AAII, the American Association of Individual Investors, has just released their
Best of the Net: 2011 Guide to the Top Investment Web Sites, 15th Edition.
Behind the AAII list.
Content is king - including variety of content format and medium. While users are increasingly looking for content on their mobile devices, the folks at AAII believe that traditional laptops and desktops remain the primary means of accessing investment related websites, and so they focus on those sites that provide the most informative videos and articles as well as useful tools.
I encourage you to visit the AAII site to read more, as they provide additional content such as personal picks of the AAII staff, as well as specifics as to why they like each pick.
Breakdown of the list.
Here's an exhaustive list of the categories and groups:
Click Here for the Comprehensive Guide to the Top Web Sites.
Best free investment resources on the web.
Here are may personal picks for free sites from that list, and why.
Best site for stock data: AOL Money & Finance: DailyFinance. Real-time stock quotes, stock data going back to 1990 (including historical prices, dividends and splits), headline news, sec filings and more. An excellent quick-glance resource for getting the basics on a company or stock.
Alternate best site for stock data: CNBC. News, news and more news! Stock news. Market news. Business News. This is an excellent resource for major business and earnings news.
Stock And Market Charting.
Best site for Charting the Big Picture: Market Watch BigCharts. This is an excellent site for Stock Charts, Screeners, Interactive Charting and Research Tools. A great way to see a snapshot of the "big picture" of the market, as well as specific stocks and industries.
Runner up: FreeStockCharts.com . This site offers streaming real time stock charts - Free! Choose between line, bar and candlestick charts, plotted on an intraday, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Also offers over 80 indicators! Quite frankly, I gave this runner-up status because it's a bit overwhelming for the amateur investor, compared to the Market Watch's Big Charts site.
Company Conference Calls.
Best sites for getting the latest from company conference calls: Seeking Alpha - Earnings Call Transcripts . As the name suggests, you get a transcript of recent company conference calls. Interpretation of corporate doublespeak is up to the reader however.
Investor Calendar. This site provides a calendar of upcoming company conference calls, which may help plan when to make buy and sell decisions.
Best free site for information on mutual funds: Mutual Funds Center - Yahoo! Finance . Yahoo's finance site offers excellent tools for screening, analyzing and learning more about the thousands of mutual funds available.
Best site for free info on closed-end funds: CEFA - Closed-End Fund Association. This handy site provides screening and information on closed-end funds, as well as a premium/discount chart, so you can see whether a fund is overbought or oversold. Very nice.
Best sites for free resources on foreign investing are the American Depositary Receipts and the CIA World Factbook. ADR (American Depositary Receipts) has a wealth of information on investing in shares of foreign based companies - essentially buying foreign shares in the U.S. Market. The CIA fact book is included as a resource for information on foreign demographics and governments, so you can learn about the country in which the foreign company is based or operates.
The best free sites for investing in bonds: FINRA's Market Data Center. This site houses info on bond benchmarks, economic data and bond funds. An excellent resource for the bon investor.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. This site has a wealth of news that affects bonds, which makes it a great place to get an idea on where bond yields may be headed.
Lastly, there is the U.S. Department of the Treasury'sTreasuryDirect site, which offers information on government issue savings bonds and TIPS. It also allows you to purchase bonds online, should you feel the need to prop up the U.S. government's profligate spending.
If real estate investment trusts are your thing, then REIT.com has much in store for you, from educational resources to investor information. It's provided by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, so you're not likely to find reasons not to buy REITs, but assuming you've decided to buy a REIT and are looking for the best one, this is a great source.