In This Chapter
Looking at the best research resources
Figuring out what those annual reports really mean
Deciphering 10-Ks, 10-Qs, and proxies
Placing stock trades
This chapter provides a crash course in researching individual companies and their stocks. Be sure that you consider your reasons for taking this approach before you head down the path of picking and choosing your own stocks. If you haven't already done so, please read Chapter 5 to better understand the process of purchasing stocks on your own.
If you decide to tackle the task of researching your own stocks, you don't need to worry about finding enough information: The problem to worry about is information overload. You can literally spend hundreds of hours researching and reading information on one company alone. Therefore, unless you're financially independent and want to spend nearly all your productive time investing, you need to focus on where you can get the best bang for your buck and time.
If you were going to build a house, I bet that you wouldn't actually try to do it on your own. At the very least, you'd probably find some sort of kit or a set of plans drawn up by others who have built many houses. You can do the same when it comes to picking individual stocks. In this section, I highlight useful resources that allow you to hit the ground running when trying to pick the best stocks. In addition to the resources I cover here, please ...