For a change of pace today I wanted to tell you a personal story.
Twenty years ago, when I was working as a business reporter in upstate New York and covering Eastman Kodak Co. for Gannett Newspapers, I decided it was time to start saving for a house.
So I concocted a plan.
I wasn't exactly getting rich as a journalist, but I was doing okay. Even so, I knew I'd need an actual plan that I could commit to if I really was going to amass the needed down payment.
My plan was simple. In the years that followed, every time my bosses gave me a raise, I started a new mutual fund.
By the time I got a job at The Baltimore Sun in 1998 - and Robin and I moved to Maryland - I had more than $25,000 set aside from this plan and some other money I'd saved. And we could start looking for our first house.
I also learned a valuable lesson: A little discipline can take you a long way.
I was thinking about this the other day when Radical Technology Profits Editor Michael Robinson and I were talking about the "one investment you should never sell."
It's a perfect investment for house down payments, college funds, retirement, a vacation house, a boat, or the cruise of a lifetime - in short, the kind of big-ticket purchases that come along a couple times during a lifetime.
Let's take a look...
how to invest
Let the "Big Boys" Do the Legwork and Take Bigger Gains for Yourself
Regardless of what the loudmouthed know-it-all in the locker room thinks, retail investors (that's code for you and me) don't have much of an impact on stock prices.
It might be fun to think that buying 100 shares of Apple Inc. is somehow part of some larger force of collective wisdom pushing stock prices higher - but with average liquidity of nearly $5 billion (in AAPL shares) the only players with enough might to make the stock move are the big boys - institutional buyers.
When I say institutional buyers, I'm referring to mutual funds, hedge funds, pension funds, and insurance companies.
It's nearly impossible for a stock to deliver a huge upside run without the deep-pocketed firepower of institutional buying - and that's why it's so important to look for clues indicating they're building positions and scooping shares.
After all, wouldn't you rather go sailing with the wind doing the work rather than paddling back to shore?
I know I sure would. And here's how we can...Read More...
How to Invest in One of the Smartest Acquisitions of 2014
One of the best companies in the fleet and fuel management business is FleetCor Technologies (NYSE: FLT) - and it just got substantially better thanks to a very strategic acquisition.
The stock popped 9.2% the day the news broke, but that was just a taste of profits to come.Here's why FleetCor still has plenty of room to run...
How to Invest Like Warren Buffett in the U.S. Energy Revolution
In our Aug. 11 Private Briefing report "What Does This 'Mysterious Signal' Tell Us About CB&I?" we said we suspected that super-investor Warren Buffett would use the sell-off in Chicago Bridge & Iron to boost his stake in the Netherlands-based infrastructure specialist.
That's exactly what happened.Here's why and here's how to profit by following the same techniques...
Take Bigger Gains with a Simple "Cowboy Split"
About a dozen years ago, I found myself having a stimulating conversation one sunny day in San Francisco with the great economist Milton Friedman.
It's a conversation I'll always remember.
I studied economics in college - in fact, I'm the recipient of an honors degree in that subject - and the tireless free-market advocate was and remains one of my big heroes.
We were standing on the balcony of his spacious Nob Hill condo taking in the sweeping Bay views and talking about economics and Washington politics - as I eyed the huge portrait of him standing in a corner that Friedman's wife hated and wouldn't let him hang.
Then he looked me in the eyes and said, "You know, Michael, I'd like to see the Federal Reserve replaced by a computer."
As the 1976 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences explained it, he felt the Fed had become too obsessed with micromanaging the nation's economy. Remember, this was a dozen years ago, before the Fed started quantitative easing and heavily manipulating interest rates.
Of course, I'm not suggesting we replace the Fed chair with a robot.
But I always recall Friedman's thought experiment whenever the markets get choppy, as they have in the past few weeks. And when I see the markets become volatile because of the Fed and the news, I know it's time for defense.Full Story
How to Use My "Cowboy Split" Investment Strategy to Round Up Big Gains
Today I want to share with you a classic investment strategy that I've given a brand-new nickname to reflect our focus on the "New West" of Silicon Valley tech stocks.
