How do I start investing in the stock market as a beginner?

How to minus percentage from a price in Excel

To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a high IQ, top notch education in Finance or inside information.

nWhatu2019s needed is a basic understanding of how the stock market works, a strategy to find good companies to invest in and the ability to keep emotions from ruining your strategy.

nSince Iu2019m going to write a lot, I want to put just two lines about me and why I believe Iu2019m qualified to answer this question.

nIu2019m a full time trader and investor, and a licensed wealth manager.

nI studied Statistics for the Financial Markets at University and Iu2019ve been a trader and an investor since 2007.

nI will try to give you the best guide you will ever need in order to successfully invest in the stock market as a beginner.

nThe main points are:,Share dealing vs CFD,Find a good broker,Buy stocks,Technical and Fundamental Analysis,Money Management,Psychology,Alternative Investments,Expectations,Keep learning,1 - Share dealing vs CFDCFD trading and share dealing are two different ways to invest in the stock market.

With share dealing, you buy shares of the company, so you buy ownership of part of the company, meaning not only will you benefit from any upward price movements, you will also get paid dividends, which is a share of the profits a company makes, if the company pays any.

This is the standard way of investing in the stock market.

nAn alternative option is what is known as CFD, that stands for Contract For Difference.

CFDs are contracts that you can open, betting on the direction of the price of a stock.

You are just betting against your broker or against other traders, you donu2019t own a piece of the company.

nSome traders prefer CFDs because they allow you to use the so called u201cleverageu201d, which has the ability to amplify your profits in case you are right about the direction of the market, but it can also amplify your losses, in case you are wrong, and because CFDs also allow you to open a u201cshort positionu201d, which means that you can bet on the price of a stock falling.

nThese two characteristics of CFDs make them an appealing option for short term traders, but not a great one for investors who are looking to buy and hold stocks for a long period of time.

nHolding a position overnight with CFDs has a cost, generally indicated as u201cfinancingu201d, or u201covernight rolloveru201d.

nSo if you intend to keep a stock in your portfolio for months or years, you donu2019t want to pay a commission to your broker every day for holding that stock in your portfolio.

In addition to that, some brokers may have wider spreads for CFDs compared to share dealing.

,So, if you want to invest in the long period, share dealing is your choice.

Some people may argue that with CFDs, you can buy expensive shares even with a small amount of money.

Nowadays, you can do the same with share dealing.

Many brokers provide the so called u201cfractional sharesu201d, allowing you to buy only a fraction of a share.

Particularly convenient if you donu2019t want to start investing with a large amount of money, but you still want to be able to diversify your portfolio and buy u201cexpensiveu201d stocks.

,2- Find a good brokerFirst of all, you want to make sure your broker is regulated by a recognised national institute which has some form of jurisdiction over financial services.

This normally assures that the broker is legitimate and that your money is in good hands because most of these regulatory bodies also provide a scheme to refund your money up to a specified limit, in case of bankruptcy or any illegal financial irregularities by your broker.

nYou can usually find information about this, scrolling at the bottom of your brokeru2019s homepage.

nThis Wikipedia page provides a list of regulatory bodies country by country: List of financial regulatory authorities by country - WikipediaItu2019s ok if you choose a broker that is regulated in a country different than yours, just make sure that it is regulated by a strong financial institution like the FCA in the UK.

nThere are many other criteria to evaluate, such as domicile, trading platform, customer service and more.

Among the most important ones, I would put spread and commissions.

nYouu2019ll want to minimise the transaction costs in order to maximise your potential earnings, so you are more likely to want to choose a broker with low commissions.

nI personally use eToro.

It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), it is commission free, minimum investment of only $50 and it allows you to buy fractional shares.

,3 - Buy stocksNow we are getting into the fun part.

What stocks should you buy?nA stock is not just a symbol that you read on your screen, it is an ownership interest in an actual business.

nThink of a shop you attend frequently.

Maybe a coffee shop where you like to take a rest for 20 minutes and enjoy a cup of coffee.

nImagine that the owner comes to your table and asks: u201chey, we are trying to improve our business, so we are looking for investors that can lend us some money to finance our projects.

Would you like to invest $100 in our business?u201d.

nLetu2019s say that for whatever reason, you say yes.

nNow you own a piece of that coffee shop, you own a u201cshareu201d.

If the company grows, your share will grow too.

nImagine that, after one year, your share has a price of $200.

