Your Questions About How To Pick Stocks

Jenny asks…

Lets say I was rather good at picking stock options. How would I go about selling a monthly newsletter?

I had a subscription to a weekly options trading newsletter that costed over $1,000 per year for a subscription. That was 4 years ago since then I have studied, researched and have been able to pick stock options with just as good if not better returns that the ones in the newsletter were producing. How would I go about creating, marketing, and selling my own 4 page newsletter for subscribers?

John answers:

Creating it:
a. Use Word or Publisher to create a nice layout.
B. Decide on some regular sections to include in it, such as top news, maybe industry columns (tech stock options, for example), maybe a Q & A column.
C. Write up your first one. Proofread it so the writing is professional.
D. You can email electronic copies or print and mail copies.

Marketing/selling it:
a. Make yourself known. No one will buy an expensive newsletter from just anyone. They have to feel that you’re the real deal and that your advice and tips will be worth their money. If you aren’t known in the industry (you didn’t work at a brokerage house or weren’t known at one as a power investor), you’ll have to build up a reputation for yourself. The best way I can think of is to start your newsletter as a blog, where people get the advice for free for several months and can see a track record of your skill. Or you could write articles on established blogs (find them here: http://technorati.com/blogs/directory/business/finance/ ) which are already widely read. Develop a following, and then turn it into a newsletter.
B. Have a web presence whether you start via blog or not. It can be a small website, but it should be very professional looking and have at least some free advice. The website will serve as both a place where people can find you to subscribe to your newsletter and as an ongoing advertisement. You can write teaser stuff here to make people want more. The answer to the teaser stuff is always in the latest edition of your newsletter.
C. Advertise on web banner ads and in newspapers and magazines. Advertising in print media is expensive, though. You can advertise in a business/financial publication or in magazines targeted to people who go for ads that say “I got rich this way… You can, too.”
d. You want to build a brand name, so choose a good name for your newsletter and a logo.

One thing to convince people to keep subscribing is to keep a running progress report. Create a portfolio of your picks and publish its progress over time. Show how much is made or lost every month or so, or from your recommendations. If you can show you consistently outperform the market, people will subscribe.

Daniel asks…

How much money should I have to start investing in stocks?

I’m in college right now, but really interested in investing in stocks, but as everyone knows, the average college student just doesn’t have enough money…
I’m currently working right now over the break to make me a few bucks… is $1000 enough?
No need to mentor me on how to pick stocks and such since I have been reading up on this and I’m pretty confident that I will be able to hang in there and succeed.
I’m also in a club and this past quarter, we just had a competition given $100,000 to invest on anything and by the end of the quarter, whoever had the most money won and got a prize (me hehe)

John answers:

$1000 is plenty.
However, be prepared to lose most of it, because you likely will.

Personally, I invest in various indexes. It’s much less volatile and much more predictable in terms of macroevents than investing in specific stocks. I specialize in options tied to the DAX (main german stock index). This is because I’m very familiar with economic indicators relevant to germany.

If you are 1) serious and 2) NOT investing for the long term, than you shouldn’t bother trying to predict stocks.

Susan asks…

Has anyone ever made a ton of money using a value investing approach to options,especially using LEAP options?

It seems like there are so many statistical models that figure out how to make money off of option contracts. But, couldn’t someone who uses a value approach to picking stocks really make a ton of money using options if they are good at picking underpriced, value stocks?

Has anyone done this before? If so, who?

John answers:

Options are for short time scales, while value investing is long term. An option’s price is determined by three factors, of which the value of the underlying stock is only one. Volatility and time decay are often more important and will kill any value based strategy.

Just my opinion.

David asks…

How would I have my pick ups in my guitar set up to where it has?

It’s a Epiphone les Paul standard and I want to have one pick up made for metal and leave my other stock pick up in. But I don’t know which side is right for playing metal. I am a beginner (8 months) but I want a better and heavier sound. So would it be the side by the bridge or by the neck/fret board?

Also any suggestions on pick up brands to get for metal?

John answers:

Wearing the guitar with a strap around your shoulders and looking down at the pick-ups, you’d want to keep the pickups on the right (closest to the bridge) and use the one pickup on the left to replace with your choice of pickup.

Ask you local music dealer what he recommends (and has in stock) for pickups ideally suited to metal playing.

Linda asks…

How much more hp can i add to my truck with out hurting anything?

Like tranny drive trin rear end i have a 97 nissan d21 pick (stock hp 134) im pushing 145 now with k&n air filter and mods i want to go up to 200 will that hurt anything?

John answers:

If you had a REAL truck (like a 1977 Chevy) the easiest way to add more horsepower to it would be to drop a 454 in it.

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