Saturday, October 31, 2009

This Thanksgiving Might be a Turkey


This Thanksgiving season, you may see either a shortage of turkeys in the supermarkets or higher turkey prices, or both. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the number of turkeys raised for 2009 was 249,914,000, an 8.5% drop from last year's amount of 273,088,000. If you look at the above chart, you will see that turkey production hasn't dropped below 250 million since 2005. Would you pass me the turkey futures, please?

Trivia question: How should you refer to a group of turkeys?

Hint: It's not a gaggle, it's not a gobble and it's not a flock.

Answer: A group of turkeys is correctly referred to as a rafter of turkeys.

Buy a House Tomorrow: It will be the Bottom of the Real Estate Market

If you are in the market for a first time home, a new home, or a house as in investment rental property, go to the open houses tomorrow, Sunday, November 1, and make an offer on the one you like. I had predicted months ago that November 1 would be the bottom of the real estate market. As a matter of fact, last year, I predicted that November 2009 would be the month when the real estate market would bottom out.

So now it's not just location, location, location. It's buy, buy, buy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Second Week of November

Now that the market has had a selloff, now might be the time to start looking for dividend buys. The stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends' is becoming more and more popular. 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 or two. 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.

E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company (DD) ex div date: 11/10/09 market cap: $29.3B yield: 4.9%

Duke Energy Corporation (DUK) ex div date: 11/10/09 market cap: $20.7B yield: 6.0%

Linear Technology Corporation (LLTC) ex div date: 11/10/09 market cap: $6.1B yield: 3.3%

The rest of the ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (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 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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ken Fisher Interview - Part 5 – The Best Sectors to Invest in Now – 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)

Ken Fisher Interview Part 5 - Interview took place on Friday, September 25, 2009

Stockerblog: Let's talk about another kind of rat, the Enrons, the Global Crossings, the WorldComs. Is there any way the average investor can spot those?

Fisher: I think those are very, very hard for the average investor to spot. The average investor doesn't have the training. One feature about those types of things like Enron, is that when you actually go into their financial statements, they always have very convoluted accounting. If you eliminate convoluted accounting, you eliminate most of those things most of the time.

The irony of Enron is that the chairman of the audit committee was former Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and lifelong accounting professor and he couldn't figure it out as the head of the audit committee on Enron. Accounting being so convoluted is a 'pea in the shell game', where you get so confused that you can't figure out what all this complicated stuff is. You don't see the forest from the trees; you don't see the nature of 'there's not the reality there'.

But I do believe it is very, very tough for someone who isn't heavily trained to spot those type of things and this is another reason to diversify and not put too much of your money in something. It's another reason why the kinds of people who were working at Enron that tend to take all their money and put it in the 401k were so vulnerable, because these were people who were invariably working in parts of Enron that were actually totally legitimate parts. They didn't see anything wrong, and they put their money into Enron thinking the totality was OK, and they ended up with little or nothing.

This is basically the most simple enough concept: diversify, diversify, diversify.

Stockerblog: And it's not only the average investor, a lot of professional investors got burned by the Enrons.

Fisher: Absolutely. But your question was in reference to the normal investor, and I don't think the normal investor has any basis for seeing through that accounting.

Stockerblog: So the normal investor can far more easily spot a money manager rat than a publicly traded corporation type of rat.

Fisher: Absolutely. The beauty of the Madoff Ponzi scheme rat artist is that if you separate custody from decision making, if you make sure they don't have returns that are too good to be true if, as I talk about in my book, if they aren't selling forms of exclusivity, like you should become an investor because Kevin Costner is. If what they claim they do is simple and easy to understand, whereas everyone of those ratzo people inherently come up with such a complicated saga of what they do, you can't possibly understand it. You either conclude that they are a genius and you don't ask questions. Lastly, if you do ask questions, and you do your own due diligence, that will usually motivate a rat to not invest with them. They don't want you asking questions, they don't want you to become persistent about asking questions. Those five things will keep anyone from having a Madoff thing happen to them. It's much harder to avoid the occasional Enron type of circumstance.

Stockerblog: In the beginning of your book, in the acknowledgements, you said that writing is one of your three hobbies. Did you want to share what your other two hobbies are?

Fisher: I basically have three things that I spend my non-work time on. One of them is writing, the second one is a wide variety of activities that relate to redwood trees and forests, their history, their science. Third is things that relate to my family.

Stockerblog: What sectors or industries do you like now?

Fisher: Let me, before I answer that, give you a general principal that is not well understood by most people. When we've had a big bear market, categories that did relatively well compared to the market in the first more or less half of the bear market but then got absolutely killed in the back half, tend to lead the next bull market. So that, today, would include the following kinds of categories: materials stocks, industrials, consumer discretionary, emerging markets, and to a lesser extent, energy.

It would avoid or under weight things like consumer staples, utilities, healthcare. It would also avoid the most developed markets. So you want to be focused on places like Asia ex-Japan, Central and South America. You want to be focused on things like materials, industrials, consumer discretionary.

People have a very hard time understanding this because at a time when the economy isn't strong, they say 'Why would something like consumer discretionary do very well." And the answer is the market is thinking six to 24 months out. It's thinking about how that depressed stock will behave in a world down the road where the economy will be better and it prices that now.

End of Part 5 – Stay Tuned for Part 6

If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here.
If you missed Part 2, you can check it out here.
If you missed Part 3, you can check it out here.
If you missed Part 4, you can check it out here.

By Fred Fuld at Stockerblog.com

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this interview prohibited with out permission. All opinions are those of Ken Fisher, and do not represent the opinions of Stockerblog.com or the interviewer. Neither Stockerblog nor the interviewer nor the interviewee are rendering tax, legal, or investment advice in this interview.

Guest Article: Steve Jobs: Work and Life Advice from a Teen Idol

Steve Jobs: Work and Life Advice from a Teen Idol
By Carmine Gallo,
Author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

Teenagers have named Apple CEO Steve Jobs the entrepreneur they admire most. In a recent Junior Achievement survey, Jobs beat out a list of high profile celebrity entrepreneurs including Oprah Winfrey. Steve Jobs has plenty to teach teens and young adults, many of whom are facing the worst job climate in decades. Here are five life and work lessons Steve Jobs would offer young people today as they enter a tight job market and an uncertain future.

Follow Your Heart, Not the Joneses. From his earliest interviews it was clear that Steve Jobs was more motivated by creating great products than by how much money he would make selling those products. Jobs once said that "being the richest man in the cemetery" didn't matter to him; rather "going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful, that's what matters to me." Far too many people are unsatisfied and unsuccessful in their careers because they chose a path that made their neighbors or friends "rich." Typically, however, followers are too late to cash in. Their life is a never-ending stream of disappointments and frustrations. "You've got to find what you love," Jobs told Stanford graduates in 2005. "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. You somehow already know what you truly want to become."

