Monday, January 21, 2008

ASX Website - A Wealth Of Free Information

The ASX website really is a wealth of free information (please pardon the pun). I am a regular at the ASX website because it's regularly updated with useful Australian stock market investment information - all of it free. For those not familiar with it, the Australian Stock Exchange website is the home of the ASX on the web. In this post, I just wanted to point you in the direction of a few of the useful resources available.

Free Online Sharemarket Investment Courses

The ASX website contains a large number of free online sharemarket investment courses. Topics range from beginner to advanced. Here is a small selection of course titles:
  • Sharemarket Investment Stategies
  • Fundamental Analysis
  • Technical Analysis
And the list goes on. Learning is self paced so you work through the units in your own time. You will need to register as a user of the ASX website to gain access, but registration is free.

Investment Podcasts

Free investment podcasts are made available for a selection of the Investor Hour Seminars. The Investor Hour Seminars are a series of regular presentations at the Australian Stock Exchange on a range of investment related topics. These investment podcasts are made available on the ASX website soon after each presentation has been delivered.

ASX Sharemarket Games

Also on the ASX website you can access the ASX sharemarket game. Participants start with a hypothetical $50,000 to invest. You can test your trading skills against thousands of others. I have tried this game a couple of times but found it was oriented more towards traders due to the short term nature of the game. However, if you are interested in trading the market, the ASX Sharemarket game can be a good way to find out if you are any good.

Listed Company Information

As you would expect on the ASX website, you can view information about all companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Information available includes price data (with a 20 minute delay), listing details, company announcements and dividend history. However, there is no detailed financial data, but you could go to Yahoo Finance or ComSec for that.

I have only scratched the surface or what's available on the ASX website. I recommend you add it to your list of free online investing resources. You can visit the ASX website here.

Update: I know this is not really related, but I've tried to find out more about Walker Thompson Trading Software based on a comment left below.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

How To Invest In Gold

How To Invest In GoldHow To Invest In Gold.

Lots of new investors want to know how to invest in gold, especially with the recent resources boom on the Australian stock market. In this post I will discuss some of the methods available to investors who don't currently have exposure to gold, and who want to learn how to invest in gold.

Before we get started, I just want to make it perfectly clear that this article is about how to invest in gold. I'm not making any recommendations as to whether now is a good time to invest in gold. With gold currently trading at over $1,000 per ounce, it is certainly a long way from it's low point, but who knows how much higher it can go?

Invest In Gold Producing Companies.

There are many gold producing companies listed on the Australian Stock Market, not to mention a plethora of junior explorers if you are looking for a more speculative investment in gold. Buying a gold producer will give you exposure to rising gold prices as well as any upside in the specific company. This may include exploration potential and efficiency gains.

The downside to investing directly in gold producing companies is the company specific risk you will take on. An individual company may underperform the gold price for many reasons. In the worst case scenario, insolvency is not out out of the question. Recall Sons Of Gwalia.

A couple of the larger gold producing companies listed on the ASX include:
  • Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM)
  • Sino Gold Limited (ASX:SGX)

Invest In An ETF.

Investors can gain direct exposure to the price of gold bullion by investing in a gold exchange traded fund. The only gold ETF I know of listed on the ASX trades under the symbol GOLD. Through this vehicle, investors gain beneficial ownership of 1/10th of an ounce of gold bullion for each GOLD share held. Read more about investing in GOLD shares.

Buying an ETF is like buying any other share. They offer liquidity since they are easily traded on the stock market. And if you want to know how to invest in gold with little money, you can investigate the use of leverage with ETF's. Margin lending among other lending products may let you get started with just a small amount of your own money.

Invest In Gold Bullion or Coins.

You can also invest in gold by buying gold directly from gold dealers in Australia. Gold can be bought in a variety of forms including different sized gold bars and coins. Dealers will normally buy at the spot price then charge a commission plus a delivery fee, but there are a few different variations.

Unless you want to want to actually be able to see and touch the gold, ETF's are probably a better option as they will give you the same exposure to the gold price but you don't need to worry about storage and handling.

If you really want to know how to invest in gold coinage, I would suggest you speak directly to a dealer about your specific needs. They will be able to tell you how to invest in gold coins.