Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Price of Gasoline in Pictures

Yes, it seems like every day the price of gas at the pump keeps going higher. It is hard to believe that back in January of 2009, the price per gallon of U.S. regular all-formulations retail gasoline was only $1.67 and now it is above $3.80 a gallon. If you have the privilege of living in California, you will pay an average price for regular of $4.21 per gallon and in the City of Los Angeles, the average price is $4.25 per gallon.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought I would provide you with a couple of graphs showing the increase in the price of gasoline since both 1990 and 2009.

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Second Week of May


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, you 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 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 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Entergy Corporation (ETR) market cap: $12.2B ex div date: 5/10/2011 yield: 4.9%

Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG) market cap: $856.8M ex div date: 5/10/2011 yield: 6.2%

Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) market cap: $42.0B ex div date: 5/11/2011 yield: 5.4%

Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI) market cap: $5.2B ex div date: 5/11/2011 yield: 5.8%

Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR) market cap: $8.5B ex div date: 5/11/2011 yield: 4.7%

Sonoco Products Company (SON) market cap: $3.5B ex div date: 5/11/2011 yield: 3.3%


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.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Dirty Money: Who Says the US Dollar is Weak?


Who says that the US dollar is weak? Look at what happened when I accidentally left my wallet in my jeans that went in the wash. All the currency survived with no rips or tears, and ended up fairly clean. Unfortunately, the wallet didn't make it. The US currency is stronger than you think.

Monday, April 25, 2011

High Yield Stocks From Our Neighbor to the North

What is happening in Canada? If you look at the iShares MSCI Canada Index Fund (EWC) over the last year, it is up over 22%. Canada has weathered the banking crisis and housing crisis much better than the United States. Fortunately for income investors looking for diversification, our northern neighbor has over a dozen stocks with yields above 3% according the recently updated free list of top yielding Canadian stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY) is one of Canada's major banks, based in Toronto, Ontario and yields 3.8%. Jim Cramer mentioned it on Mad Money today as a bank worth investing in and a much better alternative to British banks. The stock trades at 11.2 times forward earnings.

TransCanada Corp. (TRP) is a Calgary based oil and gas pipeline company which yields 4.4%. The stock has a forward price to earnings ration of 16.7. The stock just hit a 52 week high last Friday.

Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI), a Toronto based communications and media company, yields 3.5% and trades at 10.5 times forward earnings. It is interesting to note the the company has increased dividends every quarter since 2008.

To see a list of over 15 high yield Canada stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, changed, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the First Week of May


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, you 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 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 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Southern Copper Corporation (SCCO) market cap: $31.3B ex div date: 5/2/2011 yield: 6.1%

Global Partners LP (GLP) market cap: $598.0M ex div date: 5/2/2011 yield: 7.2%

E.ON AG ADR (EONGY) market cap: $61.5B ex div date: 5/3/2011 yield: 6.6%

Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. (HCBK) market cap: $5.0B ex div date: 5/3/2011 yield: 3.4%

Navios Maritime Partners L.P. (NMM) market cap: $1.2B ex div date: 5/3/2011 yield: 8.1%

Intel Corporation (INTC) market cap: $115.6B ex div date: 5/4/2011 yield: 3.4%

Nokia Corporation ADR (NOK) market cap: $32.0B ex div date: 5/4/2011 yield: 6.3%

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.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Real Estate Video of the Week: Secret Garage Door

Watch the front of this house in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ron Paul's House is For Sale


Ron Paul is a medical doctor, a Congressman, and libertarian (but Republican registered) presidential candidate in 2008. He was the second most searched for person back in September of 2007 after Paris Hilton. Supposedly, in the primaries, he received more votes from the 18 to 25 year olds than any other candidate, Republican or Democrat. (What is ironic is that he was the oldest candidate at the time.)

Now his house is up for sale in Lake Jackson, Texas for $325,000. The size is about 5,500 square feet with 4 bedrooms, 2 with lofts, 5 bathrooms, and an oversize pool. This has generated a lot of interest from those that want to use it as a libertarian retreat, a libertarian museum, or just a nice home to live in just ten minutes from the beach.

