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Five Investing Pitfalls To Avoid, According to Investor s Business Daily #business #card #printers

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Five Investing Pitfalls To Avoid, According to Investor s Business Daily

Big stock market winners look a lot alike — they have strong earnings and sales growth, a dynamic new product or service, leading price performance and rising mutual fund ownership. Interestingly, successful investors share similar traits.

Top investors always keep their losses small; they never average down in price; they don’t immediately shun a stock because it has a high price-earnings ratio (P/E Ratio); and finally, they pay attention to the general health of the market when they buy and sell stocks.

Yet, at the same time, many investors still operate using unsound principles. Successful investors learn to avoid the common pitfalls, and follow these insights that can put you well on your way to becoming a better investor.

Buying Low-Priced Stocks
What sounds better? Buying 1,000 shares of a $1 stock or buying 20 shares of a $50 stock? Most people would probably say the former because it seems like a bargain, with more opportunity for big increases from owning more shares. But the money you make in a stock isn’t based on how many shares you own. It’s based on the amount of money invested.

Many investors have a love affair with cheap stocks, but low-priced stocks are generally missing a key ingredient of past stock market winners: institutional sponsorship.

A stock can’t make big gains without the buying power of mutual funds, banks, insurance companies and other deep-pocketed investors fueling their price moves. It’s not retail trades of 100, 200 or 300 shares that cause a stock to surge higher in price, it’s big institutional block share trades of 10,000, 20,000 or more that cause these great jumps in price when they buy — as well as great price drops when they sell.

Institutional investors account for about 70% of the trading volume each day on the exchanges, so it’s a good idea to fish in the same pond as they do. Stocks priced at $1, $2 or $3 a share are not on the radar screens of institutional investors. Many of these stocks are thinly traded so it’s hard for mutual funds to buy and sell big volume shares.

Remember: Cheap stocks are cheap for a reason. Stocks sell for what they’re worth. In many cases, investors that try to grab stocks on the cheap don’t realize that they’re buying a company mired in problems with no institutional sponsorship, slowing earnings and sales growth and shrinking market share. These are bad traits for a stock to have. Institutions have research teams that seek out great opportunities, and because they buy in huge quantities over time, consider piggybacking their choices if you find these fund managers have better-than-average performance.

The reality is that your prospect of doubling your money in a $1 stock sure sounds good, but your chances are better of winning the lottery. Focus on institutional quality stocks.

Avoiding Stocks With High P/E Ratios
“Focus on stocks with low P/E ratios. They’re attractively valued and there’s a lot of upside.” How many times have you heard this statement from investment pros?

While it’s true that stocks with low P/E ratios can go higher, investors often misuse this valuation metric. Leaders in an industry group often trade at a higher premium than their peers for a simple reason: They’re expanding their market share faster because of outstanding earnings and sales growth prospects.

Stocks on your watch list should have the traits of past big stock market winners we mentioned earlier: leading price performance in their industry group, top-notch earnings and sales growth and rising fund ownership, to name a few. A dynamic new product or service doesn’t hurt either.

Stocks with “high” P/E ratios share a common trait: their performance shows there’s plenty of bullishness about the company’s future prospects. For example: In Aug 2003, stun-gun maker Taser International had a P/E of 44 before a 900% increase. At the time, the market was bullish about the firm’s earnings and sales growth prospects. The market turned out to be right. For five straight quarters, Taser has posted triple-digit earnings and sales gains.

More great examples come from the medical, retail, and oil and gas sector, which were all strong performers in the 2003-2004 period. The table below shows leading stocks in the sectors that staged big price runs from seemingly high P/E ratios. In every case, it was explosive fundamentals that drove their stock price.

At end-Oct 2004, the average P/E Ratio of stocks in the S P 500 Index was around 17.

Letting Small Losses Turn Into Big Ones
Insurance policies help us minimize risk when it comes to our health, home or car. In the stock market, most people don’t even think about buying insurance policies with individual stocks but it’s a good practice.

Cut your losses in any stock at 7% or 8% and you’ll never get hit with a big loss. This is your insurance policy. If you buy stocks at the right time, they should never fall 7-8% below your purchase price.

A small loss in a stock can easily be overcome. It’s the big ones that can do serious damage to a portfolio. Take a 50% loss on a stock, and it would need to rise 100% to get back to break-even. But if you cut your losses at 7% or 8%, a single 25% gain can wipe out three 7%-8% losses.

