Best of the Web: General Investor Resources

The following links are part of an ongoing research project to identify the “Best of” online financial research tools†. But there was just too much stuff from which to choose. For compelling evidence on just how crowded the investment service provider space is, look no further.

Things tend to be in constant flux –websites and services are always popping up — others fall out of favor, into disrepair, or disappear completely. I apologize if anything is out of date or otherwise irrelevant.

Note: some resources are included within multiple categories.

 

Professional Development

Investor Education
  • endorsed Wikipedia – Academic types are known to besmirch Wikipedia because, I believe, that it stands against academia’s self-serving belief system: that it possesses a monopoly on authoritative reality. Given the platform’s collaborative nature and open architecture, the accuracy of content on Wikipedia is miraculous.
  • endorsed Khan Academy: Finance – I find it somewhat surprising that the most popular online learning portals are not affiliated with universities. I have endorsed Khan Academy because the courses are relevant and free, the instruction style is concise, and the user interface is very intuitive and innovative.
  • Coursera
  • Udacity
  • Udemy
  • The Open Academy
  • Open Course Ware: Yale Open CoursesHarvard Open CoursesMIT Open Courseware
  • approved Investopedia – Investopedia is easily my second most referenced site for financial learning, right after Wikipedia.
  • approved Morningstar’s Classroom – Special recognition belongs to Morningstar’s online learning portal due solely to the content. Morningstar has developed a unique way to value a company’s intangible assets based on its “competitive moat”. This approach gives concrete form to Warren Buffett’s “margin of safety” principle.
  • approved Boundless – I had not heard of Boundless when I first stumbled on it. I was looking up some esoteric accounting knowledge which was absent from the usual sources. At first, Boundless seemed like just another learning portal — designed for K-12, maybe. But I was surprised to learn that it contained a wealth of good information on natural resource accounting. The site contains information on a host of other topics. Additionally, the sources are well maintained by an active user base and are very meticulously cited — helpful for conducting follow on research.
  • Albert.io – Good GMAT prep.
  • Motley Fool Investing Guide
  • Yahoo!’s Education Center
  • Nasdaq’s Investing Basics
  • endorsed Wharton MBA (Premium)
  • endorsed Columbia Business School (Premium)

Career Development
  • approved Wall Street Oasis – Wall Street Oasis’ brand is career placement and advancement within the buyside investing community (i.e., investment banking, hedge funds, private equity, etcetera). The educational resources appear to be very good and the forums are very active.
  • approved Investopedia Exam Prep – How Investopedia offers such depth at no added cost is a little bit beyond me. Notably, the site offers study and preparatory guides from most FINRA Series exams, CFA, and more. I’ve personally found the CFA preparatory guide to a useful reference for doing my own financial analysis.
  • SumZero – SumZero is a community for buy-side investors and analysts. It primary offering include research sharing with other buy-side analysts, career placement, and tools for raising capital. Filtering out the cacophony that is sell-side research… it’s a good idea!
  • endorsed Wall Street Prep – Wall Street Oasis’ premium affiliate site offers self-study courses on GMAT preparation, interview preparation, basic financial modeling, and industry-specific analysis. The site also offers resume and letter review services by industry professionals. (Premium)
  • endorsed Breaking Into Wall Street – Resources for those interested in furthering their financial modeling skills, such as analysts of hedge funds, private equity, and investment banking. (Premium)
  • endorsed Mergers and Inquisitions – Mergers and Inquisitions is a blog for finance professionals affiliated with Breaking Into Wall Street. The site offers tools, courses, and tutorials for investment banking career seekers and professionals. (Premium)
  • approved Bionic Turtle – David Gardner’s resource for the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) accreditation preparation. This site has fantastic information for those who are even just generally interested in quantitative finance. (Premium)
  • QuantNet Courses – QuantNet is directed mostly at professional quants, especially those who have earned or who intend to earn a Master’s in Financial Engineering (MFE). The site’s offerings include active forums, online courses, and MFE program rankings. The site currently offers two premium online courses for C++. (Premium)

Jobs Postings / Career Counseling
  • endorsed Mergers and Inquisitions – Mergers and Inquisitions is a blog for finance professionals backed by Breaking Into Wall Street. The site offers tools, courses, and tutorials for investment banking career seekers and professionals. (Premium)
  • eFinancialCareers.com – A jobs aggregation platform served with a dose of good, original content.
  • iHireBanking
  • Street of Walls – this used to be a jobs posting site, which has since migrated to Vettery. Still, what’s left seems to offer a structured and concise introduction to investment banking. On the internet nowadays, its rare to come upon anything that is both broad and concise.

Tools

General Investor Tools
  • endorsed EDGAR (SEC) – An essential resource for US reporting companies.
  • endorsed Sedar – An essential resource for Canadian reporting companies.
  • approved Morningstar – Another essential resource which offers great breadth and depth.
  • approved NASDAQ Stock Research Tools – NASDAQ’s website offers a complete and intuitive interface for conducting stock research. In addition to providing price and fundamentals (from Edgar Online), it offers tools for generating Guru Scores (in partnership with Validea), analysts estimates, peer ratio comparisons, technical analysis, and more. Additionally, its implementation of SEC Forms 4 (insider trading) and 13-F filing (changes in institutional holdings) queries is astoundingly good — on par, in fact, with premium offerings.
  • approved FinViz – FinViz offers visually stunning market analytics. In addition, it has recently expanded it offerings to include a broad array of tools such as screeners, model portfolios, insider transaction searches, and even strategy backtests. FinViz also aggregates from an impressive array of sources such as: GuruFocus.com; Morningstar; OilPrice.com; Zacks; Reuters; MarketWired; AP; RigZone; MarketRealist; MotleyFool; Bloomberg;  24/7 Wall St.; Investopedia; Yahoo! Finance; Barron’s; CNBC; Financial Times; TheStreet.com; Wall Street Journal; CNBC; Moody’s; and more.
  • Yahoo! Finance – Yahoo! Finance’s offerings are basically in the same vein as Nasdaq’s. The main advantage of using Yahoo Finance is that its fundamental data is derived from S&P Capital IQ, which I point out elsewhere, is of institutional quality. The downside is that formerly awesome tools, like its bond screener, are no longer maintained casting some doubt over the company’s commitment to quality content.
  • Investing.com – I mentioned Investing.com because I’ve used it successfully to locate historical data on hard-to-find securities. In a very crowded marketplace of investing news and services, this site stands due its comprehensive offerings. I wish I had the time to give it a fuller review.
  • AdvFn.com – AdvFn has been a leading market and financial data aggregation platform for years. The breadth of its offerings are actually quite amazing when one consider how many are at no cost to the user. I’ve even read somewhere that some power-users have built APIs to pull its data for power analysis and backtesting.
  • approved YCharts – YCharts is very powerful and easy to use. However, I am not a paid user. (Premium)

Corporate Due Diligence
Investment Research Aggregators

Investment research aggregators are filling a niche created by the “unbundling” of investment research, both from the buy and sell sides. This might be called the Netflix model of investment research. Previously, it had been difficult to locating sell-side investment research outside of one’s brokerage house — analysis and analysts were compartmentalized and difficult for outsiders to access. As a result, much of this information is still exchanged through ad hoc (“back alley”) channels. Regulation which goes into effect 2018 Jan, Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II), will require asset managers to pay for research reports they’ve been getting for free from brokers in exchange for trading commissions, thereby providing a boost to the unbundling of investment research.

