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Is Your Vehicle on the "Most Hackable" List?

My first car was a bone-stock 1929 Ford Model A coupe that has been in the family since it was new.

My late grandfather – a machinist on the Lehigh Valley Railroad – drove the car as his everyday vehicle until the late 1940s. My Dad restored the car in his mid-teens and drove it through his high-school years.

And I did the same…

  • U.S. Economy

  • Investing Strategies: How to Protect Yourself if the U.S. Economy Catches the "Japan Disease" Grim unemployment figures, growing worries about crushing debt loads and the apparent absence of any inflation are causing many investors to ask a tough question: Is the U.S. economy catching the "Japan disease," the dreaded and dreadful malaise that has left the onetime Asian powerhouse in a stagnant state since 1990?

    It's a crucial question.

    And the answer will guide your investment decisions for the next 20 years.

    To find out the best investments to be making right now, please read on... Read More...
  • Three Ways to Brace for a Double-Dip Recession: Going Global The last time the U.S. economy suffered through a double-dip recession, this country was struggling to overcome the fallout from an Arab oil embargo, Vietnam War-era deficits, and an inflationary spiral that just wouldn't let go.

    That 1981-82 double-dip downturn - the result of an economic "shock treatment" aimed at curing those ills - consisted of two recessions that were separated by a single quarter of growth.

    The current backdrop is very different from the one that was in place back then, but the threat of a double-dip recession is no less real.

    The world's No. 1 economy lost 8.4 million jobs during the recession that got its start in December 2007, making it the worst national downturn since the Great Depression and the biggest loss of employment since the end of World War II.

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  • Are Bonds a Bubble? Don't Bet on It With the stock market unsteady, don't overlook the value of adding bonds to your portfolio. They provide income and are more reliable than equities.

    Indeed, bonds have had a strong run up in the past decade - so strong, in fact, that many investors are afraid they've entered bubble territory. But not Albert Edwards, chief strategist at the old-school French bank Societe Generale SA (PINK: SCGLY).

    Edwards isn't your typical white-shoe analyst. Guys in his position tend to have a perpetually optimistic worldview. Since they are in the business of selling the dream, they need to talk up assets. But Edwards is an iconoclast who is known as one of the dourer professional forecasters.

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  • Three Ways to Brace for a Double-Dip Recession: Going for the Gold The last time the U.S. economy suffered through a double-dip recession, this country was struggling to overcome the fallout from an Arab oil embargo, Vietnam War-era deficits, and an inflationary spiral that just wouldn't let go.

    That 1981-82 double-dip downturn - the result of an economic "shock treatment" aimed at curing those ills - consisted of two recessions that were separated by a single quarter of growth.

    The current backdrop is very different from the one that was in place back then, but the threat of a double-dip recession is no less real. Indeed, with each passing week, and with every new economic report that comes out, the possibility that the U.S. economy will backslide into a double-dip recession seems to become more of a probability - or even a likelihood.

    "For me a 'double-dip' is another recession before we've healed from this recession [and] the probability of that kind of double-dip is more than 50%," Robert Shiller, professor of economics at Yale University and co-developer of Standard and Poor's S&P/Case-Shiller home price indexes, told Reuters. "I actually expect it."

    Read More...
  • The Headline You Never Expected: Foreign Growth Could Bail Out the U.S. Economy During a period of increasingly worrisome headlines about the U.S. economy, there is one bright spot.

    The rest of the world appears to be doing much better than we are.

    In the long run, that's good news for the United States. Rapid world growth will eventually rekindle the economic fires here, producing a growth that is more balanced than the bubbles of 1995-2008.

    Still, getting to that point will be a challenge, since - economically speaking - the home fires don't appear to be burning all that brightly.

    To see how foreign growth could bail out the U.S. economy, please read on...


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  • Special Report: Why Investors Must Buy Gold … Before it Runs Away in Price As gold hovers near $1,200 an ounce and pundits speculate about a "gold bubble," it's important for investors to remember that a mere decade ago the picture was very different.

    In the year 2000, gold sat at an unimpressive annual average of $279 an ounce - a two-decade low. At that time, most analysts thought gold was finished as a monetary metal. They said its price would never recover and only kooks with tin hats would invest in it. I was one of the very few financial commentators publicly saying that gold was not only viable, but entering a long-term uptrend.

    With the benefit of hindsight, we can all see that the consensus was wrong. Gold has performed remarkably against the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite Index and U.S. real estate. The reason I was able to confidently forecast this result is because I ignore the 'certainties' determined by Wall Street consensus, and instead study the fundamental trends.

    Read More...
  • Question of the Week: Investors Preparing for Double-Dip Recession The "pause" button has been hit on the U.S. economic recovery, fueling worries that we're headed for a double-dip recession.

    "We're in a pause in a recovery, a modest recovery, but a pause in the modest recovery feels like a quasi-recession," Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" broadcast last Sunday.

    Greenspan touched off speculator interest in a double-dip downturn when he announced that a further decline in home prices could push the economy into a new recession.

    Read More...
  • Defensive Investing: Use Dollar-Cost Averaging to Reduce Volatility Risks Dollar-cost averaging has long been a strategic staple among mutual fund buyers. Longer-term investors use it to smooth out the effects of short-term price fluctuations, but the tactic seldom has been practical for purchasers of individual stocks - that is until now.

