Research and analysis tools

Research and analysis have always been two tools of trade, those traders who use technical information found on charts to make their trading decisions, and those who use the fundamental information that may include news stories, economic conditions or analysis of that information by an informed third party.

No matter what type of trading, whether it’s Forex, stocks, futures or options, there are both fundamental and technical traders. A fundamental trader would use a news story about a freeze in Florida to make a decision on the price for a contract in orange juice. However, Forex trader might use the information about political unrest in a country when making a Forex trade.

Research and analysis to study, inquire, examine, scrutinize 

Today, the line between technical and fundamental investors has blurred. While a fundamental investor will delve into the history of a company’s financial transactions, he or she will still often use a stock chart or charting methods to help make the final decision whether to buy or sell. Technical traders never dismiss breaking news that can affect the future price of their investment, either. Most discount brokerages provide both types of information, although some provide more reliable sources in their financial tools. 

One important tool is the SEC filings if you’re investigating a particular stock or its options. Looking at the quarterly report and annual report can tell you a great deal about the stock. Also, a link to the company’s website can be informative while also providing the SEC filings at the same time. While you can look elsewhere online to find that information, having it at the tips of your fingers while you’re working in your brokerage account is an added benefit. It not only makes it easier to find, but also far more convenient. 

Sources to consider

Some of the other research and analysis tools include financial magazines, newspapers and websites, such as The Wall Street Journal or Barons. At one time, the daily financial news, such as that found in The Wall Street Journal, was the “go-to” place for information, aside from updates on the televised financial news. Today, there are many different websites that offer up-to-the-minute information. Many of the top brokerages provide access to analytical software, research reports, and real-time data. They also may provide links to online experts to help you make your decision on a trade. 

Many of the brokerage sites have a community area, sites where people exchange ideas on various types of investments or styles of trading. While these are not necessarily experts, although some may be quite well informed and seasoned in investing, the groups also provide a great deal of sharing of information that can help you make the wisest decision. At one time, only the very seasoned investor used a discount brokerage house, because few of them offered the tools necessary to make a wise investment decision, but seasoned vets, often purchased those tool on their own. Today, most discount brokerages have all the technical software, research and analysis tools to help an investor at any level of the experience make an informed and profitable decision. 

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