You can sell it and you have a total profit of $100.

nThe stock market is a place where thousands and thousands of companies are looking for investors to finance their projects, just like that small coffee shop.

nWe are talking about Amazon, Google, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, Visa, Mastercard, Starbucks, Facebook (Meta), Airbnb, Coca Cola and other companies of which you have probably used their products at least once in your life.

nLetu2019s say that you like Apple.

You can buy its shares and own a piece of the company.

If the company grows, your investment grows with the company.

,So what stocks should you buy?nI know some people who buy stocks in every company they know.

nYou know Apple? Sure, letu2019s buy some stocks.

nAmazon? Of course! nNetflix? Ok, letu2019s put some Netflix stocks in our portfolio as well!,Dont buy everything you see.

This is a question that could help you be more selective in the stocks you put in your portfolio: if you could only make 10 investments in your entire life, what stocks would you buy?.

nIf you could only buy 10 stocks, you would probably focus on some businesses that can thrive in the long period and you would put more effort into studying those companies, instead of buying whatever stock you read on your brokers platform.

,There are two simple questions we need to answer:,How do we find good companies to invest in?,How do we know what is a good price to buy at?,First of all, what is more important? A good company or a cheap price? They are both important, but which one comes first?nBenjamin Graham, a Columbia professor, known as u201cthe father of value investingu201d, believed that finding a good price is more important.

So he used to invest in all the kind of stocks that could represent a u201cbargainu201d.

nWarren Buffett, despite being a student of Benjamin Graham and adopting many of his concepts, adopted a different style, more similar to the one developed by John Maynard Keynes.

nHe first studies the companies.

He looks for good businesses to invest in, not good stocks.

Once he finds a good one, he evaluates the price.

If the price is not convenient according to his analysis, he waits.

Sometimes it can take 2 or 3 years until we have a significant market down-movement that can discount the price of a stock.

Warren Buffett is usually there, at the bottom of that down-movement, waiting for those opportunities to buy the businesses he is interested in.

nIf you are a beginner, I would highly recommend you use the same approach and invest only in solid companies that are likely to be alive and still make money in 20u201330 years time.

,3.

1 Find good companiesWe will see two different types of analysis later on, but I believe that you can start writing down a list of potential stocks to buy by adopting two simple approaches.

nI like to call the first one the u201cI donu2019t know and I donu2019t careu201d approach.

nTypically, the first step for new investors is to try to identify the new Amazon or the new Microsoft.

Itu2019s understandable.

You have missed the opportunity to buy the first Amazon or the first Microsoft, so you are looking for a new one that you can buy for a few dollars per share and earn several dozen times the amount invested.

nSo, which companies are going to be the next Amazon or the next Microsoft?nYour answer should be: u201cI donu2019t know and I donu2019t careu201d.

nDonu2019t try to buy the next Amazon or the next Microsoft.

Even experts fail in this attempt most of the time, let alone a beginner.

nYou should put these companies in your portfolio only when they are big enough to own.

nMany beginners make the mistake of focusing on cheap stocks because they seem to have more potential to grow.

nWould you buy a stock that has a price of $1 per share or one that has a price of $3,000 per share? What if the first company is reporting losses every quarter, while the second one is increasing their earnings at a sustainable rate?nIn the stock market, $1 is not necessarily cheaper than $3,000.

nIt might be much easier for the $3,000 stock to double its price than for the $1 stock.

,u201cSo, have you heard of this company? Itu2019s going to be the new Tesla!u201d,u201cI donu2019t know and I donu2019t care.

u201d,The second approach you should have is to start noticing brands when you walk into a shop.

Ask yourself: u201cwhat brand do I absolutely expect to find here in this shop?u201d.

nFor example, you walk into a 7u2013Eleven or another convenience store for food.

What brand do you expect to see? If you ask me, I would definitely expect to see Coca-Cola.

I canu2019t imagine a convenience store who doesnu2019t sell Coca-Cola.

nIf you go to a pharmacy, what brand do you expect to see for sure? Fortunately, I donu2019t go to pharmacies very often, but I would say that Listerine is something I expect every pharmacy to have.

nAre Listerine and Coca-cola likely to be around for the next 20u201330 years? Is it likely that they will continue to carry their brand power and generate earnings? If your answer is yes, you already have two companies you should put on your list.

Iu2019m sure you can find many potential stocks to buy like this.

,3.

2 Find a good priceBuying a stock at a good price is important.

nYou can still make money if you buy stocks of a good company, even if you overpaid for them.

But you can make much more money if you buy stocks of a good company at a good price.

