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Old 02-09-2009, 09:31 AM   #1
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Free Investment Advice by Anonymous Volunteers

In today's NYTimes is an article:

Offering Free Investment Advice by Anonymous Volunteers

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Would you trust a Web site created by anonymous individuals to give you better advice on stocks than professional advisers? Wikinvest hopes so.
Good question. Would you?
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:39 AM   #2
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I think most of us would never change our investment strategy based on what we read in this forum, for example, where anonymous volunteers tell us what they REALLY think about our investment strategies. On the other hand, I have heard of interesting aspects of investing that I didn't know about, and need to learn about. That is useful.

In other words, don't swallow anything whole that you read on a message board or are told through an anonymous online investment service, but don't underestimate the value of what you read in stimulating your curiousity and study explorations, either.

I wouldn't pay for such an investment service, and I sure wouldn't take any investment actions based solely on their advice.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Would you trust a Web site created by anonymous individuals to give you better advice on stocks than professional advisers?
Although certainly not limited to stocks, isn't this just such a website? Aren't we all pretty much 'anonymous individuals' here?

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Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Good question. Would you?
I'd have to say yes. Certainly I don't follow all the advise I read here, but I do trust the advice here in aggregate more than I trust the advice of 'professional advisers'. My past experience tells me most professional financial advisers can't be objective and consistently place my financial interest above theirs.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:09 AM   #4
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Although certainly not limited to stocks, isn't this just such a website? Aren't we all pretty much 'anonymous individuals' here?


I'd have to say yes. Certainly I don't follow all the advise I read here, but I do trust the advice here in aggregate more than I trust the advice of 'professional advisers'.
Advice here has included buying gold, buying annuities, buying real estate in Hawaii, buying Nikes, buying single stocks, buying mutual funds, buying bonds, burying money in the back yard, and many other possibilities.

Due to the advice of here in aggregate, I am aware of some of the negatives or pitfalls that might exist for some potential investments. Then I can look into these problems. As far as I can tell, there is no perfect investment for me. By reading the wrangling back and forth here, and doing my own research beyond the board, I can determine what would probably be decent investments for me.

That is all I require - - decent, not perfect, investments.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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I have found some of the best advise on forums such as this one and bogleheads.org. But I also take my time and study the situation and the market too. I go to the library and check out a lot of investment books also. In the forum atmosphere, if someone comes up with goofy suggestions, you will have another person coming in right behind them to point it out. So I think it all balances out quiet well. There are some truly great and knowledgeable people on forums, you just have to find the right ones. If you take your time you can weed out the good, bad and the ugly. Never jump too quickly though.
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Old 02-09-2009, 10:34 AM   #6
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Sorry, but I am "on the road" right now and don't have opportunity to fully research the actual website of Wikinvest until this evening but has anyone actually visited the site? A quick glance shows a well thought-out format.

In any event, I certainly concur that this forum is the best -- and not just for financial advice.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:02 AM   #7
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My answer is definitely NO! I would not trust ANY advice about individual stocks which is what this article was highlighting. The article was not talking about asset allocation and general investing principles and guidance about low expenses, best places for accounts, and tax efficiency.

It is pretty clear to me that no one knows what a stock price will do. Not even the folks with inside information. They are all blinded by their own ambition and biases. Just like me.

And hasn't this all been done before? It was called Raging Bull.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
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I have a "hot" real estate tip - invest in lakefront on Ontario. Great surfing, wetsuit included, only a "little" annual average snowfall, just a few shoreline rocks to avoid, excellent background music...just kidding.
Investing advice...that's almost an oxymoron, isn't it? I like to think of what I learn here as a collective of investment EXPERIENCE.
I cannot recall anyone giving advice on what to buy here. I'd probably ignore it anyway.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:48 PM   #9
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You get what you pay for- which is why all the advice (investing and otherwise) on this forum is free...
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:50 PM   #10
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Interesting concept. Sounds like the readership self-moderates to keep the content in line (e.g., to keep the anonymous posters from using the site to influence the market)--anyone can add information or edit information. I could see it developing to become another tool for the independent investor's use.

