Luck or Skill
Anyone can get lucky and pick stocks correctly, but luck runs out sometime.
You can't always rely on charts, no matter how many candlestick formations you see.
You can't rely on what you see on a quarterly report, because some company's hide pertinent data (Enron, GE, all the banks).
You definitely can't rely on analysts.
So is making money in the stock market LUCK or SKILL? Obviously there's a little luck (like my long pick of Motorola two days ago and today they blew past earnings with even better guidance for the upcoming quarter), but most is skill - at least in the long term.
SKILL IN WHAT? I know, I just wrote you can't trust stats, charts or people. But skill is what you need, and that skill is in market psychology. As I said two weeks ago, get ready for the S&P to pull back. I also said, wait until SDS peaks over $40, and I said I'd buy into this market if the S&P dropped 1.5% or more yesterday. Well all that has happened and I am now LONG this market - until December 8 (another date I specified in a previous posting).
Remember, in the short-term, stocks are worth what someone else is willing to give you for it. Can their be any other explanation for the meteoric rise of KOOP.COM, a company that was out of business before the ink on their stock offering was dry. Or how about the great rise of PLUG, that disintegrated into a penny stock.
Go long for the next 5 weeks - you will be happy you did.
And BTW, I'm generally pessimistic on the future of the economy.