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Stock Portfolio - Seven Questions For Stock Market Success

Any time an investor is looking at companies for stock portfolio diversification; there is a list of seven questions that should come to mind before buying. These questions will help successful traders to discover the strengths and weaknesses of a company, as well as helping to understand the business economics and market position of the company. Such an investigation of a company would fall in the category of fundamental analysis and is important to making a wise decision on the purchase of a company’s shares and to understand the stock portfolio advice that you might receive.

Where does the company get its cash flow?
The value of any asset is the net value of its discounted cash flows. A trader can’t even evaluate a company or give stock portfolio advice unless he or she knows how the company is generating its cash. This is critical and needs to be specific and void of assumptions. Domino’s Pizza is a perfect example of such a need for understanding cash flow. Millions of people recognize the brand for Domino’s. It’s easy to assume that the company generates their revenue from their pizza sales. While Domino’s does make pizzas, many of the actual stores are franchises, separately owned and making products according to the ingredients and recipes of the parent company. In other words, Domino’s creates the pizza and other products that its franchises make. After making this connection, it is easy to see how important the relationship between Domino’s and its franchises is to the company’s value in the stock market.

How much cash does the company generate and how quickly?
After identifying where a company gets its cash flow, the investor need to understand approximately how much income it generates and the timing of the cash flows before giving stock portfolio advice about the company. Because of the time value of money, a company that makes a million dollars today is worth more than a company that makes two million over the next twenty years. Making such connections between cash flow and time is critical to implementing a successful stock market strategy.

Can the company sustain its cash flows?
In a time that many traders can still remember, the American steel industry was considered a blue chip stock and countless analysts advised adding it to a stock portfolio. An extended stock price history of profitability led many investors and analysts to believe that this business would always be strong investment. The past, however, is of little value in projecting future cash flows. One way to evaluate whether a company can sustain its cash flows is to look at the barriers of entry for the industry sector in which the company operates. A new pharmaceutical manufacturer will no doubt struggle trying to enter that sector due to industry giants and oppressive costs of dealing with the Food and Drug Administration. Because of this, such a company might not prove to be a successful investment and its purchase might end up being a bad stock portfolio investment option.

How costly is a business to operate?
Some companies require a great deal of capital to make their profits, while others can operate successfully on very little revenue. A utility company needs billions of dollars each time it opens a new power plant, yet an Internet company can survive on a small amount of ad revenue while it develops its product. The less money it takes to run a business, the more attractive it will be for someone investing in the stock market and the more desirable it is to give investors the advice to add it to their stock portfolio.

Does the company managed in a shareholder-friendly manner?
The approach of a management team towards the shareholders is extremely important in the company?s success. A company that looks at its own investment options, such as repurchasing shares when the stock prices have fallen rather than invest in another company is more likely to create wealth than a one only looking to build its ?kingdom?. A company?s own actions can usually be the best stock market investing advice.

Is the management team true to its word?
A big part of learning how to play the stock market is learning to decipher the difference between a company?s public statements and its actions. An investor's stock portfolio will suffer if a company is included that doesn?t operate honestly is not a good investment.

Is the price attractive?
Simply put, price is the single most important technical analysis tool. The most common metrics for stock technical analysis are found because of the share price. A $20 per share company that earns $6 per share has a yield of 30%, but a $100 per share stock that returns the same $6 only turned a 6% yield, hardly anything that will excite investors or cause a company to be included in anyone?s stock portfolio.

The best investment advice happens to also be the best stock portfolio advice; follow the money flow. If a company is successful at making and sharing its money, it will be a company that has strong investment potential.

Market Direction: The end of the year is an excellent time to evaluate your investing. Not so much the prospects for the coming year, but what could have been improved during the past year. Most investors optimistically project that they will do better the coming year. But they spent little time analyzing what they could have improved upon from the previous year. That is a function of not having an accountable investment program. Did you buy some stocks because some of analysts said that was going to be a strong industry? Did you buy some stocks because the price of gold/crude oil/corn was going to go higher? Did you buy some stocks that were going to improve in price as trade improved with China? There is a multitude of reasons for adding stock positions to a portfolio. Unfortunately, the results of most investment decisions do not have a basis for analyzing whether those decisions were correct.

