Retail Investor .org


Three Objectives of This Site
HOW TO USE DATA: There is way too much financial data on the web. This site gives you forms and procedures for collecting, organizing and using data effectively in decisions. It gives you tools for proper measurement so you can compare investments and keep track of your results.

IMPLICATIONS AND SOLUTIONS: Definitions and factual presentations of financial products and processes are everywhere on the web. This site takes you beyond the facts to understand and appreciate the implications of those facts and the issues you must anticipate. It presents your choices for dealing with those problems.

CRITICAL THINKING: This site is essentially contrarian. It tries to show how many ideas have little, if any, substance. Most retail investors learn from the media and web sites where an accepted doctrine is repeated. This site presents counter arguments to confront and contradict the errors in that doctrine - factual errors and errors of logic. Hopefully you think through the issues for yourself and weigh the evidence without bowing to the popular opinion, or what you 'want' to believe. This was the driving force behind the creation of this web site.

In many cases only particular arguments are de-bunked - beware not to generalize to larger issues. A prevailing attitude of both investors and 'experts' is "You are either for us or against us". Once you have chosen your 'side' then any argument, no matter how ludicrous, becomes valid. This site attacks individual arguments without necessarily disagreeing with some general position. The objective is a more nuanced understanding.

This Site is for Advanced Investors.
Beginners would be wise to learn the accepted doctrines, before using this site. There is a page of links to education sites, and specific topic articles. The rest of this site presumes you already listen to investing news, you already know the lingo and basic issues, you are familiar with financial statements and the calculations for ratios.

If you already know the accepted doctrines, you will still benefit from the first section here on "Investing Basics". It includes ideas the other sites ignore - information that is necessary for even the most basic ETF investing. WARNING - no one should consider themselves qualified to pick individual stocks based on the knowledge from the Investing Basics section only.

What's On This Site
All the web pages are listed in the index to the right. Many large pages have their own menu at the top. Excel spreadsheets are used extensively to prove points, help you make decisions, and to generate graphs. Many use advanced functions in their calculation. Be sure you have the Analysis Toolbar enabled ( >>Tools >> Add-Ins). All Excel files are available with the safe .xlsx extension on the Spreadsheets page. Within the main contents though, most links are to .xls files. You would be correct to be wary, but macros are never used, so they are equally safe. If you don't own Excel the free software from OpenOffice is excellent, although charts often don't render correctly.

Links to pages on outside sites open in a new window you can leave open and return to later. Links to other pages on this site open over-top the page you are looking at.

Have FUN
  • It's fun to match wits with 'the market'.
  • It's fun to learn about different companies and different business problems.
  • It's fun to test your mental toughness.
  • It's fun to win and make money!