Here’s a set of hypothetical trades to illustrate the point. Even if you had made these seven trades over a period of time – and taken losses on five of them – you would still come out ahead by more than $3,700. That’s because the two stocks that worked out resulted in a combined profit of $5,500. And the five losses – all capped at 7% or 8% – added up to $1,569.

The rationale for that 7% Sell Rule was never clearer than in the bear market that began in Mar 2000. It caused unnecessary, severe damage to many investors’ portfolios. Small losses in tech stocks snowballed into huge ones. Some stocks lost 70%-80% or more of their value. Some will never reclaim their old highs. Others may, but it’ll be a long road back. All successful investors share one trait: they firmly recognize the importance of protecting hard-earned capital by selling fast when a stock declines 7% or 8% from where they bought it.

If a stock you own starts to fall on expanding trading volume, it’s usually better to sell first and ask questions later, rather than the other way around. Keep losses small to avoid severe damage. You can always re-enter the game if you’ve only lost 7%. Don’t ever look back after a smart sell, even if the stock rebounds. You have no way of knowing its future, so you are best off reacting to what your stock is telling you right now. Learning this trait is hard — but it will save you a great deal in the long run.

Averaging Down
Averaging down means you’re buying stock as the price falls in the hopes of getting a bargain. It’s also known as throwing good money after bad or trying to catch a falling knife. Either way, trying to lower your average cost in a stock is another risky proposition.

For example, take Amazon.com between June and Oct of 2004. Its chart revealed much institutional selling by mutual funds and other big investors.

In June, it was a $54 stock. In July, it was a $45 stock. Investors who bought in at $45 may have thought they were getting a bargain, but they weren’t paying attention to multiple heavy-volume declines in the stock. What’s the sense of buying a stock when mutual funds and other big investors are selling big blocks of shares? That’s a tough tide to swim against.

When Amazon released its earnings on Oct 21, it fell another 10% to around $37. In general, stock charts tell bullish or bearish stories long before headlines do. In Amazon’s case, heavy volume declines between July 8 to 23 told a bearish story.

Buying Stocks In A Down Market
Some investors don’t pay any attention to the current state of the market when they buy stocks. And that’s a mistake.

The goal is to buy stocks when the major indexes are showing signs of accumulation (buying: heavy volume price increases) and to sell when they’re showing signs of distribution (selling: heavy volume price declines). Three-fourths of all stocks follow the market’s trend, so watch it each day, and don’t go against the trend. It’s not hard to tell when the indexes start to show signs of duress.

Distribution days will start to crop up in the market where the indexes close lower on heavier volume than the day before. In this case, a strong market opening will fizzle into weak closes. And leading stocks in the market’s leading industry groups will start to sell off on heavy volume. This is exactly what happened at the start of the bear market in Mar 2000.

When you’re buying stocks, make sure you’re swimming with the market tide, not against it.

CAN SLIM™ and the IBD Way
If you are a reader of Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) or any other of William O’Neil’s writings, you may have noticed that these five pitfalls compliment the CAN SLIM methodology of stock selection. By avoiding low-priced stocks, looking beyond the P/E, implementing a stop-loss plan, not averaging down and monitoring the overall market, you’ll be well on your way to a sound investing strategy based on years of studies and research from IBD.

For more on CAN SLIM, see Finding The Magic Mix Of Fundamentals And Technicals or Guide To Stock-Picking Strategies .





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      Equities have been the road to wealth for many investors, but selecting the right ones for your portfolio is a difficult process. Chasing after the latest hot tip is no better than taping a newspaper stock page to a dartboard and throwing a dart. Take time to do some homework. This article is a good place to start in your search for unbiased advice for investing online. Read More
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    Getting Started With Angel Investing #grants #for #small #business

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    Getting Started With Angel Investing

    What it is: Angel investors might be professionals such as doctors or lawyers, former business associates — or better yet, seasoned entrepreneurs interested in helping out the next generation. What matters is that they are wealthy and willing to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in your business in return for a piece of the action.

    How it works: Generally, the angels need to meet the Securities Exchange Commission s (SEC) definition of accredited investors. They each need to have a net worth of at least $1 million and make $200,000 a year (or $300,000 a year jointly with a spouse).

    Angel investors give you money. You sell them equity in the company, filing the investment raise with the SEC. Angel investments commonly run around $600,000. Most investments rounds also involve multiple investors, thanks to the proliferations of angel groups.

