stocks

A $1.3 Million Portfolio Report Card for JPG in Maryland

What are the hallmarks of a well-built and financially sound investment portfolio? For some, it’s simply owning the top performing stocks or mutual funds (Nasdaq:AMCPX). For others, it’s owning the funds or ETFs (NYSEARCA:SCHB) with the lowest cost. And yet for many others, their definition of a well-built investment portfolio is to own whatever securities popular …

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Do You Need to Buy at Market Bottoms to Get Profitable Results?

Legendary speculator Bernard Baruch once quipped: “Don’t try to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. It can’t be done except by liars.” Baruch was on to something. And since reams have been written and said about tops and bottoms in both individual securities along with broader markets (NYSEARCA:VTI), we can’t help but …

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(Podcast) The Gold Monster Awakens

How difficult of a trading environment has 2016 been? It’s been so bad that BlackRock’s $1.9 billion global credit hedge fund is off to its worst yearly start in almost two decades. According to reports, the fund was hurt by crashing junk bonds (NYSEARCA:HYG) and spiraling crude oil (NYSEARCA:USO) prices. Who saw that coming? And …

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Don’t Count on the Fed to Backstop Your Investments

Yes kids, stock prices can sometimes plummet. And they did during the first trading session of 2016. It’s a helpful reminder to forgetful innocents about this unforgiving fact. The chart below shows how the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA:SPY) has declined 1.65% over the past month. That in itself isn’t disastrous, but stock market volatility (ChicagoOptions:^VIX) …

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4 Things to Understand about Your Portfolio’s Margin of Safety

Does your portfolio have a margin of safety? I ask that question because the total U.S. stock market (NYSEARCA:SCHB) has been rocky over the past few weeks and now has a year-to-date (YTD) loss of -1.23%. And since most investor underperform the stock market and the index ETFs tied to it, it’s fair to assume …

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DON’T Invest a Single Dime Without this Crucial Document

Imagine hiring a builder to construct you a home. You tell the builder how you want the home to look and you tell them about all your desired features. Instead of showing you a blueprint, the builder starts construction and a short-time later, your house is completed.  But there’s a very big problem: The home’s final design is nothing like what …

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Improving Bogle’s 50/50 Portfolio

Jack Bogle has made changes inside his personal investment portfolio. In a news interview last week, the legendary indexer revealed that his 60% allocation to U.S. stocks and 40% to bonds via index funds (Nasdaq:VBINX) has shifted to a more conservative asset split of 50/50 in each group. Bogle is the 86-year old founder of Vanguard Group, the …

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S&P 500 Investors Get New Choice for Direct REIT Exposure

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have long been buried inside the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY) but have now received a giant promotion. S&P Dow Jones Indices and MSCI — the index providers who jointly maintain the GICS system for organizing industry sectors — decided to create a stand-alone real estate sector. As a result, S&P Dow Jones Indices has launched …

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Stock Market Pit

Wall Street’s Perennial Optimists Strike Again

It’s been said the only bubbles that Wall Street sees are the bubbles in its champagne glasses. It appears those words are true because year-end targets for the S&P 500 (SNP:^GSPC) by Wall Street’s finest – are shall we dare say – quite bubbly: Bank of America 2,200 Goldman Sachs 2,100 Morgan Stanley 2,275 JPMorgan 2,250 Stifel 2,350 …

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How Would Your Portfolio Do in a 50% Market Decline?

Prudent investing in a reckless world has become a long-forgotten idea. And the 6-year run-up in U.S. stock prices (NYSEARCA:VOO) has certainly been a contributing factor. After love, risk might be the most misunderstood and misinterpreted word in the English language. Today, people’s perverted sense of risk management is making sure they don’t miss the …

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Gift-Wrapped Trades Courtesy of the Fed

The almost +2% jump in the S&P 500 (SNP:^GSPC) just three-days before the release of the Federal Reserve’s no rate hike decision looks suspicious and so does the heavy call buying volume. And while this type of curious trading activity resembles insider buying right before a big corporate takeover, I’m confident the Securities and Exchange Commission will …

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4 Signs Your Portfolio Isn’t Ready for a Bear Market

In case you didn’t get the memo, global stocks are now in correction mode. And the velocity of the rout has been shocking to seasoned financial pros not to mention the investing masses. For perspective, the three largest U.S. stock benchmarks – the Dow Industrials (NYSEARCA:DIA), Nasdaq-100 (Nasdaq:QQQ), and S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:VOO) are up between …

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(Podcast) The $700 Million Man Who Lost His Fortune

What’s hot and what’s not? The chart below shows that U.S stocks (NYSEARCA:SPY) are still outperforming other asset categories like bonds (NYSEARCA:BND), global real estate (NYSEARCA:RWO), and gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) this year.  Stock market fear is contained and the VIX – a popular barometer of sentiment –  has declined around 30% year-to-date. In terms of S&P 500 industry …

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Does Your Portfolio Have a Margin of Safety?

Building an architecturally sound investment portfolio doesn’t happen by chance. A structurally strong and healthy portfolio is organized into three basic parts: 1) the portfolio’s core, 2) the portfolio’s non-core, and 3) the portfolio’s “margin of safety.” All portfolio parts complement each other by deliberating holding non-overlapping assets. (Audio) $1,000 Gold? + a $1.8 Million Portfolio …

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A Risky $1.31 Million Portfolio that Flunks on Cost

A few months ago the NASDAQ Composite Index (Nasdaq:ONEQ) eclipsed 5,000 for the first time since March 2000. Put another way, we are all 15 years older since the NASDAQ’s first dance with all-time highs, but are we smarter? What did we learn from the first meltdown that can help us cope with future meltdowns? …

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How to Increase Your Odds of Investment Success

Investing and gambling share at least one common thread; it’s all about odds. And depending on how you build your portfolio of investments, you will either increase or decrease your odds of investment success. (Audio) The Stock Market’s Last 10% Correction + How to Judge Performance Properly The latest data from Morningstar’s Active/Passive Barometer illustrates …

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Contrarian Investing

Portfolio School: Put Things Where They Belong

People do the darndest things. For example, they put their investments in places where they don’t belong. This is a common problem suffered not just by retail investors, but by experienced professionals who are hired to advise them. In each case, there’s a poor understanding about the basic elements of a well-built portfolio. (In extreme cases, there may be knowledge of …

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Monster Tax Bills

Portfolio Report Card: Analyzing a Frugal $1.15 Million Account

Today, there is a singular focus by certain investors on minimizing investment cost. In their world, cost is the only thing that matters. Unfortunately, this exceedingly narrow view fails to acknowledge that curtailing your portfolio’s cost is only part of the overall puzzle for obtaining satisfactory investment results. What do I mean? Think about it …

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Retirement Plan

Q&A: Is Buying a Multi-Asset Fund Near Retirement a Good Idea?

Multi-asset class funds and ETFs are designed to invest across various asset classes like stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, and other alternatives. In the ETF marketplace, examples of these types of multi-asset class funds are the Multi-Asset Diversified Income ETF (NYSEARCA:MDIV), iShares Core Growth Allocation ETF (NYSEARCA:AOR), and the iShares Morningstar Multi-Asset Income ETF (NYSEARCA:IYLD). (Audio) Portfolio …

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Portfolio Report Card: A $850,613 Portfolio with Sluggish Results

Your investment portfolio is nothing more than a reflection of who you are. In other words, it’s a personal statement about how you approach financial risk, investment cost, diversification, and taxes. If you’re disorderly when it comes to these aspects of your investment plan, the unwelcome consequences will be a disorderly portfolio with disorderly results. …

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