ca.dividendinvestor.com is purpose-made for dividend investors. As the name suggests, this is the Canadian part of this site. To look up American stocks, remove the “ca.” from the beginning of the URL. I use this site as one of my first sources of information because it is so well laid out, and has dividend information that can go back up to five years for free. If you want more history, or if want to be able to use the screener, you have to sign up and pay either $30 a month, or $300 per year. (These are technically “sale” prices, but I don’t ever remember seeing them charge full price.) The problem with this site is that there is sometimes questionable math (follow link, then click on “Dividends Paid Since”). Corby Distilleries, as they do every few years, announced a special dividend in September 2012. This showed up on Dividend Investor as an increase, and then a subsequent lowering, of the dividend. Being that this was a “special” dividend, saying that Corby’s raised then lowered its dividend is simply not accurate. I use this site regularly because it is so quick and easy to use, but I also need to check the information with a more reliable source.
stockchase.com is a site that records the experts’ opinions from BNN.ca‘s shows, Market Call, and Market Call Tonight, and will even email you daily summaries if you sign up for this free service. While I don’t advocate following the ups and downs of the market on a daily basis, this site has a feature that I have found extremely useful: they have a searchable database of past comments. Seeing what investment professionals have said about a company over a period of months or years can give you a nice overview of a company’s recent progress. You have to remember, though, that the experts have their own investment philosophy, and that they are sometimes wrong in their opinions. Occasionally, the opinions or information given by the experts is muddled or simply incorrect, so don’t take it as gospel.
stockhouse.com I use this site mostly for the “Bullboards”, and only then with a grain of salt. Select “Bullboard” near the top of the page, and then type “T” dot the ticker symbol. (e.g. T.BCE) to see what people are saying. The good news is that the posters on this site are generally fairly knowledgeable. The bad news is that this site seems to have more than its share of trolls. So, while it’s possible to get some thoughtful comments and on occasion, even some useful news, it’s also possible to get some very bad behaviour. People on these boards tend to talk their book, which means they try to promote the stocks they own, so consider the source before you take their opinions too seriously.
TMX.com is the homepage of the Toronto Stock Exchange. As such, they are highly motivated (and able) to ensure the accuracy of all of the information on their site. As you would expect, the amount of information is extensive, ranging from current (delayed) quotes to company news releases, to futures and options information. With a free membership, you are able to create and watch custom stock lists to your heart’s content.
M-X.ca is the home of the Canadian Derivatives Exchange. This is the exchange where futures and options are traded in Canada. (Although you do your actual trading through a broker.) Like the Toronto Stock Exchange, it is part of the TMX Group, which was formed in 2008 when these two exchanges merged. If you’re considering investing in options, you’ll want to spend some time looking at their beginner level webinars. You might also consider attending an Options Education Day in your city. If you plan to go to one of these Education Days, you need to either be a very fast learner or have done some pre-reading so you’re familiar with the basic concepts before you go. The first of these sessions I attended, I already had a fair idea of what options were, and how to use them, but most of the true beginners in the room were beside themselves with confusion within about 20 minutes.
Globe and Mail Watchlist is a resource that I’ve been meaning to get more familiar with. I’ve gone through the rather tedious sign-up process, so I have an account, but I’ve only visited once or twice since then, mostly because I’ve been concentrating on this blog(!). The really nice thing about the watchlist is its customizability. Most websites are set up for the sexier buy low, sell high crowd, and so finding a site that will let you list the current yield of the stocks in your watchlist is nice. There are videos explaining the many features of this site, so I’ll let you watch them, rather than trying to describe all the features myself.
SEDAR.com is the answer to the question: What is “the official site that provides access to most public securities documents and information filed by public companies and investment funds with the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) in the SEDAR filing system”? In other words, its the single site where you’ll be able to find all legal-type documents related to a public company’s dealings. Unfortunately, it’s pretty-much the opposite of a user friendly site. First, select your language, then click on Search Database, then Public Company and then fill the information for the company and time frame you are searching for. I usually leave the Document Type set to All, as that ensures that I will get all information related to that company for that time period. Oh yeah, you’ll also have to complete a CAPTCHA for the first document you open. I usually only use this site if something is quite important, and I haven’t been able to find it elsewhere.
This is a personal list of sites I use. If you know of a site that you think should be on this list, drop me a line and tell me about it. I won’t promise to include it on this list, but may develop another list of user-suggested sites later on. Also, please don’t send me links to any blogs; I plan on developing a separate page for financial blogs later.