First Spaceship Landed at San Francisco Airport

Virgin Galactic's conjoined WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo landed in the newly opened Terminal #2 at SFO. Richard Branson, along with guests and journalists, landed at the new terminal in an Airbus A320 on a parallel runaway.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monthly Dividend Stocks

There are plenty of benefits to owning stocks that pay their dividends monthly. According to the Excel list that was just updated by WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, there are over 200 different companies that pay dividends monthly, many of which have high yields. Technically, these stocks are real estate investment trusts, oil income trusts, closed end bond funds, and closed end income stock funds, which pay dividends every month. Advantages to receiving monthly dividends as opposed to quarterly or annual dividend stocks are that the invested capital is returned faster, compounding takes place quicker, and there is usually less price volatility of the investment. Also, many of monthly dividend investments pay dividends that are tax free.

An example is the MFS Multimarket Income Trust (MMT) which pays a yield of 7.80%. The stock trades at a 9.2% to net asset value. The company, which has been around since 1987, has a management fee of 0.82%.

Gas Natural Inc. (EGAS), formerly known as Energy, Inc., is a distributor of natural gas in Montana, Wyoming, North Carolina, and Maine. It was founded in 1909. The stock pays a yield of 4.6% and carries a price to earnings ratio of 12.7.

Baytex Energy (BTE) is an investment trust which generates income from petroleum and natural gas properties. It generates a yield of 4.2%, and has been paying monthly since 2006. The company trades at 22.4 times forward earnings.

Realty Income Corp. (O), with the great single letter stock ticker symbol, yields 5.0%. This real estate investment trust which specializes in commercial retail real estate, has been around since 1969. The stock trades at 16.7 times forward earnings.

Calamos Convertible & High Income (CHY) has a decent yield of 6.9%. However, the management fee is a bit on the high side at 1.13%. This CEF, founded in 2003, invests in high yield fixed income securities and convertible securities.

Provident Energy Trust (PVX) is a Canadian income trust which generates a yield of 6.1% through the marketing of natural gas liquids. It was founded in 1993. Canada's new legislation which taxes trust income goes into effect this year. This would tax the trusts at the corporate level in addition to the shareholder level. However, many analysts believe that this taxation is build into the price of these Canadian trusts.

Use caution choosing these investments. Avoid the ones with high management fees, watch out for the ones with limited liquidity and which trade very few shares on a daily basis, and if you invest in the municipal bond closed end funds, make sure you know the consequences of the Alternative Minimum Tax. You also want to find the ones that trade at a discount to net asset value, and avoid the ones using excessive leverage.

To see the latest updated list of over 225 monthly dividend stocks, including many that have yields of 8% or more, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. Remember, very high yields may not be sustainable.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Cool Pen: Point the Pen at Any Color and Start Writing with that Color


This has nothing to do with investing or stocks, but I stumbled upon an interesting item at StumbleUpon.com. It is an unusual pen with which you hold the top up to an item with a color you want, such as a leaf or apple, then you can start writing with that color which is automatically generated by the pen.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

University of Texas owns $1 Billion worth of Gold


Now the the price of gold has cracked above the $1500 per ounce level and silver has broken above $45 per ounce, it is interesting to see who the big buyers are and how much they are investing.

The endowment for the University of Texas, The University of Texas Investment Management Co., has purchased and taken delivery of around $1 billion worth of gold and is storing it in a vault in New York.

Will this be the beginning of a trend? If so, watch for much higher prices.

Investing and the Irrational Mind

Book Review

Investing and the Irrational Mind: Rethink Risk, Outwit Optimism, and Seize Opportunities Others Miss by Robert Koppel shows how to get beyond the negative psychological impulses that prevent investors from making money in the stock market. Koppel is a behavioral finance expert who was a former member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, a hedge fund partner, and president of his own division at Rand Financial. He shows why your brain gets negative messages when investing.

One of the important features of the book is how he shows how to adjust your investment objective based on your psychology and how to avoid irrational thoughts when making decisions. He also covers intuition, and how it can be an important and useful tool.

Chapter 11, Taking a Loss, is an important one as this is something that most investors hate to do. Check out the tables that shows the physical and emotional symptoms of taking a loss, along with the follow-up tables relating to visual, auditory, and sensory imagery.

