Thursday, January 31, 2008

Investments and Technical Analysis

I've been doing a lot of work on my investment portfolio lately, trying to reposition myself on more secure footing for the recession. In doing so, I've tried to incorporate information and advice from a variety of sources. I'd like to mention a few of them here:

1. Jim Cramer

Cramer seems to get a really bad rap everywhere you look - I guess because every trader has had a bad experience listening to one of his picks and then either getting in too late or getting out too late, or perhaps listening to one of the few Cramer picks that goes bad. But overall I find his style entertaining and informative. His TV show is great, and I've also recently been reading one of his books:

This book is probably a-typical for Cramer, because it is focused more on the long term, while his usual suggestions follow much more short term trends. But I found it to be a very interesting perspective on how to build and maintain a long-term retirement portfolio. Not that you should follow his advice to the letter, but the overall principles are good, and there's also a lot of good practical information in the book about industries and best-of-breed stocks, and also about mundane things like tax efficiency.

2. Google Finance

This site has been invaluable to me as a central portal for market research before deciding to buy into my stocks. It consolidates a lot of useful information, including breaking news, nice charting, blogs, and my favorite - Google Finance discussion boards. Every stock has a number of ongoing topics of discussion, and on at least a couple of occasions I've been able to profit from early breaking information coming via word-of-mount on the discussion boards, well before the information hit the official news lines! There's a lot of fanboy-ism and other spam, so you really have to be able to filter to the useful information - but it's a great source.

3. Technical Analysis

I've had a lot of books about TA on my shelf but have never really had the time to get into it. Recently I've come across This guy does a great job with regular analysis of stocks, and even takes requests on stocks people would like to see. His site includes lots of nice charts and explanations of trends:

I highly recommend checking out his site, whether you are an expert or just a newbie at Technical Analysis.