Picking Stocks: It's Okay to Go With Your Gut

There are four ways to invest in stocks. You can buy a low-cost index fund, with holdings that reflect an entire market or a broad swath of one. You can buy a managed fund, hiring an expert to do the stock picking. You can conscientiously study data from individual companies and invest in their shares. Or you can buy stock in companies that appeal to you subjectively--that is, invest with your gut. You like what they're doing. You trust the product, the management or, best of all, the idea behind the business.

You can create a good stock portfolio by deploying all four of these methods. But it is the fourth, which I'll call Big Idea investing, that is frequently overlooked or even derided. Big Idea investing is more fun than the other strategies, potentially more profitable and


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