Your Questions About How To Pick Stocks

Susan asks…

How to invest online?

I have around $7,000-$9000 and i really want my money to grow instead of just sitting at home. I have thought about putting the money in the bank but the interest is not worth it. I want to learn how to invest online. I have no idea about investing. Can someone please help me. If you invest online do you have to pay a broker fee? How do you pick your stocks? whats the best investing site? Is there a fee? Please help me, i need the basics. Thanks

John answers:

If you don’t know anything about investing it would be best to invest in mutual funds instead of individual stocks. There are always fees but you can use brokers like, or Sharebuilder and Vanguard are both companies I use. These sites have sections where you can compare funds.

If you are just looking for something safe that will keep it at/above inflation you can look at money market funds, preferrably with FDIC (Federal Insurance in case of bankruptcy) such as which currently has a rate of 3.5%

Your local bank as well as online banks have Certificate of Deposits that often have higher rates than savings but have time limits (6 months, 9 months, 1 yr, 2 yr, etc)

It may be worthwhile to get a consult from a professional if you plan on investing continually.

Nancy asks…

how to leave motley fool for erasing my stocks and shares?

So I had an idea to invest in the future, and I believed in solar power. I found Motley Fool’s website, saying how easy they made share dealing, anyone could do it, as long as you picked good stocks.

So… I went for it. I picked solar power stocks, (gone up since!).

However, MF have been nothing but incompetant. From day 1 they messed me around so much I dont have space to list it all. Motley Fool have:

* neglected to tell me that I can’t use ISAs to invest in US stocks despite me clearly repeatedly telling them before hand I wanted to invest in some US companies.

* forced me to move money OUT of MF back to my bank, and back to MF… just to get it out of the ISA and into the international thing. Incurring extra charges each way.

* Reported a loss when my stocks went up!

* Now all my stocks are ERASED. ALL my stocks do not exist on their system.

This is MY FUTURE. They treat my money like a joke. How do I get my money back? I want to leave them, but keep my shares. I hate them.
By the way… I invested in two stocks. One has gone up more than the other, but I didn’t keep track of how much of each I invested in. So knowing Motley fool, they’ll not take my money seriously or and con me out of more money.

Also, I tried asking about this problem on their forum, but they deleted the post. 🙁 Nice way to treat your customers Motley Fool! Delete their attempts to get help!
Yes you can invest money via motley fool…

but don’t ever use it 🙁 they’ll waste your money like they wasted mine.

John answers:

You invested money in Motley Fool? I believe they only write articles and give investment advice. They aren’t a brokerage company, at least that I’ve seen.

They have CAPS which is just a game that tracks your stock picks.

Charles asks…

How do I switch to Yahoo Classic (Not Mail)

I really need to switch back to Yahoo Classic. I have not switched mail to the new version, so that is not the issue. My home page with all of my stock picks, etc. is WAY too slow! Since it is my home page, whenever I open a new browser, I need to wait 10 seconds before I can type anything at the top. Also, my scroll bars are locked until it all loads. The old one is much faster. Does google have a similar personal page setup. I have had my yahoo for over 10 years, and ready to give it up. Any help is appreciated. Thanks,

John answers:

As of July 14th the original My Yahoo! Was shut down and everybody was moved to the new version. Access to the original My Yahoo! Is no longer available.

Sandra asks…

stocks project question?

I have to do a project on picking 2 stocks(john deere+coke) and finding out if you invested 10,000 dollars in them how much you would have in 1 year,5years, and 10 years. I have no idea what percent they are by doing research it confused me, and idk the formular for sure. please help
Yes, i have the historical value of 2001,2006, and 2010 but what i saw from others was the equation A=P(1+r/…)^t or years but i don’t know the rates i need to place in the website show many percentages

John answers:

Well you need one more historical price…Jan1/2000 Your other prices should be as of Jan 1 as well

Not clear if each company gets an initial investment of $10,000 but I will assume so.

1) So you take your Inital $10,000 and divide that by the share price closing on Jan 1/2000 and that is the number of shares you have

2) Now take the closing share price as of Jan1/2001 and multiply it the number of share you calculated in step 1) and that gives you the worth after one year

3) To calculate the % gain or loss for that period take the value calculated in step 2) subtract it from $10.000 (could be a positive of negative number) then divide the result by 10,000 and multiply it by 100 and this gives you a % gain if positive or a & loss if negative.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for 2006 and 2010

Edit: I looked at Deere & company [NYSE:DE] and CocaCola [NYSE:KO] and I was very surprised by the result…John Deere certainly has been a great long term hold…Thought Coke would beat it hands down…show how research can correct misconceptions.

Ooops: John is correct about the dividends…they should be toted up for each year but don’t think it will change the outcome much

Linda asks…

How do you know when an ear of corn is ripe to pick from the stock?

John answers:

The silk sticking out of the husks will be brown

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