If you’re a new investor, you’re probably realizing that everyone you talk to is willing to give you stock market advice. Ranging from the simple “buy low and sell high,” recommendation, to the suggestion that you study stock charts and learn to analyze candlestick patterns, it can be hard to know which advice you should follow and which you should take with a grain of salt. Hopefully, some people have told you that the only sure way to build a strong portfolio is by conducting stock market research before you choose to invest in a company.

It’s all well and good to say that you need to conduct a fair amount of stock market research before you make an investment, but how do you know where to look for it? And what do you do with it once you’ve found worthwhile sources? It’s important for people to know what they’re looking for in an investment, and the best resources for comparing one company to another and making a solid decision about where to put their money.

It makes sense for most people to start their stock market research by investigating stock prices. After all, the last thing you want to do is invest months of research into a company, only to get all excited about investing and then find out their stock is hundreds of dollars more than you’re willing to pay. You can look for stock quotes in financial newspapers and on the internet at one of the hundreds of investing websites that compile that information on a daily basis. Start your search in an industry that you have experience with, or at least a casual interest in researching.

Once you’ve found a stock that meets your price margin, it’s time to delve even deeper with stock market research. Start by reading everything you can find in the news about the company you’re considering, including details about their funding, executives, and the place they’ve chosen to establish the headquarters of the company. Then, look for information about how long they’ve been in business, which of their products or services brings in the most of their cash flow, and how much they’ve been making on a yearly basis. You might also want to investigate how much their shares have increased in value up to the present, as it will give you a good idea of potential growth once you become an investor.