,Here we have Asana (ASAN).

nIf you had bought at the first point, you would have got a price of $40.

nIf you had bought at the second point, you would have got a price of $60.

nYou may think itu2019s a small difference, but itu2019s not.

nConsider the current price just above $120.

nFrom $40 to $120 is a profit of 200%, you tripled your investment.

nFrom $60 to $120 is a profit of 100%, you only doubled your investment.

,So, getting a good price for the stock can really boost your profitability, but itu2019s important to note that, in both cases, you could have had a profitable investment by picking a good company to invest in.

,4 - Technical and Fundamental AnalysisTechnical and Fundamental Analysis are two ways to find a good price to buy at.

Technical analysis is the study of historical prices on the charts and it is used to identify price trends and patterns.

nFundamental analysis is based on the assumption that a stock price doesnt necessarily reflect the true intrinsic value of the underlying business and it provides a set of tools that allow you to understand if a company is under-valued or not.

nI have published a course about Stock Trading and Stock Investing, itu2019s a 14+ hours video course (you can find it here), and Technical and Fundamental Analysis take more than 4 hours in the course.

So, you can understand that it would be impossible to summarise these two topics in a small paragraph.

nDespite that, I want to give you two examples of simple, but effective strategies.

One based on technical analysis, one based on fundamental analysis.

,Your broker will provide you with a charting platform that you can use, but there is also a web-based one that you can use for free: TradingView u2013 Track All MarketsHere you can search all the stocks you want and visualise their price movements on a chart.

Iu2019m going to use a candlestick chart, daily time frame.

nDo you have the list of stocks you wrote down following the suggestions I gave you above? Great!nLetu2019s analyse 3 names that are probably on that list: Apple, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson (the company that owns the brand u201cListerineu201d).

nWhat Iu2019m going to do is to put a Simple Moving Average (SMA) on the chart, 200 periods.

We buy every time the price falls below it.

,Apple (AAPL)In the past 3 years, you had 6 opportunities to buy Apple stocks.

nAll of them would have been profitable investments, considering the current price.

,Coca-cola (KO)In the past 3 years, you had 9 opportunities to buy Coca-Cola stocks.

nAll of them would have been profitable investments, considering the current price.

nHere, you would have suffered a bit more, but if you simply held shares in this good business, without panicking, you would have had a nice profit in the past 3 years.

In addition, you would have collected almost 10% as dividends.

,Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)In the past 3 years, you had 16 opportunities to buy Johnson & Johnson stocks.

nAll of them, except the last one, would have been profitable investments, considering the current price.

In addition, you would have collected around 8% as dividends.

,This is a pretty easy method to try to get a good price for your stocks.

nI donu2019t want to claim that this is the best method out there, but itu2019s very easy to use and you can apply it as a total beginner.

,Fundamental analysis can be divided into quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis.

nThe latter is the study of advantages and disadvantages that cannot be measured, but that everyone can tell have an effect on the company.

nAn example of that is the management or the industry trend.

nQuantitative analysis focuses on the financial statements of the company.

nWe have 3 kinds of financial statements: balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement.

nIn the balance sheet we can read assets and liabilities of the company, as well as shareholderu2019s equity.

nAn asset is anything a company owns which has a quantifiable value, which means that it can be sold for money.

nA liability is anything a company owes, that has to repaid.

nShareholdersu2019 equity is how much the company is really worth.

It is calculated as total assets minus total liabilities, so it expresses how much is left to the shareholders in case all the assets are sold and all the liabilities are paid.

nThe second financial statement is the income statement, in which you can read revenues and expenses, so how the company earns and spends money.

nSimply subtracting the costs for the company from the sales or revenues, you get the net income or earnings, so you can verify if the company is making any profit.

nThe last financial statement is the cash flow statement.

nThis shows how the company uses its cash to operate the business.

It also shows how much is borrowed from banks or by issuing bonds.

nThis is another important statement, as a company with a good amount of cash is less likely to go bankrupt during bad periods.

nWhere can you find these 3 statements for a company? There are many websites that you can use for free, my favourite one is Yahoo finance.

,Learning how to read these statements is not easy, itu2019s not something for beginners.

Analysts have created some metrics that summarise important figures that you find in these statements.

nAn example of that is the Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio, which relates the price of a stock to the earnings of the company.

nA high figure may indicate that the price is over-valued compared to the companyu2019s earnings.