Make a Dent in the Universe. Choose to be world-class at whatever path you choose. Steve Jobs is said to have a "reality distortion field" around him, meaning he has an ability to convince nearly everyone of everything. This "RDF" stems from a commitment to change the world. People seek meaning in their lives and when they meet someone who taps into this basic human craving, they find it intoxicating. In 1983, on a balcony overlooking New York's Central Park, Steve Jobs turned to then PepsiCo president John Sculley, who Jobs was trying to recruit to join Apple, and asked, "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?" Sculley would later write that the question would hit him like a punch to the gut. You will never inspire anyone unless you're inspired yourself. Find something that inspires you to pursue higher levels of achievement.

Sell the Benefit. Potential employers don't care about you as much as they care about solving their problems. Steve Jobs never introduces a new product without a clear explanation of the problem it solves. For example, when he introduced the iPhone in January, 2007, he spent time explaining the limitations of the existing SmartPhones. These limitations included a stylus which was awkward and tended to get lost and the keyboard which took up one-third of the space on the phone. The iPhone, Jobs argued, would solve those problems. Young people should approach job interviews the same way. The fact that you graduated with honors doesn't tell a recruiter how you're going to solve the company's problems. Do research on the company, its competitors and its challenges. Make the connection between your accomplishments in school and how that experience will help the company achieve greater success.

Articulate a Twitter-Friendly Vision. Steve Jobs has a vision for every product he introduces. The vision can easily fit in a 140-character Twitter post. For example, when Jobs introduced the MacBook Air in 2008, he simply said, "It's the world's thinnest notebook." If that's all you knew about the computer, it would tell you a lot. As a young professional, your personal brand is the most important brand of all. Treat your brand like an Apple product and ask yourself, "If I had to describe my brand in a Twitter post, what would I say?" For example, long before I could claim Fortune 500 companies as clients, my business cards read: "The communications coach for the world's most admired brands." Those sixty-one characters gave my brand a vision. What vision do you have for your personal brand?

Master Life's Most Important Skill. Steve Jobs is considered the greatest corporate storyteller on the world stage. His keynote presentations are hot tickets and leave his audience with a sense of awe and excitement. Communicating the vision behind his brand is one of Steve Jobs' greatest gifts. But he works at it. Jobs spends hours and hours rehearsing every facet of his presentations. He makes it look effortless but that polish comes after weeks of grueling practice. Every day, millions of PowerPoint presentations are made and every day, millions of people watching those presentations are bored to death. Master speaking and presentation skills to set yourself apart.

For more than three decades, Steve Jobs has been creating products that enrich people's lives. But in some ways, his greatest achievement could be in what he has taught us about work and life: expect excellence from yourself, create great experiences for your customers, and follow your heart.

©2009 Carmine Gallo, author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

Author Bio
Carmine Gallo, author of The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience, is a presentation, media-training, and communication-skills coach for the world's most admired brands. He is an author and columnist for Businessweek.com and and a keynote speaker and seminar leader who has appeared on CNBC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC.com, BNET, RedBook, Forbes.com, and in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Investor's Business Daily, as well as many other media outlets. Gallo lives in the San Francisco Bay area and is a former vice president for a global, top-ten public relations firm.

Reprinted with permission of the publicist.

Guest Article: Has the Gold Market Topped Out?

Has the Gold Market Topped Out?
by Adam Hewison

Is this the TOP in Gold? That is the big question on many traders’ minds as gold fell from a high around $1,070 to the lows seen earlier today.

In my new video that was shot at noon on Tuesday 10/27, I go into detail on what I think is going to happen to this market. I think you will see a refreshing view of the gold market and also the strategies that we’re employing to take advantage of the next big move in gold.

As always our videos are free to watch and there is no registration requirement.

http://www.ino.com/info/470/CD3111/&dp=0&l=0&campaignid=3

All the best,
Adam Hewison
President, INO.com
Co-creator, MarketClub

Christmas List for the Warren Buffett Fan

1. Warren Buffett Polo Shirt with the BRK stock ticker symbol embroidered on it

2. Warren Buffett Charlie Munger 2009 Commemorative Playing Cards

3. Berkshire Hathaway Black Nylon Briefcase With Omaha Skyline Logo

4. The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, Second Edition

5. The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life

6. Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements: The Search for the Company with a Durable Competitive Advantage

7. The Warren Buffett Way, Second Edition

8. Warren Buffett Speaks: Wit and Wisdom from the World's Greatest Investor

9. Trade Like Warren Buffett

10. How to Pick Stocks Like Warren Buffett: Profiting from the Bargain Hunting Strategies of the World's Greatest Value Investor

Supermodel Gisele Having a Baby Girl, Outperforming the Stock Market


Gisele B√ľndchen, the richest supermodel in the world and wife of football star Tom Brady, is pregnant with a baby girl and is expecting in December. Gisele is connected to a lot of publicly traded companies, acting as spokesperson for their products. Tracking the stocks she is connected with from January of 2007, the Gisele Bundchen Stock Index has greatly outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

The stocks in her portfolio include:

Volkswagon (VLKAY.PK) TV commercial spokesperson

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. (RL) Advertising campaign face for Ralph Lauren, owned by Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.

Vivo Participacoes (VIV) Celebrity endorsement - largest mobile phone service provider in Brazil and in South America

News Corp. (NWS-A) Starred in the comedy, Taxi, in her movie debut, and The Devil Wears Prada , both produced by 20th Century Fox, a division of News Corp.

Procter & Gamble (PG) Celebrity endorsement

Disney (DIS) Celebrity endorsement - appeared in the 'Year of a Million Dreams' celebration photoshoot

The Gisele Index is down only 2% for the last three years versus the Dow which was down 23%. By the way, Apple (AAPL) used to be part of her index because she appeared on the 'Get a Mac' advertisements to promote the new line of Macintosh's a few years ago. If Apple was still in the index, her return would be quite a bit higher.

Other celebrity stock indexes you may be interested in include the Heidi Klum Stock Index, the Eva Longoria Stock Index, the Angelina Jolie Stock Index, the Jessica Alba Stock Index, the Nicole Kidman Stock Index, the Freida Pinto Stock Index, and the Supermodels Stock Indices.

Assumptions:
The Gisele Index is a price-weighted index, similar to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Author owns DIS, NWS-A, and AAPL.

By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Single Share Would Be Worth . . .

Who says you can't make money in the stock market over long periods of time? You could have made substantial amounts of money by just owning only one share of stock, assuming you have the right stock. For example, you could have paid $35 for one share of Hewlett Packard (HPQ) back in 1962. Including splits and dividends, that one share would be worth $11,965. Another example is IBM (IBM), albeit a high priced stock back then at $572 per share. But if you had held on, that investment would be $25,635.

These enormous gains could have been achieved even over shorter periods of time, You could have paid $175.50 for a share of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) at the beginning of January of 1970 and now have $18,161. Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) could have been had for $110 per share at that time, growing to $11.035. Then you could have bought Chevron Corp. (CVX) for $52.25 for one share and now have $14,079.

