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Hi to all,

I have been an admirer of the Fool mentality for years. I'm looking for advice on how to learn more about investing. But I find myself either reading articles that are too basic or that are too complex and could use some guidance on where to learn next.

My financial background is as follows: I am a regular reader of general investing articles in papers and magazines for the last 18 years (since college). I learned the basics of living under one's means, avoiding debt, maxing out pre-tax savings in 401K's, buying broad based index funds, and asset allocation. My husband and I followed all these rules and are financially comfortable. My only financial experience has been buying mutual funds in 401K's, IRA's, and utilizing employee stock purchase plans and employee stock options. We recently had a large one-time financial windfall. I have time on my hands and am interested in the mental challenge of learning more about investing and taking a more active role in managing our portfolio and investing this windfall. I find Suze Ormond well meaning but way too basic. Jim Cramer gives me headaches from his rants although I do hear some good ideas from him (Booyah to the $500 I made on one of his tips). I bought Jane Bryant Quinn's book "Making the Most of Your Money" years ago and follow much of her advice. I bought an updated copy of that book and am re-reading it as I haven't read it in 8 years or so. I'm a fan of buy and hold and my timeline for investing is long term.

I have recently subscribed to the Stock Advisor (my stock position has already covered that cost 11 times over! Thanks Tom and Dave!) I've just subscribed to Hidden Gems and Pay Dirt, although Pay Dirt may be a little too in depth for me as some of the stock analysis makes my eyes glaze over. The biggest tips I've gotten from the boards so far are - use limit orders, don't purchase after hours, and to invest in thirds. I've put 1/3 of the windfall in cash, 1/3 in Vanguard's Total Stock Market fund, and am planning to invest the last 1/3 in stocks.

Any suggestions or comments on how to learn more? I love reading, I'm open to taking classes, or joining investment clubs.

Thanks for any advice.

p.s. Sorry to all the NFL fans that South Florida has rain on the night of the SuperBowl. ;-)

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I adhere to FtLaudInvestor request. I´m also looking for guidance to learn more about investing and finances.

My background though is a little more basic. I've worked for a financial websites a few years and learned the basics of the stock market there. Although i haven't done much, i just watched for me sidelines :)

A few years ago my stake in that company was sold (along with the rest of the company :) and i found myself with a whole lot of cash and no idea of what to do with it. To avoid any mistakes i asked my bank (a NY Private Bank) to invest it for me. And it has been there ever since.

They chose to invest in a few of their funds and compared to the market perfomance (S&P) i haven't done bad, since this was 2001 and the market crashed, but my assets kept raising (very slowly though). Now that the good times seem to be back, the S&P is gaining on my portfolio's performance and i'm starting to wander whether i sould make any changes.

I don't mind giving more details but i won't put them here because i don't want to bore you. If anyone is so king to help and needs more info please ask!

Thanks

Tincho
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There are two books I would recommend as a great way to get started.
The first is One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch.
The second is Common Stock, Uncommon Profits by Phil Fisher.
You should be able to get both of them at the library and they
are worth their weight in gold. After you have digested them then
you will have the background to start thinking about what to learn next.

Chris - this is the best hobby in the universe, always new stuff to learn
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Thanks for the reading advice and encouragement!

It is a very interesting hobby. My only problem is losing track of time while on the computer. One link leads me to another, and another, and aacckk - I'm late to pick up the kids from school.

Thanks again.

Also, I did find a few interesting items if anyone else is interested...

The Fool School's 13 steps to investing was interesting. Parts 8 and 9 are what I want to learn more on, reading financial statements and putting a value on a company. I'm planning on picking a company and trying to walk thru those calculations. They can be found at
http://www.fool.com/school/13steps/13steps.htm

I also found an exhaustive recommendation of books in an old Hidden Gems newsletter (December 2004). That is only accessible if you have the subscription. The two books recommended above are included (along with 23 others).
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It is a very interesting hobby. My only problem is losing track of time while on the computer. One link leads me to another, and another, and aacckk - I'm late to pick up the kids from school.

