There are no "sure things" in life. Even after careful research, your new, highly rated, top-of-the-line washing machine may have a bum motor. Football teams that are undefeated during the regular season can still lose the Super Bowl (sorry, 2007 Patriots fans). And getting your son into that selective, prestigious high school doesn't guarantee entry into Harvard.
"Sure things" don’t exist in investing, either. Even those stocks with formidable competitive advantages and reliable cash flows can stumble.
Susan Dziubinski does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.