Introduction to Shares

Guide: Getting started

When to buy

Follow the market

Before you start, you should begin to develop a feel for the way the markets are operating. There are many ways you can do this. One key source is the traditional media, especially broadsheet newspapers, specialist magazines and television. You can also use the new on line sources, which are becoming increasingly popular.

The Financial Times has the most complete range of information available of all traditional sources, and is still considered to be one of the leading financial papers. However, all the broadsheet newspapers have excellent coverage. There are also plenty of specialist magazines like Investors Chronicle, Internet Investor and Shares. Finally, there are television news programmes like CNN, BBC News 24 and Bloomberg.

Following the growth of the internet, a lot of this information can be delivered on line and free of charge. All the traditional news sources mentioned above have on line equivalents. However, there are sources of information specific to private investors:

  1. Information only sites like Motley Fool (, Interactive Investor International ( and the Street ( can provide plenty of advice. Most search engines and ISPs, like AOL and Yahoo also include financial information for free as part of their service.
  2. On line brokers increasingly provide a range of free research tools to help you. Although you will probably have to open an account, the depth of quality of the information can be much better than for information only sites.

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