I dabble a bit in buying stocks. Long ago, Y and I decided that we would both have our "fun" money. We don't really keep up with this anymore but I bought stocks with my money and Y bought motorcycles. I am a registered representative of a company so I'm authorized to sell mutual funds. The reason that I bring this up is because I had to obtain my employers authorization to get an account to buy stocks. I chose Sharebuilder by ING because I already had a savings account with them and I didn't research it very much. I might make a different choice now. I digress, I'm still with Sharebuilder because I don't want to get authorization for another company. Even though I'm not able to buy stocks through my employer, it doesn't really look that good for me to be buying stocks elsewhere when I could buy mutual funds through work.
I don't have an actual formula for how I decide what stocks to decide. I just look at how the stock has done and how I think that its going to go going forward. One of the best stocks that I bought was Playboy. Y said that it was a bad move and I disagreed. I purchased the stock and 2 months later, Hef announced that he was going to buy back the stocks. I didn't wait for the buyout to happen but sold for about 60% more than what I bought it for.
I own a few stocks now. I own GM, Dell, Halliburton, GE, Titan Machinery and Ford. Ford was a dumb and impulsive buy. I own quite a few shares of GM to the tune of $3000. I just randomly put a few hundred dollars into Ford stock and I've questioned why I did it. I'm down on those two stocks. I'm up on the rest. Halliburton is up 110% and Dell is up around 20%. GE and Titan are up around 50%. I've owned Halliburton and GE for over a year and Dell and Titan were purchased in the last year.
Overall, I have $6,734.11 in stocks. I am up $1,105.12 in 3 years. I will continue to invest because I like to do it. It teaches me a lot but I'm certainly not an expert with stocks.
Do you do any investing? How did you come to your investments?