6 Research Tips Traders Can Use to Make Better Investment Picks

If you plan on trading in stock you must do your research. There are many trading strategies, but they are not always appropriate. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when doing your research to pick the best investments.

Create a Plan

Every trader needs a plan before making any investment. With some effort and research, you can come up with a plan that reduces your risks and increases your chances of meeting your goals. Get advice from the experts and put it into consideration.

Create a plan once you understand your goals, risks, and needs. As a general rule, you should start with low-risk investments and progress slowly. It is only safe to invest in high-risk investments after building up on lower investments. Even then, you should understand that there is a risk of losing money.

If you have long-term financial goals, it may be wise to bold investments rather than restricting yourself to small risks that yield minimal rewards. Low-risk investments are more appropriate for short-term goals.

Find Out If the Company Has Competitive Advantage

If a company has no advantage over its competitors, it may not be a great investment pick. When doing your research, find out if anything about the business makes it stand out; it should be difficult to equal or imitate. According to an expert review of Fool’s rule breakers, factors that could give a company a competitive advantage include their patent ownership, research abilities, and operational superiority. If it is hard for competitors to provide what a company does, it earns a strong competitive advantage.

Collect Your Stock Research Material

At the start of your research, pay attention to the company and its financials. Quantitative research includes getting the documents that companies are expected to present to the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission. They include:

Form 10-K

This is an annual report with important financial statements. These documents have been audited so you can use them to review the company, its income sources, expenses, revenues, and balance sheet.

Form 10-Q

This document contains the quarterly update on a company’s financial results and operations. If you do not have much time to do your research, this document can be very important.

Focus on What Matters

After checking out the financial reports, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the numbers. You must narrow down your focus to what really matters. Focus on:


The revenue of a company is the amount that it brings in within a specific period. It is what you see when you first look at their income statement. Revenue may be classified as operating revenue or nonoperating revenue.

Price-Earnings Ratio

Even though you cannot depend on this as a stand-alone metric, it is important. You get it by dividing the company’s stock price by the earnings per share over a specified period, usually 12 months.

Net Income

This is the bottom-line figure. It represents the total amount of revenue that the company earns after covering the taxes, operating costs, and depreciation.

Earnings and Earnings Per Share (EPS)

The earnings per share are calculated by dividing earnings by the shares that are available for trade. The number represents the profitability of a company per share. It makes it possible to compare different companies.

Find Out How the Company Makes Money

Some companies make money in obvious ways. However, others may have more complicated ways. A fast-food restaurant, for example, may not derive all of its revenue from food. It may earn most of its income from franchises. Knowing where a company gets its money from will help you make a good decision.

Put the Research into Focus

There are lots of ratios and metrics that investors must consider before choosing the right investment. Assessing the financial well-being of a company and its stock value is not enough. You must create a comprehensive narrative about the company before making your decision. Think about the factors that make it a good investment pick. You cannot do it without context. Take a close look at the company’s historical data. This includes how it reacts to challenges, its resilience, and its ability to deliver shareholder value.

There are lots of research tools that can make it easy to get a clear look at the big picture.

Doing your research for a stock is like trying to shop for a car. You cannot base your decision on just one factor. Paying attention to the basics of a company is important, but you need to consider the big picture as well. This includes the company’s financials, competition, and historical data.

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