The First Thing I Do as Soon as the Market Opens

Every weekday morning, I have the same routine.

Take the dog out … start the coffee … turn on the financial news … scroll through market headlines on my phone … check the weather forecast … and in the fall, look for any breaking fantasy football news.

It’s a multistep process and not always in the same order. But when it comes to finding the best stocks to recommend to my subscribers, one step ALWAYS comes first ...

•  I check the Weiss Ratings!

The Weiss Ratings get updated every day. That means, you can check on the health of the stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds you want to buy or sell.

And if you’re looking for new ideas, we can help you there, too. That’s because we have screeners to help you uncover your next great investment.

Those ratings have been designed to hand you an advantage you can’t get anywhere else. That is, to reveal companies that offer a solid balance of safety and profit potential.

We began issuing Weiss Safety Ratings in 1989. Here, we let you see how WE see banks, credit unions and insurance companies. If you want to put your money in a bank, for example, you want to be able to trust that your financial instution is healthy.

We did the same with our Weiss Investment Ratings starting in 2001. Here, you can see if you want to invest in that bank’s stock. But there’s so much more that you can find here. And because this column focuses on investments, those are the ratings we’re talking about today.

•  Unlike many other ratings models, ours doesn’t just focus on reward. Of course we want to help you make money, but we want you to do so in a way that minimizes your risk.

That’s why when our model calculates investment ratings using thousands of pieces of data, it balances risk against reward.

I don’t just pick stocks or ETFs based on what’s hot or what’s not … I let the Weiss Ratings lead me to investments that are set to go up without keeping us up at night.

The Weiss Ratings — and the timely recommendations I make based on what they show me — are based on facts, numbers and data. Not simple gut feelings.

Am I going to sit here and tell you that EVERY highly rated stock and fund will rise? Or that every low-rated stock and fund will fall? Of course not.

If the markets get whacked, even sound investments can falter. If the markets soar, even low-rated names can get swept up in the tide.

•  But over time, and across different market conditions, our research and testing suggests you’ll fare better with higher rated investments than lower rated ones.

So it’s time to make checking the ratings a part of your daily routine, just as it’s part of mine.

Any time you want to add a new pick to your portfolio, look to see if it earns a solid “A” or “B” Rating (equivalent to “Buy”) ... a middle-of-the-road “C” Rating (equivalent to “Hold”) ... or a lousy “D” or “E” Rating (equivalent to “Sell”).

Then, factor that into your decision about whether or not to pull the trigger.

I wouldn’t start my day without walking the dog or catching up on the news. And I don’t think you should put your hard-earned money at risk in an investment without first getting an independent, third-party analysis of its merit by checking out the Ratings.

If you agree and want to see how to put the ratings to work for you, I recommend you start here. I’ll have a brand-new pick for you this week, so get on the list as soon as possible.

Until next time,

Mike Larson

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