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Spend some time reading the Discount Brokers Board and the brokerage specific boards.

Getting ideas for individual stock investments from this web site and others is great.

HOWEVER, you must do your own due-diligence (DD) That means that you need to spend the time to read the companies financial statements.

Their annual reports. quarterly reports, SEC filings and press releases. You need to make sure that you are making an informed decision as to the value of the stock of the company.

Be aware that many stock prices have risen dramatically, but will they sustain the value or is the value over inflated due to a possible action in the future which may not happen?

ie: a medical company stock with new cancer drugs in the pipeline, what if the drug does not get approved?

They especially look good if you only look back 1-3 years.

Go back 5 years and look at the charts on almost all stocks and the drop in price can be terrifying, considering it is real money. Your money!

Although with that in mind I temper it with the statement "You have not lost money in a stock unless you sell". Not considering the company going under or such.

I invest in individual stocks of companies that I am very familiar with, use their products and believe that at this point in time they are leaders in their market sector, for a few riskier ones, on track to be.

Given that, even the sector leaders can be ignored in the market and have a stagnent price range for period. You really have to be willing to spend the time to know your companies and their compettitors.

On a final note, if this sounds negative, it is, in my opinion just realistic. With the proper care it could be the best thing you can do for your future.

Nothing like having winners with 500+% gains in your account, when you have watched them grow and be "found" by the market in general.

Good luck to you, Ak in the hills north of Fairbanks...
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