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Let's say you've decided you want to choose stocks yourself. Great but where do you begin?
In our humble opinion this is a foundation of a great investment. Strong cash flows, low debt to cash flow ratio, selling at a discount to asset value and with a strong brand or physical prescense that is well defended. Warren Buffet calls this a moat. You want this to be long and deep and wide and with angry gators inside it. (Barriers to entry)
From there stick to industries you know and only invest what you can avoid touching for at least 3 years.
Other things to keep in mind, the free cash flow multiple and price to earnings multiples should be considered. Additionally pay attention to revenue and profit growth some stocks can look expensive but really be cheap.