I call it the "Cowboy Split." When employed properly, the Cowboy Split will protect you from volatile markets.But that's not all. If your stocks go down, on the recovery, you make more money...
How to Invest in Pipelines for Maximum Profits
The first oil pipeline consisted of lengths of 2-inch wrought iron pipe that ran five miles, from a Pennsylvania oil field to a train station in Oil Creek.
Oil pipelines have changed how and where oil is found, refined, and sold and have turned America into one of the world's leading oil producers.Most importantly for investors, they don’t just pump oil, they pump profits – profits that are there for the taking for those who know how to invest in these pipelines…
How to Invest in the Looming Propane Crunch
In the countryside, propane heats more than 6 million homes, fuels equipment and vehicle fleets, and is instrumental on farms for drying grain for storage.
Like any fuel, it's susceptible to shortages that cause strain on entire rural communities and raises prices in supermarkets across the country.Another tough winter for propane is taking shape. And shortages like these have the potential to create serious windfalls – if you know how to invest…
How to Invest in an Aging Bull Market
With the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index both routinely making record highs, figuring out how to invest in this aging bull market has gotten increasingly challenging.
But not impossible.
"There's still plenty of upside if you know where to look," said Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald. "The game has become more one of choosing the right stocks than it is worrying about what the broader index is doing."Fitz-Gerald says investors need to focus on three specific things...
How to Invest Like a Millionaire
One of the reasons the rich keep getting richer is that they know where to put their money to get the best returns - and, typically, the wealthier the investor, the more savvy the investments.
So for those of more modest means, it can pay to learn how to invest like a millionaire.A recent millionaire survey revealed just what the rich are thinking - and it’s information any investor can use…
These Basics Will Make You Big Money in the Markets
I'm always getting emails from folks telling me how badly they want to make money in the markets.
The problem is that a good many of these readers confess that they are literally just getting started.
So right now, I'm going to begin at the beginning - and show you how to make money in the markets from square one.
Today is all about stocks.
In future columns, I'm going to talk about bonds. After that I'll get into options, futures, and other derivatives (they're easy).
And finally I'll show you how they all - stocks, bonds, options, futures, and derivatives - come together every day.
When it's all said and done, I promise you will understand everything about investing and marvel at how simple it all is.
You'll know more than your friends - even more than most brokers. And you'll start "seeing" the money in the markets.
So, let's get started.
Here are the absolute basics, the things you need to know about stocks...Full Story
A Map to Turn Fear into Profit
Last Monday, I shared a chart with Money Map Report subscribers and suggested they may want to batten down the hatches because I saw a 30- to 40-point drop happening by the end of the week.
Now I want to share that same chart with you plus a new one - and encourage you to do the same thing.
The shellacking the markets took last Thursday is the most powerful warning sign we've seen yet that things are not what they seem in the financial markets. For lack of a better term, it's a bearish omen, despite Monday's recovery.
Today I want to talk about what that means for your money and what you can do about it in the name of protecting your money and, more importantly, the pursuit of profits.
Contrary to what you might believe, not all bears are bad news.Let's start with the chart....
How to Find the Best Investments Amid Global Uncertainty: A Three-Tiered Strategy
Just last year, emerging markets were predicted to be the driving force behind a more than 5% annual global growth rate. Yet on March 11, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reported that emerging markets are the reason why global growth will slow.Here are three metrics will help investors find the best investments abroad...
How to Invest in Agriculture Ahead of Price Spikes in 2014
Ukraine is Europe's most important actor in agriculture. And the Russian standoff over the Crimean region is creating a number of concerns for Europe's breadbasket.
Ukraine also feeds North Africa, and social unrest over food prices in nations like Egypt and Tunisia will heat up again if grain prices continue to soar.To continue reading, please click here...
Take Profits… While Everyone Else Takes Cover
Volatility has certainly defined the markets in the early weeks of 2014.
But rather than lock in losses by running to the sidelines, instead consider the profits that the boom/bust crowd are leaving behind...
You see, the market to date has dropped just 6% after last year's surge of some 28%.
It's only the investors expecting an uninterrupted bull market party from last year who were caught off guard.
So let's examine the market factors they're wrong about.
And then convert them into a rock-solid, income power play...