10 numbers every investor should know

Savvy stock pickers know that a few simple formulas and a little math can reveal the difference between a buy and a bust. Here are 10 key investing ratios, what they mean and how to use them.

 of 12
 of 12

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

71Comments
Jan 7, 2014 9:02AM
avatar
A young Black kid asks his mother, "Mama, what is Socialism, and what is Racism?"

    

    "Um, well, Child... Socialism is like when white folks work every day so we can get all our benefits. You know...
    free cell phones for every family member, rent subsidy, food stamps, EBC, free healthcare, utility
    subsidy, and on and on, ...you know.  Well, that's Socialism."

    "But Mama, don't the white people get pissed off 'bout that?”

    "Oh. Well, sure they do, Honey.  That's what's called Racism."
Jan 5, 2014 3:53PM
avatar

Article states P/E is calculated by "...dividing earnings per share by the stock price".  That would be E/P.  P/E is dividing stock price by earnings per share.  How can something so basic be published incorrectly....does no one proof read this stuff? 

Jan 7, 2014 8:59AM
avatar
THE GOVERNMENT'S NEW SYMBOL IS THAT OF A CONDOM,
because it more accurately reflects
the government's political stance....

A condom allows for inflation,
halts production,
destroys the next generation,
protects a bunch of dicks,
and gives you a sense of security
while you're actually being screwed !


Damn, it just doesn't get
more accurate than that !
Jan 7, 2014 9:05AM
avatar
Excellence is punished.
Mediocrity is rewarded.
And dependency is to be revered.
This is present day America.
When people rob banks they go to prison.
when banks rob people they get bailed out!!!!!
When the government robs the taxpayer they get re-elected.
IN GOD WE TRUST
Nov 13, 2013 8:41PM
avatar
The only number that matters right now is 85 billion/month in QE.
Jan 7, 2014 9:04AM
avatar
In the 2004 Illinois Democrat primary race for the U.S. Senate, front-runner Blair Hull just happened to be forced out of the race after David Axelrod just happened to manage to get Hull’s sealed divorce records unsealed, which just happened to enable Obama to win the primary, so he could face popular Republican Jack Ryan, whose sealed child custody records from his divorce just happened to become unsealed, forcing Ryan to withdraw from the race, which just happened to enable the unqualified Obama to waltz into the U.S. Senate, where, after a mere 143 days of work, he just happened to decide he was qualified to run for President of the United States.
 
“Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society.” –Aristotle
Jan 7, 2014 8:58AM
avatar
THE ONLY NUMBER THAT IS OF ANY IMPORTANCE???????

I GOT OBAMA'S NUMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NOW THAT OBAMA HAS PROVEN HIMSELF TO BE A LIAR SINCE WAY BACK WHEN!!!

I FEAR THAT THE REAL DANGER IS NEVER FINDING OUT HOW MANY LIES HE HAS REALLY TOLD!!!!!!!!!


 "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, 'the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
   ~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006


"PERIOD"

Jan 7, 2014 9:02AM
avatar


Fifty-year old manure spreader. Not sure of brand. Said to have been produced in Kenya.
Used for a few years in Indonesia before being smuggled into the US via Hawaii.

Of questionable pedigree. Does not appear to have ever been worked hard. Apparently, it was pampered by various owners over the years. It doesn't work very often, but when it does it can sling sh-t for amazing distances. I really don't want it hanging around getting in the way. I would prefer a foreign buyer to relocate the manure spreader out of the country. I would be willing to trade it for a nicely framed copy of the United States Constitution.

Location: Currently being stored in a big white house in Washington , D.C.
Nov 14, 2013 11:10AM
avatar
10 numbers to tattoo on the forehead of every financier, career politician, lobbyist, economist, analyst, administrator, inheritor, alumni and old wealth loser...

1. $700 TRILLION in derivative instruments used for terrorism, not recovery.
2. $85 BILLION in QE that went to the top 5% and NEVER trickled to Main Street.
3.  90 MILLION fellow Americans with ACTUAL skill sets terminated and blocked from jobs.
4. TOO MANY universities graduating cheaters & text peckers who can't read, write or do math.
5. THOUSANDS of billionaires when ONE is too many to sustain economy.
6. 1999- the year we got the Gramm Leach Bliley Act & Goldman Sachs IPO. 
7. 1986- the year the Tax Reform Act passed, last year BIG paid a fair share in taxes.
8.  5 years-- too long for Obama Agenda that hasn't resolved ONE relevant issue or crisis.
9.  8 years-- the length of time it took George W. Bush to destroy America's future.
10. ONE- the number of GROUPS that need to prevail above all others for our survival. It's name? THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. All others be damned, FOCK OFF and DIE.
Nov 14, 2013 12:19PM
avatar

BigBrute,

 

$17.1 Trillion and $3.6 Trillion matter a bit also!  ;)

Nov 19, 2013 8:46PM
avatar
Very informative article. I liked it.
Jan 7, 2014 9:01AM
avatar
Do you remember September 29, 1959 ?

 

He also said that “we will bury you”… meaning economically.

 

   Scary......................Do You Remember Sept 29, 1959?

          

DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN HE APPEARED AT THE U.N.............

 

AND BANGED HIS SHOE ON THE PODIUM?

THIS WAS HIS ENTIRE QUOTE:


WE'RE ALMOST THERE

 
 
Jan 7, 2014 1:13AM
avatar
Hey, No law-life is hell; don't you find it strange that all us republican trash are on here commenting? Aren't we all supposed to be too stupid to read and form intelligent opinions? But somehow, I find that there are far more conservative minded types commenting on here than liberals. Hmmmm....
Jan 7, 2014 8:59AM
avatar
OUR LIVES HERE IN AMERICA ARE PARALLELING THAT OF OUR BELOVED COMPUTER SYSTEMS!!!

