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After re-reading the TMF investment guide about a dozen times and starting to apply some of the principles about balance sheets and such, I think that now more than any time in the last few years is the time to get in the water. (it doesn't hurt that I just got a new job paying 40% more than my current one). So are there any final words of advice that anyone has out there? I think for starters I'm going to be a decidedly blue-chip investor (with perhaps the exception of someone like Palm or Yahoo) with my picks as of now being Wal-Mart, Home-Depot, McDonalds and either Disney or AOL as the fourth (I come from a retail background with a journalism major, so these are my best areas from a knowledge standpoint).
All comments welcome; from this point on, I hope to be known as a Fool!

Dear Trenchman,

Welcome to the Motley Fool!

Finding the right companies is probably *the* hardest part of investing. When investing in individual stocks, an excellent place to start is to find industries whose prospects are above-average. Investors should consider companies and industries with potentially large, enduring markets, rather than chasing the latest hot stock.

Here are two excellent articles that have tips about how to go about it:

If you are looking for US companies as investments, you might look into TMF Select, our research product. Each month a different kind of company is profiled for your consideration. For more information, or to try it at the charter subscription rate, go to:

Foolishly yours,

Karen Kosoy
TMF Karen
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