Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Top Selling Hedge Fund Books

You don't hear much about hedge funds these days, other than some going out of business and a few reporting a drop in returns. If you still have the money, and still want to take a chance in investing in one of these funds, you need to do your homework. Check out some of the top hedge fund selling books.

More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite

Guide to Hedge Funds: What They Are, What They Do, Their Risks, Their Advantages (The Economist)

All About Hedge Funds : The Easy Way to Get Started

The Fundamentals of Hedge Fund Management: How to Successfully Launch and Operate a Hedge Fund (Wiley Finance)

Hedge Funds For Dummies

Hedge Funds: An Analytic Perspective (New Edition) (Advances in Financial Engineering)

The Hedge Fund Book: A Training Manual for Professionals and Capital-Raising Executives

Investment Strategies of Hedge Funds (The Wiley Finance Series)

Handbook of Hedge Funds (The Wiley Finance Series)

Trade Like a Hedge Fund: 20 Successful Uncorrelated Strategies & Techniques to Winning Profits (Wiley Trading)

Top British Companies That Trade On the New York Stock Exchange


Number 11 Wall Street is home to the world’s largest stock exchange. The New York Stock Exchange (NYX) dominates all other foreign markets as it sees an average daily trading volume in excess of $150 billion. There are many countries that have companies that are represented on the Exchange and Great Britain is one of those.

Some interesting facts about Great Britain and it’s economy:

1. The UK is ranked as the sixth largest economy in Europe.
2. The industrial revolution kick-started the UK’s economic ascent, with a heavy focus on the manufacture of steel, shipbuilding, coal mining and textiles.
3. Manufacturing to this day still plays a significant part in contributing to Great Britain’s economic stature.
4. The service sector continues to boom and makes up 73% of the country's GDP.
5. The UK's capital, London, has the largest group of foreign bank branches, more than anywhere in the world.
6. Great Britain is ranked as the sixth most popular tourist destination in the world, having over 27 million visitors per year.
7. London is the most visited city in the world, ahead of Bangkok in second place and Paris in third.
8. The country has over 400 million tons of proven coal reserves.
9. Last year, government debt was at 56.8% of GDP.
10. According to the UK government, the country was officially in a recession for the first time since 1991, as of the final quarter of 2008

The New York Stock Exchange has a number of various UK companies trading on its floor, many of which are traded through American Depositary Receipts, also known as ADRs. AVIVA Plc (AV) is an insurance company based in London. They are the fifth largest insurance company in the world with a total of 53 million customers in over 25 different countries. Within the UK, AVIVA continues to dominate the market in general insurance, life insurance and pensions operating in Europe, Asia and North America. The company trades at 7.4 times earnings and has a yield of 5.1%.

Another British company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange is Diageo (DEO). They are the biggest wine, spirits, and beer company in the world. Some of he company' noted brands include Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker scotch. The stock has a 17.4 price to earnings ratio and a yield of 2.7%.

The pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) manufactures biologics, vaccines and pharmaceuticals. They are ranked as the third largest pharmaceutical company based on revenues, just after Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pfizer (PFE). They also produce a range of health care products including health drinks, nutritional products and medicine that can be purchased over-the-counter. Some of the company's more well-known products include Sensodyne, Advair, Beano, Boniva, Geritol, Levitra, Nicorette, Tums, and Valtrex. Glaxo has a PE ratio of 9.7, with a 4.9% yield.

For more information on British companies that trade on the New York Stock Exchange, visit WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. The site provides a free downloadable list, which can be sorted and added to.

Author owns PFE.


By Stockerblog.com

Monday, August 30, 2010

High Volume Resistance Plagues Precious Metals, Oil & S&P 500

Guest Article

Monday Aug 30th, 2010

Last week was a relatively strong week for stocks and commodities. Although the S&P500 closed slightly lower on the week the price action Friday was strong. The recent pop in commodities has everyone feeling good and bullish again and we all know how the market works… When everyone is feeling good the market has a way of shaking things up.

Below are a few charts showing heavy volume resistance levels that will most likely cause the broad market & commodities to pullback or trade sideways for a few days as buyers and sellers play tug-o-war.

SLV – Silver Bullion ETF Trading


Silver had a very nice pop last week but if you step back and look the recent price action you can see that it’s still trading below the previous major bounce from back in June. It looks as though silver is a little over extended as large percentage moves tend to give back 25-50% of the mover shortly after.

Take a look at the price by volume bar. It shows there has been heavy volume traded at that $19.00 level and the previous time it was reached sellers stepped back in pulling silver down.

to see the rest of the article, click HERE

By Chris Vermeulen

Microsoft Founder Paul Allen Suing a Bunch of Tech Companies

Paul Allen, one of the co-founders of Microsoft (MSFT), is suing Google (GOOG), Apple (AAPL), Facebook, YouTube, Yahoo (YHOO), eBay (EBAY), Netflix (NFLX), AOL (AOL), Office Depot (ODP), OfficeMax (OMX), and Staples (SPLS). He is claiming that the companies are infringing on the patents held by Interval Licensing LLC, another company he founded.

Tax Free Bonds versus Tax Free CEFs

A very choppy stock market, along with potential future tax increases, have driven a significant amount of money into tax free bonds (also known as municipal bonds), either directly or indirectly, through tax free income closed end funds. When making a determination of which way to invest, it is helpful to know the advantages and disadvantages of the bonds versus the closed end funds, commonly referred to as CEFs.

Municipal bonds have always been a favorite of high income taxpayer, as they provide income that is tax free from Federal income taxes, and if the bond is issued from the state in which the taxpayer resides or from one of the territories of the US such as Puerto Rico, then the income is also exempt from state taxes. Munis are generally issued by states, counties, cities, and other governmental entities such as school districts, sewer districts, and departments of water and power.

Municipal Bonds

Advantages:

1. You can pick and choose what governmental agency you want to loan money to. Maybe you want to stick with the bonds from the cities and counties near you that you are familiar with.

2. Bonds have a maturity date. This means that no matter how high interest rates go, and no matter how low the bonds drop in value, at maturity, the bonds are paid off at par.

3. What your bond is worth is what your bond is worth; in other words, the trading price of CEFs may be far higher or lower than the net asset value of the fund.

Disadvantages:

1. Higher minimum investment. Although munis are issued in $5,000 denominations, a round lot is generally considered by many firms to be $100,000.

2. Less diversification. Because of the higher minimum, investors can't own as many diverse bonds as they could with a CEF.

3. Interest payments only twice a year.

4. No professional management or monitoring.

5. Illiquidity. Munis are not traded on an exchange, and estimated prices given on brokerage statements can be way off from what brokers will actually offer you if you want to sell (speaking from personal experience).

