In This Chapter
Using stock exchanges to get investment information
Applying accounting and economic know-how to your investments
Exploring financial issues
Deciphering stock tables
Interpreting dividend news
Recognizing good (and bad) investing advice
Knowledge and information are two critical success factors in stock investing. (Isn't that true about most things in life?) People who plunge headlong into stocks without sufficient knowledge of the stock market in general, and current information in particular, quickly learn the lesson of the eager diver who didn't find out ahead of time that the pool was only an inch deep (ouch!). In their haste to avoid missing so-called golden investment opportunities, investors too often end up losing money.
Opportunities to make money in the stock market will always be there, no matter how well or how poorly the economy and the market are performing in general. There's no such thing as a single (and fleeting) magical moment, so don't feel that if you let an opportunity pass you by, you'll always regret that you missed your one big chance.
For the best approach to stock investing, you want to build your knowledge and find quality information first. Then buy stocks and make your fortunes more assuredly. Basically, before you buy stock, you need to know that the company you're investing in is
Financially sound and growing
Offering products and services that are in demand by consumers
In a strong and growing industry (and ...