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Guy Conger's Recent Articles
The Genius Next Door
My next door neighbor Chuck is a genius. He has driven the same car for 15 years yet I never hear him complain about the price of gas or the price he has to pay his mechanic. The fact that he drives a 1999 Buick Le Sabre makes His silence all the more baffling. I […]
Posted: October 28th, 2014 under General.
Midyear Market Bias
The Bias of a Midyear Market As of Wednesday, equity markets are at their halfway point for the year. As such, it is a time to reflect on how the entire market, not just the S&P 500, has done as we enter July. • This has been an interesting year so far as the S&P […]
Posted: July 4th, 2014 under General.
Following a strong start to the week, the market went up and down for the remainder of the week before selling off on Friday. When the smoke cleared most investors should have seen little change to their portfolios. The aggregate bond index was up by less than 20 basis points while the S&P 500 was […]
Posted: April 28th, 2014 under General.
India & Emerging Markets
Emerging markets have been one of the worst places to invest your money so far in 2014. While stocks worldwide have struggled with increased volatility, the MSCI Emerging Market Index is down 5.8 percent, even as the S&P 500 Index clings to a 1.4 percent gain. But now there are signs the tide may be […]
Posted: April 21st, 2014 under General.
Google stock split
As you may have heard Google stock will be splitting next week. Thanks to some corporate maneuvering, shareholders will be getting a new class of stock that may occupy a different line on their portfolios. Google is technically initiating a stock dividend, which will issue a new class of shares, C shares, to current holders […]
Posted: March 31st, 2014 under General.
Options Work Wonders
Options are one of my favorite income-generating strategies, and I’ve found a lot of success in aiming for a controlled, specific target. Maybe it’s the easy math, and maybe it’s the allure of big, round numbers, but either way, I like using $1,000 as a benchmark for each set of trades. handholdingmoney185 3 Covered Calls […]
Posted: March 26th, 2014 under General.
Get Brave and Get Tech
One of the main things holding people back from being smart investors in emerging tech stocks today is their searing memory of being crushed in the 2000 and 2008 bear markets. People feel that they may have been fooled once, and they may have been fooled twice, but they sure as heck won’t be fooled […]
Posted: March 3rd, 2014 under General.
Argentina made headlines last month when its currency, the peso, crashed 15 percent in one fell swoop. The government had little choice but to devalue the currency after the Argentine Central Bank had sold off most of its dollar reserves — at the staggering rate of $1.1 billion per month — in a futile attempt […]
Posted: February 26th, 2014 under General.
After a sharp selloff on Monday, markets meandered over the next two trading sessions before taking off over into the end of the week. The rally erased the losses in most equity classes, the only exception being small cap stocks, which could not dig themselves out of the hole dug earlier in the week. Defensive […]
Posted: February 11th, 2014 under General.
Rising Rates- what to do
That interest rates are rising, and set to rise for years to come, should be no surprise to you. Nor are they difficult to forecast. After all, the granddaddy interest rate cycle of 64 years in duration, which I’ve tracked back thousands of years in economic history, bottomed in June 2012, just as I said […]
Posted: February 5th, 2014 under General.
Watch Out! Taper Bomb is Coming.
Here in the lower 48 the big economic question is when will the Fed (U.S. Federal Reserve) begin to cut back on its $ 85 Billion a month QE program. Well I think the answer to that question is coming soon. Here is my hypothesis Bond prices have been plunging for several months, while 30-year […]
Alternative Investments (for a low rate environment)
The Federal Reserve’s policy of keeping interest rates low and purchasing trillions of dollars in securities is pushing investors further into the danger zone. This unconventional approach is good for big banks, governments and borrowers, but it is very bad for savers. Near-zero interest rates have created incentives for the world’s biggest banks to borrow […]
How to Value Oil and Gas Companies
I like to own Oil exploration and production (E&P) companies with a high ratio of oil to natural gas. I would rather own more oil than natural gas. I believe oil will gain more value over time and so will E & P companies with high oil-to-gas ratios. Oil is more profitable for producers. It […]
There are three common Market Myths many would-be investors bring up to explain their inability to invest. Market Myth #1: Buy and Hold doesn’t work. Market trackers love to say “buy and hold” doesn’t work in volatile markets. Traditionally, you would hear this from brokerage firms that needed their clients to trade in and out […]
Singularity is Coming
Singularity is a term coined by Ray Kurzweil and it features prominently in his 2005 book ‘The Singularity is Near” in his book Kurzweil describes his law of accelerating returns which predicts an exponential increase in technologies like computers, genetics, nanotechnology, robotics and artificial intelligence. He says this will lead to a technological singularity in […]
Buckets of Money: A Retirement Income Strategy
Some retirees are able to live solely on the earnings that their investment portfolios produce, but most also have to figure out how to draw down their principal over time. Even if you’ve calculated how much you can withdraw from your savings each year, market volatility can present a special challenge when you know you’ll […]
The Case for The Bull
Pressures are growing which could send the Dow sky rocketing to 31,000 over the next five years. I know because, for 25 years, I’m an avid student of the history of markets. And the fact of the matter is this: If you understand the way capital flows like a powerful undercurrent through the world, and […]
