There are many books that argue their ability to predict the markets and give you some kind of formula for successful investing and making buttloads of money. None of them work, unless you count a book like Benjamin Graham’s – but no one listens. The 100 Best Stocks You can Buy is a series that has been running quite successfully for many years now. Each year the book is released highlighting their viewers for the 100 best stocks to buy.
The 100 Best Stocks You Can Buy is a very simple and easy to read book. The first 59 pages of this years edition address some news reflecting last years markets – Report Card: Recapping our 2011 Picks, some strategy – Sustainable Investing and some commentary on the basics of investing in stocks – Strategic Fundamentals. The rest of the book is dedicated to each of the 100 individual stocks recommended.
One thing we have to keep in mind is these books are written well before we get into the 2012 financial year and were actually released before 2012 so some of the information is heavily outdated, but most is relevant. The book seeks to be a basic guide on the types of blue chip and value stocks that make up the S&P500 as well as the NASDAQ. There are not too many exotic or high growth examples in the book aside from the ones we all know and hear on CNBC which are hardly value anymore.
Aside from some outdated information the bulk of the information is great for a beginning investor because it lacks all of the hype and emotion that is apparent on investing television and most commentary websites. Instead you are laid out the facts for the company, some reasons to be bullish (buy) and some reasons to be bearish (sell). All of these are fundamental,making it much easier for beginning investors.
Another thing I especially enjoyed about this book is I was able to find some gems I had never heard of or thought about investing even though they are in the S&P500. The guide is very handy when you are without a compute for a time and would like some reading on investments.
Some investors will raise their eyebrows at some of the picks made. Some of these stocks as talked about before are hardly buys – they are actually stocks that have had a huge run and are now more expensive than they were before. They are growth stocks that have already accelerated their growth and the growth is factored into the price or their price to earnings ratio P/E is just far too high to consider touching.
Finally, the 2012 version of this book has not changed much from the 2011 version and even the 2010 book. Some reports are almost word for word the same. Other recommendations that have clearly changed way, are still in the book. Needless to say if you have the 2011 version you probably do not need this one.
A fun experiment would be to buy the current edition as well as some of the previous years for reference. Compare the prices, P/E ratios, dividend payouts and what the authors viewed as a buy and sell. This can give you an idea of trends and how investors pick stocks. With the 2012 edition being only $11 and the previous editions all available for less than $10 and some for $2-3 this is an experiment worth checking out.
I like the book for what it pro ports to accomplish and the audience it targets. It covers the bare essentials of investing and features information that may be out of date or available online for free. I think it is a great text though to have if you are away from a computer for an extended period and would like a reference to learn more about stocks.
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