Investing

World Problems and U.S. Stocks

Remember when overseas events influenced the U.S. stock market? From 2010 through 2012, the market zigged and zagged in time with the European debt crisis. Now that the Federal Reserve plans to wind down its stimulus program, which has propped up American stocks, get ready for more shocks from aboard.

Scary News? Keep Your Focus

What can you and other investors do about Russia, vanished airliners or whatever tomorrow’s headlines bring? How does the Ukraine crisis affect your providing income for you and your family for the rest of your lives? The answer – in this age of rat-ta-tat information about disasters – fixes your whole mindset about investing.

Speed Trading Does Rig Markets

To hear the blowback from Wall Street, Michael Lewis’s book slamming high-frequency trading is misguided, naïve and inaccurate. But the Lewis book, Flash Boys, is spot-on. HFT does rig the stock market against small investors.

His take:

Michael Lewis’ Hyperbole

According to author Michael Lewis’ new book, the stock market is “rigged.” The reason: Professional traders armed with super-fast computers get better prices than you. But several smart advisors think his diagnosis is overblown, saying that HFT  harms mainly day traders and that Lewis ignores the good that faster connections bring, such as lowering costs and expanding liquidity.

4 Harmful Market Myths

Market myths keep proliferating, and they are dangerous to your portfolio. Among the worst are: IPOs are the road to riches, ditto biotech, Apple is over and moribund stocks will stay that way.

Investing for Tax Benefits

The most wonderful time of the year this isn’t. With taxes and your returns due April 15 and changes in tax laws, a big surprise might loom for some of us. Smart investors re-tool portfolios now to save on tax days now and to come.

New for 2013 taxpayers: a 3.8% surcharge on investment income. To avoid this, you may look for investments that pay little or no income, ones relying on growth in value rather than dividend or interest payments.

Good Stocks Get Bad News

Investors often overreact to bad news. When that happens, good companies hit by bad news become that most exquisite thing: a value play. Rule of thumb: When a solid business runs into a temporary mess, it’s likely a buy signal.

Reasons for a Spring Rally

Despite this year’s anemic start, there’s a decent chance of a spring rally. Don’t expect that to continue for the rest of the year, as it did in 2013.

Simplifying Retirees’ Portfolios

You can go crazy – or worse, invest badly – when all the world’s financial news is a few clicks away. The complexity can be overwhelming. That’s why, in portfolios as in life, think about when and how simple is best.

Warren Buffet, the most recognized and successful investor of our times, recently discussed provisions in his will – specifically how his final instructions are simple and clear.

Tax-Efficient Investing (Pt.1)

Investing just became a lot more complicated – and expensive – especially if you make a good living. You must squeeze every last advantage out of our tax system.

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