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to find the best stocks, closed-end funds, ETFs &
Do you want to improve your analysis skills.
There is plenty of stock market information on the Web. Do you know how
to use it to find the best stocks, ETFs and mutual funds?
Training tutorials describe how professionals
employ fundamental analysis strategies to pinpoint the best stocks and
mutual funds. Each includes up-to-date links to the data you need to
implement the described strategies. New
tutorials are added every two weeks.
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to Consider Preferred
If the market looks a little too volatile
for your tastes, this would be a good time to consider preferred
are paying dividends equating to 5% to 8% annual yields.
Here's what you need to know.
MLPs? You'll Love Their General Partners
Thanks to surging natural gas production, nat-gas pipelines are in fast
growth mode. Pipeline Master Limited Partnerships are great, but their
general partners might offer even higher returns.
- Not So Boring After All
So far this year
utilities are up 18%, triple the S&P 500’s six percent
gain over the same period. Do you still think that
utilities are boring?
for Business Development Companies
The old adage, “buy low, sell high,” still holds true. But, thanks to
the hot market, it’s tough to find stocks that aren’t already “fully
valued.” However, one category of stocks, Business Development Companies
(BDCs), fits that bill. Here's the scoop.
Into These Hotels For High Returns
the mixed economic reports that we hear so much, you might be surprised
when I tell you that the hotel business is booming. But it’s true. All
the relevant economic numbers: occupancy rates, room rates, and total
revenues, already near multiyear highs, are still trending up.
Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) are the best way to play the hotel
business. Here's how to pick the best of the bunch.
Can Pay High-Dividends Too
You probably know about
using exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) to hop on and off market
sector swings. But you might be surprised to learn than many ETFs
also pay high
dividends as well.
to Stick With U.S.A. Stocks
Europe is sinking into recession and China's growth is slowing. But here
in the U.S.A., despite mixed economic reports, the outlook looks
promising. Thus, for stock investors, the U.S.A. is the best game in
town. Here are five stocks that will prosper as the U.S. economy
REITs Right For You?
With the economy gaining strength,
this might be a good time to consider investing in commercial real
estate. You can do that via real estate investment trusts (REITs).
& Forget Portfolio
Is this stock market driving
you up the wall? Here are four stocks and one fund that you won’t have
to worry about.
Time to Hedge Your Bets
Escalating debt problems in Europe combined with mixed economic signals
in the U.S. are raising fears that we could be headed back into
recession. If that happens, stocks are likely to head down, but
bondholders will probably still make money. Since bonds are not as
easily traded as stocks, it's more practical to invest in bond funds.
Here are four ideas.
High Yields Plus Low Risk
Energy pipeline operators, organized as
Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) offer a combination of low risk and
high yields, an ideal combination for this shaky economy. Here's
how to find them.
for Patient Investors
Opportunities abound for investors patient enough to wait out short-term
volatility. That’s especially true for many high-dividend stocks. They
already have plenty of cash in the bank and business is improving, so
their payouts are not at risk.
Capture & Other Dividend Questions
My column describing
high-dividend stocks elicited questions about the various dates
associated with a dividend payment. Others readers asked about dividend
capture strategies, which involve holding a stock just long enough to
collect a dividend, and then moving on to another dividend-paying stock.
Here are the answers.
Since no one can
predict when the market will recover, pundits are advising buying
dividend-paying stocks on the premise that you will be getting “paid to
wait.” Problem is, that only works if you pick stocks that don’t cut
their payouts. Here’s how to find them.
You’d think that preferred shares would be an
arcane topic of little interest. But, in fact, my recent columns on
preferreds generated unusually heavy volumes
of mail. Here are the most frequently asked
of the Dow
Are you too busy
to do the analysis required to select stocks for investment? How about
a stock selection approach that requires less than one hour per year.
This intriguing stock selection strategy called the Dow Dividend
Approach, more popularly known as the Dogs of the Dow, has beaten the
overall stock market substantially over the last 26 years.
Basic Training Contents
Fiscal Fitness First
Just because the stock market is
looking stronger these days doesn’t mean that you should throw caution
to the wind. Up or down market, you’ll always do best owning stocks with
rock solid balance sheets. Here's how to spot them in
that one of your stocks is teetering on bankruptcy could ruin your day.
Thus, it’s best to stick with stocks unlikely to suffer that fate.
Here’s how to find them.
to Evaluate Credit Market Risk
the credit markets tight, if not stuck completely, it’s important to
evaluate each of your stocks for credit risk. But there’s no website
where you can look this stuff up. You have to do it yourself. Here ‘s
state of the credit markets, holders of stocks that rely on debt to
finance growth could be in for some unpleasant
surprises. Here's how to find out if your stocks are in that category.