U.S. Market View
The first week of the government shutdown is behind us. The market has recovered most of what was lost. The media are continuing to push end of the world scenarios. I don’t see it. Yes the government is huge today compared to years past after all the Fed. continues to buy $85 billion a month […]
Bonds and Bernanke
Fed Chairman Bernanke has thrown the kitchen sink at the bond markets to keep interest rates down. He’s shoved the Fed Funds rate down further — and kept it there longer — than any U.S. Fed Chairman of modern times. He’s printed more money than any central banker since the Weimer Republic. He’s bought more […]
Plan Now for a Year-End Investment Review
You might not enjoy sitting down to do year-end investment planning, but at least this fall you can make plans with greater certainty. For the last three years, investment planning has meant trying to anticipate possible changes in tax law; for tax year 2013 and beyond, you know for sure how income, capital gains, and […]
A whole new batch of mutual funds have come on the scene over the last few years and they are rapidly gaining prominence in employer-sponsored retirement plans. These “lifecycle” mutual funds — which also go by names like “targeted funds” or “age-based” funds — promise to solve the issue of asset allocation in one fell […]
Benefits of Oil and Gas Royalty Trusts
Benefits of Royalty Trusts Royalty trusts, like MLPs, generally invest in energy sector assets. Unlike the steady cash flows at MLPs, royalty trusts generate income from the production of natural resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas. These cash flows are subject to swings in commodity prices and production levels, which can cause them […]
Global Markets are Diverging
Even the U.S. equity market seems to be waking up to the reality that the world isn’t perfect. Faced with the growing probability of a global slowdown, U.S. stocks have stalled out in recent months after a spectacular run for the first four months, leading me to the belief second half of 2013 might not […]
Investing for Retirement
Making decisions about your retirement account can seem overwhelming, especially if you feel unsure about your knowledge of investments. However, the following basic rules can help you make smarter choices regardless of whether you have some investing experience or are just getting started. Don’t lose ground to inflation It’s easy to see how inflation affects […]
When is Market Volatility Most Dangerous?
When Is Market Volatility Most Dangerous? Though a market downturn generally isn’t fun for most people, its timing can have a greater impact on some investors than on others. For example, a market downturn can have greater significance for retirees than for those who are still accumulating assets. And it has the most impact if […]
Do you know what a Ratings Service is?
Ratings services are independent organizations that evaluate investments and credit risks for investors. These companies do extensive research into various factors, such as past performance, risk, and growth potential. They do not own or manage investments themselves. They can, however, help you make informed decisions about where to invest, especially when you don’t have the […]
Stock Market Metrics
Stock Market Metrics: Playing the Numbers There are no infallible guides to stock market movements. However, that doesn’t stop investors from using various measurements to try to divine the current and future direction of a stock’s price or the equity markets as a whole. Here are some common methods (or metrics) for gauging the stock […]
Pros and Cons of Annuities
Like any investment vehicle, an annuity has both good and bad points. The two biggest features in favor of an annuity are tax-deferred accumulation and safety. Historically, annuities have been very safe vehicles in which to invest and, with rare exception, there have been few defaults in this area. In addition, the tax-deferred accumulation allows […]
U.S. Market Volatility
The housing market is stronger than it’s been in years. The U.S. economy grew an estimated 1.8% during the first quarter of 2013–not rip-roaring expansion, but an improvement over the previous quarter’s 0.4%. Employment isn’t where it needs to be, but companies are no longer shedding jobs in record numbers and the Federal Reserve thinks […]
What is a Cash Reserve?
A cash reserve is a pool of funds (and sometimes credit) that you hold in a readily available form to meet emergency and other highly urgent, short-term needs. Sometimes, it is referred to as an emergency or contingency fund. Caution: Terminology is important here because contingencies often are not emergencies. Purchasing an expensive item that […]
U.S. Housing Recovery
According to a well-known gauge of the U.S. housing market, home prices have been on an upswing. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, which was released in May, posted its biggest gain in seven years. This improvement has spurred renewed optimism about housing’s role in the country’s economic recovery. What does the latest […]
Just How Risky Is Your Portfolio?
If you’re like most people, you probably evaluate your portfolio in terms of its return. However, return isn’t the only factor you should consider; also important is the amount of risk you take in pursuing those returns. The term “risk” is often understood to mean the risk of loss. However, a portfolio is generally a […]
Stock Market Metrics
There are no infallible guides to stock market movements. However, that doesn’t stop investors from using various measurements to try to divine the current and future direction of a stock’s price or the equity markets as a whole. Here are some common methods (or metrics) for gauging the stock market. Gauging volatility The CBOE Volatility […]
Follow the Trend
If there’s one thing I’ve learned throughout my decades of investing, it’s that the markets can, and usually will, throw you curveballs. You’ll also probably have to deal with fastballs, sliders, splitters, changeups, and knuckleballs. If you want to hit any of those pitches out of the park, you have to learn to turn the […]
What is a Mutual Fund?
