Five free resources to help you invest during COVID-19
As economists and financial experts continue to speculate whether our sharemarket has bottomed out (we can never be sure), investors are champing at the bit to get more information about what to do.
But to avoid information overload or spending hours wading through irrelevant material, it's a good idea to know exactly what you're trying to achieve with your investments and what amount of risk you're prepared to take.
Once you've got this sorted, there's a plethora of free and up-to-date information online for every level of investor, and we're only touching the surface with the sources mentioned below.
1. The ASX
The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) caters to a wide range of investors - from just starting out, to regular investors and those who want to take investing to a whole new level. There are webinars, courses and a regular investor newsletter to subscribe to.
The exchange's latest newsletters have covered topics such as ways to assess your investment fears, risks and opportunities during COVID-19; exchange-traded fund strategies to manage volatility; sharemarket sectors that are better placed to navigate pandemic uncertainty; and investment mistake to avoid in volatile times.
The ASX also offers company information and research, and more importantly helps you know how to use the research. It also provides a list of upcoming floats.
2. CMC Markets
CMC is one of several financial markets trading platforms that offer share trading and stockbroking services as well as the ability to invest in commodities, bonds, contracts for difference (CFDs) and crypto-currencies. They also offer free webinars which cover topics on shares and CFDs for clients and anyone looking to understand the markets and their platform.
Currently there is a biweekly topical webinar from CMC chief strategist Michael McCarthy which looks at managing your risk and trading in volatile markets. He shares insight on what is happening in the markets with a particular focus on the effects of COVID-19. People watching the webinars live can also ask him questions.
3. Fund managers
From Vanguard to Pendal, State Street, Macquarie, Magellan, Blackrock and many more - Australia's top fund managers have lots of free information to access and newsletters that you can sign up for. For example, Vanguard offers basic investment information as well as a range of smart investing articles on Australian bonds, SMSF liquidity lessons from the pandemic, and the age-old debate about index or active investments and what's right for you. Meanwhile AMP Capital's Shane Oliver has one of the most read investment newsletters.
Given the high interest in ETFs during recent sharemarket volatility, each of the ETF providers provide plenty of educational material and videos on their websites too so you can find out what the fund managers are thinking about markets and where they think opportunities are.
Your own super fund will also usually have free information from economists, analysts and financial commentators.
4. The Money Cafe
For those of you who prefer podcasts, The Money Cafe is highly rated. Available on Apple Podcasts and also through the Eureka Report, the podcast with The Australian's James Kirby and finance expert Alan Kohler talks through a whole range of investment and economic issues. These are recorded and uploaded weekly on a Thursday.
Other popular investing and financial wellbeing podcasts are listed here.
5. The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool provides share research and articles written by its stable of resident analysts, including chief investment officer Scott Phillips - a regular Money contributor. Latest articles include discussion about whether it's time to buy banks; how you can get tax-advantaged income with dividends; and how to invest $10,000 in shares. The website offers investment services and paid newsletters also.
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