Your Questions About How To Pick Stocks To Buy

William asks…

How can I find information on 1 Stock and 1 Mutual fund from Sept 18th to today?

I have an assignment due tomorrow where I was supposed to be following 1 stock and 1 mutual fund all semester, I haven’t even picked which stocks and which mutual fund to do yet. Any way I can find a stock and a mutual fund and it’s past information since sept 18th.

Maybe their is a website or the Stock that I choose’s website might have it.

Please Help!!!

John answers:

Start with researching…..

1. Investopedia
If you are just beginning to learn about the world of investments, Investopedia is your one-stop shop for anything and everything. Here, you can look up definitions of terms, register for newsletters with valuable information, use their stock simulator to see how much an investment earns or loses over time, and much more. Y
2. Yahoo! Finance
Yahoo! Finance is just too good. Aside from the myriad of company reports, which you are required to pay for, all of the information at Yahoo finance is free for the taking.
3. Motley Fool
Whether you are looking to do your own research, or prefer the advice of a seasoned veteran, The Motley Fool has it all.
4. The Street
If you pay any attention to the world of investing, you know the name Jim Cramer. Personally, I think he is little more than a caricature, but some people swear by him. Mr. Cramer is one of the “big name” contributors at The Street. That not withstanding, The Street is, in my humble opinion, the best website for investing related articles. The writers have vast knowledge and fantastic insight, without losing focus on what is important – the investors for whom they write.
5. Wall Street Journal
For decades, the Wall Street Journal newspaper has been a staple for information and research for investors. The Wall Street Journal online delivers even more valuable information than its nearly obsolete predecessor. Nowadays, the Journal’s online presence includes The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s, and SmartMoney, among others. All of these sites are valuable resources for investing information, especially when seeking out company-specific news.
6. MSN Money
Microsoft tends to be a pretty self-serving company, at least in my opinion. Even so, once you learn to glance over all of the Microsoft related news at MSN Money, what you get is another fantastic avenue for portfolio boosting. The one complaint I have with MSN Money is the formatting. When looking at stock quotes, there are no lines distinguishing ads from news or charts, which occasionally will take you off-course by clicking an advertisement by mistake.
7. Zack’s Investment Research
Zack’s does require a membership in order to get to the juicy stuff, but the membership is free and well worth the three minutes it takes to sign up. Here, you will be able to do in-depth research on both stocks and funds. You will also have access to many public and independent reports that will assist you on your quest for the perfect personal investment portfolio.
8. Investor Guide
Investor Guide has many of the same features you’ll notice on other sites on this list, so why does it make my top ten? The stock helper tool. First, this tool helps you to determine an optimal investing strategy and style. Then, it provides a list of companies for you to research. Once your list is complete, you will see what others think of each company on your research list. Investor Guide does a great job of aggregating this information from many different sites for you. You will then evaluate the company’s competition, decide what to buy, and reap the benefits.
9. Seeking Alpha
Seeking Alpha is amazing. My one complaint is that there is actually too much information packed into one page, which at times can make it difficult to navigate. If it weren’t for the massive amount of content on Seeking Alpha, it would be much higher on this list. Company news is the main focus of the site, so if you have a list of companies to research, this is a pretty good place to start.
10. Online Brokerages
Personally, my account has been housed at Sharebuilder for years now, and their research tools are very good. In the beginning, they had a clumsy interface that was slow and filled with glitches. Since then, they have done an amazing job of streamlining and improving content to the point of near perfection. No matter who you invest with online, be sure to use their research tools, as most of them have easy to use interfaces with plenty of information to sort through. Some of the more popular online stock brokers include E*TRADE, TradeKing, Scottrade, and OptionsHouse.

When you are looking to conduct your own investment research, closely monitor where you go online. It is very easy to end up on “hot stock pick” sites, penny stock investing sites, or poorly executed attempts at legitimacy. Many of these sites are fronts for someone to sell you their “foolproof system” or something similar. Everything I have provided above is free of charge, though a few of them offer paid services above and beyond what most of us need.

Carol asks…

Who or what really controls the stock market?