A mutual fund is an investment company that pools investors’ money to invest in securities. An open-end mutual fund continuously issues new shares when investors want to invest in the fund, and it redeems shares when investors want to sell. A mutual fund trades directly with its shareholders, and the share price of the fund […]
Federal Reserve Reports
For those of you who didn’t know the U.S. Federal Reserve System (Fed) publishes quarterly reports on four very important sectors of the U.S. economy. Household Finance (Consumer Credit) Money Stock and Reserve Balances (Factors Affecting Reserve Balances) Money Stock and Reserve Balances (Money Stock Measures) The reports are very valuable since in them you […]
Planning to Re-Marry
If you’re planning to remarry, you must decide how you and your fiance will combine your finances, and you’ll need to plan a financial strategy that considers the assets, liabilities, and financial responsibilities that each partner brings to the marriage. You’ll find that financial planning for marriage is more complicated than it was the first […]
Retirement Planning: The Basics
You may have a very idealistic vision of retirement–doing all of the things that you never seem to have time to do now. But how do you pursue that vision? Social Security may be around when you retire, but the benefit that you get from Uncle Sam may not provide enough income for your retirement […]
Personal Liability Insurance & Umbrella
What is personal liability insurance and do I have it? Personal liability insurance protects your assets if you injure another person or damage someone else’s property. It’s also known as third-party insurance because it protects you if a third party files a claim against you. Personal liability insurance can be purchased as part of a […]
In Search of Higher Yields
As interest rates have fallen to record lows and stayed there in recent years, the yield on your savings may be stuck in neutral. If you’ve focused on capital preservation and kept your assets in U.S. Treasuries, a money market account, or certificates of deposit, you may have minimized the chance of the financial equivalent […]
During the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar (around 600 BC) an ounce of gold would buy around 350 loaves of bread, according to the Old Testament. Gold has maintained its purchasing power for much of the intervening period between Nebuchadnezzar’s reign and today, continuing to buy around 350 loaves of bread per ounce. That’s one of […]
My laptop was stolen in United States..how can I protect myself against identity theft in U.S. ?
You are right to be concerned about identity theft since identity thieves can use your personal financial information to access bank accounts and credit cards, and make unauthorized transactions in your name. As a result, it’s important to act fast in order to protect yourself from any potential attempts at misusing your financial information. Your […]
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
Many investors whose incomes are suffering from low interest rates have begun to seek investment alternatives to help supplement those incomes. One possibility often suggested is a real estate investment trust (REIT). REITs are a way to invest in commercial real estate without the responsibility of managing a property yourself, and with a much smaller […]
The QE 1,2 and 3 series, by creating vast sums of new money, coupled with artificially low interest rates, has injected capital into the equity markets and thus raised stock prices. This is seen as a major victory by the Keynesians. The trick will be how the FED (eCB, BofJ) can withdraw these funds if […]
Market Week: February 4, 2013 The Markets A stream of strong earnings reports helped the Dow industrials end their fifth straight week of gains by closing above 14,000 for the first time since 2007. The Nasdaq’s best week since the first of the year helped it close the gap with the other domestic indices, while […]
Analysts are worng about Apple
I normally don’t recommend tech stocks to investors. I have found them to be too volatile for a value investor like me. However in the case of Apple (AAPL) and its recent fall from grace I am making a big exception. I think the analysts who monitor Apple are dead wrong in giving it a […]
Reaching Retirement–Now What?
You’ve worked hard your whole life anticipating the day you could finally retire. Well, that day has arrived! But with it comes the realization that you’ll need to carefully manage your assets so that your retirement savings will last. Review your portfolio regularly Traditional wisdom holds that retirees should value the safety of their principal […]
U.S. Treasuries and Inflation
I am of the opinion that 10-year Treasury bond yields touched a long-term low of 1.4% in July 2012. Therefore, that point marked the end of the bull market for Treasuries and the beginning of a long-term bear market. There are several reasons for this critical conclusion, which might help investors in rebalancing their portfolios. […]
Consider five factors before prepaying your mortgage:
Should I pay off my mortgage early? Al Seguin, CPA in San Antonio Texas says he often hears this from clients who only have a few years left on their mortgage. “That’s one of the most common questions that I [hear],” he explains. “People will say, ‘Al, I just don’t like debt.’” 1. Your interest […]
Recently my brother asked me for advice on a good place to park some money. He said he probably wouldn’t need it for two years. I thought Money.ca reader might like to see the three ETF’s I suggested. here they are: PIMCO Enhanced Short Maturity ETF (MINT) Category: Ultrashort Bond Fund Family: PIMCO Net Assets: […]
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