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Welcome to Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From.


The Cybersecurity Play That Doubled Once – Will Double Again

Not long ago, a relative of mine was the victim of identity theft. And I have to tell you that I really felt for the entire family.

The thief ran up nearly $20,000 in charges, opened new accounts and tried to open others.

And I can tell you that the frustrations over the losses (most of which ended up being covered) were dwarfed by the helplessness that came whenever new charges showed up – and the worry that was spawned by never finding out how the whole mess started.

As we watch the headlines about data breaches and cybercrime – and watch as the violations move closer and closer to home – those worries only escalate.

  • ETFs

  • Money Morning Mailbag: Short-Term Maturities Are the Best Bet for Tax-Free Municipal Bonds Question: We have some money invested in tax-free municipal bonds, but read in the local newspaper that with the potential rise of interest ratesthese bonds tend to do poorly. Can you better explain this, and if this is the case, what do you recommend? I appreciate your input. Thank you.

    - Joan

  • How to Profit from the New Iranian Sanction Growing up in Massachusetts, my mother used to say, "Live long enough, and you'll see just about anything happen in politics."

    And she was right.

    A wrestler, a standup comic, several movie actors, and former sports figures have been elected to office; tea parties are back as a way of challenging leadership; even a disgraced former governor makes it onto "Celebrity Apprentice."

    But she never saw this one coming - a U.S. sanctions move against Iran that may actually work... and make you some money in the process.

  • Are Coal Prices Ready to Burn Hot in 2010? For most of the past 50 years, since the birth of environmental awareness, coal has been the "black sheep" of the power-production family. Now, thanks to more efficient furnaces, better exhaust-scrubbing systems and other technological advances, coal is regaining favor in the world's energy markets.

    However, the biggest factor in coal's recent price surge is steadily increasing demand for the fossil fuel in power generation and steel-making process, abetted by rising costs for other types of fuel, like oil and natural gas.

    The question for investors, of course, is will this rising demand continue - and how can you profit if it does?

    The answer to the first part of that question is almost certainly, "yes," but solving the second part is a little trickier.

  • Six Ways to Profit as Brazil's Economy Takes Off In many ways, Brazil offers some of the best prospects among emerging markets and deserves to be a core holding in any international portfolio.

    Brazil's economy had only a shallow recession and is now recovering nicely. Its market has been one of the best performing since Dec. 31, 2008, and both inflation and the budget deficit remain under control.

    Yet one can be only moderately bullish - and I'll explain why.

    To find out how to profit from Brazil's bullish prospects, read on...

  • How to Profit From China's Next Move For many investors who don't have the benefit of 20 years of experience in Asia like I do, figuring out what Beijing is up to is both puzzling and difficult.

    But a handy little tool called a "Form 13F" can help.

    In case you're not familiar with it, the 13F is a disclosure document that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires institutional-investment managers to file when they hold $100 million or more of certain U.S.-listed stocks.

    China's $300 billion sovereign wealth fund (SWF) - the China Investment Corp. (CIC) - just filed its first-ever 13F with the SEC, revealing that it purchased about $9.6 billion worth of U.S. stocks last year.

    And it confirms much of what we've been telling you since the global financial crisis began - namely that China would take advantage of the crisis by purchasing beaten-down stocks, resources, and hard assets ... and in a big way.

    Even more important, this filing hints at what China is likely to do next - an insight that will help investors figure out where to put their money in order to maximize their personal profits.

    To discover how to profit from China's next move, read on... Read More...
  • What Do Oil, Gold and Orange Juice Have in Common? Some Hefty Possible Profits "So what do you expect from the commodity markets in 2010?"

    If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked this question over the past few weeks, I'd be able to buy myself an ounce of gold.

    But allow me to tell you the same thing that I've told my friends and colleagues: I'm expecting more of the same. Just because it's a New Year doesn't mean we should expect commodities to behave much differently than they did in 2009.

    In my final Investment U column of 2009, I highlighted the crude oil and gold markets as the ones to watch as we headed into 2010.

    So far, neither market has been a...
  • This Investment Portfolio is on Fire … Dear Money Morning reader:

    We get asked a lot about the track record of The Money Map Report, our monthly advisory service in which Keith Fitz-Gerald, Martin Hutchinson and the rest of the Money Morning team ferrets out investment opportunities based on some of the most powerful global trends at work today.

    Let me just say this: This portfolio is on fire.

    Of the 24 stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the portfolio, 21 are winners. Indeed, only three of the holdings are under water - two of them by such nominal amounts as 1.77% and 1.24%.

    But the gains are eye-popping.

    I obviously can't name the stocks or ETFs in the Money Map portfolio, but the current list of winners includes gains of 122.2%, 91.5%, 61.9%, 53.1%, 46.2%, 37.6%, 35.1%, 32.1%, 31.6%, 28.8% and 28.6%.

    The Money Map Report is able to notch such gains because team members identify the most-powerful and profitable trends long before Wall Street even understands what's happening.

    In fact, here's an example from yesterday (Monday).

    Have you been reading about steel prices? The steel market was hit hard by downturns in the auto and construction markets. But prices have been on a tear. Scrap steel has zoomed 25% since November. Just yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that China's growing appetite for steel alone should be enough to cause steel prices to soar.

