Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ken Fisher Interview - Part 1 – Madoff and other Rats – Stockerblog Exclusive

Ken Fisher Interview - Part 1 – Madoff and other Rats– Stockerblog Exclusive

Ken Fisher is a money manager, Forbes columnist, and is one of the Forbes 400 richest Americans. He is also author of several books, including his two latest, The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There (And How You Can Too!) (Fisher Investments Press) and How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud (Fisher Investments Press)

Stockerblog: I wanted to go over your two latest books, the The Ten Roads to Riches: The Ways the Wealthy Got There book real briefly and then the How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud book, which we will concentrate on. The Ten Roads to Riches book came out last year. Since that time we've had a market collapse and a recession,; any changes in regards to recommendations to achieve changes?

Fisher: No, the book wasn't about being timely. I don't think there's anything that's changed.

Stockerblog: You wrote a lot about lawyers and politicians, I was curious to know if you got any flack from politicians or lawyers?

Fisher: Not a bit.

Stockerblog: OK, let's move on to the How to Smell a Rat book. Do you think there are a lot more Madoffs out there that haven't been discovered?

Fisher: Probably not; not right now. The reality is that the nature of their market is that it is causing people to become more cautious, and Ponzi schemes like Madoff, Allen Stanford, and others have done may require people to be willing to invest and not redeem. In bull markets, you get an environment that allows the Ponzi scheme ratzo con artist to build momentum and keep going, but when you hit the kind of bear market we had last year, it tends to uncover most of them up to that point in time because people want to redeem and they don't want to invest, and since the Ponzi scheme is based on a simple notion of using current money to pay off old money, these things tend to get discovered.

I'm sure that there are a few of them that snuck through, but particularly with the amount of attention that Madoff and Stanford got, and particularly with the amount of fear we got from this bear market, I think most have been uncovered. The flip side and the bad news is that the next bull market will generate a whole new generation of them as does every bull market. The process, not only does is go away, you probably end up over time getting more and more of them as we move through the process that I describe in the book, How to Smell a Rat, is one where people don't really base their decision on the right kind of issues.

Stockerblog: You said that the bull market pulled out a lot of the scam artists and I guess we should say that Sir Allen Stanford is an alleged issue with him. A lot of people are saying that Madoff is one of the stupidest con artists because he could have just claimed that his hedge fund and brokerage firm collapsed with the market crash. If he came out with the news that maybe right after Lehman collapsed, he may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Do you agree with that?

Fisher: I think that that's unlikely because I think people would have screamed and said "Give me my money back", then they would have sued him and it would have all come out in lawsuits. The reality of Madoff is that he must have been one of the more clever people doing this because he perpetrated it so long and for so many dollars. That is, he made it through the bear market of 2000 to 2003. And he made it through the entire nineties. The entire nineties were a bull market period which would have been a great period to be a person like that in terms of ever increasing optimism over an extended time period so that he could pull in new money for anyone who wants to redeem. I would have thought he would have gotten caught in 2000 to 2003 because that was pretty good size bear market. He made it through that period so he had to be pretty good at playing that game.

Simply how long he did it and how big he did it, being the biggest ever, I think he was stupid to do this in the first place, but among the people that played this game, he must have been the most successful because he was able to do it in such size and for so long.

Stockerblog: But couldn't he have just, if he knew this was going to happen, he could have said to his investors "Well we've made several bad moves. We now have negative equity. We've just collapsed just like Lehman and some of the other firms", and leave it to the bankruptcy courts, and might not have been looked at as much as some of the other major banks and institutions.

Fisher: If you look at the amount of lawsuits that exist over Lehman, I don't think that you escape scrutiny by claiming that you went under. A smarter crook, what he would have done, and this is also true of Allen Stanford, who in my opinion, you used the word 'alleged', Allen Stanford falsified his background whereas Bernard Madoff was actually a very successful businessman before he turned to being a criminal. In both of these cases and every other one, what they could have planned would be an exodus from the country to a country with no extradition rights. One of the points I make in the book about Robert Vesco, who in the 1970's, took upon a Ponzi scheme , embezzled, fled to Cuba, had his money in Swiss bank accounts and basically paid Castro a set amount of money each year for Castro to protect him, and he lived out the rest of his life comfortably in Cuba.

Madoff claims that he worried forever about how it was that the SEC might get him. He claims he had close calls, he claimed that he worried about this a lot. The amazing part is that he never planned for his exodus from the country before getting caught and protected himself as a criminal. A smarter criminal actually would have been ruthless enough to say "I can't play this game forever, I'm getting out, I getting out now, and going to a country with no extradition rights, and I'm going to pay them enough money to protect me."

End of Part 1 – Stay Tuned for Part 2

By Fred Fuld at Stockerblog.com

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this interview prohibited with out permission.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One Letter Companies

One letter names are great because they are short and sweet. Last week, I wrote that several one character domain names were being auctioned off, such as a.biz and z.biz. But besides these dot biz names, do you realize that there are only five one letter domains that are owned by companies, and four of the five companies are publicly traded?

These companies were lucky enough to register them before December 1, 1993 (or buy them from someone who registered them by that date), as the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority put a restriction on single character domains at that time.

q.com is owned by Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q). This is a 'double single-letter company' because it is also one of the few companies that happens to have a one letter stock ticker symbol. If you go to q.com, it takes you right to Qwest's web site.

x.com is owned by Paypal.com, which is owned by eBay (EBAY). Yet, when you go to the x.com website, it doesn't take you to the Paypal website, it takes you to the Paypal Labs website.

z.com is owned by Nissan North America Inc., which is owned by Nissan Motor (NSANY), which trades on NASDAQ. However, the website is currently inactive.

i.net is owned by Future Media Architects, a privately held company.

u.tv is owned by UTV Media (UTV.L), a broadcasting and New Media company based in Belfast in Northern Ireland. The company trades on the London Stock Exchange.

