Stocks

  • 21 Aug
    Real Estate Vs. Stocks – What Sven Says Makes The Better Investment Today

    Real Estate Vs. Stocks – What Sven Says Makes The Better Investment Today

    • As investors, we must be primarily concerned about risk and return, not asset class.

    Introduction

    I often get a question from people that have a decent amount of money about where to put that money as they know I specialize in investing, and especially the stock market.

    They’re often surprised when I tell them to invest in real estate and to leave the stock market to those who can take advantage of the volatility and greater risks especially now that stock valuations are extremely high, or to do both as an excellent diversification strategy. More →

  • 16 Aug
    Why You Need To Prepare For All Hell To Break Loose

    Why You Need To Prepare For All Hell To Break Loose

    • The last stock bull market was influenced by central bank activity, that’s clear. What’s next is the question.
    • I’ll describe three potential scenarios that could impact our financial system.
    • One is good, the second is interesting, while the third is ugly.

    Introduction

    The general expectation is that the FED will start selling securities in order to tighten monetary policy, that the ECB will slowly stop buying, and that nothing will change in Japan. Nevertheless, such a situation would lead to an environment where the additional liquidity created by central banks finally dries up. As the liquidity provided by central banks is the main reason behind this bull market, should investors begin to cut their positions?

    In order to elaborate on this question, we’ll first analyze the situation, the expected situation, and then possible scenarios in order to give you the best answer on how to prepare yourself for what might happen. It’s extremely important to do so and, as you will see, it isn’t that difficult. More →

  • 15 Aug
    Is It Possible To Find A Wonderful Business At a Fair Price In Today’s Environment?

    Is It Possible To Find A Wonderful Business At a Fair Price In Today’s Environment?

    • We’ll first define what a wonderful business should be and what a fair price would be in relation to general stock market risk.
    • We’ll look at price earnings differences among sectors and countries to find places to look for great investments.
    • A list of S&P 500 companies with low P/E ratios shows that it isn’t easy to find wonderful businesses at a fair price.

    Introduction

    Warren Buffett’s main advice to investors is to find a wonderful business at a fair price. Now with the S&P 500 price to earnings (P/E) ratio of 24.34, that implies an earnings yield of just 4.1% which makes me ask myself, is it possible to find a wonderful business at a fair price today?

    I’ll first describe what a wonderful business is, look at what would be a fair price for it, and then look to see if there are any such businesses around. More →

  • 10 Aug
    The Hardest Part Of Investing & How To Do It Right

    The Hardest Part Of Investing & How To Do It Right

    • Deciding when to sell a stock is the most difficult decision in investing. It’s much more difficult than deciding when to buy.
    • I’ll discuss 5 strategies that can go a long way toward helping you in making the difficult decision.

    Introduction

    The vast majority of the discussion around stocks is about what and when to buy. However, what’s even more important than buying is when to sell.

    Knowing when to sell allows you to lock your gains in when you are right, limit your losses when you are wrong, and, most importantly, avoid selling for a small gain when the stock has the potential to double or more. More →

  • 04 Aug
    Think The Biggest Companies Of The S&P 500 Will Outperform? History Says Otherwise

    Think The Biggest Companies Of The S&P 500 Will Outperform? History Says Otherwise

    • The strongest companies in the S&P 500 may look invincible now, but history shows us this won’t last forever.
    • None of the companies in the S&P 500’s 1980 top 10 are still there now.
    • Top 10 S&P 500 companies largely underperform the S&P 500 in the long term.

    Introduction

    Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) are the 5 largest holdings of the S&P 500 accounting for 11.74% of the index. The other 495 companies account for 88.26% of the S&P 500 which is a pretty strong imbalance, but that’s how the S&P 500 is formed. Its weightings are based on market capitalization. The bigger the market capitalization, the bigger the weighting in the index. More →

  • 26 Jul
    Central Banks Have Made The Rich Richer. Here’s How To Take Advantage.

    Central Banks Have Made The Rich Richer. Here’s How To Take Advantage.

    • Central banks have intentionally inflated asset prices that benefit those who own assets, while wages and real prices have remained equal.
    • There’s no case for being a saver. The risks are too high for miserable returns.
    • I’ll discuss three options to protect yourself and take advantage of the next quantitative easing rounds.

    Introduction

    In the last 10 years, the financial environment has changed significantly. You might not see it in your everyday life, but the 2007 environment and the environment today are hugely different. The wealth effect hasn’t really worked as Central Banks had planned and has significantly skewed asset values compared to fundamentals.

    In today’s article, I’ll describe what happened, compare it to what the previous situation was, show who benefited from the significant monetary policy market intrusions, and who will keep benefiting in the future to find ways to take advantage of the situation. More →

  • 04 Jul
    Why Yesterday’s Retirement Investing Advice Won’t Work In Today’s Environment

    Why Yesterday’s Retirement Investing Advice Won’t Work In Today’s Environment

    • Common retirement investing advice worked ok in the past, but could have been much better.
    • Why would you sell stocks that you bought a long time ago, and that are still growing and paying dividend, to buy bonds that yield less than inflation?
    • Over the long term, little differences amount to a huge difference. Take responsibility for your retirement.

    Introduction

    The common advice on retirement investing is to be overweight stocks when you are far from retirement and then overweight bonds when you are closer to retirement. Some funds offer target date retirement funds that have such a portfolio allocation.

    Vanguard’s target retirement funds invest up to 90% in stocks when you are more than 25 years from retirement, and then lower that exposure to about 50% when you retire. 7 years into retirement, you have 70% of your portfolio in bonds. More →

  • 26 Jun
    Don’t Follow The Herd: Why The Majority Of Investors Always Get It Wrong

    Don’t Follow The Herd: Why The Majority Of Investors Always Get It Wrong

    • Consider this, the question always remains the same: “What will my return on investment be?” But the answer changes all the time.
    • Thinking costs energy and humans prefer to let others do the thinking for them. Are you like that?
    • It’s important to know when to use history as a teacher.

    Introduction

    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” 

    – Mark Twain

    When Albert Einstein was teaching at Oxford University, he gave his senior physics students exactly the same exam he had given them the year before. His assistant was disturbed by such a mistake, but before intervening he asked Einstein whether he actually made a mistake. Einstein replied that the exam was exactly the same. The assistant was even more concerned and asked why he would do such a thing. Einstein replied, “Well, the questions are still the same, but the answers have changed.” More →

  • 21 Jun
    Diversification vs. Concentration

    Diversification vs. Concentration

    • Index funds and diversification have worked extremely well in the past 35 years, however their success can be thanked to geography, as we hear only about the success in the U.S., and to declining interest rates.
    • If the S&P 500 had the same earnings yield as when the Vanguard fund gained traction, it would be at 557 points, yes 77% below current levels.
    • It’s better to wait in cash than buy a diversified index fund now.

    Introduction

    Some investment gurus advocate spreading your portfolio across various asset classes in order to limit your risks for the same return. On the other hand, others say diversification is for idiots and for those who don’t know what they’re doing. I’ll analyze their arguments and see what the best option is for you. More →

  • 20 Jun
    How To Identify Value Traps

    How To Identify Value Traps

    • Value stocks are tempting, but the vast majority turn out to be value traps.
    • There are a few things to look at that lower the probability of getting caught in a value trap.

    Introduction

    Everybody has been talking for the last few days about Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) buyout of Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM), and the negative repercussions that purchase had on competitors like Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT), Target (NYSE: TGT), Costco (NASDAQ: COST), and Kroger (NYSE: KR). More →

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