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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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Is This A Real Rally?

Oh well, here we go again. After spending the last week or so losing 700 points and falling below 10,000 points at the close. Everyone feels that the stock market is on the rise again. Earnings season is upon us as a matter of fact we have Disney reporting after the close. I am pretty sure that they will not beat the street. Why is that? Besides the fact that I am a season ticket holder and have seen how much business they have lost in their Parks. Their latest movie, The Princess and the Frog, did not do as well as it was expected. They also have to take into account the fact that they bought Marvel Entertainment Inc.

To get back on my original thought, It seems that the media is talking about how this rally is “real”, I don’t think so. How can it when you have sales down in many business’ and people are still losing their jobs. Look before you leap back into any stocks at this time. Yes, I know the markets have corrected themselves in the last week or so, but isn’t that what we were saying a year and a half ago? History has shown us that there is always a second bounce. It’s my opinion that we will see the second bounce some time in the first half of this year.

I’ve been sitting on the sidelines for the last few months when it comes to actively trading on a day-by-day basis. I did make some acquisitions of some stocks like Ford (NYSE: F), as well as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). Those trades were made for the long haul since I do have confidence in those companies and the people running them. I’m going to continue to wait for the other shoe to fall before I get back into the day trading. My advice to you is to do the same, but then again who am I?

Do what you may ,but consider yourself warned.
Happy Trading.

P.S. If you’re looking for some help in the stock market, Try out a free trial of Jim Cramer’s Action Alerts from The Street.

TheStreet.com 234x60 Free Trial

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Free Trial: Cramer’s Real Money Program

The Host of Mad Money, Jim Cramer has been helping the average person learn about the stock market for a long time. He’s written several books on investing, as well as being the Chairman on TheStreet.com. I for one have made quite a bit of money listening to Jim Cramer.

One of the ways you can follow Jim and and the rest of the the staff is at RealMoney.com. You’ll find sound, unbiased advice you can count on.
No middle man, no B.S., no delays – just a direct line to people as they share their investment strategies, stock picks and market views, all in real time. They do have a basic no fee section of the website, but if you want to know the meat-and-potato off what’s going on on Wall Street, then this is the service you want.

I’ve been a member of The Street.com’s RealMoney program for a while and I’m not disappointed. Here’s an opportunity to try out RealMoney.com for a 14 day free trial. Click below to check it out.

RealMoney –Reliable Investment Advice from 70+ Wal

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Stock Market Update

The first day of trading after the labor day weekend has been very interesting. The three indicies finshed the day higher, Dow up 56 points while the S&P 500 closed at 1025.39 and the NASDAQ did the best of the three closing at 2037.77 (up 0.94%).

That wasn’t even the most worthy news of the day, that honor goes to the price of gold, which went above $1000 for the first time in quite some time. The U.S. Dollar lost value today and with that going on, the Commodity sector gained throughout the day.

This week will be a very telling sign of things to come in the near and distance future. Just to be on the safe side, I will be treading very carefully through it all. For those of you that want to try out a different trading technique but are afraid to do it in such trying times, here is a free fantasy stock market game that you can find out if those ideas will pan out.
What can you lose? It’s FREE.

Learn Trading

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Naked Short-Selling Banned

It has finally been decided that the art of naked short-selling will be banned from now on, which is a good thing since that technique of trading is what caused the demise of Lehman Brothers and many other stocks of the financial sector.
I’ve never really been a fan of short-selling any stock even though I’ve done a handful of times. Short selling is the idea of betting against the stock, expecting it to go down in value. A trader will borrow and then sell shares of a company, only to buy them back at a lower price to return them back to the entity that they borrowed them from. With naked short-selling, the trader doesn’t worry about borrowing the share before he sells them. At that point he/she has to look around for someone to borrow the shares from. In most cases there aren’t enough shares to go around, causing turmoil and wild swings in the stock price.
Now the SEC has included a requirement that all brokers must buy or borrow the shares promptly to cover the short sale. The SEC is also considering several other ways to limit short selling. Let’s not forget that it was the SEC that removed the up-tick rules a few years ago.
The up-tick rule refers to the price of a stock has to move up in price by at least a penny before anyone else can short the same stock. That helps avoid a runaway drop in the stock price.

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Stock Market Game

I’ve said it many times, and I stand by it; Stock Trading Is Not A Game. It doesn’t matter if you’re a trader or an investor, you must do your homework by researching every stock you plan to invest in or trade But what if you could play a game and practice investing without risk? You could have fun “playing”, while learning and understanding the stock market even more.
I stumbled upon a free website where you can trade stocks on a virtual Wall Street. UpDown.com is a free fantasy investing site. People join UpDown to practice investing and can earn money for winning contests. Start with a $1,000,000 cash reserve and start trading stocks immediately after registering and creating a profile. With up-to-date news information along with an active forum for members to share ideas and investment strategies.
The UpDown is a community for people interested in investing in the stock market. If you’re new to the stock market or have a few year under your belt, this site will give you the chance to try different strategies without any actual loss of money.
UpDown.com provides a platform where investors can view, share, and rate high-quality stock analysis and investment ideas. They then filter, aggregate, rank, and present the community’s investment recommendations for the benefit of all UpDown members looking for valuable investment advice.
Click the banner below, or the one in our sidebar to join. I just joined myself and it looks like a good place for me to test out new strategies that I normally wouldn’t, with my own money.

Free Stock Market Game

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