Your Questions About How To Pick Stocks

Michael asks…

Picking a Stock Question (Homework Help)?

Ok my teacher gave me a stock table with 2 options. which one is better for someone approaching retirement. Would it be different if her financial objectives changed?

ANG: Previous H 39 L39, Div 3.25, Yield 7.4, P/E 9, Vol 1187, HI 44, LO 43, Last 44

JGE Previous H 21 L , Div —, Yield —, P/E 21, Vol 615, HI 19, LO 17, Last 18

JGE:

John answers:

I’d guess the “textbook” answer is ANG because of lower p/e and higher yield. BUT to buy a stock with only this information is ignorant, and your teacher shouldn’t give you assignments leading you to believe this is the way to buy stocks.

Helen asks…

Understanding stocks?

I get the company selling stock and someone wanting a cut of a company but how does the person who bought the stock benefit? You just have a stock it’s not like you have a collectors item that is desirable or something that serves a purpose, please explain this to me and if you don’t know what I mean don’t reply.

John answers:

LOL, you’re more insightful than you might think. When someone buys stock, they are counting on the stock going up in value in stock market trading. Pick a stock symbol, any one of them (AMZN is Amazon for example). Log on daily for a week and see how the stock prices change. In theory, the price of the stock goes up when the company is doing well. So people are trying to buy stock in a company that is growing, or getting big profits, really doing well and they will get money paid to them as a share-holders value. This means that more people will want the stock and, based on the old supply and demand theory, people are willing to pay more for the stock because they believe it will continue to grow in value. That’s the basic way it’s supposed to work. But, like your example of a collectors item, some stock becomes popular and the price gets way over-inflated. Dot.com stocks did this in the 90s. People were buying them like crazy, so a false inflated price was established for them. When everyone came to their senses, and decided they better cash in on this, the bottom of the tech-stock market dropped out. So it is a little like the beanie-baby craze after all. The trick is to buy a stock low, before the price of the stock goes up, and sell it at it’s peak. It’s risky and addictive.

Mandy asks…

Is there anyone using the doublingstock.com for stock picks?

I am looking to get top penny stock picks from a repitable site and came across doubling stocks and also pennyslauth. Anyone used either of these sources or have a reccomendation for me.

John answers:

Be careful penny stock newsletters such as the one you are talking about tend to be related to bigger pump-and-dump penny stock scams.

PeterLeeds.com is an unbiased penny stock site, but I do not invest in penny stocks personally because 95% of them are considered worthless. That means you have better odds going to your local casino.

Paul asks…

anybody have stock picks for 2012?

growth stocks

John answers:

This assumes you have a greater than 10 year time frame…..

Don’t invest in individual stocks. Buy an index fund or ETF (Equity Traded Fund). Open a roth ira at Charles Schwab (or other online discount brokerage firm).

Pick an investment timetable (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) and stick to it. Contribute say $100 each time. Buy ETF SCHB (no commissions, very low expense ratio). Ignore any drops in the market, just keep accumulating as many shares as you can. If you stick to your schedule you will buy more shares when the market is down (which is a good thing when you have time.)

If you are young and have a lot of time, you should be praying for the markets to come down. It is a great buying opportunity.

Ken asks…

any stock picks under 15 bucks with big growth next 90 days??

I would like to recover 500 bucks lost in my portfolio in Feb. Any ideas on under 15 dollar stock with growth potential??

John answers:

Hi,

Hey! Do your own homework – it’s safer. When you follow other people’s advice (OPA) and it fails, what have you learned? Zip. Nada. Zero. OPA is for suckers. Don’t fall into that trap.

When you do your own homework even if it turns out to be wrong, you learn from it and get better – it’s called experience.

Investing is like a scientific hypothesis – you hypothesize that based on your investigation and knowledge, this stock should go up and make a profit. Sometimes your hypothesis is wrong and it’s back to the drawing board.

If I were young, I would be investing in small cap growth mutual funds or stocks. Go here for excellent low cost advice (http://www.aaii.com/aaiiportfolios/commentaries/stockportfolio/200701comment.cfm).

Don’t be alarmed at the low cost – it has some of the best financial advice on the Web.

If you have lots of time before retirement the magic of compound interest will just keep building and building. It really works and if you keep investing and re-investing your proftis every year, in 10 or 15 years you will be surprised at how it mounts up. In 30 years you could be a millionaire which probably won’t amount to much in 30 year owing to the the ravages of inflation. But stocks are a good hedge against inflation.

By that time you may need a money manager to manage your money – probably before when you reach the $500,000 mark. Heck! If you have achieved that much, you probably don’t need a money manager – you are the best judge of where to invest your money by that time.

