CANSLIM Stock Trading Investment Strategy – How To Pick High-Growth Stocks

There are a number of most important components of profitable investing, however few are extra essential than the technique you use. Most investing programs that educate you ways to make money in shares go into nice element with regard to methods and the significance of following them.

The motive is easy. Investment methods are designed to inform you when to enter and exit investments and which investments have the best chance of producing earnings. By following a method, you improve your probabilities of making profitable funding choices, which impacts your total profitability.

One widespread technique buyers wanting to outperform the market use is named the CANSLIM technique. What is CANSLIM, and may it enable you choose high-growth shares?

What Is the CANSLIM Investment Strategy?

Invented by Investor’s Business Daily founder William J. O’Neil, the CANSLIM investing technique, also referred to as the CAN SLIM system, was designed to discover and reap the benefits of excessive progress stock alternatives.

Using a mixture of basic evaluation and technical evaluation, the technique helps buyers decide one of the best shares to put money into primarily based on a sequence of seven standards. The acronym CANSLIM factors to the seven standards progress buyers ought to search for as they participate in stock selecting:

C: Current Quarterly Earnings

Many of the components concerned within the CANSLIM system embrace the identical statistics most progress buyers search for, together with the C — present quarterly earnings per share (EPS).

EPS compares the quantity of revenue the company has generated on a per-share foundation to the price of every share of the company. For instance, if there are 1 million shares of ABC stock accessible,and the company generated $1 million in earnings within the final quarter, the EPS for that quarter is $1, or $1 million in earnings divided by the 1 million shares accessible.

When following the CANSLIM technique, buyers search for a present development of compelling progress in a company’s quarterly earnings, with EPS anticipated to preserve a year-over-year progress rate of not less than 20%.

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A: Annual Earnings Growth

The present quarter’s earnings progress is essential as a result of it exhibits whether or not the company you’re contemplating investing in is experiencing energy at the moment second. However, buyers who make use of the CANSLIM technique are on the lookout for shares which have a transparent historical past of progress that’s probably to be adopted by extra of the identical.

The A within the acronym stands for annual earnings progress.

The technique suggests buyers ought to solely put money into shares which have constantly created important earnings progress over not less than the previous 5 years. Look for not less than 20% progress in profitability for 5 consecutive years. If a stock hasn’t maintained this excessive degree of progress, most CANSLIM buyers transfer on to the subsequent alternative.

N: New — New Products, New Management, or New Information

The strongest firms on the stock market are recognized for producing constant information movement. Stories about all the pieces from new merchandise to new administration and new applied sciences have the power to ship a stock screaming for the highest, and people who expertise essentially the most progress launch these tales on a comparatively common foundation.

Look into the press releases issued by the company just lately and see whether or not any market-moving information has been launched. Has there been a promising new member added to the board of administrators? Is a brand new product anticipated to hit the market over the subsequent year?

Essentially, you need to make sure that the stock you’re fascinated with maintains a position inside mainstream monetary headlines. News from a company could be a catalyst for giant worth actions.

S: Scarcity of Share Supply

Price motion within the market is solely a matter of provide and demand.

As with another product — be it milk, lumber, or gasoline — there’s solely a restricted provide of any given stock on the market at any given time. When the demand for a stock outpaces provide, the value of that stock should improve. The greater price to new consumers reduces the demand till it reaches equilibrium.

On the opposite hand, when the availability of a stock outpaces demand, costs should fall to make that stock extra interesting to buyers. As the value falls, the now less-expensive stock begins to see a rise in demand.

Investors who make use of the CANSLIM technique have a tendency to evaluate the buying and selling quantity of a stock — the variety of shares that commerce fingers on a median buying and selling day — to the overall variety of excellent shares on the market on the time. The nearer buying and selling quantity is to the variety of shares excellent, the extra demand is probably going to overtake provide, sending the stock’s worth to the highest.

Investors using this technique additionally search for firms which have a historical past of share buybacks. A share buyback occurs when a publicly traded company purchases shares of its personal company on the open market. This is nice for 2 causes:

  • Supply and Demand. When a company purchases shares of its personal stock, it’s basically pulling accessible provide off the market. As described above, when there’s not sufficient provide of a stock to meet investor demand, the value of the stock will increase due to shortage.
  • Return of Value. Share buybacks are a terrific return of worth for shareholders. Think of excellent shares as a chunk of pie. When the pie is minimize into extra items, each bit turns into smaller — within the case of shares of stock, every share turns into much less precious. With share buybacks, the company is basically slicing fewer items of the pie, making every share extra precious.

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L: Laggard Stocks

Investors who make use of the CANSLIM technique search for laggard shares, which is definitely a play out of the worth buyers’ playbook. The concept right here is to discover shares which have underperformed in contrast to comparable shares inside their sector with comparable fundamentals.

The pondering is that by investing in laggards, ultimately an undervalued stock will rise to or above its honest market worth, leading to super returns.

