Analyzing Growth Stocks: An Important Focus For Any Investor

Analyzing growth stocks is an important focus for any investor. This is especially important, since stocks are an irreplaceable part of any good investment plan, and since unbiased stock research is hard to find. Still, we need to look at the big picture once in a while. Since so much has changed lately, this may be a good time to "take stock". Many have reevaluated their investment strategies. The problem is that many of these reevaluations are moving people away from their goals. As the market has dropped, rather than moving toward buying at the cheaper prices, we've seen people move away from stocks, a strategy which has little long-term benefit.

THE PICTURE

It's all about planning for the future. The first step is to picture the future you have in mind. Most of us already have part of the picture in our sights. We picture ourselves in a home, with food, heat, clothing -- the necessities. Beyond the basics, some of us may picture ourselves raising a family and possibly supporting our kids' education or business ventures or helping them buy their first home. Others may imagine supporting a church or charity, or accomplishing some great humanitarian goal. Most imagine some type of vacation at least once in a lifetime, or a personal goal that we've always wanted to achieve. Regardless of specifics, trying to get as clear a picture of your intentions as possible is an important first step. Once we know where we're going, we can begin mapping our path

THE PLAN

Those who fail to plan, have already planned to fail. It is nearly impossible to reach a goal if there's no strategy in place. Of course, there are a variety of personal decisions and trade-offs involved in any plan, and only a portion of these involve finances. Let's focus here on the financial dimension of the plan, because the financial decisions are often the ones that prevent us from reaching our goals. Financial decisions are never easy, and the issues quite often reach to the core of our being. They involve our deepest values, our choices of what is most important in our lives. If other people are involved in our life, we need to balance our values with those of our families.

Creating the financial plan involves three steps: goal-setting, measurement and implementation.

Goal-setting requires us to determine both the specific achievements we desire and the timing of these achievements. For example, it is not enough to know that we want to own a 1000 square foot home on the beach in Hawaii. We must also identify any time-frames we have in mind. Measurement requires us to evaluate the cost of our goals, and determine our pacing. We must figure out what it will take, then, based upon our timing needs, pace our plan by calculating what the per-year savings must be and the growth rate our saving must achieve to accomplish that goal. Pacing for our goals is the most technical portion of the planning process, and often where people fall down on the job. Inflation in the economy is a complicating factor here too. If we don't take inflation into account, a long-term plan is often doomed. Imagine someone who saved up for 30 years to buy a house, ignoring inflation. She'd have saved up $25,000, and wouldn't be able to afford anything. Her cost calculation must recognize that money loses value over time. Making these calculations can seem intimidating for the inexperienced. We have charts and graphs that we use to assist our clients in making these judgments, but for those who aren't nearby, the American Savings Education Council has some excellent resources on the web that are fairly simple to use.

Once we've gone to the trouble of learning precisely what we need to achieve our goals, its time to begin translating these specifics into an action plan. This is part of the plan implementation. The implementation stage requires us to determine the best way to reach our (now very specific) goals. The factors we will need to look at include income levels, savings decisions, and investment strategies.

Alas, this is all part of the next installment in this column. Stay tuned.

To send comments or to learn more about Scott Pearson's Investment Management Services, visit http://www.valueview.net

Scott Pearson is an investment advisor, writer, editor, instructor, and business leader. As President and Chief Investment Officer of Value View Financial Corp., he offers investment management services to a wide variety of clients. His own newsletter, Investor's Value View, is distributed worldwide and provides general money tips and investment advice to readers both internationally, and in the U.S.

In The News:

