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Make sure they have good exit strategies.
This was something I wondered about TMF before getting into reading the boards. I'm all for buy and hold long term, but it seems fairly rare that they give sell advice unless a company is really dropping off the deep end like Lukin. They do post sell advice, but it's probably later than some would like? Is that their biggest criticism?

If you use a service, don't second guess them.
I made the mistake of thinking I could do this on my own over a decade ago, but that's because I was making decisions based on feelings and macroeconomics and not on specific companies. I thought a service like TMF would be helpful. They seem to be more of a hybrid. "Here are some suggestions we've researched that look good, and you should consider them." vs "Buy these now at this price and sell at this price."

you must first of all discover the story behind your selected stocks, one at a time.
This I'm very much looking forward to getting into, but I don't feel like I have enough experience to trust my own judgment yet. I can read and understand financial reports fairly well, but I haven't kept up enough on industry news. I might know that Company A looks great on paper, but have no idea that B,C, and D are chasing them with some kind of competitive advantage. That's where these boards have already been helpful as it provides information and a starting place to look on my own.

I hire a plumber, a mechanic, and a web developer to do things I can't do well on my own. I can do a little of all 3 of those, but it's worth the investment to pay someone to do it well. Shouldn't I do the same with investing? Maybe I should reconsider and just hire a broker instead, but I'm not thrilled about the idea of someone else managing my money. Plus I'm doing this for enjoyment. TMF can act as speudo-broker that doesn't give me enough sell advice. :)
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