    Now Wall Street is calling for steel prices of all types to continue their advance well into the spring. In fact, yesterday reported that Wall Street equity strategists are now telling investors to buy the leading global steel stocks.

    That's a nice call. But it's a little late.

    Back in April - that's nine months ago - Money Map's Hutchinson told subscribers to buy shares of Korean steel giant Posco Inc. (NYSE ADR: PKX). At the time, Hutchinson said three catalysts would send the shares higher:

    • A turnaround in Korea.
    • Rising steel demand from China.
    • And an overall increase in global steel prices.
    Hutchinson was three for three. Since he made that call, shares of the world's No. 4 steelmaker have soared more than 91% - with Wall Street now telling readers to get into the game.

    In other words, while Wall Street was waiting for a clear signal as to which way steel prices (and steel stocks) were heading, Money Map Report readers were almost doubling their money on Posco.

    And that's just one example.

    In the newest issue, for instance, The Money Map Report will look at such opportunities as:

    • A cash-rich company that's in a great position to buy back shares - and that may become a takeover target.
    • A firm that's perfectly positioned to capitalize on the uptick in natural-gas prices, and that may be snapped up as part of the anticipated consolidation in the energy sector.
    • And a firm that's poised to benefit from a rising tide of IT investments.
    The Money Map team scours the globe in search of the best investment opportunities. The fact that it usually does so well ahead of Wall Street is the main reason for the returns we listed above.

    In the aftermath of the worst financial crisis of our lifetime, it's understandable that most investors want to avoid Wall Street and paddle their own canoe.

    That task becomes a lot easier, though, when you have the right kind of map to guide you.

    That's what we work to provide.

    Good investing ...

    William Patalon III
    Executive Editor
    Money Morning/The Money Map Report

    [Editor's Note: For more insight on global-investing profits, hot portfolios, and the best investment opportunities around the world, check out The Money Map Report.]

    News and Related Story Links:

  • How to Profit From the Oil-Price Spike of 2010

    Oil prices staged a remarkable rally this year on the back of a weak dollar and a nascent economic recovery. In 2010, it's likely that these same factors will combine with an increase in global energy demand to push oil prices back up over $100 a barrel.

    With stockpiles still high and energy demand rebounding sluggishly, most forecasts are calling for the "black gold" to edge up into the low-triple-digit price range. That's 40% higher than where oil is trading right now - but is still well below the record high of nearly $150 a barrel that was established in 2008.

    Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald is even more bullish. He believes that a price of $100 a barrel is "easily attainable" and says that some sort of unforeseen market shock could cause crude oil to spike as high as $150 barrel by the end of 2010.

  • Buy Sell or Hold: The SPDR Gold Trust ETF Will Rally in 2010, as Recent Dollar Strengthening Loses Steam Gold prices surged to a record high $1226.10 an ounce on Dec. 3, but have since retreated. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar has been weak for many months, but shown signs of strength in the past week.

    So what's next for the dollar and the price of commodities like gold?

    In order to answer that question we must look at the factors that brought us here: loose monetary policy and government stimulus.

  • Investment News Briefs Madoff's Accountant Pleads Guilty; Charles Schwab Launches First ETFs; J&J Lays Off 7,000; Sept. Factory Orders Beat Estimates; Cost-Cutting Boosts Viacom's Profit; iPhone Gets a Chilly Reception in China; October U.S. Auto Sales Grow; Chrysler Profitable At The End of 2011? Read More...
  • The Two Investing Mistakes to Avoid at all Costs Two distinct groups of investors have emerged since the U.S. stock market rally began in early March. Initially overly cautious and smug in their desire to protect themselves, the first group of investors were convinced the rally was going to sputter and stall. It hasn't, and 57% later these investors now believe they're getting left […] Read More...
  • The No. 1 Way to Profit When Silver Upstages Gold While prices of gold don’t necessarily affect silver prices or vice versa, history has demonstrated that when gold rises or falls, silver usually follows suit. This time around, silver has failed to match the gains that gold posted in recent months, spawning a widespread believe that silver is poised for a bull run. Such factors […] Read More...
  • It's the Best Investment in North America – and It Isn't the United States The U.S. stock market has run up magnificently in the last six months. The U.S. economy has begun to recover, but its performance has fallen short of expectations. And with good reason. The United States has a bigger and more-troubled financial sector than most countries. It also has a bigger overhang from the housing bubble, […] Read More...
  • U.S. Stocks: Winning Streak is Over, But Bull Market Continues The winning streak is over. But the outlook for stocks remains upbeat. U.S. stocks on Friday suffered their first setback after six straight days of gains, but the damage wasn't severe. No news appeared to precipitate the decline, so chalk it up to light profit-taking. In the Friday session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost […] Read More...
  • There are 1,173 ETFs Available; But These Nine are the Best By Mike Caggeso Associate Editor It's no coincidence that the rising popularity of exchange-traded fund (ETF) investing coincided with the rise of investor-empowering online-trading platforms such as E*Trade. It was the mid-to-late 1990s, and the Internet's new inroads to Wall Street were stirring a new confidence in investors. But these eager new traders didn't have […] Read More...