Whilst others have provided more than adequate paths to consider to move you on from the basics presented by School of Pipsology, I’d like to comment on your use of the term “preferably free”.
And for the benefit of other newer members, this may be worth contemplating.
I do some (paid) work along the lines of defining “total cost of ownership”, or TCO as it is referred to in the corporate world. Sometimes, people only give you half a story when they wish to sell their wares (products or services).
One side of that equation is the capital cost of an outright purchase. Another is the ongoing support cost after the capital purchase (maintenance, management, replacement timescale that determines the capital amortisation period). Another side of that equation is the collective time spent by all participants that could have been spent on other pursuits. That collective time is always in competition with a plethora of alternatives, and the objective of making a cost / benefit analysis presented as a “total cost of ownership” is to be able to compare apples with oranges when it comes to the benefit relative to the effort expended on following one strategy as opposed to another.
With that over-complicated explanation, it is important to remember that all participants have an internal cost of time. It stands to reason that if your chosen pursuits can result in a greater income per hour than how you currently make your living, then it would be beneficial to promote those pursuits with much time spent. On the other hand, if you knowingly spend more than your internal cost of time prevaricating over what options you should seek (free or paid), then there should be a moment in time that you make that decision, consciously or subconsciously, to spend some money instead of spending more time.
For example, somebody recommends a book to read, to get to the next level. I choose an arbitrary example here - that of Mark Douglas - Trading in the Zone. I only choose this because I have read it twice front to back, and have referred to specific sections countless times over.
Let’s say that you value your time at $20 per hour (GBP 14 per hour for the Brits). You spend an hour contemplating whether or not it is worth following the advice that you asked for. Cost £14. Then you spend 3 minutes looking at the cost of the book. Amazon £33.31. You spend another 5 minutes looking if it is cheaper elsewhere. Amazon – 5 used from £29.99. Ebay £23.85. Saving of 28% from new. Saving of £9.46 or 2/3 of an hour of your time.
You decide to go for second hand – it’s only a book. The cost of the research was 8 minutes and the cost of the book is £23.85. You estimate it will require six hours to read the book. 6 hrs x £14 = £84, so the total “cost of ownership” for the knowledge in this book is just under £100. You could have spent a lot more than six hours searching the internet for “free information” that you have learnt from a recommended source in probably one tenth of the time it could have taken to acquire that knowledge. If in doubt, just work an extra hour or two and make sure you spend that overtime earning on buying the book.
And what is its value to you? Priceless. Just understanding one tenth of this book could save you £100 in one right decision (eg about money management) or £1,000 (eg in backtesting a strategy in a demo account before losing real money).
That is why I think it is of benefit to look at the cost of acquiring knowledge in a different light – that of total cost of ownership and total benefit after acquisition, not in terms of dollars and cents headline cost.
The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.