I want to start investing in the tech industry (seed stage and/or stock market investing). What resources are good for evaluating a company in this niche and learning more about the industry?
The two possible approaches mentioned in the question are very, very different from each other.
Investing in public technology stocks in the stock market (such as Google, Apple, and many smaller companies) is something that anyone can do, can be started with a very small amount of money, can be experimented with before committing (by establishing a ‘shadow portfolio’), can be easily unwound, and for which there is an enormous amount of instruction, advice and industry news available.
In contrast, seed stage investing is the diametric opposite. It is [currently] only available to people who qualify as Accredited Investors (meaning that you have investable assets of over $1 million, or an income of over $200,000 annually), generally requires that you commit at least tens of thousands—and usually hundreds of thousands—of dollars, can’t be experimented with because there is no public or historical information available, and can’t be gotten out of if you decide you don’t like it (the average hold for an angel investment is 9 years!) Because of the lack of public information and analysis, other than from local angel groups it is almost impossible to get advice or assistance from anyone to help you on your path, and there is no such thing as an ‘advisory stockbroker for startups.’
Having digested all of the above and decided which way you want to go, I would start by referring you to my answer to How do I get started in angel investing?, and the excellent answers to What are some useful resources for learning about investing in the stock market?. Good luck!
*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *
Written by David S. Rose
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