Seeking Alpha: Both Good And Bad For Stock Information

Where can you go to get information about stocks? How about ideas about what stocks to buy? There is a site called Seeking Alpha that is both good and bad for each of these tasks.

Seeking Alpha is a website that has become very popular and constantly growing. But anyone can write stock articles for the site and that right there is one of the drawbacks. The barrier to entry for writers is almost nonexistent which means much of what you read on the site is just someones opinion. You, the reader, have to figure out whether the author knows what they are talking about and that can be hard (since you may know very little about the stock you are researching).

Writers get paid per the amount of clicks they get on their articles so clickbait titles are quite common. I find that the comments below each article often are more enlightening than the article itself and they can also go a long way in telling you whether the author knows what he/she is talking about or just full of shit. I also closely look at the number of followers a writer has before I start reading. Authors who have followers in thousands or tens of thousands usually are more credible than those who have only hundreds of followers.

If you are interested in a certain stock, don't just read that one article that is overly bullish on the stock and has you pumped to push the buy button. Make sure you take a look at all the other recently written articles about that particular stock to see what others are saying. I often find that writers have their point of view and depending on whether they are bullish or bearish, leave out the other side of the story. A stock that looks like a no brainer "buy" after reading that first article might quickly change in your mind to "avoid" after reading differing points of view.

Seeking Alpha can be good for getting breaking earnings news as well as some full conference call transcripts and slides for stocks. This is factual information that isn't tainted by a beginner writer just trying to get clicks by writing a controversial opinion of a stock. So, the Seeking Alpha site can be used to get this type of information which might not be readily available anywhere else.

If you use Seeking Alpha, you need to spend time to get acquainted with what types of information is available there and what can be trusted and what can not. Its a free website which is good but it means you have to be extra careful to learn how to use it properly so you are not getting fooled by inaccurate information or analysis. Go slow and use it as an ADDITIONAL source of information....not the ONLY information you use to research stocks!

I've Been Waiting For The Market To Drop For Years!

You hear it all the time: the stock market will correct at some point. There will be a significant downturn. Stocks can't keep going up forever. Corrections are good and they will happen. When everyone else is panicking and selling, that is the time when you should think about buying.

And like a fool (it seems), I have been waiting for this to happen for years now. Waiting for the market to take some sort of a significant drop so that I can buy in and get a lower (maybe better?) price for the stocks I want to buy. But no.....the market seems to just keep going up.

The end result is that I have lost a lot of money. Not money I have actually lost but lost in the sense that I could have made it and didn't.

Its easy to look at any historical stock chart and point to the places where a person should have bought a stock. But in real life we don't have that hindsight. We don't know when the market is going to go up, down, keep going up, or turn around. We can only guess.

With this bull market going on 8+ years now, I have been guessing wrong for a long time and feel a bit like an idiot. There are so many stocks I could have bought and wanted to buy but held off on hoping for a better price. Hoping to get them when the market took its inevitable correction that has never come.

I have lots of cash to invest but the question for years now has been: should I buy here near or at the market's top or wait for that pullback? That pullback that never seems to come but I know is out there somewhere.