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Stick with what you know
Richard Weiss
Managing director and senior portfolio manager, Wells Capital Management

I think the best advice I ever got was something I gave myself: It's not always greener on the other side. When I was a young analyst, in the late 70s, I followed some really good groups - technology, media and a lot of emerging companies, small cap mostly.

The way it worked back then, and probably works today, is that you would get calls on some little company with some special thing, and they always said that although it isn't making money now, it will. Most people I knew at the time invested their clients' money in good, solid, reputable companies, while they put their own in these obscure, unknown ones.

I had an epiphany: I am following good companies already, so why should I follow these "story" companies? With the companies you understand well, you know the good parts and the bad parts. In the "story" companies, you don't see the bad. Just because you own something and are familiar with it - and maybe even bored with it - doesn't mean you should ignore it because you get whispers in your ear about something new.

NEXT: You don't know more than the market knows

Last updated July 22 2008: 11:27 AM ET
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