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3 Investing Lessons We Learned Last Year

3 Investing Lessons We Learned Last Year

It’s time for a look back on 2014. No, we’re not going to discuss Taylor Swift’s latest breakup or Kate Middleton’s newest baby bump. Instead, let’s take a look at this past year in terms of the markets, economy and overall financial atmosphere – and see what lessons we can apply to the year ahead.   Here are three of the biggest lessons 2014 has taught us about personal finance, and how they can help you be financially savvy in 2015.   1. Make...more

What Do Lower Gas Prices Mean for Your Portfolio?

What Do Lower Gas Prices Mean for Your Portfolio?

The US government predicts average gas prices could dip below $3 per gallon in 2015 (the lowest they've been since 2010), according to recent reports. This is great news for motorists, but what does it mean for you as an investor? Gas prices play a significant role in both the national and global economy. They're both an indication of current economic strength and a predictor of how things may go in the future. But like any commodity, gasoline prices create a complex web of consequences....more

Tried-And-True Advice About Dividend Stocks

Tried-And-True Advice About Dividend Stocks

By Anna B. Wroblewska. The dividend stock, the old faithful of the equity investment world, might seem a little bland at first. After all, dividend-generating companies tend to be older and less volatile than exciting high-growth companies. But consider this bit of wisdom from legendary investor John Bogle: if you invested $10,000 in the S&P 500 Index when it was first created in 1926, you would have had $33.1 million dollars by September 2007 -- but only if you'd reinvested all your...more

One Best Thing Syndrome

One Best Thing Syndrome

Could it be that some of the traits that help people become wildly successful are the same ones that cause difficulty later on?. Everyone knows of a successful business person who focused their efforts and talents relentlessly in one direction and rarely looked back for fear of losing their lead. If they failed, they picked themselves up, evaluated how and why they went astray, and tried again. These people have learned to first concentrate relatively few available resources on a...more

Ruminations on the Investment Process

Ruminations on the Investment Process

This is a very complex topic that I will cover here in abbreviated form. The main steps are as follows: Determine the goals and resources available. The first step is to determine what you want to accomplish. For example, many people have retirement as one of their goals (which we prefer to call ?achieving financial independence?). Think about what it means to you. Visualize it. How you will spend your time each day? Then identify when you would like to retire, if at all possible....more

Understanding Value vs. Growth Investing

Understanding Value vs. Growth Investing

Everyone hears over and over, from Morningstar and other sources, about value versus growth investing. The problem, and reality is, that most investors simply don't understand the difference between the two philosophies. Notice that I did not say between the two different kinds of stocks. Why? Well, because stocks can float between the two categories based on certain fundamentals. In this article, we?ll articulate the differences between value and growth investing. Value...more

Portfolio Rebalancing Vs. Market Timing

Portfolio Rebalancing Vs. Market Timing

You probably have a pretty good idea of how your investments have done lately. You may even track them daily. But to keep your portfolio in shape, you need to do much more than check the bottom line. You need to check the scale (or, your asset allocation). It's easy for your portfolio to get out of balance. How your money is distributed among different types of investments - your asset allocation - changes over time as the market moves up and down. Before you know it, your mix of...more

Investing Driving You Crazy?  Maybe Its Because You Already Are!

Investing Driving You Crazy? Maybe Its Because You Already Are!

When it comes to your investments and portfolio, are you overconfident? Are you just a bit too greedy? Do you panic at signs of a stock market drop, or become elated during latest surge? Do you choose stocks based on vague feelings? Does a 10% loss bring you more disappointment than an 11% gain brings happiness? If you're like most investors, the answer to at least some, if not all, of these questions is yes. (FYI, that includes us! We are just a susceptible to these mistakes, but...more

Investing Driving You Crazy?  Maybe Its Because You Already Are! (Part 3)

Investing Driving You Crazy? Maybe Its Because You Already Are! (Part 3)