The moral to this story is 'Look for a few great companies and buy a couple shares of each one as gifts for your children and grandchildren.' Remember, the holiday season is coming up.

By the way, all the above stocks are Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks. You can find a free Dow Jones Industrial Average stock analyzer at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

By Stockerblog.com

The Netflix Halloween Factor Seems to be Working

Last week at 8:06pm PST on Monday, October 19, I wrote about the Halloween Stock Index and the stock at the top of the list was Netflix (NFLX). The following day, you could have bought the stock at 48.96. In a week, the stock closed at 54.24 today, an increase of over 10.7%. This during a week when the Dow was down 1.7%. In addition, Jim Cramer recommended Netflix today, and did a segment on today's Mad Money show on the Halloween effect.

I Don't Think I Want to Keep My Money at This Bank Manager's Branch

A retired Barclays (BCS) bank branch manager has achieved the record for the most body piercings. He also has more than a few tattoos. He has 241 piercings on his body with more than half on his neck and head, putting him in the Guinness Book of Records. The Telegraph provides an interesting, or should I say disturbing, picture of this character.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Great Britain May Bring Back Local Stock Exchanges

Have you heard of the Liverpool Stock Exchange? How about the Cardiff Stock Exchange or the Sheffield Stock Exchange? There used to be 22 such exchanges. Now business leaders and politicians are talking about bringing these regional exchanges back, in order to provide more confidence and greater transparency.

No Wonder GM Had So Much Trouble Selling Hummers

It could be that the the Dartz Prombron Monaco Red Diamond Edition SUV is giving the Hummer, formerly produced by General Motors (GM), a run for its money. After all, the Dartz Prombron is bullet proof, has diamonds on the dashboard, and the seats are made from the skin of the male organ of a whale. Plus, the price is less than $2,000,000.

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the First Week of November

Now that the market has had a selloff, now might be the time to start looking for dividend buys. The stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends' is becoming more and more popular. 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.

PNM Resources, Inc. (PNM) ex div date: 11/2/09 market cap: $1.0B yield: 4.1%

Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. (ALEX) ex div date: 11/3/09 market cap: $1.3B yield: 3.8%

Bank of Montreal (BMO) ex div date: 11/4/09 market cap: $26.6B yield: 5.4%

The rest of the ex-dividend stocks can be found at wsnn.com. (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 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, October 25, 2009

$42,000 Car Rebate Available in Colorado

If you live in Colorado and are in the market to buy a new car, tis may be your lucky day. You can receive a $42,083 for the purchase of just one car. The only catch is that the automobile that you purchase must be an all-electric Tesla Roadster. The retail price for the Tesla is around $110,000 so this is a major savings. This rebate is offered as an income tax credit and is available until December 31.

A Magazine that Comes in a Frisbee

Although it has nothing to do with investing, if you have any interest in art, fashion, documentary and lifestyle, you may want to check out a new magazine called Freestyle Magazine, that is printed in a circular format and is distributed inside a collectible Eley Kishimoto “Mold 10” Wham-O Frisbee sports disc. You have a choice of one of five Frisbee colors. You can order the magazine online for 27 Euros or if you live in the New York City area, you can pick it up at A & A Grocery. The first issue has an article about, appropriately, the history of Frisbee.

NYSE Stocks Below a Buck

The stock market has had a huge run since March. You would have thought the rising tide would have made all ships rise. But there are still a half a dozen stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange for less than a dollar a share. Some of these companies may be totally worthless, but a couple may be worth speculating on. I will let you decide. All of these low cap stocks trade for less than a dollar.

Anthracite Capital (AHR) has a very high forward PE of 86. But since earnings don't mean much these days, especially for these types of stocks, let's look at the cash and debt position. This New York based commercial REIT has $816 million in cash, giving the stock $9.97 in cash per share, and a $4.59 book value. However the company has $1.86 billion in debt.

Alesco Financial (AFN) is another REIT which generated huge earnings of $3 per share last quarter. However, this boost may be a one time event. The company has $89 million in cash with $3.41 billion in debt. The stock has $1.48 in cash per share, with a $3.43 book value.

Fairpoint Communications (FRP) provides communication services to rural areas and small towns. They have $81 million in cash with $2.56 billion in debt. There is 90 cents in cash per share.

Meridian Resources (TMR) is an oil and gas company with $ 3.7 million in cash and $101 million in debt. The book value is 60 cents per share.

Champion Enterprises (CHB) a producer of factory built housing, has $26 million in cash and $324 million in debt. Book value is $0.82 per share, and $0.34 cash per share.

LLE Royal Trust (LRT) owns net overriding oil and gas royalty interests. They stopped making distributions a few months ago.

If you like low priced stocks with good cash positions, you should check out the free downloadable Excel databases of stocks selling near cash per share, low priced debt free stocks, and stocks selling below book value at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Madoff Associate Dead

Jeffry Picower who was accused of making $7 billion from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, was found dead in the swimming pool at his mansion in Palm Beach, Florida. Cause of death is still unknown.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Activist Icahn Resigns as Yahoo Director

Because Yahoo (YHOO) is now doing so well, tripling their earnings year over year, activist investor Carl Icahn has decided to resign as a director of the company. Last year, Icahn had a major disagreement last year over the sale of Yahoo to Microsoft (MSFT).

Bernie Madoff Station Wagon Auction

The U.S. Marshals Service is trying to recover what it can from the assets of sentenced Ponzi scheme swindler, Bernie Madoff. This includes Madoff's 2001 Mercedes E320 black station wagon. Proceeds will go towards victim reimbursements.

The Google Krispy Kreme Bacon Cheeseburger

Talk about a strange combination of publicly traded companies and foods! The Google (GOOG) offices in New York City created the Krispy Kreme (KKD) Bacon Cheeseburger to celebrate an employee's birthday (the head of the Google Cafe of all people). The burgers are made with, what else, Krispy Kreme donuts as buns, burgers, and cheese. Gross! Too bad they didn't get the hamburgers from McDonalds (MCD); that would have been a perfect combination.

By the way, if you missed the Google Voice Mail Transcripts Searchable by Anyone article, you should check it out.

A Memorial to the Boom Economy

A street artist has created a Memorial to the Boom Economy outside the Bank of England, in Central London, created in memory of the great times during the formerly strong economy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Google Voice Mail Transcripts Searchable by Anyone?

How would you like to find transcripts of your phone call messages available for anyone to read? That may be what had happened with Google (GOOG) Voice Mail according to the Boy Genius Report. The transcripts even included the phone numbers and the callers names.

Google trades on NASDAQ.

