How to Prevent Another Housing Bust

Congratulations if you own any of the following 10 stocks.

These, you see, are the best 10 stocks of 2007 on the U.S. exchanges that boast a market capitalization of at least $250 million. Had you bet big on any of them, chances are that you're enjoying a very happy holiday season.


Market Cap


General Steel Holdings



First Solar
(Nasdaq: FSLR  )



China Southern Airlines



China Finance Online
(Nasdaq: JRJC  )



Graham Corp.



Onyx Pharmaceuticals
(Nasdaq: ONXX  )



AgFeed Industries



(Nasdaq: DRYS  )



TBS International
(Nasdaq: TBSI  )



Zix Corp.
(Nasdaq: ZIXI  )



Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Good for you.

We now interrupt this program ...
Now, if you'll allow me, I've a question: Why did you invest in these companies? Was it to beat the market? Get rich? Both? Certainly those are valid reasons.

But for David and Tom Gardner, that's still not enough. The brothers Fool are like Warren Buffett: They believe you should also invest to make a difference -- to leave the world a better place for having hosted you. Here are a few ideas if you're short on time:

  • Give to a school. If you have kids, as my wife and I do (three at last count), you know how needy schools have become. Volunteer to be a room parent and sponsor a common need. Former Foolanthropy charity DonorsChoose has identified many such opportunities.
  • Clean up a highway. Have you ever driven on a sponsored portion of highway? Thank the national Adopt-A-Highway program. It administers litter removal on behalf of companies that pay a regular sponsorship fee.
  • Protect an endangered species. Zoos are great, but how about protecting nature's finest where they live? The World Wildlife Fund acts on behalf of dozens of endangered animals around the globe. Donations can be made in the form of "adopting" a certain specifies.

Yes, these are great ideas. Here's another: Let's help others learn to invest successfully, the younger the better. What we've learned from each other and our mentors, we can "pay forward," you might say.

Your turn to educate, amuse, and enrich
That's the theme of this year's Foolanthropy campaign. The Motley Fool has adopted five charities that share a vision for teaching children and their families the basic principles of finance, entrepreneurship, and money management.

These are essential skills that too many people just don't have.

You've read the papers and watched the news. You know that millions are caught up in the credit crunch spawned by the housing bust. It's a disaster that widespread financial literacy likely could have prevented.

You can take part in preventing similar crises in the future with Foolanthropy 2007. There are two ways to get involved. You can contribute a portion of the excess cash you've earned from investing in the best of 2007. Or, if you're still among the up-and-comers, you can share your knowledge at Motley Fool CAPS or on our discussion boards. David and Tom will contribute $0.02 to our charities for every post you make during December.

Don't be a Scrooge. Be a Fool. Pass along to others the gift of financial freedom that you and your family enjoy. Happy holidays!

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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Foolanthropy 2010

“With an innovative, deserving partner in Thurgood, we’re focusing our efforts where Fools can make a real difference,” says Motley Fool Co-founder and CEO Tom Gardner. This holiday season, help The Motley Fool give disadvantaged students a superior education.

To learn more about our adopted school, or to make a donation, click here.

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