And that’s the primary reason to keep investing in small cap growth stocks – they will flog inflation to death.

When investing in mutual funds, select the no-load funds only. Do not invest in mutual funds with a “load”, an up front commission that you have to pay before when they sell you the mutual fund. Some charge as much as 10% which is a rrip-off. Many studies have shown that the no-load funds do as well as the load funds and sometimes a lot better.

Look at the AAI Shadow Stock Portfolio. I would try and emulate that portfolio if you want to invest in stocks. It was up 25% as of November 2006. The Vanguard Index fund is only up 14%.

AAII has some of the best financial advisers and the cost is very low. They have excellent guides and advice.

You may need a broker so go to e-Trade or Scottsdale who have low commission rates.

Do your own due diligence. Your own ideas are the best. Do not depend on someone else to select investments for you. Learn about investing so you don’t have to ask what stocks to invest in.

Be self reliant.

Remember what Emerson said: A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.

Find stocks that have steadily rising net profits (earnings), low debt, and good P/Es, lots of cash, companies buying back their stock..

What interests you? Find stocks that pique your interest and passion.

You need fast growing good stocks with good earnings and in good sectors. You need to learn more about the stock market before you even think about investing in it.

The stocks world is divided into 12 sectors such as energy which chevron belongs to. It is next to last in the sectors list today.

Technology is numero uno, but things can change in a new york minute, but within the sector, the fastest growing are computer services, not Microsoft. Then, Electronic Instruments and controls. Next is computer storage devices.

The next hot sector is Healthcare, but heed the warning below. Go here for sectors: (http://clearstation.etrade.com/cgi-bin/Itechnicals?Event=srp&Section=redge&Refer=/redge.html)

The best software is Vector Vest if you can afford it. It has sector investing.

Here is a free Web site for charting stocks: (http://www.incrediblecharts.com/).

First of all, stay away from “professional brokers” and tips coming to you via e-mail or friends and acquaintances. And tips at Yahoo! Answers. And e-mail tips. Do your own due diligence – don’t rely on someone else. Read Emerson’s essay “Self Reliance.

Hey! They will say anything to get you to buy their junk. If it’s too good to be true, it is.

Remember this, they are just sales people trying to sell you what their firm is pushing. They are not security analysts or financial planners, not even financial advisers. Trust me, I know from experience that they cannot be trusted especially with a million dollars. You risk losing it all. A million dollar account is known as a “whale” and they would love to get their greedy little paws on it and suck it dry. They just want to make commissions on what they buy and sell for the suckers, err…clients..

Get this book: The Market Gurus: Stock Investing Strategies You Can Use from Wall Street’s Best (Paperback)
by John P. Reese (Author), Todd O. Glassman

Risk avoidance is the name of the game.

Remember, the harder I work, the luckier I get.

Penny stocks are highly speculative. I would avoid the ones under a dollar a share. For example, Best Buy started at less than $5. So there are some good companies, but it takes a lot of digging to find the good ones. You are looking for companies with good earnings, little debt, low capitalization, and good P/Es. For stocks under $5, very few will meet these requirements.

Stay away from the pharms unless they have patented drugs – do not invest in generic pharms, no growth there.

Check out which business sectors are the most popular and invest in the companies in those sectors. The number one, two and three are: technology, health care, and cyclicals (retail). These change periodically so keep current.

Go here for a list of growth stocks: http://www.thestreet.com/_googlen/newsanalysis/ratings/10345212.html?cm_ven=GOOGLEN&cm_cat=FREE&cm_ite=NA

There are these lists all over the Web – you pays your money and takes your chances.

Watch CNBC, but don’t pay too much attention to the talking heads, except for Jim Cramer, the wild man – but he tries to teach you how to invest and has some great advice.

Get Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World by James J. Cramer

Listen to Jim Cramer on CNBC.com

Go to Clearstation for quotes and tutorials on investing at (http://clearstation.etrade.com/). Sign up is free. Look up a few stocks. Do their tutorials. Check out the sectors.

Get this book: Value Investing: From Graham to Buffett and Beyond (Wiley Finance) by Bruce C. N. Greenwald, Judd Kahn, Paul D. Sonkin, and Michael van Biema.

Another good book: The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens: 8 Steps to Having More Money Than Your Parents Ever Dreamed Of (Motley Fool) by David Gardner, Tom Gardner, and Selena Maranjian

Jim Cramer’s Mad Money: Watch TV, Get Rich by James J. Cramer and Cliff Mason

I Want to Make Money in the Stock Market: Learn to Begin Investing Without Losing Your Life Savings! By Chris M. Hart

Sensible Stock Investing: How to Pick, Value, and Manage Stocks by David P. Van Knapp

Stock Investing For Dummies (For Dummies (Business & Personal Finance)) by Paul Mladjenovic

All About Stock Market Strategies : The Easy Way To Get Started by David Brown and Kassandra Bentley

The Motley Fool Investment Guide and their Web site (http://www.fool.com/).