A low figure may indicate the opposite, so the price is under-valued compared to the earnings of the company.

nYou would like to buy a good company at a price that is under-valued, so you would like to see a low PE ratio.

,First of all, where can you check the PE ratio of a company? You can use Yahoo Finance once again.

My favourite website to check the metrics is Wallmine.

nLetu2019s check the PE ratio for Apple:,It is 28.

56.

Is it high or low? Good or bad?nGenerally, a PE ratio below 30 is considered good, while a PE above 30 is considered bad.

nItu2019s worth mentioning that different industries have different average PE ratios, so itu2019s a good habit to compare the companyu2019s figure with the industry one.

nYou can use a website like Finviz for this.

,The technology sector has an average P/E of 38.

25, so the 28.

56 that Apple shows at the moment Iu2019m writing, is a good metric, below the average.

nDespite Apple being at an all time high, the price is still under-valued compared to the earnings of the company, so it would still be a good idea to buy at the current price.

,5 - Money ManagementHow much should you invest? How many different stocks should you buy? How can you maximise your profit while keeping a low risk?nMoney management is a discipline that answers all these questions.

nI specialise in money management systems and, from my point of view, it is the most important part in trading and investing.

nIn the course Smarter Stock Investing and Stock Trading Foundation Course, we provide an Excel spreadsheet that allows you to simulate future returns based on your past performance.

,This is a simulation based on one of my strategies.

nIu2019m not going into the detail of it, but itu2019s easy to see how I would end up losing all my money if I risked 5% or, even worse, 10% per investment.

nKeeping a balanced risk management of 1% per investment or 0.

20%, I would have a profitable portfolio.

nIn Finance, this is called u201crisk of ruinu201d.

nLet me ask you something: u201chow much do you need to make to recover your losses? How much do you need to make in order to recuperate a loss of 20%?u201dnThis seems like a silly question and you may think: u201cwell, I lost 20%, of course I have to make a 20% profit to recoveru201d.

nUnfortunately, it doesnu2019t work that way and the correct answer is 25%.

,Letu2019s work on numbers.

You have $1000 and you lose 20%, which is $200.

Now you have $800.

If you make a profit of 20%, on $800, it is $160, which will take your account to $960, not back to $1000.

nYou need a profit of 25%.

n25% of $800 is $200, that would take your account back up to $1000.

nThe more money you lose, the higher the profit percentage you need to recuperate your money.

nIf you lose 25%, you need a 33% gain to get back to break even.

nIf you lose 50%, you need a performance of +100% to recuperate your losses.

nIf you lose 80%, you need +400% to get back what you lost, so very hard to recover once you sustain such a big loss.

,So the first thing you should do is avoid high risks.

nIn order to keep your portfolio relatively safe, I have two recommendations for you:,Only allocate between 20% and 80% to buy stocks;,Save some money to buy more stocks each month.

,Regarding the first point, letu2019s say that you want to invest $10,000.

nShould you invest all of it right away? No, you should invest between $2,000 and $8,000 and keep the rest in cash.

nWhy is that? Because the market crashes every now and then.

nThe S&P 500 is a market index that includes 500 of the largestncompanies quoted in the US market.

If we use it as a benchmark, we can say that, on average, the market falls by 10% or more once every 21 months.

nIt falls by 20% or more once every 9 years.

nDown-movements between 5 and 10% happen almost every year.

nWhile most people panic during these periods, you could use a smart approach.

You could have some cash ready to put in the stock market when most of the stocks are heavily discounted because of a market crash.

nI know that 20% to 80% is a very broad range.

If you think that the prices are very high, then you want to keep more cash and have an allocation closer to 20%.

It also depends on your risk attitude.

If you donu2019t like risking much, you may want to have a low percentage in stocks.

,Regarding the second point, this is called dollar cost averaging.

nEvery month, you can save some money to buy new stocks or buy more of the stocks you already own.

nIf you invest $10,000 today, making additional deposits of $250 each month into your brokeru2019s account, with an annual return of 14%, you would be a millionaire in 25 years.

nIs $10,000 too much for you? Or maybe you cannot add $250 every month? Or 14% per year sounds like a very high return?nWell, letu2019s try this.

nIf you invest $5,000 today, making additional deposits of $30 each month into your brokeru2019s account, with an annual return of 10%, you would have $100,000 in 25 years.

nYou can play with these figures, using the calculator on this website: Compound Interest Calculator6 - PsychologyIf they asked me 2 secrets to be a profitable investor, I would say: patience and self-discipline.

nHave a look at the charts I posted above: Apple, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.

nHow many times could you have panicked and sold the shares at the first sign of a down-movement? How many times you would have been wrong? 30 times out of 31!nInvesting requires emotional stability.

