|Stocks & Mutual Fund Information|
The Stock Market - How Just One Question Will Tell You All You Need To Know About Your Stock Broker
Last time we looked at the real performance of the stock market (we used the Dow Jones as a reference point) and the apparent performance that makes the headlines and can be seen by a casual look at a chart or "ballpark" figures - briefly; the Dow went up, for example, less than 50 points between April 1999 and April 2005 - essentially 6 years with no growth!
But behind that seemingly "becalmed" Dow there were at least 10 significant moves each and every year totalling many thousands of points!
But did the Wall Street Moguls, the so-called "Masters of the Universe" make you any money from those huge movements?
Of course they didn't!
Here's how I know...
The web is a goldmine of information. Knowledge that was just not available to the private investor or trader is now there at the press of a mouse button.
Forget the Freedom of Information Act - the Internet leaves it standing.
Foremost amongst websites offering information about the financial facts of life (the things that affect you directly - Mutual Fund performance etc) is Morningstar.com.
And amongst other things, morningstar.com publishes a league table of mutual funds on a weekly, monthly and annual basis.
If you check out the table that I have provided at my website (www.TriggerSystem.com - full link at the bottom of the article), you'll see the performance of the top 20 or so mutual funds over the last 10 years.
I've chosen the 10 year chart because mutual funds are essentially long term "investments", and which most people seem to keep almost for ever (the chart on my website is by it's very nature a little bit out of date, but things haven't improved too much since that screen shot was taken. If you want the up to date figures just go to www.morningstar.com and search their data base for the 10 year performance of mutual funds)
Take a look...
You'll see that the top rated fund, over 10 years, has shown a total growth of 23% - which at first sight looks fairly impressive; 23%; wow!
But the problem is, that 23% is total growth over 10 years, not growth per annum.
So the 23% total growth starts to look like a less than impressive 1.7% per annum compounded (hey, even the banks are giving more than that on deposit).
I'll be honest, I didn't believe it either - so I sent off an email to morningstar.com and they confirmed my worst fears - 23% is the total growth over 10 years.
And the average growth of all 1304 funds? A less than impressive 7.3% over 10 years (less than one half of one percent)!
Check out that hiding place under your mattress - at least you don't have to pay exhorbitant fees to keep your money there.
The one certainty is that the Fund Managers will not, personally, have fared so badly - they will still draw their large salaries and enjoy all the benefits of charging you fat fees for their "professional expertise"
As Thomas Sowell wrote:
"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong"
OK, I know not everybody has money "tied up" in Mutual Funds and some people prefer the higher returns of the Stock Market.
So what about the analysts and stock brokers?
Well, we all know about Enron and the others - the stocks in the early 90s that crippled so many of America's biggest pension funds.
Use the TriggerSystem link (shown below) to view the Enron chart screenshot, which is lower down the page (below the Morningstar.com screen shot).
You'll see that on 20 November 2000 there was a "technical sell signal" flagged for Enron when it was trading at just over $80 per share (don't worry about the term "technical sell signal" - it just means a sophisticated trading programme told it's owner that he should SELL).
Over the next 2.5 months, Enron's price fluctuated up and down without really going anywhere, until the middle of February 01 when it really started to slide (just as it appeared to have stabilized at $80).
As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and to save my typing fingers - the numbers speak for themselves.
Follow the chart to the right and you'll see that the major stockbroking houses and analysts were still saying "BUY" as the market lost 75% of it's value over the next 9 months.
It was only on October 19th 2001 - just 11 months after our "technical sell signal" that the first warning appeared from the Brokers and Analysts - and even then there was a further major BUY reccommendation before Enron slipped again to be worth less than 40 cents on 30 November 2001 - A decline from $80 per share to $0.26 per share in 12 months!
And all the time the major brokers and analysts were telling their ordinary customers to either Buy or Hold.
And as we later found out, the Brokers and Analysts were telling their biggest corporate customers a totally different story.
So, whilst the Stock Market is your best friend (trust me on this one, or look for my previous article) - the people who operate it may simply be their own best friend, and from your point of view, any advice you receive from them should be taken with a very large pinch of salt.
And if you still think you can trust the advice they give you, here's the simple "5 word question" I mentioned at the beginning of this article... Ring them and ask: "What Guarantee Do You Give"? Just pick up the phone and ask them about the guarantee they give you regarding their advice.
Once they've stopped coughing and spluttering and picked themselves up from the floor, you may hear this well worn mantra: "the value of stocks can fall as well as rise" etc etc.
If they're not prepared to guarantee their advice, then frankly their advice is not to be trusted.
More next time...
Geoffrey Cummins is a full time stock market trader and has spent the last 12 years developing what he calls his "weedy little spreadsheet trading system", giving him some unique insights into the working of the world's stock markets. Under pressure from friends and family, Geoffrey is now making his unique insights and trading signals available to a worldwide audience
And unlike your stockbroker, he guarantees you a minimum 300% return on your investment (ROI) Click here to view the charts referred to in this article
No wild claims, just common sense advice and the best Risk Free Trial (a full 90 days for less than $5 a week) on the internet all backed up by his unique 3 part / 300% guarantee.
