One of the corners of The New York Times website that I like to check out regularly is its list of most frequently emailed articles. It tells me which articles struck a chord with its audience -- enough of a chord to make them want to share the piece 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 recent articles.

Check some of them out -- you'll find information on 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.

In this article, Tom and Rex point out how the split-adjusted past of many of today's legendary stocks makes them seem like penny stocks. "In November 1980, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) was trading at a split- and dividend-adjusted $0.01 per share. That's right, one cent. But let's be clear: The stock was selling at $50 per share then, so it wasn't ever a penny stock. . Because of stock splits, some investors think you'll find the next Wal-Mart down among the 30-cent stocks. You won't." They go on to describe some characteristics of companies that grow like gangbusters.

In this article, Rick takes on Jim Cramer, founder of TheStreet.com (NASDAQ:TSCM) and excitable CNBC stock pundit, questioning his investing style. "From short-term capital gains to wash sale rules to the trading costs involved in bid-ask spreads and broker commissions, buying in and out of the same company can be hazardous to your investing health." Click in to read about how Cramer jumped in and out of the same stock, netting a 59% gain.

In this article, Seth confesses to having lost out on some big gains by sitting on the sidelines. He offers this lesson: "Successful value investors, from Buffett to Olstein, have all explained that you can't time the bottom and you can't wait for a catalyst. By the time that happens, it's too late. So when something's cheap, you buy it. If it gets cheaper, you buy more." Click in to learn more.

In this article, Shannon reveals and discusses some data that few people know or appreciate: "Between January 1926 and December 2004, a whopping 41% of the S&P 500's total return owed not to the price appreciation of the stocks the index held but rather to the dividends its companies paid out. . An investment of $10,000 over that stretch of time would have grown to $1,013,000 without dividends. With dividends kicked in and reinvested, however, that same sum would have been worth a whopping $24,113,000 by the end of the period."

Shannon should know about beating the market with funds because he heads up the Motley Fool Champion Funds newsletter, in which his 39 recommended funds (for conservative and aggressive investors) are trouncing the market, with average gains of 19% vs. 8% for the funds' respective benchmark indexes. His latest recommended fund is invested most heavily in the likes of Vodafone (NYSE:VOD) and Tyco (NYSE:TYC).

Roger's situation sounds a lot like mine: "I'm busy. I've got my job. I've got a daughter in preschool and twins on the way. I'm running three fantasy football teams. I don't have time to do in-depth research to find winning stocks -- to analyze management teams, earnings statements, and competitive advantages. Still, despite my analytical lethargy, my portfolio in the three or so years I've been buying individual stocks is about a double. My secret? I listen to smart people." (OK, we're similar in listening to smart people, but not when it comes to pre-school, twins, or fantasy football.)

You want inspiration to get off your duff and get your financial ducks in a row? Look no further. Dayana tells the story of Irish immigrant Lesley Wootton: "For more than 20 years [she], her American husband, and their five kids scrambled to avoid financial disaster. At one point their family income was just $5,200 a year. . Lesley worked odd jobs, factory night shifts, waitressing -- anything she could do to bring in extra money while avoiding having to pay for day care. Then, two years ago, it looked like it was game over. Lesley was 53 and recovering from a divorce. She had a negative net worth and just $83 officially earmarked for retirement. The end? Not so fast. Today she is debt-free and sitting on a nest egg of more than $150,000. If Lesley sticks to her plan, she'll be a millionaire by age 67." If this sounds good to you, click in and read more.

This article hurts, because Philip discusses a great opportunity I remember noticing, but one I didn't take advantage of: IBM (NYSE:IBM) in 1993. "IBM had posted an $8 billion loss and its share price was in free-fall. Technology was changing the world, and IBM was not adapting. . New CEO Louis Gerstner had a vision to turn the ship around. . In one of the greatest turnarounds in history, IBM has bounced back -- and then some. Investors who saw through the hysteria in 1993 were rewarded with outsized profits: An investment made during the lean years has yielded a nearly 800% return." He then goes on to explain how you might find the next amazing turnaround.

In this article, Motley Fool co-founder Tom Gardner explains how he seeks out exceptional small-cap stocks with the potential to grow explosively. He offers some eye-popping examples of terrific performers over the past 15 years, such as Jack Henry & Associates (NASDAQ:JKHY), which would have multiplied your money by 214 times, Kohl's, which would have given you a 20-bagger, and Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HDI), which has increased in value nearly 50-fold. Some of his requirements are founders with large personal stakes, financial statements that are easy to read, and a solid asset base with little or no debt. Click in to read the rest.

Tim explains how even master investor Peter Lynch misjudged how much money someone might need to live on in retirement and offers advice on how to construct a solid portfolio for the golden years. He notes, "Financial planner William Bengen first showed -- and history has confirmed -- that a 4% annual withdrawal rate is a great place to start. But you'll also want to know which accounts to draw down first, ways to avoid big tax hits, and how to keep pace with the government's minimum distribution requirements. After all, those devilish details are what retirement planning is all about."

In sum
These are just a few of our most popular articles. If you'd like to review even more articles, book mark this page.

Here's to a happier portfolio!

Wal-Mart, Tyco, and Vodafone are all Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Take the newsletter dedicated to top-shelf stocks at bargain-basement prices for a 30-day free spin.

Selena Maranjian 's favorite discussion boards include Book Club, The Eclectic Library, Television Banter, and Card & Board Games. She owns shares of Wal-Mart. For more about Selena, view her bio and her profile. You might also be interested in these books she has written or co-written: The Motley Fool Money Guide and The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens . The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.