How to Find Good Stock Investment Ideas

How to Find Good Stock Investment Ideas

We all know that opportunity does not come knocking every day. The phrase ‘lightning never strike twice on the same place’ illustrates the point. Investors are successful because they can identify opportunity as well as the courage to act on it. This article is written to identify what constitutes a good turnaround stock investment. Here are several steps necessary in finding your next stock investment.

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Scour the 52 week-low list - This is a useful preliminary screening where you identify stocks that has fallen. While stocks that fall have their own specific problems, it is generally better to buy low rather than high.

Calculate Its Net Cash. The next step would be to gauge the strength of the company’s balance sheet. This is done by calculating the company’s net cash. Net cash is calculated by adding cash equivalents, short term investments and long-term investments in the asset column and subtract it with long-term debt. If possible, you need to find stocks that has a positive net cash valued at 10% of its market capitalization or more. All the companies in our stock portfolio has positive net cash.

Calculate Earning Per Share Going Forward. This step is critical in determining the fair value of the common stock. It is also the hardest part to master in stock investing. Generally, you predict earning per share by constructing your own pro-forma income statements where all its components are based on your prediction of the company. At the bottom of the income statement is the profit/loss figure in which you can convert to earning per share.

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Calculate Fair Value. When you obtain your earning per share figure, you can then calculate the fair value of the common stock. Fair Value differs for various investors depending on their investment objective. With current interest rate environment, I set the fair value when the company can give me a return on investment (ROI) of roughly 7.5% year after year. To give you an idea, an ROI of 1 % means that for every $ 100 you invest, you will get $ 1 back annually. For common stocks, this means that for every $ 13.4 of investment, common stock holders will get $ 1 in profit. As you may know, this translates into a fair Price Earning Ratio of 13.4.

Determine Your Entry Point. You have found the fair value of your stock. It is now the time to decide where and what price you want to buy your investment. Investors’ job is to make money. Therefore, we should not buy a stock at its fair value. We should sell at fair value or if heaven permits, at overvalued level. But, we should buy at below fair value. This depends again on your investment philosophy. If taking 10% return is fine with you, then you can buy a stock that is trading at 10% below fair value. I personally think that investors should buy a stock that is at least 30% below its fair value. This is because of the uncertainty in the earning per share figure of a common stock. As you may remember, we need to predict this earning per share at step # 3. We compensate our inability to forecast earning per share by buying our stocks 30% below fair value.

Other investors might have different ways of picking for their stock investment. But the basic idea is still the same. They want to buy lower than their expected sale price. In our case, our selling price is when a stock reaches its fair value. A lot of investors mistook fair value as the buying point. Hopefully, reading this will change your perception about that.

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