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  • The median age in the U.S. is 36.8
  • The median income in the U.S. is $51,939
  • The average 401k match is $1 for $1 up to 6%

A 36.8 year old investing 10% of their $51,939 income with a $3,116.34 match:
With just average stock market returns of 10% would have $1,114,479.31 by retirement.

Join 7,200+ other readers who have learned how anyone, even beginners, can easily make this desire a reality. Download the free ebook: 7 Steps to Understanding the Stock Market.

IFB22: Finding Investment Ideas with a Reliable Stock Screener

Welcome to session 22 of the Investing for Beginners podcast. In today’s session we are going to discuss how Andrew and I like to use a stock screener. Our stock screener of choice is finviz.com, this is a free screener that we use to help us find all kinds of great stocks to invest in. It is super easy to use and very flexible as well, great for beginners as wells as more experienced investors.

Andrew has a great ebook that we have discussed several times that has some great insights into how to screen for great stock ideas. It has been foundational to me to help me set up my Monday morning ritual to screen for stocks.

  • How to use finviz.com
  • What are the best metrics to use for a screen
  • How to be flexible with your screening procedures
  • Finding new investment ideas using a stock screener
  • Remembering that stock screeners are just a tool


Andrew: Well, I guess we have different rituals because mine is to hit the snooze button multiple times in the morning. A screen is a great way to get some ideas, my site is focused on beginners, and I used to get this question all the time.

I’ve written blog posts about this question, and it’s a valid question and something that always pops up, and it’s a struggling point for a lot of beginners. Where do I get ideas for stocks? I might have this toolkit, ability to sift through the financial data and find an intrinsic value and search for a margin of safety.

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IFB21: The Benjamin Graham Formula for Finding a Margin of Safety



Intelligent Investor


Welcome to session 21 of the Investing for Beginners podcast. In today’s session, we are continuing our discussion of the Intelligent Investor and working through chapter 20. Again, this is one of the chapters highlighted by Warren Buffett as one of the most influential for him.

This is the chapter that opened my eyes with the discussion of the margin of safety. As a conservative guy by nature, this strategy struck home with me. There is much more to the chapter than this simple idea, check out our show notes to learn more.

  • Margin of Safety equals earnings yield minus bond yield
  • Amount of margin of safety depends on the market pricing
  • Using data over a period is critical
  • “Heads I Win, Tails I don’t lose that much.”
  • Roulette as an example of diversification
  • 2/3 or less of value is an adequate margin of safety
  • No good stocks, just bad prices.
  • Arithmetic is greater than optimism
  • “Have the courage of your knowledge and experience…..THEN ACT on it!”

Dave: These two chapters are Warren Buffett’s favorite of the Intelligent Investor, and they are chock full of all kinds of wisdom and great advice to help you invest better.

The first thing that he talks about is the margin of safety in this chapter, and Andrew I am going to let you chat about this for a second.

Andrew: So obviously Dave and I we love to talk about margin of safety, with an emphasis on safety. Benjamin Graham started that whole movement, which has been passed on through the generations. With many great investors put a big focus on margin of safety. [click to continue…]

IFB20: the Intelligent Investor Summary of Chapter 8 and Mr. Market

the intelligent investor summary

Welcome to session 20 of the Investing for Beginners podcast. In today’s episode, we are going to discuss chapter 8 from Benjamin Graham’s Intelligent Investor. This is easily one of the best books on investing ever written and is a classic must read for any investor serious about learning how to invest and not speculate.

Written by Benjamin Graham in the early 1950s it has been a huge influence on many investors, including the great Warren Buffett. In fact, he credits this book enabling him to create large returns for his new shareholders and was a tremendous influence on him.

  • Timing the market versus pricing
  • Speculator versus investor
  • Dow Theory
  • Characteristics of a Bull Market
  • Diversification
  • Succesful Stock Paradox
  • Mr. Market

This week we will discuss one the chapters that he says have had the biggest influence on him. Chapters 8 and 20 he credits with opening his eyes to the possibilities of making money with a margin of safety.

