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First time caller here and hopin some of you ol' fools can help me out alittle.

I've been doing everything possible to learn, but am still confused as heck. I've read Foolish Four, TMF Investment Guide, finished the accompanying workbook, read John Tracey's 'how to read financial statements' and just finished rule maker/breakers. I loved all the books and understood them.

However, I have a big chunk in mutual funds and have to REALLY transfer this stuff over.I'm just overwhelmed with the boards and how to navigate this site to actually put construtive use to my time. The books were great and easy to follow but here online and actually having to choose is difficult to know really where to go. I have signed up for the rule breakers online seminar, but that isn't RULE MAKERS. I need to choose around 8 rule makers and really haven't a clue where to start. Should i start visiting certain company boards? is that kind of the normal way?Is there a board that would give me some ideas of what may be a comprensive list that people are considering as rule makers... the foolish four seemed to have a way to narrow the search,,, i know the RM's are different but is there a way to narrow the search to say where i could follow 10 boards...and or is this the way for a newbie to get started...any tips on daily routines, news, boards, sites,habits i should be developing.. .... if you have any suggestions how to steer my educational research online I sure would appreciate it...it seems i spend hours looking around just spinning wheels without knowing how to concentrate on knowing what to look for to make some good investment decisions....

any foolsih advice would sure be appreciated by this frustrated fool. Thanks, and i hope to meet some friends.

Folliton
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The first thing I would suggest is to be patient. There are far worse things to invest in than mutual funds, and you only create more problems for yourself by rushing into stocks you don't understand and aren't comfortable with.

You might want to slowly build a list of a few companies, maybe no more than five, to consider putting your first stock investment in. As time goes on, you can slowly expand the list.

You might want to make is a monthly excercise to decide which company to invest in a particular month. Or maybe take 3 or more months.

The Motley Fool online boards can be a good source of information, but they can be time consuming, and frankly, some of them have a lower signal to noise ration for my taste. You can learn a lot about companies from some of them, but read carefully. My best research on companies has come from reading over the data I've compiled and focusing on the companies of interest in a quiet room, away from the online chatter. There are great resources online, but spending all of your time online is not the most productive way to research companies in my opinion.

As for Rule Maker companies, I suggest looking back 5 years through the financial data, to make sure the Rule Maker is not a Rule Faker.

Take you time, and good luck.

rundwp
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I need to choose around 8 rule makers and really haven't a clue where to start. Should i start visiting certain company boards? is that kind of the normal way?Is there a board that would give me some ideas of what may be a comprensive list that people are considering as rule makers...

Folliton,

Lucky for you, such a list exists on this very message board. If you click on the link at the bottom of this post entitled "Rule Maker Company Rankings", it will send you to compiled list of all the Rule Maker Ranker analyses that have been posted to this board. This could be a good place for you to start looking for ideas. Once you have some companies identified, you could then access their financials over at the FreeEdgar website (www.freeedgar.com). The company's annual report will give you some good info on what business they are involved in, what products they sell, and who their competitors are. If all that looks good, then go to the company's message board here on the Fool and look through the last several hundred posts. In those posts you will usually find links to external sites that contain additional analysis on either the company or the industry that it is in. These can be very helpful in helping you understand if the company really does "make the rules".

Before you start complaining, I admit that this process may take some time to complete. However, investing is not a sprint ... its a marathon, and the market will surely be here whenever you are good and ready. So sit back, put in the time, do your research, and your portfolio will be much better off as a result.

Fool On!

the LanceMan


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Gracias a mis estimados amigos Rundwp & Lanceman!

Will spend the time in the quiet room with the company rankings and make some decisions one at a time in the midst of my marathon. Thanks for the directionals & insight... maybe i'll slow down a bit, go to the rankings, get info, sit down, read a couple hundred boards, get a feel and hey poke my nose out here again...gotta see the mutual fund guy tommorrow,,, maybe just throw all into their money market fund and it'll just be available as i wish to draw it out...

it means a lot hombres!
thanks again!
Folliton
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Before you start complaining, I admit that this process may take some time to complete. However, investing is not a sprint ... its a marathon, and the market will
surely be here whenever you are good and ready. So sit back, put in the time, do your research, and your portfolio will be much better off as a result.<<<

Right on the money Lance! There is absolutely no rush to convert mutual funds to individual stocks. One can lose plenty of money in a poorly thought out position and pay plenty of capital gains taxes to boot. I think its best to proceed cautiously and studiously and buy stocks one at a time selling enough of your mutuals each time to afford each reasonable purchase.

-MarkV
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