If you want a book that can help you succeed in the stock market using your mind and psychology, then you should delve into Investing and the Irrational Mind: Rethink Risk, Outwit Optimism, and Seize Opportunities Others Miss.

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Fourth Week of April


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, you 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 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 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Reed Elsevier NV ADR (ENL) market cap: $50.1B ex div date: 4/25/2011 6.6%

NiSource Inc. (NI) market cap: $5.4B ex div date: 4/27/2011 yield: 4.8%

Prospect Capital Corporation (PSEC) market cap: $1.1B ex div date: 4/27/2011 yield: 10.0%

Banco Santander, S.A. ADR (STD) market cap: $98.8B ex div date: 4/27/2011 yield: 10.6%

Bank of Montreal (BMO) market cap: $36.9B ex div date: 4/28/2011 yield: 4.5%

Fifth Street Finance Corp. (FSC) market cap: $735.0M ex div date: 4/28/2011 yield: 9.6%

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.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Golf Balls Made Out of Lobster Shells: What are Golf Stocks Made Out Of?

Scientists at the University of Maine have developed environmentally friendly golf balls made out of discarded lobster shells from the canning industry. The lobster balls, which appear to work as well as regular golf balls, will dissolve in water after a week. So they are made from recycled materials and are biodegradable.

Which leads us to wonder, are there any pure plays or semi pure plays in the golfing industry? WallStreetNewsNetwork.com has identified over ten companies involved in golf courses, golf clubs, and golf equipment on its free list called Golf Stocks.

There is the noted Callaway Golf Co. (ELY), which makes and sells golf clubs and and golf balls, including the Big Bertha line, the RAZR, and the Diablo Octane golf clubs. The stock trades at 18.3 times forward earnings and sports a small yield of 0.6%.

Golfsmith International Holdings (GOLF) is a retailer of golf and tennis equipment and trades at 16.3 forward earnings, but does not pay a dividend.

Most investors think of Fortune Brands (FO) as a liquor company, which offers such brands as Jim Beam, Canadian Club, and Harveys. However, the company also has a division that makes and market golf balls, clubs, shoes & gloves. The stock has a current price to earnings ratio of 20.0, a forward PE of 16.8, and pays a yield of 1.2%.

For a free list of golf stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author owns ELY.

By Stockerblog.com

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Top Real Estate Investing Books


According to Amazon, these are the top selling real estate investing books:

Investing in Real Estate

Rich Dad's Advisors®: The ABC's of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss

What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow... And 36 Other Key Financial Measures

Rich Dad's Advisors: The Advanced Guide to Real Estate Investing: How to Identify the Hottest Markets and Secure the Best Deals

How to Make Money in Real Estate in the New Economy

Investing in Apartment Buildings: Create a Reliable Stream of Income and Build Long-Term Wealth

Profit by Investing in Real Estate Tax Liens: Earn Safe, Secured, and Fixed Returns Every Time

Green Cloud Stocks


If you watch much television, you have probably seen several commercials relating to Microsoft's (MSFT) Cloud service. So what is this 'cloud' that all these techies are talking about?

An easy way to explain cloud computing is having your programs and data stored remotely on a server far away, instead of on your own individual computer. As long as you have an Internet connection, you can have a fairly dumb computer ans still utilize cloud computing. The clouds are simply the servers of companies that provide this service, and those servers can be located anywhere in the world. If you have Yahoo (YHOO) mail, Google (GOOG) gmail, or hotmail, then you are using cloud computing in a small way. You don't have the email servers in your office or home, you use the Yahoo or Google servers. Many colleges and universities are turning over their student email services to Google, which saves them money on servers and saves on staffing for support.

These same benefits apply to companies, especially when extended to data storage and computer software. There is no need for a technician to come out and install new software to each employees' station. There is also no need for a bunch of network administrators monitoring the company's servers.

In addition to the personnel side, there are also many green (and financial) benefits. Companies don't need to periodically upgrade computers, and they don't need to own a lot of servers. The costs and issues relating to the disposal of old computers and servers is reduced dramatically. There is no need to deal with data security, as that is the job of the cloud computing company. The benefits of clouds are extensive, and there are over 25 stocks in the cloud field, according to the Cloud Computer Stock list at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, which includes companies involved in server farms and outsourced storage systems.

