This week the board regulars discussed who is the best investor, balanced funds, and getting paid for surveys.
The real strength of the Fool's discussion boards lies in the quality of research and opinion offered by our members. Much of it is far better than you'd get from most professionals, and it has the added bonus of not costing you anything.
We all have our favourite posters -- usually ones whose strategies are similar to our own -- and it's interesting to see who others rate. Over on Paulypilot's Pub - Share Ideas this week, that's what mcturra2000 asked:
"I see that many seem to have an appetite for risk; some of which works out well, and some of which, um, "doesn't".
So, here's a question: if you had to nominate someone as the best investor on this board (you don't get to nominate yourself, of course), as the guy to really watch, who would it be?"
It's only a bit of fun, but it's an interesting read with some very sensible words spoken -- please feel free to join in and nominate someone.
A balanced funds portfolio
Many investors like to put their money into managed funds -- and they can be had for considerably lower charges these days than the punitive rip-offs of a few years ago.
And though most of our posters are focused on individual shares, we do have some contributors who are very knowledgeable about funds too, as smip found out, on the Investment Strategies board:
"I am doing a bit of a review of my investments and savings and wonder if I can get a few views on my investment spread […]
1) Is my portfolio broadly balanced for good growth in the long term?
2) Is it relatively low risk?
3) Are there any howlers in there that I need to worry about?"
On the resulting thread, we got some great words of advice from rpmc:
"Undoubtedly, however, investing directly in shares can be more risky for the uninitiated. It isn't rocket science, and most here find it an enjoyable pastime, but the learning process does require some small investment of time. It might take years before you felt ready to take that next step, and you might consider that time better spent in furthering your career, or on the other hand you might simply not have the inclination."
It goes on in some detail, so you'll need to read it yourself for a great take on funds-based investing.
Get paid for surveys
Do you get those emails urging you to take part in online surveys and get rewarded with cash, but you don't know which ones are any good?
Well, MattyAB has spent some time with them, and shares some thoughts on the Living Below Your Means board:
"I would estimate that every year I "make" about £250+ by carrying out online surveys / market research questionnaires so thought I would share my thoughts on these with you all. There seem to be loads of sites out there, and some I'm sure are scams, so the ones I will detail are all those that I have used for at least 12 months, cost nothing to sign up for, and I have received a payout from."
If you fancy an extra £250 in your Christmas or holiday budget each year, or just to use to put towards your bills, read on to find the ones to go for.
With banks having been in the news of late, it's perhaps not surprising that the Banking Sector board has been high up the list of most popular boards this week, with the discussion mainly centering on results and news from Allied Irish Banks.
The Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY) board was also one of the top company-specific boards of the week.
The Oil & Gas sector again received a lot of attention, with the Oil & Gas – Companies board featuring high on the list, and the individual boards for Tullow Oil (LSE: TLW), BP (LSE: BP), and Aminex (LSE: AEX) all attracting attention.
And of the boards not directly connected with investing, Does Anybody Know? came top of the list.
If you're ever wondering where most of the board action is happening, look under the Discussion Board's "Best of" tab, select "Top Boards" at the far left and you'll see.
Last week's round up: Easy Money