An important aspect of investing is researching and understanding trends in the marketplace. I just ran across an interesting article on tips and tricks on becoming a better trend watcher. There are quite a few good resources packed into this article.
I currently use two methods of tracking trends. I am currently addicted to tracking the most popular bookmarked webpages using Pinboard. I also check out the hottest online keyword trends using Exploding Topics. For example, I recently found a great article on how to set up the ultimate home entertainment system by using these services.
I also occasionally use a stock screener to find the top fifty companies with the highest year over year sales growth and quarterly sales growth. I combine that screen with a price to sales ratio to find fast growing companies that might still be undiscovered or selling at a discount for some other reason.
I found Netflix (NFLX) and Nautilus (NLS) a few years ago using this technique. I made some good money off of both of these stocks.