

P/E Ratio: It's Not A Crystal Ball
What goes up ... well, sometimes it stays up for an awfully long time.
A common mistake among beginning investors is the short selling of stocks because they have a high P/E ratio. If you aren't familiar with short selling, it's an investing technique by which an investor can make money when a shorted security falls in value. (For more on this, check out the Short Selling tutorial.)
First of all, we believe that novice investors shouldn't be shorting. Secondly, you can get into a lot of trouble by valuing stocks using only simple indicators such as the P/E ratio. Although a high P/E ratio could mean that a stock is overvalued, there is no guarantee that it will come back down anytime soon. On the flip side, even if a stock is undervalued, it could take years for the market to value it in the proper way.
Security analysis requires a great deal more than understanding a few ratios. While the P/E is one part of the puzzle, it's definitely not a crystal ball.



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How can the pricetoearnings (P/E) ratio mislead investors?
A low P/E ratio doesn't automatically mean a stock is undervalued, just like a high P/E ratio doesn't necessarily mean it ... Read Answer >> 
What is the average pricetoearnings ratio in the banking sector?
Explore the price/earnings ratio in regard to the banking industry and learn what the average P/E ratio is for most banking ... Read Answer >> 
What's the difference between absolute P/E ratio and relative P/E ratio?
The simple answer to this question is that absolute P/E, which is the most quoted of the two ratios, is the price of a stock ... Read Answer >> 
Stocks with high P/E ratios can be overpriced. Is a stock with a lower P/E always ...
The short answer? No. The long answer? It depends.The pricetoearnings ratio (P/E ratio) is calculated as a stock's current ... Read Answer >> 
How do I calculate the P/E ratio of a company?
Find out how to calculate this common valuation ratio and what the results can tell you about a company's performance. Read Answer >> 
How can I find the P/E ratio on an ETF's underlying index?
Learn how analysts and investors can determine the pricetoearnings ratio for the underlying index of an exchangetraded ... Read Answer >>