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The Big Bad Bear
The big bad bear is stirring again. So far he has stretched, yawned and peaked out of his cave. After his almost year-long nap he is hungry. A nice big steak would hit the spot.
That steak comes from cattle and not too far from his den there is a fat complacent bull munching in the pasture. He has his tail towards the bear and Mr. Bear remembers that 3 years ago he walked up to another bull and bit him in the backside. It looks like he can do it again.
We know who bull and bear really are. It seems that almost everyone is bullish and thinks we are in another bull market like the one in 1999 where all investors thought they were geniuses. History has taught (for those who wish to listen and learn) that major bull markets are followed by bear markets of equal length. The major bull came to an end after 18 years in 2000. Can we expect an 18-year bear market? If history repeats its cycle the answer is yes.
The recent return of the upward movement of stock prices from last year is very typical of rallies in bear markets. Many have a 50% retracement of the first down leg (as happened after the big break in 1929) that tops out with the resumption of the downward path.
Today our bull is feeding on the lowest interest rates in 40 years, a tax cut that puts extra money in the hands of consumers (where it belongs) and a strong housing market plus the belief that the market always does well in an election year. Let's hope all these things will come to pass.
The worst problem for investors is their complacency. They start making money and forget to protect their profits. These slip away when the market starts down and their broker says, "Don't worry. The market always comes back". If the investor did not learn to protect his assets from the 2000 debacle he is doomed to lose again. What should he do?
He should protect his investment account with stop-loss orders on all stocks and mental stops for all mutual funds. Brokers hate this and will try to talk their clients out of doing it. Why? Because he makes a commission as long as you are invested and nothing if you have cash in your money market.
It is better to make 1% in a money market than lose 20% or more of the principle as the market heads south. You don't have to be a market "expert" to place a stop. Decide how much risk you are will to take 5%, 10%, 15%? And place your stop accordingly.
When this bear comes out of his cave don't let him bite you ? you know where.
Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at http://www.mutualfundmagic.com and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.
Investment Attorneys and Garbage Stocks
How is it possible that trash Companies are posting less than expected results? Trash Companies are thought of by prudish investors as some of the safest stocks to own. Ask Warren in his Buffet of Essays on Corporate America. Companies which service the needs of the people tend to stay afloat longer and respond very little to economic down turn. Most investment advisors and attorneys would agree. And anyone who has ever stopped to ponder the idea of recession proof businesses would inevitably put Trash and Refuse companies at the top of the list. What other companies? Environmental Companies, Security Companies, Cigarette makers, vice industries (gambling, drinking, risqué type businesses).
Race Horses and Mutual Funds
For years investors have been taught to look into the composition of a mutual funds. In other words the "experts" want you to take the time to analyze the stocks within the mutual fund portfolio, categorize them by industry group and try to understand the objective of the fund manager. This is nonsense.
Invest, Be Wrong, and Make Money in the Stock Market
I have been trading for several decades and was an exchange member and floor trader for 17 years. You learn fast there or you go broke in a hurry. As you can see I managed to hold my own for a few years until I found the secret and started to become a successful trader. Every professional trader I know knows the one great secret and that is to keep your losses small.
Inverted Interest Rates
Inverted interest rates? What's that? Who cares? Even if you don't understand what Mr. Greenspan is saying (and almost nobody does) it is important to you because it could mean you might lose you job next year or have to cut back on some of the things you want to acquire.
When you stand on the ocean shore and watch the waves breaking you might become aware that the tide is coming in or going out. It is a slow process to watch the water retreat and when it finally gets to its lowest point it is almost impossible to tell if it has stopped or will retreat further. Plenty of wave action, but going nowhere.
The Holy Grail (of Investment)
Every year I go to the Money Show in Orlando, Florida. Thousands attend. It is mostly an older crowd with the youngsters about 40 years of age. I have been saying for years that until you have lost enough money trying to make a fortune you will not become serious about investing. The under 40's are shooting for the moon and it has finally dawned on the over 40's (maybe it's the over 50's) that they must find a better way to get rich.
Market Experience of a Naïve Stock Operator
Sometime in the third quarter of 1997, someone told me that I should play the stock market. Knowing nothing about the stock market, I turned to some colleagues to seem to know a lot about it. Following their advice, I opened an account with a stock brokerage company. Well, up to that point it was simple enough. But what should do I do next? So I go to my knowledgeable colleague of mine again. But now he says nothing. Hmm... The very person who was interested in opening an account for me, is completely indifferent now.
Historical Briefing: Stocks, Finance and Money
The World Bank claims that some two billion of the world's citizens live on $1 per day or less! That fact absolutely shocked me. With this statistic in mind it becomes important to focus on all of the things that have served as money over the history of civilization. Aztecs used Cocoa beans, Norwegians used Butter and dried cod, many Indian tribes used animal skins and some of the early colonists used grains. It's worth thinking about this the next time you pick up your paycheck. The word "salary" is derived from the word SALT, which is what was the key currency of the North Africans for hundreds of years. SALT was a key commodity substance used for preserving food.
Low Expense Ratio
One of the big advertising kicks today from mutual funds is to tell how low their expense ratio is and that you will make a great deal more money if you buy and hold with them. Partly true, but that is not the whole story.
