Investopedia - The most comprehensive and accessible investing education site on the internet. Covers articles from what is a business and investing to advanced topics like leveraged buyouts and real-estate investment trusts. The first stop for any unknown financial or economic concept.
A Simple Model - A Simple Model is a collection of videos that detail how to build financial models in excel. It exists to make the skill set required to build financial models more accessible. The intention is to create simple material and facilitate the learning process with instructional video.
Macabacus - Macabacus provides detailed walkthroughs of financial modeling, focusing on operating models (including DCF and comps analysis), merger models, and LBO models. The content here is rather complex and assumes existing basic knowledge of accounting and financial models. Go through A Simple Model before this.
For private equity interviews, check out Interview Private Equity: LBO and DCF Financial Modeling Video Training Courses. All blog posts on the website are free, along with a free 10-part email mini-course. There are also 2 online video training courses and a private equity interview prep e-book for purchase and download as well. Interview Private Equity is currently offering a 20% discount off ANY video course exclusively to Brown Investment Group members. Interested students can email Andrew Chen with their student “.edu” address to receive a one-time promo code for use on the purchase checkout page.
Stock Market News and Historical Data
Yahoo Finance - Yahoo's stock market and economics new and data aggregator. Very useful historical financial data provider for companies and economic news. Also has an impressive free stock screener for idea generation.
Google Finance - Google's stock market data site. Provides financial data for companies and one of the more intuitive stock price charts on the internet (also places news events in the chart to explain large movements). Stock screener is rather basic but the news alert feature is great for following companies.
Bloomberg - Famous business and stock market new source. Also provides stock, bond, economic, and company data. You can also access Bloomberg TV live through the site.
Reuters - Synonymous with business news and one of the most well respected news companies in the world. Also has historical company data. Very useful aspect is the industry and sector averages provided for financial metrics for any given company.
Morningstar - While better known for mutual fund research, they do provide company data and news.
FINVIZ - More eclectic source for company data. The most useful features are the "Maps", which show a nice overview of company stock performance broken down by industry and sector, and the "Screener", which lets you screen for a wide variety of metrics and create a portfolio out of the results.
GuruFocus Fair Value Calculator - An automated discounted earnings (not free cash flow) model that can give a quick impression of a company's valuation.
Wall Street Journal (subscription required)
Financial Times (subscription required)
DealBook - NY Times' business blog that focuses on mergers & acquisitions and other important deals in the finance world.
Magic Formula Investing - Targeted stock screener with two simple criteria: high quality businesses (proxied by high Return on Invested Capital) at low prices (proxied by low Price / Earnings multiple). Joel Greenblatt set up this website and designed a passive investing methodology based on buying the Magic Formula stocks at particular intervals and holding each for 12 months. A series of historical backtests revealed significant outperformance of the broader stock market and annual performance of 30% over a 17 year period by following this simple "magic formula."
Blogs and Opinion Sites
Money Stuff - Financial journalist Matt Levine writes a daily (Mon - Fri) blog on headline financial stories for Bloomberg. His writing is witty and engaging, though his understanding of esoteric financial concepts is certainly not lacking. You can sign up to have the blog delivered to your email inbox every day, or just visit the website.
Seeking Alpha - Stock picking site where the articles are written by thousands of individuals. Take what you read with a grain of salt, basically anyone can become a writer. Most useful feature is "Market Currents", which is a tweet-length news blurb feed. You can set up a portfolio and get Market Currents for your specific holdings.
Abnormal Returns - If you're going to follow one blog, make it this one. Site operator aggregates the most pertinent and useful posts from across the blogosphere and some more established news outlets. He posts these linkfests everyday around 1:00pm. Longer articles are posted in the Saturday and Sunday editions.
The Economist - More opinionated articles than straight news but always very well written and relevant. Within the site are a plethora of blogs, the most investing oriented of which are "Buttonwood" and "Schumpeter".
Value Investing Subreddit - Not an official blog or opinion site but it does aggregate interesting articles or news about value investing and security analysis. One of the more useful features is the list of value investing resources in the righthand sidebar. Never has redditting been so productive.
Corner of Berkshire and Fairfax - Online message board for value investors, with discussion on stocks as well as books and general investment strategies. The site's title is a reference to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway and Fairfax Financial, the insurance and investment firm of Prem Watsa, the "Canadian Buffett." Use of the site requires a one-time startup fee of ~$25.
Value Investors' Club - Site dedicated to sharing more robust value investment ideas. The website was originally set up by legendary investor Joel Greenblatt. Free use of the site gets you access to all posts prior to the most recent six months.
UpDown - A basic and intuitive virtual stock portfolio site. User maintains one portfolio with a starting value of $100,000. Performance in this portfolio is used for any of the many competitions hosted on the site. BIG has used this site for our competitions in the past.
Investopedia - A more sophisticated virtual portfolio site that allows you to buy options in the same portfolio as equities. Also has competitions but each competition has a different portfolio.
