Sunday, January 24, 2010

Useful Financial/Investing Websites

I just ran across an interesting financial/investing website, and thought I'd use a blog entry to list various sites like this that you may want to visit.  I'll update this entry as I run across other sites of interest.

UPDATE:  Rather than updating this blog entry with new sites, I've added sections with links to investing blogs and web sites I like.  See the navigation bar to the right, under the blog archives.

The site I ran across today is  I happened to stumble on it when searching the internet for articles on the Fama-French 3 factor model of valuing stocks ( although I didn't mention it specifically, the 3 factor model is the academic underpinning of the discussion in my previous post -- Asset Allocation: Part 2 -- of the higher returns provided by value and small cap stocks over the last 80 years; the other factor -- besides size and value -- is simply exposure to the stock market). has some interesting articles that you might want to read if you want to dig deeper into some of the topics I touch on in this blog.  They have articles on the following topics, among others:
  • Index Funds
  • Modern Portfolio Theory (this article discusses the Fama-French 3 factor model)
  • How Much are Stocks Worth (stock valuation)
  • The Rule of 72 (quickly estimating how long it will take your money to double at a given interest rate)
  • Dollar Cost Averaging (about 2/3 of the time, DCA doesn't work as well as just investing a lump sum all at once, so statistically, DCA is an inferior investment strategy)
A nice feature of is that the articles include interactive demonstrations and calculators to help you better visualize the topic they're discussing.  The site also has several financial calculators that you might find useful (e.g., a get out of debt calculator, 401(k) calculator, etc.).

Another favorite site of mine is  I highly recommend this site to anyone who reads or watches any financial news, or who just wants the highlights of today's financial news, along with a rational perspective on it.  They have a Cover Story most days that is educational, rational, and dispels investing myths that many people believe.  They also have a Today's News section that sorts news stories into Sensible Stories and Market Misperceptions.  There's a brief Marketminder's View blurb below the link to each news story, which is usually all I read.  Just reading these blurbs can help you keep some perspective, and not be overly alarmed by the financial news you might be reading or viewing elsewhere.  Finally, there's a Columns section that has one or two educational articles added each month.

Other than MarketMinder, a couple of investing blogs that I recommend are:
If you are curious about an investing or financial term, a good site is  For example, if you're reading one of my blog articles, and you don't understand a term I use, chances are you'll find an understandable definition at  You might start by going to the site and reading the definitions for stock, equities, bond, fixed income, security, mututal fund, index fund, and ETF.  A very useful feature of is that each investing term used in a definition includes a link to the definition of that term. For example, the definition of equities includes links to the definitions for equity, instrument, corporation, share, assets, and earnings, among others. If you find a definition confusing, feel free to post a comment here describing what it is you don't understand, and I'll try to further clarify.


  1. I very much appreciate your recommendation.

    Allan Roth - Irrational Investor

  2. Allan,

    I'm honored that you took the time to comment! I also include your book How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street among my list of recommended books for novice investors. My 25 year old daughter liked your book the best of the ones I've managed to get her to take a look at.

  3. Kevin, Can you recommend a book that provides a simple explanation of the workings of the stock and bond markets and how they may affect one another? I also need a chapter that describes how to read the charts in the newspaper of the activity in the Dow, S&P, NASDAQ. I want to understand the broader context for our investing and to better understand the financial reporting in the news. JM

  4. Judy,

    Yes I can recommend one or more books, but I also can write a few blog articles to address your questions, and I'll get going on that. I think your questions deserve at least 3 articles -- stocks, bonds and markets; Dow/S&P/NASDAQ; and financial news.

    For now, just a quick note on book recommendations. If what you really want is a simple book to help learn the basics of stocks, bonds, markets, then one of the books I recommend is The Teenage Investor by Timothy Olsen. It's written by a 13 year old, and Kristen (my 24 year old daughter) thought it was one of the best to explain the basics in simple terms.

    However, it's not necessarily the first book I'd recommend for novice investors, since I don't think understanding the details of the stock and bond markets is the most important thing to learn first. Instead, I recommend working down my list of recommended books at (which includes The Teenage Investor, but it's further down the list). On the other hand, it could be that for you, The Teenage Investor might work better, since it may start with things you seem to be interested in at this point.