2017 was an amazing year for the stock market in general, but not an amazing year for General Electric (GE). Their common stock fell in value by over 40 percent, and the dividend was slashed in half compared to 2016. Shareholders have suffered massive losses due to the corporate apathy and greed of those running the show at the top. Systemic mismanagement and laziness are to blame for the rapid decline of GE, and it's going to take solid management and hard work for GE to recover. The road towards recovery is going to be a long and arduous, and requires patience and faith from their shareholders; patience and faith that some shareholders might not have the luxury of sparing.
For both shareholders and non-shareholders of GE that do have the time and patience, the current downturn has created a potentially lucrative opportunity buy shares at a cheap price. Those who currently own shares of GE can average down and those who do not can begin building long positions. However, before assessing what the best investment strategy is, it's important to examine how GE got into the mess it is in today.