create a complete portfolio from the comfort of your home. Below are some reliable and efficient online brokerages that enable you to purchase stocks and in some cases, bonds and mutual funds. Take advantage of education services and personal assistance to let your brokerage help you create an entire long-term investment plan, or use your brokerage simply to purchase a few stocks.
- There are multiple online brokerages, each with its advantages, but it's important that your online broker makes sense to you. Search carefully and read all the information so that when you choose, you've selected the program that best fits your particular needs whether they be state-of-the-art tools, flexibility, or 24-hour support.
- Even if you don't invest online, you can use the free "Portfolio Tracker" on an online financial news site like Barron's or Marketwatch to organize and monitor all your investments.
The Investing Online Resource Center
walks you through the steps of online investing, beginning simply with how to open an online account. The site also rates online brokers, and provides an investing simulation center so you can practice before you spend any real money.
is an online investment brokerage that’s particularly useful for the new investor. You can select different pricing programs to fit your needs; if you're just starting out the basic program has no subscription fee. You can purchase stocks independently or create an investment plan to grow your portfolio at a pace that makes sense for you.
is an online investing and trading company that also offers savings accounts, retirement plans, and mortgage services. With an E*trade account, you can do all your banking and investing business in one place. E*trade also provides comprehensive research and education sections and clearly separates long-term investing and active trading.
As you invest, you need to stay aware of the market and the business world. Most financial newspapers are currently published online. Research stock quotes, scour commentary, and stay up to date on all the breaking news with a few easy clicks of your mouse.
Or, check out a financial blog for more market news and analysis. Although blogs are not affiliated with any institution, often the authors have worked at top firms or have significant experience in private investments.
- As with newspapers and regular magazines, there is some overlap among the different online publications. However, the benefit of the Internet is that you can easily read more than one or two. If you really want to acquire a thorough understanding, you'll read a variety of sources.
- In addition to the many informal, private blogs available, most professional online news sites, such as Forbes, Marketwatch, or The Wall Street Journal have their own bloggers.
- Always read the “About” page so you can learn a little about the author of the blog you're reading. Answers to questions like, “What's her job?” and “How much experience does she have?” can supplement your understanding of her posts.
For Traditional News ...
is the online version of SmartMoney magazine and is another valuable source for financial news. Not only does SmartMoney offer thorough coverage of the market, it also has a section titled "The World Outside Your Portfolio" so you can read news on a broader range of subjects.
calls itself the "Homepage for the World's Business Leaders." Like the print magazine, Forbes.com covers the full spectrum of financial and business news. Extending its reach far beyond just the stock market, Forbes is a useful site to visit if you want a broader spectrum of news.
provides similar services to other online financial magazines. What distinguishes Bloomberg are its links to Bloomberg TV, radio, and podcasts. You can easily view images of the day's audio/visual selections right on the home page.
For blogs …
The Big Picture
shares the author's macro perspective on economy, geopolitics, technology, and digital media in a spirited and punchy blog. The author is a market strategist and fund manager in New York and writes about anything market-, technology-, or news-related that piques his interest. The blog is perceptive, engaging, and highly rated by some top publications.
is a blog focused on trading and investing ideas as well as world events that relate to the behavior of the market. Down to earth and written in basic English, the blog also posts a box with market quotes so you can stay updated while you read.
I Will Teach You to Be Rich
targets college students and recent graduates who invest or want to start. The author is a recent Stanford graduate who is now an entrepreneur and consultant. He has a book on the way, has been mentioned in papers such as The Wall Street Journal and The Guardian (UK), and explains things in a readable voice.
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