"Ok, I'll bite. Give us you top 5 stock picks right now." - TheBadgerI assume you are asking me. I have no picks right now. I said that in one of my posts. I am looking though. My last four purchases were C, JPM, HAL and DUK. C has doubled as has JPM...the two charts look almost identical since late 2001. HAL, of course was hit because Dick Cheney was the past CEO plus the media decided to recycle the old asbestos news that has been out for twenty years. I bought it at under $10...today it is at about $25 and going higher. HAL is a great business that I have followed for many years. I wanted to buy it if it dropped below $25...I couldn't believe it was on sale at $15 and again at $11. I bought way too much at $9. DUK dropped below $13 in March while I was in the Bahamas. Luckily, I had access to a computer and was able to buy a load of shares at $12.85. I had previously been buying at $16 and at $14. My goal was to buy DUK below $25. I still cannot believe my good fortune in finding someone willing to sell it at under $13/share. Right now the "bad news" press is concentarated on mutial funds, Arnold and Gray Davis. Not much to hurt any stocks in those news items. But, give the media some time...there is an election coming up in less than 13 months! They will be talking down the economy big time from now until the election.Back in early 2000 my picks were Philip Morris (MO), RJR, AXA and NGH. NGH was Nabisco which was bought by MO from RJR. The President was looking for some cover due to the Monica debaccle so he tried to attack tobacco thinking that he could divert attention to something people disliked more than his labido. MO and RJR were both flying high in late 1999 but were down 60% by February 2000 because of the bad news. I knew in my heart that people smoke because they want to...no one makes anyone smoke. Heck, I quit myself years ago. Thus, I bought way more MO and RJR than I should have. MO went from $19 to $55 and RJR went from $17 to $70! NGH which was beaten down from over $25 to under $8 because of the liability the market foresaw from the President's attack returned to $30 when MO bought the shares for $36 from RJR. RJR ended up with $2 billion in cash or about $19 per share. Remember, I bought it at $17. That is the type of foolishness I was talking about. The market will destroy a great stock for no good reason. Just a little research into the real situation allows one to buy the right stocks at bargain basement prices. But, great companies come roaring right back. They always do. Take AZA for example. Alza was a relatively small pharmaceutical business that had a stream of great products but no ability to market them. Abbott Labs entered into a negotiation to buy AZA. The stock soared to about $40/share. However, the deal fell through and the stock plummetted to under $20. I bought lots of AZA at $18/share firmly believing that either the Abbott deal would be reactivatd or someone else would step up and buy the business. Sure enough, JNJ bought the shares at more than Abbott had offered and took the deal away from ABT. Since then the JNJ shares which were offered for my AZA stock have split 2:1 and JNJ is now at $50/share. That is a 500% gain.You do not need but two or three of these each year. It takes study and patience. But, I can assure you that if I can do it, anyone can do it. I just listen to the news and watch what is going on. I would never have looked into AZA unless I heard something about it on CNBC and looked into the business. Right after 9/11 I saw Hilton Hotels was selling at about $6/share. I had sold my HLT about six months earlier at $13. I knew it was a great business and worth far more than $6...today it is selling at over $16. As far as I was concerned, it was a no-brainer buying at $6/share. The market was just over-reacting to a one-time catastrophy. Surely, HLT would rebound and continue it's old growth patterns. Of course it did just like I expected it to.Anyway, I am sorry I have no hot picks today...I will let yopu know when I spot one. In the meantime, just watch the news. There will be opportunities galore!I could go on and on...there are too many to list. But, the
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