Trading is a game of information. You live and die on the quality of your information. I'm not talking about actual stock price data, but about news. You need to be informed about what's going on in the world to help guide your trading decisions. Of course, with the net, there's a wealth of stuff to read out there - far too much stuff. And of course I'm not helping matters by adding to it :-)
But it's always interesting to hear what other people read. Here's what I follow on a daily basis:
First and foremost is Dr. Brett Steenbarger's excellent Trader Feed blog, right here on blogspot:
Reading this blog has made me a better trader, and a better person. There's something for traders at every level here. Dr. S is smart, creative, and insightful. I can't say enough good things about this. I make sure to never miss a day of this. Check it out.
Seeking Alpha is another great resource for traders. There's always lots of good analysis there:
I also subscribe to the Dealbook from the New York Times:
as well as a series of newsletters from my investment broker, Wells Fargo (formerly Wachovia, formerly Prudential). This is not meant as an endorsement of this company - I'm sure all the other big brokerages offer the same service to their clients.
Finally, I read the free weekly articles from Stratfor:
Not directly market oriented, it nonetheless provides great strategic insights into what's going on in the world of global politics. It's fascinating reading.
I also generally have CNBC going on a separate PC. They're not a great source for investment advice, but I figure if Osama Bin Laden is ever captured or flying saucers land on Wall St., I'll probably hear about it fairly quickly from them.
I don't subscribe to any "pay services". There's just too much good free stuff out there and I don't really have time to read anything else anyway. Also, there's a real point of diminishing returns in reading market commentary. If you read too much, eventually you will accumulate so many different opinions that you'll be no better off than reading nothing.
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