When To Buy A Stock
95% of investors love to point out that the key to stock market success is to "buy high and sell low," but they rarely, if ever, engage in the practice themselves.
Part of the problem these investors face is they simply don't know when to buy and when to sell.
So far, you've learned what to look for in a stock - a great company selling at a great price.
You've even learned how to calculate a stock's intrinsic value and what constitutes "a great price."
But how do you know when to buy and when to sell?
When To Buy A Stock
If you've followed our lessons so far, then making a buy decision on a stock is quite simple.
Buy a stock when, and only when, it meets the following three criteria...
Criteria #1: Benchmarks for Greatness
Before buying stock in any company, you need to measure the worth of the business. Can you be confident profitability will continue in the near and intermediate future? Can you be sure the company can weather the storms of a possible recession or technological breakthrough? Ask every question you can think of.
Ask, ask, ask...
In addition to answering those questions, make sure you've checked "yes" for most, if not all, of the following benchmarks for greatness...
Criteria #2: The Stock Sells for Less Than Its Intrinsic Value
Check the stock's current price relative to its intrinsic value. Only buy if the stock is selling at a discount to its intrinsic value.
How do you know if that's the case?
Use my customized Intrinsic Value Spreadsheet.
Plug in the numbers for the stock you're considering.
If the Multiple (Line 29) is greater than 5.00, then your passes Criteria #2. It's a good buy.
Criteria #3: A Better Alternative Investment Is Not Available
Perform intrinsic value calculations on all the companies on your Stock Watch List that pass Criteria #1.
If any of those companies has a Multiple greater than the one you're currently considering, then a better alternative investment is available!
For example, let's say you have two great companies you've been watching - Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Proctor & Gamble (PG)...
You've investigated every aspect of each company's business operations. You've answered every question we've covered. Each company meets and exceeds the characteristics we outlined for a great company.
You plug the numbers for both companies into the Intrinsic Value Spreadsheet, and a get a Multiple for each one...
5.51 for Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
6.12 for Proctor & Gamble (PG)
According to our rules, both companies are selling at a price that's less than intrinsic value...!
So which one do you buy?
Following Criteria #3, Proctor & Gamble (PG) is the better investment. So buy P&G.
Nevertheless, in certain situations, you might want to consider buying both as part of a diversified portfolio... After all, you have two great companies both selling at great prices. That's a good problem to have!
However, whatever you do - never, ever, ever...
Pass up the opportunity to buy a great company at a great price in order to buy a great company at a bad price...
Buy That Stock Now!
If you're lucky enough to find a stock which meets or exceeds all of the above criteria, then don't hesitate a minute longer... Buy that stock now!
Ignore the Stock Market
Once you've purchased your stock, continue to track the status of the company's business operations. Make sure it maintains its competitive advantage. Keep yourself up-to-date in regard to new product introductions and services developments.
However, whatever you do, do NOT:
The minute-to-minute and day-to-day gyrations of the stock market have nothing to do with your company's present or future business prospects. So ignore the ups and downs of the market!
What "the market" does on any given day is irrelevant to your company's profitability.
So when you buy a stock, make a long-term commitment. If you purchase a great company at a great price, the market will reward you for a great decision - eventually. In the meantime, it might take years for the market to accurately value a company...
So don't worry if you buy a stock, and it plunges in price the very next day. Even though the stock market averages about 10% per year over the long-term, you'll never have a portfolio that gains exactly 10% year after year.
Your portfolio is going to experience some volatility. At times, it will be extreme.
But if you've purchased a great company at a great price, you can weather these storms in full confidence that you'll be a winner in the end.
The $1 Million Question
Remember our million dollar question from "The Road to Roth IRA Retirement Riches"?
The basic idea is that you shouldn't invest in anything unless you're willing to your whole net worth on the line.
If you're not comfortable linking your entire life fortune with the financial fortunes of a company, then why bother linking part of your life fortune with that company?
So before buying any stock, make sure it passes the million dollar test...
If you're willing to invest your entire net worth in the company's stock and commit to holding that stock for at least 10 years, then don't hesitate to buy if the stock passes the three criteria we addressed earlier.
If you're that comfortable, there must be a reason.
If you're NOT willing to link your entire financial life to the stock in question and commit to holding it for ten years, then...
Why own it for a single minute?
Asking this question of a potential stock purchase helps you to take a step back and gain some perspective on your actual confidence in any investment.
So, to summarize...
Buy a stock when, and only when, it meets the following three criteria:
So, let's say you've found the perfect stock. It's passed every one of our filters so far. Congratulations!
Now, we need to answer one more question...
When do you sell?
Learn When To Sell A Stock >>>
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