Want to know all the companies that have one letter stock ticker symbols? Here they are:

Agilent Technologies Inc. (A)
Barnes Group Inc. (B)
Citigroup, Inc. (C) formerly the symbol for Chrysler
Dominion Resources, Inc. (D)
Eni SpA (E)
Ford Motor Co. (F)
Genpact Ltd. (G) formerly the symbol for Gillette
Kellogg Company (K)
Loews Corporation (L)
Macy's, Inc. (M)
NetSuite, Inc. (N)
Realty Income Corp. (O)
Qwest Communications International Inc. (Q)
Ryder System, Inc. (R)
Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) formerly the symbol for Sears Roebuck
AT&T, Inc. (T)
Visa, Inc. (V)
United States Steel Corp. (X)
Alleghany Corp. (Y)

By the way, the ticker symbol Z used to be used by the five-and-dime retailer Woolworth, now known as Foot Locker (FL). Also, before US Airways Group was delisted, it used to have the stock symbol U.

By Fred Fuld at Stockerblog.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stocks Going Ex Dividend October 1 through October 9

The stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends' is becoming more and more popular, especially with the recent increase in the stock market. 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.

When you buy dividends, there are many stocks in many different sectors to choose from. 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. WallStreetNewsNetwork has compiled a free downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week. wsnn.com came up with many companies all with market caps over $500 million. Here are a couple examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Actually there are eight going ex dividend this week on October 1 including:

American Greetings Corporation AM ex div date: 10/1/09 market cap: $590.5M yield: 3.1%

Kayne Anderson Energy Total Return Fund KYE ex div date: 10/1/09 market cap: $674.5M yield: 9.5%

Then next week, there are many more including:

Gentex Corporation GNTX ex div date: 10/5/09 market cap: $2.0B yield: 3.0%

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. MMC ex div date: 10/7/09 market cap: $12.5B yield: 3.4%

The rest of the ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the September link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com. For more details on dividend definitions, check out definitions of dividend dates. Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Author doesn't own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Think the Dollar has Bottomed? Think Again

The value of the Japanese yen has reached and eight month high against the U. S. Dollar. The yen is now at 88.23 per dollar.

Guest Article: Straight Lines Lead Straight to Profits in Crude Oil

Straight Lines Lead Straight to Profits in Crude Oil

In this new short video, I am going to share with you one of the simplest and most powerful technical tools of all time.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do this and you don’t have to have a PhD in mathematics either. If you’re not already using this tool, I highly recommend that you watch this video.

As always, our videos are available to view without charge and without registration. All we ask is that you give us your feedback on our blog.

If you enjoy this video, share it with your friends. I am sure they will find it different and at the same time educational.

All the best,

Adam Hewison
President of INO.com
Co-creator of MarketClub.com

Sunday, September 27, 2009

If Blackberries Are Selling for $240,000, Does That Mean We Have High Inflation?

If may be hard to believe, but the the going price on a Curve 8900 Blackberry is $240,000. However, this is the 18 carat gold diamond encrusted variety, with over 4,400 brilliant cut diamonds.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

How Bad Is Unemployment?

If you want to know how bad the unemployment situation is, here are the top eleven states (the last three are tied) in terms of percent unemployed, according to the governments Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Michigan 15.2
Nevada 13.2
Rhode Island 12.8
California 12.2
Oregon 12.2
South Carolina 11.5
District of Columbia 11.1
Kentucky 11.1
North Carolina 10.8
Ohio 10.8
Tennessee 10.8

And in terms of year over year increase, here are the top twelve:

Michigan 6.6
Nevada 6.2
Oregon 5.7
Alabama 5.2
West Virginia 4.8
California 4.6
Rhode Island 4.5
Kentucky 4.4
Florida 4.2
North Carolina 4.2
South Carolina 4.2
Tennessee 4.2

No matter which way you slice it, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and California have been hit the worst.

By Stockerblog.com

Book Review: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs

As few months ago, I was asked to speak at a major conference during the summer. I wish I had this book back then.

Whether you hate to speak in front of audiences or love to speak in front of audiences, everyone can find useful information in The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo. The author covers everything about public speaking, from designing PowerPoints to getting and keeping the audience's attention to what to wear, using very extensive research into how Steve Jobs does it. He describes how to explain numbers in an easy to understand way, how to use 'zippy' words, and when to use props (always if possible).

And never use fillers (um, uh, ah, etc.) He gives some very effective ways of getting over the use of fillers.

And answering tough questions. He tells you how to prepare for them.

If you ever have to give another speech, read The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. The advice is very thorough and very well worth it; better than a speaking coach.

By Fred Fuld
Stockerblog.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

Book Review: The Successor

Take a billionaire head of a private equity fund, Cuban revolutionaries, renegade CIA agents, a 20 something ostracized actress who's chased by a bunch of bad guys with guns, an African American president who's planning an assassination of the head of another country, roll it all together and what do you get? The Successor: A Novel, a fast paced novel by Stephen Frey. There are several stories going on at the same time, making this a page-turning mystery and thriller. If you want a recreational book to read on a plane or train, get The Successor: A Novel.