  • endorsed SeekingAlpha – There’s not much I can add to SeekingAlpha’s glowing reputation which allows professionals and enthusiasts to battle it out on an “editorially” level playing ground. SeekingAlpha Pro is a premium service which while expensive can easily pay for itself through added alpha. The company recently launched Marketplace, aimed to give contributors greater breadth and access to their target audiences, while simultaneously allowing them to more readily monetize their assets.
  • Thompson One – The most prominent aggregator of sell-side research. Also used extensively in academia.
  • MotleyFool.com – Probably the closest competitor with Seeking Alpha which employs a slightly more traditional, employment-based business model.
  • InvestorPlace.com – Another competitor with Seeking Alpha and Motley Fool.
  • Value Investor’s Club – The Value Investor’s Club (i.e., VIC) is sort of hybrid forum and a long standing favorite among the value community. The secret formula, I’ve decided, is its exclusivity which compels members to post investment research with meets certain editorial standards in order to maintain access to other members’ new investing ideas.
  • SumZero – SumZero aggregates buy-side research and then ranks analysts on their previous success. The site also offers tools for career advancement as well as tools to help fund managers raise capital.
  • Sentieo – Sentieo is an alternative research platform which capitalizes on advances in unstructured data, social media, and sentiment analytics in order to locate, deliver, and ultimately exploit unique sources of alpha.
  • Alphametry – Paris-based Alphametry charges for a range of tools which aim to help clients assess the value of analysts’ work, manage their research consumption, and ensure compliance with MiFID rules.
  • Alpha-Exchange – London-based Alpha Exchange charges commissions on deals and sells a range of tools for asset managers.
  • Stock Views – “We have a singular focus on finding mispriced securities. Our analysts are completely unconstrained and compensated according to the alpha they generate. Research is delivered, and results quantified, through an interactive technology platform.” StockViews compensates analysts based on two criteria: the quality of their work as measured by client feedback; and the performance of their stock picks.
  • StreetContxt – Street Contxt uses machine-learning and data-driven metrics to push relevant content to buyers and to help analysts understand what sells. The firm, which was founded in 2012, got an investment from Steven Cohen’s Point72 Ventures earlier this year as well as 8VC’s Joe Lonsdale, a co-founder of Palantir Technologies Inc.
  • Research Tree –  “Research Tree gives private and non-institutional investors access to the latest UK investment research from 34 brokers and research providers, offering comprehensive coverage of small and mid-cap stocks. Get valuations, analysis, and insights from the City in real time, for the first time.”
  • ERIC (Electronic Research Interchange) – A research marketplace called ERIC, where analysts post their work and decide whether to sell for a firm price or await private bids

Social Investing Platforms

This category is closely related to investing forums found elsewhere on this page. Its constituents are distinguished, however, by an emphasis on social interaction. All Social Investing Platforms are also considered Investing Fora, but not the other way around.

  • endorsed Seeking Alpha StockTalks – Not that StockTalks is significantly differentiated as a stand-alone social platform, but it is integrated within my favorite overall platform.
  • approved TradingView – TradingView was recently brought to my attention due to its partnership with Seeking Alpha. TradingView offers much more than charting. From my initial assessment, it looks like it has created a full on social investing community centered around stock charts . As you may know, I don’t really pay much mind to hardcore technical analysis, but I think that charts can be wonderful tools for framing investment narratives. This is definitely worth a look.
  • approved Motley Fool Caps and Discussion Boards – I am not an active member of Motley Fool’s communities, but I do have immense respect for the brand and the guiding philosophy.
  • StockTwits – StockTwits has become a popular social media outlet. As the name suggests, it is based around users providing short, tagged blurbs which usually link to outside articles and research.
  • Yahoo! Finance Conversations – Yahoo! Finace is leveraging its large legacy user-base to provide a modernized social investment platform. The current interface is inherently ticker specific… would be nice to add thematic queries.
  • Scutify – Scutify is a relative new-comer which differentiates itself by adding social analytics to a tweet-based platform. Scutify’s innovative analytic capabilities which allow users to generate and explore real-time social sentiment analytics should put Scutify in the acqusitive cross-hairs of larger outlets.

Conventional Research Platforms
  • S&P Capital IQ – Capital IQ offers several research platforms, but from what I’ve gathered, they’re all pretty much based on the same underlying data-sets. Notably, Research Insight can be accessed via a standard user interface or a command driven API, greatly augmenting the versatility of the underlying data. Moreover, the core of Capital IQ’s fundamental financial data is driven by Compustat (mentioned elsewhere with praise), which further distinguishes the platform. Note: the platform also offers vast industry specific items, but I cannot vouch for the quality or completeness of these items. (Premium)
  • Bloomberg (aka, “The Terminal”) – When I was at the Board of Trade, a limited number of Bloomberg Terminals were provided for members to utilize during the day. These machines are incredibly powerful, but also very pricey. (Premium)
  • FactSet – FactSet has, over the years, subsumed many other premium financial data sets, such as Revere Data, which offered very granular corporate revenue data. (Premium)

Alternative Research Platforms
  • endorsed Portfolio123 – My personal favorite for reasons that I shall explain. “P123” is the premier research and algorithmic investment platform intended for retail investors. The core data set is derived from S&P Capital IQ’s CompuStat data which is fundamentally differentiated from other data sets due to rigorous data standardization and the availability of “point in time” (PIT) data for unbiased backtesting. The platform also offers numerous research and analytical tools. As a ratio of price to computing power, nothing in its class is cheaper. (Premium)
  • Robur Investment Research – Robur’s premise is that a family investment office curates fundamental financial data, and offers it through a research platform. The distinguishing feature, in my mind, is that the core offering for (rare) global fundamental data effectively replicates powerful capabilities offered by the Big 3 (i.e., Capital IQ, Bloomberg, and Factset) at a fraction of the cost. A caveat: I’m not saying anything specific about any provider, but you usually get what you pay for. (Premium)
  • IBIS Research Plaform (IBIS) – Interactive Brokers’ fundamentals research platform, IBIS, rivals institutional level research platforms for a fraction of the cost. (Premium)

Specialty Research Platforms
  • Sentieo – Sentieo is an alternative research platform which capitalizes on advances in unstructured data, social media, and sentiment analytics in order to locate, deliver, and ultimately exploit unique sources of alpha. (Premium)
  • Preqin – Preqin manages data and intelligence related to alternative asset management and sector allocation. (Premium)
  • Insight360 (TruValue Labs) – “Insight360 SASB Edition uses AI to provide investment professionals with a robust, timely set of data and analyses on material ESG factors for public companies and industries. See how you can leverage SASB’s Materiality Framework to find opportunities and manage risks.”
  • StreetContxt – Street Contxt uses machine-learning and data-driven metrics to push relevant content to buyers and to help analysts understand what sells. The firm, which was founded in 2012, got an investment from Steven Cohen’s Point72 Ventures earlier this year as well as 8VC’s Joe Lonsdale, a co-founder of Palantir Technologies Inc.

