How To Research Stocks On Your Own

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.

Discover the Types of Analyst Resumes

An analyst is a person who does all the investigation, examination and researches on any specific area or sector and then implements the required strategies for improved efficiency and higher productivity. These people should have strong analytical skills and also possess strong thinking capabilities. To start a career in this field, the first step is creating an effective resume that should reflect all the analytical skills of the applicant and also the relevant work experience.

There are many types of analyst resume depending on the type and scope of the job profile. Though the basic structure of all the types remain the same but the specifications and keywords used for creating each type of analyst resume. Specified keywords and other specifications should be kept in mind while writing the resume.

Here are some of the most important types of analyst resumes:

Chemical Analyst Resumes

Chemical analyst is a person who should have an eye to drug formation techniques and methods. He or she examines various techniques to get the best possible methods to verify the reliability of drugs and also determine its quality and stability. The resume of chemical analyst should also possess the same analytical skills. It should have strong keywords showing relevant work experience.

Business Analyst Resumes

Business analyst is a person who analyzes and examines all the business processes and takes care of the operations and functions. Depending on new strategies and techniques based on the research, an analyst plays an influential role in improving efficiency and productivity of any business. The resume of business analyst should also comprise skill sets that define applicant’s role as an examiner of business operations. It should also dictate the achievements and accomplishments of the applicant in the same field.

Marketing Analyst Resume

A marketing analyst is a person who analyzes and verifies price, product competition, customer strength, and economic data of various business firms. This helps any firm to take a firm decision on what to improve and where to improve. This also helps to adopt new strategies and techniques to improve business efficiency. The marketing analyst resume should be written in precise and expressive manner. It should contain work experience with relevant skills and abilities.

Systems Analyst

System analyst or computer system analyst is someone who analyzes the technical design and system requirement. He or she is also responsible for development of new software and also implement the deadlines of various projects. The system analyst resume should also explain in detail the analytical skills of the applicant in terms of computer operations and development.

To know more, check Analyst Resumes.

What Sort of Career Centers on Research and Development?

The progress of a company or business relies upon the research and development that comes from employees constantly looking for better approaches concerning issues like management, growth, expansion, and cost-efficiency. If seeking ways to improve a business interests you, it is recommended to consider some of the occupations listed below:

Clinical Research Coordinator

A Clinical Research Coordinator is in charge of the organization of research data concerning clinical projects. Typical responsibilities include selecting and observing subjects, and then helping out with the analysis of acquired information. A high school diploma (or its equivalent) paired with two to four years of related experience is required for this job. An array of tasks is encountered, which allows an employee to exercise their creativity, judgment, and planning skills. It is not uncommon to report to a supervisor or manager. The average annual salary for this job title ranges between $37,063 and $68,018.

Market Research Analyst

The collecting and analysis of data in regards to existing and potential product/service markets is one of the main concerns of a Market Research Analyst. Knowing the competitors within the market and keeping an eye on change within the industry is another important part of pursuing this kind of career. A bachelor’s degree (with zero to two years of experience in the field) is necessary in order to build a working knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures associated with market research. The average salary is seen between $35,182 and $56,999.

Research and Development Director

If you are interested in becoming a Research and Development Director, there is a lot of experience required in order to fill the shoes of this lucrative position. As director, a watchful eye is needed in order to keep tabs on the research and development policies of an organization. You will review and approve objectives and initiatives concerning the future of a company. The research and development programs you back should boost the profitability of a business and hopefully create more of a threat to competitors. A bachelor’s degree with at least ten years of experience in the field is required to apply for this position. Typical salaries are seen between $98,732 and $253,482.

Market Research Manager

As a Market Research Manager, you will manage the activities that take place within the market research department. It will become your duty to oversee the inner-workings of a team of analysts to make sure they follow proper procedures concerning analytic techniques that access the various demands for products and services on the market. You will become a wizard at predicting consumer trends and become responsible for looking over current research projects. A bachelor’s degree in an area of specialty with at least seven years of experience in the field is necessary for this position. It is also important that you are able to lead and work well with others. An average yearly salary for Market Research Manager is seen between $65,538 and $114,791.