By Stockerblog.com

Jim Cramer Likes Cloud Computing

The interest in 'cloudware' stocks is growing. On Jim Cramer's Mad Money on Friday, Cramer reiterated his belief in cloud computing stocks, and recommended Salesforce.com (CRM), a provider of customer-relationship management services.

I wrote about cloud computing stocks back in April this year.

Even the government is now getting into cloud computing.

Cloud computing is now the latest green industry, It is also one of the most profitable in the green sector. Besides Salesforce, Citrix Systems, Inc. (CTXS), and VMware, Inc. (VMW) are also major cloud players.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Finally, a Nuclear Power that Green and Socially Responsible Investors Might Like

There is a relatively new type of nuclear power that is starting to gain popularity, albeit at a very slow pace. Thorium nuclear power may be the next major source of green power.

Many green investors and socially responsible investors have several issues with uranium generated nuclear power, including the potential for meltdowns and the hazardous waste that is generated along with the disposal. But with thorium, it only creates a small amount of the hazardous waste generated by uranium reactors. Thorium won't produce runaway chain reactions, unlike uranium. Thorium is even more plentiful than uranium.

Spent fuel produces a much lower amount of waste, which is less radioactive than uranium. All in all, thorium power is safer and cheaper than uranium.

For investors, there is Fortum Corp. (FOJCF.PK), a Finnish based utility, which is in partnership with Statkraft in Norway, Scatec which is also in Norway, and Vattenfall in Sweden, to create a thorium nuclear plant.

There is also the very low cap Thorium Power, Ltd. (THPW.OB), which produces and sells nuclear fuel designs, including thorium/uranium nuclear fuel for power plants. The company has generated negative earnings for the latest reported quarter, and operating income is negative. However, they are debt free with $4.9 million in cash. Because the stock has a very low capitalization, it should be considered very speculative.

Punj Lloyd Limited (PUNJLLOYD.NS), which trades on the National Stock Exchange of India, is in a 50/50 joint venture with Thorium Power to use thorium in a nuclear power plant.

Since thorium isn't usable to make a bomb, is more abundant and produces far more energy than uranium, and produces far less waste, the story isn't just a green story but a financial story, and worth looking at for the long term.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Who Wants to Own a One Letter Domain Name?

One letter domains are about as hard to get as a one letter stock ticker symbol. A few companies, such as Agilent Technologies Inc. (A), Citigroup, Inc. (C), Realty Income Corp. (O), and United States Steel Corp. (X) were lucky enough to get their stock symbols.

But in terms of getting a one letter, or for that matter, a one number domain, it is nearly impossible and very expensive to get one. One example is x.com which is owned by Paypal.

But now is your chance. Sedo is now auctioning off a whole series of one character domains including 1.biz, a.biz, m.biz, x.biz, y.biz, and z.biz. Grab 'em while their hot.

By Stockerblog.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shortage of Bullets May Create Investment Opportunities

It's true. There is a shortage of bullets, and many stores are putting limits on how many bullets a customer can buy. Part of the increase is due to an increase in the demand for handguns, with gun permits increasing by over 25% from last year. Another reason is that gun owners are stocking up on bullets, just like stocking up on gold.

There are a couple of publicly traded companies that manufacture ammunition. Olin Corporation (OLN) makes Winchester Ammunition. The stock has a forward PE of 36 and pays a 4.7% yield.

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) is another manufacturer of bullets and ammunition to law enforcement agencies and commercial customers. The stock has a forward PE of 8.5 and doesn't pay a dividend. Earnings for the latest quarter were up over 27%.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. (SWHC) is primarily a maker and marketer of firearms. It has a forward PE of 10 and has currenly generated negative earnings.

Although bullets and ammo are a smaller portion of the revenues of these companies, there should be some benefit to the bottom line from the increase in sales.

Author does not own any of the above.


By Stockerblog.com

Guest Article: Inside Scoop: The Real Barack Obama Revealed!

Inside Scoop: The Real Barack Obama Revealed!
By John F. Wasik
author of The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America

