Red Flag

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Red Flag'

An indicator of potential problems with a security. Most often used to refer to a stock, a red flag can be any undesirable characteristic that stands out to an analyst. There is no universal standard for identifying red flags; the method used will depend on the investment methodology being employed.

BREAKING DOWN 'Red Flag'

A red flag is anything that marks a stock as undesirable. Because there are many different methods used to pick stocks, there are many different types of red flags. What is a red flag for one person might even be considered desirable by another. For example, low institutional ownership might be a positive for someone looking for undiscovered companies, but a negative for a pension fund that searches out blue chips.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Downgrade

    A negative change in the rating of a security. This situation ...
  2. Material News

    News released by a company that might affect the value of its ...
  3. Hold

    An analyst's recommendation to neither buy nor sell a security. ...
  4. Upgrade

    A positive change in the rating of a security. An upgrade is ...
  5. Defined-Benefit Plan

    An employer-sponsored retirement plan where employee benefits ...
  6. Analyst

    A financial professional who has expertise in evaluating investments ...
Related Articles
  1. Markets

    Material Adverse Effect A Warning Sign For Stocks

    Learn what this phrase means and how to spot it in a company's financial statements.
  2. Investing Basics

    Small Cap Research Can Have A Big Impact

    Don't rely on Wall Street analysts for information on these stocks.
  3. Personal Finance

    A Day in the Life of an Equity Research Analyst

    What does an equity research analyst do on an everyday basis?
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged

    Find out about the PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged ETF, and learn detailed information about characteristics, suitability and recommendations of it.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Large Cap Core Plus

    Learn information about the ProShares Large Cap Core Plus ETF, and explore detailed analysis of its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Core Growth Allocation

    Find out about the iShares Core Growth Allocation Fund, and learn detailed information about its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility

    Learn about the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility exchange-traded fund, which invests in low-volatility equities traded on the U.S. stock market.
  8. Stock Analysis

    Should You Follow Millionaires into This Sector?

    Millionaire investors—and those who follow them—should take another look at the current economic situation before making any more investment decisions.
  9. Professionals

    What to do During a Market Correction

    The market has corrected...now what? Here's what you should consider rather than panicking.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Mid-Cap Value

    Take an in-depth look at the Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF, one of the largest and most popular mid-cap funds in the U.S. equity space.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the cheapest, fastest way to research, buy and trade stock?

    Thanks to the internet, there is a huge range of service providers that investors can use to obtain investment research and ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What happens if a company doesn't think it will collect on some of its receivables?

    The accounts receivable account, or receivables for short, is created when a company extends credit to a customer based on ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  2. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  3. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
  4. Bear Market

    A market condition in which the prices of securities are falling, and widespread pessimism causes the negative sentiment ...
  5. Alligator Spread

    An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market ...
  6. Tiger Cub Economies

    The four Southeast Asian economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Tiger cub economy indicates that ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!