As Gordon Gekko once famously said in the movie Wall Street, the most valuable commodity is information. Being a successful investor requires keeping up to date, and being able to make quick decisions based on the latest reliable news sources. Wrong or outdated information could be the difference between a sizeable profit and a significant loss. How can the busy investor be sure that their information is both current and accurate?
Follow the news
There is a wide range of conventional news sources online, on TV, on radio and in print. For obvious reasons, online sites are the most frequently updated, and while it’s certainly worth following the better TV news shows and buying a daily newspaper with a reputable and extensive financial section, news websites are your constant, 24-hour information source.
Although you will undoubtedly have a few clear favourites, it’s important not to just rely on one main source for your news. One reason for this is that practically every news outlet has its own in-built bias. Choose a spread of news sites across the political and geographical spectrum in order to get the real picture of what is going on. The BBC, CNN and the Financial Times are all good places to start, but there are many others from which to choose.
Filter and focus
Having to keep going back and checking a number of different news sites is naturally time-consuming, however, and it’s easy to miss the important stories or pick up on them later than you would like. For the active investor, time is of the essence, so to maximise this most valuable resource, download an RSS (rich summary site) reader. This will give you all the updates from your selected news sites in a continual aggregated feed, meaning that not only will you never miss a story, but you also won’t have to keep looking at stories you’ve already seen.
An alternative is to use a news aggregator site or app where you can choose which sources you draw from and which subjects you are interested in. You can also download a news ticker that will scroll the latest headlines along the bottom of your screen while you work.
Engage with the experts
Subscribing to a reputable specialist site that offers expert investment advice and up-to-date trading news is essential. As well as the latest financial news, these sites often offer invaluable share tips and ways to improve your trading skills, meaning that you’ll benefit from expert opinions and experience at the same time as getting the relevant facts to help with your investments.
Another simple way to keep abreast of the market is to sign up for Google alerts on the commodity or market of your choice. Financial podcasts are also a great source of news and analysis, and can often give you an inside look at important stories that you can’t get anywhere else.
With up-to-date information at your fingertips and the tools to interpret and understand that data, your chances of making a profit on your investments are vastly improved. Using multiple reliable sources as well as listening to expert advice can make the difference between being on top of your game and being out of it altogether.