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Stock Market Info: Facebook Page

I just created a facebook page for Beating The Stock Market, and our network of investing sites. Check it out! If you have a stock market website, feel free to share your best articles and links. See you there!

Stock Market 101

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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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Is Now The Time To Invest?

During the last two years (2008-2010) we’ve seen the stock market as well as the housing market and financial institutions go through a very rough period of correction. Now in the second half of 2010, average investors are wondering if they should start investing again. Well it depends on what you’re going to invest in.

We are no where at there bottom or the worse of it yet, but at the same time I’m looking at many different investments I may want to get in on. I will say though that the stock market is not one of them at this time. In my opinion, there is no reason for the DOW to be over 10,000 and I do expect it to come back down below 9000. When I do not know, but it will be there in due time.

What about precious metals? There is only a limited amount of gold in this world and it’s one of the few things that will retain it’s value (if not go up) in our present economic condition. I’ve been building a portfolio of just different precious metals. If you’re looking to buy gold make sure you are buying actual gold pieces and not some paper stock that trades off of gold. Between the two, only actual gold will be worth anything when and if our economy crashes.

As for the housing industry, I suggest you take your time and look for solid and profitable deals. The housing market will not turn around any time soon so you will have plenty of time to find the right one for you. We will see foreclosures going on for years to come so prices will stay in the general area if not come down even more. As an investor, you will need to look at properties that will return to good value in five to eight years from now. The days of flipping houses are on hold and will be that way for some time.

Stay away from investing in any financial institution since they are still not sure of what will happen in time with all the government regulations that will be coming down the line. So is it time to start investing? Yes if you take your time and study what it is you want to invest in.

What happened to the stock market today?

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Preventing Investment Fraud

If you are new to the investing world, there are people out there who will try and scam you. This is true with every aspect of life, and the world of investing is no exception. If there is money to be made or stolen you can rest assure there are crooks out there trying to find a way to steal yours.


There is no safer place than to keep your money in a savings account at the local bank. As long as the bank is FDIC insured your money will be protected by the government. A limit of $250,000 does apply to these types of accounts. So if you have over that amount you should not place all of it in the same account. A savings account is a type of investment because your money is earning interest as it sits there. The bank will use it to make loans and give you a specified percentage rate in return for letting them use it. At the moment rates are not that favorable and many are considering other investment options.


Placing your money with a stock broker is another alternative. There are many online brokers that will allow you to direct your funds into a variety of different asset classes. When looking at a broker make sure that they too offer insurance from SIPC. Brokers who will not insure your accounts can potentially be scams that will take your money and run. Using a broker based in your own country is also advised. If the broker asks for money to be transferred to an overseas account, red flags should go off in your head. There are many reputable brokers here in the U.S. that are available to the retail investor. Going online and researching the various brokers that are available is a good idea. Many will have both full service financial advisors, to help you out, or let you choose the stocks you would like to buy yourself. Your investment experience and knowledge will help you make the decision as to how much help you require form your stock broker.


Like stock brokers, currency brokers will offer you as an investor the opportunity to invest in the currency markets. There are many online foreign currency scams on the internet, mostly revolving around computer programs that will make you money. Please do not trust these money making systems, as they will not make you the money as promised. The same basic principles hold true when trying to find a good currency broker. Do your research online and read the many forex broker reviews that are available. These reviews will help you to see the pros and cons that other investors had with the brokers that are available to the retail investor. Make sure your broker, either stock or currency, has representative available for you to speak with by telephone. Making sure that there office has a building headquarters is one way of making sure that the broker is legitimate. As mentioned before many of the scams revolve around brokers that work from third world countries and offer no brokerage service at all.


Giving your money away to someone who claims to be an investment advisor can also lead you to lose money. Besides the various brokers that are available to the retail investor there are other types of investments, such as hedge funds. Hedge fund can promise to offer greater returns, however they do not always do this in reality. These funds are the riskiest types of investments when it comes to fraud. Make sure you know of other investors who have money with the fund before you invest any of your own. The fund manager can be gone the next day with your cash never to be seen again, it has happened before and will most likely happen again. If you take your time and do the appropriate research there should be no issue on how reputable your local bank, broker or fund manager is. If as an investor you do not feel confident or comfortable giving your money to a particular institution then do not do it. Ask as many questions as you need answered for them to earn your business

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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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Which Stocks Does Your Mutual Fund Hold?