I don’t think anyone truly knows….Seems like an entity all to itself but it is just people right? OR is it a government conspiracy? The old buy and hold of yesterday is DEAD..you basically have to trade this market if you want to TRY and get ahead. I have beat my mutual funds hand over fist from DOW 6500 to DOW 8500 just by picking depressed stocks…..So, anyway , who really has this all under control?

John answers:

The prices of stocks and the number the DOW is at are based entirely on people’s opinions about what the value should be, and their faith in the company to deliver the expected results.

2 years ago, people were really misinformed, their expectations were too high, and the expected results were unrealistic…. This led to high all around stock prices.

In March 2009, people were afraid the whole system is falling apart. They expected very few companies would make a profit, and had little faith in them to not go out of business. This led to the Dow at 6800.

However, each person opinion only matters as much as the dollar value they have in the market. A billionaire’s opinion is 100,000 times more important than an average investor. This is no government conspiracy, but it is clear that the richest investors in the world have more control than anyone else.

“Buy and hold” isn’t dead, it’s just not going to double your money every 9 years guaranteed anymore. Most people would just hurt themselves by trying to trade, making uninformed decisions.

Mary asks…

Any good strategies to survive in a stock trading game?

Our performance and rank in the stock trading game will be the basis of our grade in our Finance subject. What should be kept in mind in buying and selling stocks? Any strategies in choosing a stock to buy? And sell?

Help please.

John answers:

I think you are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking is how to win a stock picking game!

Remember the key principals of modern portfolio management is that risk and reward fall along a sloping line. While it’s possible to find opportunities that present a higher reward than the risk they present relative to the market these opportunities get cannibalized quickly. As such, the best way to get a high return on your fictional portfolio is to take on a lot of risk!

While in real life most wouldn’t do this because they would be afraid of losing their hard earned money, you lose virtually nothing by tanking a virtual portfolio (so the risk of the stocks may be high but the risk to your wealth is low). On the return side you have the potential for all of the accolades and potential prizes that come with winning which is similar to the upside of the actual underlying equities.

Here you have a situation where the derivative portfolio you are trading (your contest paper money) has the same upside but a lower down side than the underlying assets (the money you would lose if the real securities tanked). The way you play this is by taking on lots of risk!

You have not gone into the types of securities you can trade but from what I’ve seen in these people usually do well buying leveraged assets (a way to increase your risk and return pro-rata). Examples of these are the double VIX (TVIX) if you want to bet on volatility the next day or levered ETFs up to 3X (http://etf.stock-encyclopedia.com/category/leveraged-etfs.html) if you want to bet on the market (or a sector) moving one way or another the next day. The easy way to do this of course if to buy stocks that you think could move the next day because they have been down for a while or they just went down the prior day. A shorting strategy (ie. Buying puts) can work if you think a stock will go down the next day for the opposite reasons.

In summary, you can win a stock picking game with leverage and risk! (Don’t try this with your own portfolio or you’ll end up dealing with what these guys dealt with (http://www.bestbooksontrading.com/2011/08/quants.html)!

Mark asks…

How do u choose which stocks to buy?

do u rely on organisations’ recommendations to choose which stocks to buy?
or do u do the technical analysis yourself?
which approach is better?

or is there any other technique that u use? please mention them. thanks

John answers:

I think these articles will help:
How to Find Good Stocks That Will Survive 2008 Market Crash
http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Find-Good-Stocks-That-Will-Survive-2008-Market-Crash&id=880879
How to Pick Good Stocks That Can Make You Rich in The Long Run
http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Pick-Good-Stocks-That-Can-Make-You-Rich-in-The-Long-Run&id=864890

In case you want to know what it takes to get started, read this:
How to Get Started Investing in Stock Market – 3 Must Do Checklists
http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Get-Started-Investing-in-Stock-Market—3-Must-Do-Checklists&id=880761

I hope the articles help! 😉

Steven asks…

What would be a good stock to buy that is under $10 a share?

Preferably a stock from a company that I would recognize. Or even a “go green” type technology stock. Now that the market is falling, I would like to start buying and I am being told that if I do start buying stocks, it should be something that I am interested in. If I were to invest tomorrow, I would only want to invest up to $1,000 to start.

John answers:

You should pick two solid stocks. Under $10 shouldn’t be your main concern. Try strong steady stocks that are currently under valued and have a definitive future. Think of the major brands you buy and support.

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