OUR GOVERNMENT - - -  GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT!!!

OUR POPULATION - - -  GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT!!!

OBAMACARE = GARBAGE IN = GARBAGE OUT!!!!!

OUR FUTURE?? - -  YOU FIGURE IT OUT!!!!!


Jan 9, 2014 11:27AM
avatar

I am a CFP and I will tell you all you need to know about investing right here.  Keep in mind this is free advice so you get what you pay for.

1. Ratios might be important to a mutual fund manager, but are worthless to your average investor.

2. Avoid stocks (unless you are a gambler) and invest only in mutual funds.

3. Virtually all stock brokers and financial planners are crooks (unless charging an hourly fee for advice - good luck finding one, there is no money in it compared to commissions).  All they want is to get in your pocket via commissions - PARTICULALRY ONES THAT SELL INSURANCE PRODUCTS - annuities, whole life, etc.

(IMPORTANT INSIDER NOTE - THESE IS AN INVERSE CORRELATION BETWEEN COMMISSIONS ON INVESTMENT PRODUCTS AND WHAT IS TRUELY IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.  WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN.  I AM GENERALLY AGAINST TOO MUCH REGULATION, BUT THIS IS ONE THING THE GOVT COULD ACTUALLY DO TO HELP PEOPLE.  THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BROKERS ARE CROOKS FOR EXACTLY THIS REASON.  THE MORE YOU SCREW YOUR CLIENT, THE MORE YOU MAKE $$$...PERIOD!)

4. Buy mutual funds that are appropriate for your age and risk tolerance.  Realize that you are still taking a risk, but no risk, no reward long term.

5. Saving money every pay period, whether invested or not, is just as important as anything.  Don't live check to check, unless one of those "expenses" is saving.

6. If you do decide some stocks are appropriate for you, keep it to a minimum and NEVER buy something because someone on the TV or the internet or someone at the coffee shop said so.  By the time you are hear the recommendation, it is too late.  Resources such as Morningstar and Value Line are helpful, but select a stock you feel good about.  If it fails, you have no one to blame but yourself.

7. Timing of the market (significantly increasing or decreasing your stock vs. bond vs. cash MUTUAL FUND allocation) is not a weekly or monthly thing.  It is only based on MACRO events such as major market or life events.  Market crashed like 2009?  Go all in baby! Don't be stupid and go to cash.  Market is high (granted low/high is subjective and not that easy to judge)? maybe back off to more conservative investments, going back in WHEN (not IF) the market crashes again.  Ditto for life events, retiring sooner or working longer than expected. Health reasons, windfalls, unexpected events, etc..

8. Be patient!

GOOD LUCK!  And don't waste your time reading articles like this or listening to ding bats on the stock market channel.  Get a grip, get educated, and leave emotion out of it.  Be a Mr. Spock and your will "live long and prosper."

Nov 14, 2013 11:50AM
avatar
The only numbers the forum morons are familiar with is number one and number two. Most of them are still figuring out how to do them!

Har har har!
Jan 4, 2014 11:47AM
avatar
Only thing to remember is 401 k money..( positive breath )..You get paid, two days later your money is at wall street..Friday you get paid and invest in your own company, tuesday  10 am you will see your stock jump .invest in mutaul funds they buy by friday..1 st , 15 th and 30 th paychecks the same...so in july when you gave wall street three tuesdays or 3 installments. you now no why july was a record . so was last jan. and dec......all months with 3 tuesdays...just like certain months you get 3 fri. checks... if markets dont go up on this there is selling going on...this week k money was 31st...from friday check..the 30 th and 1 st and year ending residue....look at feb. (last year)... august and you can guess this month might follow once the k money gets all in.....do not directly invest in your own company....your k money never gets in at a good value....wait till your company dips then move in...profit  taking is always on non k money days....look it up.. notice all 3 months had holidays to shorten time and made a bigger impact. i will guess.. all three month had the most records on wall street...why does no one talk about this........hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 
Jan 7, 2014 11:03AM
avatar
read article where it says  the common person does not understand  the  deficit trade vs 70 billion a month going into the deficit. ok  when the trade shrinks   (the dollar goes  where)  same with it gets higher  we are  17 trillion and growing  4 trillion since  king oboma has been  in.  no jobs  wages down  food  gas  up  taxes up  the stock  market has  come  out  and  said  the Q1234 maid a lot of  rich  people even richer  ???  they say there is 230  million in the  united states well if the feds would of mailed ea person a check  for a thousand  4 the last four  years still not hitting a trillion  where would the country  be  ????
Jan 4, 2014 7:13PM
avatar
For the most part the causal investor should stick with funds unless they have good resourses they can trust.... leave it to the experts and know your investor, check them out.... 
Jan 7, 2014 2:02PM
avatar
Very good information for those of us not in the corporative side of the country.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

MARKET UPDATE

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.
Market index data delayed by 15 minutes

[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market ended the holiday-shortened week on a mixed note as the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.1%, while the S&P 500 added 0.1% with seven sectors posting gains.

Equity indices faced an uphill climb from the opening bell after disappointing quarterly results from Google (GOOG 536.10, -20.44) and IBM (IBM 190.04, -6.36) weighed on the early sentiment. Google reported earnings $0.15 below the Capital IQ consensus estimate on revenue of $15.42 ... More


Currencies

NAMELASTCHANGE% CHANGE
There’s a problem getting this information right now. Please try again later.