November 5, 2014
It's that time of year again. The clock is ticking down on 2014, and on December 31 at midnight, your last opportunity to save on this year's tax bill will expire. Don't be discouraged, though. There's still plenty of time to act. Here are five easy strategies you can put to work right now, with the potential to shave off hundreds or even thousands of dollars in taxes before the band strikes up Auld Lang Syne on New Year's Eve.More »
July 15, 2014
For the past five years, Wall Streeters have been speculating—eagerly, but mostly in vain—that interest rates were about to rise. However, the federal funds rate (the rate banks charge each other for short-term loans) has remained stuck at zero to 0.25%.
Still, it's a pretty sure bet that at some point, the Federal Reserve will snug up its ultra-easy monetary policy—and interest rates will pop. Let's take an educated guess at when that moment might arrive, together with the likely consequences for your bonds and other interest-sensitive investments.More »
May 20, 2014
Stock investors are feeling confused of late–and you can't really blame them. The headline stock market indexes (Dow, S&P 500) edged up in mid-May to all-time highs. Yet many of last year's favorites continue to stumble: biotechs, social media, small caps. Perma-bears, sensing an opportunity to salvage their battered reputations, are snarling into TV cameras with spine-chilling predictions of an imminent crash.
Is it Apocalypse Now? I don't think so.More »
Tue, 23 Dec 2014 17:44:23 ET
I last used that headline 27 years ago (on the eve of the 1987 stock market crash). So I guess I'm entitled to dredge it up again. I'm spotting a number of unsustainable extremes in the financial markets. 'Corrections' are coming in the new year. More »
Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:06:10 ET
Amazing, isn't it, what a little pixie dust can do? Wednesday afternoon, at the end of its latest policymaking confab, the Federal Reserve handed the financial markets an early Christmas present. Just a couple of words, mind you. But they packed a punch. More »
Tue, 16 Dec 2014 17:09:20 ET
Wall Street struck another sour note today, with the S&P 500 index tumbling 17 points to a seven-week low. Hanging over traders' heads throughout the session was Russia's desperate 'shock and awe' attempt overnight to shore up the plunging ruble. More »
Will plummeting oil prices foil efforts by the world's central banks to keep economic growth alive in 2015? Both stocks and bonds rallied in the past year as the Federal Reserve and its cohorts around the globe kept easy money flowing into the economy and financial markets. However, the new year will pose a fresh challenge. While cheaper oil is a huge plus for consumers, it's also a serious obstacle for an industry that has bolstered the U.S. economy over the past five years.
In this month's visit, I'll give you a roadmap to the most promising opportunities—as well as the most serious risks—of 2015. I won't keep you in suspense: Though real, the danger from falling oil has been exaggerated. At today's levels, in fact, energy stocks hold out excellent potential for returns of 20%, 30% or more in the year ahead, as long as you choose your vehicles carefully. Likewise, I see big profits coming in dividend-rich foreign equities, from a European drug maker to British and Australian banks. Later, I'll walk you around some of the most dangerous traps awaiting investors in 2015, including two industry groups that look overvalued and vulnerable right now, together with steps you can take to protect yourself. First, though, let's find out what's encouraging and what's worrisome in the outlook for the new year—and how you can guide your portfolio safely and profitably through it all. More »
I am trying to buy or research a stock you discussed, but the ticker symbol you mentioned in Profitable Investing doesn't work. How can I find the right ticker symbol?
Unlike the common stocks and mutual funds most investors are used to, certain investments, including preferred stocks and international stocks, may have a welter of different ticker symbols depending on what quote lookup or brokerage service you look for them on. More »
Richard E. Band is the newsletter world's #1 authority on investing for low-risk growth. His flagship Total Return Portfolio has quintupled in value since its inception in 1990, while taking far less risk than the popular stock market index funds. More »
Thanks Richard for being there for us on a weekly and monthly basis. We appreciate your consistently down-to-earth, sensible commentary and advice. We are in our 80s and still don't mind a little risk, but we want it to be reasonable, calculated risk. We have done well following your advice over the years. We take a small monthly stipend each month to augment our Social Security income and let the rest remain to increase our investments. We are better than "back to even" after the vicious downturns of the past few years.
–LPC, Camas, Washington