In Part 3 of this series, we discussed the final cognitive biases, namely overconfidence, selective memory and mental accounting. Remember, cognitive biases are biases or errors that are based on empirical factual knowledge. In this article we will discuss and provide examples of some emotional biases (continued in Part 5). Emotional biases originate from impulsive feelings or intuition (as opposed to conscious reasoning) and are thusly much more difficult to correct. Notice that many of...more

Investing Driving You Crazy?  Maybe Its Because You Already Are! (Part 3)

Investing Driving You Crazy? Maybe Its Because You Already Are! (Part 3)

In Part 3 of this series, we will continue on in our analysis of cognitive biases. In Part 2 we discussed anchoring and adjustment, availability and representativeness. In this article we will discuss selective memory, overconfidence and mental accounting. Overconfidence Confidence can be a very good thing, but it can also be a very bad thing, especially as it pertains to financial markets and the average investor. In their book, ?Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes? Gary Belsky...more

Investing Driving You Crazy?  Maybe Its Because You Already Are! (Part 2)

Investing Driving You Crazy? Maybe Its Because You Already Are! (Part 2)

In part one of this series on investor biases and behavioral finance we discussed the two major investor biases (cognitive and emotional). We recognized that both cognitive and emotional biases result in irrational decisions, with cognitive biases stem from faulty reasoning and emotional biases originating from impulsive feelings or intuition (as opposed to conscious reasoning). We then laid out some types of cognitive biases (anchoring, adjustment, availability, representativeness,...more

What is an Index and Why Should I Care?

What is an Index and Why Should I Care?

Most investors have heard the term ?index?, but what does it really mean? An index is an assortment of investments designed to perform in a way desired by the entity that created the particular idea. For example, when people think of the stock market, they are usually picturing the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the Standard and Poor's 500. The difference between these two is that the Dow is made up of 30 companies that the Dow Jones organization thinks is representative of the U.S. economy....more

Surviving a Bear Attack

Surviving a Bear Attack

Most investors know how to make money in a rising, (or Bull), market. Just buy some stocks and watch them go up ? piece of cake. But what can we do when the unfriendly Bear market awakes from hibernation and decides to feast on our stock holdings? We discussed selling in our last article and this is certainly an option. However, investors may have reasons for not wanting to sell or, more interestingly, they may want to profit in a declining market. This is where the concepts of shorting and...more

Buy and Hope versus Risk Management

Buy and Hope versus Risk Management

Regular readers of this space know that we believe in Exchange Traded Funds as an alternative to individual stocks and mutual funds because of their flexibility and diversification. However, as much as we like ETFs, they can lose value just like most other types of investments. The past few weeks have shown an increase in market volatility, mostly to the downside. While knowing what to buy for an investment is certainly important, knowing when and how to sell is the most important part of...more

Are You Wired for Investment Success?

Are You Wired for Investment Success?

"Experience is the toughest teacher because it gives the test first and the lesson later." It is so easy for anyone to open a brokerage account, or a futures account and just start trading or investing. While I admire the spirit of independence and self reliance that leads non-professional investors to manage their own money, the statistics suggests that very few are successful. For example in the futures markets we have weekly data on all the positions in aggregate for 3 different classes...more

Active Versus Passive Management

Active Versus Passive Management

The investment management world of today can be divided into two broad categories of management style, each reflecting a fundamentally different belief system regarding how modern capital markets behave. These two schools of thought are generally referred to as active and passive management. This article will address these two approaches as they apply to stock market investments, but the observations apply with equal validity to the world of fixed income investments (bonds) as well...more

Active Management Evaluation: Will Your Active Money Manager Or Mutual Fund Add Value?

Active Management Evaluation: Will Your Active Money Manager Or Mutual Fund Add Value?

