Buying stocks is as much about timing as it is about research. It's important to do your homework and find stocks that meet your investment criteria, but even then you might be in for tough times if you don't pay at least some attention to timing. Psychology plays a critical role in determining a stocks price, and if you like to buy stocks at a good value, as I do, then you want to make sure to spend considerable energy on ascertaining a proper entry point. Most of us have heard the phrase, "don't try to catch a falling knife." What this pithy little phrase means in the investment world is pretty obvious: If you buy stocks that are falling, you might get cut and bleed out before the stock bottoms and starts to go back up again. Here's the problem for the value investor -- opportunities generally arrive from the fact that the stocks we are interested in are out of favor. They are losers for one reason or another. So we want to find stocks that are out of favor but not likely to keep falling -- or at least not much further.