Socialist. Communist. Hitler. Racist. The Joker. Has any president in recent memory been called so many names so quickly in his tenure?
It took a second term for George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon to achieve pariah status among their detractors. President Obama is getting the primary-schoolyard name-calling treatment in his first eight months.
Yet I predict President Obama will defy all of these malicious and ridiculously undeserved labels to achieve something few maligned chief executives have been able to accomplish: He will establish social capitalism as a new guiding political philosophy for the world’s largest economy.
If Obama succeeds – and I believe he will – he may be able to diffuse the tired old monikers of liberal, socialist and centrist. Put those stickers in a drawer. They don’t precisely describe Barack Obama.
As I discovered in researching my book The Audacity of Help: Obama’s Economic Plan and the Remaking of America (www.audacityofhelp.net), President Obama has espoused a hybrid political philosophy. As a student of history, I’d say he’s closer to Teddy Roosevelt than Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Yet he’s got a “Green Deal” working instead of a “Square” or “New” deal.
Like Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt, President Obama is keenly aware of history and is a man of his times. Unlike his Square and New Deal predecessors, though, Obama has professed no desire to break up corporations or take them to court – even when you can make a strong argument for reducing the size of the largest financial service companies.
Inheriting the worst debacle since the Great Depression, Obama has chosen the path of a social capitalist. He has laid the groundwork for government being a responsible steward. Not interested in nationalizing anything, he wants to bolster banks to make them healthy then move onto other national priorities.
As part of his Green Deal philosophy, clearly economic growth is more important than controlling boardrooms and executive compensation. This is his University of Chicago intellectual background speaking.
President Obama told CNBC he has a “strong inclination” against a second stimulus package, although he’s hoping that the first stimulus plan can spur private-sector jobs in roadbuilding, green energy, broadband, electrical grid modernization, high-speed rail, medical research and thousands of other projects throughout the country. Some of those promises have come to fruition, but a long-range plan on infrastructure repair and development is necessary if we’re going to compete with China and the rest of the global economy.
If anything, the Obama stimulus and budget plans have provided significant but not overly generous seed money for all of these areas in the hope that private industry will replace the nearly 7 million jobs lost since the recession began in December, 2007. As such, in terms of sheer dollars, the Obama Administration (particularly the Department of Energy) has become the largest venture capital entity in the country.
If Obama was a true socialist, he would have broken up the strangleholds that major insurers have in most state and local markets in health insurance and reduced the size of the largest banks – or taken them over. Even his financial services reform proposal pretty much leaves powerful insurance companies alone, even though their abuses in health-insurance claims, annuity and securities sales have been profligate.
Refocusing on the economy, Obama is hewing close to his blueprint for financial reforms to save capitalism from itself.
Keep in mind that other than the disappearance of Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Countrywide Financial, Washington Mutual, Wachovia Securities and dozens of smaller banks, little has changed on Wall Street.
The biggest banks got bigger (Bank of America, Wells Fargo, et al). The government has veer from the “too big to fail” philosophy, which means we could have another global meltdown again. Nevertheless, Wall Street likes the deregulated status quo and is lobbying intensely to kill financial reform.
“I don’t think they’re going to succeed in killing it,” Obama said bravely of his effort to push through financial reforms. “I’m going to stop them from killing it.”
Yet Obama’s social capitalism will prevail because wiser global financial forces will demand it. We’ve already seen the devastation of unfettered free-market capitalism. Just look at the 1870s, 1890s, 1929-41, 1974, 1999-2002 and the disaster last year. The next global iceberg collision will make 1930 look like a Disney musical.
While I’m not sure booms, busts and bubbles can be managed, we can certainly devise better warning systems and investor safeguards. No matter what you call Obama, here’s his most boiled-down mantra: Protect the weak from the ravages of greed. In the words of T.R, “bully” to that.

Author Bio
John F. Wasik, author of The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America, is the author of twelve books, including The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome and The Merchant of Power. He speaks widely and writes a weekly Bloomberg News column that reaches readers of five continents and which earned him the 2009 Peter Lisagor award for journalism. He lives in Chicago.

Reprinted with permission from the publicist.

Latest at the Museum of American Finance

If you happen to be in New during the next couple weeks, you should check out the Museum of American Finance in lower Manhattan at Wall Street. Coming up:

FEATURED EXHIBIT

Actiën Handel: Early Dutch Finance and the Founding of America
On display through October 17, 2009
This month, the Museum opened "Actiën Handel: Early Dutch Finance and the Founding of America," an exhibit showcasing the relationship between early Dutch finance and the United States. On display are financial documents from Amsterdam, including the oldest known share certificate, which was issued by the Dutch East India Company in 1606. The exhibit ties in with New York's city-wide celebration of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's exploration of the area that became New Amsterdam (and later New York), and focuses on the financial aspects of the area's first 200 years.
A Museum docent will be available to point out exhibit highlights and answer questions about "Actiën Handel" every Wednesday evening, from 4:00-6:00 pm, through October 14.

FEATURED TOUR


Walking Tour: Women of Wall Street
Wednesday, September 30, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
Bold, beautiful, and influential. Discover the female power brokers who have shaped the history of Wall Street. Your guide, a veteran of Wall Street herself, will expose the women who dared to infiltrate this male-dominated industry. This tour highlights women such as Victoria Woodhull, who ran for President and opened the first woman-owned brokerage in 1870, Muriel Siebert, the first women to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and many of the women who are movers and shakers in the financial world today.
Tour meets at the Museum and costs $15 per person, which includes admission to the Museum.

Goldman Sachs Invested in Chinese Car Maker

Goldman Sachs (GS) invested $334 million in Geely Automotive, a China based automobile manufacturer. This investment would give it a 15.1% ownership in the company. The investment is made through GS Capital Partners VI Fund LP, an affiliate of Goldman. Goldman Sachs trades on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Review: The Small Cap Investor

The Small-Cap Investor: Secrets to Winning Big with Small-Cap Stocks by Ian Wyatt, provides substantial information about building a portfolio on and making money from small cap stocks. He covers information on how to spot the next big idea, spotting growth sector trends, evaluating financial statements, interpreting financial projections, looking at technical analysis, and making buy and sell decisions.

If you like investing in stocks with low market caps and are looking for strategies to make money from them, take a look at The Small-Cap Investor: Secrets to Winning Big with Small-Cap Stocks.

By Stockerblog.com

Is It Still Possible to Find Stocks Trading Near Cash? Yes!

During the last few months, investors have been looking for "can't go wrong" stocks, which are stocks trading close to or even less than the cash per share of the stocks. And if the stocks were debt free, it would be hard for the companies to go out of business unless they had an extremely high burn rate.

Those types of stocks were easy to find when the market was lower, but you can still find some of those bargains out there.

As an example, Wellcare Health (WCG), which sells for around $27 per share, has $24 per share in cash. This debt-free managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs has a market cap of over a billion dollars and has a forward PE of 11.7.