Hi Ftlaudinvestor

I ditto what you said about this being a very interesting hobby. I am 50 years old and just finding interest in taking control of some of some of our investing. We have a financial investor that we have had for years, but haven't been really happy with the returns. My husband works too many hours with our own business to have any time. I also work full time, but with older children find that I have more time and interest in the subject. My background has been completely out of the finance area and therefore have NO KNOWLEDGE of how or where to start. I appreciate the information and will look forward to hearing more. I just joined HG about 7mos ago and have been "lurking" around these boards to see what I can learn. I didn't join PD for the same reason you meantioned - too much complicated information. Guess I'll find out in time what I like or don't with all of your help. Does anyone know anything about "CDC" (China)?

Thanks, dg
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Hi FTLaudInvestor,

Any suggestions or comments on how to learn more? I love reading, I'm open to taking classes, or joining investment clubs.

Classes:I've read most of a book called "The Stock Market Course" and found it useful.It also has a work book that can be purchased seperately.As far as classes, there was a class in college called "Investment and Portfolio Management" that demonstrated the securities market line, over priced and under priced stocks...etc. I found it to be the most informative as far as security analysis, but it's a senior course. I think Finance 101 was a pre requisite if memory serves. I think you may find most courses offered may be too basic for you, and if there are some advanced courses, you may have to take prerequisites.

Reading:More on this in a later post ;-)

Investment clubs: Caution, the Beardstown Ladies goofed up their accounting.I first read about them through one of Peter Lynch's books. Then I bought the Beardstown book and joined the NAIC. Later in an accounting class in college, there was a chapter starting off with the Beardstown ladies and how they didn't even beat the benchmark, but sold a book that pretty much said they crushed the benchmark.All because of an accounting error. You'd probably need a lawyer to come up with a charter for your investment club.I attended a regional meeting of the NAIC, but found it wasn't for me (at least at that time). It may be difficult to get members that can assume risk and risk averse members to agree on a stock or investment strategy.

http://www.better-investing.org/Public/default

J.P.Quote # 40 "The stock market-the daytime adventure serial of thel well-to-do- would not be the stock market if it did not have its ups an downs."--Jone Brooks

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Hi Tincho,



A few years ago my stake in that company was sold (along with the rest of the company :) and i found myself with a whole lot of cash and no idea of what to do with it. To avoid any mistakes i asked my bank (a NY Private Bank) to invest it for me. And it has been there ever since.


Are they beating the benchmark, minus fees etc? An ETF that closely mimics the S&P might be an option, have you considered creating your own portfolio and paper trading? Hard to tell which direction the market is headed. If you are happy with the returns, I'd stick with it,but if what your paying for is barely beating the benchmark,you may want to expand.


J.P.Quote #41 "Wall Street", reads the sinister old gag, "is a street with a river at one end and a graveyard at the other." This is striking,but incomplete.It omits the Kindergarten in the middle."--Frederick Schwed Jr.
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Me again,


I also found an exhaustive recommendation of books in an old Hidden Gems newsletter (December 2004). That is only accessible if you have the subscription. The two books recommended above are included (along with 23 others).


Here are a couple of book lists and one from the poster child of book addiction...

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25189333&sort=username


J.P.Quote # 42 "Consider the myth that brokerage firms come in catagories that define the services they offer--like "discount," "full commission" and "on-line." If you look closely, you'll see that these catagories don't exist anymore. Competition has wiped them out."--Dave Pottruck


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Hello there,

Glad to see that there are other folks out there who lose track of time while on the computer ;). I have been a member of HG for quite sometime now, though with a full-time job have been left with very little time to do the analysis and valuation of companies they recommend in their newsletters. Also being a relative "newbie" to the world of investing I have been on a learning curve and have found a lot of messages in the discussion boards that provide so much insight in the field of investing.

Now, I am unsure if your quest for finding material on reading and understanding financial statements has been met. I would suggest the book by John A. Tracy - How to Read a Financial Report (ISBN: 0471478679). Also here is a link to a post on TMF board where you can find more links regarding reading financial statements http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=22271963.

Hope this helps!

Smile and be happy :)
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