Technical Analysis and Charting
  • approved TradingView – TradingView was recently brought to my attention due to its partnership with Seeking Alpha. TradingView offers much more than charting. From my initial assessment, it looks like it has created a full on social investing community centered around stock charts . As you may know, I don’t really pay much mind to hardcore technical analysis, but I think that charts can be wonderful tools for framing investment narratives. This is definitely worth a look.
  • StockCharts
  • BigCharts

Programmatic Libraries/Interfaces
  • approved Quantopian – Quantopian provides traders access to Pythonic algorithmic trading library and promotes a community around the open exchange of ideas and strategies. Quantopian offers the capability to use (free and premium) data-sets in-situ or import external datasets.
  • zipline.io – “Zipline is a Pythonic algorithmic trading library. It is an event-driven system for backtesting. Zipline is currently used in production as the backtesting and live-trading engine powering Quantopian – a free, community-centered, hosted platform for building and executing trading strategies.”
  • QuantConnect – I recently discovered QuantConnect through a search engine query. I was immediately impressed by the premise having an open interface, called LEAN, which supports C#, Python and F# programming languages. I was even more intruiged by its offering of curated fundamental and technical data for multiple types of asset class. This data-based offering plugs, what I feel is, a gap in similar offerings (Premium)
  • Quantiacs – Quantiacs offers standarized trading libraries in both Python and Matlab and an online marketplace for exchanging and marketing various algorithms developed through its libraries. In addition, Quantiacs offers sizable investments into top algorithms. (Premium)
  • QuantRocket – “QuantRocket is a platform to run automated trading strategies in international markets with Interactive Brokers”. QuantRocket has been adding more data sources lately.
  • QSTrader – QuantStart sponsors this entrant into the arena of open-source, event driven, programmatic backtesters. QSTrader is something to watch if it continues to be actively developed and maintained.
  • PyAlgoTrade – “PyAlgoTrade is a Python Algorithmic Trading Library with focus on backtesting and support for paper-trading and live-trading. Let’s say you have an idea for a trading strategy and you’d like to evaluate it with historical data and see how it behaves. PyAlgoTrade allows you to do so with minimal effort.”
  • TA-Lib – “TA-Lib is widely used by trading software developers requiring to perform technical analysis of financial market data.”
  • QuantLib – “The QuantLib project is aimed at providing a comprehensive software framework for quantitative finance. QuantLib is a free/open-source library for modeling, trading, and risk management in real-life.”

Backtesting (Fundamentals)
  • endorsed Portfolio123 – My personal favorite for reasons I shall explain. “P123” is the premier research and algorithmic investment platform intended for retail investors. “P123” data is derived mainly from S&P Capital IQ’s CompuStat data which is differentiated from other fundamental data sets due to rigorous data standardization and the availability of “point in time” (PIT) data. The platform also offers numerous research and analytical tools. (Premium)
  • Jamie Gritton’s MI Backtester – This free mechanical investing backtesting tool was early to the game (along with Keelix’ backtester which is no longer maintained). Over time, more advanced tools have emerged.
  • Investor’s Edge – A new entrant to the field of fundamental strategy evaluation in 2017/18. The platform appears to be in its infancy currently but has large ambitions. Investor’s Edge core data comes from Factset; supplementary data feeds are sourced from the Fed and Quandl.
  • Equities Lab – Provide basic screening and basic backtesting capabilities. The platform provides 20 years of financial and price data comes from Morningstar; the macroeconomic data comes from Quandl.
  • ProftSpi – “Easy to use point-and-click backtesting and screening with no coding required”
  • Bloodhound System (defunct) – A great example of a failed implementation for a sound concept. Bloodhound had all the trappings of a successful system, but apparently failed to find its user base.
  • Zacks Research Wizard – I enjoyed using Zack’s Research Wizard on a trial basis. I ultimately went with another system that utilized standardized fundamental data. S&P Capital IQ’s Compustat database is standardized to fit a specific data model whereas most of other institutional data sets (e.g., Zack’s and Thomson-Reuters) more closely mirror company statements “as presented”. (Premium)

Backtesting (Technicals)
  • CML Trademachine – CMLViz’s “Trademachine”  provides a means to backtest various options trading strategies. For some time, Chicago Board Options Exchange’s (CBOE) “Strategy Benchmark Indices” filled this niche. CMLViz also offers a free suite of trading tools aimed towards swing traders.
  • ETFReplay – Tools for screening and backtesting ETF strategies.
  • PortfolioMaestro – Tradestation’s backtesting platform is focused on chart-based (i.e., technical indicators). It is useful for rapid prototyping, trend verification, and trading. (Premium)
  • MultiCharts – This is popular tool amongst many traders, though I’ve never personally tried it. Interestingly, PowerLanguage, its command-driven backbone, is compatible with Tradestation’s Easylanguage. (Premium)
  • Collective2 – Collective2 is mainly a web-based repository of technical-based trading strategies. There used to be more strategy exchanges, but Collective2 appears to have had the greatest staying power. (Premium)

Stock/ETF Screeners
  • endorsed Portfolio123 – My personal favorite for reasons I shall explain. “P123” is the premier research and algorithmic investment platform intended for retail investors. “P123” data is derived mainly from S&P Capital IQ’s CompuStat data which is differentiated from other fundamental data sets due to rigorous data standardization and the availability of “point in time” (PIT) data. The platform also offers numerous research and analytical tools. (Premium)
  • Screener.co – A new entrant which offers global equities coverage of some 30,000+ companies with up to 1000+ data points per company.
  • Investor’s Edge – A new entrant to the field of fundamental strategy evaluation in 2017/18. The platform appears to be in its infancy currently but has large ambitions. Investor’s Edge core data comes from Factset; supplementary data feeds are sourced from the Fed and Quandl.
  • FinViz – FinViz offers visually stunning market analytics. In addition, it has recently expanded it offerings to include a broad array of tools such as screeners, model portfolios, insider transaction searches, and even strategy backtests. FinViz also aggregates from an impressive array of sources such as: GuruFocus.com; Morningstar; OilPrice.com; Zacks; Reuters; MarketWired; AP; RigZone; MarketRealist; MotleyFool; Bloomberg;  24/7 Wall St.; Investopedia; Yahoo! Finance; Barron’s; CNBC; Financial Times; TheStreet.com; Wall Street Journal; CNBC; Moody’s; and more.
  • Zacks Stock Screener
  • AdvFn – AdvFn has been a leading market and financial data aggregation platform for years. The breadth of its offerings are actually quite amazing when one consider how many are at no cost to the user. I’ve even read somewhere that some power-users have built APIs to pull its data for power analysis and backtesting.
  • approved Guru Focus – GuruFocus is a popular platform among value investors for accessing analytical reports and performing your own. (Premium)
  • Validea – Validea is a good resource for determining the investment criteria of great investors… or at least someone’s rules-based interpretation. (Premium)
  • New Constructs Education – Algorithmic investment screens and stock picks based on value investing principles. (Premium)

Bond Screener
  • endorsed FINRA Bonds Center – An essential tools for retail traders and investors who cannot or do not want to pay for professional bond data.
  • approved Morningstar’s Bonds Center – Another essential tool for retail traders and investors.

Specialty Stock Screeners
Investment Valuation Tools

It is now evident to me that there is a clear distinction between stock screens and investment valuation tools. Screens are rule-based sifters for potential investment ideas, usually based on a theme. Valuation tools transform comprehensive inputs into a target (or a range of possible targets) for a thing’s net present value.

