There was a time when keeping up with the news meant subscribing to your local newspaper or catching the 6 p.m. news on television. In today's environment, we have news available to us 24 hours a day, on television, computers and smartphones.
Keeping current on important news is more critical than ever, especially if you have investments that can be affected by world news. The difficult part is sorting through all of the available news to get to the updates that are most salient to your life. Here are six ways you can keep up with the news while you are on the go.
There are thousands of news websites you can follow or subscribe to in order to stay informed. Many also have social media presences and newsletters you can subscribe to. You can choose homegrown sites or English-language news sites from around the world. The most important stories will be listed first. You can also check the sites on your laptop anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection and on your 4G smartphone. Examples of sites that offer 24/7 news coverage are CNN, Fox News, BBC, New York Times and the Globe and Mail. Most sites allow you to personalize your page so that you see important categories first.
To ensure that you receive the most important news as it happens, you can sign up for breaking news texts through most news websites. Only the news that affects people the most will be texted and it will be a brief headline. If it is a news story that you want more information about, you can follow up on the website for further details.
RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is another method to customize the content that you read on the Internet. Many news sites and financial analysts provide RSS feeds for their content. To read these, you will need to either download a stand-alone reader or use online readers, such as Feedly or Feedbin. Sites that provide RSS feeds have a standard orange and white symbol. When you click on the symbol, the site provides you with the link to the feed, which you paste into your RSS reader. The best thing about using RSS is that you can aggregate all of your relevant news feeds, blog posts and other Internet content all on one page, to give you a snapshot of what is new since you checked last. For example, you could include the business feed from CNN, Nasdaq stock quote feeds and the Politico.com blog feed.
If you want to get all the news about a certain subject regardless of the source, you can sign up for Google alerts on Google.com. Whenever there is a new internet posting about the subject you choose, Google will send you an email alert. You can set your preferences to get updates as they are found or in a daily journal format. For example, if you want to keep up on the ongoing drought around the world and its impact on food prices, you can set up an alert on the keywords, "drought food prices," and you will get updates on articles with those three words in it. You can also restrict your alerts to certain types of content, such as images, video or news.
If aggregating and customizing your own feeds using RSS seems daunting, you can simply read news aggregator websites. Sites like Google News and The Street Sleuth gather news and financial data from all over the web and organize it for you. The major benefit of these sites is that you can discover new online sites and blogs that you may not have been aware of before.
Several news websites give you the option of downloading a program to your computer that runs a news ticker along the top or bottom while you are working. You can customize many of these tickers to only include certain types of news, such as business or celebrity news. This allows you to passively monitor news headlines while you are working on something else. Clicking on one of the ticker headlines will bring you to the news site for the full version of the article. On our site, you can create your own watchlists for the stocks and ETFs you want to follow and we'll send you e-mail alerts when there is news on the companies you care about.
If you prefer hearing your news and current events rather than reading them or, for example, if you have a long commute, you can load up your smartphone with audio updates of breaking news and investing trends and listen to them on your own schedule. News podcasts can include replays of interviews, newscasts, or they may be a daily or weekly summary of recent events. Here is a listing of popular investing news podcasts.
The Bottom Line
There are lots of ways to get your news on the go. You can use one or a combination of them to customize and summarize the information that is important for you.