Archive for December, 2009

New Year’s Investment Resolutions – #4

Thursday, December 31st, 2009
New Year’s Investment Resolutions – #4

Continuing with my favorite resolutions this week – ones that work in all markets – here is my last, number four. »

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New Year’s Investment Resolutions – #3

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009
New Year’s Investment Resolutions – #3

Continuing with my favorite resolutions this week – ones that work in all markets – here is number three. »

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New Year’s Investment Resolutions – #2

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
New Year’s Investment Resolutions – #2

Continuing with my favorite resolutions this week – ones that work in all markets – here is number two. »

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New Year’s Investment Resolutions – #1

Monday, December 28th, 2009
New Year’s Investment Resolutions – #1

New Year’s resolutions are typically borne from a combination of desire and guilt. For investing resolutions, people tend to look back at recent market trends. Bull markets see investors vowing to take more risk – bear markets, less. Neither, though is the right approach. Reactionary steps are neither resolutions nor sound investing. During this... »

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Media Frets and Warns – So, We Can Be Optimistic

Thursday, December 24th, 2009
Media Frets and Warns – So, We Can Be Optimistic

As is typical when a growth trend evolves out of dark times, the media simply cannot get in sync. Because negative news titillates – and sells – it’s so hard to give it up. Today’s good news reports regularly have concerns and warnings tacked onto them. For stock investors, that means opportunity. Here is... »

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2009’s Final Week Approaches – Looking Good, So Far

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
2009’s Final Week Approaches – Looking Good, So Far

Last Friday, in “Happy Holidays! – Now, Get To Work Preparing for Investment Opportunities!” I mentioned that the final weeks of December typically see a slowdown in trading volume – especially the last week of the year between Christmas and New Year’s. I also mentioned how it can be hard for a trend to... »

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Consumer Spending Indicators Coming – Still Improving?

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009
Consumer Spending Indicators Coming – Still Improving?

As we hear frequently, consumer spending is key because it is about two-thirds of the economy. The main question has been how long consumer spending will be weak. The worry is that today’s reduced level is the new normal. This fear is seemingly reinforced by surveys in which the pointed question is asked: “Are... »

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Home Sales Measures Coming – More Good News?

Monday, December 21st, 2009
Home Sales Measures Coming – More Good News?

Some interesting indicators are being released the last two weeks of December – our period of special opportunity. Housing has the big three: existing home sales, new home sales and S&P Case-Shiller home prices. All have been improving in spite of negative articles about the current housing market and its outlook. Here is where... »

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Happy Holidays! – Now, Get To Work Preparing for Investment Opportunities!

Friday, December 18th, 2009
Happy Holidays! – Now, Get To Work Preparing for Investment Opportunities!

One mid-December I was talking to an equity manager(*), telling him about my upcoming holiday trip to the relatives. When I asked about his plans, he said he would be in the office, working. The reason? He had found the last half of December, especially the days between Christmas and New Year’s, often provided... »

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Contrarian Indicators Are Signaling: Buy US Stocks

Thursday, December 17th, 2009
Contrarian Indicators Are Signaling: Buy US Stocks

The list of contrarian indicators supporting the buying of US common stocks has become lengthy and weighty. Articles about stock risks and investor worries keep getting added to the pile. Like people postponing buying a new car, the potential demand continues to grow. All it takes is a spark to set it off. In... »

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Fed Meets Again – Time To Raise Rates? The Clock Is Ticking

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009
Fed Meets Again – Time To Raise Rates? The Clock Is Ticking

Today, the Fed announces its interest rate intentions. We will see if it continues to use its catch phrase: “… economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period,” leaving the federal funds rate unchanged. I want to focus on that phrase: “exceptionally low.” In... »

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Credit Rating Firms – They’re Back

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
Credit Rating Firms – They’re Back

In September there was talk of the credit rating agencies fading away. Credit ratings were going to be removed from investment guidelines, bond issuers would not bother getting their securities rated and Congress would adopt financial controls to diminish the raters’ independence. Well, the credit raters are back, and they’re showing the kind of... »

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Contrarian Investing (Part 3) – My Own Personal Experiences

Monday, December 14th, 2009
Contrarian Investing (Part 3) – My Own Personal Experiences

As a final piece on contrarian investing, I thought some of my own personal experiences would help. I have selected a diverse list to show how there are many ways to gain from contrarian investing. I put in extra details, so you can get a better sense of both the environment at the time... »

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Contrarian Investing (Part 2) – Investment Manager Examples

Friday, December 11th, 2009
Contrarian Investing (Part 2) – Investment Manager Examples

The last two days, I have discussed the concept and importance of contrarian investing. I thought some real life examples would help provide understanding of how it is applied. For today, I have selected four investment managers with whom I have worked that successfully used a contrarian approach. »

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Contrarian Investing (Part 1) – Examining the Process

Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Contrarian Investing (Part 1) – Examining the Process

Contrarian investing is so important that I want to discuss it further. The concept is challenging, and most investors do not apply it well, if at all. The potential rewards are considerable. Practicing contrarian investing can be financially beneficial and help prevent mental anguish. »

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