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Compare Stocks When Evaluating Investments

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When you are evaluating any investment, you must compare it to every other available investment, including ones you may already own. Instead, many investors collect stocks like baseball cards and the resulting portfolio bloat will likely not increase returns or reduce risk. So when you hear about the new hot stock in the next can't-miss sector, ask yourself two questions: (1) Do I understand the investment as well or better than one I already own? (2) Is the risk and reward profile of the investment superior to all other alternatives? If the answer is "no" to either questions, it is probably best to stay away.