Tim Brown: Go Long With Intel

On Sunday, anything can happen. Any team has a chance to beat any other team. It's called parity, and it's why the NFL is so interesting these days. This week was no exception as there were a handful of upsets, a slew of close games and both New York teams had late game comebacks, one against a very good, but banged up team, the other against a not so good team.

I always have the utmost respect for teams that find a way to be competitive despite losing several key players due to injuries. The division-leading Pittsburgh Steelers are hurting bad. They relinquished a late-game lead on a rare safety and lost the game on a 2-yard toss by Eli Manning late in the game.

The New York Jets, on the other hand, floundered on three Brett Favre interceptions against the troubled Kansas City Chiefs. In the final minute, Favre drove the team to a touchdown to salvage a win out of an underwhelming performance against what is a much weaker opponent. Talk about parity, one game separates three of the teams in the AFC East. The Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots sit atop the division at 5-2, while the Jets trail with a 4-3 record. One game behind them are the Miami Dolphins at 3-4.

The Dallas Cowboys, who many predicted to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, squeezed out a 13-9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Cowboys quarterback Brad Johnson dinked and dunked the defense, playing it safe to minimize mistakes. It wasn't pretty and Dallas' defense held the Bucs offense in check, but he didn't lose the game for them and that was the game plan. In fact, he helped them win.

In the current NFL environment, where parity is prevalent, different teams take different approaches. In some ways, it's similar to today's market. Some hurting teams have done their best to put in their capable subs and stick to their original game plan. Some still stayed competitive. Others altered their approach to deal with a tough environment and recognized the dire need to grab a win immediately. Specifically, the Cowboys needed to get back to winning.

My approach is still philosophically the same, but I have gotten a little more conservative. My goal is to invest for the long -term. As you have probably heard on television and read in many places, all the numbers and figures we look at to determine a stock's underlying value are not as reliable as they once were. That's because we have not seen a market gyrate as much as this one has in the last month.

It is not the most ideal time to be buying for the long haul. That said, many stocks are really being punished, and if you can afford to sink some money into a pick and set-it-and-forget-it, I believe Intel ( INTC) is a good buy.

I originally said I was buying this stock in July, and I think now is the time to add to this position. It closed at $14.28 on Friday, after hitting a 52-week low of $13.37. It hasn't seen these levels in about six years or so. I could list all the metrics here that should make this stock attractive, but the bottom line is that it's just not clear right now what makes a stock attractive. Many are saying don't buy stocks now. If you are looking to buy into stocks, I think Intel is a good choice. So many companies use its products, and it is well entrenched and holds a commanding lead in its field. That edge is immense in this kind of environment.

I also think that over time, when things get better and the market comes back, Intel will pay off. It will be a slog, one of those scores that is fought for inch by inch, yard by yard, and runs a ton of time off the clock. Either way, it should help me to...

Keep moving the chains!

At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.

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