When you buy a stock, there are several factors that you should consider before pulling the detector. After all, you want to buy shares in a great company, at a great price.

But what criteria qualifies a intimately traded company as a great company, and how do you know if the price you ’re getting is a great price? How can you tell which stocks are a fit for your portfolio?

You can read more at shares under 100

Then are the main factors you should consider before buying any stock.

1. Your Time Horizon
The time horizon associated with an investment will play a pivotal part in whether it makes sense for your situation. Then’s how time midairs break down

Short Term
A short- term time horizon is any investment that you plan on retaining for under one time. Investments with a short time horizon have little time for recovery if effects go wrong.

still, it’s stylish to invest in stable blue- chip stocks that pay tips, If you ’re planning on holding an investment for under a time. The companies represented by these stocks are large pots with gemstone-solid balance wastes, making the threat of loss minimum. On the other hand, gains through these investments tend to be at a slow, steady pace.

Medium Term
A medium- term investment is an investment you intend to hold anywhere from one time and a day to 10 times.

Due to the longer time horizon, you have further time to recover should commodity go awry. Although you should n’t dabble in penny stocks, indeed with a medium- term investment, the longer term opens the door to investing in quality arising requests stocks and other stocks with a moderate position of threat.

Long Term
Eventually, long- term investments are any investment you plan on holding onto for further than 10 times. These investments have the utmost time to recover if commodity were to go awry, giving you the capability to take the most threat in an attempt to induce a significant return.

Pro tip David and Tom Gardener are two of the stylish stock selectors. Their Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations have increased 563 compared to just131.1 for the S&P 500. still, your investment would be over further than 21, 000, If you would have invested in Netflix when they first recommended the company. Learn further about Motley Fool Stock Advisor.

2. Your Investment Strategy
Before you indeed buy your first share of stock, it’s important to study colorful investing strategies and choose one or further that you ’ll follow.

Investment strategies are important because they take much of the emotion and guesswork out of the equation, giving you strict guidelines to follow when it comes to buying and dealing stocks. When investing, it’s important to insure the stocks you buy meet the criteria set forth by your strategy.

There are three crucial types of strategies used by utmost successful investors

Value Investing. Value investing is the process of investing in stocks that display a clear undervaluation relative to their peers in expedients of generating outsize earnings as the request catches onto the occasion. This is the strategy that made Warren Buffett millions of bones .
Growth Investing. Growth investing is the process of chancing stocks that have displayed request- beating growth in profit, earnings, and price appreciation for a length of time. Growth investors believe that these upward trends will continue to outpace the request, creating an occasion to induce outsize earnings.
Income Investing. Eventually, income investors look for quality stocks that are known for paying significant tips. These tips induce unresistant income that can be used to fund one’s life or reinvested to increase earnings eventuality.
Before buying a stock, consider the strategy or strategies you ’ve chosen and whether the stock you ’re interested in fits by well with that strategy.
3. Diversification
Diversification is an important part of structure and maintaining a quality investment portfolio. This is the process of spreading your investments across colorful stocks and other securities across colorful diligence and requests.

Before buying a stock, it’s important to consider the position of diversification that formerly exists within your portfolio.

For illustration, you may be allowing about buying shares of Apple orAmazon.com, but when reviewing your current investments, you might realize all you have in your portfolio are tech stocks. What happens if the tech sector crashes?

Well, your portfolio concentrated solely on tech stocks would tank along with the sector.

still, if you consider buying stocks in another order similar as serviceability or consumer masses rather of adding further tech stocks, should the nethermost fall out of the tech sector, the other effects in your portfolio will give stability.

4. Share Price and natural Value
Famous investor Warren Buffett made his billions by comparing the current request price of stocks to their fair request value. When he finds a company that’s trading lower than the company’s stock price should be, he pounces, taking advantage of the reduction. Buffett knows that in the maturity of cases, an unvalued stock will ultimately climb to reach its fair, or natural, value.

This is a process known as value investing, a type of investing that puts the utmost significance on the valuation of a company and uses colorful criteria to determine whether the valuation is low, high, or where it should be.

