Is it worth your time as an individual investor to read carefully through the financial statements and also to compute ratios and make other interpretations

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I doubt it. The women's investment club was very surprised by this answer, and I don't blame them. The conventional wisdom is that by diligent reading of financial statements you will discover under- or overvalued securities. But, the evidence doesn't support this premise. Market prices reflect all publicly available information about a business, including the information in its latest quarterly and annual financial reports.

If you enjoy reading through financial statements, as I do, fine. It's a valuable learning experience. But don't expect to find out something that the market doesn't already know. It's very unlikely that you will find a nugget of information that has been overlooked by everyone else. Forget it; it's not worth your time as an investor. The same time would be better spent keeping up with current developments reported in the financial press.

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Business Brain

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Among the hardest transitions for individuals is to move from the employee to the entrepreneur mentality. The idea of getting on your own, getting your own business is fantastic. It's the desire of a lot of individuals to leave their jobs and get to be successful business owners.

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