Municipal Bond Closed End Funds

Advantages:

1. No minimum investment. You could technically buy one share.

2. Monthly income.

3. With the monthly income, you receive you capital back faster, and you can do quicker compounding of your income.

4. Very liquid; traded on major exchanges.

Disadvantages:

1. You pay a management fee and other administrative fees.

2. Some CEFs use leverage. You should beware that this increases the risks to the investor.

3. Some CEFs may be trading at a premium to net asset value. You want to look for those trading at a discount.

4. No maturity date (other than a few target funds). If rates go up and continue to rise during your lifetime, you may never get your principal back.

As you can see, there are benefits to both municipal bonds and municipal bond closed end funds. Just make sure that you are familiar with the risks and costs of each.

By Stockerblog.com

Friday, August 27, 2010

Birth Control Stocks: A Recession Play

The birth rate in the United States has fallen to its lowest level in 2009, the lowest in a century, due to what many economists fear is a reaction to the recessionary economy. Last year, the birth rate dropped by over 2.5% on an increase in population. For many families, children are their biggest expense, and holding off on having a first or another can appear to be a significant cost savings to a parent. Based on this concern, investors turning to companies that are involved in contraception and birth control products. Here are a selection of birth control stocks. Obviously for some, contraception makes up a small part of their business.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA) produces various pharmaceuticals including women's health care products, oral contraceptives, and intrauterine contraception. The company owns Barr Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which owns Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which makes the ParaGard T-380A, a copper-T IUD, the only copper-containing intrauterine device approved for use in the U.S. The stock trades at 9.8 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 1.3%. The price earnings growth ratio is a very favorable 0.78.

Church & Dwight Co., Inc. (CHD), producer of household, personal care, and specialty products, is probably most known for it Arm & Hammer baking soda product. The company makes and markets the Trojan brands of prophylactics. In addition to condoms, it also produces hme pregnancy kits. The stock sports a forward price to earnings ratio of 14, with a 1.1% yield. The PEG ratio is 1.27.

Pfizer Incorporated (PFE) makes Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection which is injected every 3 months. The company also market birth control pills. The stock carries a high 4.5% yield with a forward PE of 7.0.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) owns Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, which makes Diaphragms, and the combined oral contraceptive pill brands Ortho Tri-cyclen and Ortho-Evra. It trades at 11.5 forward earnings and provides a yield of 3.7%.

Merck (MRK) is the manufacturer of the NuvaRing, a combined hormonal contraceptive vaginal ring available by prescription and Implanon, a single-rod long acting reversible hormonal contraceptive birth control subdermal implant that is inserted just under the skin of the upper arm. The stock has a nice yield of 4.4%, and a forward PE of 9.2.

To see all the companies involved in the production of contraception and birth control, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author owns PFE.


By Stockerblog.com

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Second Week of September


Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends'. 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. In flat or choppy markets, your have to be extremely careful.

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.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 3%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Ameren Corporation (AEE) market cap: $6.7B ex div date: 9/7/2010 yield: 5.6%

H&R Block, Inc. (HRB) market cap: $4.4B ex div date: 9/8/2010 yield: 4.4%

Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) market cap: $26.6B ex div date: 9/8/2010 yield: 4.1%

The Laclede Group, Inc. (LG) market cap: $735.3M ex div date: 9/8/2010 yield: 4.8%

Reynolds American, Inc. (RAI) market cap: $16.4B ex div date: 9/8/2010 yield: 6.4%

The additional 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.

Dividend definitions:

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

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

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

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

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

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Fall in Unemployment Benefit Claims in the US

In the present week, the US economy saw a steady decline in the number of claims for unemployment benefits. In view of this decline, Thursday morning showed stocks at relatively higher prices, bringing some respite to the market’s worries about the slowing economic growth. For instance, the industrial average for Dow Jones, increased by 19 points during the morning. There was an increase, in general, in the broader indexes as well.

This news however did little to bring optimism back in the market. The total number of unemployment benefit claims remained at a high level. There is a predominant worry among the investors regarding the constantly high unemployment rate of 9.5%. The reluctance among employers to hire workers is also a cause for vexation in the market. Even though the claims have come down by a certain percentage in comparison to the staggering numbers in the previous week, they still seem to be at overwhelming levels.

The first-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 473,000 last week for the first time last week after crossing the 500,000 mark for the first time since November, in the week preceding the week in question. According to Thomson Reuters, the drop that was anticipated was at a modest 490,000.

In a strong economic condition, the weekly claims are usually less than 400,000. However, the latest statistics in job claims reveal that hiring in the economy has been weak. In March 2009, when the recession was at its peak, the claims were as high as 651,000 per week.

Nevertheless, on the positive side, this week saw a noticeable decline after three consecutive weeks of increasing claims. The report also slightly allayed fears of the economy falling into a recession for a second time, considering that there were numerous economic indicators that implied a very slow growth rate in the near future.

The biggest hurdle that is keeping the economy from a faster recovery is the fact that unemployment rates are still high. People fearing the loss of jobs in the near future are holding back expenditures, which implies an overall low spending level in the economy. Companies have slowed the hiring process, due to the upcoming financial regulations and various health care reform costs, and because of the uncertainty surrounding taxation. Consumer demand is another worry.

For every two stocks that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, three stocks rose, bringing the volume up to 120 million shares for the day. Bond prices however didn’t waver much, showing clearly that there was still a great section of the economy that would take time to get comfortable and become positive about the latest report, and would still want to rely on government debt for security. The yield on the ten year treasury notes, which helps in setting interest rates on various consumer loans including mortgages, showed a slight increase from 2.54 per cent to 2.55 per cent towards the end of Wednesday. Long-term bond yields remain at almost the same levels, though at levels which haven’t been recorded since the first quarter of 2009 when stocks hit their lowest of more than a decade. Even though lower interest rates are supposed to stimulate spending in the economy, it is not happening in the US right now as people are fearing a possible loss of their jobs, so are saving instead.

So what is an investor to do? Investing in quality high yield stocks is a way of dipping your foot in the investment waters. Not just electric or gas utilities, but other industries, which pay CD beating yields. Lists of these investments, including dividend increasing stocks, can be found at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Should Have Read This Book Two Years Ago: 4-Hour Workweek

If I had read the book The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content a year or two ago, I would have saved a huge amount of a very valuable asset: time. I also would have made a lot more money. I also would have reduced a lot of stress. I also would have done a lot more traveling.

You may have heard about the author, Timothy Ferriss. He's the one who started his own nutritional supplement business which became extremely successful, yet he was able to get away with answering his email only once a week, and working only four hours a week (just like the book says). He was also able to travel around the world for many months of the year, yet still keep his business running.

Want to start your own business? Ferriss tells you how. Still working for an employer, but want to spend less time at the office? He tells you how, even how to transition from employee to self-employed if you so desire. Want to travel around the world like a millionaire even if you are not yet a millionaire? He takes you through the whole process, right down to the kind of underwear you should buy.

