free Investment tools and resources

The world of investing & finance is vast! It’s much like learning a new language.  But, master it and you can become extremely wealthy.  Here you will find a brief outline on the tools and investment resources that I use to aid me in investing. You can also find many useful finance books to get you properly started over on the Education page; if you’re serious about building wealth, start reading!

These investment resources and tools, some of which I have put together myself,  will be covered in greater detail throughout the year, so ensure you sign up to the newsletter to receive more information. I have included everything you need to get started with investing in companies. Scroll to each section where an explanation will be given on what they are and how to use the resources.

Investment Diary 
- Diary to record all of your investments.

Sourcing New Investments 
- A guide on what the checks to carry out when sourcing new companies to invest in.

Company Report & Economic Announcement Monthly Diary
- A monthly diary to see what company reports are due for release in the current month.

ADVFN Financial Market platform
- A one stop shop for researching company financial information.

Investment Diary

An investment diary is essential If you’re serious about trading and investing money in the stock market.  Writing down every single trade that you make, will allow you to keep a record of what companies you have invested in, but just as importantly it will allow you to track your progress. You’ll be able to look back and discover why you bought and sold certain shares when you did.

Below you can find and download a copy of a diary that I created for my own personal use.  I have provided an example in the first row below the headers on how to fill it in, which should only take a few seconds, once you’ve made a trade.

The headings are as follows: –

  • Stock  – Name of the company.
  • Epic –  The company’s stock ticker symbol.
  • QTY – The amount of shares that you own.
  • Price (Buy Price) – The buy price when you purchased the shares.
  • Target – As I have a 20% target I add 20% to the buy price.
  • Stop – The stop loss at which you will sell the share if it goes below a certain level.  For me this is -10% so if the price you bought in at drops below 10% then cut your losses.
  • Buy Date – The date that you bought the shares.
  • Sell Date – The date you sold your shares.
  • P/L – Profit or loss amount.
  • Website – Website linking to the company’s investor page so you can view important company information.
  • Outcome – I find that it’s helpful to write a note on what affected your decision to sell your shares. This will allow you to see what factors played a role and maybe make you understand better what to look out for in future prospects.

file_downloadGuide to Investing

Sourcing New Investments

Once you’ve decided on selecting shares that you like the look of, how do you know whether to pour your hard earned cash into that company as an investment?

After making many notes from reading The Naked Trader book, I have compiled a table that you can also download that will allow you to check against when deciding whether or not to invest in the company.  These points are from Robbie Burns’s book The Naked Trader. You can find a link to his website here The Naked Trader which has lots of good information.

The headings are as follows: –

  • Date – The date you sourced the company.
  • Epic – The company stock ticker symbol.
  • Company Name – Full name of the company.
  • That there is still growth to come – Find out more about the company through research, investigate what their future plans are.
  • It has a full listing – Write down what index they are listed in e.g. ftse100, ftse 250, AIM etc.
  • There are lots of positives – Carry out research into what is positive about the company.  Look at recent company reports and news articles.
  • Potential Risks – Same as the positives but write down the negative aspects that the company faces.
  • There are no question marks – Write down any other bits of information that you think may be relevant. For example if the company has only just recently floated on the stock market, financial data might not be available on investment platforms.  So you would have to search on companies house.
  • I understand what the company does – Understand exactly the proucts/services the company offers.  Including what sector it operates in.
  • It is under 15 times profits to market capitalisation – The Naked Trader’s own rule of thumb.  “Not to be used with mining/oil or property companies”.
  • Spread – Is the spread between the buy and sale price less than 3-4%?  The lower the spread the better. As you have to make up the spread before you start making a profit.
  • Does It look Cheap? – As we’re looking to capitalise on the increase of a company’s share price, is it likely to increase?
  • It’s in a good market – What market or sector does it operate in? If the sector is currently struggling is the company going to be struggling also?
  • Demand for its products/services likely to grow – Does the company provide a demand for something that will allow it to grow?
  • The chart looks positive and in an upward trend – Which direction is the chart heading? If it’s in a long downwards trend do you really want to invest in a company where the share price is falling?
  • Debt is under 3x profit – A company with a lot of debt should certainly be a warning sign and make you want to delve deeper into the financial reports.  Take the company’s profit from its balance sheet and multiply it by 3.  Then look at the debt and ensure that it is under 3x profit.  If it’s over or close then I would consider forgetting about investing in that company as it could be a sign that it is in trouble.

file_downloadGuide to Investing

Company Report & Economic Announcement Monthly Diary

There are many resources and websites available where you can access information on company report due dates, however I found that I had to spend a lot of time trawling through each individual day, just to find out what was due for release. I thought that there must be an easier way to display this information. So being a web developer I decided to create my own feed and organise the data in such a way that it would be quicker to access.

Head on over to the Financial Diary page and simply click on a heading, for example Final Results, and it will display a list of companies that are due to release their Final Results along with the date, for the whole month.

Currently it only displays the date and company name. I may update this in the future with the option of being able to select different months. The diary gets up dated at the beginning of every month.

ADVFN Financial Market platform

ADVFN is a one stop shop that provides financial information and online data about companies in over 70 stock exchanges around the world!

You can find information such as balance sheets, stock codes, charts, latest company news, stock screeners, there are even forums to engage with other investors (although I wouldn’t listen to anything anyone has to say in the forums).

This is free, however! The free version times out every few minutes and you’ll be bombarded with adverts, which is extremely annoying. You can upgrade to real time quotes for a fee of £18.95 a month, which is worth it in my opinion as the amount of information you’ll have access to will pay for itself.