I wonder if they'll have bacon flowcharts.
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Old 02-09-2009, 12:55 PM   #11
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:15 PM   #12
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If anyone on here has taken my advice on here over the past 2+ years, please refer to my disclaimer signature line........
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #13
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If anyone on here has taken my advice on here over the past 2+ years, please refer to my disclaimer signature line........

I did... when the Soapbox was active. I believed everything I read there, much like the headlines in the the supermarket check out line.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:19 PM   #14
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You get what you pay for- which is why all the advice (investing and otherwise) on this forum is free...
Its worse than that, often you don't get what you pay for. There is a lot of good, free ideas about investing from sites like this site & the Boglehead site. There is even one forum on this site where individual stock are discussed. Got some useful suggestions there. There are a couple posters whose opinions I do value. Ultimately I even chose Wellesley for DW's IRA because of reading this site.
If I found a site with good advice I would read it. It would be interesting to see if a Wiki type process can produce interesting investing insights.
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Old 02-09-2009, 02:35 PM   #15
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I did... when the Soapbox was active. I believed everything I read there, much like the headlines in the the supermarket check out line.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:38 PM   #16
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But I trusted you guys......


LOL, I think this site is an excellent place to read others opinions on investment strategies. Just like anything else, it is necessary to expound on and confirm information you receive here.

I suppose if someone is going to read a here about an investment strategy and blindly follow it without doing any personal research, this website is as good a place as any.... At least the majority of people on the site are by-hold, diversify, index-fund guys as opposed to a lot of get rich-quick types.


Anyhow, the saying about "a fool and his money" has been around long before the advent of anonymous internet forums.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:14 PM   #17
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Well, so far this forum is certainly doing its job. "Wheat from Chaff" is what my grandpa used to call it.
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:33 PM   #18
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Would you trust a Web site created by anonymous individuals to give you better advice on stocks than professional advisers? Wikinvest hopes so.
Interesting question. Do you trust those who will not gain from your following their advice or those who will?
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Old 02-09-2009, 06:59 PM   #19
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I look at wikinvest occasionally. I like the different viewpoint tabs so you can easily get opposing opinions.

Investing sites are just like everything else on the internet - there are a few places with quality information, and then everything else is porn stuff some simpleton copied and pasted so you would think he is smart. And of course with investing you always have the people who are trying to manipulate the market so they can get in or out at a better price. XYZ is going to the Moon! I'm buying with both fists and so should you!

I wouldn't buy anything based on what someone else says on wikinvest or here. But I do pay attention to people's ideas when they make sense, and when I find something interesting, I do my own research and make my own decisions. I also use this kind of site to look for new information about stocks that I already own.
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Old 02-10-2009, 02:11 AM   #20
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Absolutely I prefer anonymous advice to "take mine up front" advice. But I am picky where I get that advice and I do factor the advisor's rationale into my own thinking and research. I just checked my first posts at RE and, as I remembered, I finally came out from the shadows to ask for opinions on paying off my home, not because I didn't see the answer but because I was afraid I was too inexperienced to see the unknown consequences of that answer. The input helped me over the mountain.

Also, faced with my husband's Fidelity choices and overwhelmed with my own inexperience at asset allocation across multiple retirement accounts, I asked Fidelity erryl at Morningstar forum what I might do with Fidelity. He made suggestions and I studied them and although I didn't follow the advice 100%, I did get a feel for how I could use the Fidelity funds to make up for some things my other accounts didn't offer.

I now realize I could have done all this myself but at the time I needed help with my confidence. Anonymous people you have tracked for a couple of years do develop credibility. Just because you walk in an office and shake hands doesn't mean you know more about the person. I would argue that I know more about some of you guys than I do about my doctor. That said, I doubt I would use the services at that link since they are truly anonymous to me.
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