Some of the most important criteria include

Price- to- Earnings rate( P/ E rate). The P/ E rate compares the price of a stock to the company’s earnings per share( EPS), basically putting a price on profitability. For illustration, if a company trading at$ 10 per share produces EPS of$ 1 annually, its P/ E rate is 10, suggesting that the share price is 10 times the company’s earnings on an periodic base.
Price- to- Deals rate( P/ S rate). The P/ S rate compares the price of the stock to the periodic deals, or profit, generated by the company. For illustration, if a stock trades at$ 10 per share and generates$ 5 per share in periodic profit, its P/ S rate is 2.
Price- to- Book- Value rate( P/ B rate). Eventually, the P/ B rate compares the price of the stock to the net value of means possessed by the company, divided by the number of outstanding shares. For illustration, if a stock trades at$ 10, has a net asset value( book value) of$ 1 billion, and has 100 million outstanding shares, it has a P/ B rate of 1.
Before buying a stock, look into colorful valuation criteria and how they compare to other stocks within the company’sindustry.However, you ’ll want to make sure the stocks you buy are underrated compared to their peers, If you ’re following the value investing strategy.

Indeed when following any other investing strategy, it’s important to avoid overrated stocks because the request has a history of correcting overvaluations with declines.

5. Balance distance
A company’s balance distance is an important part of any abecedarian analysis trouble. It gives you an at-a-glance look at the fiscal strength and stability of the company.

A company’s balance distance shows investors the value of means it owns, the quantum of debt it owes, and shareholders ’ equity.

When diving into the balance distance, it’s important to consider the quantum of debt the company owes in relation to the means it owns. After all, as is the case in particular finance, debts can come overwhelmingly burdensome, and in some cases mounting debts can affect in ruin.

It’s important to know that the company you ’re allowing about buying a piece of comes with a sturdy fiscal foundation from which to grow.
You ’ll also gain precious information by looking into the company’s cash inflow statement. This outlines the cash flowing into and out of the company, showing whether the company has further coming in than it has going out. Of course, you generally want to buy stocks that have further cash coming in than going out, showing farther fiscal strength.

6. The Size of the Company
The size of the company you ’re considering investing in plays a major part in the quantum of threat you take when you buy it. As a result, it’s important to consider the size of the company in relation to your threat forbearance and time horizon before buying a stock.

The size of intimately traded companies is determined by looking at the company’s request capitalization, or the total request value of the company’s outstanding shares of stock. Then’s how request caps and threat relate to one another

Penny Stocks and Small- Cap Stocks
Any stock with a total request cap of under$ 2 billion will fall into the penny stock or small- cap stock order. These companies are fairly youthful with minimum, if any, profitability. As a result, they represent some of the highest- threat investments.

Mid-Cap Stocks
Mid-cap stocks have a request cap ranging between$ 2 billion and$ 10 billion. These companies generally have commodity going for them. They ’ve created a new product, have started generating gains, and in utmost cases have a promising future ahead. still, they have n’t relatively made it big yet.

Mid-cap stocks come with lower threat than penny stocks and small- cap stocks, but there’s still a moderate position of threat, as these companies have n’t attracted the millions relatively yet.

Large- Cap Stocks
Eventually, large- cap stocks are stocks representing companies with an overall value of further than$ 10 billion. These are the companies that have “ made it. ” In the vast maturity of cases, these companies vend popular products and constantly produce significant gains, which are frequently returned to investors by way of tips or share buybacks.

As massive companies with huge entourages, these companies represent the smallest threat openings in the stock request.

Pro tip Before you add any stocks to your portfolio, make sure you ’re choosing the stylish possible companies. Stock screeners like Stock Rover can help you narrow down the choices to companies that meet your individual conditions. Learn further about our favorite stock screeners.
7. Volatility
Volatility describes the rate of oscillations in the price of a stock or other fiscal asset. The advanced the volatility, the briskly the stock will rise and fall, while lower volatility means will move at a slower, steadier pace.

It’s important to flash back that volatility describes the rate of oscillations in price — it does n’t determine the direction of those movements.

Stocks that witness high situations of volatility will climb dramatically on good days, and fall like a slipup on bad days. As a result, these investments come with significantly further threat than stocks that do n’t move relatively as presto.

After all, if you have a low- volatility stock that moves more sluggishly and a recent uptrend begins to reverse, you ’ll have plenitude of time to cash in on your gains before they vanish.

On the other hand, stocks that witness presto- paced movements do n’t give you important time to exit the investment when a trend reverses, which could lead to you giving up all the unrealized gains you may have had — or worse, could lead to losses.