The overriding concept behind the book is to be able to make more money, yet have a lot more time to spend with your family and friends, more time to travel, more time to do whatever you've ever wanted to do (learning martial arts, learning to play the piano, learning another language, or whatever) but never had the time or opportunity. He even has a chapter called 'Filling the Void: Adding Life After Subtracting Work,' which is all about the psychological aspect of having this free time, how some can actually have postpartum depression, and how to get through it.

If you have read some of my previous book reviews, you would know that I like books with meat, i.e. specific sources and resources with descriptions and contact information. This book is filled with resources, making the book 100% Grade A prime beef. The web page section alone has 48 resources, many with rankings by readers who provided the author with feedback.

Want an executive assistant a very low cost? Ferriss tells you how to find one, how to separate the good from the not-so-good, and how they can make your life so much easier, even right down to paying your bills and sending out gifts for you.

In case you can't tell from the previous paragraphs, I really, really like this book. If you think I'm off base on the book, check out the ratings on Amazon: 97% of over a thousand reviewers gave the book either five stars (most of the reviews) or four stars.

Get out of the rat race. After family and health, time is the most important thing in life, even more than money (my opinion). Read the expanded and updated version of The 4-Hour Workweek.

Bear Acceleration Confirms New Trade Signal

Guest Article

August will be the third month of losses for the stock market out of the last four when the books close next Tuesday and we move into September. The major US indices have lost more than 5% across the board with the Dow down just 4.25% and the Russell 2K down 10%. The bearish price action looks like it will continue for the majority of September.

As of Wednesday’s close a new, confirmed bear signal has emerged on the markets and it’s historically dependable. In addition to the slew warning signs from Monday’s Equity Put/Call, the VIX crossing above its 200 day moving average and poor home sales we are seeing a short signal based on Acceleration Bands. Let me explain what this means…

Perhaps one of the most difficult momentum indicators to trigger a buy or sell for the SP500 is Acceleration Bands – the bands target the top/bottom 5% of bull and bear trends helping traders focus on only strongest moves. Check out our free Indicator How to Video on Acceleration Bands. The signals are easy – a traditional Acceleration Band Buy Signal occurs after 2 consecutive closes outside the upper band while a Sell Signal occurs after 2 consecutive closes below the lower bands…

Why is this Important NOW?

Wednesday’s close marks the second consecutive close below the lower Acceleration Band meaning a Bearish Acceleration is expected in the market. The previous signals based on acceleration were profitable more often than not.

In the chart below you can see all SPY acceleration signals since 2008. I’ve noted the entry/exit dates and entry/exit prices of each signal—the performance is based on the total signal result and max gain/loss is the max gain in the signal. What’s interesting is that about 75% of signals were profitable at one point during the signal. This means we’ve got a very good opportunity to short the market now.



To give you a better idea of what these signals look like on a chart we plotted the system on the chart below. This shows you the systematic entry/exits. Overall, you can see that these areas are the strongest trends over the past two years—Acceleration Bands seek to highlight the top 5% of moves in a stock or ETF. Of course, the S&P500 (SPY) is an average so there are several sector ETFs experiencing the same signal. Other sector ETFs that are currently in bear accelerations are SPDR Energy (XLE) and SPDR Financials (XLF).

What’s Bottom line for TRADRs? Seasonality suggests that we could see strong selling pressure in September while the mid-term election cycle suggests a one year rally starting after the elections… It would seem likely that a sharp seasonal sell-off could take place in September following by a strong fourth quarter rally.

SP500 Index – Daily – Acceleration Band Signals Since 2008



Trade well,

Andrew Hart – ETFTRADR

Top Cord Blood Stocks


The University of South Florida Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair just published the results of their research showing that after stroke-like damage, human umbilical cord blood cells protect astrocytes (animal cells) from cell death when deprived of oxygen.

Cord blood is blood that comes from umbilical cords, and contains a significant 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. Parents often 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. Numerous 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.

The cord blood industry is a fast growing industry, and includes the likes of Richard Branson, of Virgin Records and Virgin Atlantic Airways fame, who set up Virgin Health, a cord blood bank.

Investors have the option of owning the cord blood banks or the companies that use cord blood to develop cures (or both). Here are some stocks that participate in the cord blood business. Be aware 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 17 and pays a yield of 2.6%.

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 19 and a yield of 1.4%.

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 27.

Amgen Inc. (AMGN) is also funding research into cord blood extraction, preservation, and storage. The stock has a PE of 11.

China Cord Blood Corporation (CO) provides cord blood collection, and stem cell storage services.The company is based in Beijing, China. The stock has a PE of 40 and a forward PE of 20.

The following stocks are extremely low cap stock and should therefore be considered extremely speculative.

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 10.

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 recently generated negative earnings.

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.

For a free list of cord blood and stem cell stocks, which can be downloaded and sorted, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.


By Stockerblog.com

Guest Article: How To Trade Gold and Silver’s Volatility

Understanding the key differences between both gold and silver’s risk/volatility levels plays a large part in how I choose a low risk trade setup. Those of you who follow me already know the GLD etf is my favorite trading vehicle as it provides me with low risk trading setups along with a very high win rate.

Ok, let’s jump into to comparing gold and silver as trading instruments. I get the same questions from new traders all the time and I think these two questions will help clear them up.

The questions are:

1. Why don’t you give silver (SLV) trading analysis/signals?
2. Why don’t you trade silver?

My answer to the questions are simple and the chart below displays my view.

The gold (GLD) signals I provide work with silver so you can just trade silver when I have gold long or short trade. This is the reason I don’t provide much silver analysis because it’s duplicate info.

The chart below shows how gold and silver trade together when it comes to rallies and sell offs. But notice how volatile silver is while gold had a nice slow and steady trend upwards… Gold’s low volatility trending characteristics is what I love about it. Silver on the other hand is all over the place making it easy to have protective stops triggered before the majority of the trend is over. The silver charts almost always look terrible (tough to read for a direction). I really don’t like getting shaken out of a winning trade…

To see chart and the rest of the article, click here.

by Chris Vermeulen

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Children of Warren Buffett

The children of Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK-A) (BRK-B) Warren Buffett, were interviewed for National Geographic.

$172 Million Tax Bill for Day Trader Who Lost Money

A young, unsuccessful day trader from Spain, just got slapped with a tax bill to the tune of $172 million. The IRS said that he traded $500 million in stocks in one year, and since he didn't file, it is assumed that the gains have a zero cost basis. The trader was shocked at first and said "What's the IRS?" He eventually realized that the bill was real.

I assume that he will be filing a tax return now to get this cleared up.

