One of the corners of The New York Times website that I like to check out regularly is its list of most-emailed articles. It tells me which articles struck a chord with many readers -- enough that they wanted to share them with others. That made me wonder which Motley Fool investing articles were most favored by our readers -- so I did a little digging. Here's a list of 10 of the most-read articles from the last year. (I wish I could include my Stocks for the Next Five Years on it, but alas -- it fell a bit short.)
Check some of these articles out -- you'll find lots of stocks to perhaps buy or sell, and your portfolio may thank you for it later. Better still, it's likely that the articles will each teach you a thing or two about investing.
- "3 Stocks to Sell in 2006," by Rick Aristotle Munarriz. One of Rick's stocks to sell was Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), closing at $422 per share on the day that this article was published. Last time I checked, it was trading around $343, down nearly 20%. Where will it go from here? No one knows for sure. There still isn't a huge margin of safety surrounding the stock, but if some of its new ventures grow massive, there's a good chance of great results. Keep reading, though, as you may be able to do even better with less risk.
- "A Ridiculously Cheap Stock," by Richard Gibbons. Richard began his introduction of OmniVision
(NASDAQ:OVTI), the semiconductor company that creates the image sensor chips in digital cameras, by saying, "So, when we find a company with projected earnings growth of 25%, trading at a price-to-earnings (P/E) of 10, holding cash almost equal to half its market capitalization, it's enough to make us sit up and take notice." The stock more than doubled since he wrote that article. Is it too late to invest now? Well, the recent P/E (based on trailing-twelve-month earnings) is 20, but the forward P/E (based on next year's earnings) is 18, and over the past few years, the average P/E has been between 14 and 26. So on this one imperfect measure alone, it doesn't look too rich yet.
- "Dreadful Stocks to Avoid," by Richard Gibbons. This article offered a handful of characteristics of companies that safety-seeking value investors tend to avoid, such as debt-burdened companies and firms heavily dependent on research. Note, though, that debt isn't necessarily a bad thing. If a company is borrowing money at 6% and investing it in its business, earning a 12% return on it, then it's quite effectively creating value for shareholders and we should be merrily clapping.
- "These Stocks Will Burn You," by Rex Moore. When I read this title, I wondered whether Rex would be discussing enterprises such as Torchmark, Flamemaster, Flamel Technologies, or Ablaze Technologies. But no, instead he explained why we might want to add some powerful, tiny companies to our portfolios, warning that if we don't do so carefully, we might get burned.
- "70 Times Better Than the Next Microsoft," by Bill Barker. Considering that early investors in Microsoft have multiplied their original investment amount by more than 200, this headline certainly grabbed me. In the article, Bill discussed the difference between large-cap and small-cap value and growth stocks, and showed how, over a lifetime, investing in one kind of company can turn $100 into $104,000, but choosing another kind can give you $7.3 million -- which is a whopper of a difference. He also pointed out how "value" stocks such as ExxonMobil
(NYSE:XOM)tend to have lower P/E ratios and more reasonable expectations, compared to "growth" stocks such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). (ExxonMobil's P/E was recently 11, compared with 22 for Procter & Gamble.) The differences were even more pronounced for smaller companies.
- "The Market's 10 Best Stocks," by Tim Hanson. As Tim reviewed the best-performing stocks of the past decade, the drink seller at the top of the list wasn't the one you might have expected -- Starbucks. Instead it was Hansen Natural
(NASDAQ:HANS), which advanced an incredible 24,185%. Tim explained that often times the best performers are obscure, and they're not necessarily heavily technological, either. Click in to see what other characteristics they share, and how you might find them.
- "Time to Double Up," by Roger Friedman. Roger reveals how he's tripled his money in a bunch of investments such as Quality Systems
(NASDAQ:QSII)and Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX)-- and why he's bummed about it. He got many of his best ideas from our newsletters, such as Motley Fool Stock Advisor (which you can try for free). (In fact, a free trial will give you access to past issues and will let you review all past recommendations and see how they've fared.)
- "4 Stocks That May Double Again," by Rick Aristotle Munarriz. Here Rick reviews some companies that have recently been surging, suggesting that they still have considerable room to grow. One of them, Internet Initiative Japan
(NASDAQ:IIJI), is up more than 35% since he wrote the article.
- "Is It Time to Sell?" by Paul Elliott. In this article, Paul tackles the topic of selling -- and makes a good case for not selling. He points out, as I've also done before, that it's important to step back from charts of stock prices or the overall market. Sure, when you look at them up close, you see peaks and valleys -- and it's often at the valleys when people sell (just before a rise) and at the peaks when people buy (right before a fall). But step back. With great companies, despite the zig-zagginess of the chart close-up, you'll see from a little distance that the overall line slopes upward. That's the line to focus on.
- "A 25-Bagger in Five Years," by Tom Gardner. In this article, Tom describes a company that has increased in value by a factor of more than 25 in just five years. He then says: "The question is, "How could you have found it back then?" That is indeed the question. For one thing, you might look for companies still being run by their founders who have meaningful ownership stakes in the firm. Fortunately, Tom has plenty of answers (and some other examples).
These are just a few of our most popular articles. If this article proves popular, I'll be sharing more lists of more articles in the future. If you'd like to review even more articles, bookmark this page.
Here's to a happier portfolio! (And hey -- consider forwarding this article to anyone you care about. Just click on the "Email this Page" link near the bottom of the page.)
Quality Systems is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Vertex Pharmaceuticals is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation.
Selena Maranjian 's favorite discussion boards include Book Club , Eclectic Library, Television Banter and Card & Board Games. She owns shares of no company mentioned in this article. For more about Selena, viewher bio and her profile. You might also be interested in these books she has written or co-written:The Motley Fool Money GuideandThe Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.