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Fire Your Stock Analyst!: Analyzing Stocks on Your Own by Harry Domash

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Overblown Competitive Advantages

Factors That Should Make a Difference But Often Don’t

Some supposed competitive advantages sound good but somehow never amount to much in practice. Here are two competitive advantages that you’d be better off ignoring unless you’re an expert in the field.

Patents

The pharmaceuticals industry effectively employs patents as a barrier to entry. However, pharmaceuticals are more the exception than the rule. For instance, tech companies file hundreds, if not thousands, of patents annually. Yet new competitors constantly pop up, and it’s hard to think of a tech name that has turned its patents into an effective barrier to entry.

VISX, for example, made laser systems that enable quick and painless eye surgery to correct ...

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