Looking for share ideas? Beginner or expert, here are five places to find hidden nuggets.
When it comes to picking shares, horror stories abound. What's more, you don't have to look too far.
And "love the product, buy the shares" is a particularly vicious trap for the unwary, for instance. I've already come across one example of someone splurging their life savings on Facebook. Closer to home, über-turkey Supergroup (LSE: SGP) has also cast a pall over investors' returns.
All of which highlights that share-picking is no easy matter. So how should investors -- especially those close to the beginning of their investing careers -- go about it?
Here, I've listed five ways to find investment ideas to mull over. Best of all, perhaps, you won't have to leave your favourite investment website!
1) Discussion boards
Here on The Motley Fool, our discussion boards have long been a favourite place for investors to debate the merits of a given share. I've been on the boards myself, for instance, for over a decade.
They're moderated, so wild-eyed rampers are soon given the elbow, and the standard of discussion is generally first class. My own favourite: our High Yield Portfolio board.
Interested in a share? It may well have its own board. If not, it may be part of a sector that does have its own board -- oil and gas shares, for instance. Go on -- take a look!
2) Learning from others
It's always instructive to look at the shares that other investors are buying -- even if their investing style differs from your own. Here on the Fool, we're particularly fortunate that so many people are prepared to share their portfolios.
Just this week, for instance, my Foolish colleague David Holding updated his series on the portfolios of private investors who make their living from investing. They're all worth a look, but one of my own favourites is this one.
3) Learning from the best
We're also not ashamed to confess that we keep a close eye on what the world's master-investors are buying. You've probably seen, for instance, that we've two free special reports up for grabs at the moment, which take a look at just that topic.
This one, for instance, takes a look at "8 Shares Held By Britain's Super Investor". The super investor in question? Neil Woodford, of course.
It's packed with data and insights, but the figure I keep returning to is this statistic: over the 15 years to 31 December 2011, on a dividend re-invested basis, the FTSE All-Share delivered a 42% return. Mr Woodford's High Income fund, meanwhile, gained 347% -- that's quite a difference.
Impressive, to be sure. So why not take a look for yourself? It's free.
4) Articles like this
Every day, we publish up to a dozen articles. They're free -- just register, in order to read them.
And each day, a good proportion of these articles are in the form of investing ideas, with topics to suit pretty much every investing style -- growth investing, income investing, retirement investing and so on.
Personally, I'm particularly fond of articles by this writer, but that's just me.
5) Special reports
I've mentioned special reports. And, as it happens, we've several that are available for download at the moment -- each one free.
And if I had to recommend just one of them as a source of diverse share ideas, it would be this one: "Top Sectors Of 2012". Several of the shares covered are ones that I already hold, and the coverage of one particular share led me to buy more of it last week. So if you haven't already read the report, why not take a look? It's free.
Want to learn more about shares, but not sure where to start? Download our latest guide -- "What Every New Investor Needs To Know" -- it's free. The Motley Fool is helping Britain invest. Better.
Further investment ideas from Malcolm Wheatley:
> Malcolm doesn't hold any of the shares mentioned.