One Character Domain Names Auction Results

As a follow-up to the previous article on the Sedo auction of one letter domain names, here are the results of the top ten:

e.biz $66,001
1.biz $32,003
d.biz $26,110
m.biz $15,611
w.biz $13,500
a.biz $10,099
u.biz $10,099
x.biz $10,099
b.biz $10,005
g.biz $9,400

Why the Swine Flu Caused Amazon to Jump Over 25% Today

If you had purchased a thousand of the Amazon (AMZN) November 2009 110 calls (QZNKB.X) yesterday at a price of .70 or $70 each for a total of $70,000, you would have been able to sell those calls today at a price of 10.70 or $1070, for a total of $1,070,000. This would be an increase of 1,428.57%. Not bad for one day's work.

Do you realize that the huge jump in Amazon may be due to the swine flu? Here are several reasons:

1. If we have a pandemic, no one will want to go out in public to shop, everyone will stay home and do their shopping. This is called 'social distancing'. (Did you know that you can buy potato chips on Amazon?)

2. If people are home sick, all they can do is watch TV or read books. If they own a Kindle, it improves their reading pleasure.

3. The ill can also order movies on DVD or even watch them on their computer through Amazon.

4. Consumers will be buying health masks through Amazon.

5. Because the 2009 outbreak has shown an increased percentage of patients reporting diarrhea, consumers will be buying a lot more toilet paper, and won't want to leave the house to do so.

6. With headaches and fevers, the affected will need Tylenol and aspirin delivered to their door.

7. Don't forget to order vitamins through Amazon to keep you healthy.

8. Last but not least, there are a couple varieties of hand sanitizers that can be ordered online.

Author owns AMZN.

By Stockerblog.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Plane Flies Passengers 150 Miles Past Airport

An airliner of Northwest Airlines, a subsidiary of Delta Airlines (DAL), flying from San Diego, California to Minneapolis, Minnesota, ended up flying 150 miles too far. Federal investigators are trying to determine if the pilots may have fallen asleep or were just distracted. There were 147 passengers. Now I know why so many people are afraid to fly.

The Tap Dancing Record Has Been Set by a ..... Stockbroker

The worlds record for tap dancing has been set by Tony Adams, a New Zealand stockbroker. He performed on live TV doing an incredible 1,056 taps in a minute, and did 23 taps in one second at one point. He attributes his success, not to his stock trading, but to his mountain running.

The Best Dow Stocks by Book Value

Think the Dow Jones Industrial Average is overpriced? There are actually ten Dow stocks selling close to book value. As a matter of fact, several of these stocks are trading close to their cash per share. Here they are along with their Book Value, the Price Book Ratio, and the Cash Per Share.

Company Name, Symbol, Book Value, Price Book Ratio, Cash Per Share
BANK OF AMERICA (BAC) 22.71   0.72   63.59
THE TRAVELERS (TRV) 47.29   1.01   11.92
JP MORGAN CHASE (JPM) 39.12   1.14   171.66
GEN ELECTRIC (GE) 11.04   1.40   10.72
WALT DISNEY (DIS) 18.84   1.551   1.68
AT&T (T) 16.71   1.55   1.24
KRAFT FOODS (KFT) 16.47   1.66   1.17
CHEVRON (CVX) 43.85   1.75   3.66
PFIZER (PFE) 9.33   1.86   7.35
VERIZON COMMUN. (VZ) 15.02   1.93   0.41

Please note: the cash per share for some of the financials may be misleading due to the accounting treatment of customers' cash.

You can analyze the Dow Jones Industrial Average doing what-if's by downloading the analyzer at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author owns DIS, T, PFE.

By Stockerblog.com

The Marketing of Consumer Debt to America Lecture

The Marketing of Consumer Debt to America Lecture
by Charles Geisst
at the Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall Street, NYC
Thursday November 5
5:30pm to 7:00 pm

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cord Blood Transplants May Provide Cures for Babies While Still in the Womb

Duke University is studying the use of cord blood transplants in babies while still in the womb, in order to treat various metabolic disorders. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given approval for clinical trials.

Cord blood is blood that comes from umbilical cords, and contains a large amount of hematopoietic stem cells. Specialized cord blood banks are available to store this blood. Cord blood stem cells are considered far superior to stem cells from bone marrow. Many parents have their newborn's cord blood preserved in the event it may be needed at some point in the future for treatment of their child's or the child's sibling's cancer or genetic disease. Close to a hundred diseases have been treated with cord blood. For a lot more detail on cord blood and how it is collected, stored, and used, go to CordBloodStocks.com.

Even Richard Branson, of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways fame, is in the cord blood business. He set up Virgin Health, a cord blood bank.

There are a couple ways to invest in the cord blood industry, the cord blood banks and the companies that use cord blood to develop cures. Here are several stocks that participate in the cord blood business. Please note that some of these companies have low market caps and are very speculative.

Baxter International Inc. (BAX) makes blood collection bags for umbilical cord blood and develop adult stem-cell therapies. They also own a patent for assembling and methods to process cord blood in a sterile fashion to avoid exposure to bacterial contamination and to disburse the introduction of cryopreservation solution into cord blood at a desired rate, thereby avoiding damage or trauma to the cord blood cells. The stock has a PE ratio of 14 and pays a yield of 2.1%.

PerkinElmer, Inc. (PKI) owns ViaCell, a Cambridge, Massachusetts company which sells ViaCord, a product which is used to preserve baby's umbilical cord blood. They also research and other therapeutic uses of umbilical cord blood-derived and adult-derived stem cells. The stock has a PE of 17 and a yield of 1.7%.

Celgene (CELG) This New Jersey company is involved in the discovery, production, and marketing of therapies designed to treat cancer and immune-inflammatory-related diseases. They own LifeBank USA, a cord blood bank. The P/E is 74.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) is also funding research into cord blood extraction, preservation, and storage. The stock has a PE of 13.

Cryo-Cell International (CCEL.OB) This is a Florida based cord blood stem cell bank, specializing in the family market. The stock has a PE ratio of 665. This is an extremely low cap stock and should therefore be considered extremely speculative.

ThermoGenesis (KOOL) This California company designs, makes, and sells automated blood processing systems for the manufacture, preservation, and delivery of cell therapies. They are involved in a joint venture with GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company (GE) to distribute the AXP(TM) AutoXpress Platform, a closed and automated system for harvesting mononuclear cells from cord blood. They have a price sales ratio of 1.4. They have recently generated negative earnings. This is an extremely low cap stock and should therefore be considered extremely speculative.

Cord Blood America Inc. (CBAI.OB) One of the cord blood bankers, this Los Angeles company is involved in the collection, testing, processing, and preservation of the blood from umbilical cords for use in future stem cell therapy. They own the Cord Partners umbilical cord blood banking company. They have recently generated negative earnings. This is an extremely low cap stock and should therefore be considered extremely speculative.

For a free downloadable Excel database of cord blood and stem cell stocks, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.


By Stockerblog.com

Ken Fisher Interview - Part 4 – Female Scam Artists and Selling the Scam – 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)

Ken Fisher Interview Part 4

Stockerblog: I wanted to talk just a bit about con men versus con women. Do you see more women becoming con artists in the future or do you think it will primarily be men?

