Investors Business Daily
The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII)
P.O. Box 11092
Chicago, IL 60611-9737
A critical resource for beginning investors.
Hoover's Company Profiles
Before you sell to, partner with, invest in, or work for anyone, do your homework with," this invaluable Web resource.
An encyclopedic resource for first-time and veteran investors.
Wall Street City
(1) Any financial adviser who calls you cold-whom you don't know and have never heard of-should be sent packing. Hang up. A successful adviser doesn't have to look for clients. Clients seek her or him out.
(2) If an adviser has time to come to your home, something is probably radically wrong. When I was seeing clients—long before I wrote my first book—I didn't have time to breathe, let alone get in a car and drive for half an hour across town to a client's home and then drive back again.
(3) You should make it a point to visit a potential adviser's office, in any case. You'll want to pay careful attention to how he or she keeps his or her professional space. Is it neat? Are files in order? Is it busy?
(4) If you are married or have a life partner, a potential adviser should have found this fact out by asking and should see you only if you agree to bring your partner along or else have a very good reason why you prefer not to.
(5) A good financial adviser will ask you all—not some, but all—of the following questions: How is your health? (This is No. 1, in my opinion, since if you're not healthy you'll need first and foremost to plan for your medical care and possibly your income if and when you cannot work.) Are you in debt? (This is No. 2.) Are you responsible for aging parents? Do you have a will or trust? Will you inherit money someday? Do you need to make a major purchase like a new car or a new roof for your home? Do you have a retirement plan? Are you funding it to the maximum allowed by law? Do you have adequate insurance? Are you saving for your children's education? Only after an adviser fully understands your financial situation should he or she ask you how much money you have to invest.
(6) An adviser should be a Certified Financial Planner, or CFP® Professional, just as I am. That means that he or she cares enough about his or her clients to have gone through a two-year certification process, with continuing education requirements mandating that he or she stay up-to-date on the kinds of information that you need.
(7) You should be told up front how, and how much, a potential adviser will be paid. You shouldn't have to ask. The correct method of payment is by fee only. Any adviser who wants to be paid through commissions charged on the investments he or she makes for you has an incentive to move you in and out of stocks and other investments, perhaps in direct opposition to what's best for you.
(8) An adviser should never ask you to write a check to him or her. You should write checks only to a brokerage, an insurance company, or another financial services firm.
(9) If you already have an adviser, that adviser should be calling you in down markets as well as in up markets. Has your adviser called you in the past 12 months?
Investors Business Daily
The Wall Street Journal
Widely available in libraries, or you can subscribe it (please note: it's expensive).
One of my favorite financial destinations in cyberspace, Bob Bcinker's website is a friendly, accessible primer for today's investor.
National Association of Investment Clubs (NAIC)
711 West 13 Mile Road
Madison Heights, MI 48071
Chicago Board Options Exchange
400 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60605
Analyze your holdings instantly
Why is it that many of us drag our feet when it comes to selling a stock we own-even if we know that we are over allocated in the stock market and should take some of our money off the table and keep it safe and sound? Apart from wanting to avoid paying capital gains tax, the answer probably has to do with a fear of losing out on future profits. We never like to lose. But here's a revolutionary thought: We really don't have to choose between selling all or none of the shares of a stock we own. If you have made a tidy profit and you believe the stock still may rise, you can sell 25 percent of what you own. Or you can take out the dollar equivalent of your original investment plus maybe 10 percent of your profit, then let your additional profits ride and see what happens. The same is true if you've been losing money on a stock and are afraid that you'll pull out just as the stock starts to take off. If a stock goes down beyond your comfort level but you still have faith in the company and the stock, sell some of it. If it keeps going down, sell some more.
Here's are a few handy tips on when to sell a stock.
If I'm thinking about selling a stock I own, the first thing I look at is the overall direction of the market. If the stock market is not on your side (and it's certainly not on our side right now) and if you don't want to hold on to this particular stock for the next five or ten years, this may be a good time to consider selling, especially if there is a brief rally in the stock you want to sell.
One of my favorite technical indicators to watch is what's called the 20-month moving average. This is simply an average of the closing price of a particular stock at the end of each month, recorded over a period of 20 months. If you look at the chart of those closing prices (you can find such a chart on any good financial Web site), you'll see a line that, in my opinion, can serve as an early warning sign of when to sell a stock. If a stock that you own breaks below its own 20-month moving average, this is a key signal to sell. Here are three other easy warning signs to watch for:
COLLECTIONS & KITS