Investing and trading is all to do with understanding the psychology of other investors, private and institutional, and anticipating what they may do, and then buying just before they buy, and selling just before they sell.
Yes, you need to know the fundamentals of a company and whether its business is sound so as to determine the long term trend of the stock, and so that if you make mistake, hopefully you can float on the tide until out of trouble.
Reading these boards gives a clue to sentiments of other investors, even though I know for a fact that people often post that which is not true. For example a personal offline friend of mine posted that he was long 5000 shares of a certain stock, when I knew that he actually had 460 shares.
However why not explain what you are doing and what your positions are, because we sometimes get good feedback, and we are all here to learn information that will help us make money in the stock and option markets? So by disclosing and contributing to the board, you give something to get something back.
Yes, you can just buy and hold, in which case you have no need to follow the stock closely at all. You can just take a peek once a month to make sure that all is well.
To me the small gains in my IRA are very valuable. For example, the current rate for cash in my largest retirement account is 3% PER YEAR. When I sold 2600 ZLCS three days ago for $2.35 and bought them back the next day for $2.25 that was 4 1/2 % in one DAY, so to me and to many other people, that is very interesting.
Buying a car, house, etc does play on the emotional elements of our human DNA but suggest that the stock market parallels with this process is out in left field.
The purchase of a stock, one share or a million; should be based purely on the financial structure (the business model) of that company and the industries acceptance to what their selling....ZLCS could go up 1000% and my blood pressure remains the same -- as too if it drops 1000% - emotions have nothing to do with it.
That being said, whatever makes you float; good luck.
To me the stock market is just a superior type of casino with tax benefits.
Of course I am all in favor of supporting well-run and profitable companies that supply people with the necessaries or drugs that prolong useful life, but that is not why I am trading stocks.
I think Zalicus is a good vehicle for making money, because it seems like a good company with great prospects. I understand a bit about calcium channel drugs, but whether they really will eventually provide an alternative to poppy based products for pain remains to be seen. Zalicus certainly doesn't have all its eggs in one basket with Exalgo also on the market.
Whether there is a lot of money to be made by combining known drugs together like Prednisporin remains to be seen. In particular it remains to be seen whether there is any significant advantage to the patient over simply using both generic prednisolone and antihistamine eyedrops, or hydrocortisone preparations which will probably come a lot cheaper.
In general the medical profession is suspicious of combination products, because you exponentially increase the chance of allergic or adverse reactions when you are dealing with multiple ingredients. This is similar to why TV/VCR combos are usually seen as problematic.
I'm not saying that these aren't good products. It is just that it is impossible for the ordinary investor, no matter how diligent his dueness, to really know what the future commercial value of these products might be, and remember that analystis and company PR people have an interest in promoting the bright side.
So it is easier to study the behavior of other investors and their sentiments about the stock.