Upgrade Capital - Upgrade is actually a selective portfolio competition started by an ex-trader to scout trading and investing talent for the hedge fund community. The site has relationships with hedge funds and performance in the competition can start a conversation between students and funds. While the competition favors traders (short time span and risk-adjusted performance doesn't accommodate value investing), participants can submit stock pitches in the weekly competitions and the best entries are selected for a conference call with a portfolio manager. There is also an annual stock pitch competition that can get participants free access to the Value Investing Conference (usually $3,500 - $4,500 per ticket).
Reviews.com - If you want to start trading real money you'll need to open a brokerage account. Turns out there are quite a few discount brokerage firms out there and deciding which one to use can be a hassle. Fortunately there is a very thorough review of pretty much every decent brokerage out there on Reviews.com. Do your own homework as well but this is a great place to start.
Suggested Investing Reading (Beginner -> Advanced)
The Little Book of Value Investing by Christopher Browne
Browne's experience as managing director of investment firm Tweedy, Browne provides examples to support his lessons on value investing, a method of buying stocks that have fallen in price to earn the best return over the long term. Browne's short chapters detail useful and time-tested concepts, including the significance of book value, which foreign economies are worth investing in, and who to watch for investment ideas.
What Has Worked in Investing by Tweedy, Browne Company
Describes over 50 academic studies of certain investment criteria that have produced high rates of return. The investment characteristics explained in this booklet, which are value-oriented characteristics, have been the core of Tweedy, Browne's investment philosophy and stock selection decision making process for more than 50 years.
One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
The former star manager of Fidelity's multibillion-dollar Magellan Fund, Lynch reveals how he achieved his spectacular record. Writing with John Rothchild, Lynch offers easy-to-follow directions for sorting out the long shots from the no shots by reviewing a company's financial statements and by identifying which numbers really count.
The Most Important Thing - Illuminated by Howard Marks
Howard Marks, the chairman and cofounder of Oaktree Capital Management, is renowned for his insightful assessments of market opportunity and risk. Utilizing passages from his memos to illustrate his ideas, Marks teaches by example, detailing the development of an investment philosophy that fully acknowledges the complexities of investing and the perils of the financial world.
The Outsiders by William Thorndike
Having become required reading for investors everywhere, in this counterintuitive book author Will Thorndike brings to bear the analytical wisdom of a successful career in investing, closely evaluating the performance of companies and their leaders. You will meet eight individualistic CEOs whose firms’ average returns outperformed the S&P 500 by a factor of twenty.
The Intelligent Investor by Ben Graham
Graham's philosophy of "value investing" -- which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies -- has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.
The Essays of Warren Buffett, selected by Lawrence Cunningham
Cunningham creatives an organized compilation of Buffett wisdom from over the years by collating excerpts from Berkshire Hathaway's famous annual letters to shareholders. Subject cover not only investing but corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, Berkshire's history, and more.
Margin of Safety by Seth Klarman
Margin of Safety has become a value investing classic. Now out of print, Margin of Safety has sold on Amazon for $1,200 and eBay for $2,000. You might or might not be able to find a PDF of it online.
You Can Be A Stock Market Genius by Joel Greenblatt
Despite the cringeworthy title, YCBASMG is one of the most read books in investing. He covers investment opportunities that portfolio managers, business-school professors, and top investment experts regularly miss—special situations such as: Spin-offs; Restructurings; Merger Securities; Rights Offerings; Recapitalizations; Bankruptcies; and Risk Arbitrage.
The Aggressive Conservative Investor by Martin Whitman
This no-holds-barred presentation of one of the most successful investment strategies of all time -- value investing in distressed securities/companies -- shows you how to analyze and evaluate stocks just like controlling owners.
Security Analysis 6th Edition by Ben Graham and David Dodd
First published in 1934, Security Analysis is one of the most influential financial books ever written. 6th edition has commentary from today's most respected investors such as Seth A. Klarman, Howard S. Marks, Bruce Berkowitz, Bruce Greenwald, and others.
Fooling Some of the People All of the Time by David Einhorn
Details the gripping battle between Allied Capital and Einhorn's Greenlight Capital and describes the failings of investment banks, analysts, journalists, and government regulators. Covers some of the advanced accounting gimmicks Allied's management used so some prior knowledge of accounting is necessary to follow the story.
Suggested Additional Reading
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical.
Black Swan by Nassim Taleb
A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them.
Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder by Nassim Taleb
Taleb reveals how to thrive in an uncertain world. What Taleb has identified and calls “antifragile” is that category of things that not only gain from chaos but need it in order to survive and flourish.
More Money Than God by Sebastian Mallaby
Mallaby gives a detailed history of the hedge fund industry from its very inception through the 2008 financial crisis. He covers hedge funds of all different strategies while retaining an easy to read and exciting narrative. Several particular trades and episodes are covered in fantastic detail. Great for those simply interested in this often misunderstood business.