NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Do you get stock tips at the water cooler at work? Read Barron's on the weekends? Check on Investor's Business Daily? Listen to CNBC?
Ideas come at us from all directions. In fact, there is a barrage of ideas out there, and I have found that over time most of these ideas contradict one another. Also, sorting through all of the ideas can be a mess.
I'm a very methodical person. I like to sort through all the information and gather evidence on my own. I believe you have to sort through the ideas in a very quick manner. So let's get right to the bottom line.
I run ideas through my sifting process and I keep it as simple and easy as possible. When I hear an idea, I first look at the stock chart and then look up the performance and valuation of the stock and see where they rank against all of the other stocks.In fact, as a professional money manager I had to invent my own system for helping me do this in a very timely manner. The whole purpose was to be quick in getting through a big field of information as quickly as I can on a daily basis. It helps me pick up any subtle changes such as new asset classes, or sectors, or stocks rising, or falling out of favor, etc. Let me give you an example. Several days ago, I started my day as I usually do. Before doing my daily radio show, I was going through all of the news on all of the stocks that I could possibly find. A lot of times I see symbols that I am not familiar with, and if they are not already in my database of stocks, I add them. On this day, I stumbled upon TIS, an unfamiliar (to me) stock symbol for a company that had just reported earnings. TIS is the symbol for Orchids Paper Products (TIS - Get Report). I had never heard TheStreet's Jim Cramer or hedge fund king Bill Ackman talking about this company, nor had I seen billionaire Carl Icahn bidding for the company in a proxy battle.