sheaple2, using their picks is not a no-brainer. The main reason I say that is that there are way too many picks to actually use. I recently subscribed to their Stock Advisor letter, after seeing a number of stocks I already own mentioned in various MF articles that push the Stock Advisor. My thinking was that if the letter recommends the kind of stocks I am looking for, and highlights a good stock that I otherwise would have missed, that one stock could more than pay for the subscription for the rest of my life. The problem is that the letter recommends 24 stocks per year and I'll likely only average one new stock per year. What's more, there are several other MF newsletters, each of which claims that it's approach beats the market (and has the figures to prove it). Put them all together and there have to be upwards of 75 recommendations per year. There's a lot of information on this site and the challenge clearly is to separate the wheat from the chaff. As far as I know, all the letters offer 30-day free trials. I'd say to sign up for one or two, look at their past picks to see if they are the kind of stocks you would be comfortable with. Download some of the archived letters to see if you like their approach and their thinking. If it's not for you, cancel and try another. Keep whichever one you think you'd be most comfortable with. The point is that you have to invest and there are a number of approaches that will work if you pursue them diligently over the next 30 years. The most important thing is to find an approach you can actually follow, because if you jump back and forth from concentrating on value to only growth stocks to just small caps to nothing but blue chip income, you're bound to switch at the wrong times and ruin your performance. What I'd truly love to see is a MF "best of the best" letter, that would allow one to build a portfolio with a core of a few big cap income stocks you could expect to hold for the rest of your life, and supplement that with a value stock, a small cap (growth or value) or a foreign stock as something really good pops up on their radar screen. The problem is that to be truly valuable, it could recommend no more than a few stocks per year, and very few subscribers would be willing to pay $200 for only one or two or three recommendations.
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