Picking companies to invest in

Years ago, a friend of a friend told the story of his older sister, who, with all of her siblings, was getting a lesson in investing from Dad. Sis was 16 – the age of highest friction between daughters and dads. Of course, she was giving him a hard time.

Read Freud, Jung or other psychoanalysts for more on this. We’re talking about investing here.

John Rynd, pres. & CEO,
Hercules Offshore Inc.

Anyway, younger siblings were listening with great respect as Dad propounded his highly conservative and math-oriented theories of stock picking. You know, dividends, profits, earnings potential – all the usual approach of a long-term investor.

“I’m going to buy Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe,” Sis proclaimed snarkily. “I just love that song.” We don’t know whether she actually bought or kept the stock, but if she had, she would now probably be a rich woman.

Here’s another way to play that game. IFO does not recommend it, does not own and probably never will own, Hercules Offshore Inc , but what snarky 16-year old could possibly resist a company whose market symbol was $HERO?

Okay, after you look at the chart we have linked to, you will see that no sane person would put money into this stock. OTOH, we are always advising that you “know the CEO.” [see photo above.]

Just sayin’

Or, for the more religiously oriented, how about $HALO, Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc.?

(right) Dr. Helen Torley, pres. & CEO, Halozyme Therapeutics Inc.

This is a biotech company still in clinical trials of its drug for pancreatic cancer. Again, IFO doesn’t own this highly speculative, non-dividend paying stock. Biotech investing requires deep knowledge of medicine and FDA regulations in addition to the standard investing protocols.

We highly recommend Stock Gumshoe (see our blog roll to link) for details on such complex matters. We also recommend that you send SG $49 to become an “Irregular” who has access to more detailed information as well as guest columnists who specialize in specific economic sectors.

N. b. The company formerly known as ATSF merged with several other railroads to be come the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe, now owned by, ta-da! Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

So,  you see, boys and girls, there is more to stock-picking than dry numbers.

BTW, the 1946 movie, “The Harvey Girls” starring Judy Garland, popularized that award-winning song and was a two-hour long commercial for ATSF and train travel:


About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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