Fisher: The history, as I mentioned in the book How to Smell a Rat, is almost exclusively men. In fact, one of the points I make in the book is that up to this point in time, which can be very different in the future as you allude to, is that one of the best ways that you can protect yourself against Ponzi schemes is to just simply invest with women, not men, because we don’t have this extensive history of women doing this.

But I do believe that women are as smart, as capable, and when you look at other forms of criminality, you actually see their presence and in some types of criminality, predominance of female criminals. So, for example, when you look at a different form of embezzlement, this is where somebody in a small business embezzles from the business. Traditionally, that felony has been overwhelmingly female. Because there is more money in doing securities embezzlement than there is from embezzling from a company, and because there is somewhat greater ability in controlling your environment doing that, I do believe we will see an increase in future cycles of female Ponzi scheme embezzlers who say "The only mistake that Madoff made was not getting out of the country fast enough."

Stockerblog: Is the person on the rainmaker side just as culpable as the back office person or the person who runs the scheme?

Fisher: Oh sure. Absolutely. People who are participatory to a Ponzi scheme should have known that they were participatory to a Ponzi scheme. They should have known something was up. People around Alan Stanford knew something was up.

You think about Madoff. This is one of the sad dilemmas of this. Madoff's behavior was that he wanted to stay away from his employees so his employees wouldn't figure him out. So he came in and supposedly traded European markets at night when the employees would be away, and then he would leave. He was trying to minimize the contact with his employees in his otherwise normal business so that he can pull this off.

Nobody pulls this stuff off by themselves in volume. The notion from the beginning that Madoff acted alone, which is what he claimed, was a ridiculous notion. I believe that he wanted that as a notion because if he could convince people of that and they couldn't figure out who else was participatory, they wouldn't get other people to testify against him, against other family members, against Lord only knows who. Nobody can pull off these large Ponzi schemes acting by themselves, it's just too much to do. It's impossible to envision that someone who's participatory to an event at that kind of scale, doesn't have at least some ability to sense that something's wrong, even if they don’t know exactly know what it is.

Stockerblog: But it almost seems like the person who is bringing in the money is the key. If you don't have that person bringing that money in, they can't perpetrate their fraud. Doesn't there have to be a sales aspect to the person. I'm sure there are con men out there who have tried to swindle people and couldn't even get anybody to give them a hundred bucks. Do you see what I'm getting at? Is there a personality trait?

Fisher: A lot of the small-time Ponzi scheme people do it themselves without any extra help. If you are small enough, you can do it by yourself. The feature where you start to need help and you need that sales function is when you get bigger. A lot of what people like Madoff did was use intermediaries, because the intermediaries never get that close to them. If you look at all the intermediaries that have gotten stung by the Madoff event, you scratch your head and say "Gee, I wonder why they didn't figure it out." The answer is that he paid them well enough for them not to think about it twice.

Stockerblog: So the head of the scam doesn't have to be a super salesperson as long as either the staff or the people who will refer business to them do the selling for them.

Fisher: They have to have the scheme figured out, however. And usually a lot of these people themselves will upon occasion, will act as the salesperson. It's usually down the vein of "I'll take ten minutes with you. I really don't have a lot of time. I'm very busy. I'm very important. You know, your brother-in-law Joe has been a happy client for four years. Go ask Joe the questions, and then when your want, here's the forms, and we'll take your money. I wouldn't take your money normally because you're not wealthy enough to be one of my clients but because of your brother-in-law, and I've already got Joe, in this one instance, I'll take you." They encourage the person to go to their brother-in-law who's been with him for four years, thinks he's had great returns, thinks everything is wonderful, never had a clue, and the person would put the money in.

But you're absolutely right. Most of these entities don't have huge sales organizations of their own. But Stanford did, and the people didn't figure it out because they're paid enough to not figure it out.

Stockerblog: It seems like you have to have that sales orientation personality trait just to get the thing going. You have to be able to sell it to your intermediaries, you have to be able to sell it to your staff.

Fisher: I think there's something to that. The nature of people wanting the high return, low risk feature with slow steady returns, and never a bad year, and too good to be true, is such a powerful weakness in all of us, that things that should be common sensical to us, we just don't look at.

Charles Ponzi was on the one hand, an Italian American Catholic in Boston who embezzled from Italian American Catholics in Boston with no particular background that should justify his being able to do this, while claiming that he put $10 million in international postal certificates when the total universe of international postal certificates was at the time $75,000. You would think somebody would say "I wonder if there's enough international postal certificates around to do what this guy's doing."

But the same problem applies to Madoff because if you look at the securities Madoff claims to have traded, they were never liquid enough to deal with the amount of money he had. We as humans tend to be very slow to learn.

End of Part 4 – Stay Tuned for Part 5
If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here
.
If you missed Part 2, you can check it out here.
If you missed Part 3, you can check it out here.

By Fred Fuld at Stockerblog.com

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this interview prohibited with out permission. All opinions are those of Ken Fisher, and do not represent the opinions of Stockerblog.com or the interviewer. Neither Stockerblog nor the interviewer nor the interviewee are rendering tax, legal, or investment advice in this interview.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Run on Gold

According to a recent article in Numismaster, there was a run on gold at the London Bullion Market Association Gold Exchange. Supposedly on expiration day on Sept. 30, some wealthy buyers bought a huge amount of September 2009 gold contracts, and then asked for immediate delivery. According to the article, JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank did not have enough of the physical gold to deliver, creating a naked short. Reportedly, the buyers were offered 25% above spot in lieu of delivery, but the buyers turned it down; at least two central banks offered to provide 'leased gold' to the banks in order to cover the delivery.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween Stock Index


It is hard to believe that some of the major retailers have already started advertising for Christmas, when Halloween is still a couple weeks away. Since Halloween is practiced in United States, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, and occasionally in Australia and New Zealand, maybe there are some stock opportunities that may be some treats. Here are some stocks which may benefit from the holiday, but beware; some of them may turn into tricks.

Watching scary movies is one of the popular activities of teenagers on Halloween, either in a theater or renting a DVD. Netflix (NFLX) ships almost 2 million DVDs to customers each day, and has a huge number of horror movies in its collection of 100,000 titles. The stock has a forward PE of 23.

One of the leading studios of scary movies is Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF), which has made such films as American Psycho, Ginger Snaps, Route 666, The Devil's Rejects, House of the Dead 2, Saw VI, See No Evil, Hostel: Part II, My Bloody Valentine 3D and many, many more. Lionsgate has a forward P/E of 39.

Of course, the big beneficiaries of Halloween are the candy companies. Hershey Foods (HSY) is the large chocolate and confectionery company made famous by its Hershey Bars. The stock has a forward P/E of 18, and a yield of 3%.