RealNetworks (RNWK) is a $450 million market cap company which trades for around 3.99 per share and has cash per share of 2.31. However, recent earnings have been negative for this digital services media company. At least they are debt free.

WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has come up with a downloadable Excel database of over ten stocks that trade near cash and are debt free, all of which have market caps over $250 million.

Author does not own any of the above.


By Stockerblog.com

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Stocks Going Ex Dividend During the Fifth Week of September

The stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends' is becoming more and more popular, especially with the recent increase in the stock market. 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.

When you buy dividends, there are many stocks in many different sectors to choose from. 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. WallStreetNewsNetwork has compiled a free downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week. wsnn.com came up with many companies all with market caps over $500 million. Here are a couple examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

DNP Select Income Fund Inc. DNP ex div date: 9/28/09 market cap: $2.0B yield: 9.1%

Nicor Inc. GAS ex div date: 9/28/09 market cap: $1.6B yield: 5.2%

National Health Investors NHI ex div date: 9/28/09 market cap: $906.6M yield: 6.7%

The rest of the ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the September link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com. For more details on dividend definitions, check out definitions of dividend dates. Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Author doesn't own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Book Review: The Audacity of Help

The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America by John F. Wasik gives an impartial review of what President Obama promised, what Congress actually passed, and who benefits the most. He covers infrastructure, small business, the green collar jobs, lending, home ownership, and health-care reform.

Wasik is the author of twelve books and writes a weekly column for Bloomberg News. The benefits to the investor is the most important part of The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America, providing what stock sectors and industries will benefit from these changes. A good rundown of what's happening in Washington and how it will affect the economy.

By Stockerblog.com

Saturday, September 19, 2009

California Selling their Bonds on the Radio

California has resorted to promoting their tax anticipation notes (notes are basically short term bonds) on the radio. These notes will pay interest that is exempt from both Federal and California state income taxes for California residents. Anticipated interest rate is around 2% or so. This issue of 2009-10 Revenue Anticipation Notes, also called RANs, will raise $8,800,000,000 and will mature next year. A prospectus can be found at BuyCaliforniaBonds.com.

This isn't the first time that California has used the radio to promote their bonds. Back in June of 2007, they were promoting a new issue of General Obligation bonds.

I am now anxiously awaiting to see the television ads and ad previews in movie theaters promoting California bonds. Only in California.

By Stockerblog.com

INO and MarketClub Offering Free Trading Courses

INO and MarketClub, which offer various tools for traders, are offering free investment trading courses through a series of educational emails and online content. The course includes a total of ten lessons.

Friday, September 18, 2009

If You Think the Banking Crises Has Ended, Think Again


If you think the banking crises is over with, you might want to take a look at the above chart. (Data source: FDIC) Today, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shut down Irwin Union Bank FSB in Kentucky and Irwin Union Bank and Trust Co. in Indiana. This makes a total of 94 bank failures this year, a substantial increase over 24 failures in 2008, and three in 2007. And there are still three and a half months to go for the rest of the year.

One item to be aware of in the above chart is that the month of September isn't over yet. There may be many more closures and failures in the coming months. Hopefully, July 2009 was the all time high and we are now in a downtrend. But if the September trend continues, there will be about 17 total closures for the month, less than July but still very high.

By Stockerblog.com

Book Review: Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly

The book, Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, by James E. McWilliams, gives a very interesting take on the concept of 'eating locally'. He gives a unique argument that globally produced food is more efficient from a fuel standpoint than locally produced food.

He includes very extensive research to prove his case, which he describes in thorough but easy-to-understand detail. Take a look at what he says about organic farming and genetically-modified crops! If you were uncertain about whether local food production and consumption is beneficial from a green standpoint and an economic standpoint, you should check out Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly

By Stockerblog.com

Google Going into the Book Publishing Business: That's Real Books Made Out of Paper

Yes, it's true. Google (GOOG), which wanted to digitize every book in existence, has decided to get into the non-digital world and start producing paperback book, made out of paper. They will be using a book machine that can create a 300 page book in five minutes or less. The machine is called the Espresso Book Machine. So I guess what goes around, comes around. Google trades on NASDAQ.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Zimbabwe Inflation Finally Dropping


Zimbabwe has held the modern day record for its outrageous inflation rate, which was an unbelievable 231,000,000% last year. Since the government has allowed the citizens to use currencies from other countries, including the US dollar, the rate has dropped to a very low 0.4% for the month of August, down from 1% for the previous month.

Another interesting side effect is that the Zimbabwean dollar, or for that matter, the one hundred trillion dollar bill that used to be so popular in Zimbabwe last year and the regularly used currency, is hardly ever being used in that country, and has become a collector's item in the United States.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

White House Supports Cloud Computing

Back in April, I wrote an article about cloud computing and how it was the new green industry. Cloud computing stocks such as Citrix Systems, Inc. (CTXS), Salesforce.com (CRM), and VMware, Inc. (VMW) have been performing well. Companies like the cost savings and the reduced carbon footprints from utilizing green computing.

Even the White House has come out in support of cloud computing. The Obama administration has said that tech centers and infrastructure cost taxpayers $19 billion a year, and anticipate that cloud computing can help reduce some of that cost.

Keep an eye on cloud computing. It will be one of the strongest green industries in the future. Check out the article Cloudware Stocks: What the Heck is Cloud Computing?

By Stockerblog.com

Stocks Going Ex Dividend During the Fourth Week of September

The stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends' is becoming more and more popular, especially with the recent increase in the stock market. 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.