Investing in Gold


For the past 5000 years, gold has been the most sought after commodity. For those who understand the monetary system and the mechanics behind it, they will undoubtedly be aware that gold is and always has been a solid investment choice. At the very least, it can be considered a hedge against inflation. As current markets undergo drastic changes, there has never been a more crucial time to invest in gold.

There are a number of essential factors that should be taken into consideration regarding gold and is financial value. First, gold is both a commodity and a currency unto itself. Gold along with silver are both currencies that are beyond government control. (At least gold is currently legal to own in the US.) All the currencies currently used, such as the Euro, dollar, pound, and yen, are all forms of fiat currencies, which means that their value is intangible, and their worth is merely set by their government’s declaration.

The problem with fiat currencies is that governments in the past have had a tendency to over-create, which subsequently leads to hyperinflation and an inevitable collapse of the country’s economy. Several years ago, many world currencies could be converted to gold. Not anymore.

Some theorists believe that during the last fifteen years, governments and world banks have been trying to keep down the price of both gold and silver. They believe that once governments stop trying to suppress the price of gold by lending and selling their gold, the price of both commodities will rise substantially.

The best way for most investors to invest in gold is through ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds), a financial tool that works much like a mutual fund except that instead of holding a basket of stocks, they own gold. For example, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) holds gold bullion and is up over 23% for the year. The five year average annual return is 19.8%.

For investors who think that silver may be a better buy, there is the PowerShares DB Silver (DBS) ETF, which owns futures contracts on silver. The ETF is up 48% for the year.

One of the main reasons why investing in gold through ETFs is a wise option is that it is much easier to hold: no storage costs, no safe deposit box, no risk of being taken by burglary.

Many investors believe that gold is a great hedge to counter inflation, and given the risks evident in the condition of the global market, gold stands as a solid asset that can withstand all financial tides. Gold remains in constant demand regardless of the fluctuations of global markets.

To find more information about gold and silver ETFs, check out the free list at the WallStreetNewsNetwork.com site.

Author does not own any of the above.


By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the First Week of September


Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends'. 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. In flat or choppy markets, your have to be extremely careful.

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.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 3%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Potlatch Corporation (PCH) market cap: $1.3B ex div date: 9/1/2010 yield: 6.1%

EarthLink, Inc. (ELNK) market cap: $921.4M ex div date: 9/2/2010 yield: 7.5%

Waste Management, Inc. (WM) market cap: $15.9B ex div date: 9/2/2010 yield: 3.8%

The additional 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.

Dividend definitions:

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

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

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

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

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

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Monday, August 23, 2010

What Stock Does Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn Agree On?

Two of the top investors are Warren Buffett and Carl Icahn. Both of these billionaires have been investing in stocks for years, with very successful track records. Warren Buffett, as most are aware, is the head of Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK-A) (BRK-B). Carl Icahn, a top trader who started his investment career in 1961, has previously taken significant holdings in numerous companies including RJR Nabisco, TWA, Texaco, Phillips Petroleum, Western Union (WU), Gulf & Western, Viacom (VIA-B), Uniroyal, Marshall Field, American Can, Revlon (REV), Blockbuster (BLOKA.PK), and Motorola (MOT).

If you look at the list of stocks that each own, you will find only one that they agree on.

The stock is NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG), which owns, builds, and operates power generation facilities. The stock trades at 9.5 times current earnings and 15 times forward earnings. On the positive side, the stock has $8.56 in cash per share and is trading at less than 21 per share, way below its book value of 31.66. However, the latest earnings were down over 50% on a 4% drop in revenues. The company does not pay a dividend.

For a list of stocks that Warren Buffett owns, along with other interesting stock lists, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

What Original Dow Stock from 1896 Currently Pays a 4.8% Yield


Talk about a stock that stands the test of time. If you want a stock that is the eighth oldest listed stock on the New York Stock Exchange, celebrated its 120 year anniversary last year, one of the original stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1896, has increased its dividend for the last six years, and currently yields 4.8%, then you will now know what this gem is.

The stock, Laclede Group Inc. (LG), which was formerly known as Laclede Gas Company, is a natural gas utility that is the longest lived of the Dow. It trades at 12.9 times earnings and has an operating cash flow of about seven times its total dividend payout. The company has increased its dividend every year since 2003.

Of course, there are plenty of other natural gas and propane gas utilities. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has turned up 25 gas utilities with yields ranging from 2% to above 8%, such as Nicor (GAS) yielding 4.4%, Spectra Energy (SE) yielding 4.8%, and Chesapeake Utilities (CPK) yielding 3.9%.

To see a list of 25 gas utilities, you can get a free list of natural gas and propane stocks, that can be downloaded, sorted, and changed, check out the lists at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Here's an Investment: The Statue of Liberty's Nose

No, it's not the Brooklyn Bridge that's up for sale. It's a piece of the nose of the Statue of Liberty that will be auctioned off. It was one of four pieces of copper created as a backup replacement for the tip of the nose during the 1980s. One of the nose tips resides at the end of Lady Liberty's nose, one is owned by a collector, one has been destroyed, and the fourth can be yours. It will be auctioned off by Guernsey's Auction House.

Some Business Domain Names are Up for Sale

GreatDomains is having an auction of domain names that will run through August 26th. Some of the business and finance domain names that are up for sale include:

stockreports.net
tradedeficit.com
onlineclassifieds.com
nevadacompany.com
practicing.com
saudirealestate.com
traveljet.com
collapsed.com
incometaxloan.com
loansservices.com
sellhouse.net
printingindustry.com
bankingfees.net
smallfortune.net

Government Study Pays Students to Drink: Tax Dollars at Work


Here's an interesting use of taxpayer money. Stephen F. Hayes, a senior writer for The Weekly Standard, recently gave a speech for a Hillsdale College event, in which he discussed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Project Number 1R01AA01658001A2. This was $400,000 in Federal funding for a study called 'Malt Liquor and Marijuana' in which students were paid at least $45 to buy four beers a day for three weeks. (Actually, according to the government web site, the funding was $783,474 !)

Apparently the State University of New York Buffalo study generated a lot of interest as over 600 human guinea pigs had participated previously. According to Hayes, this was a follow-up to a previous study done by the university where it was discovered that people who were drunk and high were more intoxicated than those who were just drunk.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What is the Most Expensive Investing Book?

The most expensive investing and stock trading book is Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor, which you can pick up a new copy of on Amazon (AMZN) for $1,749.00. The book was written by Seth Klarman, the successful founder and president of the Baupost Group, a Boston-based hedge fund. The book has a rating of four stars based on customer reviews and was published by HarperCollins in 1991.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Seven Reasons to Buy a Home

James Altucher, who I highly respect, recently wrote an article for DailyFinance called Seven Reasons Not to Buy a Home. In this case, I think he is wrong, on all seven counts.