Cadbury plc (CBY) is a London based confectionery and beverage company which has been making chocolate, gum, mints, and candy products since 1783. The stock has a forward P/E of 20, and a yield of 2%.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (RMCF) is a very low cap Colorado based company which makes and markets chocolate and candy. The stock has a P/E of 15 and a yield of 4.5%.

Tootsie Roll Industries (TR) makes all kinds of candy for trick-or-treaters including Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Roll Pops, Caramel Apple Pops, Charms, Blow-Pops, Blue Razz, Zip-A-Dee Pops, Cella's, Mason Dots, Mason Crows, Junior Mint, Charleston Chew, Sugar Daddys, and Sugar Babies. The stock has a forward P/E of 26 and a yield of 1.3%.

Halloween costumes and decorations are available at discount retailers such as Target (TGT) which has a forward P/E of 15, and a yield of 1.4%. Wal-Mart (WMT) is another major Halloween retailer. It has a forward P/E of 13, and a yield of 2.1%.

If you like interesting sectors of stocks, such as college stocks, cloud computing stocks, and China stocks, check out WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Chevron Discovers New Natural Gas Find off Australia

Chevron (CVX) has discovered a new natural gas find off the coast of Australia in the Gorgon project area. It is located near Barrow Island.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

99th Bank Failure This Year

San Joaquin Bank in Bakersfield, California is the 99th FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, and the tenth in California. The last FDIC-insured institution closed in the state was Affinity Bank, Ventura, on August 28, 2009.

On Oct. 16, the bank was closed by the California Department of Financial Institutions, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Citizens Business Bank, Ontario, California, to assume all of the deposits of San Joaquin Bank.

The five branches of San Joaquin Bank will reopen on Monday as branches of Citizens Business Bank. Depositors of San Joaquin Bank will automatically become depositors of Citizens Business Bank. Deposits will continue to be insured by the FDIC, so there is no need for customers to change their banking relationship to retain their deposit insurance coverage.

As of September 29, 2009, San Joaquin Bank had total assets of $775 million and total deposits of approximately $631 million. Citizens Business Bank did not pay the FDIC a premium for the deposits of San Joaquin Bank. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, Citizens Business Bank agreed to purchase essentially all of the assets.

The FDIC and Citizens Business Bank entered into a loss-share transaction on approximately $683 million of San Joaquin Bank's assets. Citizens Business Bank will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The loss-share arrangement is projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector. The agreement also is expected to minimize disruptions for loan customers.

The FDIC estimates that the cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $103 million. Citizens Business Bank's acquisition of all the deposits was the "least costly" resolution for the FDIC's DIF compared to alternatives.

States Fighting Feds Over Uncashed Government Bonds

Several states are filing suit against the US Government over $16 billion worth of Series E bonds that were never cashed in. The states want the funds turned over to the states' custody in order to find the rightful owners. If they can't find the owners, the funds would revert to the state.

By the way, if you have any of the following bonds, they are no longer earning interest and should be cashed in:

Series E - Issued May 1941 through October 1979
Series H - Issued June 1952 through October 1979
Series HH - Issued January 1980 through October 1989
Savings Notes - Issued May 1967 through October 1970
Series A, B, C, D, F, G, J, K - All years

How's Real Estate in Florida? Terrible: 25% of Loans Delinquent!

If you think the real estate market is bad in your area, you could be living in Florida, where twenty five percent of home mortgages are past due or in foreclosure, no thanks to the recession and high unemployment. This makes Florida the worst in the nation in terms of delinquencies.

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Fifth Week of October

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.

NiSource Inc. NI ex div date: 10/29/2013 market cap: $3.9B yield: 6.53%

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. SKT ex div date: 10/29/2013 $1.3B yield: 4.12%

Zenith National Insurance Corp. ZNT ex div date: 10/29/2013 market cap: $1.2B yield: 6.20%

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

James Altucher's Blogwatch is Back

James Altucher, who used to write the ever-popular Daily Blogwatch for TheStreet is now back. He is now writing the Daily Blogwatch for DailyFinance, an AOL money and finance site. Altucher scans all the major and minor blogs relating to finance and the stock market and posts links to the top ten every business day.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Goldman Sachs Employees Underpaid at $700,000 Each

Employees at Goldman Sachs (GS) received on average of $700,000 each in bonuses for the third quarter of 2009. Although this may seem high, Michelle Leder at footnoted.org discovered that when measured by the “ratio of compensation and benefits to net revenues”, the payouts are actually quite low compared to other companies, such as Cowen (COWN) and Lazard (LAZ), both of which have much higher ratios.

Book Review: Connected

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives is a fascinating book, by Nicholas A. Christakis MD PhD and James H. Fowler PhD, about how all people are connected in extensive social networks and how their connections affect how they behave. Here is a quote from the book:
'We discovered that if your friend's friend's friend gained weight, you gained weight. We discovered that if your friend's friend's friend stopped smoking, you stopped smoking. And we discovered that if your friend's friend's friend become happy, you became happy.'

The authors provide extensive real life stories from the past and the present and offer dozens of graphical representations of various types of people networks. An incredible way of portraying networks of friends, political connections, and more. The authors show how these connections can affect your health, your politics, your sexual activity, and your happiness.
Want to know how your connections can affect you? Check out Connected.

Homeless Man Turns into Stock Trader

A homeless man in Russia who collected bottles to support himself has made enough money (at 6 cents a bottle) to get out of poverty and now become a stock trader. His first stock transaction was for over $74,000.

Any Elvis Fans Out There?

Tomorrow is the big day. You can buy a group of locks of Elvis Presley's hair at a Chicago auction on October 18. Expected to sell for as much as $12,000.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Actress Tilda Swinton Fighting Donald Trump

Tilda Swinton, the award winning actress who has starred in such movies as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Burn After Reading, has joined forces with the anti-Donald Trump cohort, to block the building of a luxury golf course in Scotland. Donald Trump, real estate billionaire, television host, and now multilevel marketing tycoon, has been trying to build a $1.5 billion resort in Aberdeenshire, Scotland for many years.

What Ever Happened to Dylan Ratigan?

Have you missed the ever popular former host of CNBC's Fast Money? Have you wondered what he is now doing? He is now writing articles for ClusterStock, and has just posed a new article Goldman Sachs Is Robbing Us Blind.

31 Electric Utilities Yielding Over 4%

Since the Dow broke 10,000, maybe you've decided to take some profits, and want to move your funds into something that pays a fairly decent yield. Electric utility stocks may be what you are looking for. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has come up with a list of 31 electric utility stocks that pay a dividend over 4%.

Utilities have always been known as 'widows and orphans' stocks throughout history, meaning that they have been considered very conservative investments. Recently, that has shown to be not so true in recent history with respect to certain companies, although overall, during long periods of time, utilities have paid favorable dividends with low volatility.

However, the the rise in oil prices, and oil hitting its highest level today for the year, it may be wise at this time to avoid the companies with the highest oil exposure. Instead of utilities that generate most of their electricity from using oil in their generators, investors should look for the companies that use other sources of fuel, especially natural gas, because there is such a glut right now.

