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Roaring Folly

Thu, 28 Apr 2016 17:11:28 ET

You've got to love earnings season. Once every calendar quarter, the ticker fiends gather round to watch companies' profit-and-loss statements cross the tape. As soon as the crucial number lights up the screen, a torrent of ill-considered, spur-of-the-moment buy (or sell) orders comes roaring in. More »

Latest Issue

May 2016 Issue & Supplement

Is this 'a terrible time' to invest in the stock market? A top-tier presidential candidate (a billionaire at that) says it is. Maybe he's right, maybe not. But what if he turns out to be right? Is there anything you and I should be doing differently to protect ourselves against the risk that a big decline in equities may be just around the corner? In this month's visit, I want to tackle head-on the problem of 'timing' the stock market. Even if you don't accept the GOP frontrunner's view that 'we're sitting on a massive bubble,' there are reasons to be concerned about the current level of stock prices. Any prudent financial battle plan must reckon with this reality. I'll show you how we're doing it—not by running away from stocks, but by taking sensible precautions to keep our wealth safe.

As you'll see, safety means we're playing offense as well as defense. We're still buying some stocks and funds, even in today's elevated market, because they offer solid long-term prospects for dividend growth and capital appreciation. In addition, I'll point you to a pair of 'safe haven' bond funds that have not only done a better job than peers at guarding against loss but are also throwing off superior cash yields here and now. We want to own bonds that grow wealth as well as preserve it. Later, I'll update you on two hard assets that have shown promising signs of a major turnaround in recent months: gold and oil. First, though, let's find out what the real risk is in today's stock market—and how you can mitigate it (even turn it to your advantage) by following a sound portfolio plan that avoids the hazards of 'all in or all out' market timing. More »

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Ask Richard

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 »