If you remove your funds every time the market is going down, or every time you think the market is too high, chances are that you wonu2019t be a profitable investor.

nSo when is it the right time to sell?nRemember that you have bought a share in a business.

nImagine you had started your own restaurant and things were going great.

You are making huge profits every month and it seems that there is no reason to doubt that it wonu2019t be like this in the future.

Would you sell your restaurant because you made enough money? Iu2019m pretty sure you wouldnu2019t.

So why would you sell your stock when things are going great and there is no reason to doubt that it wonu2019t continue like that into the future?nTreat your stocks like your own business.

Stay up to date with what happens in the company and in the industry.

Sell if you need the money or if you donu2019t want that business anymore.

nDonu2019t make the psychological mistake of selling every time the stock has a bad day or every time the stock reaches a new high.

nThere is much more to talk about in regard to this topic.

I will only say: donu2019t underestimate the impact that your emotions might have on your investments.

,7 - Alternative InvestmentsSelecting individual stocks requires time and a certain level of understanding of the market.

nIf you are not interested in learning or donu2019t have time for it, you may want to have a look at some alternative ways to invest in the stock market.

nETFs and Mutual Funds are the most popular ways.

nVanguard is the leader in this sector.

,In recent years, there has been an explosion in popularity of the Robo-Advisors.

Robo-advisors are digital platforms that provide automated financial planning services using algorithms, with little or no human supervision.

nThese algorithms are designed by financial advisors, investment managers and data scientists, and coded in software by programmers.

nA typical robo-advisor collects information from clients about their financial situation and future goals through an online survey and then uses the data to offer advice and automatically invest for their clients.

nSince they require little or no human supervision, management costs are very low, usually less than 0.

5% a year.

,8 - Expectations2020 and 2021 have been great years for the markets.

nPretty much all the stocks that survived the crash in March 2020, have followed a strong and sustained uptrend.

The same happened with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general.

nThis situation has lead many first time investors to put their money in the game, call themselves u201cexpertsu201d, start giving advice to other people through YouTube channels, Telegram groups and more, claiming to make astronomical returns that simply cannot be sustained in the long term.

,To see why temporarily high returns donu2019t prove anything, imagine that two places are 130 miles apart.

If I observe the 65-mph speed limit, I can drive that distance in 2 hours.

But if I drive at 130 mph, I can get there in 1 hour.

nIf I try this and survive, am I u201crightu201d? Should you be tempted to try it, too, because you hear me bragging that it u201cworkedu201d?nThese u201cexpertsu201d who claim to make huge returns are much the same.

In short streaks, so long as your luck holds out, it works.

Over time, it will get you killed.

,So when you see someone claiming to double their investment every quarter, good for them, but stay away from it and keep realistic expectations for your investments.

nIf you use the compound interest calculator mentioned above, you can see how you can achieve great results even with 10 to 15% a year, if you use a smart and patient approach.

,9 - Keep learningYou would be impressed by the results you can achieve, if you dedicated only 2 hours a week to study the stock market.

nYou could check the charts and read the latest news about the companies you have in your portfolio and spend the rest of the time getting proper financial education.

nWhat should you study? Of course, I may be biased, but I believe that this is a great starting point: Smarter Stock Investing and Stock Trading Foundation CourseI worked on this course together with another instructor.

We spent 7 months to concentrate 14 years of experience into 14 hours of video content.

I also share personal results that can be verified, together with my real time portfolio of stocks, with regular updates to let you know about any change in my portfolio.

nI believe that this mix of theory and practice is the best approach to get started on the stock market.

,If you are not a fan of video courses, 3 books I would recommend are:,The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham,The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, by John C.

Bogle,One Up on Wall Street, by Peter Lynch,If you enjoyed this read, please leave an upvote :)nI hope you will have a great investing career!

how do you take 5% off in excel?

Ive been at MIT for the past four years in course 6 (Computer Science), and Im currently studying for my last final exam (!!!).

Here are some things that work for me:n,Teach it first: To understand new systems / concepts, stand up in front of a chalkboard and act as if youre teaching it to a class.

When you get to a point you dont know how to explain, talk it out.

Literally, stand up and talk to yourself; it works.

,Diagram / Symbol: Once you understand something, create a visual diagram / symbol.

Draw it on a piece of paper.