The Little Black Book of Microcap Investing: Beat the Market with NASDAQ/AMEX Microcap Stocks, OTCBB Penny Stocks, and Pink Sheet Stocks by Dan Holtzclaw

How To Make Money In Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times or Bad, 3rd Edition by William J. O’Neil

Trading for a Living: Psychology, Trading Tactics, Money Management by Alexander Elder

Big Trends in Trading: Strategies to Master Major Market Moves (A Marketplace Book) by Price Headley

Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds (Paperback)
by Charles Mackay (Author), Andrew Tobias (Foreword) This book talks about the Tulip craze in Holland where people would mortgage their homes to buy Tulip bulbs. Same thing happened in 2001 – 2002 with the Internet bubble that brought the stock market to its knees. The dot com companies were the Tulip bulbs.

Buy Investors Business Daily. It has lots of tutorials and I like it better than the stodgy Wall St Journal.

Money Game by Adam Smith

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (Wiley Investment Classics) (Hardcover)
by Philip A. Fisher. Recommended by Warren Buffet who took $100,000 and grew it to $34 billion!

Value Investing with the Masters by Kirk Kazanjian

Valuegrowth Investing by Glen Arnold

The 5 Keys to Value Investing by J. Dennis Jean-Jacques

The Intelligent Investor Rev Ed. (Collins Business Essentials) by Benjamin Graham. Warren Buffet was his student at Columbia.

The Money Masters by John Train

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore

Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor by John C. Bogle

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes And How To Correct Them: Lessons From The New Science Of Behavioral Economics by Gary Belsky

Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week! By Phil Town . See his Web site at (http://www.ruleoneinvestor.com/). Free sign-up. I got the book at the library.

Listen. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on these books – most can be found at your library and those that your library doesn’t have they can usually get from other libraries in your state.

Most of these books talk about stock and mutual fund investing, but for a good introduction to other forms of investing Gerald Appel has a great book called Opportunity Investing – How to Profit When Stock Advance, Stocks decline, Inflation Run Rampant, Prices fall, Oil Prices Hit the Roof and Every Time In Between.

First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman Not a book on investing, but it’s a nice segue into the next book.

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton

Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance by Marcus Buckingham

Finding your strengths is important when investing. These books teach you to build on your strengths, what you a good at. Everyone is good or passionate about something. Why not get better at what you are good at?

Another good book is: Opportunity Investing: How To Profit When Stocks Advance, Stocks Decline, Inflation Runs Rampant, Prices Fall, Oil Prices Hit the Roof, … And Every Time in Between (Hardcover)
by Gerald Appel

Most mutual funds do not even keep up the the return on the S&P. That’s like 99% of them.

Vanguard Index funds are a no brainer.

A CD is better than a savings account. They range from six months to several years. You cannot touch your money tho until the time limit is up.

Check out this Web site on Direct Investment Plans where you can buy shares directly from companies: (http://www.fool.com/School/DRIPs.htm). Usually no fees and you can buy one share at a time.

Bonds are probably the safest. But they are not for the young. You might try a bond fund. They might return 5 or 6 percent. At 5% a million would return $50,000 a year – not a bad income. Remember, you have to pay taxes on the $50,000.

There are also municipal bonds and the income from them is taxfree especially if you buy them in a state that offers them, but they only pay about 3%, but it’s mostly taxfree.

Look into Fidelity sector funds. Buy the top three, then in six months look how they are doing and if not so hot, select the next three that are best. Do this for a few years and you will make lots of money.

Kindest Personal Regards,

Walt Brown
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P.S. This is a life-long learning process. Reading these books and applying the rules to analyzing stocks that may be good It takes time. Be patient and keep reading and listening. Don’t be a sucker and follow someone elses advice. Be your own man or woman. Depend on no one except yourself. You can only get smarter and stronger that way.

P.P.S. Internet has lots of good stuff, for example (http://stockcharts.com/school/doku.php?id=chart_school:technical_indicators:moving_average_conve
Stockcharts.com is very good and their discussion of MACD is one of the best, barring its originator, Gerald Apple, but now we are getting into Technical Analysis and that is not for beginners. But it is an important factor in finding good stocks that are going up and growing. Remember, tiny acorns grow into mighty oaks.

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