If he doesn't provide you with a minimum return on your investment of 300% (the banks best offer is 3%. Not guaranteed) - he'll give you your money back. No questions asked. The TriggerSystem?
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!
No, this is not a symbol for some Latin number. The Wall Street mavens talk about this market timing device as if they knew how to use it to determine which way the stock market is going ? up or down. It is pretty obvious that brokers, analysts and financial planners have not learned the language.
I'll bet with almost anyone that has stocks or mutual funds in his portfolio that he has losers, but he won't sell them because he "likes them" or some similar excuse. This is the philosophy of a loser.
Congress recently passed another new law that is supposed to outlaw financial crime. Corporate officers will be sent to jail for "cooking the books" as it is called. Among other things it is taking the stockholders money and paying themselves huge bonuses for nonperformance. These guys are even worse than mutual fund managers who do the same thing ? get paid big salaries yet continue to lose your money.
Successful Trading ? Taking Profits - Part 2
Suppose your position has made a big move and you moved your stop to your purchase price as recommended. Then let's say your stock continues to make a big move and now we're asking again the questions we asked back in the first paragraph. The first profit taking technique you can use is a trailing stop. If you moved your stop to your purchase price, then you've already used a trailing stop. Now you can continue to move your stop up as the price rises until the market "stops" you out of the position. So in essence, what you're doing is letting the market decide when to take profits.
The Next Bull Market
We are already in it, but you can't see it. It doesn't look like the one we had in '99. Like the magician who has you watching what he wants you to and with the other hand he is doing something else that is what is happening in the stock market today. The magician is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq or the S&P500 Index. These have John Q. Public mesmerized.
You Wont Like This
Why? Because I am going to shatter your conventional wisdom as I have many times in previous columns about the lies that Wall Street continues to tell you. This time we are going to go deeper into the economy to unearth the truth about lies the politicians are telling you.
Basics of Stock Market
Financial markets provide their participants with the most favorable conditions for purchase/sale of financial instruments they have inside. Their major functions are: guaranteeing liquidity, forming assets prices within establishing proposition and demand and decreasing of operational expenses, incurred by the participants of the market.
Understanding a Stocks PEG Ratio
A PEG ratio cannot be used alone but is a very powerful tool when integrated with the basics (price, volume and chart reading). You must enjoy crunching numbers and have a calculator handy to estimate your own PEG ratio. Access to quality statistical information from the web such as past earnings and future earning estimates is essential to calculate this fundamental indicator. A variety of websites produce a PEG ratio but I have not found one site that has a reliable PEG ratio that I can use for my own research, so I calculate it myself, ensuring accuracy with the final number.
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.
Look Out The Window
Quick, look out the window. It's raining. No, the sun's out. No, it's cloudy. Wait a second, it is changing again, but I can't tell what it is going to do.
Frog In The Pot
You remember the story about the frog that was put into a pot of cold water on the stove. He was not concerned. Someone lit the burner and the water began getting warm, the frog was very comfortable and as the water became warmer he was so relaxed and complacent that he fell asleep ? never to awaken.
You read and hear a lot about hedge funds. Unfortunately, most of what you hear is negative because it comes from the major media that has an interest in reporting negatives about them because the major media is supported by so-called standard mutual funds and brokerage companies that spend big bucks for advertising. Hedge funds are NOT allowed to advertise.
How to Short Stocks? How to Make Money when Your Stocks Go Down by Shorting
The stock market can present you with a lot of hot stocks every day. Many of them are new technology stocks that come from the nanotech, biotech, voip, healthcare, homeland defense or internet sectors.
Stock Market Diversification
In one of my previous articles (Investing in the stock market -9 powerful tips), tip number one was:
Its A Duck
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck it must be a duck.
The Stock Market Doesnt Care if You are a Beginner?. Get Prepared to Succeed at Trading
Stock trading remains a very competitive field and the stock market doesn't care if you are an experienced stock trader or an aspiring one. The rules and the trading opportunities are the same for all of us, so either youre going to make money when you pick a stock and make a trade, or you are going to lose some of it in favor of the more seasoned traders.
Stock Valuation using the SMP Model
Disclaimer: Please note that I do not necessarily purchase, own, or partake of any of the securities or other financial instruments mentioned in this article. I also do not take any responsibility for any actions resulting from any actions taken by anyone who reads this article. You are responsible for your own finances - no one else. Do your yown due diligence when researching financial matters.
Stock Market Investments
If there is one term over-used when talking about making investments in the stock market I would think that term would be: buy low, sell high.
Money, Insanity and Wall Street
Money: the most charged word in the planet. It means something to everyone. For some, money means a blessing, for others it means a disaster.
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