Your Questions About How To Pick Stocks

Chris asks…

What are some tips on how to buy and sell stocks?

This is my first time trying to do this and im interested if anyone has any good tips on how to buy and sell.

John answers:

1) Do your research – there is a lot that you can dig into on this and anything you do is a good thing here. Reading financial newspapers, investing tip websites, talk to people you know that have invested, research companies etc… Everyone’s strategy will vary.
2) Visit sites like finance.google.com so that you can research both companies and stocks
3) Look for companies you know and like – chances are you aren’t alone, and you will already have an idea as to what they sell, and to whom
4) Read companies financial statements (if you are comfortable with doing so) – this way you can see if they are making money and stand to make money going forward.
5) Find a local brokerage – this will enable you to book trades – they likely will have brokers who will be more than happy to talk to you and get you going. If you want to test the waters though, there are a number of sites online where you can book “test” trades and see how you fair.

When investing, try to get a decent amount of cash going and diversify (pick more than 1 or 2 stocks). Your level of diversification will depend on your risk tolerance and the amount you have to invest. When diversifying, ideally you want to have a blend of different industries and different types of companies, this way you aren’t hit super hard if an industry or company drops suddenly.

Paul asks…

How to determine if GATEWAY is able to meet its current AND long-term obligations as they become due?

How to determine If GATEWAY is able to meet its current AND long-term obligations as they become due?

Based on Current Ratio, Quick Ratio, Working Captial, Accounts Receivable Turnover, Average Collection Period, Inventory Turnover, and Average Sales Period.

John answers:

Are you invested in gateway? I would check out this thiing they have on Scott trade that calculates all revenue’s debts and simplifies it

im no broker

but just have been day trading on etrade and scotttrade in smaller stock and honestly been doin pretty good

i learn a lot with the gadgets on the websites that do all the math for me LOL

check this out… I subsribe to motley fool and they talk about gateway… U GOTTA READ its kinda mean but these gardner brothers are the bomb they know there stuff… I invest in micro’s and thats their specialty check this out

Gateway: From Cow to Cowed
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz August 27, 2007

It’s all over but the crying. Cow-spotted computer maker Gateway (NYSE: GTW) is wrapping up its troubled tenure as a stand-alone company, agreeing to be acquired by Taiwan’s Acer in a $710 million deal that’s more bitter than sweet.

Sure, cashing out at $1.90 a share represents a healthy 57% premium to where the stock closed on Friday. However, it’s also a sad price tag for a company that blew it, big time. Gateway’s balance sheet was flush with $1.2 billion in cash just five years ago.

Losses, restatements, namesake store closings, and the costly 2004 acquisition of eMachines weighed heavily on the company. Recent investors may be pumped to be taken out at a generous markup, but older investors have to be smarting. Gateway’s going out for less than its liquidation value from a few years back.

This isn’t the end for Gateway itself, of course. It may very well thrive as an Acer appendage. Acer expects the deal to be accretive to next year’s bottom line. The corporate combination creates a company that’s generating $15 billion in annual revenue, while shipping out more than 20 million computers a year. The deal won’t make Acer as big as market leaders Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), but it does firmly entrench the firm as the industry’s bronze medalist.

As long as it’s able to improve Gateway’s operations, Acer’s getting a good deal here. Since Gateway was clinging to $314 million in working capital at the end of June, Acer won’t actually have to shell out the entire $710 million value of the deal.

Still, it’s sad to see Gateway go. The company and its cow-spotted boxes felt so relevant in the 1990s, and Gateway deserves better. As bad as things may have gotten, it still managed to post a profit in all but two quarters over the past three years. It also lapped an important milestone in its last quarter, shipping out the 50 millionth PC in its storied history. With plenty of greenbacks still in its balance sheet, it didn’t have to bow out. But it did.

Oh, well. There’s no use crying over spilled milk. This heifer’s gone to pasture.

Dell Computer has been singled out as both an Inside Value stock pick and a Stock Advisor recommendation. You can find out why with 30-day trial offers to either newsletter service.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does have a pair of Gateways in his house, though he prefers his HP computer. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow’s ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool’s disclosure policy is grass-fed and hormone-free.

Steven asks…

How to get better at drawing anatomy?

I love to draw people. I’m really good at drawing faces and hair and stuff like that but the torso and the limbs I just- no. I really want to learn how to make my anatomy better because I’d like to draw fanart for TV shows I watch and bands I listen to, haha. I usually look up for references on google images but then get annoyed because none of the references are for the position I’m trying to draw. Any tips? Thanks.

John answers:

Well, first off, draw from life. Study from life. Practice with your friends and family, or, depending on your age, find a local model group to join where you can go draw people as a group.

You can also get the free program DAZ or MakeHuman, if you’re into 3d art, and pose the figures as needed. You can even add lighting to help you with your shading once its rendered.

