Ahh, how the rumor mill turns! Reports yesterday suggested that Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) Warren Buffett may be considering an investment in the beleaguered Bear Stearns (NYSE:BSC).

Other potential investors cited were Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and Wachovia (NYSE:WB) as well as China's Citic Group and the China Construction Bank. Bear's shares jumped almost 8% on the "news."

Those familiar with Buffett's style of investing know that if there's one thing that he avoids it's tipping his cards before he makes an investment. That doesn't mean that the rumors are definitely not true, but the jump shares made yesterday because of them could help cool the interests of Buffett in particular.

But whether the rumors are true or not, investing in a stock because of rumors that so-and-so might make an investment, or because Big Private Equity Co. might make a buyout offer will probably not give you the returns you want over the long term. Sure, you may get it right here and there, but you also might find yourself stuck with a heck of a lot of stocks that don't interest anybody.

So is Bear interesting? There's plenty of information out there for investors to analyze. Billionaire investor Joe Lewis, for one, apparently thought so -- he has already built up the single largest stake in Bear's stock. So dig in, figure it out for yourself, and don't get yourself yoked to that fickle rumor mill.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer owns shares of Bank of America, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. You can visit Matt on The Fool's CAPS service here, or check out his blog here. Bank of America is an Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy thinks it could take Buffett and Cayne in a game of bridge.