Read. A lot.
Now I am not trying to be coy and I am not saying that you have to read everything that I do or did. What I am saying is that in my opinion much of my first year success can be attributed to reading. Of course that does not really help you because there is a lot to read out there. Therefore, I will narrow it down a bit by giving you five must read blogs.
Now do not get me wrong, there are a lot of great blogs I read. Some blogs are a lot of fun to read like Tale of the Tape, Trading Goddess, and Wall Street Fighter. Other blogs provide great insight into how individuals go about investing and trading like Value Discipline, Trader Feed, Maoxian, Kirk Report, Trader X, and Ugly Chart. Still other blogs are great because they provide daily commentary or links like Daily Options Report, Abnormal Returns, The Learning Curve, and Jeff Matthews. Pretty much any blog you find on my blog roll can add something of value that is why they are there. But there are a few blogs out there that are really special.
They are special because I have found that if you are new and willing to learn they will teach you what you need to know to be successful. In fact I have no reservations in stating that my success this past year was because of what I learned on these five blogs. You will notice that the selected blogs cover the gamut of investing and trading styles, from deep value investing on one end of the spectrum to day trading on the other. Do not let that put you off. They all provide value no matter what your style or time frame.
Consequently, if you find yourself where I was last year, never having bought a stock, never reading any book on the stock market, pretty much having no clue, than all I can say is that if you go to each of these five blogs and read every thing related to the stock market, you should have no problem holding your own. It worked for me.
Here are the Blogs in chronological order as I discovered them:
Shai Dardashti on Grahamian Value. This was the first blog I found and one of the best. It is no longer an active blog with fresh posts and that is why it is an honorable mention. Thankfully a new investor can go and read the old posts which provide a solid introduction to value investing.
1. Geoff Gannon: Gannon On Investing
As I detailed in my blog review, Geoff's blog is simply outstanding.
2. Bill Rempel: Nodoodahs Investing
As I detailed in my blog review Bill is "wicked smart" and it shows on his new blog and his old one here.
3. Bill Cara: Capital Markets & Social Equity
As I detailed in my blog review Bill Cara provides an invaluable resource to a new investor wanting to learn how to invest and trade.
4. Michael Seneadza: Trader Mike
Trader Mike's blog pretty much provides it all. Short term, long term, chart analysis, book reviews, educational links, reviews of trading tools; you name it Mike seems to provide it.
5. Howard Lindzon: Trends - Find Them, Ride Them, and Get Off
Howard Lindzon provides a good understanding of what a trend is and why one should not be afraid. It may sound like an easy concept, but to a new investor it makes all the difference in the world.
That is it. Read the above blogs and I think you will be just fine. Obviously it will not hurt to read investing/trading books, business magazines and newspapers, and anything else that has value. But if you want to know what I focused on and what helped me the most this first year, then go read everything on each of the above blogs.