Cash Flow to Spot Bankruptcy Candidates
heard a lot about accounting fraud, but recently bankrupt Consolidated
Freightways simply ran out of cash to pay its bills. Here’s how you
could have used cash flow to determine that Consolidated was risky
business months before it filed bankruptcy..
Stock Market Advice
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Here’s an idea. Instead of spending hours find
and researching stocks on your own, why not simply mimic the trades of
your favorite investing guru? Here’s how to
find out what these proven winners are buying and selling.
Who Predicted 2013's Big Winners
Christmas Eve, 22 large-cap stocks had
produced at least 200% returns so far in 2013.
How could you have picked these blockbuster
stocks in advance? Here's who, on Seeking Alpha,
predicted the top four winners.
Pay Attention to Analysts - Just Don't Follow Their Advice
Analysts' earnings forecasts contain important
information that could help you make money. But ignore their ‘buy/sell’
ratings. Here are the details.
Investors Can't Make Money Following
you make money following stock analysts’ advice? The answer depends on
who you are.
those with the big bucks such as hedge funds and other big players, the answer is yes. But it’s a different story for
individual investors. Here’s why.
Sell Means Buy
analyst’s rating downgrade usually drives a stock price down. But
if the reason for the rating change was solely valuation, the
downgrade could be a buying opportunity.
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Web Sites Can Help You Make More Money
Staying on top of your stock’s industry news and trends will make
you a better investor. Here's where to find that info.
Timing Using Exchange-Traded Funds
loses money in a weak market. Investors in the right industry can make
money, even in rough markets, if they know when to get in, and when to
get out. Here’s how to use Exchange-Traded Funds for industry
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ETFs to Spot
What's Hot & What's Not
money in the market is all about being in the right place at the right
time. Here's how to use free ETF performance reports to spot "what's hot
& what's not."
Up To Closed-End Funds
like many investors, you probably don’t pay much attention to closed-end
funds—but you should. Here's why.
Best Mutual Funds
2013 was a great year for the market, but investors who picked the right
funds did even better. Here are last year's and the past 5-year's best
returning U.S. funds.
fund managers have adopted
exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as their favorite investment vehicle.
But there is no reason why individual investors can’t also exploit
the benefits of ETFs. Here's what you need to know.
to Pick the Best Mutual Funds
The amount of mutual fund
performance data can be overwhelming. Not to worry! Here
are a few simple rules for picking the best funds.
Corporate Bonds Beat Money Market Accounts
With banks paying next to nothing in terms of interest,
this may be a good time to consider corporate bonds.
Here's how to find and evaluate bond funds suitable
for current conditions.
For Mutual Funds
Mutual funds offer advantages over owning individual
stocks in this rough and tumble market. Here's how to use
Morningstar's free mutual fund screener to find worthwhile
Do Managed Mutual Funds Outperform?
In a market like this, managed mutual funds, in theory,
should outperform the overall market. So far, that hasn’t happened. Here
are the details.
Probably the most
important thing you need to know about building wealth is the power
of making regular periodic investments and reinvesting rather than
spending the profits. The results you’d get are astounding. Starting
with nothing, you'd have a cool $1.7 million in 30 years if you just
match the market's historical returns. Here's how.
of Fund Manager Changes
A mutual fund’s
past performance gives us a good clue to the future. After all, if a
fund manager has been a good stock picker in the past, he or she will
probably continue to pick good stocks. But all bets are off if the
fund changes managers. Here’s how do you find out about fund
management changes and a passel of other worthwhile info.
to Research & Analyze
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Stocks Like a Pro
Do you think analyzing stocks is too difficult?
It doesn’t have to be. Here's how to analyze stocks
like a pro.
Frequently Asked Questions
About "overbought" and "oversold" stocks, screening for short-selling
candidates, and dividend stock definitions.
Stock Investing Rules
Don't make stock investing
Here are seven simple rules that will help
you make better investing decisions.
to Avoid High-Risk Stocks
Last week’s stock market burps remind us that, just because the market
has been strong, this is no time to throw caution to the winds. Here are
six checks you can use to gauge the risk of owning a specific stock.
Out for Pump & Dump
you’re like me, you probably receive frequent e-mails from people
you don’t know alerting you to opportunities to get in on the
ground floor of exciting new businesses. Unfortunately, in many
cases, it’s more about making money from selling stock to
unsophisticated investors than about starting a groundbreaking new
Moves Share Prices
Until recently, when a
firm reported earnings, its stock went up if earnings beat analysts’
forecasts and down if they didn’t’ But that was then. Now, the rules
have changed. Here are the details.
Growth stocks usually
outperform the market in a strengthening economy; such as we’re
currently experiencing. However, not all growth stocks
are created equal. Here are six tests to help
you decide whether your candidates are potential winners.
Growth vs. Growth By Acquisition
selling more products (organic growers), while others
depend on acquisitions (serial acquirers) to maintain growth.
