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Getting Started in Stock Analysis, Illustrated Edition





Getting Started in Stock Analysis, Illustrated Edition is written for any serious investor or trader who wants to learn the key to identifying profitable trades and understanding the secret to timing for market entry and exit.

Michael C. Thomsett clearly shows how investors in various categories (buy-and-hold, value, and growth) can use the power of analysis to improve their selection of stocks and other securities. The book also provides traders (day and swing traders, speculators, short-term traders) with the basics for utilizing various technical indicators, which will improve entry and exit techniques while helping better manage risks. The book also demonstrates how to combine fundamental and technical skills and recognize that each skill is an aspect of the same cause and effect within the market.

Designed to be an easy-to-use guide,Getting Started in Stock Analysis, Illustrated Edition is filled with accessible explanations and includes a wealth of illustrations, definitions in context, examples, charts, key points, and other valuable resources.

MICHAEL C. THOMSETT has written more than 70 books on investing, real estate, business, and management. He is the author of the eight editions of the bestselling Getting Started in Options, as well as Getting Started in Fundamental Analysis, Getting Started in Real Estate Investing, and Getting Started in Swing Trading all from Wiley.

Acknowledgments ix

Element Key xi

Introduction xiii

Part I Fundamental Analysis

Chapter 1: Financial Statements in Overview 3

The GAAP System 5

Auditing of the Books: Purpose and Process 7

Stockholder Reliance on the Audit 11

Methods of Hiding or Distorting Data 12

The Regulatory Environment 16

Types of Financial Statements 20

Annual Reports 21

Analysis: The Importance of Trends 23

Simplifying the Financial Statement 26

Chapter 2: How Reliable Are the Financial Reports? 31

Publicly Traded Company Reporting 31

The Need for Financial Reporting 33

The Value and Purpose of Fundamental Analysis 35

Long-Term Trends and Ratios 38

Fundamental Risks 41

Contrarian Investing from a Fundamental Perspective 47

Is Buy and Hold Dead? 49

Chapter 3: Balance Sheet Ratios—Testing Working Capital 57

The Balance Sheet in Review 58

Flaws in the Balance Sheet 60

The Importance of Footnotes 63

The Key Balance Sheet Ratios 65

Chapter 4: Income Statement Ratios—Trends and Profits 73

The Income Statement in Review 74

Flaws in the Income Statement 78

The Importance of Footnotes and Management’s Commentary 82

The Key Income Statement Ratios 84

Chapter 5: Five Key Trends Every Investor Needs 93

Trend #1: The Price/Earnings Ratio (P/E) 96

Trend #2: Dividend Yield and Trend #3: Dividend History 100

Trend #4: Revenue and Earnings 106

Trend #5: Debt Ratio 111

Chapter 6: The Annual Report and What It Reveals 121

Sections of the Annual Report 124

The Annual Report as a Marketing Document 130

How to Use the Annual Report 131

Chapter 7: Fundamentals Not on the Statement 137

Dividend Yield, Payout Ratio, and History 138

Market Cap 147

Contingent Liabilities and Other Liabilities 150

Market Value of Long-Term Assets 151

Insider Trading 153

The Value of Good Management 154

Part II Technical Analysis

Chapter 8: Theories and What They Mean 161

The Dow Theory 162

Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) 171

Random Walk Hypothesis (RWH) 176

Other Theories 178

Chapter 9: Charting and Its Value 185

Types of Charts 186

Scaling of Chart Values 191

Candlestick Basics 194

Single-Session Indicators 196

Two-Session Indicators 201

Three-Session Indicators 206

Reversal and Continuation 212

Chapter 10: Trends and How to Study Them 217

Trends as Indicators of Risk 219

Trendlines 222

Channel Lines 224

Triangles and Wedges 227

Chapter 11: Moving Averages and Their Value 237

Simple and Exponential Averages 238

Duration of the Moving Average (MA) 241

Double Crossover between MA Lines 242

Price Crossover Signals 245

Support and Resistance and MA Trends 248

Bollinger Bands for Short-Term Trend Monitoring 250

Chapter 12: Price Indicators 257

Support and Resistance 258

Double Tops and Bottoms 264

Head and Shoulders 266

Flags and Pennants 269

Chapter 13: Volume Indicators 275

Accumulation/Distribution (A/D) 275

Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) 279

Money Flow Index (MFI) 283

On-Balance Volume (OBV) 285

Chapter 14: Momentum Oscillators 293

The Nature of Momentum 294

Relative Strength Index (RSI) 298

Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) 302

Stochastic Oscillator 306

Chapter 15: Confirmation, the Key to Timing 315

What Confirmation Is Not 316

Proximity and Strength of the Signal 317

Setting Rules for Yourself 321

Glossary 329

About the Author 349

Index 351