Jean Chatzky
She made her first million in the stock market by the age of 30, and today Hilary Kramer is helping other people make money as the finance editor for America Online. Jean talks with Hilary about tips for making money in the stock market and about her new book, Ahead of the Curve: Nine Simple Ways to Create Wealth by Spotting Stock Trends.

Hilary says the key to picking stocks is to think long-term and look for trends before buying. She says she finds up-and-coming profitable stocks by reading several newspapers a day, doing a little investigative work on companies and always being aware of what is going on around her. From hot new retail stores and busy restaurants in her neighborhood, to trends in electronics and home remodeling, Hilary says she keeps her eyes open for companies enjoying success. "You want to look for growth opportunities in growth areas," she says.

Hilary also highlights common mistakes that can lead to money loss in the long run:

  • Picking yesterday's stock. Buying stocks once everyone knows they are hot is not a good strategy, Hilary says. "It's like driving and looking in the rearview mirror." She says the trick is to buy a stock before it gets hot.
  • Getting scared and selling. While Hilary doesn't recommend holding every stock for the long term, selling early could cause a lot of regret in the long run. "You only want to go into stocks that you can emotionally handle," she says. "You want to be able to deal with the volatility."
Once you get into making money in the stock market, Hilary says it's easy to get hooked on the process. "You can take your interest in people and your interest in society and psychology and commerce and add it all up and look at numbers and look at a little bit of fundamentals … and you can turn it into making money," she says.