In this podcast, Motley Fool host Chris Hill and Motley Fool producer Ricky Mulvey discuss some of the best investing resources that won’t cost you a penny. Some you’ll probably know and some you may not. Here’s the full list:
Websites & Writers:
YouTube (we know you know how to find it, but this is a FULL resource list): https://www.youtube.com/
SatPost by Trung Phan: https://trungphan.substack.com/
The Irrelevant Investor: https://theirrelevantinvestor.com/
Aswath Damodaran Courses: https://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/home.htm
Check Your Balances: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/check-your-balances/id1551991071
Plain English with Derek Thompson: https://www.theringer.com/plain-english-with-derek-thompson-podcast
The Watch: https://www.theringer.com/the-watch
To catch full episodes of all The Motley Fool’s free podcasts, check out our podcast center. To get started investing, check out our quick-start guide to investing in stocks. A full transcript follows the video.
10 stocks we like better than Walmart
When our award-winning analyst team has an investing tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Walmart wasn’t one of them! That’s right — they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
Stock Advisor returns as of 2/14/21
This video was recorded on August 31, 2022.
Chris Hill: Enough talk about FoolFest. Today is all about some of our favorite investing resources that won’t cost you a penny. Motley Fool Money starts now.
I’m Chris Hill, thanks so much for listening. For the last two days, we have been coming to you from our annual investing conference, FoolFest. You’ve heard a lot about FoolFest and you’ve heard a lot about being a Motley Fool member. But on today’s show, we wanted to do something a little different and focus entirely on the free. Joining me is someone you’ve heard often on this show, but this is actually the first time we’ve been on together at the same time. It’s Motley Fool Money producer Ricky Mulvey. Thanks for being here.
Ricky Mulvey: Thanks for having me, Chris. I’m a little scared. I don’t know exactly what question is going to come next, but I’m excited to see where this goes. It’s a free day.
Chris Hill: It’s a free day, and there’s a lot of great information available for investors who are willing to pay for information. But we wanted to take a little time and talk about the great information that’s available for free. Let’s start with websites because there are so many great websites out there. I’ve got one on my list, but what do you got? I should say upfront, we are going to be providing this list in the show notes. If you want to take notes while you’re listening, that’s great. If you’re driving your car while you’re listening, don’t take notes. We got you covered.
Ricky Mulvey: No. This is going to be like a T-shirt canon of free content. The one I probably use the most frequently is Investopedia. Anytime there’s a term, basic something like the Inflation Reduction Act, even like macro stuff going on that’s going to hit your investments. I think they do an excellent job at providing, I would say, non-biased breakdowns of new terms and those things. When there’s something in the news about single-stock ETFs that were coming out, Investopedia is the first place I’m going. If you want to buy leveraged positions in individual stocks, they have these single-stock ETFs and I got the breakdown from it from Investopedia. When you did your show with Mina Kimes and she was talking about how she would look up terms from the Wall Street Journal. I can pretty much guarantee you she was going to Investopedia.
Chris Hill: You used the word unbiased and that ties in nicely with the website I was going to talk about, which is EDGAR. Which is the SEC’s website, which is really just this amazing repository of the publicly available information. The place where public companies have to post their quarterly reports, their annual reports, and there are no ads by the way. If you’re just looking for the basic straightforward factual information that companies are required to provide, you could do a whole lot worse than spending time on EDGAR.
Ricky Mulvey: If you want one with a ton of bias, I would go with Glassdoor. I like looking at small caps and it’s hard to find information about those companies, and if you want to see what it’s like to work there, going to Glassdoor is how I usually find out, especially when there’s thinner information. Also there’s a phenomenon among CEOs, which is they will portray themselves very differently in recorded media than perhaps they act when the doors are closed. So I like using Glassdoor to find out what’s going on, and obviously, there’s, I think, juicing on both ends where if people are intensely negative about where they work, they’re going to pipe up on Glassdoor and you got to take it with a grain of salt. I think at this point, a lot of companies are savvy enough to understand that investors look at Glassdoor. One company I looked at, they said, “What’s the problem here? What are the cons? ” Well, there’s no parking? Then for a completely separate company, there was a criticism where someone basically said, “I don’t like that the CEO’s wife is in charge of the Human Resources Department.” Then I dug into that and I said, “You know what, that might be a yellow flag.”
Chris Hill: That might be. The last thing before we move off of websites, because you mentioned CEOs and you and I were talking about this earlier. YouTube can be a good resource in terms of CEO interviews, because so much of financial television is quick hits, its three-minute hits that sort of thing. If you do enough digging on YouTube, particularly for some of the smaller companies, you can find CEOs who were doing, 30-minute, 60-minute sit down conversations, and if you want to go down that rabbit hole, it’s available.
