Higher Market Volatility Could Be A Buying Opportunity

Volatility is back. The market is beginning to falter under the barrage of geopolitical turmoil, depressed commodity prices, muted earnings, and now a drop in consumer confidence. The gauge that measures consumer sentiment fell from 93.4 to 86 from last month to September – an 8% drop that brings a sudden end to a 4-month increase in expectations. A look at the CBOE VIX Index, colloquially known as the “fear gauge,” reveals a sharp rise in the past two weeks of trading. Since September 19th, the VIX has climbed nearly 35% from 12.11 to 16.31 as of September 30th. Many […]

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Why Luxury Stocks Have Lagged Over The Past 6 Months And What It Means For Investors

The bull market is continuing to run free well into 2014 and the stock market has hit multiple new highs throughout the year. However, a sector that has beat the S&P 500 over the last 5 years has been surprisingly lagging. Luxury stocks have stalled out over the past several months. Take a look at a comparison between the S&P 500 and the S&P Global Luxury Index (http://us.spindices.com/indices/equity/sp-global-luxury-index). In the last 5 years, the Luxury Index has posted gains of 19% versus the S&P 500’s 15.5%. Now take a look at the index over the past twelve months. The S&P […]

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Alibaba, Facebook, and Twitter: What You Should Own

Tech companies are now the de facto leaders of the stock market. Names like Apple and Google are worth many billions of dollars and dominate headlines daily with new products and earnings reports.  Meanwhile, Wall Street hangs on to every snippet of information in its never ending search for an edge. Other investors are looking for the next up-and-coming tech giant and the flood of internet company IPOs are feeding into those desires. The dorm-room dreams of tech-savvy college students have become legitimate businesses. Since 2011, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have gone from social networking sites to multi-billion dollar companies […]

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Navigating the Energy Sector When Oil Prices Drop

Oil. Black gold. It’s the lifeblood of the global economy. As essential as sunlight is to plants, so too is the world dependent upon oil to function. Around 80% of the world’s total energy usage stems from fossil fuels like oil. As it stands today, without oil, the ability to power a city or transport goods becomes impossible. For investors, a product like oil has built in demand which helps to prop up prices making it the most heavily traded commodity in the market. Take a look at Exxon Mobile’s (XOM) chart over the past 10 years to get a […]

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Takeover Targets: What To Look For

Most people are familiar with the phrase, “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Basically it means you can’t get something from nothing. Investors may have a basis for refuting that adage though. Enter the corporate takeover. A takeover is when one company purchases, or takes over, another company, usually after extensive negotiations and financing. The acquiring company becomes responsible for the target company’s debt obligations, holdings, and assets. In many cases, this transaction results in a significant price appreciation for the company that’s being taken over making it one of the most sought after events an investor […]

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The REIT Resurgence

REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) have a reputation for being complicated, unwieldy asset classes. It’s underserved – they’re actually one of the simpler companies to invest in due to their business model. Let’s define what a REIT is to better understand how it works. It is a company that owns a portfolio of real estate properties and receives income in the form of rent and capital appreciation on the property. A simple model, but highly effective. Furthermore, REIT’s must pass on at least 90% of their profits to shareholders thanks to a specific tax structure that allows them to bypass […]

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George Soros is Betting Against the Market and Why Investors Should Take Notice

For institutional investors, keeping secrets for long is an impossible task. The Securities and Exchange Commission requires these entities to file a 13F, a quarterly filing required of investment managers of assets of $100 million or more, which contains information regarding the asset manager’s investment style and potentially even a list of equities owned. It’s a good gauge of what an investment company did in the last quarter. Taking a look back at prior quarters can paint a fairly accurate picture of what direction they’re assuming the market will take and how they’re positioning themselves to prepare – long, short, […]

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Target’s Problems May Signal the Beginning of a Paradigm Shift In the Retail Industry

The retail sector has lagged behind the averages this year. Just take a look at the SPDR S&P Retail ETF’s (XRT) performance – down almost 4.5% year-to-date. The S&P 500 Index however has risen 5.7% over the same time period. This data seems to contradict the growing feeling of economic recovery and it’s clear that the reasons for retail’s sluggishness are more than skin deep. According to the Fed’s Beige Book, a collection of anecdotal economic information, regional banks saw moderate to modest growth in their local economies. Consumer spending, while not necessarily robust, has certainly seen a boost from […]

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Best Companies To Invest In For ‘The Internet Of Things’

The Internet of Things. A somewhat nebulous and colorless title for a concept that could revolutionize the world in much the same way the internet originally did. The idea is that everyday objects will be interconnected and able to identify themselves to other devices. The best way of explaining IoT is with examples. Picture a power generator that’s able to let maintenance know when there’s a problem without first being inspected, or remote monitoring systems that enable home automation – imagine your appliances being connected via wi-fi enabling it to download updates and ensure smooth operations. Recent additions to the […]

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How Consumer Spending And Economic Growth Is Linked

Anyone who’s paid attention to Wall Street for more than a few hours knows that the media loves to speculate on what the latest economic reports mean for the markets. Everything from job numbers to housing starts to consumer spending is discussed and analyzed until opinions (often contradictory) are given as to what it means for the future. While some indicators are considered more meaningful than others, one finds itself among the most looked at figures and seems to spark the most contention: consumer spending. It’s not without good reason. Even freshman year economic majors know how important spending is […]

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