Everybody should always consider buying a house. Owning a home can be the 'American Dream,' and it's always been that way. Here's why.

1. The mortgage interest deduction. You can't deduct your rent payment. Whereas the interest on a mortgage is deductible and probably will be one of the last tax benefits to be taken away by Congress, unless we are lucky enough to go with a straight flat tax.

2. No rent increases. Unless you have an adjustable mortgage, which I would never recommend anyone get, your cost to stay in the house is fixed for thirty years or less. Thirty year mortgages with no prepayment penalties are the way to go because you can 'create' your own 15 year or 20 year mortgage by paying additional principal each month; and if you run into financial problems and can't make those higher payments for a certain period of time, you just stop making those over-payments.

3. Not at the mercy of a landlord. Who would you rather have control over when you need to move, your landlord or yourself? If you are on a month-to-month, and your landlord's brother-in-law is coming in to town next month and needs a place to stay for a year, you will get a thirty day notice telling you that you now have to start looking for a new place, get an estimate from movers, pack your stuff up (boy do I love packing for a move – NOT), and then actually moving. Even if you have a one or two year lease, the landlord can still do the same thing prior to 30 days of the end of the lease.

4. Has bailed out many retirees. I keep hearing about retirees who lost most of their earnings in their stock portfolio after the market crash, yet because their house was paid off or almost paid off, were able to sell their home, buy a much smaller place, have plenty of cash left over, even after the real estate crash.

5. You can do what you want with it. Suppose you want to paint the interior of your house purple with pink polka dots. If you rent, your landlord will go nuts. Same if you want to knock out one of the walls to open up the living room area. When you own your own home, you can be the one to go nuts.

6. If you can't afford it, you can walk away from it. Many people weren't aware of this until the big real estate crash that started in 2005. Now the whole world knows. Almost every mortgage is a non-recourse loan; doesn't matter whether it’s a conforming loan, a non-conforming loan, an FHA loan, or a VA loan. What non-recourse means is that the bank can't come after your personal assets if you walk away from the loan and the sale of the house can't satisfy the balance due on the mortgage, unlike an auto loan or a credit card debt, which are recourse loans.

7. The return over long periods of time far outpaces any other investment. This is probably the most important reason of all. Let's look at the hard numbers. One of the major mistakes that almost every major publication has made is comparing the growth of real estate versus the growth of the stock market, without taking into consideration that with real estate, buyers only put up a small portion of the purchase price.
Almost nobody pays all cash for real estate; almost everyone puts down 10% to 25% of the purchase price (and I hear that some lenders are starting to offer 3% again). As for stocks, almost everybody pays all cash for stocks; the percent of people who buy on margin is very small, especially when you consider all the 401k and mutual fund investors.
So if you really want to compare apples with apples, you need to compare how and how much people invest in the asset. Let's look at a period when we've had a couple market drops in both stocks and real estate. How about from January 1987 to this summer.
The average annual return of the S&P 500 through May of 2010 is 5.9%. The average annual return of the Case-Shiller Real Estate Composite 10 Index over the same period is 4.0%, assuming homeowners pay all cash. However, if you assume that the homeowner puts up a down payment of 20% with a 5% mortgage, the real life average annual rate of return is 10.4%, almost double the return on stocks.

All that being said, I don't believe anyone should consider their home as an investment. A source of emergency funds, if absolutely necessary, but not an investment. If you can afford a home, seriously consider buying one.

By Fred Fuld at Stockerblog.com

What Billionaire Just Bought a Large Stake in Major Stock Exchange?

It looks like there is at least one person who is optimistic about the future of the I in BRIC, in other words the country of India. Noted billionaire trader and investor George Soros just bought a 4% chunk of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in Asia, the largest stock exchange in South Asia, and the 12th largest in the world. The ownership was sold by Dubai Financial for $35 million.

Why Dividend Increasing Stocks are the Way to Go

What Stock has Raised its Dividends for 54 Years in a Row?

Over the course of the last few years, the Dow Jones has lacked consistency, presenting a volatile platform of figures that are making investors ever more hesitant. What market analysts are now seeing is the growth and solidarity contained in dividend stocks, exposing growth stocks as being somewhat precarious.

Mark Skousen, editor of the Forecasts & Strategies newsletter, said at the San Francisco Money Show a couple days ago that over long periods of time, dividend stocks outperform non-dividend stocks, and dividend-increasing stocks outperform dividend stocks in general. This finding is not being ignored as dividend investors see a much better long-term return when investing in dividend stocks, especially those that increase their dividends regularly.

One of the main reasons why dividend increasing stocks are proving to be so much more lucrative is that they embody a select group of companies which have enough in earnings to reinvest back into the business itself, but have plenty left over to distribute to shareholders. Rising profits also means rising dividends for shareholders, which ultimately equates to rising stock prices in the long term.

During the last few months, while some of the major players have been looking rather shaky, companies that have increased their distributions are causing analysts and investors to re-think their choice of investments. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has turned up a list of over 20 stocks that have had dividend increases over 30 years. One company has increased its dividend every year for 54 years! Can you guess which company it is?

I can almost guarantee that you use at least one of their products on a regular basis. You have either shaved with them, brushed with them, flossed with them, wiped with them, shampooed with them, or washed with them. The company was founded in 1837, so it's been around for a little while, and appears to have some staying power. Probably that staying power is do to the fact that people will always brush, wash, and wipe, whether there is a recession, a depression, a booming economy, deflation, or inflation.

Have you guessed the name of the company yet? If not, I'll tell you. It's Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), which raised its dividend from 44 cents a share to $0.482 per share, a 9.5% increase. And this was during our current recession. The company has been paying a dividend for 120 consecutive years since its incorporation in 1890 and has increased its dividend for 54 consecutive years at an annual compound average rate of approximately 9.5%. Currently, the stock provides a yield of 3.2%, and trades at 13.8 times forward earnings.

Another company, which provided its shareholders with a huge dividend increase, is Walgreen Co. (WAG), the drug store chain. They just boosted the payout from $0.138 per share to $0.175 per share each quarter, an enormous increase of 28.6%. But what is even better is the history behind the company's dividends, providing its shareholders with dividend bump-ups for 35 years straight; and as long a people continue to need medicine and prescriptions, the company should continue to raise dividends. The stock now yields 2.5% and has a forward PE ratio of 11.5.

Of the stocks that have been raising dividends 30 years or more, seven of them have yields above 3%, and 17 have yields above 2%. For a free list of dividend increasing stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and changed, visit WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Friday, August 20, 2010

Review of the San Francisco Money Show: Recommended Stocks

I was privileged to give a couple of presentations at the San Francisco Money Show on the stock trading technique of 'buying dividends' during the last couple days, and had a very good turnout and much positive feedback.

