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How To Research Stocks On Your Own

Posted on June 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

There are many people who are keen on investing in the stock market, but who are not necessarily confident, or comfortable about making those all-important investment decisions. No matter what level of investment, large or small, it’s important to know something about what you’re putting your money into. So, if you are an investor and are prepared to be self-reliant, then you need to think about how to research stocks and basically become your own stock analyst. This article is aimed at giving the less experienced investor a helping hand in terms of providing some useful guidance on to how to research stocks on your own.

Where Is The Information?

The first step is to begin thinking like an analyst – develop an enquiring mind. You need to find out what to buy or sell and at what price. Analysts usually focus on one particular industry or sector. If it’s a sector then they’ll focus on certain companies. An analyst’s aim is to probe into the businesses of the companies on their list. They do this by analysing financial reports and as much other available information as possible about the company. To cross-check the facts, analysts also dig into the dealings between the company and its suppliers, customers and competitors. Some analysts also visit the company, engaging with its management in order to gain a first-hand understanding of the workings of the company, and so over time they connect all the pieces of information together to get the full picture.

Before making any investment, you should do your own research. It is always better to research several stocks in the same industry so that you have a comparative analysis. However, the biggest constraint in doing your own research will probably be time. Retail investors who have many other things to do may not be able to devote as much time to research as professional analysts. However, you can surely take up just one or two firms in the beginning and test how well you can analyze them. That would help you in understanding the process and with further experience and time, you can add more stocks for analysis into your portfolio.

Can Analysts Help?

Getting your hands on anlaysts’ research reports can be a great way to start your own analysis. That way, you save a lot of time and learn much about your selected company simply by reading these reports. You may not necessarily want to follow their sell or buy recommendations, but you can get a great overview of the company, including its strengths and weaknesses, main competitors, industry outlook and future prospects. Analysts’ reports are loaded with information, and reading reports by different analysts simultaneously would help you in identifying a common thread. Opinions may differ, but basic facts in all reports are usually very common.

In addition it would be wise to take a close look at various analysts’ earnings forecasts, which ultimately determine their buy or sell recommendations. Different analysts may set different target prices for the same stock. Always look for the reasons while reading analysts’ reports. What would have been your opinion about the present stock, given the same information? No clue? Then move on to the next step.

What To Look For?

Let’s take the analysts approach in learning how to research stocks on your own. Firstly, try to understand the various steps involved in analysing a stock. Some analysts follow a “top-down” strategy, starting with an industry and then locating a well-performing company, while others take a “bottom-up” approach, starting with a particular company and then learning about the outlook for the industry. Either way is good, but try to take account to the following:

analyze the industry – there are publicly available sources of information for pretty much any industry. Often, the annual report of a company will give a good overview of the industry, along with its future growth outlook. Annual reports will often also provide information about the company’s competitors in their industry. Simultaneously reading the annual reports of two or three companies should give a clearer picture. You can also subscribe to trade magazines and websites that cater to a particular industry for monitoring the latest industry happenings;

business model – take a look at the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Is it a strong company in a weak industry, or weak company in a strong industry? The strengths of a company are often reflected in things such as its unique brand, products, customers and suppliers. You can learn about a company’s business model from its annual report, trade magazines and websites too;

financial strength – this is arguably the most important element of all when analyzing a company. You need to take a look at a company’s balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statements. Often, the numbers in the financial statements offer more information than the words in the annual report. In case you are not comfortable with numbers, no need to hesitate, just start learning as early as possible;

management – have you ever heard the expression there are no good or bad companies, only good or bad managers? Senior executives are responsible for the management and future of any company, so assess company management and board quality by doing some research on the internet;

growth outlook – it’s well-known that stock prices track earnings, the higher the earnings then, typically, the higher the stock price. Try to find out what you can about where future earnings are predicted to be. This is not too easy and analysts tend to make their own estimates by looking at past figures of sales growth and profit margins, along with profitability trends in that particular industry. It’s basically connecting what has happened in the past to what’s expected to happen in the future. Making accurate enough earnings forecasts is the ultimate test of your stock analysis capabilities, because it’s a good indication of how well you understand those industries and companies;

valuation – if you are able to establish indications about future earnings, the next step is to know about the value, or worth of a company. Analysts need to find out how much the current market price of the stocks is justified relative to the company’s value. There is no “correct” value and different analysts will use different parameters. For example, “value” investors look at intrinsic worth, whereas “growth” investors look at future earnings potential;

target price – try to establish a target price. Once you have established future earnings potential, calculate high and low target prices by multiplying estimated earnings per share (EPS) with the estimated high and low P/E Ratio. The high and low target prices represent the price band within which the future stock price is likely to move in response to the expected future earnings.

