How to follow the financial markets effectively

Keeping up to date with the financial markets can seem like a daunting task but it’s a necessary job if you’re managing your own investments and making decisions that could be the difference between making a fortune and losing it all.

Of course you’ll want to subscribe to a reputable financial newspaper like the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal. There are also a multitude of websites that allow you to follow the stock markets in real time, complete with a wide range of tools allowing you to analyse, trade and perform other actions. But while diligently following the Australian Stock Exchange or those in New York or London can give you the hard figures as they happen it’s important to have in-depth background knowledge as well.

Make informed decisions

Following podcasts, TV and radio shows that specialise in the financial market is essential in order to get the in-depth analysisand expert opinion that will help you make informed investing decisions. It’s a good idea to follow several different programmes or podcasts so that you can make your own mind up based on different sources of information.

Many sites have regular blogs to keep you updated on this week’s financial events, while subscribing to a financial community feed like the Hammerstone Institutional Feed can also give you that vital edge in the market as these mix news updates with professional discussion and proprietary index levels.

Keep up to date

How to follow the financial markets effectively

As well as following the stock market and the financial pages it’s important to keep up with general news from around the globe. World events affect currency and share values more than anything else so it’s essential to keep up with global politics as well as business news and any events that could have an impact on a country’s economy, such as natural disasters or changes of government.

These days we have 24-hour access to the news via our computers, smartphones, TV and radio, not to mention the daily papers. The difficulty can be how to keep track of what is important to you without having to spend your entire life sifting through a never-ending torrent of current events.

Filter the news

A good idea is to set up an RSS feed to highlight only those stories you are really interested in. You can aggregate stories from different sources to give you a balanced view of events. Drawing from sources in different countries and at different points on the political spectrum is a good idea in order to filter out bias. You can also set up Google alerts for updates on important stories so that you don’t have to keep checking back in.

If you’re serious about managing your own financial portfolio then you’ll definitely need to dedicate a fair amount of time to following market trends and world events, no doubt about it. There are ways to make this process manageable and more efficient so that it doesn’t completely take over your life. Having a carefully managed RSS feed combined with a well-chosen selection of blogs, podcasts and subscriptions can make all the difference to your financial affairs.

Posted by Hugh Finley