Close your eyes and think about it in your head.

Once you have the diagram / symbol, it will be very easy to remember how it works later on.

,Believe everything is easy and simple: You might not understand certain systems at first look, but if you approach it with a simple mind, you will do better.

You wont think too much about the details and you will better understand the high-level picture.

,Sleep on it: Read a paper before you go to sleep and think about it as you doze off.

When you wake up, it will be at least 50% easier to understand.

n,Make sure you get enough sleep: It makes it incredibly easier to understand new systems when you are thinking clearly.

If youre studying and things just arent making sense, take a nap for 20 minutes.

It may be just enough to get the lightbulb in your head to flicker.

n,Discuss it with friends: Discussions help you gain new perspectives on how others think of systems.

It might introduce variables you never thought about.

How to calculate percentage of a number in Excel

Hi,,Not sure what data set you have to calculate percentage.

I am assuming that you need to know what a particular expense item is a percentage of total expense as a whole.

,For the above assume you have a table as below:,To calculate what each expense item is a percentage of Total amount youu2019ll simply use the formula as below:,Similarly, assume that your Projected Budget was $12000 only and your Total is $12700, you want to know the Variance % youu2019ll calculate is as follows:,Hope this helps!

How to minus percentage in Excel

Your question regarding how to calculate Stacked percentages;covert all number to decimals and use plus/minus 1 to calculate the correct result.

For example:,lets say a product is selling for $100 a goes up 50% = $100 * 1.

5 = $150,Then the product is put on sale at 30% off = $150 * (1-.

3) = $150 * .

7 = 105,and sales tax is 6% = $105 * 1.

06 = $111.

30 new all-inprice of product.

,If youre asking how how to create a stacked column chart in excelHow to create stacked bar/column chart in Excel?Hope these answer youu2019re.

Questions and enjoy your day.

Excel formula for percentage increase

Itu2019s a simple case of multiplying your value by 1 plus your percentage expressed as a decimal.

,for example an increase of 5% you would multiply by 1.

05,A 35% increase would be multiply by 1.

35,And so onu2026.

.

Excel formulas

Important excel formula for beginner can be as following,other things depend upon your requirement and work.

,SUM.

Excels most simple formula, SUM allows you to add up the values of numbers in a row or column.

This function is extremely useful for calculating totals across data tables.

,AVERAGE.

A great place to start after youve learned about SUM, AVERAGE takes the average of numbers in a row or column.

Its great for simple average calculations, and can also be used to calculate rolling averages to smooth out data,IF.

This versatile function is the foundation of logical formulas, which execute different commands depending on whether given conditions are met.

For example, you could use IF to output one message, like congratulations!, if sales representatives have met a particular sales quota for the quarter; and an entirely different message, like better luck next time!, if they have not.

Learning IF is key to unlocking some of Excels most advanced functionality.

,SUMIF.

SUMIF extends the logical formulations within IF even further, allowing you to take the sum of items in a range of values contingent upon a given external criteria.

For example, if you have a list of sales by date and customer, you could use SUMIF to sum the revenue from sales to a particular customer while ignoring the rest.

,COUNTIF.

Like SUMIF, COUNTIF extends logical formulations.

It allows you to count the number of items in a range of values contingent upon a given criteria.

For example, you could count the number of sales made to a particular customer in a given month based on a list of all sales.

,CONCATENATE.

Excels most basic string function, CONCATENATE allows you to combine two strings of text together.

You can use it for a number of different purposes that require combining strings.

For example, you could use it to combine a users first name and last name with a given domain name to create a complete e-mail address.

,RIGHT and LEFT.

These functions are used to chop up strings of text and extract only the important parts that you care about.

RIGHT, for example, can extract the state abbreviation from a City, State combination for easy parsing and handling by other functions.

,SEARCH.

Another string function, SEARCH helps you find a given string of text within another, bigger string.

Use it to check to see whether a block of text contains a given search criteria.

For example, try use it to search for a particular last name within a cell that contains a persons full name.

,VLOOKUP.

One of Excels most-used functions u2014 particularlly for Excel experts u2014 VLOOKUP helps you extract a value from a foreign table based on a given lookup criteria.

As an example, you could use it to dynamically pull out a users e-mail address from a table of contact information based on their name or phone number.

,INDEX MATCH.

VLOOKUP has a bigger, better, even-more-useful brother: INDEX MATCH this handy formula contains much of the same functionality as VLOOKUP, but it a bit easier to use and more versatile in tricky situations.