Investors Business Daily's 20 Rules

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IBD's 20 Rules For Stock Market Success

If all of IBDís 20 rules are carefully followed (not just the ones you like), your investment results should materially improve:

  1. Consider buying stocks with each of last three yearsí earnings up 25% or more, return on equity of 17%+ and recent earnings and sales accelerating.
  2. Recent quarterly earnings and sales should be up 25% or more.
  3. Avoid cheap stocks. Buy higher quality stocks selling $15 a share and higher.
  4. Learn how to use charts to spot sound bases and exact buy points. Confine your buys to these points as stocks breakout on big volume increases.
  5. Cut every loss when itís 8% below your cost. Make no exceptions so you can always avoid huge, damaging losses. Never average down in price.
  6. Have selling rules on when to sell and take a profit on the way up. Review "When to Sell and Take a Profit" in How to Make Money in Stocks.
  7. Buy when market indexes are in an uptrend. Reduce investments and raise cash when general market indexes show five or more days of volume distribution.
  8. Read IBDís "Investorís Corner" and "The Big Picture" columns to learn how to recognize important tops and bottoms in the market indexes.
  9. Buy stocks with a Relative Price Strength Rating of 85 or higher in the IBD SmartSelectģ Corporate Ratings.
  10. Pick companies with management ownership of stock.
  11. Buy mostly in the top six broad industry sectors in IBDís New High List.
  12. Select stocks with increasing institutional sponsorship in recent quarters.
  13. Current quarterly after-tax profit margins should be improving and near their peak margins.
  14. Donít buy because of dividends or P-E ratios. Buy the #1 company in an industry in earnings and sales growth, R.O.E., profit margins and product quality.
  15. Pick companies with a new product or service.
  16. Invest mainly in entrepreneurial New America companies. Pay close attention to those with an IPO in the past 8 years.
  17. Check into companies buying back 5% to 10% of their stock and those with new management (what is managementís background?).
  18. Donít try to bottom guess or buy on the way down. Never argue with the market. Forget your pride and ego.
  19. Find out if the market is currently favoring big cap or small cap stocks.
  20. Do a post-analysis of all your buys and sells. Post on charts where you bought and sold each stock. Evaluate and develop rules to correct your major past mistakes.

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