Presumably you know the basics of investments. You may even know about researching specific companies. But how do you decide which companies to study? Just looking at the exchanges within the United States yields a universe of over 5,000 plus stocks, and there is no way in your lifetime that you are going to be able to examine every one.

That is where screening comes in. And thanks to the computer age, the initial screening can happen fairly rapidly. Assuming you have access to the right tools, you could specify a screen as simple as all stocks over $10 and under $20. With a screen like that, you will probably get a list with between 500 and 700 names, but that is a lot better than 5000.

As it turns out, there are any number of already existing screens reflecting any number of different philosophies, that can be used by potential investors. Using these screens should give you listing of no more than a hundred names of securities that currently meet the criterion of a given investment screen. From there, you can investigate further to see which securities you think worthy of investing in.

Incredible Charts is a software program that has both a paid and free version. Both versions have sophisticated screens and indicators.