As students get set to head back to school, it might be a good time to sharpen your own pencil and look at ways to improve your investing research skills. Anthony Okolie speaks with Meagan Henriques, Client Education Instructor, TD Direct Investing, about her top five ways to up your game.
- That's correct. So if we remember, there's so much information out there that it can really be overwhelming for investors to begin their research journeys. So screeners are a great way to be able to input the criteria that matters to you, and the system will filter out the rest. So for example, if it was important to you to have a certain dividend yield, you simply put that into the system, and any company that doesn't match that criteria will get filtered out. This will help you to be more efficient with your time.
- And what about user reports? What should we consider?
- Well, when using reports, again, it's never a bad idea to know what the industry professionals are saying about a company. So reviewing them can be a great way to get that information. That being said, if we were to focus all of our energy into one report, it's like putting all of our eggs into one basket. So it may be more helpful to see what more than one expert is thinking. And if there's conflicting information, looking into why that's the case. And then you'll be able to outweigh some reasons over another.
- For number three, it's always important for investors to be able to stay on top of things like earnings announcements. What's the best way to do that and not miss something?
- So one way to do that is going to be through setting up alerts. That way, if there was an earnings announcement coming up soon that you believe would have a strong impact on the price, you'll be able to stay ahead of it. So you can set up alerts based on market analysis, news, research, as well as some alerts such as price and volume can be sent directly to your phone as a push notification, which I know a lot of investors find useful.
- OK. For this next one, number two, it's not so much about settings, but more about the investment plans available to you.
- Yes. So again, it's going to be important to be aware of plans that are available that can help you build your portfolio. So taking advantage of systematic investment plans and dividend reinvestment plans can be a great way to grow your investments at a low effort. So systematic investment plans are when you're automatically investing money into an investment fund on a regular basis.
So it can even be as low as $25 a month for some mutual funds. That way, you're participating in the market and not staying on the sidelines. Then we have dividend reinvestment plans, which are when you receive a dividend from a company, you can buy more shares. This again allows you to grow your holdings for that company and save on costs, since you're not paying any commission.
- And number one, how you invest, something you refer to as a financial blind spot.
- Yes. So I believe that sometimes investors, and this is including myself, think that we're more rational than we actually are. So by being aware of financial blind spots, this can help us to avoid making certain mistakes. For instance, one of them is called confirmation bias, which is when we seek information that confirms what we already believe.
So if we were researching the internet, reasons company ABC is a good investment, well, the results that we're going to get are going to be biased towards that company being a good investment. Whereas if we were to tweak that search, to pros and cons of investing in ABC company, well, now we're going to be getting the good with the bad, which is going to help us to make more informed decisions.
- So Meagan, that's your top five. But before we go, you also say that access to education is important for clients.
- Yes, that's correct. So in Web Broker, we have a whole Learning Center, which has video lessons, master classes, and webinars, which are free resources that we have for our clients to get more educated when it comes to investing.
- Meagan, thank you.
- Thank you so much, Tony.