Topic: How To Invest

To invest successfully in smart stocks, focus on safety and long-term profitability

smart stocks

When we’re looking for smart stocks to recommend in our newsletters and investment services, we start by putting all the important information we know about a company into perspective.

But things are never quite so simple. For example, your stock pick’s latest earnings may reflect unusually favourable or unfavourable conditions. This can make the company look safer or riskier than it really is.

In the end, there are many ways to try to put the facts about a company into perspective. None are perfect, since all involve a mental balancing act between high and low estimates, history and the future, and faith versus skepticism.


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Think like a portfolio manager to find smart stocks

As part of their stock market research, portfolio managers gather information from companies, industry studies and other sources. A good portfolio manager then tries to build their client a portfolio that makes money if things go well, but won’t lose too much if the opinions turn out to be faulty, as often happens.

We do our own stock market research for our newsletters and investment services, and we apply it from a portfolio manager’s perspective. That’s why we advise sticking to mostly well-established companies; they tend to hold on to more value when things go wrong and recover fast.

Bad times usually hit some market segments more severely than others. That’s why we advise spreading your money out across most if not all of the five main economic sectors: Manufacturing & Industry; Resources & Commodities; Consumer; Finance; and Utilities.

Smart stocks to buy often pay dividends

At TSI Network we feel that stocks that have been paying dividends for over 10 years are some of the safest investments you can make. Dividends are a sign of quality and a company’s financial health. Types of stocks that we consider to be safer investments include Canadian banks and utilities.

There are also a host of key indicators to determine if a stock is a safer investment, like management integrity, its growth prospects and its stock price in relation to its sales, earnings, cash flow and so on.

For a true measure of stability, focus on those companies that have maintained or raised their dividends during an economic or stock-market downturn. We think investors will profit most—and with the least risk—by buying shares of well-established, dividend-paying stocks with strong growth prospects.

 

Well-established companies are examples of smart stocks and the key to profitable and safer investing

 

Instead of moving between extremes of risk, we continue to think investors will profit most—and with the least risk—by buying shares of well-established companies with strong business prospects and strong positions in healthy industries.

That’s not to say that there won’t be surprises that affect every company in a particular industry. But well-established, safety-conscious stocks have the asset size and the financial clout—including solid balance sheets and strong cash flow—to weather market downturns or changing industry conditions.

The investment quality of smart stocks is the key to finding gains

There’s no easy answer to the buy-now-or-wait dilemma. At times it may pay to hold off—for instance, a company’s stock will often rise when it announces a stock split, then fall after the split takes effect.

In the end, our stock trading advice is that if a stock is truly worth investing in, you should be willing to buy it at current prices, even if that means you run the risk of having to sit through a 5% to 10% setback. Before it puts on its next 5% to 10% setback, after all, it may first go up 50% to 100%.

Before looking for smart stocks, develop a clear idea of how much risk you are willing to accept, through good times and bad

For example, some investors become more aggressive as the market rises, and more conservative as the market falls. The problem here is that all market trends, up or down, eventually reach a turning point. If you take on more risk as the market rises, you’ll wind up owning your riskiest portfolio just when the market is near a peak. That’s when risky stocks can do their greatest harm to your net worth.

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