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Tricks Of The Trade

Understanding the ins and outs of stocks isn't easy. Here are a few of their magic tricks.

They split, they merge, they are issued shares and bought back when you least expect it . . . They do everything but wriggle on their bellies like a reptile. They make up part of the greatest show on earth. What we're talking about, of course, are stocks. Who has never wondered if a stock will split and whether it's better to buy shares before or after the split? Or whether a stock buyback is as wonderful as it sounds? Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey may have a few tricks under the big top, but nothing can compare to the ups and downs of the "common" stock. Following are some tricks of the trade.

Lorayne Fiorillo is a financial advisor at Prudential Securities. For a list of stocks that are splitting, send her a self-addressed, stamped envelope in care of Entrepreneur, 2392 Morse Ave., Irvine, CA 92614. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.

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This article was originally published in the March 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Tricks Of The Trade.

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