Ricky Mulvey: Bill Mann makes the argument, if you’re going to own a company, you should listen to the CEO speak, and that’s where you’re going to find it. I feel like I should say something smarter than go to www.youtube.com and then search the CEO’s name, but that’s unfortunately the answer.
Chris Hill: Second category we came up with was writers. Because there are so many people providing content, and you can go the news route. But I think you and I, and a lot of the people that we work with on the investing team have writers that we enjoy.
Ricky Mulvey: Yeah. Oh, you’d like me to name one?
Chris Hill: Yes.
Ricky Mulvey: I’m going to go with a guy named Trung Phan, excellent Twitter account, and he has a newsletter called the SatPost. In my opinion, he has these very thought-provoking kinds of, in some cases financial posts, in some cases not so financial. There’s always just like a lot of humor mixed in that genuinely makes me laugh. One of my favorite newsletters that he’s written is just called Why is LinkedIn so Cringe, and it’s a description of why LinkedIn is a terrible website but also profitable and better for users than something like, let’s say [Meta‘s] Facebook or Twitter. The spoiler alert because it’s built more on subscription revenue than advertising revenue. Then he’s had some other ones like he did a financial analysis on how much the Mona Lisa is worth based on what people have paid for similar work. So that’s a comparison analysis, looking at how much revenue would bring to the French government. Obviously it’s all silly because the French government literally has a law against selling the Mona Lisa. But it’s an interesting way of thinking about financial valuation, and I think he’s really a funny writer. I plugged for SatPost. I like what he’s doing there.
Chris Hill: I’m going to go with Michael Batnick, who’s a Managing Partner at Ritholtz Wealth Management. He is also on Twitter, but I know that there are some people listening who are not on Twitter and don’t want to be on Twitter and I get that. But he has a website called The Irrelevant Investor, and it’s just a lot of great content and a nice amount of personality as well. It’s a lot of focus on numbers, but he will throw in references to pop culture and links to recommendations for people who are looking for things outside of the realm of investing. The Irrelevant Investor is a website. Definitely kick the tires on. I think we were talking earlier, we could do a weeklong series on free resources for investors, and one of the great things for us as investors is there are so many resources that are free that you can find the ones that suit your personality. For some people, the writers we’re recommending, they might check them out and be like, OK, this isn’t really the person for me. There are others out there. Whatever you’re into, you’re going to find someone who you click with.
Ricky Mulvey: One of the blog posts on Irrelevant. I think it might’ve been Josh Brown actually. They work for the same firm, but there’s a blog post about how essentially, there is no all-clear signal for market bottoms and he was writing about March of 2009. Then I think that’s one of those written during the first COVID pandemic, but it’s a blog that has helped shape my view on investing in part because it looked at the day the market bottomed. The idea was that it only seemed like things were going to get worse from there. I think they got to get crew their sidebar. Do you think Twitter has made you a better or worse investor? Because I don’t know the answer to that question.
Chris Hill: I think it’s made me a more informed investor because one of the benefits, I think, of Twitter is it is a way to get information quickly. As someone who spends a lot of time focused on financial news, there are times when I will go to a reputable news site, will not find what I’m looking for, and if I go on to Twitter and do 30 seconds worth of searching, I can find what I’m looking for. It’s definitely made me more informed. But you can get trapped on Twitter.
Ricky Mulvey: Not a writer but a professor that I think is worth mentioning, and I believe we’re going to have him on the show in the near future, in terms of just a plethora of information being out there, Aswath Damodaran, all of his classes are free. This barrier that used to exist essentially where if you want to learn how to do valuation, you can attend an NYU class for free, granted like cost money for the certificate, you’re not going to NYU. But there is now a complete breakdown essentially, I would say in information gating. If you poke around a little bit, it’s not too hard to find some great stuff as well.
Chris Hill: Dylan Lewis mentioned Damodaran when we talked last week. I think the first time I heard about Damodaran, it was from Ron Gross and he had mentioned that. I just remember looking at him quizzically and saying, what do you mean he puts everything online? He teaches at NYU and he just puts it? He’s like, “Yeah, it’s all there.”
Ricky Mulvey: He was talking about it on the Billionaire Podcast Network. Essentially, the idea is he said, “Yes, that’s part of my deal there, which is I take more students and they allow me to put out all of my classes for free online,” which I think is really cool.
Chris Hill: Speaking of podcasts, this podcast is free. Rule Breaker Investing with David Gardner is free. The Motley Fool Money version that you can get out of Australia is free, but we’re not here to promote our shows.
Ricky Mulvey: After we just promoted our own shows.
Chris Hill: Exactly. After saying that thing, I’m not here to talk about that thing I just mentioned. But let’s shine a light on some other shows that we like and admire.
