Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate equity appraisal techniques employed by non-professional investors from the Central European emerging stock market (CEESM) of Poland. The paper examines investment decision-making processes in the context of the current financial crisis in a pioneering attempt to shed some light on crisis-induced changes in investment strategies. In addition, the study tests the usefulness and predictive abilities of analytical tools employed by non-professional investors when faced with unstable stock-market conditions. Design/methodology/approach – Questionnaires and experiments conducted with a large group of Polish investors – trading equities in their home market – in order to gain information on the most commonly used investment strategies. Their views are contrasted with similarly obtained opinions expressed by UK non-professional investors to highlight differences in approaches to investments. Finally, a series of semi-structured interviews was conducted to discuss how the current financial crisis has affected investment strategies among Polish and UK investors. Findings – Technical analysis (TA) is the preferred tool utilized by non-professional investors in Poland. However, the current financial crisis caused the majority of Polish practitioners to adopt fundamental analysis which, in this case, is undertaken to support initial conclusions derived from TA. At this point, investees' financial statements coupled with analyses of the main macroeconomic indicators for CEESMs became the main source of decision-influencing information. Practical implications – The paper addresses an area which is gaining in importance and is of interest to both practitioners and service providers for non-professional investors. Further investigation is recommended of nascent challenges to investing in CEESMs with practical implications for policy makers and investors. Originality/value – The current paper refers to the global financial crisis which occurred in the years 2008-2010. To date, there are no previous studies devoted to an investigation of how investors' trading strategies were influenced by the international financial crisis. Moreover, there are relatively few studies which target practitioners from CEESMs. The paper focuses on the non-professionals, as this group of investors seems to be relatively under-researched. Therefore, a number of important implications can be drawn from the current paper with regard to investment strategies tailored to overcome a financial crisis.