Stock picking can be a extremely perplexing procedure and investors have very different ideas on how to achieve the desired outcome.. Nevertheless, it may be very wise to follow some basic steps which will assist you to minimize the risk of the investments that you end up choosing.

This article will outline some basic steps for picking those high performance stocks that we all aspire to find.

You must have firmly placed in your mind exactly the time frame and the general strategy of the stock. This step is very important because it will influence as to the type of stocks you buy.

We shall presume that you have decided to be a long term investor. Therefore you would then be wanting to locate stocks that possess sustainable,good competitive advantages along with stable or increasing growth for the future.

The way to locating these High Performance stocks is by considering the historical performance of each stock over the past couple of years.Once you have found a likely stock you would then need to do a simple business S.W.O.T.analysis on the company. Swot basically means: Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat.)

If you have decided instead to become a short term investor, it might be a good idea to a stick to one of the following couple of strategies:

1. Momentum Trading.

This useful strategy is to keep an eye open for stocks that have increased in both price and volume over the recent day’s trading or two. You would most likely find that momentum fluctuates rapidly to begin with and tends to lessen off as traders lose interest. Mind you nothing is guaranteed particularly in today’s market place

Usuall most technical analysis will support this trading strategy. But my advice on this strategy is to look only for stocks that have exhibited stable and consistent rises in their share price. We are presumimg that the idea is that when the stocks are not so volatile, we can merely ride the up-trend until the trend breaks.

2. Contrarian Strategy.

This second useful strategy is to be on the look for over-reactions that occur in the stock market from time to time. Past research has shown that the stock market is not always efficient as we are led to believe. This basically means that share prices do not always accurately reflect the true value of the stocks. This can be used very much to our advantage.

Take for example when a company has just recently announced bad news,like a predicted downturn in future profit.This is exactly is what is happening here and now. All you have to do is follow the daily stockmarket news to see this occuring.

Trades who trade with their emotions become disaillusioned, become fearful, then panic and sell. As so often happens the share price often drops below the stock’s actual fair value.

But before you decide whether to purchase the stock which has over-reacted to a bad news announcement, you should always take into consideration the possibility of recovery from the impact of the bad news.

For example, if the stock price had dropped by 20% after the company had just lost a legal case, but no permanent damage to the either the business’s reputation or the product had occurred, you can then be realistically confident that the market over-reacted. And given time the share price would no doubt rise again to its former level thereby rewarding you with a comfortable profit.

It would be prudent on using this strategy to find a list of stocks that have suffered a recent drop in share prices You could then analyse the potentiality of a reversal occuring by utilising the well known technical indicator of candlestick analysis).

If the charts did confirm candlestick reversal patterns in the stocks in question, It would then be advisable to look through the recent news to analyise the exact causes of the recent price drops to ascertain that the over-sold opportunities actually existence.

Always do researches that will give you a choice of stocks that fits into to your own personal investment time frames and strategies. It is pointless trading in something you are not happy with or unsure of.

Once you have compiled a list of stocks to possibly purchase in the future, you would then need to diversify them in such a way that gives you the greatest reward/risk ratio. One way of achieving this is to employ a Markowitz analysis for your portfolio. This analysis will give you the exact proportions of money you should then apportion to each stock.

Hopefully these basic steps will get you started in your continous quest to consistently make good profits in the stock market. Plus they will also broaden your knowledge about how the financial markets perform and react. Ultimately it will provide you with a sense of confidence that will enable you to make better trading decisions and therefore greater profits.

I wish happy profitable trading.

Chris Strudwick is a successful share trader on the Australian Stock Market Visit his weblogs at both AND for more free articles and useful information about the stock market.