Archives for April 2013

April 2013 - Page 20 of 21 - Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From

The Board of Directors Is the Ultimate Protected Class

It's a lot of work being on a board of directors. You have responsibilities too.
Actually, it's more about responsibilities than work. Believe me, I've been a director.

Take the big banks, for instance. With all their problems they must have a lot of board meetings. Talk about work and responsibility. Forget the compensation, it's not worth it.

Well, maybe it is for some directors. After all, these days a few hundred thousand dollars a year for making a bunch of meeting in exotic places – sometimes – and staying at top notch resorts and hotels, and eating all that rich food, is still worth the tip money.

According to compensation data firm Equilar, in 2011, the last year Goldman Sachs' numbers were available, they paid their 13 directors an average of $488,709, annually.

That's up 50% from 2008, which was a not such a good year. But it pales in comparison to 2007, which was a very good year, when directors averaged $670,295.

Here is just a sampling of compensation figures.

Why I Cancelled Everything in Germany and Took the Next Flight to Dubai

Something big unfolded on my trip to Frankfurt last week.

It began with meetings in Germany over natural gas prices, but morphed into an interesting sidebar on the impact government subsidies have on energy prices.

As I noted last week, a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff report concluded that public-sector support largely created more harm than good.

The Best New Dividend Stocks of 2013

Thanks to this year's booming market for initial public offerings (IPOs), there are a handful of new dividend stocks for yield-starved investors.

In the first quarter of 2013, 45% of all new offerings paid a dividend. That compares to just 16% in Q1 of 2012, according to data from Renaissance Capital.

This is the most dividend stocks to debut in a quarter since Q2 of 2008, when 69% of IPOs paid a dividend.

The trend is in direct response to investors' hunt for yield, and comes at a time when dividend stocks should be part of everyone's portfolio.

As Money Morning Global Investing Strategist Martin Hutchinson has explained, "The truly rich don't spend their days watching the financial news and trading stocks. They're too smart for that. They know that investing in steady income-producing dividend stocks is just as rewarding over the long haul."

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Avis Expands Taiwan Operations - Analyst Blog

In a drive to enhance its operations in Taiwan, Avis Car Rental, a unit of Avis Budget Group Inc. (CAR), recently entered into a partnership with Taiwan High Speed Rail (“THSR”). The company’s strategic move is backed by the growing car rental demand on the island as well as accelerating economic growth. As per the […]

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Bear of the Day: Rentech Nitrogen (RNF) - Bear of the Day

For much of the latter half of 2012, nitrogen-based fertilizer companies were great investments. These firms often utilize natural gas as a key input for their processes, so when prices of this potent fuel are slumping, it is great news for their bottom lines. However, the reverse is also true, and this has been the […]

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Stocks to Buy Now: How to Make Money from Banks

In the past, you used to be able to safely invest at the bank. But now, it might be wiser to invest in the bank, as the following institutions are looking more like attractive stocks to buy now.

Thanks to the U.S. Federal Reserve, interest rates will continue to be low for an extended period of time, meaning savers would be lucky to get 1%.

Meanwhile, bank stocks have gone from unloved and out of favor to being an industry on the verge of recovery – and able to pay dividends to shareholders.  

Income investors have a new opportunity with certain bank stocks. Banks that eliminated or reduced dividend payouts to preserve capital during the crisis are now loosening the purse strings a bit.

For example, many regional banks are starting to reinstate and raise dividends. As residential and commercial real estate markets continue to stabilize, banks should start to grow once again and higher earnings will lead to very high rates of dividend growth.

These bank stocks should be part of every income investor's portfolio right now as the long-term prospects for capital gains in addition to income are excellent.

Here are a few that rank among the regional bank stocks to buy as they raise payouts.

With the White-Hot Demand for Coins, Why Are Silver Prices Falling?

It's one of the biggest mysteries in finance right now.

I mean, it's a real head-scratcher …

On one hand, demand for silver coins has been off the charts. With so many investors wanting to swap currency for silver, neither the U.S. Mint nor the Royal Canadian Mint has been able to keep up with purchase requests.

In fact, the U.S. Mint actually had to suspend sales of the "Silver Eagles" just a couple of weeks into the New Year – and it still smashed the all-time monthly sales record in January by selling 7.5 million of the hugely popular coins.

And that insane demand carried over into February and March.

Why Crime Pays for "Too-Big-To-Fail" Banks

There's a reason why the first few installments of my What Everyone Absolutely Needs to Know About Money series have been about banks.

You need to know the truth about banks.

Why? Because they rob you.

Why? Because they can.

It's the Willie Sutton bank robber quote in reverse. Willie was asked, "Why do you rob banks?"

He famously answered, while in handcuffs, "Because that's where the money is."

But, banks can't keep robbing the public if they keep shooting themselves in their feet. That's where central banks come in.

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Is David Stockman's Stock Market Crash Prediction on Target?

David Stockman, who had been budget director under President Ronald Reagan, created quite a stir when he predicted a stock market crash in an op-ed piece in The New York Times Sunday.

"Over the last 13 years, the stock market has twice crashed and touched off a recession: American households lost $5 trillion in the 2000 dot-com bust and more than $7 trillion in the 2007 housing crash," Stockman, now an investment banker, wrote. "Sooner or later – within a few years, I predict – this latest Wall Street bubble, inflated by an egregious flood of phony money from the Federal Reserve rather than real economic gains, will explode, too."

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Could Another Go at a Facebook Phone Actually Work?

A Facebook phone could be in the works, serving as the company's latest bold attempt to increase revenue and make money from its one billion users. 

The social media giant sent out invites last week to a press event, "Come See Our Home on Android." Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) will host the event at its Menlo Park, CA headquarters Thursday. 

Rumors state the mobile device will use customized software that's a version of Google Inc.'s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android 4.2 OS. The software will dominate a user's home screen. Updates and information from a user's Facebook account will be posted constantly.

Industry insiders believe the company is working on the smartphone in collaboration with Taiwan's HTC. This is the second time the companies have collaborated on a Facebook-focused phone – with the first attempt only lasting a few months.

Could it be that second time's the charm?

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