Finally

A lot of what is outlined above is really useful in showing you how to research stocks on your own. Ultimately you want to make a profit, and one of the best ways to give yourself the best chance of doing that, and avoid paying someone else to do it for you, is to do your own research. It can be fun, interesting and will certainly increase your understanding not only of the stock market more generally, but also, of those particular stocks and companies that you have an interest in.

Productivity is Not a Bad Thing

Posted on June 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

Productivity is a great thing. I do not believe that you have to schedule every minute of your day or that you have to be in work mode 24/7. I do believe that it is important to do our jobs and do them well — whether you are an investment banker, an office manager, an artist, a stay at home parent, or a research analyst.

I read a lot of books and blogs and I have seen people on both sides of the productivity issue. Some people say “get as much done as possible.” Others have a “who cares about productivity?” or an anti-“life-hack” attitude. Of course, there is everything in between.

The dictionary defines productive in the following ways:

productive

–adjective

1. having the power of producing; generative; creative: a productive effort.

2. producing readily or abundantly; fertile: a productive vineyard.

3. causing; bringing about (usually fol. by of): conditions productive of crime and sin.

It is not a bad thing to produce, to generate, to create. Most everything we have in life was produced–the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the movies we watch, the music we listen to. I would be pretty let down if musicians stopped producing great music for me to listen to. I do not plan on being a hunter or farmer any time soon, so I appreciate the productivity of people who help produce the food that is on my table.

While we often have to go the extra mile at work, or put in more time at certain points, do not work yourself to death. Work is important–but if it kills you, what good is that? Step back for a minute if you feel overwhelmed. Take time for yourself. Relax. Have fun. Take a vacation–even if it means not leaving town, but just spending time at home with family and friends–or alone.

Once you adopt a healthy view of productivity, you will stop seeing it as the enemy. You will not feel as pressured to always be in “go!” mode or to shun the idea entirely.

What is your view of productivity and how does it impact you?

Copyright 2008, Alaia Williams. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the express permission of the author.

Careers As a Research Analyst

Posted on May 18, 2018 in Uncategorized

A research analyst is one who prepares an analysis report based on the research that they convey of the market, product or any business and certain kinds of products or issues. Mostly, this research is done for the upper management in order to have a thorough view of the competitor’s market. The analysis report helps the company to recognize the opportunities in investment or a financial issue that they have.

Career as a Research Analyst

There is comprehensive growth of the research analyst through proper contribution and internal training and development. The career paths of a research analyst progresses as follows:

Research Analyst

Research Analyst is the entry level position where the subject mainly conducts market research at both the primary as well as at the secondary levels. Their analysis provides knowledge about the strategies and trends that have been functional.

Industry Analyst

Industry Analyst creates the overall presentation of the market research in order to evaluate and identify the growth processes. It is an advanced role and requires proper mastery of the industry. One who is an industry analyst should possess proper communicational skill in order to provide the presentation and they should also have leadership skills to excel in their specified industry. Participants in the industry analyst job have entrepreneurial thinking.

Research Director

The next step towards being a research analyst and an industry analyst is research director. The Research Director contributes to the entire management of all the different analysis of the industry by the industry analyst. The manage groups and multiple teams under them. This advanced position requires the candidates to be motivating ad proficient in all different forms of industry analysis.

Program Manager

The Program Manager forms the interface between the client and the research team. They take the primary responsibility to manage the analyst team to ensure the project quality according to the standard of the client requirement. They should meet the standards as well as generate the revenue for the development of the business.

Key Concepts

The research analyst career is highly rewarding in every country. It requires analytic power to properly distinguish the opportunities within an industry. Generally it asks for an advance degree in business, accounting or mathematics. One should have the standard knowledge and the basics about computer. As a part of the organization which makes such analysis reports one can take the opportunities to advance from being a research analyst to industry analyst, director or even program manager. You can advance to masters level or doctorate level if needed.

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