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Us failed to innovate and eventually lost out to their competitors

by Nathan Zachary
Outdoor heated blanket

When first learning about the market, new traders and investors can easily become overwhelmed. The digital age has produced an era when anyone can invest or trade. Gone are the days when trading required a broker or intensive training. Traders and investors can now begin trading with little knowledge about the market with the help of analysis tools. E*trade and similar platforms analyze stocks and charts for you and convey the information in a user-friendly interface.

Using analysis tools is not only an easy way to trade, but it can also be a great way to learn how to trade. Traders can invest today and slowly acquire market knowledge tomorrow. Purchasing and holding until the stock reaches a certain price is a common trading or investing method for inexperienced traders or investors. This method of trading or investing is called buy and hold.

This method works, because the market tends to follow a positive trend. When investing properly, the buy-and-hold method will provide security to traders and investors even during periods of turbulent market trends. Investors and traders must stay informed about the companies they’re investing in. There are several questions you should be asking yourself and several variables you should be checking at the moment you are tempted to invest in a company. Keeping an eye on the condition of the company will tell you where it’s heading.

Insider trading
Insider trading is a variable investors and traders must pay attention to. Insider trading is legal when a trader utilizes information already disclosed to the public to decide on their investment. The consequences of an insider trader utilizing information unavailable to the public range from a prison sentence of 20 years to a fine of five million dollars.

The SEC monitors insider trading involving individuals in management positions. Companies must disclose information about directors and others who hold a major stake in the company. Insider trading can be a useful source of information about a company. The selling or buying of a large stake in a company by an insider trader could be an indicator of where the company is heading. You can keep track of insider trading today on various financial sites. One we like is insidertrades.com.

What quarterly reports can tell you about a company
It’s human nature to be lazy. The human brain is wired to look for the most efficient course of action. Your brain doesn’t want to spend hours researching various companies. For your brain, reading a 15-minute article about the top ten companies to invest in this year provides plenty of information. This is an illusion. Failing to plan when purchasing stocks will leave you trading or investing with white knuckles.

Companies that are publicly traded are required by the federal government to release quarterly and annual reports. Investors and traders can find comfort in knowing that the SEC is watching out for the little guy. Quarterly reports are referred to as 10-Q’s, while annual reports are referred to as 10-K’s.

Quarterly reports contain a higher percentage of useful information than annual reports, but annual reports contain more details than 10-Q’s. The quarterly report will include an income statement, information about liabilities and shareholder equity, cash flow numbers, disclosure from management, and information about possible risks the company is facing.

The SEC reviews quarterly and annual reports for a company at least once every three years. Companies that fail to disclose the proper information risk facing possible fines and other penalties. Reviewing a company’s quarterly and annual report will inform you of how profitable the company is and it will reveal the integrity of the company. Major variables you should be checking for are shareholder equities, earnings, and new risks.

Know what service or product your company is providing
When investing, you should have in-depth knowledge about the companies you are investing in. This includes information about what products or services they produce. You should know whether this product or service is in high demand. For example, stretch film is used to wrap food so large companies like practical packaging solutions are almost guaranteed to make a profit.

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Can the company compete against competitors?
Is the company you’re investing in competing in an oversaturated market? Is the company competing against more innovative companies? Companies like Blockbuster and Toy R’ Us failed to innovate and eventually lost out to their competitors. Is the company competing in a shrinking, growing, or dominated market? Asking yourself the following question creates a realistic picture of the market environment the company you want to invest in is competing.

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