Stock Research Basics
You might be surprised at how simple it is to compare data on individual stocks. Publicly owned companies are evaluated on universal, easy-to-find criteria. Once you know what data to research, you’ll be on your way to conducting side-by-side stock comparisons.
Start by checking business news and financial websites, or go directly to the Securities and Exchange Commission website, SEC.gov. Look for companies that interest you, then become familiar with these six metrics, as outlined by NerdWallet.com.
- Revenue is the total amount of money a company brings in over a specific period of time.
- The money a company has after taxes, depreciation and operating expenses are deducted is Net Income.
- Net income divided by the number of shares available to trade is Earnings Per Share (EPS). This metric allows you to compare stocks based on their per-share profitability. Note that EPS figures don’t specify whether a company reinvests its earnings or pays dividends to its shareholders.
- A company’s current stock price divided by its EPS equals the Price-Earnings Ratio (P/E). Be aware that this metric can be affected by potentially flawed EPS results or analyst projections.
- The measure of how well a company manages shareholder investments is Return on Equity (ROE).
- Return on Assets (ROA) shows a company’s profitability in relation to assets. ROA and ROE can give you an idea of how efficiently a company generates profits.
Can Nonlinear Workdays Make You More Productive?
Nonlinear work schedules offer the flexibility to do your job when you are the most productive, not necessarily a traditional 9 to 5 workday. Remote work flourished during the pandemic and has continued to provide the needed flexibility for many office workers, especially parents.
Together, employers and employees are working to create the right balance of freedom and accountability that can improve corporate productivity and loyalty. For example, night owls might work most effectively from noon to 10 p.m. with a two-hour dinner break.
Flexible schedules work best when management sets clear deadlines and expectations about such matters as when employees need to be available online and how quickly they should respond to email and other messages.
A recent survey published by the research consortium Future Forum found that 93% of respondents want more flexible work hours. Those who worked flexible hours reported a 39% boost in productivity and a 64% improvement in focus.
Managing Home Office Risks
Remote workers should be vigilant about online security — not just for themselves but also for their employers and clients. Here are some basic security guidelines to help you steer clear of hackers, scammers and viruses when working remotely.
If you access your employer’s network from home, create a strong, secure password for your wireless network. Log in to your company’s VPN to safely access shared files.
Maintain updated security software that regularly scans for suspicious activity, and never access the internet without antivirus software in place. Enable automatic updates for your operating system to ensure you’re accessing the latest bug fixes, performance improvements and security features.
Use different passwords for your personal and company logins. Make them difficult to guess and change them often. Choose unique passwords for each account, and resist the urge to keep an unsecured password cheat sheet.
Keep data secure by working on a dedicated company computer while at home. Don’t share access with family members who may inadvertently download malware and expose confidential information.
Different Passport Types
Next time you travel out of the country, try playing “I Spy” with the various U.S. passports you may see.
Most Americans who travel internationally use a blue Regular passport.
Foreign Service Officers traveling on behalf of the U.S. carry a black Diplomatic passport that may only be used for official business.
Certain government workers who travel internationally for business use a maroon Official passport. Immediate family members may also be issued an Official passport if approved by the Department of State.
Travelers who frequently cross the U.S. border can use a Passport Card. Issued with a Regular passport for an additional fee, these convenient cards mean travelers won’t run out of space for stamps in their passports.
Fixing a Mistake on Your Business Taxes
Business tax preparation can be complicated. If you discover that you or your tax preparer made a mistake after filing, don’t panic. Here’s what to do instead.
Relax. Mistakes can be corrected, so take a deep breath and consider your options.
Contact your tax preparer. Ask your accountant to confirm the error and help you make the necessary corrections.
File an amendment. Use the form designated for your business structure to file an amended return. Work with a tax professional to correct your return within the allowable time granted by the IRS. Be sure to refile any relevant state tax forms.
Make adjustments going forward. Once your return is corrected, adjust your filing process as necessary to avoid making the same mistake again.
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