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As a stock market investor, staying informed about stock market news and trends is the way you grow your money. You cannot make sound decisions on quick trades unless you know the condition of the overall market as well as the current performance of your stocks. The internet has made keeping track of the fast-moving stock market much simpler than in days gone by, but if you still like to get information from print sources, there are also plenty of options for that. Here are five good ways to keep track of your stocks.
1. Set up automatic alerts.
A number of news and financial websites give you the option of signing up for email and text alerts about stocks in which you are interested. When you sign up, you can set specific criteria including stock and company names and keywords. When your interests appear on the internet in news stories, you will get an alert.
In addition to the above sites, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg are other excellent sources to visit for instant notifications.
2. Turn on a ticker.
Just as stockbrokers do, you can keep track of your stocks’ performance with a ticker across your computer screen. You can download programs that let you set up a live stock ticker, which is an excellent way to passively monitor market conditions. You can get stock tickers from a variety of respected sources.
Seeing how your stocks are performing throughout the day prepares you to make good financial decisions quickly if necessary.
3. Watch videos.
In addition to immediate information, you also benefit from a wider view of the market as a whole. Some respected financial professionals publish video updates that break down stock market conditions and help you better understand market trends and how they can affect your stocks and provide opportunities. Fisher Investments’ market analysis is one such video tool that broadens your knowledge so you can make informed choices about your own finances.
4. Subscribe to Podcasts
For those on the go, podcasts allow you to stay on top of the latest stock trends and updates. I like to listen to them while I’m traveling to the city on the train or car and when I go to the gym to work out. Here are some of my favorite podcasts for tracking stocks:
- Morningstar Investing Insights
- Paul Mormon’s “Sound Investing” Podcast
- Radical Personal Finance by Joshua Sheats (MSFS)
Getting a financial newsletter or report from a reliable source is an important way to stay informed, both about individual stock performance and the general state of the market.
You may have a choice of print or online versions. If you like print sources, by all means, indulge in a subscription. However, keep in mind you may miss the most current information if developments occur after the publication goes to print.
Therefore, it is wise to also have an online subscription. You can even find free articles on financial media websites. Some financial professionals also offer helpful reports.
6. Create a portfolio tracker.
Today’s technology allows you to set up a portfolio tracker that delivers up-to-the-minute information on stocks you care about. There are good reliable sources that offer free tracker platforms.
To help you put to-the-minute information in context, look for sources of in-depth analysis. Independent money managers, for instance, email a weekly digest every Friday about that week’s market news.
7. Use spreadsheets
One of the simplest ways to track your stocks is with a spreadsheet. Google sheets are a great option for collaboration and portability. Check out this free stock portfolio tracking sheet.
If you prefer Microsoft Excel, it’s a bit harder to tie into stock APIs and real time data, though it can be done. Excel shines when you’ve got a lot of numbers to crunch as it can take full advantage of your computer’s resouces, whearas the memory allocated to Google sheets is limited. That’s because Google sheets is a free product, and it’s online instead of desktop. However, Microsoft has been trying to compete with Google with their new free office.com platform.
8. Watch Television
I like Youtube because you can really dig into the charts and get some independent perspectives. If you’re not glued to the tube then here’s a few premium television shows that offer insights.
- Squawk Box – One of the best CNBC shows for pre-market commentary
- Closing Bell – Another CNBC show discussing action of the day
- Bloomberg Technology – Covering the top tech trends and silicon valley
- Squawk on the Street – Major market news on Fox Business
9. Download Mobile Apps
Real time information is available right at your fingertips. First you need to decide if you’re just monitoring news or tracking specific stocks. You may not even have to download anything! Apple has a built in stocks app natively. While Google discontinued the Google Finance from the Play store, I have a workaround for Android users. Simply search for Google finance in the Google app and then in the settings click “add to home screen”. Now every time you open it up, you’ll see the latest stock data. You can even subscribe to stocks that you want to follow in Google finance. There are hundreds of third party stock tracking apps for IOS and Android, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Seeking Alpha Portfolio App
- Investing.com App
- The Street App
- CNBC Breaking News App
10. Ask Voice Assistants
You can ask your voice assistant for the latest stock prices and market news. This comes in handy if you’re driving hands free or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Here’s what to say, depending on your device:
- “Hey Siri, show me stock information for Apple”
- “Hey Alexa, what’s the stock price for AMZN?”
- “Hey Google, what is Alphabet trading at” or “Hey Google, how are the markets doing?”
You can also download specific skills for Alexa, like the CNBC flash briefing or Bloomberg Market Minute. Then say “Alexa what’s in the news” or “Alexa flash briefing”.
Staying Informed Is Profitable
To get the most out of your stocks and make your investments as successful as possible, you need to know what is going on, both with your stocks and in the market as a whole. Thanks to technology, there are multiple ways to get instant notifications as well as insightful commentary. As an investor, staying on top of the market is vital to your financial future.