While many investors are still afraid to get back into stocks, there are signs that more people are hoping to profit from the recovery. Not only has the S&P 500 now passed its two-year high, but cash is also flowing into stock funds and Dow stocks.

So what does this mean for you? It means that if you plan to buy stocks, you should make sure you know how to pick the best ones.

In the video above, we spoke with a number of holiday shoppers looking for everything from aromatic teas to middle eastern pillow covers in New York's bustling Union Square to find out how they shop for stocks. You may be surprised by their answers. James Altucher, managing director of Formula Capital, then gives some important tips that will help us all to be better stock pickers.

One point worth repeating : If the market is in the midst of a true recovery, now is the time to be getting back in -- not later when the stocks are frothy and overvalued.

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bfpowersjr

Mr. Hutheesing: I have become increasingly interested in exchange-traded funds, rather than individual stocks.

December 29 2010 at 11:50 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
rwdvddndcrw

The video showed me that those people at least have a clue. Most would let the Pro's handle the job for them. That is the right thing to do, unfortunately the Pro's arent much less ignorant than anyone else. They portray themselves as knowledgable and able to perform, but unless they are crooked with insider news or manipulate stock prices, they aren't any better, anylists look at the same info available to anyone,then guess (YES GUESS!) what will happen to a stock/company. The market is the STORE and the stocks are the GOODS for sale. If nobody wants it the prices tank to liquidate, If everyone wants it prices rise to accommodate supply and demand. Hope everyone gets what they WANT!

December 26 2010 at 11:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
nocnurzfred

OMG. Just read 10 of these latest posts. Seems to me that one needs to be educated before picking stocks, like spelling, grammar, and sentence construction. It should not be difficult to follow a posters train of thought, but some of these appear to be written by grade school children.

December 26 2010 at 1:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
gmini10

Better stick to picking your nose!

December 26 2010 at 8:06 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ronsjigslures123

With most people dumping credit cards,watching there savings and using there money better than 10 years ago. This country will get back on its feet again, if the stock market dictates and takes over again things will get worst, the wall street crooks and back room dealers have not gone away, and they will be back in force again knowing not much will happen to them, and be back in bussiness again as usual and this country will end up paying for it all over again.

December 26 2010 at 2:55 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ronsjigslures123

Past President A. Jackson was a lousy Indian agent and did them dirty as a general and president , but he was against special interest groups and large corps. being formed and huge banks being formed and he got a lot of bad press fighting theses powerful people forming these HUGE companys, He knew that the country would be run buy these large companys and banks and not buy the masses of workers, and that isn,t healthy for a free ecconomy and the constitution. He was right most of the money and controll is in the hands of the few, and not in the hands of the majarorty, thats not how the constution was writen for, we need a president like Old Hickory Jackson again, he stood and fought the large dictator companys.

December 26 2010 at 2:50 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ronsjigslures123

Wallstreet has been the down fall of this country since day one, all the past and president recessions, and depressions were caused by wall street, and even a couple high up Generals have writen that wall street has caused a couple wars, If you want to kill this country for good than bring back stocks and get them rolling again, if you want unemployment to get worst than make these big employer companys start answereing to its greedy stock holders again, If you want prices to get worst and inflation to set in deep and kill the working paychecks more than they are then buy stocks and make these big corperations answer to a % that they have to pay the stock holders again, thats were its at satisfy the stock holders and prices go up and we pay. This country is run by only a hand ful of powerful brokage houses and that is not a good thing for a free country, because look what happened and they have to much controll, big stock buyers don,t buy company stocks unless they hold a large chunk and can dictate to the companys what kind of money they want back in return, this puts the power in a few peoples hands, and we saw how that works out for the USA and the workers. If you want over running inflation and cost of living to jump many points higher than get the stock market going full blast again, because if it does while the USA and half the world is in this kind of mess , the buyers will be digging there own graves.

December 26 2010 at 2:42 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ronsjigslures123's comment
alfa55s

i agree with ronsjiguslures123 there are many people to cause another financial disaster, not only in wall street but in any other bussinness. people that are ready to take your advantage of you if you are not carefull.

December 26 2010 at 4:11 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
shidelera5

geeeeeeeeee, 30 lousy comments in 12 hours. the masses are tuned in alright.

December 25 2010 at 11:39 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
shidelera5

this guy must be a short seller. should have been back in 2 years ago. its been a fun ride up from 7000. overvalued is now.-

December 25 2010 at 11:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
mer71532

GUESS WHAT FOLKS. NOW IS THE TIME TO GET INTO BIOSCIENCE. WITH ALL THE RESEARCH OB STEM CELLS AND REGENERATION OF JUST ABOUT EVERYTING. NOW IS THE TIME.

December 25 2010 at 11:16 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply