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No. of Recommendations: 10
(Long post.)

-->you hold a mortgage on a house. Get out of debt first. Rationale: A. You've got a guaranteed return on the interest you don't pay. B. If you have kids, you especially need to be paid off before they start college. FAFSA doesn't consider indebtedness, only non-retirement cash and investments, and will hit these by about 5.6% a year as an expected family contribution while you have a kid in college (7 years for us).

-->you haven't invested in landscape-quality roses. That is, if you're going to spend all your time worrying about what CSCO is doing today, it ain't worth it. Buy roses (or do some other landscape improvement) instead. If you keep them alive (good therapy), they will multiply, a quick multi-bagger in terms of value added to your property. :<)

-->you haven't invested (time) in your family. If all your leisure time is spent on investments, you need to get a life first and invest in something that you won't loose sleep over. Emotional investments in families pay off many times over. Another easy multi-bagger.

-->you could sell CSCO at a loss, invest the proceeds in an equivalent (like the Q's) and take a tax loss.

-->you aren't dollar cost averaging with most of your savings. Get a tax-aware index fund, like the Schwab 1000 instead, and make regular payments, whatever the market's doing.

-->you would go into margin doing it. CSCO ain't low enough yet to justify margining it. Somewhere around $12, maybe.

-->you haven't read one of the classics on value-based investing. (Help me out here, Fools. I don't have any of the titles at my fingertips.)

-->you aren't prepared to mourn during an up market and jump for joy during a down market. Sound backwards? As long as you've got a long investment horizon, you should see down markets as a great buying opportunity. I'm even on CSCO now after being in since about when the Maker port also bought. I was concerned then with rich valuation and was in mourning that there was nothing good to buy in tech. I lost patience and bought. Wish now I had waited until now, when it's beginning to look attractive, and I could buy (a bit lower than it is now) with a big wicked value investor's grin.

-->you haven't taken the time to get to know the company. I grew up banking with WM, always loved the company, always heard about applause by shareholders at annual meetings (the BK of the banking world?), then found out last year that it was paying a 7% dividend. I thought the investment world had gone crazy, so I bought my all-time favorite company after 40 years of getting to know it. On my way to scoring a two-bagger.

-->you can't afford to lose half the money you put in, as in retirement money or college funds, because you don't have the self-discipline to wait out the dips. It could loose half its value tomorrow easily in this time of increasingly irrational despair.

-->you're ready to fight the Fed. If the Fed is raising rates, stay out of volatile stocks. Yeah, I screwed up with the CSCO purchase, but I did raise some cash last summer (not enough) and stayed that way till a few weeks ago when the Fed started loosening. Read Marty Zweig's book on this.

-->you're not ready to admit your mistakes and move on, or paradoxically to stick with it through the dip if you're convinced CSCO or whatever is the right place to be.

Long CSCO, WM.

Best wishes to all,

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