Each investor charts his or her own road to success, but the best gurus I've known share one defining trait. Invariably, they approach each individual market with boundless inquisitiveness. Information and insight become the currency they most crave, while realized gains are more like gravy on that savory academic feast.
To the extent that time allows, I encourage all Fools with exposure to industrial and/or commodity stocks to carefully track the dynamics of coal. From steelmakers to railroads, coal impacts a surprising number of the stocks you may own. And whether you selected Massey Energy
Coal through the eyes of a patriot
Eastern coal miner Patriot Coal
In a nutshell, Patriot fell prey in 2010 to ramped-up regulatory scrutiny that found added zeal in the wake of Massey's tragic mine blast. More westerly focused miner Arch Coal
Railroad operator Norfolk Southern
Have a metric ton of met
If persistent rail constraints were to trigger a sell-off, meanwhile, that might provide long-term-focused Fools a ripe opportunity to hop aboard Patriot's anticipated 59% growth spurt in high-margin met coal production over the next three years. As Massey-acquirer Alpha Natural Resources
Corroborating the outlook that Peabody Energy
Converting research to reason
Of course, performing effective due diligence is about so much more than just reading through corporate filings and absorbing all of the relevant information you can gather. Making sure we walk away from the exercise with the correct interpretations and a well-reasoned investment strategy is the most critical step in the process -- and that's where you come in. By letting investors with diverse perspectives and an incalculable array of life experiences discuss their favorite sectors, stocks, and investment strategies, the Motley Fool's vibrant CAPS community helps people sharpen analyses and hone strategies. For the naturally inquisitive investor, CAPS is an oasis of collective insight that makes each of us a better investor.
I recently added Alpha Natural Resources to my CAPS portfolio following its well-played bid for Massey Energy. If you're curious why I prefer Peabody Energy and Alpha over some of the sector's other options, come to my blog and ask. If you haven't joined CAPS, what are you waiting for? It's free! Your ideas are also welcomed in the comments box below to get the discussion rolling.