Before (and after) hiring an investment manager whose approach is to actively manage a stock (or bond) portfolio, a thorough examination should be performed to determine if the manager has added value compared to a market-based (passively managed) benchmark. The reason these tests need to be performed is that overwhelming evidence shows the vast majority (80% - 99% depending on method of measurement) of active money managers have not added value. Since there is such an enormous risk to...more

Tune Out The Noise. The Results Will Follow

Tune Out The Noise. The Results Will Follow

Everyday we are bombarded with a plethora of investment advice. We see it in magazines and newspapers and we hear it on the radio and TV. But is any of this advice sound; or is it just noise? The first thing to do is to look at the source. Much of the media operates with an incentive to fatten their own pocketbooks. Their goal is to grow their audience and their advertising revenue. Publications like Money, SmartMoney, and others, try to accomplish this by running stories with catchy...more

Stay on Track With a Summertime Portfolio Review

Stay on Track With a Summertime Portfolio Review

Summer is traditionally a time for fun, family vacations and a more relaxed pace of life. But between the baseball games and barbecues, it's a good idea to consult your financial planner about a midyear portfolio review to ensure that your investment strategies are still on track to help you achieve your long-term goals. Benchmarking Progress During the first half of 2006, volatility in the financial markets was higher than it has been in several years, as investors around the globe...more

Investing Over a Lifetime

Investing Over a Lifetime

Goethe once said, ?In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm; in the real world, all rests on perseverance.? With regard to investment?a ?realm of ideas? if ever there was one?Goethe had it wrong. For enthusiasm, when it overwhelms cool calculation, is the absolute bane of successful investment. Ardor, desirable in those who found and lead business enterprises, clouds the investor's judgement, leading to overpayment for assets, involvement in projects of dubious quality, and...more

A New Approach to Investment Planning

A New Approach to Investment Planning

To formulate an effective personal investment strategy, it's useful to determine if your investment portfolio is well positioned to help you achieve your most important financial goals, such as funding a comfortable retirement or bequeathing wealth to your heirs. These days, sophisticated investors are increasingly turning to Monte Carlo simulation, an advanced financial planning tool, to help them assess their chances of achieving their financial goals. By combining probability theory and...more

Investment Philosophy Question

Investment Philosophy Question

With the ever-accelerating pace of change in the global markets and a sea of investment alternatives, many investors feel rather overwhelmed at the task of managing their investments. Is this you? In our view, a successful investment program is one that not only earns competitive returns but also helps to build a sustainable future and enhance quality of life. Are your investments doing that for you? Modern Portfolio Theory - Introduction By definition, investment is the sacrifice of...more

The Road to Successful Investing

The Road to Successful Investing

The road to successful investing is paved differently for each investor. One investor's road to success may be the high road while another's may be the low road. But common to both investors is basic principles that are true to form no matter which road an investor finds himself taking. Below is a listing of some of these basic principles that may lead an individual along the road to successful investing. Formalize your goals. As with the achievement of any goal, commitment to the goal is...more

The Hottest Investment Tips

The Hottest Investment Tips

Have you ever received a really hot investment tip? How many times has it actually worked out? "Not-so-hot tips" can throw a kink in your long-term investment approach. Here are some sound tips for the long-term investor: Get started early It's impossible to stress this point too much! Despite other financial pressures, this can often make the difference in reaching your goal. Historically, stock values appreciate in the long run so investing over longer periods can help your...more

Intermarket Analysis

Intermarket Analysis

Most investors have something I like to call TVS, or 'Tunnel-Vision Syndrome'. They tend to focus on one market and absolutely analyze it to death. There scope is so narrow that they tend to miss the forest through the trees. The truth is that investors who focus on the bigger picture portrayed through ALL the markets tend to be the ones that deliver better performance. There are four main asset classes we analyze in our investment universe; stocks, bonds, commodities and currencies. ...more

Protecting Against Disaster

Protecting Against Disaster

With the ever-accelerating pace of change in the global markets and a sea of investment alternatives, many investors feel rather overwhelmed at the task of managing their investments. Is this you? In our view, a successful investment program is one that not only earns competitive returns but also helps to build a sustainable future and enhance quality of life. Are your investments doing that for you? Modern Portfolio Theory - Introduction By definition, investment is the sacrifice of...more

Vince Lombardi Investing

Vince Lombardi Investing

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization - any army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win - to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don't think it is. - Vince Lombardi Let's say you're a football coach and a sideline reporter comes over and asks you, "Coach Lombardi, what you are going to run on your first play?" What is your answer? More importantly, aren't there a few too many...more

How Will You Handle Your Investing Future?

