Monday, 18 October 2010

Online Education for the Canadian DIY Investor

The Internet is a wonderful cornucopia of information at our fingertips but the flood of data and the huge number of websites, blogs and forums can be overwhelming. Today, we run through a few favorite independent neutral non-vendor websites that offer the Canadian DIY investor, in a manner akin to online books, broad, structured educational content on key investment areas.

Investing 101 and Beyond
  • Shakespeare's Investment Primer - a good place to start, always practical in describing the range of investments available to the ordinary person and showing how to put it all together; covers basic components like stocks, bonds, ETFs, preferred shares, REITs, options, foreign content, gold and explains how to manage risk, diversify and allocate assets in a portfolio and withdraw funds in retirement
  • - advanced material oriented to stocks, especially how to assess their value; seems to enjoy knocking down myths; meticulous and thorough with lots of detail, calculations shown and useful spreadsheets to download for one's own use;
  • Independent - (free registration required but they don't sell anything) describes the gamut of common investments equities, fixed income, alternative investments, ETFs, mutual funds; focus on how to protect yourself - advice on dealing with brokers, articles on scams, regulation, costs and industry malpractices; also discusses registered accounts (RRSPs etc) and taxes
  • ByloSelhi - not so much original content itself, but has a large collection of discerning links to high-quality articles on key subjects - ETFs, retirement, real return bonds, financial/investing education
  • - covers taxes on investments (dividends, capital gains, foreign currency etc) within personal taxation; deals with registered vs unregistered accounts; includes calculators and many tips; best of all, it's understandable
  • RetirementAction - serves up assessments of pensions and often-complex investment products oriented to retired people like annuities, GMWBs, structured products, segregated funds; discusses ETFs, asset allocation, inflation/deflation, lifecycle investing and many other topics of import to retirees
Discussion Forums - though not really highly structured content we think one of the best ways to learn is to be able to ask questions and you can ask away in these online forums:
  • Financial Webring - long-lived and active, it tends to be dominated by knowledgeable individuals who reveal many of the fine and sometimes critical points of investing in their quest to outdo each other; there is a separate area called the Finiki that aims to be an encyclopedia of the combined wisdom of the forum
  • CanadianBusiness - tends to be a bit more oriented to the newer investor, lots of active threads in categories such as stocks, mutual funds, investing for beginners, taxes
The list is just a start. Many other useful sites are out there. If you have any to suggest, by all means drop a comment onto this post.

Disclaimer: this post is my opinion only and should not be construed as investment advice. Readers should be aware that the above information is not an investment recommendation. The websites may not provide correct information or advice in every case or subject. Their accuracy is not guaranteed and the article may not interpret such results correctly. Do your homework before making any decisions and consider consulting a professional advisor.

1 comment:

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