Andrew: This is one of Warren Buffett favorite chapters, and it explains kind of how the market works, and it gives an excellent overview of how to understand the stock market and how it can relate to investing strategy.

Dave: The first thing we are going to talk about tonight is timing versus pricing or investor versus speculator. One of the things that Graham talks about at the beginning of this chapter is that market timing is a fool’s game. There is not much that you can do about trying to time the market.

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IFB19: Portfolio Management as it Relates to Dollar Cost Averaging


portfolio management

Welcome to session 19 of the Investing for Beginners podcast. In today’s session, we are going to have a little different format than we have been doing. We are going to answer some of our reader’s questions on air. Andrew and I are going to take turns answering these questions, and this should be a lot of fun.

  • What kind of diversification do you use for your eLetter portfolio?
  • The importance of dollar-cost averaging
  • Can you find the intrinsic value of an ETF?
  • The importance of portfolio management
  • Learning is a constant, ongoing situation

The first question is from Jamison: I have just begun receiving your newsletter, so I have the May 31st and June 1st editions are the first that I have read and would like to follow along with your portfolio. That being said I am starting with $4,000 in my account, a traditional IRA. I would like to buy the latest dividend fortress that you recommended. How much or what percentage do your normally buy? Any insight would be much appreciated.

Andrew: Obviously, I can’t give any personalized advice, legally. Let’s just say if I was to put myself in Jamison’s shoes and what I would do with a kind of larger sum. The portfolio obviously follows a $150 a month, and that’s every single month, which is a dollar-cost averaging. What that means when buying a recommended stock from the eLetter is that you’re going to buy up to $150 worth of whatever stock that is. Sometimes a stock will trade at around $20, be able to pick-up six or seven shares. Sometimes the stock trades at $110 and is only able to pick-up one share. With that extra money, if I’m picking up one share of $100, then I have $50 to $45 after transaction fee, I just roll that over to the next month, so the next month I will have $200, and I can buy however the maximum amount shares I can and just keep going in that way. Obviously, you don’t get this sort of perfect position size where every position a perfect 5% or 7%, or 3% of the portfolio. That’s just the nature of the beast, and this is something that happens when you are running a real portfolio with lower amounts. In contrast to a fund manager who is managing millions or billions of dollars and then we have the average person who maybe listens to this podcast. They have different things that they need to worry about, and that is one of the ways the eLetter is structured the way it is because it helps put yourself into the shoes of actual people who are average with average incomes and putting their hard-earned money into the market.

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IFB18: Your Path to Financial Freedom Explained


financial freedom

Welcome to session 18 of the Investing for Beginners podcast. Today we are going to talk about financial independence and some ideas to help you achieve that.

  • Understanding what financial freedom is
  • Finding the motivation that inspires you to achieve your goal of financial freedom
  • Creating income that you can live off of without having to dip into the nest egg
  • Setting a budget first is paramount to any success
  • Following the course and setting up automation for everything financial
  • Utilizing the tools available to you for budgeting, automation, and staying on target

Andrew: Obviously the tagline is your path to financial freedom and I think it’s important to explain what that is and obviously our podcast is focused on beginners. It is a good starting point if you can understand exactly the kinds of things financial freedom can give you. Then number one you can have the motivation to want to continue and to put in the work of establishing that base when it comes to the knowledge of how to invest.

Establishing patience, the wisdom from other successful investors that we have seen. And taking that responsibility upon ourselves instead of letting some professional manage the money for us. So if you can understand what financial freedom is then, it can help push you along the path to becoming a better investor. Honing your skills and maybe even finding a passion for it like Dave and I have.

My idea of financial freedom and what’s accepted around, if you want to call it the financial community is this idea that you save enough money where you can live off of the income from your investments without having your investments shrink.

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