Caveats & Invites

Anything you do on a computer should be backed up, burned to CD or DVD, and stored in multiple locations (home, office, bank vault, lawyer, accountants, etc.). Excel files are small enough that you can email them to your Yahoo! or Google account monthly, and then save them. Again, you will thank me later for this.

Finally, I am making the same request/offer as last week: Play with the spreadsheet -- add to it, personalize it, make it your own. Anyone who feels they have significantly improved on it should email me an Excel copy. Fame and fortune await you; I may share truly outstanding improvements with your fellow readers in a subsequent column.

For instance, reader Perry Spector of Encinitas, Calif., made an astute observation regarding last week's column: Investors also need to keep a record of what and why a trade is passed over. That's a terrific suggestion. Knowing what you were thinking about the ones that got away can only help you with future stock selections.

1. Expect to Be Wrong 2. Your Fault, Reader
3. The Wrong Crowd 4. Bull or Bear? Neither
5. Know Thyself 6. Prepare for Battle
7. Bite Your Tongue 8. Don't Speak, Part 2
9. The Zen of Trading 10. The Folly of Forecasting
11. Lose the News 12. Tracking Elephants, Pt 1
13. Tracking Elephants, Pt 2 14. Nothing Doing
15. Surviving Silly Season 16. The Zen of Trading
17. Curb Your Enthusiasm 18. Six Stocks
19. Bended Knee 20. Time Waits for No One
21. Write this Down
Check back for more of Barry Ritholtz's
Apprenticed Investor series
Barry Ritholtz is chief market strategist for Maxim Group, where his research and market analysis are used by the firm's portfolio managers and clients in the U.S., Europe and Japan. He also publishes The Big Picture, his macro perspectives on the economy and geopolitics, entertainment and technology industries, and is a member of the board of directors of Burst.com, a streaming media software company. At the time of publication, Ritholtz had no position in any securities mentioned in this column, although holdings can change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Ritholtz appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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