In the last year or so, a number of web sites have launched with the aim of making Wall Street accountable for its investment advice. Whether it's the buy/sell/hold recommendations made by analysts, the hot stock picks of a pundit on CNBC, or the latest screaming cover story of Money Magazine, how do we know to whom we should listen? Sites like Bulldog Research, Validea, and MarketPerform all track the stock picks of various professionals and help investors find the cream of the crop.
Another site that launched with a similar mission is StarMine. StarMine analyzes the recommendations of financial analysts and shows their historical performance. StarMine also tracks specific recommendations of stocks.
The site also has a feature called "SmartEstimates," with which they try to make better predictions of a company’s earnings. The site forecasts surprises, both positive and negative, and also highlights stocks where top-rated analysts have wildly-differing estimates than the consensus.
To use the site, you can enter a ticker of a stock you're researching, and you'll see recent trends in the earnings estimates, as well as the names of the top analysts who follow the company. Or you can get investment ideas from the experts who are most highly ranked on the site. If you know the name of an analyst, you can look up his or her report card, too.
Registration is required, but it's free, and you'll also be able to set up notifications so that you'll get an email alert the next time a broker makes a call on a stock you're following.
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