How Will You Handle Your Investing Future?

What if the market does not go virtually straight up as it did between 1982 thru 2000? What if we are indeed stuck in a multi year period of trendless, volatile or downward moving market? What if we are in a period similar to that of 1966 thru 1982 where the Dow Jones Industrial Average started at a level of 995.15 and 16 years later ended at 776.98. What is a long-term 'buy and hold' investor to do in such a case? That 22% decline (excluding dividends) over that time frame in the DJIA would...more

The Folly of Market Timing

The Folly of Market Timing

These days, some people may have a 'sure-fire' way to time the stock market. Just check out the Internet. You can find screens advertising market timing services. A trip to your local library will yield an equal abundance of market timing theories in books, magazines, and other periodicals. And some of these theories may or may not work. The Premise The idea behind market timing is to buy stock when prices are low, hold onto your investment until the market peaks, and subsequently move your...more

Two Opportunities to Decide if That's Light You See at the End of the Tunnel

Two Opportunities to Decide if That's Light You See at the End of the Tunnel

The next few months will present two excellent opportunities to conduct a quick investment checkup. The first is when you receive your annual statements from mutual funds and brokers (and, hopefully, tally up those fat gains for the year). The second is when you finish preparing your tax return (and tally up those tax losses). On one or both of these occasions, do a quick review to decide if your portfolio is still on track. A little time and effort now could pay off in a more...more

Market Volatility: Unwelcome But Inevitable

Market Volatility: Unwelcome But Inevitable

With the recent corporate accounting scandals contributing to what was already a volatile stock market, no wonder many investors are asking some difficult questions. "Is the market ever going to improve?" "Should I pull all my money out of the market?" "Can I ever trust corporate America again?" Before you make any decisions, it is worth remembering that the U.S. financial markets are still regarded as among the most well run and monitored in the world and have long served as a model...more

Reduce the Sting of an Investment Loss

Reduce the Sting of an Investment Loss

Many people find it hard to sell losing investments. This deep-rooted reluctance even has a name, the 'disposition effect.' The disposition effect appears to trouble everyone, according to a recent article in Barron's, an investor newsweekly. Academic researchers have turned it up in Finland, Israel, Australia, and China. If the loser isn't sold, one rationalization goes, the loss is just 'on paper' and somehow isn't 'real.' Sooner or later the investment will rebound'don't they all' Then it...more

Investing The American Way

Investing The American Way

Now that most investors have a substantial period of recent bear market experience to draw on, I would suggest examining the methods that you will use in the future to grow your assets. I teach my clients to view their investments and financial life as a business. Our goal is to use the same principals and methods in our investing that help businesses to be successful and thrive year after year. You need to envision your investments and wealth building strategies as your own financial company...more

Tax-Efficient Investing: A Wise Choice

Tax-Efficient Investing: A Wise Choice

Taxes can take a chunk out of your investment returns; yet, many investors don't give much thought to taxes when they make investment decisions. While investment decisions shouldn't be based entirely on tax considerations, tax-efficient investing may make a significant difference in your net gain. Employing some of the following strategies could help you retain more of your potential investment earnings and lessen your tax obligation. Invest in Stocks for the Long Term Following a buy-and-hold...more

Insatiate Cormorant

Insatiate Cormorant

In looking back at the recent bull market, it is universally agreed that during those 18 years the market were in a perfect scenario. Low inflation, rise of an investor class, a world at peace, social stability in the US, increase in productivity driven by technology spending, the commercialization of a new technology (the internet) and interest rates at historic lows both in real and nominal terms. It is not universally accepted but it is coming to be more accepted that the...more

