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i posted this on the qcom board, but have a feeling it'd be best suited elsewhere, ie on a newbie board. but i can't find one...if anyone knows where this would be most beneficial (if not here), please feel free to either tell me via email or move it for me. thanks...and hope it helps...

i've noted the general lack of experience in investing by some people...people asking "what do i do with my money" and such. i know this post'll last for about two days (if that) before it gets lost in all the other posts, but ... *if i can help JUST ONE makes it all worthwhile* :-)

here's an interesting comparison i picked up...

everyone know the concept of an "elevator speech"? say you were getting into the elevator of whatever company you were working for...whammo, the CEO steps in next to you, and promptly asks you "what's your vision of the future for this company?" you've got 20 or so floors to impress him...can you?

apply the same principles to investing. you step in an elevator in your company and...blammo (yes, i'm old enough for "batman" the tv series references!!!), the CEO steps in next to you with your portfolio (how he got it, i'm not sure, but work with me here), and promptly asks you "why'd you invest in this company?" you've got 20 or so floors to convince him to buy it too. knowing that "my friend ted told me it's a good pickup" and/or "people on the motley fool seem to really like it" aren't going to be very convincing arguments, you should prolly work on a few others involving some sound supporting numbers, an industry description...maybe even the company's mission statement (how many of us can throw that one out without hitting q's website?!?!?).

researching a company is its own trick, but it's not really that hard, if you know the basics of what numbers mean what. if you don't, buy a book, get the Fool's 13 steps to investing, look up the basics wherever you can on the net (the Fool's always a good start), and prepare for a long night of studying. then, once you've got the basics down, go to work on the company. the Fool's always a good starting's always mine. look up some of the basic numbers and principles of what the company does. once you've got a general overview of the company down, start digging deeper for some more in depth numbers and sector/company analysis. sort through the posts...there's TONS of info packed in there if you invest your time to finding it. is a great site i love to use for financial numbers. there are others...find them. remember...part of doing research is discovering not only the info, but WHERE TO FIND IT all on your own. look up everything you can...go to the company's website and see what it's doing. see what it offers the uninformed matter what the product, if you own the stock, they're interested in impressing you. hit sites of companies it mentions. hit sites mentioned in those companies. hit it's competitor's sites, and sites mentioned within them. network your search so you've got a growing web of information about the company.

if you can research a company, now work on cutting through all the fat so that you can (hopefully)convince an experienced investor that the company you just invested in is a good buy.

REMEMBER: all this takes time. LOTS of time. this is your hard earned money you're thinking about giving a company to show them you think they're worthy of holding it. if i walked up to you on the street and said "my friends and i think it would be smart for you to give me a lot of your money cause when i give it back to you, i'll give you back a lot more than you gave me." i'd hope you'd be a little skeptical about it. why would you do the same thing in the stock market?

if you can do all this, you're on the right track to investing smartly...or Foolishly, whichever you prefer. all IMHO of course...
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