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Investing Classroom: Thinking like an analyst

Stocks lesson 2.3: Investing is far more than just number crunching--we each have the

Morningstar 18.11.2009

Investing is far more than just learning basic accounting and crunching numbers; it is also about observing the world around us. It is about recognising trends and what those trends will ultimately mean in terms of pounds.

Thinking like an analyst can help because it can provide some organised ways in which to observe the world. We all have analytical skills, but the degree to which these skills are developed depends on the individual. Honing your analytical skills can help you organise some of the information that overwhelms you each day.

For example, it's hard not to notice how fast food restaurants are all located near one another. Maybe this is an obvious question, but why is that? Clearly those restaurants located at the only motorway exit for 50 miles in the middle of Scotland don't have much choice, and certainly business and residential zoning regulations dictate locations to some extent. But why do all of the quick-service restaurants locate near one another when alternatives are available? After all, what good does it do for some of these restaurants to be located in clusters? What happens to McDonald's if Burger King is right next door?

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