Mutual fund holdings are vital information to fund investors when evaluating a manager’s performance as reported. Without knowing what a fund’s holdings are, investors can neither fully appreciate why a manager has performed well, nor can they thoroughly come to grasp about any poor results. Even if a fund is doing ok, investors may decide that the fund investments are overlapping with their other portfolios or not in line with their own investing goals and want to relocate the money elsewhere. But without access to a set of complete information on a fund’s portfolio, investors are basically kept in the dark and can’t decide for themselves on any of those personal investment decisions.


What Does the Law Require
By law, mutual funds are required to release complete portfolio holdings only twice a year. For actively managed funds, in the interim of 6 months, their holdings could have been turned over many times and the information at investors’ hands can never be real time, live feeds, considering today’s online technology has made instant exchange of information nothing but possible. In fact, the decades-old securities law enacted such a rule because of the concern that fund companies couldn’t afford to mail out a report every day.


Objection to Frequent Portfolio Disclosure
Chief concern among mutual fund companies is that timely portfolio updates of fund holdings can tip off their intentions to the market. It may cause potential front run on a fund where other traders can buy shares ahead of the fund and drive up prices, while the fund is still taking the time to build up positions in a stock. But supporters of full, on-time publication of portfolio holdings argue that the hidden reason why funds are reluctant to do anything beyond what the law requires is that managers might be concerned about revealing questionable trading practice in any disclosure. Funds do a lot of window-dressing trading close to quarter end to boost performance and increase management compensation.


Other Concerns by Financial Advisers
Some financial advisory don’t think that requiring more disclosures of a fund’s holdings is a good idea. They contend that overwhelming information can lead investors to losing their long-term focus and becoming obsessed with fund trading. The advantage of having accessible information as claimed by some investors may be overblown. They also observe that people who are trading stocks and looking for ideas are more interested in getting a first look at a fund’s holdings.

Amid all the conflicting viewpoints, some mutual fund companies are stepping up to make more frequent disclosures on their portfolio holdings. More quarterly updates are now available, with monthly reports on top holdings. To the delight of some investors, a fund named OpenFund lets investors view active trading on its website, while others post weekly trading commentaries by fund managers. A standard monthly reporting ought to be possible if the idea of leaving out sensible trading information is made to consensus.

What happened to the stock market today?

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Finding The Best-Suited Funds For Your IRA

Investing hard-earned money in Individual Retirement Funds can be risky, but there are IRA funds that have been performing very well and would definitely be wise to consider. Dodge and Cox Stock has proven to be a reliable fund since its start in 1965. Sometimes going with an older fund is a good idea. The strong performance of Dodge and Cox makes it a good choice for those who are interested in dividend-oriented portfolios and strong risk-adjusted returns.


Vanguard REIT Index Fund has proven to be another fund with good performance. Even though real estate has been risky of late, this fund has been doing very well, especially considering that REITs must distribute 90% of earnings to shareholders every year. Real estate allows for a more diversified portfolio and is a good choice for an IRA fund.


Roth IRAs have always been a good option for IRA investing. After age 59 and 1/2, withdrawals are not taxed, and the rules for withdrawal are more flexible to work with. And since contributions can be withdrawn without the risk of penalty or taxes, Roth IRAs are a good choice if money may be needed sooner rather than later.


Another good choice would be the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund. Half of its portfolio deals in agency and Treasury bonds and the other half in corporate bonds. This fund is expected to perform well in years to come.


Third Avenue Value has been performing reasonably well in the last ten years. Considering the state of the economy, this fund is still doing better than others. It might be worth checking into as an IRA investment. The funds listed here are options to consider when looking for the best IRA funds. Retirement should be relaxing and worry-free, and good investing today can contribute towards a happier tomorrow.