Investing Offensively & Defensively

Investing Offensively & Defensively

Have you ever wondered why your investment returns don't match the advertised return of the investment product you are using? Investor return differs from investment return due to the order or sequence of returns on the principal amount, and changes to the contributions or withdrawals over time. How many dollars you have invested, and over what time period, determines your personal investment return. The return on a lump sum invested during the same time period in which an account with...more

Tax-Efficient Investing: A Wise Choice

Tax-Efficient Investing: A Wise Choice

Taxes can take a chunk out of your investment returns; yet, many investors don't give much thought to taxes when they make investment decisions. While investment decisions shouldn't be based entirely on tax considerations, tax-efficient investing may make a significant difference in your net gain. Employing some of the following strategies could help you retain more of your potential investment earnings and lessen your tax obligation. Invest in Stocks for the Long Term Following a buy-and-hold...more

Watch Out For Those Predictions

Watch Out For Those Predictions

Will this year be a good year for financial markets? The answer depends on whom you ask. Every January, I review the predictions of "financial experts" for the preceding year and how they fared on stocks, credit, currency markets, growth and inflation. Once again, only a minority were "right" in 2005. Unfortunately, some people base their investment strategy on these predictions and inevitably experience disappointment. "Predictions are for show, while the coming year's ongoing...more

Wealth Management: Passive vs. Active Investing

Wealth Management: Passive vs. Active Investing

In recent years, a variety of investment vehicles have sprung up that allow you to invest "passively" in the market. Instead of trying to beat the market or reduce the risk inherent in it through asset selection, you ride the market for better or worse. You can invest passively through index mutual funds, or with I-shares, which trade differently but perform similarly to index funds. The best known passive investments are S&P 500 index funds that invest in all 500 stocks, in the same...more

Keeping Your Emotions in Check

Keeping Your Emotions in Check

The biggest obstacle in making good investment decisions is probably our emotions. Numerous studies over the years have found that investors have certain psychological biases that get in the way of making purely rational decisions. We look for patterns in life, even when they don't exist. Thus when the market is going up, we think it will continue on that track indefinitely and continue to invest as the market gets higher and higher When the market is going down, we fear it will...more

Five Steps that May Turn the Market's Ups and Downs to Your Advantage

Five Steps that May Turn the Market's Ups and Downs to Your Advantage

The market goes up, and the markets go down. But what steps can you take when the market becomes more volatile than usual? Should you take all your money out and cut your losses? Or, wait things out? These five steps can help you turn the volatility of the market to your advantage. Step 1: Diversify Allocating money among different asset classes ' stocks, bonds, cash, and fixed interest ' can help buffer the effects of market volatility because gains in one asset class may offset...more

Dollar-cost Averaging: A Simple Strategy for Uncertain Markets

Dollar-cost Averaging: A Simple Strategy for Uncertain Markets

Many people believe that smart investors can 'time' the market'investing on dips and selling at the high points'to make large amounts of money overnight. While this occasionally does happen, it is very rare. Mutual funds offer a simple, convenient, more realistic and less time-consuming method of investing in a portfolio of securities (such as stocks and bonds), than trading them individually. Help Reduce Risk Through mutual funds, investors can delegate decisions to the funds'...more

Investments with Eye on Risk Shine

Investments with Eye on Risk Shine

There are three elements that any investment plan must have to succeed: solid performance, low volatility and profit protection. The first point is what most investors want to talk about but the last 2 are where millionaires are made. Countless people have money invested with no 'strategy' for managing wealth. Hence, they subject themselves to unnecessary risk. Markets go up and markets go down. The key is to be on the 'correct side' of the market; offensively positioned for growth during...more

Investing Basics

Investing Basics

The beginning of a new year is a good time for each of us to review the basics of investing to see if we are adhering to the principles that will make us successful investors over the long run. Compounding to Wealth Most wealth is built steadily over long periods of time. There are exceptions such as some of the dot com wealth that was built in the second half of the 1990's. (At least for those that were smart enough to protect their assets from the downturn.) That was a unique period in...more

Investment Approach: Specific Target or Toss the Dart?

Investment Approach: Specific Target or Toss the Dart?