    Upside: Angel investments can be perfect for businesses that are established enough that they are beyond the startup phase, but are still early enough in the game that they need capital to develop a product or fund a marketing strategy.

    Many businesses receiving angel investments already have some revenue, but they need some cash to kick the enterprise to the next level. Not only can an angel investor provide this, but he or she might become an important mentor. Because their money is on the line, they will be highly motivated to see your business succeed.

    Downside: You could be giving away anywhere from 10 to more than 50 percent of your business. On top of that, there s always the risk that your investors will decide that you are the business greatest obstacle to success, and you could get fired from the company you created.

    Angel investors, like venture capitalists, also like to see an end game down the road that will allow them to pocket their winnings, whether it is a public offering or your business getting acquired by another company. You might have to give up running your enterprise before you re done having fun with it.

    How to get it: It used to be that angel investors were wealthy people the business owner knew. Or they might be veteran entrepreneurs who were discovered through old-fashioned networking at the local Chamber of Commerce, the area Small Business Development Center. or a trusted banker, lawyer or accountant.

    These days, though, angel groups are proliferating, offering plenty of mentoring and coaching on top of the money provided.

    The Overland, Kan.-based Angel Capital Association (ACA) has an online listing of angel groups that are members in good standing, as well as organizations affiliated with the ACA.

    Other websites to check out include AngelList and MicroVentures .





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    How to Invest in Stocks – Stock Investing 101 – TheStreet

    Stocks are an equity investment that represents part ownership in a corporation and entitles you to part of that corporation’s earnings and assets.

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    In the past, shareholders received a paper stock certificate — called a security — verifying the number of shares they owned. Today, share ownership is usually recorded electronically, and the shares are held in street name by your brokerage firm.

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    Debate Mate granted membership of the Social Stock Exchange

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    Getting Started With Angel Investing #business #data

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    Getting Started With Angel Investing

    What it is: Angel investors might be professionals such as doctors or lawyers, former business associates — or better yet, seasoned entrepreneurs interested in helping out the next generation. What matters is that they are wealthy and willing to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in your business in return for a piece of the action.

    How it works: Generally, the angels need to meet the Securities Exchange Commission s (SEC) definition of accredited investors. They each need to have a net worth of at least $1 million and make $200,000 a year (or $300,000 a year jointly with a spouse).

    Angel investors give you money. You sell them equity in the company, filing the investment raise with the SEC. Angel investments commonly run around $600,000. Most investments rounds also involve multiple investors, thanks to the proliferations of angel groups.

    Upside: Angel investments can be perfect for businesses that are established enough that they are beyond the startup phase, but are still early enough in the game that they need capital to develop a product or fund a marketing strategy.

    Many businesses receiving angel investments already have some revenue, but they need some cash to kick the enterprise to the next level. Not only can an angel investor provide this, but he or she might become an important mentor. Because their money is on the line, they will be highly motivated to see your business succeed.

    Downside: You could be giving away anywhere from 10 to more than 50 percent of your business. On top of that, there s always the risk that your investors will decide that you are the business greatest obstacle to success, and you could get fired from the company you created.

    Angel investors, like venture capitalists, also like to see an end game down the road that will allow them to pocket their winnings, whether it is a public offering or your business getting acquired by another company. You might have to give up running your enterprise before you re done having fun with it.

    How to get it: It used to be that angel investors were wealthy people the business owner knew. Or they might be veteran entrepreneurs who were discovered through old-fashioned networking at the local Chamber of Commerce, the area Small Business Development Center. or a trusted banker, lawyer or accountant.

    These days, though, angel groups are proliferating, offering plenty of mentoring and coaching on top of the money provided.

    The Overland, Kan.-based Angel Capital Association (ACA) has an online listing of angel groups that are members in good standing, as well as organizations affiliated with the ACA.

    Other websites to check out include AngelList and MicroVentures .





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    Wells Fargo Small Business – Online and Business Banking, Lending and Investing Services for Business #music #business #degree

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    Wells Fargo Personal

    1. Next-day funding available for most transactions when funding to a Wells Fargo checking or savings account.

    Important notice regarding use of cookies: By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies as described in our Digital Privacy and Cookies Policy.

    Brokerage products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC, Members SIPC. non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo Company and is intended only for United States residents. WellsTrade ® is offered through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

    Wells Fargo Insurance, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) is a licensed agency that represents — and is compensated by — the insurer based on the amount of insurance sold.

    Investment and Insurance products:

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