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Stock Investing For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Paul Mladjenovic

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Chapter 12. Decoding Company Documents

In This Chapter

  • Paging through an annual report

  • Reviewing other information sources for a second opinion

  • Organizing your own research library

Financial documents — good grief! Some people would rather suck a hospital mop than read some dry corporate or government report. Yet if you're serious about choosing stocks, you should be serious about your research. Fortunately, it's not as bad as you think (put away that disgusting mop). When you see that some basic research helps you build wealth, it gets easier.

In this chapter, I discuss the basic documents that you come across (or should come across) most often in your investing life. These documents include essential information that all investors need to know, not only at the time of the initial investment decision, but also for as long as that stock remains in their portfolio.

Tip

If you plan to hold a stock for the long haul, reading the annual report and other reports covered in this chapter will be very helpful. If you intend to get rid of the stock soon or plan to hold it only for the short term, reading these reports diligently isn't that important.

Getting a Message from the Bigwigs: The Annual Report

When you're a regular stockholder, the company sends you its annual report. If you're not already a stockholder, contact the company's shareholder service department for a hard copy.

Tip

You can often view a company's annual report at its Web site. Any major search engine can help you find it. Downloading ...

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