Thursday, February 04, 2016

Bernie Madoff Books

Did you watch the Bernie Madoff TV show last night, the first of two episodes of the miniseries on ABC? The second episode will be this evening. I found it interesting; not sure how entirely accurate it is, but much of the acting was well done.

So, do you want to know more of the true story about Bernard Madoff and the collapse of Madoff Securities? Several books have been written about this notorious character. Here are some books worth perusing:

The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust by Diana B. Henriques

The Madoff Chronicles (Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth) by Brian Ross

Betrayal: The Life and Lies of Bernie Madoff by Andrew Kirtzman

The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life by Stephanie Madoff Mack

No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos

Madoff's Other Secret: Love, Money, Bernie, and Me by Sheryl Weinstein

Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family by Laurie Sandell

The Club No One Wanted to Join: Madoff Victims in Their Own Words by Alexandra Roth and Erin Arvedlund

Madoff with the Money by Jerry Oppenheimer

Too Good to Be True: The Rise and Fall of Bernie Madoff by Erin Arvedlund

Catastrophe: The Story of Bernard L. Madoff, the Man Who Swindled the World by Gerald Strober and Deborah Strober

65 billion reasons why you cannot trust Wall Street: A first person journey into the underworld of Bernard Madoff by Michael T. De Vita and Emma S. De Vita

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Second Week of February

Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends,' also commonly referred to as 'Dividend Capture.' This is the process of buying stocks before the ex dividend date and selling the stock shortly after the ex date at about the same price, yet still being entitled to the dividend. This technique generally works only in bull markets, and can work in flat or choppy markets, but you need to avoid the technique during bear markets.

In order to be entitled to the dividend, you have to buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, and you can't sell the stock until after the ex date. The actual dividend may not be paid for another few weeks. has compiled a downloadable and sortable list of the stocks going ex dividend in the near future. The list contains many dividend paying companies, lots with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date, and the yield.

American Electric Power AEP 2/8/2016 3.85%
IBM Corp IBM 2/8/2016 4.24%
MDC Holdings MDC 2/8/2016 4.68%
Parker Hannifin Corp. PH 2/8/2016 2.75%
Tessco Technologies, Inc. TESS 2/8/2016 4.60%
Berkshire Hills Bancorp BHLB 2/9/2016 3.01%
S&T Bancorp STBA 2/9/2016 2.87%
U.S. Steel X 2/9/2016 2.57%
A. H. Belo Corporation AHC 2/10/2016 5.61%
Antero Midstream Partners LP AM 2/10/2016 4.63%
American Software AMSWA 2/10/2016 4.26%
Artisan Partners Asset Mgt APAM 2/10/2016 7.73%
Boeing Co. BA 2/10/2016 3.41%

The additional ex-dividend stocks can be found at (If you have been to the website before, and the latest link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out some of the other high yield stock lists at or Most of the lists are free. 

Dividend definitions:

Declaration date: the day that the company declares that there is going to be an upcoming dividend.

Ex-dividend date: the day on which if you buy the stock, you would not be entitled to that particular dividend; or the first day on which a shareholder can sell the shares and still be entitled to the dividend.

Monthly Dividend Stock List

Record date: the day when you must be on the company's books as a shareholder to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is normally set for stocks at two business days before the record date.

Payment date: the day on which the dividend payment is actually made, which can be as long at two months after the ex date.

Book now available: Buying Dividends Revised and Expanded

Book now available: Stock Market Trivia Makes a Great Gift!

Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Top Short Squeeze Oil Stocks

Oil related stocks have dropped long and hard, and many short sellers have profited handsomely. However, at some point, the short sellers need to cover their position. The first sign of a rise in the price of oil could cause a short squeeze.

One trading technique is buying short squeeze stocks. Here is what a short squeeze stock is and what a short squeeze is.

When you short a stock, it means that you expect to make money from a drop in the price of a stock. Technically what happens is that you borrow shares of a stock, sell those shares, then buy back those shares at a hopefully lower price so that those shares can be returned. Of course, this all happens electronically, you don't actually see all the borrowing and returning of shares; it just shows up on your computer screen as a negative number of shares.

Short sellers can make a lot of money, but sometimes when the stock moves against them, the stock starts to move up, and the short sellers jump in at once to buy shares to cover their position. This is called a  short squeeze. When a short squeeze takes place, it can cause the stock to rise fast and hard. Any type of positive news can trigger the short squeeze.

So other traders take advantage of this situation buy looking for stocks to buy that may have a potential short squeeze. Here is what they look for:
  • Short Percentage of Float ~ The float is the number of freely tradable shares and the short percentage is the number of shares held short divided by the float. Amounts over 10% to 20% are considered high, and potential short squeeze plays. 
  • Short Ratio / Days to Cover / Short Interest Ratio -This is probably the most important metric when looking for short squeeze trades, no matter what you call it. This is the number of days it would take the short sellers to cover their position based on the average daily volume of shares traded. This is a significant ratio as it shows how "stuck" the short sellers are when they want to buy in their shares without driving up the price too much. Unfortunately for the shortsellers, the longer the number of days to cover, the bigger and longer the squeeze.
  • Short Percentage Increase ~ This is the percentage increase in in the number of short sellers from the previous month.
Here are some stocks that are heavily shorted that may warrant a closer look. Remember that some stocks are heavily shorted for a reason.

Stock Symbol Short Interest    Days To Cover
Rex Energy Corporation REXX 43% 7.7
CARBO Ceramics Inc. CRR 43% 9.7
EP Energy Corp EPE 42% 7.1
Basic Energy Services, Inc BAS 41% 7.9
Chesapeake Energy Corp. CHK 37% 8.6
Transocean Ltd RIG 35% 9.1

Beware of the risks. For other stock ideas, check out many of the free stock lists at

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.


Over 50 and Out of a Job? Read 50 Plus!

If you are over the age of 50, nd have lost your job for one reason or another, you need to invest in the book, 50 Plus!: Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of Your Life, by Robert L. Dilenschneider. You obviously realize that it is very difficult to find employment for baby boomers at this time. Fortunately, the author has come up with a thorough guide to get a job and continue on with your career.

The book covers everything from looking for job prospects (even if not advertised) to writing your resume to becoming a successful interviewee. It even discusses the way you should dress, which is covered in Chapter 3.

One interesting section of the book mentions ten ways to tell if you are going to be laid off. There are plenty of tips included throughout the book, such as how to handle an interview question relating to a job for which you were laid off for cause.

And if you are sick and tired of working for a big corporation, Dilenschneider describes a couple other options: starting your own business and buying a business. Chapter 9 covers a very important topic, Bridging the Generation Gap.

So if you are stuck in the status of unemployment, this guide will help you out. I highly recommend you get  50 Plus!: Critical Career Decisions for the Rest of Your Life.