Best of The Panelist


t's been a rough week for the stock market, and we have a lot to say about it.

Waiting to pull the trigger on financials might be a good call. During the 1998 Asian Credit Crisis and the 1994/95 Mexican Peso devaluation, once the disturbance was over, market participants breathed a sigh of relief and "smart" contrarians came in to buy the panic. If we get that sigh of relief before we see a bunch of liquidations, that will be your opportunity to sell. If there is no sigh and just liquidations, that will be the time to buy, but don't buy with your most leveraged capital because you don't know how long these things take to work out.

Tempted to follow hot tips on stocks? If you're not willing to do your own research, you may get burnt. Cramer says, "If you can't spend an hour a week researching each of your stocks, then you should hand off your portfolio to a mutual fund." Mutual funds carry management fees but if you're not a stock market expert, it might not be a bad idea to pay for counsel. Of course, our Pious Panelist has managed to find free counsel for every situation.

Ethical investing is becoming a popular mode of building a portfolio. And if you are looking to invest in sustainable companies with ethical environmental practices, the 2007 Sustainable Business 20 list could give you some ideas. Companies on the list include corporate giants, like Nike and Google, as well as smaller renewable energy companies with growth potential.

It's a very clever thing these car companies do, they use the power of words to evoke a sense of environmental responsibility. But most of the cars that are being promoted with these catchy little collections of words are just as damaging to the environment as last year's models. It's a change in marketing material, playing into the big green, and not really a change in the efficiency of the cars.

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