Stock Analysis

 

I receive emails from Morningstar. This company provides statistics and analysis of just about every publicly traded stock company you can think of as well as voluminous information on mutual funds around the world.

You can ask them about a company's sales, management, marketing plan, their performance within a corporate sector, ratios of all kinds, etc, etc. The have it. After you have gleaned all these facts and analyzed them there is still one unanswered question. If I buy this equity will it go up? You definitely will not get that answer and that is the only answer that means anything. It is the bottom line for all research.

Brokers and financial planners use this type of service to determine if a stock or fund is a "good" buy. When it comes right down to it you must ask, "If I can get this information then so can everyone else so why is it any good?" It isn't. After you have been doing this a few years you will find that it is a useless exercise. Brokerage firms want you to do it so that if the stock goes down they can say to you that it was your decision to buy it based on all those "facts". Yes, you had all that information, but it is nothing more than disinformation.

They tell you that every conservative investor does his homework, his research. The term conservative investor is an oxymoron, like military intelligence or honest politician. There is no such thing as a conservative investment if there is the slightest possibility that you could lose all or part of your money. And that is true in just about everything whether it is stocks, bonds, real estate, collectibles, you name it.

Their ad stated that every month they would have information on the best and most popular mutual funds. Since when has popularity got anything to do with a stock or a fund going up? Fidelity Magellan is one of the most popular mutual funds in the world yet it dropped from $145 to $73 (a 50% loss) and is now trading at $100 still down 31%. Janus Balanced Fund dropped from $25 to $17.50 and has since rallied to $20. TR Price Japan Fund hit a high of $16, fell to $5 and is now $8 still a 50% loss. Did any of their "information" ever tell you to sell? Popularity is not a yardstick for profits.

And they also will give you the hot picks of 150 analysts. You might as well use a dartboard as listen to those guys. They are high priced guessers who put you in and never get you out when something starts down. Morningstar is providing you with information. The information is not worth the paper it is written on.

Their facts are useless even though they are facts. Bottom line: research is worthless.

Copyright 2005

 



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