How to Use the News For Investment Research

How to Use the News For Investment Research

I love the news. I’m a confirmed junkie. When I can’t get at least 3 or 4 newspapers, I go through some series withdrawal.

And I’m not just an old print media guy – as I always have multi-media going. If it’s during the week, that means having Bloomberg or CNBC on the television. Weekends, CNN is the default. And all the while, I’ve got my local NPR news station on.

Now you might not like NPR, claiming that it might be too liberal. There are plenty of NPR programs that just can’t provide enough good press on the current government leadership, while being unable to stop giving bad press to the old leadership that’s been out of power for quite some time now.

But I tolerate the political panderings because NPR also gets me some of the more well researched and documented stories from varied perspectives, locales and sources – including another public broadcasting operation that broadcasts via NPR – known as the BBC.

It used to be that when I traveled, I would find that too many radio stations had lost their ability to fund NPR news and information programming. I would gasp as the local station broadcasted some nondescript classical or overplayed jazz music.

But no more. On my Blackberry (it also works on other platforms) I now have a free service run by Nobex, called Radio Companion, that streams various NPR stations. So, I can get my fix anywhere from Shanghai to Sheboygan.

Your Starting Point for Finding Stocks That Pay

Ok, so I like the news. What does this mean for you?

Well, when it comes to investing, that’s how I get my ideas. You see, I don’t read Wall Street pitches – known in some circles as “research.” This is what makes me different from every other newsletter editor in the market. I form my own ideas, find my own companies and I don’t let others with agendas get in the way of putting things together.

I only look at the charts of stocks well after I’ve gone through the stress testing of what companies are made up of and how and why they generate enough real cash to pay you to own them. Because no reading of a chart’s tea leaves ensures that you will be able to find the right stocks to fund your high yielding retirement income.

Every day – throughout the day – I read, watch and listen to as many things as I can. And I keep score: My investment notebook contains plenty of bits and pieces that I jot down throughout the day. From obscure bits of social, legislative, regulatory, industry and other developments, to specific company news – I put it down.

I’ve been doing some form or another of this all of my professional life – although, as a newsletter guy, my notebooks are now smaller carry-on sized reporter’s notebooks (supplied by Tops via Office Depot) rather than the much heavier trader’s blotters I used during my professional stock and bond trading days.

And as I go through this day after day – I review my notes and in doing so I can put various bits and pieces together to come up with what is coming our way as investors. This can be for better or worse, as developments in the news can send companies or even entire industries to the scrap heap – and thus should be avoided, sold or shorted. In other cases, there can be some big up and coming changes that can propel well-positioned firms and fuel big growth and heavy, high-yielding dividends.

You can see a wonderful example of how to find profits hidden in everyday news in the current furor over bottled water [].