However, photographs lie! They don’t always tell things how they truly are in a three dimensional space. Even so, Deviantart has a LOT of great stock to use for references, so you can look there as well.

Lastly, I’d pick up some books on anatomy. Just Google search for famous art books, or just anatomy books. There are many free ebooks online to read—it just takes a bit of research.

Richard asks…

How do I start playing the stock market?

Hi, Everyone!

I am interested in playing the stock markets. However, I do not have the slightest clue on how to go about doing this.

How do I start? Where do I start?

Can anyone help me out? All answers are much appreciated!

John answers:

You picked a good choice of words, “…playing the stock market.” You will be doing just that if you have no knowledge of where to invest. It’s sheer speculation to pick a stock and hope for good returns.

My recommendation is to go the mutual fund route for investing. Many are based upon stock portfolios and have long histories of solid returns. They have professional managers that know the industry and where to put the money.

But if you want to gamble in the stock market, you first need an account with a brokerage. That’s easy enough to setup. Many will allow online account setup. Next, pick a stock and make a trade. Expect to pay a fee for the trade, sometimes it can be high, depending on the brokerage you get with. Good luck!

Michael asks…

What’s a good way to learn how to cook chinese food?

I’m a lover of the american-chinese food, but I hate having to spend so much everytime I go out. I want to learn how to cook it at home and still get the same great taste!

John answers:

Do what everybody else says and get a good cookbook and watch cooking shows that focus on Chinese food.
Also, read on what you can find on the internet.
Http://chinesefood.about.com/od/diningout/fr/cookerysecrets.htm and http://www.chinesefooddiy.com/index.html
Frequently local community colleges will have ‘fun ed’ courses on cooking various cuisines, and they will usually be taught by people that are or learned from natives to the food.

I have a few other tips that helped me:

1. Locate an Asian market. Go there. You won’t be the only non-Asian, but it’s a fascinating experience. Browse the produce market and get familiar with some of the stuff you see like bok choy, saw grass, and lemon grass. Look in the section with spices and see what is available.
Meander down the aisles and see what is available. The bigger the market, the more interesting it will be.

When you read recipes, some of this stuff you’ve seen will come back to you.

2. Get the equipment you need. You can’t do wok frying in a cheap wok on an electric stove. It won’t get hot enough up the sides and if you try, the bottom will burn. If you turn it down, the food will be oily. You need a decent wok and a gas stove, or an electric wok. Also, it’s alot more convenient and you’ll get much better results with a decent home fryer. I suggest the waring pro 1800 watt 5 quart fryer. You can find them online and some places for 50 bucks and they are at least as good as some fryers going for 150 or so, like the euro-pro. Only fry with peanut oil at around 375 F (sesame oil is for seasoning and some sauteeing, but not deep frying, plus it would cost you a fortune).

3. Stock up on the really common ingredients and have them handy: sesame oil, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, 5 spice powder, yellow curry, fresh (or minced in a jar in a pinch) ginger and garlic, monosodium glutamate (easily available at the right places.), rice wine, oyster sauce, corn starch, white wine, cooking sherry, and several cans of chicken broth.

4. It’s critical to use the freshest ingredients possible. Don’t scrimp on food costs or you’ll be dissatisfied w/ the results. For example, you can’t make those good green beans out of canned beans. It just won’t work. They are too mushy. You can’t make decent General Tso’s chicken with chicken thighs and powdered ginger. (it’s got to be fresh ginger and white meat.) and done in a very good hot fryer.

5. If you don’t already know how, learn to cook rice well. I suggest never using minute rice. Use Texmati or Basmati rice for the best flavor. Follow the measurements exactly. After it boils and thickness to a slurry in the pot, turn the heat down to low, put a lid on it (a good lid that will seal if at all possible), and leave it for 30 minutes. Don’t touch it! Don’t lift the lid even one time. You’ll let out the heat and steam and end up with grainy rice. This is absolutely critical. That’s why so few people make really good rice. I never had any idea until someone taught me just how touchy rice can be.
If you have a home rice cooker, that’s perfect too.

6. Pick one of your favorites and focus on it. Don’t try half a dozen things and do each one once or you’ll get frustrated. Practicing one item until it is perfect will build your confidence, and you’ll learn things that will help with other recipes.

7. Try to meet Asians that like to cook. As a group they tend to value modesty, so they won’t just blurt out their cooking tips, but they will probably be glad to make suggestions if you bring it up and ask them flat out. I tend to start conversations with the restaurant managers that come around to check on me when I’m dining. I tell them I like to cook and ask them for suggestions. I had one offer me a job as a hibachi (it was a ‘pan-Asian’ type place) cook once. No experience needed, he just needed a warm body that liked to cook and he said he’d train me. I should have done it but I was already working an office job and on overtime. I still regret not trying to make it work. Oh well!

Good luck
Kevin

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