The show was held at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel on August 19th through August 21. The keynote speaker was Steve Forbes, Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Magazine, who spoke very candidly about his opinion of the current administration and its policies adversely affecting the economy and the stock market. However, he was positive about the future and expects many favorable changes to take place over the next couple of years. He went into detail about how capitalism and the free market can save the economy, even with health care, Social Security, and Medicare. His latest book has recently been published, How Capitalism Will Save Us: Why Free People and Free Markets Are the Best Answer in Today's Economy.

The Opening Ceremonies panel discussion was on Nanotech, with four panelists discussing the various aspects of this fast growing industry, and how nanotechnology is used in heathcare, technology, batteries, transportation (boats with nanotech hulls), and many other areas.

Some of the stocks that were mentioned in this industry include Harris and Harris Group (TINY), the stock with the great stock ticker symbol, a venture capital company which specializes in early stage nanotechnology companies. Other companies mentioned were Nanosphere (NSPH), Starpharma (SPHRY.PK), A123 Systems (AONE), Cree (CREE), First Solar (FSLR), and SunPower (SPWRA).

There were 55 seminars to choose from on Thursday, 99 on Friday, and 24 on Saturday, covering everything from options, to ADR's, to ETF's, to dividends, to low priced stocks, to China stocks, to numerous other topics.

One interesting one was called The Top Ten ETFs and Stocks You Should Buy Now, with Mark Skousen and Doug Fabian. Skousen mentioned Enterprise Products Partners (EPD) due to its rising dividend, currently yielding 6%, and insider buying. He also recommended Ford (F), due to the fact that sales are rising substantially, the early paydown of debt, and a forward PE of 10.

Fabian recommended iShares S&P Global Telecom ETF (IXP) due to its 4.8% yield, paid quarterly. He also likes PowerShares CEF Income Composite (PCEF), which invests in master limited partnerships but doesn't issue K-1s. It pays an 8.5% yield.

Another informative speaker was Michael Murphy who's presentation was called 'Best Tech and Biotech Stocks for the Next Ten Years.' In the Content on Demand sector, he likes TowerStream Corporation (TWER), a company that puts wireless towers on buildings and offers broadband services to businesses. The company has already signed up eleven cities. Insiders own 30% of the company.

In the biotech arena, one of the stock he recommends is Rochester Medical Corp. (ROCM), which makes catheters made of silicone instead of latex, to avoid the latex allergies for some patients. This also allows the use of anti-fungals in the catheters.

One stock he favors in the energy sector is Connacher Oil (CLL.TO), a Canadian company that is in the oil sands industry. Murphy also likes the geothermal industry due to the very favorable government tax credits and loans available to developing projects.

If you missed the MoneyShow in San Francisco, you can check out other upcoming MoneyShows at MoneyShow.com. And if you want to find more information on buying dividends, check out our recent article on stocks going ex dividend.

Author owns F.

By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chocolate Lowers Heart Failure Risk for Women


Chocolate has lots of benefits. It reportedly reduces wrinkles and aging according to chocolate maker, Barry Callebaut AG (BYCBF.PK), and it also helps lower blood pressure and reduce the possibility of strokes. It is even good for your liver. Chocolate has even been beneficial for Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) (BRK-B).

It seems like every month, another benefit turns up. Now it turns out that, according to a Swedish study of about 32,000 women, chocolate can reduce the risk of heart failure in women. There was a finding of a 32% lower heart failure risk for women who ate European chocolate. However, there is a caveat; researchers said that the chocolate should only be eaten in moderation.

Fortunately, there are several investment opportunities with a large exposure to chocolate. Here are a couple that may be worth taking a bite out of.

Hershey (HSY) was founded in 1894. It is the largest manufacturer of chocolate in North America and one of the largest chocolate and candy companies in the world. Hershey's Kisses were invented in 1901 and their chocolate chips were brought out in 1928. The stock has a P/E of 22, a forward PE of 17, with a tasty yield of 2.8%. It sports a PEG ratio of 2.39.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Inc. (RMCF) is a very low cap stock [and should therefore be considered very speculative], based in Durango, Colorado, which makes and markets caramels, creams, mints, and truffles. The company, which was founded in 1981, has over 300 franchise locations in 40 states, along with Canada and the United Arab Emirates. The P/E is 16, and the company pays a delicious yield of 4.1%.

If you want to see a list of all the publicly traded chocolate stocks, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Fifth Week of August


Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends'. 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. In flat or choppy markets, your have to be extremely careful.

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.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 3%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

The Empire District Electric Company (EDE) market cap: $794.8M ex div date: 8/30/2010 yield: 6.5%

First National Bank Alaska (FBAK) market cap: $634.2M ex div date: 8/30/2010 yield: 5.2%

Kellogg Company (K) market cap: $19.0B ex div date: 8/30/2010 yield: 3.2%

Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) market cap: $26.3B ex div date: 8/30/2010 yield: 3.5%

McDonald's Corporation (MCD) market cap: $76.7B ex div date: 8/30/2010 yield: 3.1%

The additional 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.

Dividend definitions:

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

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

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

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

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

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Monday, August 16, 2010

BP Oil Spill Shares Drop: Which Companies Benefit?

The price of BP (BP) shares fell by more than 7% from August 6 to August 16, after US officials warned that they would be taking legal action against the multinational oil giant, preventing them from paying out dividends to existing share holders. Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli said the Justice Department was ‘planning to take action’ when he was approached at a conference meeting regarding the spill. He was asked if an injunction would be taken against BP to try and cease all payouts, due to the anger of the oil spill over the Gulf of Mexico.

Due to the pressure being put on the conglomerate by over 40 members of Congress as well as senators, BP share prices have now lost over 35% of their value since the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon rig earlier this year and the recent oil spill. Prior to these catastrophes taking place, BP was Britain’s largest oil company; since then the market cap of BP has seen a loss of more than $60 billion.

As BP continues to see their share prices fall, their competitors are expected to reap the benefits despite having to also endure falling stock prices. Chevron (CVX), ExxonMobile Corp (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-B) are all anticipating taking on the benefits of the oil spill both at the pump and on the stock market. Yet at the moment they all have to accept the damage that has been done to the overall state of the market.

ExxonMobil, for example, has had to witness a drop in its stock price as shares fell from a high of $69 to a current price of $59. The company sells for nine times forward earnings and pays a favorable yield of 2.9%.

Royal Dutch Shell has also experienced a stock price plunge over the same period. The stock has a price to earnings ratio of 11 and sports a very high yield of 6.3%.

This collective loss of revenue is due to the public disdain that has followed since the major oil spill, which consequently has had an effect on sales at the pump as the negative coverage continues to haunt BP’s share prices. Analysts expect that BP’s competitors will be the ones to benefit from the catastrophe. One such company that may see a rise in its share price is Helmerich and Payne (HP) as a significant portion of their business comes from exploring and extracting fossil fuels on land. The stock sells for 13 times forward earnings and pays a small 0.6% yield.

