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Investors are those who put their money on items where they foresee there is a potential for growth in the near future. Sadly, you can hardly find such kind of high talented people who can really trade based on fundamentals. Here I call them fundamentalists. Traders are different animals where fundamentals are neglected sometimes, they only seek opportunities to buy low and sell high. Traders usually trade more often. Here I call them technicians.
From my experience, I believe the person need to have both talent to become a successful fund manager. Also more EQ over IQ which is rare to find all these characteristics in one person because the characteristics contradict each other. I would rate myself 90% technician and 10% fundamentalist. As I know my weak point is fundamental analysis, I overcome this by choosing solid and hot stocks. This way I don't need to worry about fundamentals and even if I buy at the wrong time I can still hold it until it recovers and I won't have to worry the company will be gone overnight. A plus to trade well known stocks is during market crisis time since they are the last ones to tank.
So back to the fundamentals, unless you are a fund manager and you have to diversify a big chunk of money into many stocks then you need to find as many potential stocks as possible. But if you are an average American you don't really need to diversify to many stocks. I bet you will lose all of your money before one single company bankrupt. Based on my lacking of fundamental analysis I include solid companies like Apple Computer, Google and Amazon on my monitor list. Since my profession is on the technology sector I have more knowledge with technology companies. This way I can neglect my weak points.