Finding A Good Stock

One of the things people are always asking me is how can I find a good stock. The answer I give does not please them. I say, "You are not qualified to pick stock. You don't know how so don't try. Put your money in a no-load mutual fund that is going up".

The next cry is, "I don't want to buy mutual funds. What do I do?" OK, so I'll tell you. It is easy. You will have to do less than an hour of work. None of that Wall Street mythology about research which is all horse hockey. The way Wall Street does research is worthless. And don't listen to any broker. Advice from a broker is a eulogy for your money.

They want you to look at the company prospectus. This document isn't worth the paper it is printed on. It was not written for the investor; it was written to pass inspection by some Dilbert lawyer in Washington to see that it meets all the regulations. You can take a prospectus of a very good company and one of a company that has gone bankrupt and you will see they are almost identical. Throw them away.

Read the Annual Report. Another bit of smoke and mirrors. The title should tell you - Annual. Much of what is in it is a year old. Worthless. And let's hope it doesn't have a case of Enronitis.

Get a report from Morningstar. They know all about every financial statistic for a company that you can think of. You might even find out how many sugar lumps the CEO has in his coffee, but there is one thing you won't learn. If you buy this company's stock will it go up? What I am saying is that all the conventional wisdom methods of doing research are worthless. So what do you do?

On the Internet you can find a list of the best performing mutual funds. Go to www.smartmoney.com or www.yahoo/finance.com . There are other places also, but these 2 are very good. List the top 5 mutual funds (write down their symbols). Now go to www.bigcharts.com . Put in the symbol for one of the funds. A chart will come up giving you a picture of the price performance of that fund. If it is going up at a 25-degree angle or more it means the fund manager is doing a good job of picking stocks. At the top of the chart picture there is a legend for Morningstar. Click on that. The new page will show near the bottom the major holdings of this fund. Again you need to get the symbols for his top 5 stocks and look at the chart picture for each one. If that stock is going up in a nice steady price over a period of time of 6 months or longer you have found a winner. Do this with several funds until you have found some stocks you like.

You have let a professional stock picker do all the work for you and now can piggyback his expertise at no cost. Please remember that when that stock turns down you want to sell it. You may be able to ride one up, but you can never tell when it will turn into another Enron. Always be ready to sell.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2005

In The News:

How the Stock Market Works | Investing 101  U.S. News & World Report
How to Invest in Preferred Stock ETFs  U.S. News & World Report
The 25 Best Mutual Funds of All Time  Kiplinger's Personal Finance

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