If you are interested in having a look at how the oil spill will affect other major energy conglomerates then WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has a list of the companies paying out the highest yields and other valuable information relating to oil stocks.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Fake See-Through Skirts: What Does It Mean for the Stock Market?

Many investors are familiar with the skirt length stock market theory or indicator, where the current fashion for length of skirts determines which way the markets will go. The flappers during the roaring 20's had very short dresses, and the stock market was roaring. During the depression of the 1930's, the length of skirts and dresses dropped. During the 1960's, the mini-skirt came out and the stock market took off. Then floor length dresses came into vogue, and stocks tanked. And so on.

But now we have a unique fashion trend. Supposedly in Japan, skirts are being worn with paintings on the back which make it appear that the skirts are transparent. (PG-13 rated)

If you think this kind of clothing might look good on your wife or girlfriend (or yourself, if you are a woman), you can actually buy this type of clothing from an apparel company in Germany, Alba D'Urbano Couture. (R rated)

However, the important issue is what this means for the stock market. If this type of apparel catches on in the United States, then analyzing the stock market from the skirt length theory is somewhat difficult.

This would be my take. A stock market with lots of fake-outs, appealing opportunities which don't work out, investments that turn into bummers, and no way to analyze figures as you can't tell what's real or not.

By Stockerblog.com

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Magic Kingdom of the Disney Company

The Disney team will be doing some heavy celebrating over the course of the next few weeks, as not only will they enjoy the benefits from the release of Toy Story 3 but at the turn of this year's 3rd financial quarter, they also saw their earnings per share rise sharply.

The Walt Disney Company (DIS) reported on Tuesday 10th August that diluted earnings per share had successfully increased by 31%, with a rise from 51 cents per share to 67 cents. Disney’s current president and chief executive office Robert A. Iger said in an official statement, ‘we're very pleased with our strong third quarter, in which we grew revenues substantially and improved profitability across the majority of our businesses.’ He also went on to say, ‘our performance underscores the value of sticking to a smart strategy even in tough times, of investing in the right people, and of focusing relentlessly on quality and innovation to drive growth in shareholder value.’

The company also said that their EPS for the nine-month period that ended on July 3rd also increased 24 percent to 1.60 per share from 1.29 from last year.

As Disney continues to mount the walls of the stock exchange, financial analysts marvel at other rising entertainment companies that could also benefit from such generous fortunes. One such company is Pixar, which Disney in fact bought in 2006.

Many believe the success of Pixar has something to do with former CEO Steve Jobs, who is also the head of Apple (AAPL). Pixar’s achievements include Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Wall-E and the academy award-winning Up.

Out of this bunch of leading entertainment companies, Dreamworks (DWA) has seen some great financial figures in past years with animated films such as Shrek, Monsters v. Aliens, and How to Train your Dragon. Some analysts are suggesting that flooding the market with 3-D films at a ticket price higher than a standard film has caused demand to drop subsequently, putting a damper on the company's earnings. Lew Coleman who is currently the CFO of Dreamworks commented on the lack of recent success of Shrek Forever After in some areas by saying, ‘I think you have to make a compelling case to have a 3D movie in 3D, like Avatar and Dragon. I don’t think we made that case for Shrek. If we had to do it all over again, we would probably do some things slightly different.’

Fortunately, there are plenty of other stocks in the entertainment field worth aiming your movie camera at, including several with decent dividends, which have been turned up by WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. The list can be downloaded, sorted, and changed.

Author owns DIS, AAPL, and DWA.

By Stockerblog.com

Friday, August 13, 2010

Warren Buffett on Chocolate and Candy

The following video of Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK-A) Warren Buffett, gives great insight into how he thinks before making an investment, how he created value added for the company, and increased sales substantially. No wonder why he is a billionaire and top trader and investor.

In the video, he discusses his purchase of See's Candies, which operates over 200 retail shops in the western United States. You will also see Buffett's sense of humor. If you have never had See's Candies, you need to try some at your first opportunity. You will love the peanut brittle, my favorite.



If you think there are investment opportunities with other candy companies, here are a couple worth looking at.

Hershey (HSY), founded in 1894, is the largest manufacturer of chocolate in North America and one of the largest chocolate and candy companies in the world. Hershey's Kisses were invented in 1901 and their chocolate chips were introduced in 1928. The stock has a P/E of 22, a forward PE of 17, with a flavorful yield of 2.8%. It sports a PEG ratio of 2.39.

Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. (TR) is known for its ever famous Tootsie Rolls. It also produces Apple Pops, Charms, Sugar Daddy, Sugar Babies, and Tootsie Roll Pops. The stock has a P/E and forward PE of 26 and sports a yield of 1.3%.

If you want to see a list of all the publicly traded candy and chocolate stocks, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Puget Sound Energy Distributes Rotten Egg Smell by Mail

Puget Sound Energy, which used to trade on the New York Stock Exchange, and is now privately held, distributes electricity to over a million customers and natural gas to over 700,000 customers. But this month, the company will be distributing something else, a scartch-and-sniff flyer that smells like rotten eggs. The company did this to let customers know what a gas leak aroma smells like.

Although you can't invest in this rotten eggs smell distributor, there are plenty of other natural gas utilities that are available for your portfolio, over 20 with yields above 3%. For example, Nicor Inc. (GAS), with the unforgettable stock ticker symbol, pays a dividend of 4.3% and sports a forward PE ration of 14.6. The company distributes natural gas to over 2 million customers in Illinois.

Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. (PNY), a North Carolina nat gas distributor with almost a million customers, pays a 4.1% yield and trades at 16 times forward earnings. The company was upgrades by Robert W. Baird Company in July.

For a list of over 20 high yield natural gas and propane utilities, you should check out the list at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Barbra Streisand Foundation $1.3 million Investment Loss

Barbara Streisand has a charitable foundation, which has suffered investment losses similar to many individuals on funds. The foundation just reported a loss of $1.3 million, primarily due to a drop in the value of some Ford Motor Credit notes, along with losses from investing in a couple of hedge funds.

Michael Douglas, also known as Gordon Gekko from the Wall Street movie, also has a charible foundation with stock market losses, in excess of $250,000.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Fourth Week of August


Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called 'Buying Dividends'. 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. In flat or choppy markets, your have to be extremely careful.

