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No. of Recommendations: 13
(No, not me. But someone else over on the HG: SCSS board is. Here's what I told him/her. -HH)

If you have an intense, burning, nothing-will-stop-me desire to do well in the stock market over a long period, then you are nuts to drop your HG subscription.

Here's what I tell anyone who wants to do better in the stocks market: build a due diligence book that starts with revenue and ends with the footnotes. My DD is in an Excel spreadsheet, and is now 50 pages long. Every time I come across an interesting idea, I copy and paste it into my book. I have copied and pasted a lot of information from the HG newsletters (Phil Durell's Inside Value, too), as well as from contributors to the various discussion boards.

To give you some sense of my DD's level of detail, it has 4 pages on quality of revenue alone. I have another 15 pages on industry specific questions. In addition to financial statement analysis, other topics include competitive advantage, capital allocation, and valuation. I have built my DD over the last 10-11 years, because I want to try to understand a company better than everyone else (an ideal--you never really "know" a company).

So I want you to start creating your own DD, and use it every time you consider buying shares of a company. Then I want you to create an "ideal company" checklist; this is your list of everything you want in a company. Give points for each attribute, and then see how the company scores. So each month when you get your two HG picks, run them through your models. Do this type of critical analysis work every month and a year from now you will be a much better, more confident investor.

Tom Gardner, Bill Mann, Jim Gillies, and Bill Barker are very good analysts (and there are many others, too--apologies for not mentioning some great and generous folks). To think that you have no more to learn from them is foolish.

One of the best pieces of advice someone gave me about the stock market is that in the long run we all get what we deserve. You deserve better, so you need to improve your game, just as I force myself to keep trying to improve my game everyday.

Good luck.

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