One fast growing example is Salesforce.com (CRM), which is a provider of customer-relationship management services that has promoted 'the end of software'. Salesforce has customers ranging from the very small to the very large, including Corporate Express division of Staples (SPLS), Daiwa Securities (DSECY.PK), Expedia (EXPE), Dow Jones Newswires subsidiary of News Corp. (NWS-A), SunTrust Banks (STI), and Kaiser Permanente. Salesforce trades at a very high 72 times forward earnings. Revenues for the latest quarter were up 29%, however, earnings dropped almost 47%.

VMware (VMW) is another major cloud and virtualization company. Its product VMware vSphere is a cloud computing data center platform. It sports a forward price to earnings ratio of 39.6. The company reported that latest earnings increased an amazing 112% in earnings on a 37% increase in revenues.

Citrix Systems, Inc. (CTXS) provides on demand applications and online services, including GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, GoToTraining, GoToAssist, and GoToMyPC. This debt free company has a forward PE of 28. The latest quarterly earnings were up 7% on a revenue increase of 17%.

To access a free Excel spreadsheet database of numerous companies involved in cloud computing in some way, that can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to wsnn.com. You can also get info on the green aspects of cloud computing from my book The Green Light on Green Stocks: A Quick Guide to Green Investing and Making Money in Alternative Energy Stocks, in which I described cloud computing as a green industry and a way of providing money saving services to many corporations.

Disclosure: Author owns YHOO.


By Stockerblog.com

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stocks of the Most Widely Consumed Psychoactive Substance in the World

Can you guess what 'the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world' is? It's not marijuana or cocaine. It's not alcohol (is alcohol psychoactive?). It is coffee. According to an article in the Public Library of Science Genetics Journal, there is statistical evidence that the consumption of caffeine may be an inherited trait based on genetics, not just due to demographic and social factors. (Thanks to Casey Research for fining this study.) Coffee drinkers are consuming about seven million metric tons of coffee every year. With this much demand, investors should take a look at the companies involved in the coffee industry, of which there are about ten, according to the list at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Starbucks (SBUX) is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, operating in 50 countries with over 17,009 stores worldwide. The stock trades at 20 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 1.5%. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 43.5% on an 8% increase in revenues.

Caribou Coffee Company, Inc. (CBOU) is another, albeit smaller, coffeehouse operator which trades at 20.3 times forward earnings. This Minnesota based company has over 500 coffeehouses. Earnings for the latest quarter were up 45.9% on a 1.8% increase in revenues.

Coffee Holding Co. (JVA) is a roaster of wholesale coffee which markets wholesale green coffee, private label coffee, and branded coffee in the United States and Canada. The stock trades at 10.1 times forward earnings and has a favorable yield of 2.3%.

The iPath DJ-UBS Coffee TR Sub-Index ETN (JO) is an exchange traded fund which has a goal of tracking the Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index. It has had a one year total return of 85.5% and a year-to-date return of 10.5%.

For a free list of coffee stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Third Week of April


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, you 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 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 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Comtech Telecomm. Corp. (CMTL) market cap: $725.3M ex div date: 4/19/2011 yield: 3.7%

Eaton Vance Municipal Income Trust (EVN) market cap: $265.9M ex div date: 4/19/2011 yield: 8.5%

Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd. (TNP) market cap: $503.0M ex div date: 4/19/2011 yield: 5.5%

Royal Bank of Canada (RY) market cap: $88.4B ex div date: 4/21/2011 yield: 3.3%

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.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Betting on the Stock Market

Guest article

Successful traders and successful gamblers tend to fit a similar profile, with many of the same skills utilized in each to book a profit over the long run. They both tackle high-risk, high-reward situations where the ability to analyze and piece together information is crucial to success, as well as having control over the emotions and rely on reason instead of gut instincts when plying their different trades.

It ís possible to go on a huge winning streak playing online roulette and win thousands of dollars, but eventually the odds will catch up to you if you're just betting big on black 29 every spin of the wheel. Some gamblers, though, can legitimately profit in the long run, especially if they're playing poker or betting on sports. Since they're competing against other players and not against the house, poker and sports betting is much less like gambling and much more like investing in the market.

