Dozens of investing websites are bookmarked on my computer, but few are clicked on more than once or twice.
That's because most sites are basically variations on the theme of quotes, news and analysis. What catches my eye are sites that can provide nuggets of information that can't easily be found elsewhere, or that do a better job than others in specific areas like portfolio tracking.
What follows is a tour of some of the bookmarked investing websites I find particularly useful in the writing of this column. Check them out and see whether they belong in your own investing toolbox.
The Bank of Canada bond yield database
Bond yields haven’t always been as low as they are today. When I need to document this, I head to the historical bond yield and interest rate database on the Bank of Canada website. You can find daily, weekly or monthly data for long, medium- and short-term bonds going back as long as 10 years. In addition to getting the daily data you want, you’ll also get a low, high and average yield over the period you’re searching.
The five-year Government of Canada bond yield averaged 2.9 per cent over the past 10 years, peaking at 4.6 per cent in July, 2007, and hitting a low of 1.2 per cent in July, 2012. These days, it’s in the 1.8 per cent range. Want a longer-term view? Try the historical bond yield charts the central bank also offers on its website. The chart for long-term Canada bonds reminds us that yields hit 18 per cent in September, 1981. Oh, to have bought a 30-year bond then.
Historical stock charts
To put year-by-year stock market volatility into perspective, I’ll sometimes look at these charts showing returns going back as far as 1900 for various U.S. stock market indexes and the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond. Take a look at how the long-term rising trend in stock prices has been off kilter since 2000.