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Archive for the ‘Investing Tips’ Category


Are Coal Companies a Good Contrarian Bet?

Despite the conversion of many electric plants to natural gas and away from coal, the USA still consumed 800 million tons of coal in 2015, the last year for which totals are available. We wrote recently about the bleak future of coal.
Electric companies have been switching plants from coal to natural gas and closing coal plants. Big consumers like GM and Toyota insist on clean energy and won’t use coal even if environmental regulations are relaxed. That is the bleak future of coal.
Peabody Energy is the largest coal producer in the USA as well as in Australia. The stock sold […]

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Your Best Bet May Be the Gaming Industry

A lot of attention has been paid to the handful of high tech stocks that have been leading the market higher and higher. But are these really the best places to put your money? Your best bet may be the gaming industry which is up 50 percent this year. Likewise home builders, hotels and resorts, health care and even railroads have done better than the high tech darlings. Part of this appears to be investors rotating out of the high priced tech sector and part is that the economy is not doing all that badly and profits are being spread […]

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Should You Invest in Canada?

Warren Buffett just bought stock in a Canadian mortgage underwriter, Home Capital Group. Should you invest in Canada when the Oracle of Omaha does? An article in The New York Times discusses why you should not go where Warren Buffett invests in this case.
When Warren Buffett acts, investors notice. And after he took a roughly $300 million position last month in Home Capital Group, a troubled Canadian mortgage underwriter, some investors saw it as a vote of confidence not only in that company, but also in Canadian stocks over all.
Al Rosen takes a different view. A veteran forensic accountant and […]

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Is Dr. Doom Right about the Markets?

There are contrarians who continually predict a fall in stock prices. The old joke is that even hypochondriacs get sick once in a while. Thus by analogy we might say that even the perpetual naysayer will be right about the market from time to time. One of these naysayers is Marc Faber also known as Dr. Doom. According to CNBC he predicts that stocks are set to plummet 40% or more.
If the man often hailed as the original “Dr. Doom” is right, the stock market could see another “lurch” higher – at which point investors may want to cash out […]

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Will Politics Kill Wind Farms?

We just wrote about the bleak future for coal usage for electric power production. This is primarily because natural gas is cheaper and cleaner.  The Trump administration has promised to bring back coal production and appears to be intent to achieving that goal by any means possible. But natural gas is not going away as an energy source. That leaves nuclear and renewable energy sources as the remaining opponents of coal. From the U.S. Energy Information Administration here is the breakdown of U.S. electricity generation by energy source.
In 2016, about 4.08 trillion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity were generated at utility-scale […]

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Moody’s Debt Downgrade Will Only Make China’s Problem Worse

For the first time in thirty years Moody’s has downgraded China’s debt. Bloomberg discusses the ramifications of China’s downgrade from A1 to Aa3.
The downgrade of China’s debt by Moody’s Investors Service may push Chinese companies to borrow even more money from domestic banks as overseas debt becomes more expensive, increasing risks for the nation’s finance industry.
With growing indebtedness at home, compounded by a slowing economy, there’s a risk of a “negative feedback loop,” said Khoon Goh, head of Asia research for Australia & New Zealand Banking Group who sees state-owned enterprises and property developers feeling the biggest impact. The downgrade […]

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Are Cyber Security Tools Worth the Price?

The current ransomware attacks spanning the globe have taking down computer systems in schools, offices, hospitals and factories. According to Reuters cybersecurity stocks are up.
A global “ransomware” attack disrupting factories, hospitals, shops and schools spurred investors on Monday to buy up stocks expected to benefit from a pick-up in cybersecurity spending by firms and government agencies.
The cyber attack began spreading across the globe on Friday and by Monday had locked up computers in more than 150 countries, with experts warning of an even wider impact as more employees logged on and checked e-mails.
European Union police agency Europol said on Monday […]

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Investments That Are Good Forever Until They Are Not

Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are in the news again after their annual shareholder’s meeting. Buffett is famous for saying that his preferred time frame for holding an investment is forever. But the so-called Oracle of Omaha has criteria for buying stocks and when those criteria are no longer met, he and his crew have been known to sell in a hurry. Yahoo Finance writes about 11 stocks Warren Buffett didn’t hold forever.
However, when it comes to managing Berkshire Hathaway’s $153 billion stock portfolio, Buffett and his top money managers aren’t afraid to reverse on a dime and liquidate a […]

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What Are the Unique Risks Associated with Foreign Investments?

In our last two articles we asked why aren’t you investing offshore and wondered about a coming European economic boom. But if you are thinking of putting your money to work outside of the USA, what are the unique risks associated with foreign investments and how can you avoid them? Investopedia writes about the three biggest risks that international investors face. These are transaction costs, currency risks and liquidity risks.
The Cost of Investing Offshore
Likely the biggest barriers to investing in international markets are the transaction costs. Although we live in a relatively globalized and connected world, transactions costs can still […]

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How Does the US Trade Gap Affect the US Stock Market?

Although Trump wants to move manufacturing jobs back to the USA there are still lots of imported items that Americans buy. And as the dollar strengthens US products are more expensive overseas. Thus the USA has a trade gap. First a bit about the status of the trade gap and then how does the US trade gap affect the US stock market? Bloomberg says that while both imports and exports decreased in 2016 the US trade gap widened.
The U.S. trade deficit widened last year to the biggest since 2012 as exports fell more than imports, though a narrowing gap in […]

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