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The DOW Closes Above 12,000

With the DOW climbing 148 points today and closing at 12,040, many are wondering if it can sustain this level. The DOW hasn’t closed above the 12,00 level since June 2008. It’s been a long two and a half years to get back to this level, but are we out of the woods yet?

I’m no expert, but I will say that any average Joe can see that the economy has not recovered no matter what the “reports” say. I travel a lot and where ever I go, I see many establishments that closed in 2008 and to this day most of them are still vacant. I know in the county I live in, the unemployment rate is nearly 14% and the state’s level is “projected” at 10.1%. I say “projected” because who are they trying to fool with that report? How many people are no longer collecting benefits and are still unemployed? They’re no longer being counted which according to realistic estimates, puts the national rate some around 18%-19.5%.

What about the housing market? The average home prices are starting to stabilize, but no one is ready to get out there and start buying property again. A report was released this week showing that over 11% of the homes in America unoccupied and more people are looking to rent than to own.

One thing we can see from over the last two and a half years is which companies were strong enough to weather-out the storm. I’ve been able to see some small cap companies grow in value at a steady pace with expected pull-back from the profit takers, only to continue the climb up. There are others that I’ve recently discovered that look to be contenders in a couple of years.

For the last few months I’ve been sitting on the sidelines watching the market. I’m not confident with the markets, the economy or the government at this time. Yes I have missed some good gains in stocks that I was invested in, but I sleep better just sitting it out right now. I love the stock markets and will always be involved with it, so for now I’ve been looking at some short/long term (2-4years) small caps that I will be investing in soon enough. I’m just waiting for a healthy pull-back (6%-9%) at then I’ll make my trades.

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Dividend Stocks

The stock market has been a very bumpy ride for most investors, so much so that many of them are sitting on the sidelines. it’s a shame that they are doing it since there are other ways to making money than buying low and selling high. Dividend stocks are just another way to make money even when the stock market isn’t doing anything.

There are hundreds of companies that are traded on Wall Street that offer high dividend paying stocks for investors to take advantage of. What are dividends? Dividends are a way for a company to share the profit of the company with it’s shareholders. Many times a company has grown so much that they don’t need to put so much into research and development, so they will pass a portion of it to it’s shareholders on a quarterly basis (four times a year).

in doing so, an investor can make money even if the company’s stock price doesn’t change. Let’s say you buy shares in company XYZ for $100 per share and the company offers a 10% dividend. Which means that the company will give it shareholders $10 a year for each share you own. So four times a year you will receive $2.50 every three months for each share. After one year of owning the shares, your actual price per share is $90. If the price hasn’t moved over the same period, you are still up 10% on your investment. How could you go wrong with that? So where can you find stocks that pay dividends? When you do your research on a particular company, you will find the information in their chart overview.

There are also many different ETF’s that are built around this concept, but why pay a fee for something you can do yourself. Typically you can also do better than the ETF’s since you are able to get in and out easier than the big boys.

Be aware though that Washington and the present Administration is looking to raise capitol gains taxes which will include dividend payouts. Of course if it’s your IRA retirement account, it won’t affect you. Look into it for yourself to see if dividend stocks are right for you. it’s just another way to increase your profits. Espaecially when the stability of the markets are highly in question.

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Roth IRA Benefits

The Roth IRA basics outline the important and critical information that you must gain knowledge of, particularly if you plan making contributions to this retirement plan by this year. Distinct from a traditional IRA, funds placed to a Roth IRA are considered not tax-deferrable. Distributions are commonly free from tax, but not at all times and not without specific regulations.


Roth IRA Advantages
There are various advantages integrated with a Roth IRA. One of its unique benefits over a traditional IRA is that there are less distribution restrictions and regulations. Withdrawal transactions within the Roth account to include dividends, capital gains, as well as interest do not acquire current tax liability.


Your direct contributions to a Roth retirement plan may be taken out of your account free from tax any time. Converted, rollover contributions prior to reaching the age of 59 ½ kept in this account may be withdrawn penalty and tax free following the seasoning period of 5 years.


The Roth IRA basics confer the Roth IRA distinction against the traditional IRA. Withdrawals in a traditional Individual Retirement Account will automatically incur tax as ordinary income, while a penalty will be incurred by distributions carried out prior to reaching 59 ½ years of age. If your funds in the Roth IRA came from conversion from a traditional IRA, you will be permitted to withdraw up to the entirety of the converted amount without having to pay any penalty, provided that the “seasoning period” (which is a five-year term) has already passed on the converted contributed funds.


Knowing the Roth IRA benefits will help you take advantage of the opportunity to withdraw up to $10,000 in account earnings that will be considered tax-free (see IRA tax deductions), particularly if you utilize the funds to buy and own a principal residence. Early IRA withdrawals also do not come with taxes and penalties if you use the money for medical expenses not payable by your insurance, or for paying college expenditures of your children.

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