    For those unfamiliar with the strategy, dollar-cost averaging - also known as constant-dollar investing - involves the regular purchase of a smaller fixed-dollar amount worth of shares over time, as opposed to the lump-sum purchase of a large number of shares at once. For example, rather than buy $1,200 worth of shares of fictitious company XYZ in January, you might buy $100 worth of XYZ shares each month for the full year.

    The technique offers several advantages for fund investors:

    • Because you are investing a fixed-dollar amount at regular intervals, you don't have to be concerned with trying to time the markets.
    • Since the fixed-dollar amount you invest buys more shares when prices are low and fewer when they are high, your average cost basis levels out over time. This reduces the risk that you might pay too high a price by making a lump-sum purchase at the wrong time.
    • The lower average cost basis mutes the impact of short-term volatility on your existing holdings.
    • You can build a sizable position in a single fund, even if you never have a large sum of money to invest at any one time.
    Read More...
  • A Tale of Two Investments: U.S. Steel Scenario Illustrates the Power of Dollar-Cost-Averaging To understand the potential defensive-investing benefits of dollar-cost averaging, let's take a look at two scenarios involving United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X).

    Thanks to the general downtrend in the market, the May 6 "flash crash," and the rapid subsequent rebound, U.S. Steel shares fell from a 52-week high of $70.95 on April 6 to just $52.81 at the market close on Friday, May 14.

    Indications of some new life in the construction sector and an uptick in autos would seem to indicate that steel demand could rise - which would be especially good for U.S. Steel, which supplies both businesses.

    You've got $10,000 to work with.

    Read More...
  • With Mid-Term Elections Looming, Will Democrats Fire Back with a Second Stimulus Data last week showed a job market that's careening down a steep street with no breaks. Yet investors were able to shrug off employment concerns, as the stock market actually ended the week up 1.5% due to that rockin' Monday on the first day of the month.

    That's because there is growing speculation that the Democrats are plotting a surprise stimulus in the run up to November's mid-term elections.

    Let me explain...

    Click here to read on...

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  • It's Time to Keep America From Becoming Just Another Banana Republic The great American tradition of individualism, entrepreneurship and revolution is being systematically undermined by a cadre of financial strongmen bent on turning us into just another "banana republic" - where a subdued and apathetic population is subjugated by a ruling class of wealthy oligarchs.

    The gross irony is that the same capitalist system that molded America into the strongest, most productive and richest nation in history, has been transformed into a mostly private moneymaking enterprise whose beneficiaries are those who actually produce nothing but paper profits.

    The story of America's transformation from great experiment to another banana republic is one in which economic crises were manipulated to create a political front for an elite banking class.

    It's a story that's worth examining...

    To find out why America is headed for banana-republic status, please read on...

    Read More...
  • Slight Job Gains Won't Shrink the High Unemployment Rate Employment reports released this week show mixed results, but lead to the same conclusion: The high unemployment rate isn't improving any time soon.

    U.S. private-sector jobs last month grew by only 42,000, according to a report issued yesterday (Wednesday) by payrolls processor Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADP). ADP revised the number of jobs added in June to 19,000 from 13,000, which fell far short of economists' predictions of 39,000.

    The ADP report "shows continued weakness in the jobs market, which is in part caused by the uncertainty in the economy and general business climate," said Gary Butler, ADP's chief executive, in a statement. "American businesses are on the cusp of recovery, but more effective incentives are needed to encourage business investment resulting in the creation of more jobs."

    Read More...
  • We Want to Hear From You: Are You Preparing for a Double-Dip Recession? The "pause" button has been hit on the U.S. economic recovery, fueling worries that we're headed for a double-dip recession.

    "We're in a pause in a recovery, a modest recovery, but a pause in the modest recovery feels like a quasi-recession," Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" broadcast Sunday.

    Greenspan touched off speculator interest in a double-dip downturn when he announced that a further decline in home prices could push the economy toward a new recession.

    Read More...
  • Flat Consumer Spending and Declining Factory Orders Point to Slower Economic Recovery Consumer spending in the United Sates was flat in June and personal savings were the highest in a year, underscoring how unemployment continues to hamstring the U.S. economic recovery.

    Separately, U.S. factory orders fell by more than expected in June from May, and pending home sales continued to plunge as the expiration of a government subsidy for first-time homebuyers depressed housing market activity.

    Taken together with the gross domestic product (GDP) data for the second quarter, the latest string of reports shows a U.S. economy that is drawing closer to a double-dip recession.

    Read More...
  • Taipan Daily: Zero-Interest-Rate Market Investments We all know the economy has a tough row to hoe... We're facing severe unemployment. Almost 50% of those unemployed have not been able to find a job in six months. We've also seen huge bankruptcies over the past two years, such as General Motors, CIT Group and Lehman Brothers, and more than 100 banks have either closed their doors or have been seized by the FDIC in the past year alone!

    That's why the Federal Reserve has kept rates at near zero for more than a year and a half, and supported all types of stimulus measures.

    We're nowhere near out of the woods yet, and that leaves us to contemplate a "new market."

    With all the... Read More...