  • endorsed SimplyWall.St – Although a relative newcomer to the investment tool scene, I am very impressed by the site’s foundations in good data and good models. Simplywall.st uses institutional quality data from S&P Capital IQ’s platform to populate its estimates and targets. I think I have just witnessed the future of investment tools, and it looks a lot like simplywall.st. (Premium)
  • FinBox.io – FinBox is a FinTech startup which is premised on providing tools which can assist investors in assessing a company’s intrinsic value.  Offerings include watch lists, screeners, data explorers, spreadsheet add-ons, and a developer’s API. It combines fair value estimates such as those provided by Morningstar, combined with a modernized layout geared towards data driven investing.
  • Trefis – Trefis provides discounted cash flow valuation models for many large publicly traded companies. The sophistication and depth of these models, and well as the accompanying analysis is what I would expect of premium institutional research. Casual users can inspect such models and calibrate them according to an intuitive user interface. User inputs and sentiment scores are recorded… thus users are the products. While I feel that Trefis’ innovative suite of tools have great potential, I am waiting for the team to iron out the kinks and bugs in the website before I raise my approval rating. (Premium)

Trading Platforms
  • endorsed TradeStation – TradeStation offers low fees and a solid trading platform. TradeStation is greatly augmented by EasyLanguage; a specialized, high-level scripting language. Additionally, TradeStation provides an API to Reuters fundamentals data. (Premium)
  • endorsed Trader’s Workstation (Interactive Brokers) – The discount broker of choice. I’ve also heard that that IB’s fundamentals research platform, IBIS, rivals institutional level research platforms (e.g., Capital IQ, Factset, Reuters) for a fraction of the cost. (Premium)

Discount Brokers
  • endorsed TradeStation – TradeStation offers low fees and a solid trading platform. TradeStation is greatly augmented by EasyLanguage; a specialized, high-level scripting language. Additionally, TradeStation provides an API to Reuters fundamentals data. (Premium)
  • endorsed Interactive Brokers – The discount broker of choice. I’ve also heard that that IB’s fundamentals research platform, IBIS, rivals institutional level research platforms (e.g., Capital IQ, Factset, Reuters) for a fraction of the cost. (Premium)

Specialty Brokers
  • FolioInvesting (Premium) – In addition to offering Ready-To-Go Portfolios (i.e., model allocations), FolioInvesting offers institutional quality price-improvement execution services for self directed brokerage accounts.

Portfolio Optimizations
  • Portfolio Visualizer – I would summarize this site as a backtesting toolset for sophisticated investors who are motivated by factor analysis and efficient asset allocation. It has tools for backtesting, factor analysis, asset correlations, Monte Carlo simulations, portfolio optimization, and market timing.
  • MacroAxis – MacroAxis has been around for many years, at first offering simple investment allocations tools such as optimizations of multi-asset asset portfolios. The offerings have since expanded to cover many investment allocation themes.

Model Portfolios / Robo-Advisors
  • endorsed Portfolio123 “Smart Alpha” (formerly “Ready-to-Go”) Portfolios – Portfolio123 offers retail investors access to algorithmic stock and ETF picks which have been derived from users’ model portfolios. It provides these recommendations under the “Newsletter” exception to RIA regulations. (Premium)
  • Motif Investing (Premium)
  • Wealth Front – Burton Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, is the chief economist behind Wealth Front. Wealth Front’s premise is similar to John Bogle’s premise for founding Vanguard, albeit tinged with a bit more automation. Burt assures us, however, that there are a cadre of very bright people behind the automated decision making. (Premium)
  • Financial Engines – Financial Engines was co-founded by William Sharpe, financial pioneer responsible in part for the ubiquitous Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM). This platforms seeks to automate wealth management for retirement accounts and large institutions such as pension funds. (Premium)
  • Betterment (Premium)
  • Hedgeable (Premium)
  • FolioInvesting (Premium)
  • Covestor (Premium)
  • Hedge Covest (Premium)

Crowd-sourcing Investment Tools
  • approved Estimize – Estimize is hybrid social media and crowd-sourcing platform which sources user’s projections on comany earnings (and now macro-economic data). Estimize cites peer-reviewed research which shows that its consensus estimates are more accurate and possess greater alpha content than Wall Street’s estimates… we’ll see how long that lasts. (Premium)
  • approved TipRanks – TipRanks evaluates public stock recommendations made by financial analysts and financial bloggers, then ranks those experts based on their accuracy and performance. (Premium)
  • Mergerize – Mergerize crowdsources predictions on mergers and acquisitions; launched by Estimize in 2014. (Premium)
  • PredictWallStreet – PredictWallStreet is one of the original stock prediction apps. The company has implemented contests with cash prizes for the most accurate forecasters. (Premium)
  • Vetr – Vetr is an investment research platform that delivers crowdsourced star ratings for stocks and provides access to investment insights from trusted sources for self-driven investors. (Premium)
  • ForceRank – ForceRank is a smartphone application in which users can see how other users have ranked certain stocks. (Premium)

Data

Fundamental Financial Data

Institutional:

  • endorsed CompuStat (S&P Capital IQ) – Compustat offers what I believe to be the highest value instutional-level fundamental financial data. The data standardization methodology is unique and robust (on the order of 1000 pages of business rules). Compustat’s long term competitive edge is cemented by the fact that universities, like UPenn’s Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), are heavily invested in utilizing the data for research. This, of course, means that finance students (i.e., future financial professionals) are heavily steeped in the pedigree and reliability of this data. Portfolio123 offers cost advantaged access to S&P Capital IQ (CompuStat) data albeit with some limitations. (Premium)
  • Bloomberg (aka, “The Terminal”) – When I was at the Board of Trade, a limited number of Bloomberg Terminals were provided for members to utilize during the day. These machines are incredibly powerful, but also very pricey. (Premium)
  • FactSet – FactSet has, over the years, subsumed many other premium financial data sets, such as Revere Data, which offered very granular corporate revenue data. Investor’s Edge currently receives their core data from FactSet. (Premium)
  • Reuters Fundamentals – Reuters offers a number of applications and APIs to access its company financial. Historically, Portfolio123 used Reuters data before it switched to CompuStat (now S&P Capital IQ). I believe that TradeStation and Interactive Brokers’ IBIS platform still offer API access to Reuters’ fundamentals.

Alternative:

  • endorsed Quandl – Quandl has long offered stock market and fundamental equities data. Quandl’s move to premium (curated) data sets responds to concerns about data over-proliferation and quality control. In addition, Quandl has begun to offer premium commodities data, including robust and verbose methodologies for querying continuous futures data. (Premium)
  • Zacks Data – Now offered on the Quandl API.
  • Robur Investment Research – Robur’s premise is that a family investment office curates fundamental financial data, and offers it through a research platform. The distinguishing feature, in my mind, is that the core offering for (rare) global fundamental data effectively replicates powerful capabilities offered by the Big 3 (i.e., Capital IQ, Bloomberg, and Factset) at a fraction of the cost. A caveat: I’m not saying anything specific about any provider, but you usually get what you pay for. (Premium)
  • American Assocation of Individuals Investors (AAII) – Great bargains on fundamental data and a powerful stock screener. (Premium)

Other Fundamental Data
  • US
    • M&A Transactions
      • Thomson Reuters’ SDC – “Securities Data Company (SDC) Platinum™, the online historical financial transactions database, provides the most detailed financial transaction information available on new issues, Mergers and Acquisitions, Bonds, Syndicated Loans, private equity, project finance, poison pills and many more.”
    • Insiders
    • Short Interest and Regulation “SHO” Threshold Securities
    • Institutional
      • endorsed EDGAR (SEC) – Specifically, investors would search for SEC Forms 13-F, and 13G/D.
      • approved Whale Wisdom – Whale Wisdom offers a modern and intuitive interface for navigating SEC Forms 4, 13-F, and Schedules 13G/D (statements of beneficial ownership). This has the potential to be a particularly powerful research tool for those wanting to conduct their own “guru” research.
  • Canada

