My Favorite Resources
Over the years I have used a ton of different services and resources. Through some rather extensive trial and error, I have been able to figure out exactly what the best investing resources are, at least in my opinion.
Like a lot of people I know, I hate multiple accounts and clutter. With that, I’ve compiled a list of what I think is truly the best.
Full Service Brokerages
- TD Ameritrade:
- My prefered broker is TD Ameritrade (yes, I know they were purchased by Schwab last year, I will get to that below). From a platform perspective, TD’s “Thinkorswim” platform is comparable to some of the professional platforms that I have used and is truly top notch. Even when trading more complex products and strategies like multi legged options, Thinkorswim has the tools and the ability to manage with ease. From a product perspective, TD Ameritrade gives their users the ability to trade just about anything (with the right permissions). From basic equities, to agricultural commodity futures, and everything in between, TD Ameritrade has products available.
- As I mentioned above, Schwab recently bought TD, so eventually they two companies will merge into one. When that happens, the TD Ameritrade name will disappear, but a ton of the features will still remain. My current understanding is that the Thinkorswim platform will still exist as well, which is a great benefit. Due to a few other mergers with Schwab, I have used their platform as well for about a year now. While I prefer the Thinkorswim platform for trading, the reporting and analysis that Schwab provides is stellar and is more than enough for the average investor.
Money Management & Tracking
- To track and consolidate my personal accounts I use the Intuit Mint software. Both the Mint app and website are great for tracking investments, net worth, credit spending, recurring payments, budgeting, and basically everything else that’s a gigantic pain in the butt to keep track of in spreadsheets. Mint updates in real time, so you can check to see what the balances of all your accounts are whenever you feel the need. One downside, Mint is not great for tracking investment portfolios. While it will tell you what your account balances and transactions are, you cannot see individual investments and how they are performing.
Research Data & Services
- If you can afford to spend ~$25k per year on market information and research, Bloomberg is far and away your best option. It’s what most traders on Wall Street use and is a favorite for professionals.
- Wall Street Journal:
- For general market and economic news, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is a great source.
- Seeking Alpha:
- Seeking Alpha is unique among equity research services. While the platform offers a wide range of fundamental information for investors to use in their analysis, most of the articles are provided by third party investors and not Seeking Alpha themselves. I am a Seeking Alpha contributor and share many of my pieces on both Seeking Alpha and my website.
Commodity Data & Services
- The USDA is hands down the primary research for agricultural data and is widely regarded as the best research and forecasting service in the world. From the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) to weekly export reporting and everything in between, the USDA is a fantastic resource for agricultural data.
- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is the government resource that oversees futures contract trading. With that, the offer a number of resources including weekly position of trader updates.
- For energy commodities, the EIA is a great resource to use. The EIA is the US Energy Information Administration and offers a ton of different data on various energy products from crude oil to renewable biofuels.