In this guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of how to research stocks so that you can make informed investment decisions. And even if you’re a seasoned investor, it’s always good to brush up on your skills and learn new techniques.
So, let’s get started!
5 Simple Steps for Researching Stocks
How do you research stocks in 5 simple steps? Short answer: in great detail. Each of these steps is pretty straightforward, but you’ll have to take a number of actions and keep good records.
1. Identify Your Investment Goals
Before starting, you need to know your investment goals. Are you looking to generate income? Grow your wealth? Preserve your capital? Once you know your goals, you can narrow down the stocks that might be a good fit for you.
For example, if you’re looking to preserve your capital, blue-chip stocks, such as Apple, Coca-Cola, and American Express, might be good. These are large, well-established companies with a long history of paying dividends.
2. Check Whether the Company Is Financially Stable
This part of stock research refers to looking at a company’s financial statements and ensuring that it has enough cash on hand to cover its liabilities.
That said, look at the company’s balance sheet. You can find the balance sheet and income statements in the 10-K and 10-Q filings. This will show you how much money the company has and its debt.
You can also look at the company’s income statement to see how much money it is making and where that money is coming from. Contact the firm and request a copy of its financial statement or go to its website to view it.
Finally, to master how to analyze stocks you should also include the company’s cash flow statement in your research to see how much cash it has on hand and how it generates that cash.
A company’s positive cash flow reflects the fact that more money is coming into the firm than going out of it over a given time period.
On the other hand, negative cash flow indicates that the company’s outflow is greater than its inflow. However, it doesn’t always imply financial loss. Negative cash flow can also be caused by expenditure and income disparity.
You can find the cash flow statements within the company’s financial statements (on the company’s website under the reports).
3. Analyze the Competition
Next, you’ll want to snoop around the competition. Who are the main rivals? How does the company stack against them? This information will help you understand the market better and tell you how your investment is positioned within it.
There are several different stock research sites that you can use to get started. We recommend using sites like Yahoo Finance, Google Finance, or Morningstar. These sites will provide you with basic information about a company’s financials, competitors, and industry.
4. Understand the Industry
As we mentioned earlier, it’s also important to understand the company’s industry. What is the overall outlook for that niche? Is it growing or shrinking? Make sure you familiarize yourself with the ins and outs before investing your money.
For example, lithium mining stocks are currently a hot commodity thanks to the electric vehicle (EV) industry doing considerably well (lithium is used to create EV batteries).
5. Make Your Decision
Once you’ve done all of your research and know what to look for in stocks, it’s time to decide. Are you going to invest in the stock? If so, how much are you willing to risk? Which investing app should you use? This can also have a big impact on how much you earn.
Basics for Stock Analysis
When you’re analyzing stocks, there are a few basic things you should know in order to interpret the collected data.
Difference Between Fundamental and Technical Analysis
Fundamental and technical analysis are the two most popular methods for analyzing stocks. Fundamental analysis focuses on a company’s financial statements and business model.
Conversely, technical analysis looks at historical price data to identify trends and predict where the stock is headed.
Therefore, if you want to learn how to do research on stocks, you must distinguish the two. The main difference is that the fundamental analysis reveals long-term investment possibilities, whereas technical analysis generally focuses on short-term price changes.
Both fundamental and technical analysis have their merits, but it’s up to you to decide which one is better. If you’re just getting started, we recommend doing both.
When you’re analyzing a stock, there are a few fundamental metrics you should keep an eye out for.
First, you want to look at the company’s financials. This includes its income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement. These documents will give you an idea of how the company is performing financially.
Next, you want to look at the company’s business model. How does it make money? Is the business sustainable?
Finally, if you want to learn how to analyze stocks, look at the stock’s price history. This will give you an idea of how volatile the stock is and how it has performed in the past.
On that note, there are four metrics that every investor should know:
Price-to-Earnings (P/E) Ratio
The price-to-earnings ratio is the share price divided by annual per-share earnings.
You may want to invest in stocks of firms that have high P/E ratios. Why? Because it implies that future earnings are to be expected and that investors are prepared to pay more for them, indicating a solid future performance (aka growth).
The main con of a high P/E is that development stocks are frequently unpredictable; as a result, investing in them is riskier.
The PEG Ratio
If you want to know how to find stocks to invest in, look for their PEG ratio. The PEG ratio is a way to measure how expensive a stock is. In short, it considers the company’s earnings growth and compares it to the stock’s price.
A PEG ratio of less than 1.0 means that the stock in question is undervalued and could be a solid investment. Likewise, if a company’s PEG ratio is above 1.0, the stock is overpriced. Hence, you should always look for equities with a PEG ratio equal to or less than the company’s anticipated growth rate.
Price-to-Book (P/B) Ratio
The P/B ratio is a financial ratio that measures the value of a company’s shares relative to its book value.
What is the book value? The book value is the total value of a company’s assets minus its liabilities.
How to research a stock before you buy it? Use P/B ratios to compare companies within the same industry or sector. A low P/B ratio may indicate that a company’s shares are undervalued relative to its book value. Conversely, a high P/B ratio may indicate that a company’s shares are overvalued relative to its book value.
A P/B ratio under 1.0 is considered a good P/B value, implying that the stock may be underpriced. However, value investors frequently consider companies with a price-to-book ratio of less than 3.0.
How to research a company for stocks? See if it has any debts. The debt-to-EBITDA ratio is a financial metric that measures a company’s ability to pay off its debts.
It is calculated by dividing a company’s debt by its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). The higher the debt-to-EBITDA ratio, the higher the chance that the company will have difficulties paying off its debts.
When you’re researching stocks, it’s important to follow the trends in the industry. By doing this, you can better understand which companies are doing well and which ones are struggling.
Additionally, following industry trends will help you identify potential investment opportunities. There are a variety of ways to stay up-to-date on industry trends. You can read stock analysis websites, subscribe to newsletters, or even follow influencers on social media.
Some of the most active stocks in the US are Tesla, NVIDIA, Apple, AMD, Microsoft, and Amazon.com.
So, what have we learned? First, it’s essential to do your homework before investing in a stock. That means taking the time to understand the company and its products or services and the industry as a whole.
Second, you should keep an eye on financial indicators like earnings and revenue growth and price-to-earnings (P/E) ratios. And finally, don’t be afraid to invest in stocks considered “value investments.” These stocks may not have the highest growth potential, but they can still offer good returns.