There is a reason why the vast majority of individual investors shouldn't own individual stocks. Lots and lots of companies don't do well, in fact, many can make horrible investments and some even go out of business.
Below is a 5-Year Chart of the 11 Worst Performing Stocks in the S&P 500 - while many other companies lost money over this same time period, in fact, 145 were money losers over the last 5-years. Or said another way, almost 1/3 of all companies in the S&P 500 index lost money over the last 5-years! The purple line is the S&P Index over the same time period. Basically over the last 5-years, which includes the current Covid crisis, the stock market is up over 61%, while many companies didn't fair nearly as well.
And it gets worse if we look at the Russell 3000 Index, which incorporates somewhat smaller companies that the S&P 500 doesn't include. However, these are still large companies with well-known names. Names like: Macy's, GNC, GoPro, Tupperware, just to name a few.
Picking individual stocks isn't easy, nor should it be. This is a highly competitive field, filled with lots of very smart highly skilled professionals who get paid large sums of money to correctly analyze companies and make money for their investors.
Every time you place a trade to buy a company's stock, you should consider who is on the other side of your trade...and what is it that they know, that you don't know?
Paul R. Rossi, CFA