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Standard Stock Screens

I am retired and a fairly conservative buy and hold investor, and do not want to spend my days constantly researching and buying and selling stocks.  I seem to spend way too much time with the stock screens.  I am constantly creating many watch lists for different strategies and I admit this is fun to do, but it is very time consuming and I end up frustrated with the time spent.  I know these screens are wonderful and very quick tools, but do you have any suggestions as how I can minimize my time I seem to spend. At times I waste half of my day and seem to be a victim of paralysis by too much analysis.
When I use the screener I usually and inadvertently - screen myself right into a specific sector or industry.   I screen myself into a corner thus it's not a useful exercise.
Let's say I like low PB and low PE and low Beta - I am going to wind up with a foregone conclusion - a narrow class of stocks has those exact characteristics.  
I use a Macro Thesis printed on the Chartbook thread.   It's hard to find a Fund that has a thesis - for example, the "contra fund" is not contra to anything it has the same old stuff, the OTC fund does not have OTC stocks in its top holdings! Perhaps you could replace the screener with a strategy.   These guys are not necessarily correct but they outline "what-how" they have developed their own strategy.


This is not a tip, I held prospect capital before today and today I bought more.  Why?  Because these guys have a highly tuned interest rate and investment strategy; very similar to my macro thesis.  If I am wrong other stuff in my portfolio will offset my macro call.  Yields go down, I have preferred.  Yields go up I add duration.
Many years ago I did the same and realized like you that my time and life was worth more than investing.
I turned to mutual funds which I believe are a little slower - changing slower than stocks and options with daily pricing rather than minute to minute. This forced me to slow down and let things develop. I could see that good selections did payoff. Then I started the studying again. Finally, I learned more and decided to limit mutual funds to 4 to 7. If I made good choices and limited myself to the 7 fund count, our investments took less time. Although we do weekly tracking - gather prices, review return percentages - we make minor add or share changes, say 3 or 4 times a year. Thus things are more static.
This may not work for everyone. Good luck in your endeavors.
Time spent on research and follow up after buying stocks or funds can really tire a person out - especially if they want a life. Bill O'Neil, founder of IBD, recommends owning 4-7 stocks which correlates with your same amount of mutual funds, even if only by number. From my experience 4-6 is all I can handle to be able to keep up  and stay informed, but also if my selection is good it allows for good gains where owning a dozen or more not only swamps me with work, but it actually dilutes performance. For the work needed to manage a somewhat concentrated portfolio is significant, and therefore must create enough value where it beats just owning a major market fund or ETF such as SPY where very little work is needed. Then, of course, it must be fun too.
This took me a while to distill my activity down to only what I think is necessary as criteria for selection and when to put something on a watchlist. I have must haves and good to haves as well as things to avoid. This is called a trading plan and everything else not conforming is cast aside. This saves a lot of time. Since I am a largely a growth trader/investor I make good use of IBD where they are known for their fundamental lists and analysis. I am trained in technical analysis as well and this helps me determine when to enter something or sell. Most folks have a lot of uncertainty when to sell. I essentially buy/enter on fundamentals and technicals, and sell on technicals. (After a run up things always seem to sell off first and you find out why later.)
A trading plan encompasses and details the what you want to invest in, and when to buy and sell. There is no getting away from spending time determining all these things, but once done it can serve you a long time, though you will make small changes as you learn. A lot of it is matching your personal risk comfort to what you invest in. I have learned doing half of something and half of something else does not work. Many folks will read a plan of someone else in a book or article and decide it does not work. Often this is due to not understanding it or keeping with it long enough to understand its edge, other times the risk taken does not match with their psyche. You must believe in your plan of you will be fighting it, not following it, and things you learn along the way will not be used to adjust it and improve your trading/investing.
I realize this all probably sounds to ambiguous, but maybe you get the concept. I just know when I see folks doing things all over the place as  a Jack of all Trades they usually do not do well. It takes some focus on what interests you and includes a degree of fun, as well as provides some accomplishment. If you have AAII or IBD meetups in your area (there are others) they can provide some social interaction as well. 

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