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Nov 18th, 2009 – 1 Comment

Knowledge is power in the captial markets so be prepared to struggle with new ideas and concepts until you have gained some mastery over the data. Investment research can become an all consuming passion, but make sure that it doesn’t lead to analysis paralysis.


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Lou Schizas is an equities analyst, investor, entrepreneur, professor and television and radio personality – and a true believer in the happiness-inspiring powers of capitalism.


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Hi Lou,

My question is where can I find companies, both public and private, and detailed information about their operations, marketing and current plans. I am trying to read the business section of most of the Canadian newspapers as well as  the New York Times, and USA Today for my search for information on Canadian and US companies. But the result is not that promising. If you have any good tips for me, I would be grateful for your advice.

Thank you.

Kenneth

Hi Kenneth,

Thanks for asking the foundation question for all investors. Finding information from qualified sources is really a question of how much you want to spend for the information. Online sources such as globeinvestor.com provide value at no cost and are excellent when it comes to covering the capital markets in Canada. There is also a premium service, globeinvestorgold.com which is available on a subscription basis, and provides more features depending on what your needs are.

Over the course of my 42 years as an investor I have come to appreciate a number of sources that have served me well. Barron’s is a weekly publication that is available on the news stand every Saturday. It is well written and generates lots of investment ideas that you can follow up with your own due diligence. Lets be clear, no matter what source you are using to generate ideas, it is your responsibility to confirm that the opportunity fits your investment profile. Just because you saw a stock mentioned in a publication, or heard it mentioned on TV or radio does not mean you should buy or sell it!

My favorite investment research platform is the Bloomberg Professional terminal. But keep in mind that it costs over US$1500 a month. The reason that I like the service is that it is so robust and comprehensive . It provides a one stop shop that can save time when conducting investment research. Given the cost I would suggest that you look for a library that might have a terminal, or a business school that provides access to enrolled students.

Other sources of equity idea generation can be found in specialty publications such as The Northern Miner, and Nickle’s Daily Oil Bulletin. Every industry has a journal of record that can provide leads that you can follow up on.

There are also investment newsletters that charge a fee for their publications but can provide a particular view on certain aspects of the investment universe from small caps to fixed income. Another source of information are the websites of the companies that you are researching. I have found that a well designed website with comprehensive information can get you a good way down the road to making a decision.

Knowledge is power in the captial markets so be prepared to struggle with new ideas and concepts until you have gained some mastery over the data. Investment research can become an all consuming passion, but make sure that it doesn’t lead to analysis paralysis.

Happy Capitalism!


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