Category

U.S. Economy

Investing Tips

The Best Investments to Hold When Interest Rates Rise

Inflation can be tough to contend with, yet investors should guard against inflation lest it eat away at their portfolios – which isn't hard to do if they know the best investments to hold when inflation rates rise.

Official interest rates are notoriously unreliable – outright false at times – which can downplay or underestimate the situation. Don't trust the numbers. Make that mistake, and your investments' value can evaporate before your eyes.

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Investing Tips

Stock Market Crash 2013: Four Factors Investors Need to Watch

Some call it a "perfect storm" and others a "financial apocalypse," but it doesn't matter what you call the fiscal headwinds facing the U.S. economy – just that you watch them, and the stock market "crash talk" they're stirring up.

With talk of the Hindenburg Omen, credit crunches, and struggling emerging markets, it's important to prepare for the potential impact of bumps ahead.

Precious Metals

What You Need to Know About Silver Prices and the Fed QE Taper

Silver prices have rebounded about 28% since the lows of late June, and are currently trading at around $23 an ounce.

This move was key for silver prices – it means the metal broke out above its 50-day moving average.

Barclays' technical analysts pointed out that last week was silver's best week since 2011, with a gain of 14.3%.

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Investing Tips

The Most Important Number to Watch This Week

The esoteric – yet highly accurate – Hindenburg Omen we looked at Friday may suggest the probability of a market crash. But the number I'm watching this week could cause one.

As a standalone figure, of course, the yield on 10-year Treasuries is small. But the amount of money it impacts worldwide is flat-out staggering.

Out of the estimated $1.5 quadrillion dollars' worth of derivatives on the planet right now, roughly $500 trillion is specifically related to interest rates.

So you can see why the 10-year gets so much attention. But right now, I'm watching it even more carefully… for one important reason.

When the Hindenburg was sounding the alarm last week, 10-year Treasury yields spiked at the same time, up to 2.8210% before relaxing a bit in early trading last Friday as of press time. That suggests to me the Fed is losing control over interest rates.

No doubt this is a frightening scenario, which is why it's important to remember…

Washington

The Best Way to Ignite the Economy

The problem with the U.S. government's stimulus efforts to create jobs, and the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing to foster full employment, is that banks are the only direct beneficiaries.

There's just no good pool of jobs being formed from the trickle-down effect that first bathes bankers in bonuses, and then showers shareholders with buybacks and dividends.

There is a better way.

And, in spite of the details which additionally involve two necessary but minor structural changes that can be accomplished with the stroke of a pen, there are only two primary steps we need to take to create good-paying, long-term jobs and crank up economic growth.

Step 1 to Growth and Better Jobs

Glass-Steagall

The Most Hated Man on Wall Street – And Why You Should Back Him

Interview with Senator Angus King, Co-author of 21st century Glass-Steagall

A little more than two weeks ago a "little" story hit the news. And by little, I mean perhaps the biggest money story that you and I will likely see in our lifetimes.

That's because, for the first time in decades, it sets up two opponents, Wall Street and Washington, on opposite sides of the ring.

So who is "the most hated man on Wall Street" right now. That would be Senator Angus King, along with his cohorts Senators Elizabeth Warren and John McCain.

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Washington

President Obama, Champion of the Free Market

This week, President Obama said something that made me shake my head.

While speaking outside Phoenix, AZ's Desert Vista High School on Tuesday, the president rejected accusations of favoring "socialism" in the housing markets.
"I know that sounds confusing to folks who call me a 'Socialist,'" he said. "I think I saw some posters there on the way in."
"But," he continued, "I actually believe in the free market."
Here's the thing…

After five years of top-down government policies that have done little to spur economic growth, we're skeptical about the president's love for unfettered capitalism.

Just look at the following seven "free-market" policies implemented by President Obama during his four-and-a-half years in office:

Housing Market

Why Millions of Americans are Still "Trapped" in Their Homes

For millions of Americans who were underwater on their mortgages, the tide is finally receding.

That's good news for the housing market, of course, and for the U.S. economy as a whole, as housing is a major engine of the economy.

Housing not only generates construction jobs, one of the hottest job sectors in the country right now, it also sparks spending on home furnishings and appliances. And as home prices increase, people feel more wealthy and tend to spend more.

The number of homeowners underwater – those who owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth – dropped in the first quarter to 25.4% percent of all mortgages, or 13 million homeowners, from 31.4 % a year earlier, real estate researcher Zillow reports.

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