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7 fresh resources to uncover great investment ideas

While stocks are still suffering after last year’s smackdown and previously virile research houses are left impotent, we do find ourselves in the throes of a bull market for investment research.

It’s not the broker-calling-his-client-with-a-hot-pick type, but rather just tons of great research work being done on stocks daily posted to the Internet — much of it free.

As investors prepare to go into a long holiday weekend, I wanted to highlight 7 resources that can change your investment research for the better:

  1. Kaching: Well, I wasn’t convinced initially that this upstart that cut its teeth as an app on Facebook was the real thing.  There are some great things happening on Kaching.  The site is a community of stock pickers, going long and short, trading in real time but using virtual portfolios.  Participants are subjected to a battery of metrics to help determine things like risk, strategy drift, outperformance, etc.  So, those investors looking for good ideas can use a pretty powerful search engine to locate good stock pickers that fit their strategy.  Drill down into the good performers and especially those writing up research behind their investments to locate some great ideas.
  2. Finviz: I recently wrote about newish tools to help investors with screening stocks.  Some of these tools are just really professional-grade tools made available to the rest of us while others help to screen stocks for criteria some of the world’s best investors use in their research process.  Finviz deserves a special mention because it offers screening options above and beyond what one would normally expect.  You’ll see what I mean when you check out Finviz’s stock screener.
  3. AlphaClone: (<– yes, it’s an affiliate link).  I like this product so much that I’m actually helping to promote it.  The tools that AlphaClone provide you are unrivaled.  I’ve previously called this site “Stockpickr on steroids”.  Check out what I’ve written about AlphaClone. Whether you want to completely ape, or “clone”, Warren Buffett’s portfolio or just glean a few stock picks from guru value investor Baupost’s Seth Klarman, AlphaClone can help you monitor those few professional portfolios that consistently outperform the market.
  4. Manual of Ideas: Definitely check out John Mihaljevic’s blog.  There is great information — from screens for best Magic Formula stocks to Manual of Idea’s Downside Protection Report.  There is so much here to noodle.  I know my hedge fund friends are reading this — they’ve sent me past issues.
  5. Cliff Wachtel:  If you’re at all interested in income stocks, you’ve gotta be reading Cliff.  I’m not vouching for the quality of the picks — I don’t know.  What I do know is the amount of work and research he’s putting into uncovering high dividend stocks while trying to protect the downside.  Full disclosue: I’m recommending reading Cliff’s work in spite of our friendship.
  6. Barel Karsan: I don’t know much about the site or the people behind it other than the fact that I like their work and that Saj has recently launched a mutual fund.  Barel does a really good job fleshing out cheap ideas and helping to understand investor psychology.  He’s got numerous pieces on the work that goes into investing.  Good stuff.
  7. Wikinvest: Check out the reams of data Wikinvest is pouring into their research platform. It’s nuts.  What makes this so much more valuable than say a Yahoo Finance is that Wikinvest uses industry metrics.  So, for the above link for Southwest Airlines, Wikinvest looks at arcane things like “Passenger revenue” and “Yield per revenue passenger mile”.  I have no idea what these are but anyone thinking about putting money into an airlines should.  This is how investors think and Wikinvest has done the leg work to present it for free to users.  It’s just awesome.

Let me know what you’re using to scout out new investment ideas.  Post in the comments below.

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