As an example, Westar Energy Inc. (WR) generates about 34% of its energy from natural gas, with 56% from coal and 9% from nuclear. This utility which serves Kansas has a forward PE of 12, and a yield of 6.1%.

OGE Energy Corp. (OGE) has 29% of its energy coming from natural gas, with 51% from coal. They serve the south central United States. The stock has a forward PE of 11.9, and a yield of 4.3%.

You can access a free downloadable Excel database of utility stocks, which you can add to, change, and sort, at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Recessipedia: Wiki of the Financial Crisis

There is a new wiki available for people interested in causes of the financial crisis. It was established by the Museum of American Finance in New York City. The wiki, called Recessipedia, allows anyone to create articles relating to investigating past financial events. First-person accounts are welcome along with opinions about what took place before and during the crisis.

Amazon is Coming Out with its International Wireless Kindle

On October 19, Amazon (AMZN) which trades on NASDAQ, will be releasing the U.S. & International Wireless version of its Kindle Wireless Reading Device. This is the latest generation with a six inch display. It weighs 10.2 ounces and is about one third of an inch thick. The price is $279.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Rationalizer May Help Reduce Stress and Increase Trading Success

Philips Electronics NV (PHG) which trades on the NYSE and ABN AMRO (ABNYY.PK) which trades on the Pink Sheets have come out with a device called 'The Rationalizer' which is designed to help stock traders reduce their stress and therefore increase their profits. In order to reduce traders' fear and greed emotions, the device tells the trader when they are reaching a high stress level and should take a break. The Rationalizer should be available for consumers shortly.

General Motors Volts Hit the Road

Six of the Volt automobiles, made by General Motors (GM), are making road trips from Michigan to West Virginia. 1200 total miles on to be driven. Engineers will be testing all aspects of the cars.

Dow Broke 10,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 10,000 today, the first time in a year that it reached that level. Seven months ago, it was at a 12 year low of 6,547.05

Pepsi Taking Grief for Sexist iPhone App

Pepsi (PEP), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, has sponsored an Apple (AAPL) iPhone app called 'Amp Up Before You Score,' in order to promote their Amp energy drink. This is an app to help guys pick up girls, including pick-up lines and what to talk about. An apology was issued by Pepsi through Twitter.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Many Pink Sheet Stocks Are Listed on Yahoo Finance?

Here's a trivia question for you. How many Pink Sheet stocks are listed on Yahoo Finance. This includes both active and inactive stocks, preferred stocks, etc. that trade on the Pink Sheets, and excludes stocks trading on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board. The answer:

19,821

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Fourth Week of October

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.

LTC Properties, Inc. LTC ex div date: 10/21/2013 market cap: $565.7M yield: 6.26%

Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. TNP ex div date: 10/21/2013 market cap: $589.1M yield: 7.12%

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

I Wonder What the Fire Insurance Costs on This Real Estate

In the past, we've written about houses shaped like guitars, airplanes, and shoes. Since Halloween is approaching, we thought it would be interesting to point out the Pumpkin House in West Virginia, decorated with thousands of pumpkins filled with candles. The place has become a tourist attraction.

What Are the Odds of That?

Did you ever want to know what the odds of some strange is? For example, the odds a pregnant woman will have an abortion in a year. There is a new web site that is launching tomorrow, October 14, called Book of Odds, that can provide the odds of anything in everyday life, including health, crime, politics, accidents, and relationships. Maybe it can predict the odds of the Dow Jones Industrial Average breaking 10,000 this month.

By the way, the odds a pregnant woman will have an abortion in a year are 1 in 4.88

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ken Fisher Interview - Part 3 – Private Equity, Limited Partnerships, Hedge Funds – 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)

Ken Fisher Interview Part 3

Stockerblog: Let's talk about keeping your assets separate from the money manager. I know that's one of the major issues to keep in mind when you invest. But doesn't that really preclude an investor from investing in a private equity fund, a real estate limited partnership, or hedge fund, where once the money goes in, it's under their control?

Fisher: You are largely correct. Not completely, but largely. For the most part, most entities that are in the business of effectively being a hedge fund for their own convenience tend to set things up where they take custody. Whenever you give someone physical possession of your assets, you are trusting them completely not to take it out the back door. So to the extent that they are a private equity firm or a hedge fund and there is not the separate third party custodian, you always run the risk of being embezzled. There is no exception to that.

So that is something that people don't think about because they prefer not to, but it is exactly how people got nailed by Madoff, and exactly how people get embezzled by every Ponzi scheme, embezzler, ratzo, and con artist. In fact, it's how Madoff hurt himself. The fact is, if Madoff had set himself up originally to have a separate third party custodian, he never could have fallen to the temptation to dip into the till, which by his testimony is what he did.

I want to reiterate that this man, before he started down the path of criminality, was a very successful businessman, very wealthy in his own right.

In the book, How to Smell a Rat: The Five Signs of Financial Fraud, I talk about how people fall into this one of two ways. Like Madoff supposedly did, they happen out of convenience where they take custody and then run into a bad patch, and they need some money so they dip into the till. They usually see an investment opportunity that they're sure will pay well enough to both give them the money they need and replenish the money for the investors that they took out of the till, and then they put the money in that investment, the investment goes sour. Now they dig in one more time to the investor's money, dig deeper, make a bigger bet, it goes sour, and now they are in the hole far enough that they can't pay back the money they originally planned to pay back, and they go into perpetual criminality, which is what happened with Madoff.

The other side of the coin is, people in my opinion who are like Alan Stanford from the beginning, set up to be a criminal and used this vehicle, the notion of taking fiscal custody, as a way to scam people as an intent from the beginning. I don't know the proportions but I would say two thirds are people that set out to do the criminality and one third are people who from convenience just fall into it.

But this is one of the reasons that when I set up my business, at first, I made sure that I could never take custody because it protects me from myself. It protects me from a weak moment. It protects me from some bad employees. The fact is, I'm not only protecting my clients that way, but I'm also protecting myself that way. In my view, when you have your listeners (and readers) thinking through, is the extra return worth it, to go to some particular exotic form of investment where they get custody of your assets, you have to trade in your mind that somehow the extra return that you think you are going to get against the risk, that at any point in time along the way, you are always vulnerable to embezzlement if you do that.

Stockerblog: I know that some investors go into real estate limited partnerships for the tax benefits and other types of partnerships. So they don't, other than doing as much due diligence as they can, they don't have much choice once they turn their money over to a limited partnership.

Fisher: Once you turn your money over to someone else, they can take it out the back door.

Stockerblog: So do you recommend that people avoid the more exotic forms of investments and limited partnerships?