Price Data
  • Interactive Data – Interactive Data Corporation (IDC) was acquired by and folded in the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in 2015. Historically, IDC’s historical and snapshot price data were a staple among institutional quality data offerings.
  • IEX – IEX is a disrupter in the space of price data. It offers free access to exchange level data and open source APIs; offe

Investment Benchmarking Data
  • Hedge Fund Research – “Hedge Fund Research, Inc. (HFR) is the established global leader in the alternative investment industry. Established in 1992, HFR specializes in the areas of indexation and analysis of hedge funds. HFR has developed the industry’s most detailed fund classification system, enabling granular and specific queries for relative performance measurement, peer group analysis and benchmarking.”
  • Lipper Hedge Fund Database (TASS) – “Quantitative performance data on over 7,500 actively reporting Hedge funds and Funds of Hedge Funds. Performance data on over 11,000 graveyard funds that have liquidated or stopped reporting. Available through WRDS…”
  • CBOE Strategy Benchmark Indices – Indices for naive options strategies, akin to passive buy-and-hold for options. Useful for measuring equity and volatility risk premia in real terms.

Macroeconomic Data
  • endorsed Quandl – Quandl seeks to democratize (i.e., commoditize?) data. The web platform is pretty basic, but there’s a hidden amount of versatility which is unlocked through the web API — API scripts for querying are available for most quantitative languages. On the downside, Quandl has almost too much data. Founder, Tammer Kamel, has responded by introducing premium data sets. In addition, Quandl offers an API for Economic Data.
  • approved  Multpl.com – Multpl is a fantastic tool for assessing the market’s (i.e., S&P 500’s) relative valuation through the cycles. S&P 500 data-sets include: Shiller PE Ratio; price to sales ratio; price to book value; earnings yield; S&P 500 Earnings; and more.
  • approved Damodoran Online – Aswath Damodoran hosts valuable tools, data, and research publications on his site. The bulk of which are industry metrics intended for use in equity valuations. He teaches at the Stern School of Business at New York University from whence he is regarded as a leading authority on valuation.
  • approved YCharts – YCharts is one of the original financial data aggregators. As it is, vast amounts of data are available from its very simple GUI. Somewhat recently, YCharts incorporated custom variables into toolsets, allowing users to create their financial ratio and time series. (Premium)
  • Trading Economics – Popular site for economic indicators. Offers API access.
  • Estimize Economic Indicators – Estimize recently extended its crowd-sourcing platform for economics indicators.
  • ShadowStats – “There are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics”. John Williams has operated this site on “shadow government statistics” for several years. The premise is intriguing. Williams alleges that the US federal government, traditional economists, and the media choose to highlight “mean-reverting” economic statistics. I.e., metrics that media and government promotes are “self-normalizing” and based on “moving goal posts”. While cherry-picking the data might not be out-and-out fraud, Williams alleges that canonical economic meausure paint a rosier narrative than what the raw data actually suggests. Williams provides alternative economic data points in order to offset the shortcomings of and provide information which is differentiated from conventional (BLS) data points. (Premium)
  • Yardeni Research – Host to a broad range of market market indicators, research, and indicators.
  • Leuthold Research: Fund Flows Trends – In addition to margin debt, funds flows have been shown to be very prescient in anticipating market tops and bottoms.
  • Robert Shiller Data Repository – Includes links to: Yale School of Management’s Stock Market Confidence Indexes; Shiller Cyclically Adjusted Price-to-Earnings (CAPE-10) data; US housing price indices from 1890; long term inflationary and consumption data; and more.
  • St. Louis Fed – Essential resource for macro-economic data.
  • Federal Reserve Data – Essential data sets on numerous facets of interest.
  • Federal Reserve DDP – The same data sets as above with enhanced ability to perform bulk queries.
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Data – Primary source for the often cited and misunderstood US unemployment and inflation indices. Also sources numerous other statistics.
  • OECD Stats Library
  • OPEC Statistical Data
  • World Bank Statistical Data

Economic Forecasts
  • iMarketSignals – Fellow Portfolio123 enthusiasts Georg and Anton Vrba are the architects of iMarketSignals. Their service offers several econometric market timing and stock rating systems which — the brothers claim — contain information about future returns of various asset classes. While I am not a believer in market timing, my research indicates that most return factors commonly attributed to “momentum” actually occur at the industry and/or sector level. (Premium)
  • No Spin Forecast – Dr. Robert F. Dieli’s No Spin Forecast is based on a quantitative model, aptly called “Mr. Model”, which intends to identify turning points in market, investment, and business cycles which typically precede expansionary booms and recessionary busts. A detailed description of Mr. Model is available as a PDF.

Estimates & Earnings
  • approved Estimize – Estimize is hybrid social media and crowd-sourcing platform which sources user’s projections on comany earnings (and now macro-economic data). Estimize cites peer-reviewed research which shows that its consensus estimates are more accurate and possess greater alpha content than Wall Street’s estimates… we’ll see how long that lasts.
  • approved TipRanks – TipRanks offers access to numerous analysts’ projections.
  • I/B/E/S – the sell side’s de-facto repository for analyst estimates and guidance (Premium)
  • Zacks Earnings (Premium)
  • Yahoo! Earnings
  • Earnings Whisper
  • Briefing (Premium)
  • Morningstar (Premium)

Tax Research Data

Market Sentiment
  • endorsed Hulbert Financial Digest: Sentiment Indices – Mark Hulbert tracks four sentiment indices for the broad stock market, the NASDAQ, gold, and bonds. The website also tracks a comprehensive compendium of sentiment indicators.
  • Philosophical Economics: Investor Equity Allocation – A metric which is similar in scope and intent to margin debt. Its author reasons that the ratio of “(1) the total amount of stocks that investors in aggregate are holding, and (2) the total amount of cash and bonds that investors in aggregate are holding… predicts the market’s future long-term returns better than any other classic valuation metrics to date developed–price to earnings (P/E), price to book (P/B), price to sales (P/S), CAPE, q-ratio, Market Cap to GDP, Fed Model, etc”. His argument is total returns are comprised of changes in dividend yields, changes in earnings growth expectations, and mutiple expansion/contraction. He then argues that aggregate investor allocation to equities is the basis for P/E multiple expansion/contraction. For example, increasing allocation to equities (as a percentage of total investable assets) will cause equity multiples to expand without any changes in yields or forward earnings estimates. The author further states that the data to impute this metric is found on the Federal Reserves Flow of Funds Report; “A link to the calculated metric is provided here, and to a separately downloadable version of each series, here“. A 2014 academic paper, Financial Intermediaries and the Cross-Section of Asset Returns, which examines the flow of funds and leverage of financial intermediaries supports the author’s assessment.
  • Yardeni Research: Margin Debt – Margin debt (i.e., debit balances in margin accounts at broker/dealers) is touted as one of best market timing signals.
  • CFTC: Commitments of Traders (COT) – Distinguishes between long and short open interests by entity type (i.e., commercial, non-commercial, non-reportable). I am currently unsure about the utility of COT reports in spotting investable trends, but at least of few analysts have used these reports to good effect to identify “big” longs and shorts.
  • Leuthold Research: Fund Flows Trends – In addition to margin debt, funds flows have been shown to be very prescient in anticipating market tops and bottoms.
  • Yale Confidence Index – “The Investor Behavior Project at Yale University, under the direction of Professor Robert Shiller since its beginning and now under the auspices of the Yale International Center for Finance, has been collecting questionnaire survey data on the behavior of US investors since 1984.”
  • SentimentTrader – SentimentTrader is a premium repository for sentiment research and indicators. When I had previously subscribed, my mind was blown as to how many indicators were available. Some of the indicators were probably good, but some were, in my mind, spurious. I am not doubtful of sentiment’s importance in setting asset prices, but it just seems like a reach to assume that deterministic indicators can reliably and quantitatively differentiate the wisdom of crowds from the madness of the mob. (Premium)
  • AAII Sentiment Survery
  • CNN Fear & Greed Index
  • University of Michigan Survey of Consumers – The UofM Survey contains indices for consumer sentiment, current economic conditions, and consumer expectations. Noteworthy is the fact that two of these indices are forward looking indicators. The survey is best known, however, for its survey of expected inflation rates (which functions as an input parameter to many financial models).
  • PredictWallStreet – PredictWallStreet is one of the original stock prediction apps. The company has implemented contests with cash prizes for the most accurate forecasters. (Premium)
  • Vetr – Vetr is an investment research platform that delivers crowdsourced star ratings for stocks and provides access to investment insights from trusted sources for self-driven investors. (Premium)
  • ForceRank – ForceRank is a smartphone application in which users can see how other users have ranked certain stocks. (Premium)