Ricky Mulvey: Sure thing. First of all, I think you feel a similar way sometimes, working on a financial podcast for most of your day, when you’re like, “Oh, I want to listen to something during a workout or on my drive home,” it can be a little difficult to justify listening to another financial podcasts so I have a little bit of a workaround. I really enjoy Plain English from Derek Thompson. He’s a writer for The Atlantic. He does this podcast with The Ringer. Great at bringing sometimes macroeconomic stuff, looking at like crypto crashes, emerging technologies like renewable energy. He’s got a really, I think, incisive opinion and he’s an excellent writer, great communicator, and knows how to dig deep on a subject and hold my attention for 40 minutes, which are two very different tasks. Then also in The Ringer universe, I’d go with The Watch. It’s more of a pop culture podcast. But one of the hosts, a guy named Andy Greenwald, a few years ago, he had a show that aired on the USA Network. I think it’s a very good insider look at some of the stuff going on in Hollywood. They seem not only aware but more knowledgeable with the people who are impacted by some of the key players that we often talk about from further down the sidelines.
Chris Hill: Well, and you were talking about Glassdoor earlier, The Watch is one of those shows where if you’re an investor and you’re interested in the people who work in Hollywood, what do they think of Netflix, HBO, Warner Bros., all these different streamings? What is it like for them to work for these companies? You definitely get those types of insights from a show like The Watch. I’m going to mention a show I’ve mentioned before, but I really just think Check Your Balances is a fantastic show for anyone who’s looking for a weekly show. New episodes come out on Wednesdays. It is two former colleagues, Dan Messeca and Ross Anderson, but they went out, started their own business and they have this great weekly show called Check Your Balances where they essentially focus on a single topic. Episodes are about 20, 25 minutes. They have a great rapport and they don’t waste your time. They have a great rapport, but never indulgent and it’s always smart.
Ricky Mulvey: The thing I listened to a little bit of it, probably listened to significantly less episodes from you, but the vibe I got from them is that they come at financial planning with a lot more humility. They had a show I enjoyed called Point Counter Point where they looked at different topics like paying down low-cost debt versus investing or passive versus active investing, when you should take social security. It was just these are the different perspectives on these decisions in which these are very personal decisions and there’s different answers for different people. I liked that they came out it for more of like humility and showing both sides than sometimes you get from a financial advisor show which is this finger-wagging, thou shalt do this kind of thing. I like that one as well.
Chris Hill: Last thing I’ll say is the episodes do have a really long shelf life because they’re not really tied to the news of the day or the news of the week. It’s the thing where you can essentially just scroll through their episode feed and find a topic you’re interested in. Last thing, when it comes to free, you wanted to add a category and that is the public library.
Ricky Mulvey: I came right into the outline and I added the category because when we were planning this episode, you said for the love of all that is good, please do not just say go to the public library. Because if having fun isn’t hard, all you need is a library card, I firmly believe that, but where do you even go? These two ideas don’t involve getting in your car. A lot of public library programs now have apps that you can use. One I really like is called Libby. I get a lot of books and audio books on there and they also have magazines. If I want to look at the economist or something like Fast Company, they let you borrow magazines similar to the slightly more germ filled version that you might find in the sitting room of your public library and I enjoy that.
The other one I like is a little bit less investment-related, but they got Hoopla. That’s more of a streaming one. There are some books on there, but it’s primarily streaming video and some comic book stuff. But one thing I really enjoyed about Hoopla is that they have a lot of great courses on there. If you remember the back page of the New York Times book review when they listed all of the courses that were like 150 a pop, a lot of those are streaming on Hoopla. One I’ve been enjoying and we’ve got a podcast with Brian Stoffel coming out about this, it’s called Think Like a Stoic. I think there are a lot of tenants of the stoic philosophers that can help you and it’s helped me be a better investor. Those are two little paths that you might have at your public library.
Chris Hill: Also, just go to your public library.
Ricky Mulvey: I did realize that I came off is a little bit anti-library. I’m going to say something controversial, but this is a pro library show. I don’t want to come off as an anti-library commentator over here.
Chris Hill: We are pro book, we are pro-reading, and we are defiantly pro library. Ricky Mulvey, really appreciate you being here. Thanks.
Ricky Mulvey: Thanks for having me.
Chris Hill: As always, people on the program may have interest in the stocks they talk about and The Motley Fool may have formal recommendations for or against so don’t buy or sell stocks based solely on what you hear. I’m Chris Hill. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you tomorrow.
Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Chris Hill has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Ricky Mulvey has positions in Meta Platforms, Inc. and Netflix. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Meta Platforms, Inc., Netflix, and Twitter. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.