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.com has compiled a downloadable and sortable Excel list of the stocks going ex dividend during the next week or two. The list contains many dividend paying companies, all with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 3%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF) market cap: $14.2B ex div date: 8/23/2010 yield: 5.5%

The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (MHP) market cap: $9.1B ex div date: 8/24/2010 yield: 3.1%

Dominion Resources, Inc. (D) market cap: $25.8B ex div date: 8/25/2010 yield: 4.2%

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) market cap: $161.4B ex div date: 8/27/2010 yield: 3.7%

Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (TEG) market cap: $3.7B ex div date: 8/27/2010 yield: 5.6%

The additional 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.

Dividend definitions:

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

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

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

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

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

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Michigan Residents Using Gold and Silver Instead of US Dollars


Certain businesses and consumers in Michigan are taking devaluation of the dollar very seriously. Instead of paying their bills with dollar bills (or credit cards representing dollar bills), many residents are paying with gold and silver.

In addition, there are plenty of small businesses in Michigan that are advertising that they will accept gold and silver in lieu of dollars.

Have you stocked up on some precious metals? If not, maybe you should.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Two Stocks Do Warren Buffett and George Soros Agree On?

The two top traders/investors are Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK-A) (BRK-B) Warren Buffett and George Soros. Both of these billionaires have been investing in stocks for years, with very successful track records. If you look at the list of stocks that each own, you will find only two that they agree on.

First, there is the ever popular Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), which will be announcing earnings next week on August 17. The stock sports a forward price to earnings ratio of 11.6 and a reasonable price earnings growth ratio of 1.23. The stock even pays a 2.3% dividend.

Both of these traders also like the cable company, Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), which recently reported a 6% increase in revenues but an 8.6% drop in earnings. The stock carries a forward PE of 12.5 and a very decent PEG ratio of 1.19. The company recently raised its dividend to now generate a 2% yield.

For a list of stocks that Warren Buffett owns, along with other interesting stock lists, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

Top Selling Investing Books

Speaking of books, here are the top selling books in the Investing category, according to Amazon today:

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition)

Liar's Poker

The Millionaire Next Door

More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and the Making of a New Elite

One Good Trade: Inside the Highly Competitive World of Proprietary Trading (Wiley Trading)

Avoid Stocks, Short Government Bonds per Taleb

Best-selling author, Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility", has made a very depressing prediction. He believes that government bonds will collapse and that investors should stay away from bonds.

He recommends staying in cash for the next couple years. Not very optimistic.

By the way, we did a review of The Black Swan several months ago.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How to Get a Dividend from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway

Let's say that you are a dividend investor who likes Warren Buffett. It won't do you any good to by Berkshire Hathaway A shares (BRK-A) or B shares (BRK-B), since the stock doesn't pay a dividend. So what's an income investor to do? You check out the list of all the stocks owned by Warren Buffett, then find the stocks with the highest yields and best financials. WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has a downloadable list of all the Berkshire Hathaway stocks, over 15 of which have yields above 2% and nine of which have yields more than 3%.

One of the high yielding stocks on the list is the international integrated energy company ConocoPhillips (COP), which yields 3.8% and has a forward PE of 8.1. This Houston, Texas company has been around since 1917, and has raised its dividend every year since the year 2001.

Another Buffett high yielder is Sanofi Aventis (SNY), paying a nice rate of 3.6%. This is the Paris, France based pharmaceutical company that markets Plavix, Ambien, Allegra, Nasacort, and numerous other medicines and vaccines. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 7.

For more high yields and diversification, there is Kraft Foods (KFT), yielding 3.9%. This food, beverage, and snack company has a forward PE of 13.1.

To access a free list of the Warren Buffett stocks, which can be downloaded, changed, and sorted by yield and forward PE, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Author does not own any of the above.

By Stockerblog.com

If a College Student Speculates on his Grades, Is that Investing or Gambling?

A new website called Ultrinsic is now allowing to put their money where their report card is, speculating on what grade they will get in a class. The higher the grade you get, the more money you can make. (Where was this company when I was in college?)

Apparently, it is totally legal because it involves only skill, not chance (I guess unless you get stuck with the wrong professor).

You can even buy insurance against failing a class and bet that you will graduate with a 4.0 grade point average, at 100 to 1 odds.

It may be worth going to college, just so you can speculate on your grades.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Skype IPO: How to Buy Shares Before They Go Public

Skype has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell $100 million of shares in an Initial Public Offering. Want to get shares of Skype before they go public? Buy shares of eBay (EBAY), as they own a chunk of the company.

Congressmen Trade on Inside Information according to Report

According to a report by Law professor Stephen Bainbridge, US congressmen appear to have been stock trading on non-public information, and probably will never be prosecuted. According to another report, the 1990s, US senators outperformed the stock market by 12%!!!

Apple Bringing Out 9.7-inch iPad

Apple (AAPL) will be releasing a 9.7-inch iPad with 512MB of RAM and a new ARM Cortex-A9-based processor. In addition, Apple will be coming out with a new Apple TV which includes AMD's Fusion solution.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Did Microsoft Try to Get Involved in the Celebrity Game Show Business?

It may be hard to believe, but it looks like Microsoft (MSFT) may have tried to get into the celebrity game show business a few years ago. They were so serious about it that they even filed a patent on their idea, patent number 6,800,031 filed on April 15, 2002.

Here is the abstract:

"An interaction competition provides an entertaining enjoyable environment for a player to compete against a celebrity in a head-to-head trivia game. The questions may be associated with the celebrity rather than random general information or general trivia. The celebrity can participate via prerecorded audio media, prerecorded audio-visual media, or in a live real-time format. A goal of the competition is for a player to gain more points than the celebrity. Another goal of the competition is for the player to answer more questions correctly than the celebrity. At least one or more game episodes can be provided on computer-readable media. A game episode may be implemented with a product featuring a celebrity. The competition can be provided in many different gaming environments. The competition can be provided online via a web-based format; a television game show format; telephone call-in radio talk show format; or a cellular phone game format."


Author owns MSFT.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Book Review: Dividend Stocks For Dummies

As you are probably aware, I've written plenty of articles about dividend stocks, probably 75% of all the postings. So it is only natural that I review the book Dividend Stocks For Dummies by Lawrence Carrel. Designed for the beginning investors who are looking to generate more income than the half percent yield on CD's, and are willing to dip their foot into the income stock pool, the book explains in easy to understand detail how dividend stocks work, how to analyze the stocks, tax issues, and managing your portfolio.

The book even covers direct stock purchase plans and dividend reinvestment plans, along with how the ex-dividend dates and all the other related dates work. The section on risk is also important.

What was a big surprise for me about the book (and in the interest of full disclosure) is that one of the recommended web sites as a resource was our sister site, WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

"Wall Street News Network provides a lot of stock databases, including lists of which stocks go ex-dividend in each month and the highest yield stocks in a variety of industries , all compiled in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Take a look at wallstreetnewsnetwork.com."

If you are fairly new to dividend stock investments, get the book Dividend Stocks For Dummies.

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