When you buy dividends, there are many stocks in many different sectors to choose from. 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. WallStreetNewsNetwork has compiled a free downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week. wsnn.com came up with many companies all with market caps over $500 million. Here are a couple examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Getty Realty Corp. (GTY) ex div date: 9/22/2009 market cap: $590.9M yield: 8.1%

Portland General Electric Company (POR) ex div date: 9/23/2009 market cap: $1.5B yield: 5.2%

Xcel Energy Inc. (XEL) ex div date: 9/22/2009 market cap:$8.9B yield: 5.0%

The rest of the ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the September link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com. For more details on dividend definitions, check out definitions of dividend dates. Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Author doesn't own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies versus the Stock Market


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on one pound (453.6 gm) of chocolate chip cookies

It may seem strange that I would look into this analysis, especially since I don't eat chocolate, but I thought it would be interesting to see if there might be a correlation between the cost of chocolate chip cookies and the Standard & Poors 500. If you take a look at the graph, you will notice that the cost of chocolate chip cookies (brown line) starts to increase as the stock market (blue line) drops, as you can see around July of 2001 and October of 2007.

When the S&P 500 bottoms out and begins to rise, the cost of chocolate chip cookies starts to decline. Look at February 2003 and March of 2009. The question is, does the increase in the cost of chocolate chip cookies cause a drop in the S&P 500, or does a drop in the S&P 500 cause an increase in the cost of cookies? Since it looks like the cookie cost is topping out, maybe the stock market will be moving upward for a while. Or maybe there is no correlation and we should just eat our cookies.

If you like interesting correlations, you should check out Correlation Between the Stock Market and Sun Spots, The MacWorld Expo Apple Stock Correlation, Gasoline at the Pump versus S&P 500, and the Hurricane & Stock Market Indicator.

By Stockerblog.com

Guest Article: Get Ready for "Son" of Stimulus Plan

Get Ready for "Son" of Stimulus Plan
By John F. Wasik,
Author of The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America

So, where are the jobs? Even as the fog seems to be lifting over housing, manufacturing and the financial sector, the unemployment rate continues to float ever higher.
Despite the largest economic bailout in America history, the jobless rate soared to 9.7 percent in August. All told, nearly 7 million jobs have been lost since December 2007. Wasn't that $787 billion stimulus package supposed to make this awful number go down?
The stimulus plan is like trying to weld a plate onto the hull gash in the Titanic after it hit an iceberg. Once you set aside the money spent on economic triage -- more than a half a trillion dollars -- you have a long-term investment in social and physical capital. As I discovered in researching my new book The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of the America (www.audacityofhelp.net), much of the legislation was a combination economic band-aid and long-term therapy.
While it may not be reflected in the unemployment numbers, there is visible progress from the stimulus spending. About $60 billion of the $288 billion in promised tax cuts has flowed into the pockets of most middle- and lower-class Americans. Another $84 billion of a nearly half-trillion dollars in capital improvements spending has been doled out. Roads are being repaved, bridges are being rebuilt and thousands of public works projects are underway, resulting in about 2 million jobs, reports IHS Global Insight, a consulting firm.
Where Money Was Spent
Let's start with the largest chunk of the stimulus program: Tax relief, which accounted for $288 billion of the spending. Those on fixed-income received a one-time payment of $250. That's not much help when Social Security payments, indexed to the consumer price index (CPI), were expected to remain flat. It would be ideal if the CPI reflected the true cost of living that incorporates higher medical costs, all taxes and transportation, but it doesn't.
Sorry, you can't turn in your clunker for a bigger check to cover higher out-of-pocket medical or insurance bills. Most everyone else saw a slight increase in their take-home pay as withholding taxes were dropped a bit, although it only added up to a few dollars a week.. A more salient way of boosting incomes would be to grant a holiday on payroll taxes for a few days or weeks, but that's not what Congress and the Obama Administration decided to do.
The next-biggest portion of the stimulus spending -- $144 billion -- was for "state and local fiscal relief." Faced with the loss of state and local tax revenue, government agencies were facing massive teacher layoffs and shutting down public services without this band-aid measure.
This move saved more jobs than would have otherwise been lost, although it doesn't address a more pernicious long-term problem. Property valuations, which are the basis for local real estate taxes, are continuing to fall. That means less money for schools, libraries, fire and police departments. How can public agencies replace this money? It's an ongoing crisis that will translate into more program, service and job cuts (or tax hikes) later this year and into 2010. Get ready for "Son of Stimulus" when this reality gobsmacks Congress as it heads into mid-term elections next year.
Long-Term Investments
The saving grace of the Obama-designed stimulus is that it's earnest about investing in infrastructure, research, energy and education.
$111 billion will be spent on infrastructure and science. This is everything from medical research, fixing roads and high-speed rail planning.
Some $53 billion will be spent on education and training and is broadly distributed to everything from Headstart for poor families to higher education (seewww.ed.gov).
$43 billion will be spent on energy research for sorely needed technologies like efficient batteries.
What's not clear about the stimulus spending is if the money allocated to specific projects is being spent efficiently or that it will match the number of jobs lost during the recession. Early indications are that it isn't, although it will take time for nearly a trillion dollars to make it from the Treasury to a project in your community. The Obama Administration definitely needs to provide more information on its www.recovery.gov site to tell taxpayers how that money is being spent. There are maps that tell you which projects are funded and where, but more detail is needed. For now, a much better source is the nonprofit journalism groupwww.propublica.org.
The stimulus program will either be a down payment on a productive new shift in job creation -- what I call social capitalism -- or a bandage on a hemorrhage. In any case, such a transformation will take time and the waiting period will be increasingly painful for those losing their jobs.
©2009 John F. Wasik, author of The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America

Author Bio
John F. Wasik, author of The Audacity of Help: Obama's Economic Plan and the Remaking of America, is the author of twelve books, including The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream. He speaks widely and writes a weekly Bloomberg News column that reaches readers of five continents and which earned him the 2009 Peter Lisagor award for journalism. He lives in Chicago.

