The end-of-year holiday season is a time for memories and reflection, and I found myself engaging in a little of both the other day.
I was alone at the house and was stringing up some Christmas lights and found myself drifting back in time... to middle school and high school.
In seventh grade, I got my first part-time job - changing lightbulbs at an apartment complex. I also began designing and building custom light boxes using colored bulbs controlled with staggered timing switches.And here's a company that has a 25-year head start on capturing those profits...
Best Stocks to Buy Now: A Money Morning Weekly Recap
Best stocks to buy for the week ending Nov. 29, 2013: Last week's Thanksgiving holiday may have made for an abbreviated week, but there was no shortage of market-moving news.
While the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed Black Friday modestly in the red, both continued an eight-week winning streak and are up 22.8% and 26.6% respectively year to date.
The Dow has set 44 all-time highs this year and is up 146% since the market lows of March 2009. The Nasdaq topped 4,000 last week for the first time in 13 years and is up 34.5% since January.To continue reading, plase click here...
Successful Investing: Five Things to Do Before 7 A.M. Every Day
The most successful investors of our time have one thing in common - they're early birds.
Consider joining them. Studies show that people who make things happen early are more proactive and more productive. They're also more likely to be top performers and enjoy greater financial success.
University of Heidelberg biology professor Christoph Randler notes that early risers tend to have a good idea of what they want to accomplish.
His research shows that, while evening people may be more creative and in some cases smarter than morning risers, they're "out of sync." Early birds, he noted in a 2010 Harvard Business Review article, "hold the important cards."
And if you're not a morning person?Here's my list of five things to do before 7 a.m....
Dividend Stocks to Watch: These Telecoms Are Part of a Trap
Investors looking for more income are pouring money into these pricey equities that are hitting our "stocks to watch" list now...
You see, both institutional and individual investors have moved out of the risk curve over the past few years to find the strongest income sources. They've explored everything from low-risk bonds to bank savings instruments.
Individual investors in particular have found it challenging to navigate the unfamiliar waters of dividend stocks.
They have rushed to invest their hard-earned dollars into familiar names that paid decent dividends, including electric utility stocks, telecom stocks, pharmaceutical companies, and large oil companies.Read more...
Stock Market News Today: Dow Nears 15,000
Perhaps lower summer trading volumes are leaving stocks more vulnerable to larger moves lately...
The stock market today fell 70 points to 15,010; the S&P lost nearly 10 points; the Nasdaq fell 12. This marks the Dow's fourth straight day of losses - the first four-day losing streak of 2013.
Stock Market Today in the Red Ahead of FOMC
The stock market today is off to a sluggish start as investors brace for a week of important economic indicators.
Pending homes sales kicked off a week of tell-tale economic data this morning, while earnings season continues with Wynn Resorts Ltd. (Nasdaq: WYNN) reporting disappointing Q2 results.
These Global Construction Stocks Can Make You – and Your Grandchildren – Rich
There are engineering projects and then there are generational engineering projects.
A supertall skyscraper like Dubai's Burj Khalifa or New York City's One World Trade Center may take six or eight years from beginning of construction to topping it out. Contracts to construct buildings like these can bring significant revenues to the companies who land the jobs.
Then there are even bigger projects, huge infrastructure investments that have the tendency to alter the destiny of nations over the course of generations. Some of these projects are designed to be worked on and expanded indefinitely.
The challenges that changing climate and demographics pose will bring about a wave of these mega-projects around the world, most of which will take at least a generation to complete, and in many cases, far beyond that.
When they're finished, the face of the planet will be changed, hundreds of millions of people will be affected - for the better. And investors with the foresight to get in on the ground floor could end up being very rich.
The Delta Works
The Dutch have battled the North Sea and their rivers for centuries, keeping the water out, and claiming living space for their small, densely populated, low-lying country. Much of Western Europe drains into the Netherlands' meandering river system. Between the sea and the rivers, the country is in a watery squeeze, but it's more than holding its own.
