Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stock Ups and Downs

I'm not going to make a habit of looking at single stocks, but Starbucks (SBUX) is trading just a few cents above its 52-week low. Read the reports, do your research, but if you like the company, it's a good time to buy.

I like to buy and hold. I don't like to fuss with my stocks, so I choose funds or individual stocks that I will want to hold for at least five years. When you're buying securities, it's important to know why you're buying, what your plans are for that money, and how long you plan to hold the security.

It's a good practice to sit down with your end of year financial report and really look at it. What did you sell and why? Was that decision in keeping with your overall goals? What did you buy and why? Again, double-check that your decisions agree with your goals. Sometimes during the year, a stock report or an article in the Business section of the newspaper might inspire you to make an impulsive decision. Make sure that those impulses aren't costing your portfolio money.

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