David Merkel's five-part series on questions to ask the management of a public company was originally published on RealMoney in April 2007. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com University readers.

In Part 1 , learn about the big questions that you need to ask right away.

In Part 2 , understand the financial story that the balance sheet can't tell.

In Part 3 , discover what you need to find out about the competition.

In Part 4 , find out the most important questions about pricing and products.

In Part 5 , learn how to understand changes in the business environment, including mergers and acquisitions, and get tips on using all the questions in this series.

More from Investing

Amazon's Big Weakness in the Supreme Court Sales Tax Ruling

Amazon's Big Weakness in the Supreme Court Sales Tax Ruling

3 Must Reads on the Market From TheStreet's Top Columnists

3 Must Reads on the Market From TheStreet's Top Columnists

GM Defies Trump's Trade Outlook by Building New Chevy Blazer in Mexico

GM Defies Trump's Trade Outlook by Building New Chevy Blazer in Mexico

Video: Here Is Why Carvana Isn't Worried About Amazon

Video: Here Is Why Carvana Isn't Worried About Amazon

Jim Cramer: Okta Is a Very Expensive Stock

Jim Cramer: Okta Is a Very Expensive Stock