E-mini Day Trading - Day Trading for Beginners - Stock Market Timing Software
I mean it when I say that. While plastic silverware is fine for picnics and parties, it is totally inappropriate in a surgeon's hand with an open brain in front of him. Not only are plastic forks built incorrectly to perform delicate surgery, their cheap construction may actually cause further injury to the patient. I don't know about you, but I sure wouldn't want someone prodding around inside my head with one of those things!
Series 7 Exam
What is the Series 7 Exam? If you are looking to become a licensed Stockbroker, you need to know about the Series 7. The Series 7 is a 250 question exam that when passed, licenses you to act as a Registered Representative. Persons who receive this license are allowed to sell most securities. These securities would include: Stock, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds and Annuities. The license itself is active while you are practicing it. Practicing with a Series 7 means that you are either employed or affiliated with a member firm. If you leave the business, your license will still remain active for 2 years after your last day with the firm. If you do not re-enter the business within 2 years, your license will expire. You would then have to re-take the exam again. The Series 7 exam itself is comprised of many topics although not equally divided. Approximately 50 questions will be on Municipal Bonds alone. Other major topics include Options, Industry Rules and Customer Account handling. The SERIES 7 is a multiple choice test graded on 250 questions administered on computer by an NASD testing vendor (Prometric Technology Center). 70% is needed to pass the SERIES 7 Exam. You will be given 6 hours to complete the exam in two 3 hour parts. Each question is worth .4 of a point. 175 questions correct will equal a passing grade. The score is not curved or rounded up so yes, if you get 174 questions right, you will get a 69.6% and you will fail. Each part also includes 5 experimental questions, which do not count on your total score. You will not know which ones are the experimental questions. Each exam is different, meaning if you take your test next to someone else, your test will not be the same. The percentages will be the same but the questions that each individual is tested on will be random. This applies to all Licensing exams but the difference between tests is less with smaller content exams like the Series 63. You will be given a calculator to use at the center. Applicants are not permitted to bring their own. Scrap paper will be given to you as well for you to use during the test. Once the test officially starts you can write down anything you want (Formulas, Rules etc.). The computer also offers the student the ability to change their answers at the end of the first or second part of the test. Meaning, if you wish to change an answer to a question in the first half, you will have to wait until the end of the first half to do it. Once the second half starts, you will be unable to view your first half. Basically, you are taking 2 different 125 question exams. Even if you are unsure what the correct answer to a question is, you must enter something before the next question is shown. Don't Cheat: Today, the testing centers require fingerprint verification when you take your test. A student was caught a few years ago on camera cheating in the testing room. This person had a tiny video camera device on his tie and a listening transmitter in his ear. He was actually filming his screen while someone else at another location was feeding him the answers. I didn't believe this one at first but several people told it to me. Pretty amazing. Needless to say, he was nabbed and busted. Just study and you will pass....and maybe learn something too! Good Luck!
Good Stock Market Tip; Good Return!
Forget making a profit; instead focus on the income provided from your stock portfolio. That's right! Forget making a profit. The burden is now lifted - no more pressure on making a buck in the stock market. (Instead of trying to bend the spoon, that is impossible, instead just think of the spoon as ? omigosh! - I'm in the Matrix!) When you focus on the amount of money your holdings are providing in dividends ? and when those companies selected have a history of raising their dividends each year ? a lower stock price allows the dividends that are being rolled back into the stock to accelerate your income. The total value of your portfolio may go lower, but your income from that lower priced portfolio would increase dramatically. Profit by income!
Every day in any financial publication you will find the Wall Street mavens giving their predictions on many stocks. It was issued here and should go there. It is now undervalued and is worth that much more. Really?
High Price/Earnings Ratios and the Stock Market: a Personal Odyssey
After some forty years of banking and investments, I retired in 2001. But since I do not golf, I soon found retirement to be very boring. So I decided to return to the investment world after ten months. However, those ten months were not a complete waste of time, for I had spent them in trying to utilize my forty years of investment experience to gain perspective on the most recent stock market "bubble" and subsequent "crash."
What the heck am I talking about?
Option Spread Trading
Spread trading is a technique that can be used to profit in bullish, neutral or bearish conditions. It basically functions to limit risk at the cost of limiting profit as well.
Structured Settlement; Lawyers in NY and Mutual Funds
Minority Report the movie may not be far off if the Head of the SEC has anything to say about it. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing on CSPAN, William Donaldson said that the beloved SEC can no longer sit back and "mop-up" after scandals break. This idea of Mopping up is interesting, because if the SEC has anymore regulations then everyone will be reduced to cleaning homes for a living although even Service Master owner of Merry Maids is doing lots of legal insider trading of their stock options and that alone is telling us that maybe just maybe all that Form 4 Action is a sign of things to come?
During our travel down life's path we come to many places where the trail divides and we must make a decision. Some involve psychological (emotional) choices ? marriage, divorce, leaving home, career changes, etc. Others are monetary ? buying a new car, home, starting your own business, investing, etc. Many are interwoven having aspects of both psychological and monetary.
Someday you may want to retire and continue to live in the life style to which you have become accustomed. According to conventional wisdom you will need less money because you will have fewer expenses than when you had to go to the office every day. Maybe. Let's hope so.
If you are going to be a winner in the stock market you must have emotional maturity. I did not say you had to be smart or know how to pick stocks and mutual funds.
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