|Stocks & Mutual Fund Information|
Hill of Hope
Just about now everyone is confused as to which way the stock market is going to go - up or down. For the past 3 years it has been headed south, but the Wall Street experts have told us that the market never goes down 4 years in a row so this has to be an up year. But no guarantees.
The old saying is that the stock market climbs a wall of worry. We watch sharp moves up followed by days, sometimes weeks of weakness and then another shot to higher prices. From 1982 to 2000 this went on until we absolutely, positively knew it was going to continue forever. The current mindset is you can't lose if you just "hang in there". Mr. Average-stockholder has lost about 50% of his money so far and has chewed his fingernails to the nub. Now what?
I hope you don't need a house to fall on you to realize we are in a long-term bear market, one that could last for years. In a bear market the action is exactly opposite what you see in a bull market - sharp declines followed by slow agonizing rallies that don't quite make it back to the previous high prices. This is called climbing the Hill of Hope. This is a slippery hill to which you will not make it to the top. Hope is the most expensive word in an investor's lexicon.
The smartest (?) analysts (?) and talking heads on TV continue to tell us the market always comes back - if you live long enough. They fail to tell you that every bull market is followed by a bear market of about equal length. This last bull ended after 18 years and if cycles repeat we have 15 more years of the downward path to follow. I know - "this time it is different". Let's hope so, but I don't want to have my money on hope.
The DOW Industrial Index has been down 3 years in a row and only once in history has it gone down 4 times to newer lows. Did you know that the DOW Transportation Index has been down 5 years straight? Can there possibly be a sixth year? Your answer is as good as mine.
There has recently been some liquidation of mutual funds from 401Ks and IRAs, but the amount is small. It has been reported that there is about 3 trillion (with a T) in mutual funds. The talking heads speak of 10 and 20 billion leaving the so-called "safe haven". As a percentage of total assets this is a spit. One of these days not too far in the future (probably this year) investors will suddenly get the idea to head for the door. And they all seem to do it about the same time like lemmings headed over the cliff.
This will look like a major bottom in the market - and it might be if the P/E ratio can get down to around 10 or less. Until it does they will still be trying, unsuccessfully, to climb that Hill of Hope.
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.
On Line Stock Trading: Small Cap & Micro Stocks Go Up and Down - How Can You Profit?
Success in small cap & micro cap stock trading like with any other business in life comes from being able to see the big picture and from paying attention to the small details.
You Don?t HAVE To Be Trading
As a novice trader, you'll often feel the need to trade.
Why Buy and Hold?
Since I can remember, and that's a long time ago, the Wall Street brokerage companies, mavens and mutual fund managers have been exhorting the mantra of Buy and Hold for all your investments. There have been erudite studies published that this is the only way to go.
Every broker and financial planner will tell you that you cannot time the stock market. I saw John Bogle, the great seer of Vanguard, on CNBC saying it can't be done. Of course, it is easy to understand why he and every other mutual fund manager would say that as they would have a problem managing huge inflows and outflows of money and he was buying and holding during the 18-year bull from 1982 to 2000.
Take The Time
You must take the time once a month to review your investment portfolio. It won't take long - less than one hour, maybe 15 minutes.
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!
The Three Little Pigs Went to the Stock Market
Three little pigs went to the market to stock up for the future.
Wall Street Paradigm
In 1960 an engineer working for a watch company in Switzerland discovered that a small crystal would vibrate at a constant rate. He found this was so accurate that it could be used to calibrate time so he took it to company management and said it would make an entirely new kind of watch that had no springs and no gears. They could not imagine who would want such a thing. Swiss watches dominated world commerce. They did not even bother to patent it.
When you become interested in a stock or mutual fund you can call your broker and he will send you reports on how the company is doing, what their management is like and what might be the projected earnings for the company and how the industry is doing. Great information.
When Should I Sell?
People are always asking me when should I sell my stock or mutual funds?
Long Term Financial Vehicles
Investing in long-term financial vehicles give you the most gains but it also puts your funds at greater risk. There is much truth to the saying, "there is no gain if there is no risk". Still you can reduce your chances of losing your hard earned money, by researching and taking time to understand what you are buying. Would you purchase a house you've only just seen on the outside? Both of these are serious investments and you need to arm yourself with the basic knowledge about the subjects.
Yesterday I received my monthly issue of MONEY magazine. This issue has the special feature called "The Ultimate Investment Club" that highlights their picks for the top mutual fund managers. Let's see how their members made money for their shareholders.
Lemmings Are Gathering
Before they go over the cliff to their destruction these little furry ones get together for a party and celebration. Each tells the other how smart he has been with his investments and buying and selling of stocks and real estate.
Analyzing Growth Stocks: An Important Focus For Any Investor
Analyzing growth stocks is an important focus for any investor. This is especially important, since stocks are an irreplaceable part of any good investment plan, and since unbiased stock research is hard to find. Still, we need to look at the big picture once in a while. Since so much has changed lately, this may be a good time to "take stock". Many have reevaluated their investment strategies. The problem is that many of these reevaluations are moving people away from their goals. As the market has dropped, rather than moving toward buying at the cheaper prices, we've seen people move away from stocks, a strategy which has little long-term benefit.
Successful Trading ? Taking Profits - Part 1
So you're started trading, you bought some positions with your online broker, you've set some reasonable stop-losses to protect your account and all of a sudden one of your positions move strongly in your favor ? so what do you do now? This my friend, is probably the hardest situation to deal with in trading the market ? believe it or not.
The stock market has been going up for more than 7 months and many investors who held on through the big crash of 2000 are seeing their portfolios get back some of what had disappeared. Is now the time to sell those equities that are 'even' with what you paid for them? No.
Buy and Hold: How to Perpetuate Your Investment Losses
A recent cartoon in my daily newspaper showed two guys sitting in a bar. One is saying to the other: "I did learn something from my broker...how to diversify my investment losses."
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 Investor?s Worst Enemy
Every stock market investor faces one primal enemy. An enemy so perverse, it will drive thousands of investors from the stock market through its ability to defeat even the most practiced investment strategy. Who is this enemy you ask? Your arch nemesis, in this case, goes by the name E. Motions?don't ask me what the "E" stands for.
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!
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