An equity analyst raised his rating to a Buy on American Eagle Outfitters. Do you trust equity analyst ratings?

  • They have inside knowledge.

    Yes, equity analyst ratings are trustworthy because they are done by experts. These experts have been somewhere that most people have not been. That place is finance school. These people learn how to evaluate companies and make wise decisions about investments. They know more than the average person, and they use that knowledge to make sound recommendations.

  • Yes, I trust equity analyst ratings.

    Yes, equity analyst ratings are trustworthy because they are by definition meant to provide an unbiased equity report of the stocks, bonds, and other financial assets of companies. They may not always be correct but they provide an educated consideration of the financial success of organizations or industries. An individual stock analyst might have reason to skew the market but then they are not actually providing an equity analysis.

  • No, in the best of times equity analyst ratings are essentially educated gambles.

    If the housing crisis taught us literally anything, it's that even experts don't really know much. Recommendations regarding the buying and selling of stocks generally speculative and takes very few variables into account. A far better means of choosing which stocks to select (if you don't believe in mutual funds and stockbrokers) is to research the companies yourself and make an educated decision.

  • No, equity analysts are not fashionistas

    I value the opinions of equity analysts in many cases. But when it comes to matters of fashion and popular culture, it would be best to leave the prognosticating to those people who have made following the latest trends their calling. Analyzing business trends is quantitative; analyzing fashion trends is qualitative.

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