To decide whether or not a stock is a laggard inside its class, buyers look to the relative energy index, or RSI. Stocks with an RSI beneath 30 are thought-about to be undervalued in contrast to their friends.

Investors additionally look to relative worth energy, or RPS, to decide if a stock is undervalued in contrast to its friends. The RPS is a technical indicator that compares the value motion skilled by a stock to that of the market as a complete. An RPS of lower than 1 suggests the stock is undervalued, and a very good candidate for buyers following the CANSLIM technique.

I: Institutional Sponsorship

CANSLIM iInvestors search for shares which have some institutional possession, however not an excessive amount of. One of the objectives is to put money into a stock earlier than nearly all of institutional buyers understand the chance, thereby benefiting from important earnings as establishments like mutual funds and personal fairness corporations purchase massive blocks of shares.

While you need to get in earlier than nearly all of establishments, benefiting from the shift of provide and demand as they dive in, it’s additionally essential that you just put money into firms that establishments really could have curiosity in. So, there’s a cautious stability right here.

Look for firms which have two or three robust institutional buyers with compelling observe information, however ensure that not more than 20% of the excellent shares of the company are at the moment being held by big-money gamers. This setup suggests the stock is one thing establishments could be fascinated with, whereas additionally making certain there’s loads of room for extra establishments to dive in.

M: Market Averages

The CANSLIM investing technique was designed to be used throughout bull markets. When utilizing this technique, it’s essential to pay shut consideration to the general market course.

You can assess the course of the general market by wanting into stock market indexes just like the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which tracks common progress amongst massive firms within the United States, or the Nasdaq, which tracks the technology market carefully.

Pros and Cons of the CANSLIM Strategy

As with any investing technique, there are professionals and cons to CANSLIM. Some of a very powerful to contemplate embrace:


This investing technique is very widespread amongst progress buyers. Strategies don’t turn out to be this widespread with out a number of perks to utilizing them. Some of the most important benefits of the CANSLIM technique embrace:

1. Significant Profits Within Reach

Through this technique, buyers basically have a roadmap to the investing course of that makes it potential to generate earnings considerably above and past what the common investor generates by investing in index funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and different funding automobiles designed to observe the market or particular industries.

2. No Guesswork

Investing tends to include guesswork. After all, it’s inconceivable to predict the long run, and if you make investments, you’re predicting {that a} company will do properly and the worth of a stock will rise.

Those who comply with the CANSLIM technique comply with a selected set of standards that takes the guesswork and emotion out of the equation. If any one of many components required for a stock to match into the technique doesn’t match up, CANSLIM buyers transfer on to the subsequent alternative.

3. An Educated Approach

The foundation of CANSLIM is educating your self about an funding alternative earlier than really pulling the set off. The technique requires you to take a look at the company you’re contemplating shopping for a chunk of beneath the microscope, not simply basing your determination on what the company’s doing at the moment, however what it did yesterday and what it is going to do tomorrow.

Moreover, the technique requires you to look into the general market to guarantee situations are good for an funding. Few methods require buyers to go into this a lot element, and whereas doing so could also be considerably cumbersome, the method protects you from making errors primarily based on a lack of awareness of what you’re investing in.

4. An Institutional Mindset

Every one of many metrics concerned within the technique are people who institutional buyers — additionally generally referred to as “smart money” — take a look at earlier than making their investments. As a consequence, when following the technique, you tackle the mindset of an establishment.

Often, following the technique ends in a small investor diving right into a stock earlier than the establishments understand the chance exists, providing you with the power to profit from the upside as establishments catch on.

5. Fast Markets

The technique is designed to be used in fast-paced bull markets. As a consequence, it brings a bit of pleasure to the investing course of, making it extra enjoyable to build wealth within the stock market.


While CANSLIM has led loads of buyers from rags to riches, there are additionally drawbacks to contemplate. After all, there should be a darkish cloud for a silver lining to exist. Some of a very powerful drawbacks to contemplate earlier than utilizing the technique embrace:

1. Market Performance Dependent

This technique is finest used throughout bull markets when shares are buying and selling up regularly. When bear markets take maintain, the technique can — and infrequently does — lead to losses.

2. Short-Term Investments

Following the technique, you’ll be investing in progress shares that match into a selected set of standards. However, shares don’t usually match these standards for lengthy. As a consequence, the technique requires added analysis as a result of buyers will want to repeatedly look into shares they’ve already bought to guarantee they nonetheless match into the technique. This can take up fairly a little bit of time.

3. Volatility

The shares that have a tendency to expertise the best ranges of progress within the market additionally have a tendency to expertise the best ranges of volatility.

Volatility is a measure of the pace of worth fluctuations, no matter whether or not the value is shifting up or down. As a consequence, extremely unstable shares are dangerous to put money into. After all, they’ve the potential to fall simply as quick as they climb. Failing to pull out of an funding that’s going within the incorrect course can lead to important losses.

