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Free Stock Trading and Investing Tools

by Ryan Guina

I’ve recently had an increased interest in the stock market. I know that right now it is more volatile than it has been in recent years, but I also know that over the long run stocks and similar equities are probably going to appreciate. I have also become intrigued by owning dividend paying stocks and compounding those stocks through DRIPs. Over time, dividend investing can be a very successful investment strategy.

While I understand the basics of what stocks are and how trades are made, there are a lot of other details that escape me. I’m very good at saving money and putting it away in retirement accounts where I generally invest in index funds. But I still have a lot to learn when it comes to trading stocks.

New to Trading Stocks?  Try These Free Investing Resources

Free Investing Tools and ResourcesThankfully, there are plenty of free resources available for people, who like me, are learning more about trading stocks and managing their investments. These investing tools range from the beginner to professional level, so there is something for everyone! Try some of these free resources to help you learn more about investing in the stock market, balancing your portfolio, assessing investment fees, and managing your risk tolerance.

When used together, these tools can help you become a more effective investor, help you manage your expenses, and hopefully help you where it matters most – the bottom line!

Personal Capital – Free Investment Portfolio Tool

Personal Capital is a free investment software program that works by importing all your investment accounts and showing you how they work together. You can use this tool to get detailed asset allocation reports on your investments, see how much you are paying in fees for your investments (including your 401k plan), and use this information to see how your portfolio compares to your target asset allocation, based on your age, investment timeline, and risk tolerance. This is one of the most valuable investment tools I have tried, and the free price makes it even more attractive. Visit the Personal Capital site to learn more or open an account.

FutureAdvisor – Online Portfolio Management & Investment Recommendations

FutureAdvisorFutureAdvisor is an easy to use, but very powerful investment portfolio tool. Users can opt to use the free account, which gives analyzes your investment portfolio and makes recommendations based on your current holdings, risk tolerance, and investment timeline. The Premium plan will actually make the trades on your behalf (the advisory fee is lower than what you would find with many other financial advisory firms). To use FutureAdvisor, simply open account, link your investment accounts with their secure servers, and FutureAdvisor will make investment recommendations, including which holdings to sell, how much to sell, what to purchase, and why. The best part is they can also make recommendations for many corporate 401k plans. Not all plans are currently supported, but they are continually rolling out support for new plans. Visit the FutureAdvisor site to learn more or open an account.

MorningStar

MorningStar is one of the most well known and well respected investment analysis and news companies in the financial marketplace. Morningstar offers some of the best value of any free membership in the financial marketplace.

Morningstar Investment ResearchMorningstar Free Membership comes with: Morningstar video reports, articles, investment data, investing tools, free e-newsletters, and investing classroom courses outlining sensible strategies for maximizing your investments. Products available with the free Morningstar membership include Morningstar Discuss, to follow fund families and classes, and Portfolio Manager, to track your investments and watch lists with comprehensive stock, fund, and ETF data. Sign up for a free Morningstar Membership.

Morningstar Investment Stocks Mutual FundsMorningStar Premium Membership comes with: The Morningstar Premium membership comes with everything in the free membership, plus Portfolio X-Ray, Analyst Research, Investment Picks, and more. Morningstar’s Portfolio X-Ray has been rated “Best of the Web” by Barron’s for 5 consecutive years. The Portfolio X-Ray Interpreter goes under the hood of your portfolio to provide a useful allocation, sector, and geographic analysis. It’s a powerful and useful investing tool.Sign up for a 14 day free trial to Morningstar Premium.

TradeKing Online Brokerage Educational Tools

TradeKing.com Blue Shine Button 1 120 x 90A couple months ago I opened a opened a new TradeKing account account as part of their $50 TradeKing promotion. TradeKing is actually a brokerage, but they also offer a lot of free information to their users and to visitors. There are investing tutorials, videos, and columns covering a broad range of investing topics. Even if you do not use TradeKing, I highly recommend using their tutorials. Be sure to check out my TradeKing Review for more information about TradeKing, or visit the TradeKing website to sign up for a brokerage account or get free trading and investment information.