If you are like most individual investors, your portfolio is built and designed around a method of pure luck and good intentions. Some investors do not take the time to consider the overall, big goal and as a result the portfolio is constructed to meet the needs or desires of the moment. The primary issue, and absolute must, in building or designing a portfolio is to determine what you are trying to accomplish. Is the overall goal to fund your children's college account, buy a car in 4...more

10 Things Every Investor Should Know

10 Things Every Investor Should Know

I spend a great deal of my time explaining things to my clients as well as many other individuals that do not necessarily revolve directly around specific 'investments'. Over time I have learned that there are a number of issues that individuals should know and understand PRIOR to making investing decisions. This is my list of the top 10. Investing in a vacuum is never a good idea. This sounds ultra simplistic but I cannot count the number of times I have helped someone through these issues...more

What an Aspiring Day Trader Should Consider

What an Aspiring Day Trader Should Consider

Day-trading, once the exclusive domain of floor traders and of the larger investment firm's proprietary trading desks, is now fair game for all speculators. Inspired in part by instant availability of quotes, affordable high-powered computers and competitive on-line commissions, the new wave of day-trading methods and systems has attracted thousands of traders in recent years. The undeniable thrill of trading is, however, a double-edged sword: one that can hurt as well as heal. Trading...more

What an Aspiring Buy and Hold Investor Should Consider

What an Aspiring Buy and Hold Investor Should Consider

The buy-and-hold is said to be the most commonly used investment strategy among individual investors. Many choose this method because of its simplicity & buying a stock and holding onto it, no matter how much the price rises or falls. Buy-and-hold investors usually sell their stocks only when they have reached a certain goal such as making enough money for retirement, a college fund, or a house. Investors can buy a stock, hold onto it, and not have to worry about the right time to sell. Two...more

Trading and Investing Are Very Different

Trading and Investing Are Very Different

Every investor is affected by some degree to trading and the cost of transacting. This refers to trading as a function rather than one's investment strategy. While it is important, if not very helpful, for investors to understand the rules and operational aspects of executing a securities trade, to make it one's occupation or base one's wealth generating strategy on active trading is another thing entirely! The mindset of an investor is quite different from that of a trader. An investor...more

When Investing, Use Time to Your Advantage

When Investing, Use Time to Your Advantage

Sports pundits often predict the big winners at the start of a season, only to see their forecasts fade away as their chosen teams lose. Similarly, market timers often try to predict big wins in the investment markets, only to be disappointed by the reality of unexpected turns in performance. While it is true that seasoned financial professionals can sometimes use market timing to their client's advantage, for those investors who do not wish to subject their money to such a potentially risky...more

When Selling, Don't Make These Mistakes

When Selling, Don't Make These Mistakes

An important part of any investment strategy is to develop a methodology for ultimately selling your investments. Unfortunately, many investors sell based on emotional factors, making one of several mistakes: Holding on to an investment with a loss. Psychologically, it's difficult for investors to sell an investment with a loss, preferring to wait until the investment at least gets back to a break-even level. However, that may never happen or may take a long time to do so. Take a hard...more

Watch Out for These Mistakes

Watch Out for These Mistakes

Investing is a gradual process - purchasing investments and selling others as the years go by. After a period of years, this can result in a mixture of investments that don't fit your overall investment strategy. Thus, periodically review your portfolio, watching out for these mistakes: You don't use an asset allocation strategy. Many investors select individual investments over the years, not considering the overall make-up of their portfolio. Add up all your investments and...more

Some General Investing Tips

Some General Investing Tips

Realize that saving and investing are two different concepts. Saving involves not spending current income, while investing requires you to take those savings and do something with them to earn a return. Saving often becomes easier when it is separated from the choice of where to invest. Find ways to make saving as automatic as possible, perhaps through payroll deductions or monthly checks to an investment account. Then you can take your time to research and select specific investments...more

