One of the biggest dangers an investor faces when he or she decides to buy individual stocks for a portfolio is the temptation to chase something “exciting”, regardless of valuation. That’s a foolish undertaking. Valuation matters a great deal. The exact same business might be a wonderful investment at 10 times earnings but a horrible investment at 50 times earnings. It’s not enough for profits to rise, or dividends to expand; they have to offer a good return, based on what you paid, relative to a reasonable opportunity cost hurdle such as the long-term 30-year Treasury bond yield.