Stocks & Mutual Fund Information

Fake Money


Reach in your pocket and take out that big roll of bills. Depending on how many of them you have you feel pretty good. BUT did you know they are not worth the paper they are printed on? Huh? Let me explain.

Stock Analysis


I receive emails from Morningstar. This company provides statistics and analysis of just about every publicly traded stock company you can think of as well as voluminous information on mutual funds around the world.

NASDAQ 800?


In November of 2000 when the NASDAQ was trading at 3000 I wrote in this column that the NASDAQ Index would fall to 1500 and I got lots of heat for saying it. Microsoft had fallen from $129 to $60 per share. You know where they are today.

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.

Valuation


Every day I hear from the ?experts? on CNBC-TV and the radio gurus that the way to buy stocks is find value. One man?s Rembrandt is another man?s connect-the-dots and fill in the spaces. Valuation is like beauty. It is in the mind of the beholder.

Inertia Syndrome


When it comes to buying a stock or mutual fund most people act pretty quickly. There are some who will take the time to get a report from Morningstar (it is worthless) or get reports from their broker (also worthless) or even do a search on the Internet (if you know what you are doing). When your broker says ?buy? you buy and when a friend gives you a ?tip? you buy.

Perfect Storm


Having lived aboard a sailboat for 2 years I was stricken when I saw the movie ?PERFECT STORM?. I know these are things you want to avoid at all costs. Even little storms can play havoc with your life style on a boat.

Complacency Indicator


If you haven?t heard of the technical indicator with the stock market symbol VIX it is now time to pay some attention to it. When the number is running low, as it is now, around 15 to 18 it means everyone is happy and thinks the stock market is going to continue up or at least continue on its current path and there is no need to sell anything. This is a measure of complacency. When the number goes above 35 it means everyone is very nervous and thinks the market is going to fall. It is considered a contrarian indicator.

Paddle Your Canoe


At some time in your life you have been on a river in a canoe and hopefully you had a paddle. You know about being up the creek without one.

Trading Systems


To become a successful trader you must have some kind of method or system to follow that will keep you on track. You may be buying and selling on tips, the weather or phases of the moon (there is a system like that).

Expense Ratios


Mutual funds and brokers are always preaching not to buy any fund with a high expense ratio. That is the annual costs of the fund to pay for trading of stocks within their portfolio, salaries, rent, telephone, analysts, etc. Most of them tell you not to buy one that exceeds 1.5%. There is also another expense added by some mutual funds called a 12b1 (usually from % to 1%) that is supposed to be used for promotional purposes only. These numbers may appear small, but they are being applied to multi-millions, sometimes billions of dollars.

Protectionism


First let?s see what protectionism is. According to Mr. Webster it is the advocacy, system, or theory of protecting domestic producers by impeding or limiting, as by tariffs or quotas, the importation of foreign goods and services.

Stuff


I continually hear from economists, talking heads, other market letter writers, analysts and assorted ?experts? that I need to know all kinds of ?stuff? about the stocks and mutual funds I am going to buy and I should keep up with them on a regular basis.

Discipline


One of the great ?secrets? of successful people is discipline and it doesn?t make any difference whether it is manufacturing, processing, servicing or investing in the stock market.

What Are You Waiting For?


Do you own any mutual funds? In an IRA or 401K or wherever. Privately or at work.

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