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Stock Market Investment Analysis

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How do I Evaluate a Potential Stock Investment?

The best way to get started in stocks is to do a great deal of research before you invest any of your own money. Choose a dozen stocks and then follow those stocks carefully for a month or so. Watch how their prices fluctuate. Monitor the overall market. Read everything you can read on the internet and in books and investment journals.

When you finally get serious about investing, start modestly. Try not to get caught up in the lottery mentality or the get-rich-quick mentality that is so pervasive in today's society. Successful investing requires discipline and patience. Invest in stocks that you would not mind owning for a long time and invest with money that you feel comfortable parking in the market for the long term.

Before you invest, make sure that you research the company thoroughly. Start by going to the company's web site. Most companies will have a page or section on investor relations where you will typically find general information as well as detailed financial information. The company's most recent annual report will provide a wealth of information on the direction and condition of the company.

Don't necessarily assume that just because you have heard of a company or that other people have invested in a company that it will make a good investment. Do your own research. Yahoo.com, AOL.com, CNNfn.com, and most other major portals offer free stock quotes, charts and information. If you open an account with a good on-line broker you will generally get electronic access to real-time quotes and information.

It is not enough to learn about the company in which you intend to invest. You must also learn about its industry. You must learn of its competitors and understand how it compares to its rivals. Come to understand how the company generates its profits and how those profits are likely to grow in the future. If the company does not have a well articulated plan to grow both revenue (the top line) and profits (the bottom line), then its stock may languish.

Investment Diversification

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