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Top Gold ETF To Buy

For those of you considering investing in gold as a preventative measure against paper currencies and the mismanagement of governments, the best loved and unarguable top gold ETF to buy is GLD – also called SPDR Gold Shares. The unique feature of this Gold ETF centers on its relationship literally matching the valuation of gold. Although one could reasonably assume this to be standard, where ETF’s, or Exchange Traded Funds are concerned, it is certainly not. Numerous ETF’s operate with futures contracts that are generally less predictable and so riskier investments. Although past performance is no guarantee of future results, gold ETF funds like GLD, prove to be a less risky option than alternative commodity investments, particularly for those that understand well what is happening with the economic picture.


There are those investors who feel confidant that deflation has already begun, and that would prove to be gold bearish. A few of them will indicate television advertising, claiming that after the public catches on to an investment, it is time to sell. Yet different investors believe that because of the government running the printing presses overtime to create more money, the value of gold will keep going up. Gold more or less proves to be protection against a declining dollar, and its performance is based on other country’s currencies and economies as much as it is on those of ours. Could our economy perform sufficiently for us to build up our currency’s value, or might we have to maintain a weaker dollar to be able to compete internationally? Perhaps more involved than before in history, this involves a complex series of actions and reactions.


Despite all of the background noise going on, a constant concept emerges. The majority of both gold bears and bulls concur with gold maintaining the upward trend over both the medium time frame, as well as internationally. A number of investors today feel certain that one day the specter of hyperinflation will rear its ugly head, causing GLD, and also UGL (ProShares Ultra Gold), to both be solid investment ideas for all long term minded investors.

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What Exactly are Penny Stocks?

Before even thinking of buying penny stocks it’s probably a good idea to understand what they are and how they’re viewed by the investing world. Three basic categories of penny stocks are used to define the actual words. Each one has a separate meaning with entirely different investment potential, risk ratios, and trading strategies. You might already know one of these meanings, however if you are doing research or talking about trading with another trader, you need to be careful because the information could be referring to an entirely separate meaning. Therefore, you must understand each meaning in order to make sure everyone is talking about the same one.


True Share Value – When people who do not know much about investing hear “penny stock” this is what they assume is the meaning. This is when a penny stock is valued under a dollar. Usually people believe that the stock is only valued at one cent. This meaning is not used very often in publications, probably due to the fact that it makes perfect sense. If a trader is speaking of a stock that is traded on a major market, such as the NYSE, then it is typically worth no more than $5.00 for each share.


The Stock Market Exchange – On occasion, and in particular with penny stock brokers, the meaning of penny stocks is derived from the market on which the stock is traded. The most prevalent penny stock exchange is Over the Counter, or the pink sheets. Basically, this means that the stock is not qualified to be on one of the more conventional markets. Pink sheets have started to examine penny stocks to make sure they meet their requirements for their exclusive penny stock market.


Market Capitalization – This is the final category of a penny stock and it is based on the company’s value. Usually, the companies have to be worth under $100 million dollars. The essential aspect is the company’s size, rather than the actual value and the price of each penny stock share.

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What Are Bull Markets And Bear Markets?

Just in case you are new to stock market investing, there will be two terms that you will hear thrown around quite regularly.   These are “bull market’ and “bear market”. These two terms will remain in your thoughts once you have survived a day in the stock market world. These two terms are important, that is why you need to familiarize yourself with them.


Here is a brief overview of the two terms, the “bull market” and the “bear market”. Let’s start with the bull market. The bull market is when most traders feel that they have felt something positive about a certain stock market and they want to buy stocks. This will usually happen during a long bull markets period that the stock market would keep going up and up.


As for the bear market, the bear market is actually the opposite of the bull market and it is when the stock market is constantly going down no matter what a trader would do. This will usually happen during the times that a trader loses sleep and if they continually wonder whether they should be selling their stocks.


However, most of the time the market is placed somewhere in between the bull and the bear market. Normally, the better stocks would go up over time and then the stocks of the companies doing poorly would go down. It is always considered wise to always try to pick a stock of company that is doing well or will do well when the time comes.


Now that you know the difference between a bull and a bear market, what does it mean for you.  Many times an investor has no control over what is happening in the world that affects the stock market.  If the market is experience a downward turn, it is a good idea to invest in defensive stocks.  Find those stocks that experience little volatility.  Another idea, is to go the sidelines and wait it out.  The problem with this trading technique is, you may miss the rally.

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