Candlestick analysis contains one very basic element. The results of specific candlestick reversal signals and patterns can be visually analyzed. Did prices move in the proper manner after the appearance of a specific signal? What was the quantitative result of the returns coming out of a specific candlestick pattern? What other market conditions were occurring that might have made the results of a signal/pattern successful or unsuccessful? The huge advantage for using candlestick analysis is exploiting high probability results based upon centuries of actual experience. Using that information correctly dramatically improves an investor's potential return.

Candlestick signals are merely the graphic depiction of investor sentiment. Investor sentiment has not changed since the beginning of mankind. Investor psychology is directly influenced by emotions. Fear and greed, involved when investors have their equity on the line, will dictate how prices move. Prices will move in an expected manner based upon historical data, the reoccurring thought processes of investors. Candlestick signals are merely the graphic depiction of that data. Learning how to analyze what the result should be after the appearance of candlestick signals/patterns is a very simple but valuable educational process.

"The markets will tell you what the markets are doing." This is one of the first lessons Japanese Rice traders conveyed. Are you just learning how to use candlestick signals? Then go back through your trades from this past year. Analyze each position that was established. Did it work as expected? What were the confirming indicators doing? What were the market/sector indices revealing at the time? Did you come out of a trade too early? Why? Did you stay in a trade too long? Why? It is one thing to analyze charts to learn when to enter or exit trades. It is a much more valuable process to analyze the trade you actually established. Reviewing your trades from the previous year produces a much greater learning process. The analysis can be done with one major factor included. You can dramatically reinforce your investment abilities by recognizing what you have done correctly or incorrectly in the past AND remember what your emotions were doing at the time you were participating in the trade.

What makes a seasoned investor successful? Investing in proven situations that were successful in the past, without the emotional element. That is what the candlestick investor benefits from when using candlestick signals. Nobody is entitled to profits. Profits are the results of buying and selling at the correct times. That has to be learned. The signals, occurring in the proper conditions, produce high probabilities of producing profits. Learn how to utilize candlestick analysis.

"The markets will tell you what the markets are doing." This may seem like a very simplistic statement. But what are all investors searching for? The indicators that show where the profits can be made! The first of the year is a time that most investors reflect upon the previous year and analyze where they want to put their investment funds in the coming year. The holidays are a time when extra time and effort is put into the analytical projections for the coming year. The last two weeks of any year becomes a period where analysis becomes highly concentrated going in the next year. What is the result of that extensive analysis? This information is clearly conveyed through candlestick signals.

Remember the first day of trading for 2006? Specific sectors revealed very strong candlestick buy signals. The oil industry, mining stocks, and the biotech industry came out of the chute last year on the first day of trading. Those signals reviewed immediately what sectors the big money was buying going into 2006.



Whether a technical investor or a fundamental investor, the signals immediately reveal what investor sentiment is doing. Being able to identify where the strong buying is coming into the markets produces a number of benefits. The technical trader can immediately take advantage of a strong price move. The fundamental investor can pinpoint their research analysis to investigate why a specific sector is picking up strength. The candlestick signals are the accumulative knowledge of everybody that was buying or selling during a specific time frame. When a strong candlestick buy signal occurs, this becomes a valuable alert to start researching why a stock/commodity is being bought.

When does the smart money buy? At the bottoms! A strong candlestick buy signal in an oversold condition reveals that somebody has decided that the future has potential. Most investors do not understand what that potential is until the price has moved substantially. The candlestick investor has the advantage of recognizing when to start looking into the fundamental aspects of a company well before the masses. Learn how to use the candlestick signals and patterns correctly. The powerful information conveyed in the signals will dramatically improve your investment analysis.

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Seminar at Sea - April 2007 --- Clear your schedule for a fun and informational investment training seminar on the high seas. Mr. Bigalow, along with other well-known speakers, presents a very informative investment training schedule while cruising in the sun. This becomes an excellent method for combining investment strategies. Each investor has the opportunity to learn valuable investment techniques from highly acclaimed sources at the same time. This produces the opportunity to combine investment techniques. Do not miss this opportunity to gain a wealth of investment knowledge. Not only are these trips informational, but they are also very fun. The speakers are fully accessible for the full week. Full seminar schedule will be posted in our Events & Training category in the future. Interested parties should send an email to receive notification when registration is available. These sessions are in great demand - get on the pre-registration list now to be sure to get your room. Pre-register by emailing us with this line in your email message, "Steve, be sure to keep me informed about the 2007 Seminar at Sea."

Good investing,

The Candlestick Forum Staff


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