It feels really odd posting a message unrelated to the crisis, but here goes.
I need some direction and folks here seem really knowlegable about finances. What I want to know is this: how does one go about researching the health of a publicly traded company? I'm a complete newbie at this.
I know how to look up what a company is trading for. I know there's a lot of information on the MSN site about pubic companies. But what I'm after is how to evaluate that information. What to look for. Any general rules of thumb?
Not sure if it matter, but it's not for investing purposes--I'm considering changing jobs. Maybe what I'm asking for is dumb, sort of like asking what stock should I buy? I hope not. I want to do my due dilligence but have no idea how to get started.
By chet on Thursday, September 13, 2001 - 05:37 pm:
Check some of the features. Good easy to understand ideas for every level of trading and research.
By Rob on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 12:01 am:
There is a lot of resources open to you, but one basic thing I would get is a copy of the companies latest financial statements (www.sec.gov and go into the EDGAR database), and then check out advice like the motley fools or other websites might suggest (liquidity, ratios, etc.). Keep your eye on the ball (cash!).
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 03:03 am:
The best advice I could give is "trade what you know." Over a year or more, all those P/E ratios and stuff can change drastically. Just ask yourself if you think a company is going to be doing well in the future, and why. If you don't know, you probably don't know enough about the company to invest in them.
I have a pittance invested in stocks in my Roth IRA - not enough to be a conflict of interest with my work, especially since I can't really touch it until I retire - but it's all in tech stocks.
The only one that lost money is MCI Worldcom, which I invested in on my broker's dumb advice. I'm sticking to the companies I know next.
Take IBM. I have no stock in them, but I would buy it. They're doing good R&D in what I feel are the right places - mass storage, chip fabrication technologies, stuff like that. And they've demonstrated the ability to bring that R&D to market in the past.
By Michael Murphy (Murph) on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 03:14 am:
Just a note on MCI Worldcom -- they're likely to be a good money-making stock in the long run, though depending on when you invested, you could have lost a lot of money...
My dad used to work for Worldcom, and based on what he's said about where the company is heading over the next five years -- you'll get your money back.
By Dave Long on Friday, September 14, 2001 - 11:03 am:
IBM also seems to have taken up the cause of Linux with a firm hand. We got one of those spiffy Z-Series mainframes here at the big B. Multiple Linux partitions...the Linux Virtual Machine. I don't have much contact with it, but we're pretty heavily tied to IBM with a lot of hardware and software. IBM is also really big on Linux. They've kind of adopted it as their own OS to some extent.