Which is better? You might be surprised.
Questions to Ask Before Buying Any Stock
Here are six questions that every investor,
whether looking for high-flying growth stocks or beaten-down value
plays, should ask before buying.
for Avoiding Catastrophic Losses
money in the stock market is as much about avoiding big losses as it is
about scoring big gains. Here are six rules that could help you to do
a Second Opinion
Even if you’re a
great stock picker, it's worth getting
a second opinion before you pull the trigger. Super Stock Screener, a
site that I only recently discovered, looks like
a good resource for getting second opinions, and potentially much more.
Important Stock Picking Factors
Want to pick better stocks?
I recently did some research that
unearthed four factors that should help growth investors pick better
stocks. Here are the details.
Assessing Management Quality
quality is one of the most important factors you need to consider when
evaluating a company’s outlook, and hence, whether you’ll make money
owning the stock. Here's how to do that from the
comfort of your easy chair.
Rules for Picking Better Stocks
Picking winning stocks is harder than it looks. Here are 10
rules that will improve your odds of success.
You can find
plenty of advice about when to buy stocks, but knowing when to sell
is equally important. Here are three "red flags"
telling you that it's time to sell.
Does January's market action really predict the whole year? How much can
you make following Jim Cramer's advice? Are high unemployment numbers
good or bad for stocks? Here's a compilation of recent research findings
that can help you make better investing decisions.
Tax Rates Move Earnings
Corporate income tax rates play a big role in determining whether your
stock will beat or fall short of forecasts at report time. Here’s how to
figure out which way that wind is blowing.
Margins to Pick the Best Stocks
Sometimes picking the best stocks in an industry
is as easy as looking at gross or operating profit margins.
For Growth in All the Wrong Places
Acquisition-fueled growth is like a
Ponzi scheme. It works until something goes
Here’s how to spot
Big Losses By Checking Balance Sheet Red Flags
Crocs' shareholders who
ignored two balance sheet “red flags” saw $1,000 turn into $209. Here’s
how you can avoid making the same mistake.
investors are looking for the next Google: stocks with rapidly growing
earnings that will send their share prices through the roof. Here are 6
important rules for spotting hot growth candidates.
Every Stock, There's a Season
on a stock may be as much about when you buy as what you buy. Here's
how to find the best time of the year to buy your favorite
List = Risky Stocks
With the Dow
hitting new highs almost daily, the market has been fun lately.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and pay too
much for stocks that have already seen their best days. Here’s how to
identify stocks in that category.
Up On Basics
mail tells me that new investors might not understand all
of the terms that I use in these columns. So, here's an explanation
of some of the stock market jargon I’ve been throwing at you. But
experienced hands need not tune out. As usual, I’ve included
enough of my own debatable opinions to make it interesting.
Short Can Backfire
I get a lot of mail asking me to
describe a strategy for picking short-selling candidates. That mail has
gone unanswered. Now I’m going to tell you why.
Can Help You Make Money
Watching Jim Cramer's "Mad Money" TV show
is like a visit to the loony bin. But Cramer can teach you how to be a
better investor. Here's the best news: you don't have to watch him on
of the Fittest
Survival of the fittest, the law of nature that says, "Only the strongest survive," is a principal that investors should apply to qualifying stock candidates. Here's how.
a Jump on the Big Players
players move your stock’s share price big time when they buy or
sell. Knowing how they think will help you predict which way your
stocks are likely to move next.
Way to Spot Accounting Red Flags
usually take a big hit when a company reports earnings below
expectations. That’s why some investors go to great lengths to
detect “red flags” warning of such events. But you don’t have
to. Here’s an easier way.
Quick Growth Stock Checks
Don’t spend time
analyzing stupid stocks. Here are six items you can check in a
minute (no kidding) that will help you rule out bad ideas so you can
spend your time researching worthwhile candidates.
to Gauge Interest Rate Risk
rates are likely to go up when the economy improves. Here’s how to
gauge the risk to your stocks in a rising interest rate
on ROE Instead of Earnings
would fare better by focusing on a firm's profitability rather than
earnings per share when researching a stock. Why? Because as you'll
soon see, one profitability measure, return on equity, can help you
gauge a firm's earnings growth prospects.
to Profit From Stock Buyback Announcements
may be able to improve your stock returns by focusing on firms that
are buying back their own shares. But be sure your companies are
actually doing it rather than just talking about it. Here’s how to
do the analysis.
to Spot Takeover Targets
Even in this market, you usually make money if you are lucky enough
to hold a stock when the underlying firm is bought out. Her are some
ideas for spotting acquisition candidates.