Does CANSLIM Work?

This is the million-dollar question. Regardless of whether or not a method works for another person, deciding whether or not it is going to give you the results you want may be tough. What may be stated to be usually true is that the technique has a historical past of outperforming markets.

According to the American Association of Individual Investors, the technique has outperformed the highest 15 benchmarks for the U.S. market since 2006. Depending on the way you employed the technique, utilizing it since 2006 would have returned annualized positive aspects of between 15.2% and 20.9%.

To put that into perspective, since 2006 the annualized positive aspects of the highest stock market indexes have been 6.4% for the Dow Jones, 6.5% for the S&P 500, and 12.0% for the Nasdaq 100.

When to Use the CANSLIM Investment Strategy

As with most different funding methods, the CANSLIM technique wasn’t designed to be used day by day. Market situations have to be good for the technique to be essentially the most advantageous.

The technique is finest used simply after a consolidation takes place. Consolidation is a technical time period that describes a chart sample during which a stock trades between clear assist and resistance strains for a time frame. Following a consolidation, a breakout will happen, both breaking beneath assist to new lows or breaking above resistance to new highs.

The CANSLIM technique is finest used when the general market has accomplished a consolidation sample and begins to transfer upward. This suggests the upward motion forward can be a powerful, momentous run, providing you with the chance to generate outsize positive aspects.

These are one of the best situations during which to use the CANSLIM technique:

  • Bull Markets. This technique is a progress investing technique. Growth methods are finest used when markets are shifting within the upward course. If markets are shifting into adverse territory, you must select a special technique, corresponding to worth or revenue investing.
  • After Consolidation. It’s essential to wait till a stock breaks a consolidation sample. If you utilize the technique to buy a stock throughout consolidation, there’s an opportunity the breakout can be both bullish or bearish. Of course, a bullish breakout would make for a terrific funding. Conversely, if the stock breaks within the bearish territory, important losses could be the consequence. So, it’s finest to watch for the breakout, which frequently requires a little bit of persistence.
  • Calm Markets. Markets are generally uneven, with some belongings climbing whereas others fall. Sometimes the market is unstable, with huge swings up someday and large drops the subsequent. The motion in uneven markets takes place on the whims of the investing group, that are almost inconceivable to predict. As such, it’s essential to make sure that the market is shifting steadily and calmly within the upward course total if you use this technique.

Who Should Use the CANSLIM Strategy?

There’s no such factor as a one-size-fits-all funding technique as a result of each investor has their very own distinctive objectives. Some buyers need outsize progress and are keen to settle for the chance that comes with it, whereas different buyers are proud of low-risk revenue shares.

CANSLIM isn’t only a progress investing technique — it’s an aggressive progress technique, which is without doubt one of the causes it requires such detailed analysis prior to shopping for or promoting a stock. As a consequence, there’s a very particular group of buyers that ought to contemplate benefiting from the technique:

  • Risk Tolerance. Aggressive progress methods are designed to generate positive aspects that outperforms the general market. However, the place there’s a possibility for big positive aspects, there’s additionally the potential for massive losses. This technique must be used solely by buyers with a comparatively excessive danger tolerance.
  • Research Capabilities. Stocks that match into this technique have very particular metrics, lots of which take a little bit of analysis to discover. It’s essential that you’ve expertise researching alternatives within the market intimately and are assured in your skill to accomplish that. If you end up scratching your head questioning what this or that metric means, contemplate furthering your analysis capabilities earlier than trying to deploy this technique.
  • Experience. Much of this boils down to expertise. Those who use this technique efficiently are usually extremely skilled buyers who know their method across the intricate system of the stock market.

If you don’t have a excessive danger tolerance, have a tough time understanding Wall Street jargon, or have little expertise within the market as a complete, it’s probably finest to keep away from utilizing this technique.

Nonetheless, for those who’re decided to give the CANSLIM technique a shot, make sure that to reap the benefits of buying and selling simulators to check your abilities for just a few months prior to placing actual hard-earned {dollars} in danger.

Final Word

There’s no question the CANSLIM investing technique has led many buyers to wealth within the market. Few would debate that the technique’s inventor, William J. O’Neil, is a monetary genius.

However, it’s essential to do not forget that a method that’s a very good match for an additional investor gained’t all the time be a very good match for you.

Choosing your technique is without doubt one of the most essential choices you’ll make as you begin investing. When doing so, you must take all components under consideration — not simply the potential positive aspects, but in addition the potential losses and the work concerned in efficiently deploying the technique.

There are clear perks to following the CANSLIM system. You’ll be required to be taught fairly a bit in regards to the shares you’re investing in, and also you’ll have the potential to generate returns far and above averages within the market.

However, you’ll even be required to have an in depth understanding of the market and a comparatively excessive danger tolerance. So, it’s not one of the best technique for novices or buyers with a low urge for food for danger.

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