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Using Online Tools to assist Investment Decision Making

As an independent investor one of the areas differentiating me from the professional investment advisor or wealth manager is access to professional investment analysis tools and tracking systems. When I first began managing my own money I focused on the brokerage systems and tools. Although they are quite valuable I have found that using other systems provide me with alternative insights and information. Since then I experimented with various web sites, software and mobile applications. 
 
One of the reasons I became involved with Seeking Alpha is the portfolio tracking tool. Prior to using the Seeking Alpha Portfolio I used a combination of Google Finance, my broker, Yahoo Finance and CNBC-RT Mobile. I also use Excel for the number crunching and tracking as well as maintenance of options targets and entry points. 
 
The key data point that I was frustrated tracking was dividend information. The other systems all contained dividend information but none presented the dividend data for a group of stocks. This is a key advantage that using the Seeking Alpha Portfolio offers.
 
SInce I use Excel and Google it is easy to import holdings into the portfolio system. This lets me track progress and compare dividend yield, payout and expiration dates. It is also an excellent system to track your shopping list and focus on the dividends with cutoff dates to time purchases.
 
The Seeking Alpha Portfolio has grown into a daily reference point for me and an invaluable tool. Using the portfolio system to track companies on your shopping list makes comparisons much more efficient. You can easily track Dividends, Ownership, Debt, and Valuation which are key areas in my decision making.
 
My investment emphasis is on dividend yielding stocks. I generally use options for both purchasing and selling. Creating a portfolio of the stock I have open options on makes managing the data much more efficient, which lets me spend my time on the decision making not hunting down data needed to make a decision. If you are not already using the Seeking Alpha Portfolio tools I urge you to give them a try. I have found that they have saved me time, are easy to use and manage.



Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.