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Stocks

inflation hedge

Inflation Is Lurking, but This Asset Can Protect You

While the investing world is focused on Greece, events unfolding right now in Africa offer another important cautionary tale.

Thanks to reckless political and economic mismanagement, Zimbabwe holds clues to the future of other nations – like ours.

Granted, this failed state's policies have been more egregious than those perpetrated by the U.S. government against its people. Nonetheless, some of the outcomes could be similar. And I'm going to tell you one way to protect yourself.

Zimbabweans have been robbed by inflation for years and right now are now being offered compensation that's no better than an insult.

It's a frightening scenario. And those who think "it can't happen here" need only think back to the massive losses caused by runaway inflation during the Oil Shock days of the 1970s.

But preparing for it is easier than you'd think...

U.S. Economy

2008 Stock Market Crash Causes and Aftermath

The 2008 stock market crash was the worst since the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

The Dow plunged 54% in 18 months. It wiped out more than $2 trillion of Americans' retirement savings, and millions lost their jobs.

Here's a look at the events behind the brutal 2008 crash, in our third installment of the worst stock market crashes in U.S. history...

Japan

4 Charts That Show Japan Stock Market Rally Is Overdone

In Japan, stock market euphoria has taken hold.

The reality of the Japanese economy is much bleaker than the roaring Japanese stock market would have you believe.

Here are four charts that explain Japan's current crisis not reflected in this rally...

Stocks

Navigating the Shoals of an Overvalued Market

Stocks have struggled to rally in recent weeks, but that hasn't stopped the IPO market from offering investors the chance to leave reason behind.

Last week, two particular deals demonstrated that while the overall market is expensive, pockets of it are undeniably in a bubble.

Here's what you should know about the IPOs and the week…

Here's what you should know about the IPOs and the week...

penny stocks

[CHART] How Do Penny Stocks Work?

How do penny stocks work?

Our visual guide walks you through step-by-step…

  • What are penny stocks?
  • How do penny stocks trade?
  • Penny stock risks
  • Penny stock rewards
  • Tips on picking the best penny stocks to buy

Learn all you wanted to know about penny stocks right here...

Income Investing

What Is a YieldCo?

If you follow alternative energy stocks, the question of "What is a YieldCo?" has probably come up at some point over the past couple of years.

That's because YieldCos have become popular in the green energy industry as a way to raise relatively cheap capital to finance new projects while setting up a revenue stream from finished projects.

For investors, YieldCos offer several advantages. This is particularly true for income investors...

Bond Market

Get Ready for the Greatest Trade in History

In Wall Street lore, it's known as the "Greatest Trade Ever." It's also known as "The Big Short."

In 2006, John Paulson was a relatively unknown hedge-fund manager, just another face in the crowd.

But Paulson was smart, observant – and had the courage of his convictions. He understood something that most others didn't even suspect…

The U.S. housing boom was a sham – especially in the area of "subprime" mortgages.

Paulson was schooled in mergers and acquisitions (M&A), so mortgages weren't at all his bailiwick.

But he believed the mortgage market was poised for a free fall. He wanted to make a big bet against this market – a "big short."

He just wasn't sure how to make that wager…

Paulson and several other renegade investors like Michael Burry and Jeffrey Greene made big bets against the risky mortgages using complex financial instruments known as "credit default swaps," or CDS.

Initially, the trade went against these mortgage doomsayers – putting them tens of millions of dollars in the red as the mortgage market continued to rocket. But instead of closing the trades and accepting the losses, Paulson and these few others effectively doubled down.

By the middle of 2007, the credit markets stumbled and then careened downward.

As the year came to a close, it was clear that Paulson had pulled off "The Greatest Trade Ever," having earned $15 billion for his firm – a total that dwarfed investing icon George Soros's billion-dollar currency play of 1992.

Over time, the Paulson trade gained a second moniker – one besides "The Greatest Trade Ever."

Thanks to a best-selling book about the mortgage crisis that was written by Michael Lewis, the Paulson trade became known as "The Big Short."

I'm telling you this story for a reason. An even "Bigger Short" may be on the horizon, and I'll tell you how to profit from it...

Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Week's Big Story Isn't in Wall Street's Losses

After an "impressive" May jobs report, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) ended its third consecutive week on a down-note, losing 56.12 points (-0.31%) on Friday while the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) also fell for the third consecutive week, dropping 3.01 points (0.14%) on the day.

On the week, the Dow lost 161 points or 0.9% to 17,849.46 while the S&P 500 fell 15 points or 0.7% to 2092.83. For the year, the Dow has gained a mere 26 points, far less than 1%, while the S&P 500 has climbed by 33 points or only 1.6%.

The NASDAQ Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) has done much better, ending the week basically flat at 5068.46; it is now up about 7% on the year as social media, biotech and tech stocks continue to rise.

Best Investments

Our 2015 Top Stock Picks Show IT Underdogs AVGO, CTSH Moving Up

Our 2015 top stock picks show that it's been a good year for information technology and data center solutions.

But we're not as thrilled about companies like International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) and its sudden turnaround in stock price.

Here's what we're more excited about this year...

Semiconductor Industry

Xilinx Stock Primed to Gain from Semiconductor M&A (XLNX)

Snapping up a few shares of Xilinx stock looks like a pretty good idea right now.

That's because Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX) has moved to the top of the list of possible acquisition targets in the semiconductor industry.

Acquisitions mean higher stock prices.

And Xilinx stock could do very well considering that the company has something a lot of other chipmakers want.

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