Structured Settlements: Are They Worth Taking a Lump Sum?

You may have seen ads on TV advertising the payment of lump sums for Structured Settlements. So what is a structured settlement?

According to Wikipedia, a Structured Settlement is defined as 'a financial or insurance arrangement, including periodic payments, that a claimant accepts to resolve a personal injury tort claim or to compromise a statutory periodic payment obligation. Structured settlements were first utilized in Canada and the United States during the 1970s as an alternative to lump sum settlements. Structured settlements are now part of the statutory tort law of several common law countries including Australia, Canada, England and the United States. Although some uniformity exists, each of these countries has its own definitions, rules and standards for structured settlements. Structured settlements may include income tax and spendthrift requirements as well as benefits. Structured settlement payments are sometimes called “periodic payments.” A structured settlement incorporated into a trial judgment is called a “periodic payment judgment." '

What these companies are offering is a large chunk of money in return for them taking over and receiving your monthly or annual payments that you have been receiving from a legal or insurance settlement. These companies may also pay lump sums for other sources of monthly income, such as annuities. The amount they pay is based on a discount of the payments to present value, and the discount rate used for the calculation can run anywhere from 7% to 8% up to 15%. The lower the discount rate, the better the deal for you.

As an example, if you will receive $2,000 month for the next ten years, you might receive anywhere from $124,000 to $172,000. Before going ahead with any such transaction, it should be reviewed carefully by your attorney, accountant, and financial advisor.

By Stockerblog.com

Dirty Words in SEC Filings

A couple years ago, I wrote about how the F word was found in several SEC filings. Most seemed to be typos, but a couple appeared intentional. Taking another look at SEC filings, it appears that the dirty words are still continuing.

It is amazing that documents as important as filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission aren't checked thoroughly for typos. For example, the S word appeared in a 10-Q filing back in 2006 for Palm (PALM), the mobile products company. And this was an important filing, the quarterly report. The word was a typo for the word 'shift'.

More recently, the F word was used in reference to a quotation that someone made included in a 13-D filing in 2008 for American Community Properties Trust (APO), a very low cap stock which trades on the American Stock Exchange.

Just a few months ago, the S word was intentionally mentioned three times after the word 'bull' in an exhibit to an 8K filing for Hawkins Inc. (HWKN), a specialty chemical company.

There are a lot more embarrassing typos, but I will let you look for them yourself, when you have nothing better to do.

By Stockerblog.com

Friday, September 11, 2009

No Debt High Yield Stocks

If you are a conservative investor, two things you always look for are a high dividend payout and a solid balance sheet. There are plenty of high yield stocks out there, but not all of them are in good financial shape. However, if you can find a high yield stock that has no debt, then you have a good starting point for finding gems. There are over 15 stocks that WallStreetNewsNetwork.com came up with that have market caps over $500 million, yields above 4%, and are debt free.

One example is Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) which yields 4.4%. This is the payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing company.

Another is Healthcare Services Group, Inc. (HCSG) which pays 4.2%. The company is a provider of housekeeping, laundry, linen, and food services to nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals.

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (MXIM), a manufacturer of linear and mixed-signal integrated circuits and analog circuits, has a yield of 4.20%.

To see the rest of the list of debt free high yield stocks, including three that yield above 7%, go to WSNN.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stocks Going Ex Dividend during the Third Week of September

The stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends' is becoming more and more popular. It 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.

When you buy dividends, there are many stocks in many different sectors to choose from. 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. WallStreetNewsNetwork has compiled a free downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week. wsnn.com came up with many companies all with market caps over $500 million. Here are a couple examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

DTE Energy Company DTE ex div date: 9/17/09 market cap:$5.8B yield: 6.1%

H.J. Heinz Company HNZ ex div date: 9/18/09 market cap: $12.6B yield: 4.2%

LTC Properties, Inc. LTC ex div date: 9/18/09 market cap: $569.5M yield: 6.3%

The rest of the ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the September link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com. For more details on dividend definitions, check out definitions of dividend dates. Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Author doesn't own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Sunday, September 06, 2009

How About Investing $49,000 in a Glove?

Would you invest 49 grand in a glove? How about if that glove had been owned and worn by Michael Jackson? And was worn on the day that Michael Jackson married Debbie Rowe. The glove was sold at an Australian auction for $49,000 to Warwick Stone representing the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Upcoming Events at the Museum of American Finance

If you are planning on being in Manhattan during the month of September, you should check out the upcoming events at the Museum of American Finance at 48 Wall Street.

Featured Exhibit


First Share

Actiën Handel: Early Dutch Finance and the Founding of America
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 10, 5:30 - 7:00 pm

September 10, a reception to open "Actiën Handel: Early Dutch Finance and the Founding of America," an exhibit showcasing the relationship between early Dutch finance and the United States. On display will be financial documents from Amsterdam, including the oldest known share certificate, which was issued by the Dutch East India Company in 1606 and featured in the motion picture "Ocean's Twelve." The opening reception is free and open to the public.