Specialty Data
  • approved IVolatilty Historical Options Data – IVolatility offers a variety of services and data for options traders. Notably, it offers a-la carte data downloads for serious options strategists.
  • approved ActiveShare.info – “Active Share is the percentage of fund holdings that is different from the benchmark holdings… Active Share is not a measure of skill but rather measures how different the fund’s holdings are relative to the holdings of the particular benchmark considered… Research has shown that as a group and over fairly long periods of time: funds with low Active Shares have tended to underperform their benchmarks net of costs; and, funds with high Active Shares have tended to outperform their benchmarks net of costs, especially among funds that do not trade frequently, among small cap funds and among funds that do not have very large assets under management (see further the section ‘Active Share Research’)”.
  • Mergerize – Mergerize crowdsources predictions on mergers and acquisitions; launched by Estimize in 2014. (Premium)
  • Mergr – “Mergr is a lightweight, easy-to-use database that allows you to effortlessly identify private equity firms, corporate acquirers, their M&A, and advisors.”
  • Quandl Alternative Data – Mentioned elsewhere, Quandl ventured into the realm of premium data-sets in order to focus in on the high-value data sets (vice getting lost in oceans of data). Almost by natural extension, founder Tamer Kamel has begun to provide “alternative data sets” which promise to deliver unique insights. (Premium)
  • approved TipRanks API Access – TipRanks evaluates public stock recommendations made by financial analysts and financial bloggers, then ranks those experts based on their accuracy and performance. TipRanks also offers an API designed for institutional researchers and investors. Reminds me: “if you’re not paying for a product, then you are the product”. (Premium)
  • Insight360 (TruValue Labs) – Insight360 takes aim at integrating novel data sources on environmental-social-governance (ESG) with factor-based investment models.
  • Sentieo – Sentieo is an alternative research platform which capitalizes on advances in unstructured data, social media, and sentiment analytics in order to locate, deliver, and ultimately exploit unique sources of alpha. (Premium)
  • Preqin – Preqin manages data and intelligence relatead to alternative asset management and sector allocation. (Premium)
  • Insight360 (TruValue Labs) – “Insight360 SASB Edition uses AI to provide investment professionals with a robust, timely set of data and analyses on material ESG factors for public companies and industries. See how you can leverage SASB’s Materiality Framework to find opportunities and manage risks.”
  • StreetContxt – Street Contxt uses machine-learning and data-driven metrics to push relevant content to buyers and to help analysts understand what sells. The firm, which was founded in 2012, got an investment from Steven Cohen’s Point72 Ventures earlier this year as well as 8VC’s Joe Lonsdale, a co-founder of Palantir Technologies Inc.
  • ThinkNum – “As companies move their business operations to the Internet, new data trails are being created that provide unique actionable insights on these companies… Thinknum indexes these web data trails in one platform, providing investors with critical data points that others miss.”

Financial Data APIs
  • endorsed Quandl Premium Data – Quandl also features many premium data sets such as continuous futures, equity fundamental data, and more. (Premium)
  • endorsed Quandl – Quandl seeks to democratize and commoditize data. The web platform is pretty basic, but there’s a hidden amount of versatility which is unlocked through the web API — API scripts for querying are available for most quantitative languages. On the downside, Quandl has almost too much data. Founder, Tammer Kamel, has responded by introducing premium data sets.
  • approved SMF Excel Add-in – SMF is an excel add-in which provides powerful tools and algorithms for pulling financial data from the web. These include prebuilt API functions as well as powerful web-scraping tool. The add-in has spawned an amazingly active online community. For a free tool, this is about as open and powerful as you can get.
  • approved  Estimize Data – API access to Estimize’s crowd-sourced estimates. Intended for institutional researcher, investors, and media professionals. (Premium)
  • approved TipRanks API Access – TipRanks evaluates public stock recommendations made by financial analysts and financial bloggers, then ranks those experts based on their accuracy and performance. TipRanks also offers an API designed for institutional researchers and investors. Reminds me: “if you’re not paying for a product, then you are the product”. (Premium)
  • IEX Developers’ API – IEX was featured in Michael Lewis’ best-seller, Flash Boys. IEX’s API allows investors to access real time market data on a leveler play field.
  • Benzinga – Benzinga merits mentions as a news aggregator, a purveyor of original content, the sponsor of the Benzinga FinTech Awards, and a data provider. Benzinga’s financial and social data API offerings are perhaps the most interesting aspects of the company. In particular, the data “playground” data-sets showcase innovative data providers and aggregators.
  • approved XLQ – XLQ is like a paid version of SMF. In return for money, you get professional support and code that is professionally debugged (vice debugged by an online community of users). A major selling point of XLQ is that it uses an RDBMS to cache the data — this saves a tremendous amount of bandwidth and system resources, especially if Excel models become large. (Premium)
  • Estimize Data API – Mentioned elsewhere, Estimize is a crowd-sourcing platform which aggregates users’ estimates on corporate earnings, merger activity, and now economic indicators. In addition, it now offers an API for investors, researchers, and media professionals.
  • StockPup – StockPup is actually a pretty amazing no-cost web service which standardizes key financial metrics for many large publicly traded companies. These metrics are additionally downloaded as spreadsheets.
  • Morningstar Excel Add-In – Intended for instiutional investors. “Morningstar Add-In allows you to retrieve various types of data points from the Morningstar databases within Microsoft Excel for further calculation, formatting or charting. Thousands of widely used data points per investment type are available. Currently, Morningstar Excel Add-In can support the following databases: Mutual funds, closed-end funds, stocks, ETFs, money market funds, hedge funds, separate accounts, market indices, categories and accounts/model portfolios/custom benchmarks. Economic data is also available and will continue to grow.” Morningstar also offers an add-in geared towards commodities traders.
  • q (Kx Systems) (Premium)
  • EDGR I-Metrix (Premium)
  • FetchXL (Premium)

