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 »
March 25, 2014
Many investors sense that the stock market, after the stupendous run of the past five years, is overextended and vulnerable. Yet even folks who shudder at the market's high-wire act often find it difficult to sell—particularly in a taxable account.
There's a convenient way out of this dilemma.
Don't sell what you own. Instead, hedge. Let me show you how.More »
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 18:37:24 ET
Warren Buffett, as usual, said it best: 'Down days always make me feel good.' Buffett should certainly be smiling now, after today's 264-point rout on the Dow. While I'm a little more guarded about voicing my emotions, I too am pleased that today's selloff on Wall Street lengthened my buy list–considerably. More »
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 19:09:36 ET
Scads of gurus right now seem eager to declare the end of Wall Street's bull. They'll be right, too -- sooner or later. But are conditions ripe, as we speak, for a major setback? I don't think so. More »
Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:01:02 ET
Is it my age, or is it the stock market? I seem to be shrugging a lot more these days than I used to -- especially after a session like today's. (The S&P 500 index jumped almost 10 points, to an all-time closing high.) Lots of things about this market make me uneasy, but I'm in no mood to fight the uptrend. More »
The bear will strike one of these days—but not yet! Stocks have had plenty of excuses to turn tail and run in 2014. Even with minor pullbacks in January and July, however, the headline U.S. indexes have held up remarkably well. And now, there are signs the uptrend may soon accelerate. We're in an exciting, but also potentially dangerous, phase of the market cycle.
In this month's visit, I'll show you how to capture top profits from this never-say-die bull, while protecting yourself against the risk of an accident. Hint: Owning good stocks with healthy earnings and growing dividends is important, but it's only half the formula. Rock-bottom interest rates, now a fact of life for almost six years, are driving many retirees and other conservative investors to despair. But if you know where to look, it's possible to find much higher yields than you can earn at your local bank (or the U.S. Treasury). Later, we'll zoom in on one of the great all-time inflation hedges: food. For the long-term investors among us, I've got a package of agriculture-related stocks, all champion dividend payers, that will let you laugh at inflation for years to come. First, though, let's find out why stocks right now look both enticing and risky—and how you can pocket outstanding returns while curbing your risks. 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 »
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