Stock Selection Guide

Researching companies requires many hours of concentrated effort. It can’t be done in a few minutes.  Sure you can get a quick glimpse of a company’s past performance by looking at it’s chart however, if you’re intending to invest money into a company you really need to spend the right amount of time. Research requires a series of steps to get the overall picture of a company. Keep in mind that even though a company looks really good on paper, its no guarantee that it will perform the way you expect.  There are also many daily factors including company news, press releases, national news, buyers, sellers, and many more factors that affect a stock’s movement each day.
Note:Developing your research skills and your trading strategy is a simple step by step process.  However, you must be willing to devote the time required to master these skills.  The following technique is one of many methods use in Technical Analysis.  This process works well for many people however, it may not be your style.  Give it a try.
Step 1.Select your price range according to your cash budget. If you start with $25,000 cash your broker will setup a $50,000 margin account for you. They say that you can buy up to $50,000 worth of stock, however, they don’t often stress that you are borrowing $25,000 from them and they are going to charge you for it. When you are first starting to trade, never, ever, use the margin money. Only trade with your cash and keep your own record of how much money you are spending.Only trade 100 shares of stock or less. Do not make the common get-rich-quick mistake of thinking that you need to trade 1,000 shares of stock. Remember your risk management process. When trading 100 shares of stock with $25,000 cash you can buy stocks with a price range from $0 to $250.00 per share. Remember to save some for the broker’s commission.

If you try to trade 1,000 shares you are limited to stocks priced from $0 to $5.00 per share. Often these lower priced stocks have a price swing of from 0.3c to 12.5c of per share. At a thousand shares that’s only $31 to $125 per trade gross profit. These lower valued stock often have a price swing once a day or once every several days.

However, if you trade 100 shares of a higher quality stock that has a price swing of 3 to 6 points or more per swing then that’s $300 to $600 gross profit per trade. The higher value stocks often have two to three price swings a day and the alert trader can take advantage of at least one or two of these swings each day.

Stay way from penny stocks.

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Select those stocks that have a price that fits your “cash budget”.

Research the chart of your candidates and look for a stock that shows a growth trend. (upward movement) and cut your list down to growth stocks.

Many on-line chart research sites will also display a news history for each stock you look up.  Check the news services for any recent news about your candidates that could influence a change in the stock price. Cut your list down again.

Now, you can either purchase a chart analysis package or you can use free online charting software, or any one of the many on-line research sites. Many on-line brokers provide stock research tools.
Three of the better free on-line chart sites are:

Ok, I know, once you get to the desired chart how do you know what you’re looking at.  Right?  Well, you can start with the reading graphs in the education section.Also, remember all those books you should have read.  Well, now’s the time to go back and read the sections on chart analysis.
Step 2.Look for news reports.  Are they good or bad.  There’s an old saying in day trading, “Buy on the rumor and sell on the news.”   Often, many people think that an announcement of good news will drive the price up.  Hmmm….don’t count on it.

Often, traders are just waiting for news to bring in the buyers so they can sell as the price of the stock peaks.  Ok, I know…how did they know to buy the stock earlier?  Well.. they did their research.

Step 3.Now, how about some heavy stuff.  Yep, the financial statement. Check out the financial basis of the stocks. Do they have good earnings reports? Do they have growing profits? Do they have growing revenues?

What’s that you say? Why worry about financials? Well my friend, for one point, you need to know if the company is going to be around long enough for you to learn how to trade it. That’s right, “Learn How To Trade The Stock”.  This reason will become clear in a few minutes.

Besides, you don’t want to have some news reporter or Wall Street analyst break a story that the company you are trading is just a smoke, magic, and mirrors operation right in the middle of the day, just when you executed a buy order. Opps, too late. Your toast. Yep…it happens all the time.

For now, it’s best to start with the Fundamental Stock Report.  Go to either The at or Google Finance or
As an example, here’s the report for Microsoft who’s symbol is MSFT:
Ok, I know…”How do you read the blasted thing.”  However, for now, get out your books and review the sections on financial data.
Make sure the company is not loaded with debts (Debt/Eq is low)
You can research company information from
Or, you can customize your research at Fiviz
Step 4.Again, we’re going to look at some more heavy information.  It’s the 10K filings report made to the SEC.
There are two sites for this information.  One is EDGAR on-line at  Many people look at these reports to see if the insiders (Corporate Officers) are either buying or selling their stocks.
Step 5.Check out what others are saying about the stocks that you might be interested in.  For starters, signup for the free e-mail stock tips of the various web sites and compare their picks with your research.

Check out the Insider Trading activity at

Step 6.Out of your remaining candidates, pick one stock that appears to meet all of your criteria.Start to watch your stock using the Intraday charts. Learn how the price of the stock goes up and down.

Watch how the stock moves in relation to the DOW Industrial Averages or the NASDAQ Composite depending on which market it is in.

Watch how the stock reacts to world news and the news of other leading stocks. And yes, even to it’s own news.

Learn the various moods of the stock so that you learn to anticipate when it will change price direction.

Once you feel that you know the stock fairly well, start to paper trade it. Once you can consistently paper trade the stock 8 times out of 10, at least 4 paper trades per day, for several weeks, you are ready to start trading the stock in real time.

As you gain experience successfully trading that one stock for at least several months, you will be ready to take on a second stock. Don’t get greedy. Limit yourself to watching two to three stocks as your ultimate goal. No one can keep up with multiple stocks in a fast moving market. In time, you will build up a knowledge of many stocks so that you can switch to another one when the current stock stops showing consistent price swings that make for good day trading.

If for some reason your stock pick doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, drop it and start to study another stock.

Also, remember your risk management process. Use Stop Loss orders on your trades to get you out of a trade should the stock suddenly fall. A good measure for a stop loss is approximately 5 to 8% of the value of the stock and depending on the amount of price swing the stock is making that day. 100 shares of a $60 dollar stock is a $6,000 investment. Your risk position for this stock should be around a stock price of $55 to $56. This means that if the price is rising then, suddenly it drops below $57, you should have a Sell Stop order already in the system for $56.