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Author: roush17 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75375  
Subject: Thoughts on individual stocks... Date: 1/6/2002 10:54 AM
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I have started a Roth IRA to supplement my 401K and I have decided to invest in individual blue chip stocks thru Sharebuilder.. This past year I invested $1800 in Disney and Ford with total commision charges of $12... This year I plan on doing the same, but investing $3000 in three companies with a maximum of 6 buys resulting in commisions of $24...IMO, doing this will keep my fees very low over the long term and over the years I will be able to diversify into several companies... Any thoughts????
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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 33120 of 75375
Subject: Re: Thoughts on individual stocks... Date: 1/6/2002 11:51 AM
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Your commission charges will be still lower if you invest all the funds from each years contribution in a single stock. This way you diversify by choosing a different stock for purchase each year and you take the long term view.

However, your strategy does give low--less than 1% commission charges, but they are still high compared to the 0.18% expense ratio of a good index fund.

Fool on!!

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Author: roush17 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 33121 of 75375
Subject: Re: Thoughts on individual stocks... Date: 1/6/2002 12:44 PM
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But with the individual stocks, the less than 1% fee is a one time charge, with an index fund I will be charged that .18% yearly... So in 20 years if that account is worth $100,000 I will be charged $180 while I will be paying the single commision on the stocks.... Not that big of a deal either way I suppose...

As far as buying one stock a year, I guess it comes down to diversification... Is that $4 saved worth the loss of some instant diversification???

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Author: Crosenfield Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 33122 of 75375
Subject: Re: Thoughts on individual stocks... Date: 1/6/2002 1:04 PM
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"As far as buying one stock a year, I guess it comes down to diversification... Is that $4 saved worth the loss of some instant diversification??? "

If the one stock you picked last year was Enron, you clearly would have been much better off with a mutual fund!
It is OK to develop your diversification over a period of years. The advice of Peter Lynch was not to invest in a company you don't understand. That would have kept investors out of Enron.
So sure, you can save on commisssions, make just a couple trades a year, and next year buy a different stock. When you start go for such companies as General Electric, General Motors, your local utility, the salt-of-the-earth sort of company. When you have 30 or so stocks in different industries, then if you want to get a microcap it is OK.
A rule I still stick to: when you get a double, sell half and buy a different stock. It helps speed up your diversification.
Best wishes, Chris

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Author: wjochem Two stars, 250 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 33140 of 75375
Subject: Re: Thoughts on individual stocks... Date: 1/7/2002 11:23 AM
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Check out the DRIP Boards here on the Fool. While investing all that money at once may keep expences down, I would Dollar Cost Average (DCA) the ammount over 1 year. 3K DCA over 1 year would be $250 per month. You could also do $500 every other month. Everyone has a different idea on this but if your investing over the long term DCA seems to have some advantages over a lump sum investment.

Good Luck.
Wayne

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Author: lambent1 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 33146 of 75375
Subject: Re: Thoughts on individual stocks... Date: 1/7/2002 4:40 PM
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Here's my $0.02 (keeping in mind that I'm a relatively new investor, though I have done quite a bit of research/thinking on the subject) (yeah, I know, take it with a grain of salt):

I think individual stocks are an excellent option and it's what I plan on doing (except for the fact that my 401K offers solely mutual funds and I'm stuck with that *sigh*) with my own (at this point) meager investment money. Why? First, so long as you can learn to read and draw conclusions from company financial statements, you can exploit good investments like no fund can. A fund is limited by law to investing only 5% of its assets in any one stock. Let's say that your research discovers a wonderful company, you understand what they do, and you conclude that they will make you a handsome profit for you, long-term. Your mutual fund discovers the same stock. You are given the freedom to invest more than 5% of your investment money into that stock, while your fund manager is not. Further, and check out the motleyfool investment guide on this one, you might be able to exploit a stock that, because of its low share price, the mutual funds are not able to pull down the full 5% investment percentage. If you buy before that point, and the funds start investing later once the share price hits a point where they wouldn't own a large chunk of the company with a 5% investment, you could be in for a very nice ride as the funds start pouring cash into the company.

To the extent that you desire diversification (not everyone does -- it decreases your upside potential as much as it increases your downside position), you can elect to invest in many different companies -- granted, the diversification would be better with mutual funds, but, odds are, so would be the returns.

As for the sharebuilder program, it is an interesting pseudo-drip way of purchasing shares and, if you are investing sufficient amounts (and I don't recall the amount that may be -- it was over my head at this point), the percentage is, I believe, lower than with even discount brokers. What concerns me is whether their fees will (once again) increase, as they have over the course of the last couple of years. Perhaps consider drip plans (check out this site's drip boards, and maybe moneypaper.com) with no or low fees to cut down on the transaction costs even further (I note, however, that Ford and Disney do not, as far as I know, have fee-friendly drip plans). Also, in case anything awful happens and you're not able to invest for a certain period of time, I'm not familiar with whether sharebuilder has no-activity fees, while a drip plan would not. Here's a link to Moneypaper's listing of companies with fee-friendly drip plans: http://www.directinvesting.com/moneypaper/companies/nofeeco.cfm

All in all, though, I think your plan's concept is solid, even though I might not agree with the choice of Ford and Disney, but that's a separate issue. I think a pseudo-dripping stocks that do not offer drips as part of a long term investment/retirement strategy is an excellent way of spiking the returns of your 401K mutual funds, as is dripping individual stocks. Matter of fact, I've started to do the same (though I won't be on the same scale as you for 2-3 more years).

lambent1

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