Fortune 40: The best stocks to retire on, or die trying

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Fortune 40: The best stocks to retire on

Isn’t it time to throw in the towel on stock picking, Fortune? How about some advice that regular people (you know… the kind that might read your magazine) could use without getting themselves in trouble?

I give Fortune credit that most of their top 2008 picks are in 2009 (looking at the top 10 or so). Nevertheless, they advertise these stocks “to retire on”. Shouldn’t all of their picks from 2008 be back for 2009? Furthermore, hasn’t the recent market crash taught people that if you need to seek stock picks from magazines or television, you probably shouldn’t be buying stocks, and shouldn’t it have humbled the stock pickers?

10 year Treasuries are currently paying a 3.77% yield, yet Fortune is touting Abbott Labs’ 4% average return over the last 5 years (God forbid you bought it last year when it was also being touted by Fortune, and when it was 12% more expensive). But their CEO assures us: Abbott will be able to “weather the regulatory and patent-related stumbling blocks that are hitting its pure pharma rivals”. After all… the company CEO wouldn’t lie, right?

Now, maybe Abbott Labs and the other 39 stock picks Fortune offers are very fine companies. But let’s face it: if you’re getting your investment advice from Fortune, you shouldn’t be buying individual stocks. Time-Warner (you definitely shouldn’t be buying their stock) should know this, and instead of exploiting the continuing ‘get-rich quick or retire trying’ mentality, should stick to the useful advice that is less likely to blow up in their readers’ faces. Advice like ‘take a trip to Vegas’.

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