News and Analysis

General Financial News and Content
  • HedgeEye – “Hedgeye continues to lead by breaking ground in new markets: first, we established ourselves as the must-have source for research for the top money managers in the industry. At the same time, we launched that same research out into the public market, making our investment ideas available to individual investors and smaller professional firms at the same time that it is sent to the largest firms in the financial marketplace.”
  • Zerohedge – Contrarian news aggregator with a bent for poignant — if misanthropic — quantitative analysis of and commentary on the financial system.
  • Yahoo! Finance
  • Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Street Authority

Content Aggregators
  • FinViz – FinViz offers visually stunning market analytics. In addition, it has recently expanded it offerings to include a broad array of tools such as screeners, model portfolios, insider transaction searches, and even strategy backtests. FinViz also aggregates from an impressive array of sources such as: GuruFocus.com; Morningstar; OilPrice.com; Zacks; Reuters; MarketWired; AP; RigZone; MarketRealist; MotleyFool; Bloomberg;  24/7 Wall St.; Investopedia; Yahoo! Finance; Barron’s; CNBC; Financial Times; TheStreet.com; Wall Street Journal; CNBC; Moody’s; and more.
  • Benzinga – Benzinga merits mentions as a news aggregator, a purveyor of original content, the sponsor of the Benzinga FinTech Awards, and a data provider. Benzinga’s financial and social data API offerings are perhaps the most interesting aspects of the company. In particular, the data “playground” data-sets showcase innovative data providers and aggregators.

Special Situations
  • DebtWire Analytics – A subsidary of Acuris, an alternative data platform geared towards delivering high level insights. “Debtwire Analytics offers independent, in-depth credit analysis focused on companies that may breach covenants, are facing liquidity issues, or may need financial or operational restructuring.  The information it delivers on credit research and levered companies provides the clarity you need to identify and analyse key opportunities.”
  • Stock Spinoffs – Stock Spinoffs provides data on and analyses of upcoming stock spin-offs. A useful resource for risk and convertible arbitrageurs.

Investment Banking and Middle Market

Research

Buy-side Investment Research
  • endorsed QuantPedia – A tremendous resource which has compiled an exhaustive database of financial anomalies. Anomalies are methodically categorized and cited with academic research. For serious quantiative researchers, I strongly believe that the several hundred dollar price tag is very reasonable. (Premium)
  • approved AQR Research Library – Cliff Asness’ firm, AQR Capital Management, is a well known for employing quantitative investment strategies. The research library contains data-sets of simulated returns from quantitative factors, journal articles, and more.
  • approved Kenneth French’s Data Library – Kenneth French host a data library containing many renditions of the Fama-French factors across all types of markets. This is an essential resource for those interested in the drivers of market price and return.
  • approved CXO Advisory – CXOadvisory.com presents financial markets models, research summaries, analyses and reviews designed for objective, unique and concise value to serious investors, financial advisors and money managers — a modicum of actionable conclusions filtered from a very noisy environment. The default approach is to challenge any and all conventional market wisdom with analytical skepticism. Part of CXOadvisory.com is subscriber-only, and part is free.
  • The BAM Alliance – “We are a community of more than 135 independent wealth management firms located throughout the United States — united in belief and in practice that there is a better, more effective, and more resilient way for investors and their families to safeguard their financial futures and realize their dreams.”
  • approved Motley Fool (US) (Premium)
  • approved Motley Fool Canada (Premium)
  • approved Barron’s (Premium)
  • approved Morningstar – A research house which utlizes a Warren Buffet-esque approach to assessing investments, margin of safety, and economic moats. Its rapid growth is attributable to its out-performance versus other research houses, which is in turn attributable to its research philosophy. One of it main attractions is the depth of coverage in analysts’ Stock Reports. I also recommend interested parties review Morningstar’s equity research methodology white paper(Premium)
  • Legg Mason – Historical home of legendary fund manager Bill Miller. Website is hosts to numerous insights intended for investors and active allocators.
  • O’Shaughnessy Asset Management Commentary – Deep insights from a quantitative investing dynasty.
  • Alpha Architect – A quantitative asset manager which emphasizes investor education on quantitative factor research and repeatable results.
  • S&P Capital IQ Investment Research – In 2003/2004, S&P’s acquisition of Compustat greatly bolstered its existing fundamental data offering. Recently, S&P Market Intelligence launched ClariFI, which provides similar capabilities to Reuters’ Starmine.
  • AXA Investment Advisors
  • Bespoke Investment Advisors
  • Kerrisdale Capital
  • Thomson Reuters Investment Research – Host to Starmine (quantiative factor analytics) and LipperAlpha research platforms.
  • Value Line – Value Line was founded by Arnold Bernhard in 1931. Through its rich past, many prominent investors are known to have relied upon Value Line for research and analysis. (Premium)
  • Hulbert Financial Digest – Mark Hulbert has been tracking fund and newsletter performance for decades, way before the internet, and way way before TipRanks got its start.
  • Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
  • Zack’s Investment Research (Premium)
  • Geoinvesting
  • Muddy Water Research

Sell-side Investment Research

Economic Research

Forums and Social Media

Investing Forums
  • endorsed Seeking Alpha StockTalks – Not that StockTalks is significantly differentiated as a stand-alone social platform, but it is integrated within my favorite overall platform.
  • endorsed Portfolio123 – Although paid subscription is required to access P123, just the forums themselves may be worth the price of admission.
  • approved Motley Fool Caps and Discussion Boards – I am not an active member of Motley Fool’s communities, but I do have immense respect for the brand and the guiding philosophy.
  • approved Wall Street Oasis – Wall Street Oasis’ brand is career placement and advancement within the buyside investing community (i.e., investment banking, hedge funds, private equity, etcetera). The educational resources appear to be very good and the forums are very active.
  • approved AnalystForum – An active forum geared towards financial analysts, particularly CFA and CAIA Charterholders.
  • Fama-French Forum-Dimensional Fund Advisors – “Ideas and observations from Fama and French”
  • StockTwits – StockTwits has become a popular social media outlet. As the name suggests, it is based around users providing short, tagged blurbs which usually link to outside articles and research.
  • Yahoo! Finance Conversations – Yahoo! Finace is leveraging its large legacy user-base to provide a modernized social investment platform. The current interface is inherently ticker specific… would be nice to add thematic queries.
  • InvestorVillage – Investor Village provides both a bulletin board community and a social (tweet-based) platform. Reputable sources report that premium research from major buy and sell-side houses are passed around InvestorVillage channels.
  • Investor’s Hangout – Another popular stock bulletin, similar in scope to InvestorVillage.
  • Stockhouse – Platform combines a traditional bulletin board, curated content, and data points aggregation. This site is popular among Canadian retail and small cap investors.
  • Scutify – Scutify is a relative new-comer which differentiates itself by adding social analytics to a tweet-based platform. Scutify’s innovative analytic capabilities which allow users to generate and explore real-time social sentiment analytics could put Scutify in the acquisitive cross-hairs of larger outlets.
  • Morningstar’s Socailize Platform – Threads on Morningstar’s discussion fora appear to be diverse and active. This is probably worth checking out.
  • Bogleheads – This forum is built around the ideas of Vanguard’s founder, Jack Bogle. Bogle espouses the idea that because the market is (largely) efficient, most (~99%) people are better suited by passively managed investments, and by making “smart” choices with regards to saving, tax efficiency, and financial lifestyles.
  • ADVFN Investor’s Hub – I was surprised to see how active and popular this community was ranked according to SimilarWeb and Alexa.