Investors have to be willing to take on risk every time they open or close a position, and they're effectively betting that their analysis of a situation is better than what the street things. If an investor believes that a stock is oversold and a great value, when they take a position they're placing a wager on their own research and analytic skills. Not every trade is a winner, just like a successful poker player doesn't win every hand, but picking slightly more winners than losers is enough to amass substantial profits over time.

One key trait for both traders and gamblers is the ability to control their emotions, especially in the face of heavy losses. The greatest traders in the world will have stretches where every position they take goes against them, and this can last for days, weeks, or even months. The key is to keep control over your emotions and avoid the temptation to try to get all your losses back with a big, ill-advised trade or bet. Chasing losses has doomed many gamblers and traders alike, so being able to always stay in control and have a plan is crucial to success.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Not What You Say But How You Say It

This video, The Power of Words, has nothing to do with investments or the stock market, but I thought you would enjoy it.

UFO Flying Saucer Memo Released by the FBI


Back in 2007, I wrote an article about The UFO Stock Index, which was based on the sponsors of the 60th Anniversary Roswell UFO Festival.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has created a section of its website called The Vault, which has many of the archived documents that the FBI is now making available to the public. One of the interesting items that turned up is a memo describing three flying saucers with 3 foot high human-like beings inside. You can see the actual memo HERE in pdf format.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Business Development Corps Yielding over 8%

A private equity firm is a company that invests in the equity and/or debt of private companies. Many of these firms are limited to accredited investors. But according to a list at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, there are over 20 that are publicly traded on the NYSE or NASDAQ, with yields ranging from 3.5% to 12.6%. Some of these companies are registered as Business Development Corporations.

A Business Development Corporation, also known as a Business Development Company or BDC, is a publicly traded private equity fund. Many private equity companies are registered as BDCs for tax advantages, generally paying no corporate income tax because at least 90 percent of their income, profits, and capital gains are paid out as taxable dividends to investors.

PennantPark Investment (PNNT) is a business development company that yields 9%, and has been paying quarterly dividends since June of 2007. The company invests between $10 million and $50 million in each of its portfolio companies, holding mezzanine debt, senior secured loans, and equity investments. The stock trades at 11.4 times forward earnings and has a forward price to earnings ratio of 9.6. PennantPark invests in such companies as the hot tub and spa manufacturer Jacuzzi Brands Corp., Learning Care Group, Inc. which is owner of one of the largest early education and child care providers La Petite Academy, and VPSI, the world's largest vanpool service provider.

TICC Capital (TICC) is a BDC that has been paying dividends quarterly since 2004, and yield 8.4%. The stock has a PE of 5.0 and a forward PE of 10.0. The company invests in secured and unsecured senior debt, subordinated debt, junior subordinated debt, preferred stock, and common stock of both private and public companies, specializing in technology, media, telecommunications, and medical equipment. The company's investments include NetQuote, Inc., the web-based portal for insurance companies and consumers, and StayOnline, Inc. a provider of wireless high-speed Internet access solutions for the lodging industry, and Ai Squared, a manufacturer of assistive technology software which makes the screen magnification program ZoomText.

Golub Capital (GBDC) is a private equity BDC firm that just went public last year. It yields 7.9%, payable quarterly, and trades at 11.4 times forward earnings.

To see a list of over 20 high yield business development companies and private equity firms, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com. Several of these companies pay dividends monthly and more than a dozen have yields above 8%.

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


By Stockerblog.com

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Dividend Based on the Price of Gold

Here is an interesting inflation hedge for income investors. Newmont Mining Corporation (NEM) is planning its dividend payments based on the average sales price for gold. The expected payment date based on this formula is June 29, 2011. According to the company:
"The annual payout will increase at a rate of $0.20 per share for each $100 per ounce rise in the average realized gold price. At the current gold price of approximately $1,450 per ounce (i.e. between $1,400 - $1,499 per ounce), Newmont's annual dividend would be $1.00 per share. Subject to Board approval, the first quarterly dividend under this policy is expected to be payable on June 29, 2011 to shareholders of record on June 16, 2011."

