There are thousands of online investment services, some published by brokerage firms, some published by news organizations like CNBC and Bloomberg.  Generally I ignore any advice promoted by news organizations or brokerage houses.  They usually have alternative motives and I doubt really care if you make money or not.

   Then there are bulletin boards on almost any stock you are interested on and you can find some interesting facts about a company, however you will also meet a lot of trouble makers sharing unsupported business advice, and even bad language or arguments between different readers.  These bulletin boards, or message boards, are run by Yahoo Finance, The Motley Fool. and a number of other sources.  The amount of garbage on these boards drove a group of seasoned investors to migrate to  

   ValueForum is a private investment club where members pay about $200 a year to belong and this has a big effect upon who the members are.  Generally speaking, the members are older professional people with backgrounds in many different industries and they all share their knowledge and due diligence.  You are strongly criticized for promoting a stock you own if your motivation is to increase awareness of the stock driving up price.  Most members would block your future posts, and your postings would not be seen by those members that are personally blocking you.  If you were to publish something that a number of members thought was off topic, or too political, they would give you an OT (off topic) rating and your post would be moved to an area they call the coffee shop that is designed for more freedom of posting.

     Value forum has a way where you can evaluate a stock and give it a buy/sell/short rating and you can get leads from that.  But one of the best ideas is quarterly they have a stock picking contest that pays a couple hundred dollars to the winner.  Using this group, you can see which people are doing well and what stocks they have in their contest portfolio.  One member creates a spread sheet of all these stocks and shares it with the group.  It a great source for finding stock choices.  

    Value Forum has a group of gold bugs, a group of Divi Lovers, many day traders, put and call groups and in the future there will be other groups that will become popular as the market changes.  These are not formal groups, but you get to learn what different individuals like for investments.  Currently I am over loaded with high dividend stocks and I average about $15 percent dividend yield with some paying as much as 20%. 

    Another good thing is once a year ValueForum hosts an InvestFest where about 200 members get together for a weekend and listen to new ideas from many speakers in different industries.  In many cases the most interesting speakers are from our own group.  There is an InvestFest scheduled for March 31 thru April 3 2011 in Washington DC.  The year before it was held in Las Vegas.  They tend to switch coasts every year.  Currently there are 1362 members and they come from app parts of the world.  Some from Taiwan, Briton, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and probably others I don’t know about.  The value comes from sharing knowledge from each other and growing as a group.  What ever your tastes, you will probably find it on ValueForum.  

   They also have an information page on each stock showing current news, recent posts, current yields and prices and a chart of the stock.  This page gives you the Beta rating, Day’s Range, 52 Week Range, Book value, EPS, PE, Exp Div, shares outstanding and market cap.  These things can be found many places on the Internet, but ValueForum also provides the information.

   VallueForum also allows you to form private groups where group members can share information without it becoming public knowledge.  Joining these private groups brings many benefits that I can not mention here.  You can form your own private group and control who has access

    ValueForum also  encourages you to put your personal information on a page where other members can learn your background and determine if you know what your talking about.  Obviously if you just graduated from High School you will have less credibility than some one that spent 30 years working in the oil industry.  Some are professional financial advisors, or stock brokers, mortgage brokers, and a lot of retirees, and they have knowledge to share.

   Most everyone has a code name that we know each other by, but I used my last name “Halling” and it doesn’t seem to make a difference.  If you do sign up for FalueForum, give Halling credit so he can get a free month of membership. bills them selves as “The discussion community for investors who don’t swim with the crowd”  You can log on and see what is available, but the links to articles will not work until you become a member.

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