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These 18 consistent mutual funds may help you to beat stock market volatility  Economic TimesMany equity mutual fund advisors abhor volatility in the stock market. They are always searching for ways to tackle this beast which gives them sleepless nights.
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Top stocks bought and sold by mutual funds in June 2018  IndiainfolineInvestors should focus on longevity to create wealth. We advise investors to stay invested in those stocks whose growth story is still intact.
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Choose your mobile app wisely to invest in direct mutual funds  Moneycontrol.comSome mobile apps are not updated on regular basis. Often there may be errors in the stocks portfolio of several schemes.
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Here are top buys and sells by mutual funds in August when Sensex, Nifty hit record highs  Moneycontrol.comAmong largecaps, HDFC AMC, Sun TV Network, TVS Motor, Vedanta and Tech Mahindra topped the August buying list of top 10 mutual fund houses which ...
FIIs, MFs bet on 138 stocks in last 1 year; should you buy?  Moneycontrol.comOut of the 138 stocks which witnessed increase in weightage on a year-on-year basis, as many as 14 stocks saw a correction of 20-80 percent in the last 1 year.
Top stocks bought and sold by mutual funds in April 2018  IndiainfolineMutual funds received record-breaking inflows of Rs6,690cr into the mutual fund industry via SIP in April 2018. During FY18, the mutual funds received Rs67 ...
India's Stocks Are Hostage to Fed Rate Cycle, Mutual Fund Giant Says  BloombergQuint(Bloomberg) -- For all the domestic drivers of India's stocks -- from oil to elections to shadow banking shakeouts -- the U.S. Federal Reserve holds the most sway, ...
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Domestic mutual funds are selling these smallcaps and midcaps in hordes. Check out why  Economic TimesNEW DELHI: And you thought midcaps and smallcaps have been under pressure over the past three months because of the Sebi reclassification, requiring ...
Want to invest in ‘value’ stocks like Buffett? Look at these funds  Economic TimesValue investing is a strategy to spot stocks trading below their intrinsic values.
Smallcap watch: 2 stocks that have been big draw among mutual funds  Economic TimesTwo smallcap outsourcing players from the consumer electrical and appliances (CEA) space — Dixon Technologies and Amber Enterprises — have been ...
Best value-oriented equity mutual funds to invest in 2018  Economic TimesEven as the stock market stumbles along nervously, many investors are looking for tools to navigate the volatile times in the market. And suddenly everybody is ...
Should you invest in the new mutual funds categories introduced by SEBI?  Moneycontrol.comWhich of these categories are an option they should explore further and which one of them is good to give a miss?
6 mistakes that small investors make when stock market is doing well, interest rates are rising  Economic TimesThe biggest mistakes happen when markets are doing well. In many cases, the SIP returns are in the red.
List of mutual fund schemes across categories that can help you beat market volatility  Moneycontrol.comSome large-cap funds have a consistent track record of delivering favourable risk-adjusted returns. Here we list some recommendations:
Why stock brokers should get into mutual fund advisory  Morningstar IndiaVatsal Shah on how he diversified his business to build a successful mutual fund practice.
These 24 MF schemes have highest exposure to NBFC stocks. Are you invested in any?  Moneycontrol.comThe higher yield for the commercial papers is due to tight liquidity into the system. Investors raised concerns over the money market tightness amid continuing ...
MF Review: Keep 5-yr investment horizon for Parag Parikh Long Term Equity Fund  Moneycontrol.comThough the fund has done well over past five years, the investors must be prepared to tolerate short-term underperformance in case there is a sudden rally that ...
10 midcap counters where funds have been buying for six quarters  Economic TimesET takes a look at 10 stocks in which mutual funds have been consistently increasing their stakes.
Are smart beta mutual funds better than large-cap MFs?  Economic TimesSmart beta funds seeks to enhance returns from the base index by buying a larger proportion of stocks compared to their share in the underlying index.
How SIPs help investors buy low and sell high despite unpredictability of stock market  Economic TimesSystematic investment plans (SIPs) are the best way to invest in mutual funds. The benefits come as much from psychology as from maths.
The curious effect of mutual fund SIPs on Sensex, Nifty  LivemintMonthly inflows from mutual fund SIPs have more than doubled in the past two years and now stand at ₹7658 crore. This is despite the correction in the markets ...
MNC-themed mutual funds are top performers: Should you buy them?  Economic TimesThe consistent strong performance of MNC themed funds may be a compelling reason for investors to make space in their portfolio for these funds.
MF investors scoop up IT, pharma stocks  Economic TimesMUMBAI: Mutual fund investors are buying stocks in the information technology (IT) and pharma space as a depreciating rupee against the dollar is expected to ...
5 things not to do when the stock market is volatile  Economic TimesIt has been a wild ride for the Indian equity market this past week. The benchmark index, the Sensex, has lost more than 1,700 points since last Monday.

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