typ3 wrote:You don't need to know more about them than the market. The market / banks / funds etc. all rely on analysts for information / predictions about companies. Most of the market is imperfect and is irrational and mostly takes short positions. I am long in all my positions. You only need to be faster to the right conclusion than 51% of people to make a return in the market.
I invest on the side and spend most of my time nightly analyzing public / private eq companies with a group of friends who are all analysts/associates in hedges/AAM's (5-20b AUM funds).
Capital gains = compound interest. The idea of compound interest is that you put your capital to use and as you make gains on your capital you use it to acquire things that give you more returns. I don't know how this could be confusing.
The idea of compound interest is that you lend somebody money, they pay you interest, and then you lend the interest. Gains on an equity stake aren't interest. It's as simple as that.
In terms of your idea of what it takes to succeed in the stock market picking individual stocks...I don't really think it's worth trying to convince you that you're wrong. I don't think I'd be able to. Just remember this: every time you decide to buy stock, someone else is deciding to sell it to you. If you don't know who he is and why he is selling, that should scare you.