Certainly one of the most important parts of investing is the method of selecting a company to invest in. And this is also one of the most controversial areas in the world of investments.

First should come the criteria. By that I mean what it is that you are looking for. For a young person earning extra money, the criteria might be something that is a bit speculative, but has the potential to make a really big hit.

In today’s world that might be 3D printing. There are those that think that 3D printing is going to take over big parts of the world. You could print your own auto parts, clothing, and kitchen utensils right at home. That will be even easier than buying from Amazon.com!

A savvy investor I know recently suggested four potential 3D companies for investment. Here is what he wrote to me:

“I have an interest in the 3D printing companies (SSYS and DDD). I have been in them for awhile; long term they are exceptional. SSYS is the better company. Xerox (XRX) is very cheap here. Harman International (HAR) is poised for rapidly expanding earnings growth. Deluxe (DLX) has a good dividend and a very low multiple. This is just a partial list.”

So I looked at the statistics on those 5 companies. One of them stood out from the rest, DLX. Here are the statistics from Yahoo Finance that I looked at:

• 52wk Range: 17.50 – 28.22

• Volume: 443,241

• Avg Vol (3m): 416,875

• Market Cap: 1.15B

• P/E (ttm): 8.03

• EPS (ttm): 2.80

• Div & Yield: 1.00 (4.40 percent)

The numbers that made this look good to me were, first of all, the great dividend. Secondly, the low price to earnings ratio, and third, the relatively low price.

So we bought a few hundred shares at $22.40. I did not write calls against them yet, but if the stock doesn’t move up in a month or two I will begin to do that, about 10 percent above the market price, even if there isn’t much premium.

Right after I bought the stock, of course, SSYS announced that it had purchased one of its competitors, an Israeli company with a lot of hi-tech people on board. So SSYS stock jumped up. And DDD stock moved up nicely. But DLX stayed about the same.

But I’m not complaining: I like that 4.4 percent dividend.

On another stock, a friend recommended Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR).

His point of view is that first, the stock has come down on rumors from about $92 to $45, so there’s a lot of upside, and second, coffee is a commodity that will never go out of style. But, he warned, there are some negatives including some governmental issues with their accounting practices.

The stock certainly has taken a ride, so I looked at an article he recommended about this company. It pointed out the risks, which in addition to rumors of accounting errors included, above all, competition.

The interesting point here, for me, is just how much information one can learn from the Internet in today’s world. Just from looking at primary sources I would never have considered all the risks pointed out in this article. After reading it, in spite of the temptation to buy, I’ve passed. But I’m going to follow the stock, and if the accounting problems disappear and the price is still in the $45 range, I might start to buy a small position.

For information about Merv Hecht and more details on the strategies and stocks he writes about in this column, visit his website at DoubleYourYield.com.