Fisher: I think you have to think of the extra risks involved. You have to say to yourself "How much of my money do I want to put into this, where I end up with this extra risk". It's the extra risk of losing everything. For the most part, one of the dilemmas that we see with these Ponzi schemes and con artists is that they convince people to put in a third, two thirds, to all of their money. It's amazing to see how many people had Madoff as their primary investment, effectively wiping them out almost completely. If you are going to put money in one of these things where you think you are going to get a higher return, but there's also the possibility of embezzlement, you don't really put that much of your net worth into it. You want to think of it more like you are putting your money in a stock.

Stockerblog: In one part of your book, you talk about how bad performance does not necessarily mean that the manager is a rat. As a matter of fact, its probably more likely that they are not a rat. Can you discuss that briefly?

Fisher: Sure. Anyone that's been in the investment business for a very long time, I don't care if it's Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch, Bill Gross, I don't care who it is, everybody's had bad years. The nature of the beast is, if you're around for a long time, you've had bad years. The honest entity, the non-con artist, the non-ratzo, isn't concerned about exposing his bad years to the public because they take it for granted that it is part of the natural course of evolution that you're going to have these bad years.

Now, one of the points that I make in the book is I say "Show me the whoppers. I want to see your bad years. If you don't have any bad years, there's something wrong here." One of the central points in the book is that every Ponzi scheme embezzler always claims returns that are too good to be true, and aren't true because there really isn’t any investing going on. When you see returns that are too good to be true, they probably are. What the con artist knows and the reason the con artist never shows a bad year is because they know that as soon as they show a bad year, it will motivate a potential investor to ask questions. The con artist doesn’t want anybody asking questions.

One of the natures of human existence that I think all of your listeners (and readers) know is that people don't like volatility. They like a smooth easy ride. When the con artist shows that every year is a good year, it tends to make people not ask questions, it tends to make them more calm, it tends to make them think, "Boy, this guy's really a genius." Where in reality, the person that's a really good honest investor has always had bad years, so whether it's Warren Buffett or whoever, you say "Show me the bad years" as a form of proof statement about your integrity, so that you know that everything won't be perfect in the future and there will be a lot of volatility, but I know this guy is not a con artist because every con artist ratzo that does this embezzlement, they never show a bad year.

End of Part 3 – Stay Tuned for Part 4
If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here

If you missed Part 2, you can check it out here.

By Fred Fuld at Stockerblog.com

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this interview prohibited with out permission. All opinions are those of Ken Fisher, and do not represent the opinions of Stockerblog.com or the interviewer. Neither Stockerblog nor the interviewer nor the interviewee are rendering tax, legal, or investment advice in this interview.

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Thanks to Tim Sykes for finding this Segway type vehicle.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Top 8 FREE iPhone Apps for Investors

There are plenty of weird Apple (AAPL) iPhone apps out there, but there are many useful ones that are available to investors and traders. The nice feature about many of these top apps is that they are free. Here are a selection of the top eight, all available at no charge.

Yahoo Finance has just released their own free iPhone app, so you can look up stocks just like you can with their web site, with the information summary, quotes, and research.

Want lots of news? Get the Bloomberg app. The app provides up-to-date news on markets, stocks, and general business.

Another new release is from Adobe. This is the Adobe Photoshop Mobile app, for free, a great deal considering the computer version of the program is very expensive. Edit your own photos that you take on your iPhone.

If you are a mutual fund investor, you need the Morningstar app, which provides ratings and lot of other data.

The Forbes Intelligent Investor app provides business and investment related interviews and articles.

Jim Cramer fans need to get TheStreet.com app for news and analysis.

If you are planning on refinancing or buying a home, download the EZ Loan Calculator app.

Last but not least, the Black Gold app provides the latest quotes on oil, natural gas, and gold.

If you come across any other great investment related iPhone apps which are available for free, please post a comment below. If you like fun apps, check out 3 Free Unnecessary iPhone Apps You Don't Need (but are fun).

By Stockerblog.com

How to Invest in the Future of Carbon Credit Trading

What Do the Following Have In Common?
* Arnold Schwarzenegger
* Al Gore
* The band Coldplay
* Leonardo DiCaprio
* Jake Gyllenhal
* 2008 Oscars

What They Have in Common: They all claimed to have offset their fossil fuel usage by purchasing carbon credits.

Personal carbon credit trading may not have reached the big time yet, but business carbon credit trading is big business. For example, $118 billion carbon credit contracts were traded in the U.S. 2008, with $150 billion expected for 2009. But trading in the U. S. is still small compared to Europe.

A boost to carbon trading may come from the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (Waxman-Markey bill) would take effect 2012, and was recently passed by the House. The bill would limit, or "cap," the amount of carbon emissions that companies can produce each year.

One way to invest in carbon trading is through CME Group Inc. (CME), the holding company for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. They traded 133,175 environmental contracts in June 2009, which was record trading volume for them. They trade carbon emission reduction futures contracts and sulfur dioxide futures and options.

They are also setting up the CME Green Exchange, which is a separate entity, designed as a partnership with major financial institutions. Their partners include Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, and Constellation Energy. They would be trading the same environmental contracts and awaiting CFTC approval.

CME Group has a forward P/E of 19 and pays a yield of 1.6%. The Price to Book value is 1.00.

NYSE Euronext (NYX) is a limited way of playing the carbon trading market. They own 60% of BlueNext, a European Environmental Exchange, which trades 5 million tons of carbon emissions a day. The NYSE has a forward P/E of 12.3 and pays a yield of 4.2%. The Price to Book value is 1.11.

A pure play is Climate Exchange PLC (CXCHF.PK). This is a very volatile stock that has traded between 5.75 and 39.50 during the last twelve months. The company owns the European Climate Exchange and the Chicago Climate Exchange. They claim to be North America’s only voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas reduction and trading system. The exchange trades carbon sources in North America and Brazil. The exchange was founded in 2003 and trades carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, perfluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons.

10% of the company is reportedly owned by the Generation Investment Management, a investment firm founded & chaired by former vice president Al Gore. The CEO is David Blood, former top executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. This has generated the nickname for the company, "Blood and Gore." Climate Exchange PLC has an extremely low volume of trading and trades on the Pink Sheets.

The Chicago Climate Exchange has hundreds of major corporations as members including Amtrak, the City of Chicago, DuPont (DD), Ford (F), Motorola (MOT), and the City of Oakland. They also have a division called the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chicago Climate Exchange. The CCFE is a CFTC designated contract market which offers standardized and cleared futures contracts on emission allowances and other environmental products. For the first half of 2009, trading increased by 111% over the first half of 2008 and a 27.5% increase over full year of 2008.

Another way to play the carbon trading market is through the Exchange Traded Fund, iPath Global Carbon ETN (GRN), which is technically an Exchange Traded Note. This ETN has a goal of tracking the Barclays Capital Global Carbon Index Total Return, which measures the performance of the most liquid carbon-related credit plans, including the European Union Emission Trading Scheme and Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. The volume of trading is extremely low.

Author owns NYX and F.

By Fred Fuld at Stockerblog.com

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