Consider Dollar Cost Averaging

Consider Dollar Cost Averaging

We all know we should buy low and sell high, but determining when that occurs is difficult. Thus, consider using a strategy like dollar cost averaging to help with those decisions. Dollar cost averaging involves investing a set amount of money in the same investment on a periodic basis. For instance, instead of investing a lump sum in one stock immediately, you might invest $2,000 in that stock at the beginning of every month. Utilizing this strategy can provide several...more

Constructing a Portfolio

Constructing a Portfolio

No two investors have the exact same investment goals. Building a portfolio that is customized to your comfort level and consistent with your goals can be a very difficult task. Many different factors have to be taken into consideration to assure that your portfolio is well diversified. Generally, six factors are used in the portfolio construction and management process for individual investors: time horizon, liquidity, marketability, tax consequences, risk tolerance, and diversification....more

Retirement and Risk: The Difference Between Tolerance and Capacity (and Why You Need to Know It)

Retirement and Risk: The Difference Between Tolerance and Capacity (and Why You Need to Know It)

When we think about recipes for well-funded retirement plans we often start with some basic concepts. One of them is that investments are at the root of preparing for our post-work years. Packed into our investment portfolios, however, is a separate consideration — one that's crucial to getting retirement right.   It's the concept of risk.   Planning for one's golden years requires that we understand exactly how we feel and react when it comes to how much risk we...more

6 Ways Republican Control of Congress Could Affect Your Portfolio

6 Ways Republican Control of Congress Could Affect Your Portfolio

Barring partisan gridlock and budget-driven shutdowns — let's look for compromise in 2015 and beyond — the 114th United States Congress is poised to introduce dynamic changes to the legislative landscape. And investors ought to take notice.   Eight years ago was the last time the GOP controlled both the House and Senate, and the moment for dramatic revisions to recent legislation and executive measures may well be at hand.   Let's look at six key GOP legislative goals...more

Are We Already in a Bear Market?

Are We Already in a Bear Market?

The onset of 2016 saw the market having its worst start in recorded history. We may be in for a 'bad year', but here's what you need to know to get through it. By Anna B. Wroblewska   This year, the market had its worst start in recorded history. Then, to add insult to injury, a recent Bespoke Investment Group report came to a conclusion that most investors are only just starting to ponder: that we're already well within bear market territory.   According to the report, the average...more

How Many Stocks Do You Need for a Diversified Portfolio?

How Many Stocks Do You Need for a Diversified Portfolio?

There are many opinions on this topic. Here are a few fundamental points to consider, With patience and a methodical approach, you can be on your way to a strong portfolio. By Anna Wroblewska   If you're building a portfolio of individual stocks, you've probably considered the question of how many you actually need.   Unfortunately, there seem to be as many answers as there are commentators: well-known investor Jim Cramer recommends five to 10 stocks, but others recommend upwards of...more

How to Keep a Cool Head in Any Market

How to Keep a Cool Head in Any Market

The market is being volatile, and you're stressed. Here are two important tips on how to keep a cool head and why. By Anna B. Wroblewska.   If you've been following the markets recently, you might be feeling a bit stressed. With this kind of volatility, it's hard not to experience the sense of worry that comes with watching your investment account balances falling.   What do you do in this situation? You might be debating whether to sell, change strategies, buy something, ride it...more

Summer Reading: Investing 101

Summer Reading: Investing 101

A quick overview on how to go about planning your investment strategy. By Paula Pant   Investing books may not sound like a thrilling beach read – it's no spy thriller or comedic novel – but you may still want to peruse a few investments books or articles while you're sitting on the deck or patio during these warm summer nights.   Investing, after all, has the power to change your life. You can't say the same about your favorite detective series.   Before you...more

Buy High, Sell Low

Buy High, Sell Low

It violates the most fundamental element of investing, yet thousands of investors practice it every day. As soon as the market or sector they are investing in loses ground they sell and go looking for the hot market. Eventually a new fund or sector with some strong recent gains is chosen to invest in and the investor is again confident that he or she is back on the fast track to riches. Then it happens again, an again and again. All the instruments they purchase have proven track records, yet...more

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