Rules for Valuing Stocks
typically rely on P/E ratios to value stocks. Now valuation is even
more important, but in many cases P/E isn’t meaningful because
recent earnings, the “E” in P/E, are either depressed or
non-existent. Here’s how to get around that problem along with two
more ideas to help you evaluate stocks in this market.
to Analyze a Company's Business Model
you were buying a real business, you’d probably spend considerable
time analyzing each prospect’s profit potential. Yet few investors
spend much time analyzing the business models of the stocks that
they purchase. They’d be better investors if they did. Here's how
to get started.
to Set Target Prices
target prices is something that professional money managers almost
always do, but individual investors almost never do. Most are not
aware of the importance of setting target prices, nor how to go
about doing it, even if they want to. Here’s a simple procedure
for estimating target prices.
New Look at Value Investing
recently had the occasion to talk to several value-style managers
about their selection strategies. As a result, I have a new
appreciation for the craft, and in fact, value investing makes a lot
of sense to me. Here’s a rundown on what I’ve learned.
a Second Opinion
Even if you’ve done a
thorough job of analyzing a stock, it pays to get a second opinion
before you buy. Here are three sites ready and willing to give you
their take on your picks.
Stocks to Analyze (Screening,
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to Find Fast Growing Energy Shale Players
The U.S. is in the midst of an oil and natural
gas production boom. What’s more, many of the producers are small firms
with explosive growth prospects that didn’t even exist 10 years ago.
Here’s how to find them.
Small Stocks Before They Get Big
When it comes to stocks, names like Tesla,
Twitter, Facebook and Google are getting all of the attention. But,
since everybody already knows about them, it may be too late for you to
get on those bandwagons. Here’s a screen for finding small companies that
haven’t yet hit it big, but are showing signs that they are on the way.
Can Help You Pick & Analyze Stocks
Wouldn’t it be great if you could
emulate the strategies of famous investors such as
Joel Greenblatt or Benjamin Graham to help you pick stocks? It turns out
that you can, here’s how.
Hot Stocks in a Hot Market
Despite the bumps, the market keeps moving up.
How long that lasts is anybody’s guess. Nevertheless, why not hop
on some hot stocks and enjoy the ride. Just be prepared to get out
quickly when the market turns.
Bargain Hunting Screen
S&P 500 dropped 3% in August.
but many stocks took much bigger hits.
That downdraft opened up
opportunities to pick up bargains. Here's a
simple screen anyone can run to find them.
to Consider Private Equity
Their main business is taking over major
companies with problems, fixing them, and then
taking the rehabilitated firms public again,
often realizing a big profit. Here’s how to invest in three of the
Stocks in the Value Bin
Given the market’s big
run-up so far this year, this might be a good time to consider
relatively low-risk, value-priced
to find value investing candidates.
With the Economy Picking Up: Consider Growth Stocks
Share prices generally track earnings growth expectations for a
stock. Thus, stocks with fast growing earnings usually outperform slower
or no growth stocks.
Here's how to find them.
the Smart Money
The old adage, "work smarter, not harder," applies to picking stocks.
Here's how to find out which stocks the big boys are buying, and equally
important, which stocks that they're dumping.
Analysts expect hospitals, pharmaceutical
makers, and providers of healthcare information systems to be the
biggest beneficiaries of the new healthcare bill. Here's
how to find candidates in those categories.
Surprises to Pick Stocks
Here’s a stock picking strategy that doesn’t require
scrutinizing financial statements or checking price/earnings ratios, or
even worrying about how economic ups and downs might affect a company’s
to Consider Growth Stocks
With the economy no longer looking like it’s falling off a
cliff, and the stock market showing signs of life, this may be a good
time to consider edging back into the market. If you agree, here’s a
search you can run on Morningstar’s user-friendly stock screener to find
interesting growth stock candidates.
Tool For Finding Growth Stocks
It looks like the
government will get the credit markets working again. If that happens,
the stock market will begin looking beyond current conditions to the
recovery. Zacks‘ new tool for finding growth stock candidates will come
in handy. Here are the details.
For a Rebound
Despite the continuous flow of bad news, eventually, the market
will recover. Today, I’ll describe a strategy for finding stocks worth
considering in a rebounding market. Here’s why you should be getting
Book Beats the Market
The best selling stock
market book these days is “The Little Book That Beats the Market.” The
reason is no mystery. The book describes a simple formula that,
according to its author, would have averaged a 31% annual return from
1988 through 2004. It’s worth a look.
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Stock Market Direction
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Month's To Be In the Market
“Sell in May and go away” is advice that you hear
a lot this time of year. But, based on recent
evidence, you'd do better by
buying in October and selling in January. Here are the details.
the Experts - Figure It Out Yourself
anyone predict the market? Apparently not!
gives you the information you need so you can
figure out which way the market is likely to head on your own.
For Predicting the Economy
Are we heading into a
recession? You can find any answer you want by picking the right guru.
That’s why it’s important to do your own research. Here’s where to