The company believes that by 2017, it can produce 7 million ounces of attributable annual gold production, and that based on today's prices of precious metals, it can achieve internal rates of return in excess of 20%. At the end of last year, the company has $5 billion in cash and marketable securities. This was prior to the purchase of Fronteer for $2 billion. The stock trades at 12.75 times forward earnings and is currently generating a yield of 1.0%.

Newmont isn't the only gold mining company that generates a yield. There are plenty of others, according to the list of gold mining dividend stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, with yields as high as 6%.

One example is Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX), which yields 1.7%, payable quarterly. The company, which mines for copper, gold, molybdenum, silver, and cobalt, trades at 9 times forward earnings.

Another is ASA Limited (ASA), which is an investment trust that invests in stocks of companies engaged in the exploration, mining or processing of gold, silver, platinum, and diamonds. It sports a price to earnings ratio of 7 and a yield of 2.0%.

For a list of all the dividend paying gold mining companies, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

Disclosure: Author didn't own any of the above at the time the article was written.


By Stockerblog.com

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Buffett Bargains

Warren Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) (BRK-B), has numerous fans, and a few critics. However, the critics don't have a much of a leg to stand on, especially when several of the stocks he owns traded at 52 week highs on Wednesday. If you look at the list of Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway stocks at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com, you will notice that Coca-Cola (KO) traded at its one year high yesterday, along with Moody's (MCO) and Costco (COST).

So are there any Buffett stocks that haven't made their move? Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has traded between 56.86 and 66.20 during the last twelve months, closing at 59.66 yesterday. The stock trades at 11.6 times forward earnings, and pays a nice yield of 3.6%. Dividends have increased every year for many years.

Gannett Co., Inc. (GCI) at 15.20 per share, is trading about half way between the 52 week trading range of 11.65 to 19.69. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 6.3 and pays a yield of 1.0%.

USG Corporation (USG) is another Buffett stock which is trading at the lower range of trading for the last 52 weeks. The stock closed at 16.14, with a range of 11.34 to 25.59. The stock has generated negative earnings and doesn't pay a dividend.

To see a list of all the Warren Buffett Berkshire Hathaway stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

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


By Stockerblog.com

Stocks Going Ex Dividend the Second Week of April


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, you 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 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 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the market capitalization, the ex-dividend date and the yield.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) market cap: $75.9B ex div date: 4/13/2011 yield: 3.9%

Saul Centers, Inc. (BFS) market cap: $832.7M ex div date: 4/13/2011 yield: 3.3%

Corus Entertainment Inc. (CJREF) market cap: $1.7B ex div date: 4/13/2011 yield: 3.7%

Foot Locker, Inc. (FL) market cap: $3.1B ex div date: 4/13/2011 yield: 3.4%

Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR) market cap: $9.2B ex div date: 4/13/2011 yield: 4.5%

Consolidated Communications Holdings Inc. (CNSL) market cap: $556.6M ex div date: 4/13/2011 yield: 8.3%

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.

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

By Stockerblog.com

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

High Yield Short Squeeze Plays

Investors in dividend paying stocks might want to take a different approach to looking for stocks. Many stock traders look for short squeeze plays. These are stocks that have a large number of shares that have been shorted. Traders are hoping that on any good news, the short sellers will jump at buying in their shares, driving up the stock's price.

Short interest in a stock could indicate that the stock is well positioned for a short squeeze in the event a positive catalyst occur. A short squeeze takes place when a heavily shorted stock is quickly bought back in by the short-sellers in order to cover their bearish positions, driving the price of the stock up sharply. The most common measurement for short interest is the short ratio, which measures the numbers of days it would take the short-sellers to cover their positions based on recent average daily volume. Surprisingly, there are several high dividend stocks listed on some of the high yield lists at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com that have been heavily shorted.

For example, Rogers Communication (RCI), the Canadian media company that yields 3.9%, has a Days to Cover Ratio, also known as a Short Interest Ratio, of 62.8. This means that if the short sellers decided to cover, it would take them almost 63 days to buy in their shares, based on the current daily volume of the stock. Rogers trades at 10.6 times forward earnings.

