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What are the Best Financial Programs to Use?

What are the Best Financial Programs to Use?

There are many apps and online programs that investors can use, often for free, to help keep an eye on their holdings and to track their investment portfolio. In addition to the software accessible through your custodian, you might want to look at the programs available through Morningstar, Microsoft Money, and others. Apps on your phone (CNBC, TheStreet, Barron’s, MarketWatch, etc.) can keep you updated on market news related to your stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. You can also subscribe to market commentaries delivered via email. Continue reading...

Should I Listen to Commentators on Financial News Programs?

Should I Listen to Commentators on Financial News Programs?

It’s easy to become drawn in by the financial media, but it’s important not to let them do your thinking for you. Commentators on the most reputable financial channels will always be sharp-looking, smooth-talking, and quoting a barrage of statistics that makes it seem like you didn’t know anything before you tuned in. Is this an indication of being camera-friendly? Without a doubt. Is it an indication of sound financial advice? Absolutely not. Continue reading...

Should I Trust the Opinions Expressed by Various Financial Analysts?

Should I Trust the Opinions Expressed by Various Financial Analysts?

Studies suggest that it is not wise to put too much faith in any market analyst or commentator – but it may be wise to listen to as many of them as possible. There have been many studies surrounding the predictions of financial analysts who seek to foretell the direction of the economy, particular sectors, or even individual stocks. The studies reveal that it isn’t wise to rely on the forecasts of any one commentator or analyst. Continue reading...

Should I Rely on Analyst Upgrades or Downgrades of the Positions in my Investment Portfolio?

Upgrades and downgrades can be useful but they may not be the most current form of trading information. The problem with upgrades or downgrades is that they rely on the events which already happened; in most cases, the information is already built into the price of the stock. Very often, after a company reports bad results, analysts will downgrade that company — how smart they are! Of course, we all wish that they would do it before the results had been reported. Still, if a majority of analysts downgrade the stock, it might be prudent to seriously consider selling it. Continue reading...

Should I Trust an Article Such as “What Are The Best 10 Stocks For The Next 10 Years?”

It can be useful to at least give some deep thought to the picks that appear in such articles. There is some investment wisdom in reading and taking action on the advice of such articles, since they point you in the direction of the industries which are poised to grow in the foreseeable future. Unlike short-term stock picks, these articles are concerned with growth that will go beyond the short term uptrend that will undoubtedly follow the appearance of a ticker symbol in such a list. Continue reading...

Should I Trust an Article Such as “Five Best Ways To Invest For Income?”

Yes and no. Avoid putting too much faith in “best” lists, but realize that at least three of these are probably going to irrefutable and fundamentally sound bits of advice, and probably delivered in a timely manner. Generally speaking, there is no such thing as the “best ways” to invest. However, such articles can help you to land on some timely strategies that you may not have acted on without prompting. Continue reading...

Should I Trust an Article Such as “Five Awesome Value Stocks?”

Articles that list “great value” buys should be food for thought, but may not put food on your table. Value stocks are those with low Price to Earnings ratios. To say that a particular Value Stock has an “Awesome” value is to say that it has been significantly undervalued by the market. While sometimes the market is ignorant of the growth potential and strong fundamentals of a particular company, the author of such an article would have you believe there is a great big crystal ball in his office. Continue reading...

If Everyone is Talking about Buying Gold, Should I Buy Some for My Portfolio as Well?

If Everyone is Talking about Buying Gold, Should I Buy Some for My Portfolio as Well?

Gold is one of those things that gets plenty of hype and that most investors think they understand well. Gold, as any other commodity (silver, platinum, palladium, oil, wheat, copper, coffee beans, etc), might be a valuable part of your asset allocation. It is important to recognize, however, that gold is an extremely volatile commodity, and there is frequent chatter and hype surrounding it that easily influences many investors. Continue reading...

Should I Buy the Same Companies Warren Buffett is Buying?

Absolutely yes. It would be a lot better if we knew about it at the time he was buying them, though. The only problem is, we only know which companies Warren Buffett bought after the fact, and this news has already been incorporated into the price by the time it becomes known to you (and everybody else). If you want to buy shares of companies that Warren Buffett is buying, purchase shares of Berkshire Hathaway – his investment vehicle. It can also still work to purchase shares of the same companies he does. Continue reading...

What are the Best Internet Sources for Financial Information?

The internet is overflowing with the advice, analysis, and chest-pounding of millions of self-purported gurus and market commentary services. There are plenty of well-informed and trustworthy sources out there, too. There are literally millions of websites providing you with various kinds of financial information, advice, recommendations, opinions, rumors, get-rich-quick schemes, and “facts.” There is a short list of companies that are well-established with a reputation worthy of trust: Morningstar, Moody’s, Fidelity, Schwab, Goldman Sachs, etc. Continue reading...

What are some Good Books on Investment?

What are some Good Books on Investment?

The investing section in your bookstore has shelves packed with titles hoping to earn a five-star rating from you, but not all of these are going to be worth your time. There are thousands and thousands of books written about investments, stocks, Mutual Funds, retirement portfolios, and so on. By the time most of them hit the market, the information in these books has long become irrelevant. The classic treatise on investments is Ben Graham’s “The Intelligent Investor.” Try to avoid books with titles like “12 Steps to Financial Prosperity,” and “How to become a Zillionaire.” Continue reading...

Should I Trust an Article Such as “What Are the Best Mutual Funds?”

Probably not, but it might get you thinking in the right direction. The short answer is “no.” The title of such an article should be enough to deter your from it. If such information were widely available, everyone would instantly act on it and nobody would be able to profit. In fact, if such lists are analyzed, almost none of the funds will appear on the next year’s list. That’s too bad, since mutual funds are not meant to be as liquid as stocks and ETFs, but are designed to be held for 3 years or more. Continue reading...