Taking a look at some historical volatility numbers on shares of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM), we can see that the 12 month volatility is presently 26.366700. The 6 month volatility is 29.306400, and the 3 month is spotted at 31.891600. Following volatility data can help measure how much the stock price has fluctuated over the specified time period. Although past volatility action may help project future stock volatility, it may also be vastly different when taking into account other factors that may be driving price action during the measured time period.

Looking at the current landscape of the equity market, investors may be doing some bargain hunting for stocks to add to the portfolio. Many sharp investors will welcome temporary market dips which may provide plenty of buying opportunities. Being prepared for these types of opportunities can help the investor make quick decisions in the midst of a downturn. As we move closer to the close of the year, investors will be closely watching the next round of company earnings reports. Even if the individual investor chooses to trade conservatively during earnings, they can still do the necessary research and have stocks lined up to purchase when the time is right.

At the time of writing, 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) has a Piotroski F-Score of 7. The F-Score may help discover companies with strengthening balance sheets. The score may also be used to spot the weak performers. Joseph Piotroski developed the F-Score which employs nine different variables based on the company financial statement. A single point is assigned to each test that a stock passes. Typically, a stock scoring an 8 or 9 would be seen as strong. On the other end, a stock with a score from 0-2 would be viewed as weak.

Some of the best financial predictions are formed by using a variety of financial tools. The Price Range 52 Weeks is one of the tools that investors use to determine the lowest and highest price at which a stock has traded in the previous 52 weeks.  The Price Range of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) over the past 52 weeks is 0.762000.  The 52-week range can be found in the stock’s quote summary. 

Free Cash Flow Growth (FCF Growth) is the free cash flow of the current year minus the free cash flow from the previous year, divided by last year’s free cash flow.  The FCF Growth of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) is 0.179512.  Free cash flow (FCF) is the cash produced by the company minus capital expenditure.  This cash is what a company uses to meet its financial obligations, such as making payments on debt or to pay out dividends.  The Free Cash Flow Score (FCF Score) is a helpful tool in calculating the free cash flow growth with free cash flow stability – this gives investors the overall quality of the free cash flow.  The FCF Score of 3M Company is 0.790552.  Experts say the higher the value, the better, as it means that the free cash flow is high, or the variability of free cash flow is low or both.

We can now take a quick look at some historical stock price index data. 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) presently has a 10 month price index of 0.86230. The price index is calculated by dividing the current share price by the share price ten months ago. A ratio over one indicates an increase in share price over the period. A ratio lower than one shows that the price has decreased over that time period. Looking at some alternate time periods, the 12 month price index is 0.86174, the 24 month is 0.88928, and the 36 month is 1.09024. Narrowing in a bit closer, the 5 month price index is 0.94469, the 3 month is 0.79914, and the 1 month is currently 0.76553.

When it comes to investing, people are generally told to make sure that they don’t put all their eggs in one basket. This saying can apply to investing in the stock market as well. Keeping the stock portfolio diversified can greatly behoove the individual investor. When hard earned money is on the line, individuals may want to pay extra attention as to how their equity holdings are spread out. Many investors will choose to pick stocks that combine large cap, small cap, and even international stocks. Although stock portfolio diversification does not eliminate risk, it can help reduce it during tumultuous market conditions.

Investors may be interested in viewing the Gross Margin score on shares of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM). The name currently has a score of 7.00000. This score is derived from the Gross Margin (Marx) stability and growth over the previous eight years. The Gross Margin score lands on a scale from 1 to 100 where a score of 1 would be considered positive, and a score of 100 would be seen as negative. The Q.i. Value of 3M Company is 30.00000.  The Q.i. Value is a helpful tool in determining if a company is undervalued or not.  The Q.i. Value is calculated using the following ratios: EBITDA Yield, Earnings Yield, FCF Yield, and Liquidity.  The lower the Q.i. value, the more undervalued the company is thought to be.

The MF Rank (aka the Magic Formula) is a formula that pinpoints a valuable company trading at a good price.  The formula is calculated by looking at companies that have a high earnings yield as well as a high return on invested capital.  The MF Rank of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) is 3136.  A company with a low rank is considered a good company to invest in.  The Magic Formula was introduced in a book written by Joel Greenblatt, entitled, “The Little Book that Beats the Market”.  The ERP5 Rank is an investment tool that analysts use to discover undervalued companies.  The ERP5 looks at the Price to Book ratio, Earnings Yield, ROIC and 5 year average ROIC.  The ERP5 of 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) is 5314.  The lower the ERP5 rank, the more undervalued a company is thought to be.

Accumulating knowledge about the stock market can be a big part of the investment planning process. Proper allocation of equity investments is also an important factor. Finding the proper mix of stocks may end up being more important than the single stocks added to the portfolio. Determining the correct asset allocation can depend on variables such as risk appetite and financial goals. These goals may be short-term, medium term, or longer-term. Investors will often have to determine how aggressive they will be when buying stocks. This can also depend on the overall time horizon and risk tolerance. Some investors might be unfazed by continuous market fluctuations. Others may be much more sensitive, and they may need to adjust their plans accordingly.