The egg distributor Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. (CALM), has a short ratio of 27.1 and yields a generous 6.4%. The stock carries a forward price to earnings ratio of 15.

TransAlta Corp. (TAC) is a non-regulated electric utility that generates electricity from coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, and biomass that yields 5.6%. The stock has a short ratio of 29.4 and a forward PE of 17.

Alexander's Inc. (ALX), the real estate investment company that own New York real estate, has a yield of 2.9% and a short ratio of 29.8. The stock trades at 32 times earnings.

For free lists of high yield stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

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


By Stockerbog.com

Monday, April 04, 2011

One-Armed Puzzle Solvers vs. Multi-Armed Detectives

One-Armed Puzzle Solvers vs. Multi-Armed Detectives
By Vikram Mansharamani,
Author of Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst


Among the many insightful comments made by U.S. presidents over the years, perhaps the most pertinent with respect to the study of financial booms and busts was made by President Harry Truman: "Someone give me a one-armed economist!" The statement, made in response to the constant "on the one hand…on the other hand" analysis presented to him by his advisors, captured the discomfort most decision makers have with ambiguity and uncertainty.

For better or worse, the world in which we now find ourselves is plagued with ambiguity and uncertainty. Globalization has created economic interconnectedness and international geopolitical linkages that are now an undeniable reality of our sociopolitical-economic existence. Recent events in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and even the unfortunate Japanese natural disaster confirm this interpretation. The world is more complex, more uncertain, more dynamic, and more volatile than ever before, and although our situation has transformed, our approach to addressing problems has not. We continue to rely heavily on analysis originating from singular perspectives (economics, politics, psychology, science, etc.). Unfortunately, this approach is ill-suited to today's issues.

There is an inherent and profound difference between problems for which an answer exists and can be found versus problems for which no obvious answer exists. The former case has been labeled as a "puzzle" or "secret" while the latter case is considered a "mystery." Puzzles are black and white. Mysteries are shades of grey.

Climate change, geopolitical upheaval and interdependence, sustainable economic development, and resource preservation are all issues that are characterized by ambiguity and uncertainty. Understanding them requires probabilistic thinking and scenario-planning. We need to understand that these issues are more like "mysteries" than like "puzzles." There is not a correct answer to the question of sustainable economic development. Nor is there a single solution to addressing climate change or resource scarcity. The best we can hope for with mysteries is to constructively frame the problem in a manner that helps us understand its evolution and probabilistically estimate various scenarios. Addressing a mystery is an attempt to understand ambiguities.

Given that puzzles and mysteries are fundamentally different, it should come as no surprise that they necessitate radically different approaches. Note the relative importance of information and information gathering in each problem.

In the case of a puzzle, the problem is simple: a lack of specific information drives the need for more and more information. More information may contain the answer, so the best approach to addressing a puzzle is to get more information.

Mysteries, on the other hand, are less clear. Information is plentiful, and additional data is unlikely to enhance understanding. In addressing mysteries, more information is likely to make the problem more difficult to understand. There is no answer per se in the form of specific data. Rather, insight exists in how the data comes together. We need integrated analysis that looks across differing sources of data and evaluates existing information through multiple lenses to uncover a probabilistic answer of how best to understand the situation.

Given insights that help elucidate mysteries exist within the mountains of already-available information and data, the key to understanding mysteries lies in filtering and data analysis. The use of any one filter is necessarily going to be biased -- a reality that necessitates the need for multiple lenses. More information will only exacerbate these biases, whereas multiple perspectives will help filter and extract insight from information.

Consider financial booms and busts. Financial booms and busts are mysteries; they are, particularly from an a priori perspective, probabilistic events for which multidisciplinary analysis is essential. Addressing financial booms and busts as a puzzle may not only prove to be without value, it may in fact have negative impacts and lead to gross misunderstandings.

Thinking of booms and busts as puzzles will lead to a greater emphasis on singular perspectives. It leads to an emphasis on depth of data versus breadth of information. It leads to deeper and more thorough understanding of particular information, but it misses the point that information is not the essential element. There are plenty of "dots" but the connections between them are lacking.