Operations Research Analyst

The collection and analysis of data in regards to the evaluation of operational difficulties is one of the many duties of a Operations Research Analyst, who will later suggest the best course of action when it comes to solving issues concerning a company. A bachelor’s degree and zero to three years of experience is required for one to gain a sufficient amount of knowledge for the execution of typical concepts, practices, and procedures concerning your job. Yearly salaries for this position range from $30,126 to $61,010.

Best Companies in Research and Development

When looking for the best companies to work for in the field of research and development, using the Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list could become a rather helpful starting point. Making the list for 2008, FactSet Research Systems Inc. has proven itself worthy in the world of integrated financial information and analytical applications. As a small company, it ranks #20 on the list and captured the #52 overall position on the Top 100.

Another praiseworthy company is Genentech, which showers its employees with an onsite farmers’ market and day care for dogs. Their 401(k) match is rather impressive, where employees also enjoy access to an onsite fitness center, subsidized gym membership, job sharing program, compressed workweek, and telecommuting. The most common salaried job at Genentech is a Research Associate at $85,880. There is also a satisfying balance of minority and female employees in the company.

Market Research Jobs – An Overview

The main focus when working in market research is to help companies understand what types of products people want, determine who will buy them and at what price. Key to the roles is gathering statistical data on competitors and examining prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution, and then analyse the data on past sales to predict future sales. For many roles you need to be quite savvy with Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, whereby the first is used for analysing the data and the second for producing reports and presentations.

In some cases the job involves devising methods and procedures for obtaining the data that is needed by designing surveys to assess consumer preferences. While a majority of surveys are conducted through the Internet and telephone, other methods may include focus group discussions, mail responses, or setting up booths in public places, such as shopping malls, for example.

Often names can be quite confusing with the market research world. In one company a Research Analyst can be bottom of the career path whilst in others this is seen as a quite advanced role. The below list is therefore a generalisation of most common roles within market research (excluding data processing and field roles). Based on firsthand experience, a rule of thumb can be is that progressing from one role to the next takes between 1.5 to 3 years, depending on the company, training & education and drive of a person.

Junior Research Executive / Trainee / Analyst

Most common for graduates & student placements. The role is mainly focussed on reporting, data control and administration. Most likely in this role you will have support from a manager and depending on the team a director and / or more experienced executives. If you work for an agency it is most likely that you will start visiting clients after several months in the job, under guidance of the manager or director. Some areas of tasks are Design/Methodology, Data Management, Data Analysis and Report Writing.

(Senior) Research Executive

Many day to day tasks are similar to the junior or trainee role. The difference is that you will have ownership of reporting / project and become more self reliant. You will be giving the responsibility of projects from start to finish including taking briefs, questionnaire design, reporting and delivering of insight.

When working for an agency it is possible that you will be starting giving parts of presentations or get the responsibility of training / workshops for the client. Other areas that will develop during this time is supporting the manager in sales targets and writing proposals. In some cases you might get the responsibility for generating revenue or extending client contracts.

As you now have experience working in market research, you will be expected to “think outside the box” and use your established experience to break through the boundaries.

Research / Insight Manager

Although this is quite similar to account manager role, the focus of an insight / research manager is on the actual analysis and management of data / projects.

Vital job requirements include direct experience in the area of work (quantitative / qualitative / continuous data etc), an ability to generate insights and the management of multiple, multi-disciplinary projects at once with a strong sense of time management.

Associate Director / Consultant

This role involves providing direction and assist with the development of the team, designing and managing projects with a high level of autonomy and responsibility.

Key aspects of the role are taking projects from kick off to completion, managing a small team to coach them to help them achieve their potential, account management of several clients, and contributing to business development.