Information access - I want to invest… How do I know who I should be listening to?
By Nico-Louis Minnie - Investment specialist at Liberty Life
When first confronted by the stock market it may appear as a gigantic, confusing place with an oversupply of information; often leaving a new investor confused about where to start and who to turn to for advice.
Receiving ‘hot’ tips around a braai over the weekend or from your hair dresser or taxi driver are certainly not ideal avenues to access the type of information you should be receiving to ensure your investment is a sound success. So where do you turn to make sure that the information you receive is current and correct?
The ideal would be to always go directly to the source, suggests Liberty’s investment specialist Nico-Louis Minnie. "Before jumping straight into textbooks with the detail behind investing and stock picking, make use of online tutorials and trading simulators/demos. Most local brokerages, as well as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, have online educational content that will teach you all you need to learn about investing on the JSE and trading stocks.” One such site that is recommended for learning the ropes is www.investopedia.com
However, these sites really provide the ‘behind-the-scenes’ learning, how it all works and the various terminology, so whether you prefer getting your feet a little wet, or if you're one of the brave few who dive straight in, there are platforms to assist you to learn the investment ropes.
Minnie reminds us that, "Company accounts are published bi-annually via Stock Exchange News Service (SENS)." In fact, SENS is an absolutely invaluable tool for any investor, as all company data must be published via SENS before being published via any other channel for example, newspapers. Essentially, SENS is that ‘hot off the press’ information all investors are looking for. And best of all, SENS is freely available on most financial websites in South Africa for example www.moneyweb.co.za
Another great source of information is company websites. Usually JSE listed companies have a website with an investor relations section. Here, you'll find historic data, press releases, and presentations and in many cases you can be added onto their mailing list, allowing you to keep up-to-date with their company news.
Sites such as the JSE host online courses, educational videos and information about shares and the market and are a great place to track the performance data of its listed companies.
Lastly, we need to ensure we follow the general news and happenings about the companies that we're investing in. A great service which is free that you can utilise is Google Alerts. Once you sign up, you will receive email alerts, notifying you of company news, mentions and general happenings mentioned on the Internet.
With all this information at your finger-tips in no time at all you'll be entertaining people with snippets about company earnings and growth potential and you'll be the one dishing out the 'hot' tips.
Fleishman-Hillard | Digital. Integrated. Global.
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