investing tips

Five Stock Simulators Anyone Can Play

stock simulators

Stock simulators are great tools to help both novices and pros hone their trading knowledge. Some even let you trade options.

Virtual trading forums have surged in popularity over the past few years. And online users can compete with one another to earn bragging rights on best portfolio.

Here are five stock simulators anyone can enjoy - the best part is you literally have nothing to lose!

This Investing Tactic Could Help You Beat the Market by 21.97% in 2015

investing tactic

The year 2015 will be filled with opportunity for investors, perhaps more than ever before. But most people's portfolios are totally out of whack.

However, a simple investing tactic can help you achieve much higher returns - 21.97% higher annually, on average, over the last 14 years, in fact. And it only takes about 20 minutes to complete, once a year.

Here's how to start the year off right for your money...

If You Only Use One Investing Strategy in 2015, Use This

the 50 40 10 portfolio

Here's the most important investing strategy for you to use in 2015 - plus two more that will also reinforce your brokerage account. These habits will help you sleep at night even when the markets are pitching fits.

In fact, you'll be snoozing better than your broker. Which is why, of course, he won't fill you in on these tactics.

But we will...

Three Bad Investing Habits to Dump in 2015

bad investing habits

Over the past 20 years, individual investors averaged a measly 2.53% a year, versus the S&P 500, which chalked up 9.02%.

This is because every investor is hardwired to do three things that kill returns. If you understand what these bad investing habits are, recognize them in yourself, and learn how to eliminate them, then you can build wealth much more quickly.

So let's get cracking...

Let the "Big Boys" Do the Legwork and Take Bigger Gains for Yourself

how to invest

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...

Full Story

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

Act on This Massive Profit "Spark" Ahead of the Big Boys

wheelbarrow

It's easy to see why investors pile into a company's stock on the heels of highly successful products, technologies, or services.

Investors rewarded Apple shares after their steady flow of innovative product launches, while Google shares have been on an almost uninterrupted rise since its 2004 IPO.

Even Facebook has recovered nicely after its initial IPO debacle.

In each of those examples it's tempting to focus on the products the company offers, to draw a direct line to their success. iPhones and the introduction of stylish touchscreen interfaces in the case of Apple, the aggregation and accessibility of all things data-related in the case of Google, or just mere self-indulgence in the case of Facebook.

What's important to notice, though, is that in each case we likely wouldn't be talking about them had it not been for shrewd leadership at the top.

For small caps, finding the right leader can prove a more critical "spark" to major profits... Full Story

Stop This Threat to Your Income in Its Tracks

income

I really do hate to say this, but the government threat to your assets is growing... again.

We've seen it happen in Cyprus, where bank accounts were "raided" to bail-in the country.

We've seen it in Argentina, Poland, Hungary, and other nations where private pensions were nationalized to help the countries' ballooning debts and deteriorating sovereign credit ratings.

I even warned you that the new MyRA accounts could be a shrewd way to get at your savings, and that the IMF was floating the idea of a "capital levy - a one-off tax on private wealth..."

Well, now a French "economist" is using his best seller as a platform to advance a tax "plan" centered on your wallet... Full Story

Why Trailing Stops Are One of the Most Important Investment Tools Ever

investment tools

Today I want to offer a deeper explanation of one of the very best investment tools: trailing stops.
Every single one of Money Morning's experts advocates using them, and for good reason. A "trailing stop" serves a dual role: It allows investors to capture profits and protect capital from catastrophic loss.

Here’s exactly how this investment tool works – and the best strategy for putting them to work in your portfolio today.

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...

This Tech Investing Strategy Offers Five Pathways to Wealth

investing strategy

In my last column, I told you about Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) - the big-cap firm that helped pioneer wireless communications and is perfectly poised to benefit from continued smartphone adoption around the world.

Now I want to run Qualcomm through the five "filters" of my tech investing strategy and see how QCOM stacks up.

The results spell big gains ahead for QCOM stock. Here’s why…

Put Money in Your Pocket… And Send Wall Street on the Run

It was Sir Francis Bacon who gave us the truism that "knowledge is power."

And the 17th century English philosopher and statesman did so centuries before Wall Street was even conceived.

But the brokers, fund managers, and other pros who dreamed up the investment markets knew a good thing when they saw it. They embraced Bacon's maxim, launched the first U.S. stock exchange in 1790, and spent the next two centuries transforming this country's individual investors into scared vassals of the Wall Street elite.

And the big banks, brokerages, and other investment pros did this by never forgetting the simple precept that "knowledge is power."

I see this play out on an almost-daily basis thanks to the endless streams of impenetrable reports that come from the bankers in New York or our elected leaders in Washington.

Most Main Street investors lack the knowledge to "decode" these reports, so they also lack the power to respond in a constructive manner.

Instead most of us just react - panic, really. Here's a better idea that will lead to profits...

© 2015 Money Map Press. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including the world wide web), of content from this webpage, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Money Morning. 16 W. Madison St. Baltimore, MD, 21201, Email: customerservice@MoneyMorning.com