Value Investing Fora
  • approved The Investor’s Podcast Forums – The Investor’s Podcast is easily one of my favorite podcasts (I subscribe to a lot of podcasts). Preston Pysh and Stig Brodersen are on-point — the interviews are almost always relevant and can even be outright sublime. Their website’s forum has attracted a vibrant and active value investing community. I am not surprised.
  • Value Investor’s Club – The Value Investor’s Club (i.e., VIC) is sort of hybrid forum and a long standing favorite among the value community. The secret formula, I’ve decided, is its exclusivity which compels members to post investment research with meets certain editorial standards in order to maintain access to other members’ new investing ideas.
  • Corner of Berkshire and Fairfax
  • Reddit Security Analysis

Quantitative Finance Fora
  • endorsed Stack Exchange: Quantitative Finance – I’ve found that if the answers are not on Wikipedia, then someone else has probably asked the same question. The first stop is for technical questions is Stack Exchange — where the quant finance community is especially active.
  • QuantNet Forums – QuantNet is directed mostly at professional quants, especially those who have earned or who intend to earn a Master’s in Financial Engineering (MFE). The site’s offerings include active forums, online courses, and MFE program rankings. The forums appear heavily oriented towards algorithm development and programming queries.
  • Wilmott Finance – Paul Wilmott, author of several well reputed books on quantitative finance, and progenitor of the Certificate of Quantitative Finance (CQF), also operates this site replete with frequently updated blog posts, forums, and jobs postings. The “Wilmott” brand carries significant weight within the quant finance community.
  • NuclearPhynance – NuclearPhynace is a straightforward and popular forum for quant finance, appealing most strongly to quant traders and modellers.

Value Investing Resources‡

  • approved Damodoran Online – Aswath Damodoran hosts valuable tools, data, and research publications on his site. He teaches at the Stern School of Business at New York University from whence he is regarded as a leading authority on valuation.
  • Value Walk – This site hosts a lot of curated and sponsored content, but littered throughout are valuable — and sometimes original — resources. Of note, this site collects and maintains investor letters from quite a few hedge funds — perhaps a unique fount of ideas.
  • Graham and Doddsville — a repository for value investing resources. Some of resources are a bit dated, but there is value in timeless knowledge.
  • endorsed SimplyWall.St – Although a relative newcomer to the investment tool scene, I was so impressed by its foundations in good data and good models that I was inspired to create a new category. Based on the site’s layout, it is now evident to me that there is a clear distinction between stock screens and investment valuation tools. Screens are rule-based sifters for potential investment ideas, usually based on a theme. Valuation tools transform comprehensive inputs into a target (or a range of possible targets) for a thing’s net present value. Not to mention, simplywall.st uses institutional quality data from S&P Capital IQ’s platform to populate its estimates and targets. I think I have just witnessed the future of investment tools, and it looks a lot like simplywall.st. (Premium)
  • approved Guru Focus – GuruFocus is a popular platform among value investors for accessing analytical reports and performing your own.
  • Trefis – Trefis provides discounted cash flow valuation models for many large publicly traded companies. The sophistication and depth of these models, and well as the accompanying analysis is what I would expect of premium institutional research. Casual users can inspect such models and calibrate them according to an intuitive user interface. User inputs and sentiment scores are recorded… thus users are the products. While I feel that Trefis’ innovative suite of tools have great potential, I am waiting for the team to iron out the kinks and bugs in the website before I raise my approval rating. (Premium)
  • Validea – Validea is a good resource for determining the investment criteria of great investors… or at least someone’s rules-based interpretation. (Premium)
  • Real Vision TV – A service which provides video interviews with well known investors. (Premium)
  • Value Investor’s Club – The Value Investor’s Club (i.e., VIC) is sort of hybrid forum and a long standing favorite among the value community. The secret formula, I’ve decided, is its exclusivity which compels members to post investment research with meets certain editorial standards in order to maintain access to other members’ new investing ideas. (Premium)
  • New Constructs – Algorithmic investment screens and stock picks based on value investing principles. (Premium)

Quant Finance Resources

  • approved Quantopian Forums – Quantopian provides traders access to Pythonic algorithmic trading library and promotes a community around the open exchange of ideas and strategies.
  • endorsed Stack Exchange: Quantitative Finance – I’ve found that if the answers are not on Wikipedia, then someone else has probably asked the same question. The first stop is for technical questions is Stack Exchange — where the quant finance community is especially active.
  • John Hull’s website – Uinversity of Toronto professor, John C. Hull is author of the quant finance “bible”, Options, Futures and Other Deirivatives, now in its 10th edition. The only negative criticism I’ve heard of John Hull’s work is that it is oriented towards “MBAs” vice mathematicians.
  • AQR Research Library – Cliff Asness’ firm, AQR Capital Management, is a well known for employing quantitative investment strategies. The research library contains data-sets of simulated returns from quantitative factors, journal articles, and more.
  • Kenneth French’s Data Library – Kenneth French host a data library containing many renditions of the Fama-French factors across all types of markets. This is a useful stop for those asking the question, “what drives equity returns in x or y market?”
  • endorsed QuantPedia – A tremendous resource which has compiled an exhaustive database of financial anomalies. Anomalies are methodically categorized and cited with academic research. For serious quantiative researchers, I strongly believe that the several hundred dollar price tag is very reasonable. (Premium)
  • approved Bionic Turtle – David Gardner’s resource for the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) accreditation preparation. This site has fantastic information for those who are even just generally interested in quantitative finance. (Premium)
  • QuantStart – “QuantStart’s Quantcademy membership portal provides detailed educational resources for learning systematic trading and a strong community of successful algorithmic traders to help you.”
  • Quant Institute – Ernie Chan helped start this quant accreditation platform intended for industry professionals.
  • Wilmott Finance – Paul Wilmott, author of several well reputed books on quantitative finance, and progenitor of the Certificate of Quantitative Finance (CQF), also operates this site replete with frequently updated blog posts, forums, and jobs postings. The “Wilmott” brand carries significant weight within the quant finance community. (Premium)
  • QuantNet – QuantNet is directed mostly at professional quants, especially those who have earned or who intend to earn a Master’s in Financial Engineering (MFE). The site’s offerings include active forums, online courses, and MFE program rankings. The site currently offers two premium online courses for C++. (Premium)
  • QuantInsti – “To help every trader across the world to get initiated in to the world of Quantitative & Algorithmic Trading to benefit from the technological innovations.” Quantra offers courses from leading quants, including Dr. Ernest Chain.
  • QuantsPortal – “The Open Source Hedge Fund Project is a community driven project which aims to create the best quant trading systems and operational structures to run a fully functional hedge fund. With the twist that all the IP is open to the public. Contributors will receive full access to this collective and ever evolving “Hedge Fund in a Box”.”
  • QuantStart – “QuantStart’s Quantcademcy membership portal provides detailed educational resources for learning systematic trading and a strong community of successful algorithmic traders to help you.”

If you feel that I’ve neglected an essential resource, or have somehow over or under-rated any of the aforesaid, please reach out with your feedback…



† I removed all personal blogs from this list and intend to post them elsewhere as feeds.

‡ See “Finance & Investing Forums” for information on value investing fora.