8. tip History
Tip stocks known for giving a portion of their gains to their investors by way of tip payments. While these payments are secondary to value and growth investors, they’re nice to admit, and they ’re an absolute must-have for investors following the income investing strategy.

still, it’s important to take the time to look into the tip history of the company you ’re interested in buying, If your thing is to induce income through your investments.
Eventually, income investors are looking for high yields, or a high position of income in relation to the stock’s price. Look for a company’s tip yield( or periodic tip), expressed as a chance on your favorite stock exploration platform.

Beyond the yield itself, it’s important to look into the major tips paid by the company. Eventually, you ’re looking for growth in tip payments on an periodic base for a period of three times or longer. A trend of growing tip payments tells you a many effects about a company
It’s Financially Secure. Companies can only pay tips when they’ve enough cash in the bank to do so. When a company has a strong history of growing tips, it shows it’s financially secure and not likely to fail any time soon.
It Has n’t Stretched Itself Too Thin. Some companies will make large, one- time tip payments, which can act as bait to drive investors in, but keeping those tips alive would stretch the company’s finances too thin. Companies that offer compelling and adding tips constantly have cash to spare.
It’s Growing. Eventually, companies that remain stagnant wo n’t have the growth in gains needed to go adding tips. Companies that pay tips with a history of steady increases are likely passing growth in profitability equal to or lesser than the growth in tip payments.
9. profit and Earnings Growth
To make plutocrat with stocks, you ’ll need to invest in companies that are growing. The stylish way to determine if a company is growing is by looking at both its profit and its earnings.

profit. profit is the total quantum of plutocrat the company generates from its functional conditioning. For illustration, when Apple sells an iPhone, the trade price of that phone is added to its profit aggregate.
Earnings. Earnings is the quantum of plutocrat a company makes after all charges have been paid. For illustration, when Apple sells an iPhone for$,200, it might pay$ 500 for manufacturing,$ 25 for client accession, and$ 50 for general commercial charges associated with the trade. In this illustration, the cost of the phone to the company is$ 575, leaving$ 625 left in earnings for the trade of each phone.
It’s important to look at both profit and earnings because companies can inflate one or the other figure, but will have a hard time inflating both. For illustration, a company that wants to induce further profit might spend much more on advertising. As a result, its profit will grow, but the advertising costs will cut into profitability, leading to shrinking earnings.

On the other hand, if a company wants to inflate its earnings, it may decide to lay off workers or cut back on marketing. While this may increase the company’s earnings for that particular quarter, its profit will probably decline. Without workers and marketing driving profit growth, the earnings increase is n’t sustainable because deals will decelerate.
10. Preferred or Common Stock
There are two different types of stock that companies issue common stock and preferred stock. The type of stock you buy will play a part in your earnings eventuality as well as your capability to recoup losses in the event of a dissolution of the business. Then’s how it works

Common Stock
Common stock is the standard type of stock that the vast maturity of investorsbuy.However, these shares are paid tips and have a claim to the company’s means in the event of liquidation, If tips have been declared.

still, their claim to means is last. Bond holders and preferred stockholders will be paid previous to a common stockholder, meaning that in the event of a liquidation, there’s a strong chance that common stockholders will witness significant losses.
Preferred Stock
Preferred stock puts the investor one pealed up on the graduation. This type of stock generally comes with destined tips that are constantly paid, and will be paid previous to common stock tips. also, these investors also have a claim to the company’s means in the event of a liquidation and will be paid previous to common stockholders.

As a result, preferred stock comes with a lower position of threat and generally advanced income earning eventuality. still, preferred stockholders give up their right to bounce on important matters. also, these shares are known for slower growth.

11. Debt- to- Equity rate
Debt- to- equity rate is a tool investors use to determine how thin a company has stretched itself in terms of debt. Of course, high situations of debt are bad because ruin becomes a veritably real possibility when a company is stretched too thin, just as is the case with consumers.
To determine a company’s debt- to- equity rate, you simply divide the company’s total debts by its total shareholder equity. For illustration, if a company has$ 5 million in debt and total shareholder equity of$ 10 million, its debt- to- equity rate is0.5.

The advanced this rate, the further the company has abused debt. As an investor, you ’ll want to buy stocks in companies that do n’t influence debt too much, meaning you ’ll be stylish served investing in companies with a low debt- to- equity rate.
Generally, investors look for a debt- to- equity rate below 1 for the smallest threat investments. Any debt- to- equity rate above 2 suggests the company has significant debts and the investment comes with a high position of threat.