As noted by Malcolm Gladwell, "a puzzle grows simpler with the addition of each new piece of information" while "mysteries require judgment and the assessment of uncertainty." Conceiving of financial booms and busts as a mystery necessitates the application of different lenses to develop a probabilistic interpretation of the facts to better understand the mystery.

Economists, political scientists, psychologists, and even hard scientists have much to learn from each other. Adopting a singular perspective -- while useful for puzzle work -- will not help with mystery work. What we need today are analysts who employ a multidisciplinary perspective to connect the dots. It is no longer adequate to study the bark without acknowledging the tree. Even better, we should remember we're in a forest. While the one-armed analyst sought by Truman might make for easier decisions, a five-armed analyst is likely to guide leaders toward better decisions.

Vikram Mansharamani is the author of Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst, recently published by John Wiley & Sons. The book presents a multi-disciplinary method for identifying unsustainable booms in financial markets.

© 2011 Vikram Mansharamani, author of Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst. Reprinted by permission of the publicist.


Author Bio
Vikram Mansharamani, author of Boombustology: Spotting Financial Bubbles Before They Burst is an experienced global equity investor and lecturer at Yale University, where he teaches a seminar called "Financial Booms and Busts." Mansharamani has a PhD and MS from the MIT Sloan School of Management, an MS in political science from the MIT Security Studies Program, and a BA from Yale University. He currently lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Utility Stocks that Increased Dividends

Income investors like the dividends they receive from gas and electric utilities, but they love dividend increases. If investors reinvest their dividends, then compounding can be significantly greater when the dividends are rising. In the last couple months, a few of the top yielding utility stocks listed at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com boosted their dividend payouts.

For example, the Arizona based electric utility, UniSource Energy Corporation (UNS), bumped up its quarterly dividend to $0.42 a share, an increase of 7.7%. The stock trades at 13 times forward earnings and has a yield of 4.7%.

WGL Holdings, Inc. (WGL) is an Eastern US natural gas distributor that serves Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia. The company is now paying a quarterly dividend of $0.3875 per share, up 2.6% from its previous payout. The stock has a forward price to earnings ratio of 16 and yields 4.1%.

For investors looking for diversification, the Reaves Utility Income Fund (UTG) is a closed end fund that trades on the NYSE American Stock Exchange. The fund increased its monthly dividend by 8.7% to $0.125 per share, giving a yield of about 5.6%. This is the fifth dividend increase since 2004.

To access a free list of all the top yielding electric and gas utility stocks, which can be downloaded, sorted, and updated, go to WallStreetNewsnetwork.com.

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


By Stockerblog.com

Drink a Big Glass of Water Before Making Investment Decisions

No, it's not the water in your body that helps, it's the water in your bladder. A recent scientific study shows that people with a full bladder make better decisions. According to a research study at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, individuals who have a full bladder make better decisions.

The scientists also discovered that just thinking about urination can help improve judgment.

Friday, April 01, 2011

NASDAQ and ICE Making Takeover Offer for NYSE


Nasdaq (NDAQ) and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) are making a joint offer of $11.3 billion offer for NYSE Euronext (NYX), the parent of the New York Stock Exchange. I have previously predicted stock exchange takeover activity in an article back in February. Just one week later, the NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse (DBOEY.PK), which operates the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, had agreed to a $10 billion stock merger.

NYSE Euronext, Inc. operates the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext and NYSE Arca. The stock trades at 13 times forward earnings and pays a yield of 3.4%.

The biggest American competitor to NYX is Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. which trades on its own exchange. NASDAQ was founded in 1971, and went public in 2002. It is the largest electronic screen-based equity securities trading market in the United States and second-largest by market capitalization in the world. The stock has a forward P/E of 10.

IntercontinentalExchange, Inc. (ICE) operates regulated futures exchange and over-the-counter markets, and derivatives clearing exchanges. The stock trades at 16 times forward earnings.

CME Group Inc. (CME) operates the CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX futures and options exchanges that trade futures contracts and options on futures contracts on interest rates, stock indexes, and other investments. The stock has a forward PE ratio of 16 and sports a yield of 1.9%.

To access other interesting stock lists like this, you should check out the various free downloadable stock lists at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.

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

By Stockerblog.com

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