Featured Event


Brown Bag Lunch: Screening of "We All Fall Down: The American Mortgage Crisis"
Wednesday, September 16, 12:30 - 1:40 pm


A screening of "We All Fall Down," the award-winning film on the current housing and mortgage crisis. This timely and informative documentary chronicles the history of America's mortgage finance system, from its origins in the 1930s, when the federal government first made available long-term, fixed-rate loans to new American homeowners, to its current state of crisis, after an excess of risky mortgage financing led to the system's collapse, which in turn triggered a wider economic recession. (Run time: 66 min.)

$5 tickets are available at the door and include admission to the Museum. Feel free to bring your lunch.



Featured Tour
Walking Tour Group

Walking Tour: History of Trading
Saturday, September 12, 1:00 - 2:30 pm

The Dutch came to New York to trade, and almost 400 years later we are still doing it. Join the "History of Trading" tour and walk through history from the Dutch to modern day Wall Street. This 90-minute walking tour meets at the Museum and costs $15 per person, which includes Museum admission.

The Road to Financial Reformation: Warnings, Consequences, Reforms by Henry Kaufman

In The Road to Financial Reformation, Dr. Henry Kaufman, who has spent a lifetime entrenched in the world of finance, provides an insightful account of the history and impact of post-World War II financial markets on the economy-what happened, how we got to where we are today, and what needs to be done. Drawing on his vast breadth of knowledge and experience, Kaufman reveals the mistakes that got us into this debacle, the consequences-as they have not been fully realized-and how to put our derailed economy back on track. This book details Dr. Kaufman's warnings and concerns expressed repeatedly throughout the last quarter century, and shows that what he predicted came to pass.

Dr. Kaufman will speak about The Road to Financial Reformation and sign copies of the book at the Museum on September 22.

Dr. Kaufman will speak about The Privatization of Risk and sign copies of the book at the Museum on September 29.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Investing in China through ETFs

China is planning to increase the amount that foreign funds can invest in the Chinese stock market by 25 percent. It it also planning on reducing the lockup periods from one year to three months. If you think China stocks have room to grow, instead of trying to pick which of the stocks are the best buys, you can always choose ETFs as an alternative. ETFs, or Exchange Traded Funds, are similar to mutual funds except that they trade on exchanges like stocks, and usually attempt to track an index. Here are a few ETFs worth looking at with lots of exposure to the Chinese stock market.

Claymore/AlphaShares China Real Estate ( TAO ) It has a goal of tracking the AlphaShares China Real Estate index. The ETF pays a yield of 2.24%

Claymore/AlphaShares China Small Cap ( HAO ) It has a goal of tracking the AlphaShares China Small Cap Index The ETF pays a yield of 0.46%

PowerShares Gldn Dragon Halter USX China ( PGJ ) It has a goal of tracking the Halter USX China index(SM). The ETF pays a yield of 0.86%

SPDR S&P China ( GXC ) It has a goal of tracking the S&P/Citigroup BMI China index The ETF pays a yield of 2.21%

Ultra FTSE/Xinhua China 25 ProShares ( XPP ) It has a goal of tracking twice the daily performance of the FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index This is a doubly leveraged ETF.

iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index ( FXI ) It has a goal of tracking the FTSE/Xinhua China 25 index. The ETF pays a yield of 1.40%

If you like ETFs, you should check out some of the downloadable Excel databases of ETFs, such as gold ETFs, leveraged ETFs, and bearish ETFs at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

By Stockerblog.com

V8 Engine Made Out of Paper: $21,000,000

On eBay (EBAY) right now, the highest priced item in the category of 'Antiques' is an Origami V8 Engine. This engine is made with 5756 pieces of paper, and the crankshaft spins at 3.4 rpms. Better get your bid in; it's closing in 15 days.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

How 23 Apple MacBooks, 14 iPhones, & 9 iPodsGot Stolen in 31 Seconds

Five bad guys broke into an Apple (AAPL) Store in Marlton, NJ by throwing a brick through the window and within 31 seconds stole 23 MacBook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPods. Apple trades on NASDAQ.

SEC Mismanaged the Investigation of Madoff: So What Else is New?

An investigation of the Securities & Exchange Commission investigation of Bernie Madoff showed that the Madoff investigation was bungled. So What Else is New? Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years for running the largest Ponzi scheme ever, bilking investors of $65 billion.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Southwest Airlines Now Charging to Board Quicker

Although Southwest Airlines (LUV) doesn't charge to check a couple bags, at least through 2009, they have some other out-of-the-ordinary fees, such a s bringing small pets. Now they are implementing a $10 fee to board ahead of other people in line. Southwest trades on the NYSE.

Stocks Going Ex Dividend during the Second Week of September

The stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends' is becoming more and more popular. It 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.

When you buy dividends, there are many stocks in many different sectors to choose from. 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. WallStreetNewsNetwork has compiled a free downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week. wsnn.com came up with many companies all with market caps over $500 million. Here are a couple examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Ameren Corporation AEE ex div date: 9/8/09 market cap: $5.9B yield: 5.7%

Pepco Holdings, Inc. POM ex div date: 9/8/09 market cap: $3.2B yield: 7.4%

Reynolds American, Inc. RAI ex div date: 9/8/09 market cap: $13.4B yield: 7.3%

The rest of the ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (If you have been to the website before, and the September link doesn't show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out the high yield utility stocks and the Monthly Dividend Stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com or WSNN.com. For more details on dividend definitions, check out definitions of dividend dates. Don't forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Author doesn't own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

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