Most of the Netherlands' territory has been claimed from the sea, two-thirds of its citizens live below sea level, and more than half the country lies at 1 meter or less below sea level.
After a disastrous flood in 1953 killed thousands and inundated more than 9% of their total farmland, the Dutch realized that a long-term solution was needed.
The Delta Commission, was formed, and afterward conceived of a mega-project under the omnibus Deltaplan, comprising a huge network of dams, bridges, sluices, locks, dikes, and storm surge barriers erected all over the soggy Rijn, Maas, and Scheldt deltas in the northwest of the country.
More than 50 years on, the system has worked with typical Dutch efficiency and effectiveness, but it's not truly "complete" yet.
Put Politics Aside, Invest in this South American Agriculture Stock
Three weeks ago we mentioned that Morgan Stanley announced that it will close the agriculture segment of its commodities business.
The move was just another sign of hedge funds and banks electing to shift away from soft commodities, and place greater emphasis on the oil and gas markets.
Over the last two years, a number of banks have struggled in the agricultural sector. As they continue to show impatience for the long-term, many on Wall Street have picked up the ball and gone home.
Still, from our research and conversations with investors like Jim Rogers, the agricultural sector provides one of the best investment opportunities over the long term.
With demand outpacing supply and global food stocks hovering near record lows, the fundamentals are clear. It's is why Rogers told Money Morning this year "the price of agriculture has to go up a lot, or we're not going to have any food at any price."
But there's another important investor out there who is long South American agriculture. And he's using an entirely different strategy than the big banks in New York.
The investor is George Soros, Jim Rogers' former co-founder of the Quantum Fund.
Even though many Money Morning readers might not agree with Soros' politics, there's one thing you can't deny: Like Rogers, he too is a legendary investor.
And sometimes you have to put politics aside and find the right investment. And sure enough, he's long one stock that is ripe given the need for more food development in South America.
More than One Way to Invest
Wall Street banks are pulling out of the agricultural sector for two reasons: One, the short-term focus on profitability clouds their ability to see the long-term value of agricultural holdings. Second, soft commodities are a very difficult to master.
There are many different ways to invest in agriculture, but most are subject to short-term volatility given the global supply and demand picture, and the factors impacting prices such as planting cycles, weather variations, energy and shipping costs, and political uncertainty.
While animal technology continues to be our favorite way to invest in the sector, the Soros strategy has centered on a valuable investment vehicle that remains popular with hedge funds around the world: farmland.
Farmland continues to rise in price as investors attempt to cash in on the growing need for food in a world that will have nine billion mouths to feed in 2050.
And it's a solid hedge against rising prices. Over the past 70 years, farmland real estate appreciation has easily outpaced the annual inflation rate.
But farmland isn't just spiking in price here in the United States. It's also becoming a very hot commodity down in South America and portions of Africa.
And one stock provides an opportunity to get in on the development and ownership of farmland south of the equator.
Land Opportunities Abound in South America
The Only Tech Stock You'll Ever Need
When it comes to cutting-edge science that will redefine how we live and work in coming years, there's no shortage of fascinating breakthroughs.
Every week brings dozens of new developments covering everything from bionic eyes to drones the size of humming birds.
Trouble is, very few offer actual opportunities to make money right now, today.
But there is one big-cap juggernaut that provides stock profits to its shareholders while it's busy inventing the tech of the future. And it isn't satisfied pigeon-holed into one specific sector but has its sights set on so many diverse industries (or tech that will affect numerous industries) it's like buying a stock that's an exchange-traded fund (ETF).
Unlike many tech leaders, it isn't sitting on its laurels and market dominance. It's actively looking into cutting-edge sectors to advance its brand. What's more it's product pipeline is blazingly fast and efficient.
We're talking intriguing rollouts in new fields like:
- Augmented human intelligence
- Wearable computers
- Robotic cars
- Machine learning and communication
- Advanced optical networking
In other words, you have to look at this stock like it were a "Future Tech ETF."