The Street – free Action Alerts Plus trial

TheStreet.com 120x120 Free TrialEver watch Jim Cramer on TV? He’s full of energy and a lot of knowledge about the stock market and current events. Jim Cramer has his pros and cons, but he can also be on the money on certain topics. Cramer founded TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com. Both of these sites offer tons of free articles and other resources.

Free Action Alerts Plus trial. Jim Cramer also does something few people in Wall Street would ever dream to do – he share his trades before he makes them! Action Alerts Plus is a premium service, but Cramer offers a free 14 day trial to Action Alerts Plus.

Wall Street Survivor – free stock trading game

Do you like fantasy sports? Do you like the stock market? If you answered yes to both questions, then Wall Street Survivor is for you. Wall Street Survivor is a free fantasy stock market that allows you to make and track paper trades in a safe, online environment. You can even join investment groups and win cash prizes! Here is a WallStreet Survivor review. There aren’t many places where you can play a free game and win money!

Advantages of Wall Street Survivor:

  • Free to use
  • Win cash prizes
  • Educational opportunities: free training, videos, and tutorials
  • Learn about stock trading without losing money
  • Join WallStreet Survivor for free

These free investing tools offer a lot of value

It’s amazing how much investing and stock trading information can be found in these products. Try one, or try them all, you are bound to learn quite a bit about how the stock markets work and how to make better stock trades and investments.


Published or updated February 20, 2014.
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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Happiness Is Better

I had heard of some of these resources, but others I had not. You ought to do an article on DRIP’s. I know what they are, but other visitors may not. Just a thought.. Thanks for sharing!

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2 Manshu

Morningstar is a very good resource. I’ve never been a fan of stock trading games. I think they do more harm than good because of the “game” connotation.

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3 Ryan

Manshu: I agree, Morningstar is probably the best in the biz. Stock trading games can be a fun learning tool when they are approached with sounds investing methods – not trying to triple your “score”via day trading. :-)

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4 Steve

I really like morningstar as a resource. They have an investor’s classroom that offers short informational courses about valuing companies and quarterly earnings reports. It’s a great resource.

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5 Curious Cat Investing Blog

marketocracy.com is a nice free tool, that lets you manage a portfolio and it tracks your results. I used it to track my results for 2 portfolios for years, in my first one I am beating the market by over 2% annualized (they deduct 2% I think in “management fees” a year to make the returns similar to if you really had mutual fund expenses, plus deducting transaction costs). And I am up 3% annualized in the the other fund (12 stocks for 10 years). Unfortunately both are just down less than the market not actually making money :-(

Value Line is a very good source too (predecessor to Morningstar).

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6 Ryan

Curious Cat: Cool, thanks for sharing! :)

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7 DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad

Ryan– Your recent interest in the market is not misplaced. Now is the time to buy quality stocks that have been dragged down with the bad apples– they are there. Just be prepared to be in these stocks for the long-term.

Look for branded names with strong earnings and a track record of paying dividends.

I am also a big fan of DRIPS– Dividend Reinvestment Plans directly through the companies.

Good post!

More on DRIPS here:
http://divorceddadfrugaldad.com/2008/11/04/drip-your-way-investment-success.aspx

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8 Ryan

I’m a big fan of DRIPs to – but unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of companies cutting their dividends right now due to cash flow issues, or simply to preserve capital. I think investing in DRIPs can be a great way to go, but should only be part of an investment plan. If there is one thing this economy is teaching us, it’s that we need to be prepared for any outcome.

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9 LifeMadeGreat | Juliet

Hi

Seems very comprehensive and as if you’ve spent a great deal of time researching this.

Juliet

P.S. see you at the blog carnival next monday ;)

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10 Ryan

Thanks, Juliet. :)

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