Beyond the Brink

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Learn the techniques needed to become a successful penny stock trader.

penny stock investing smallcap microcap

Penny stocks represent an excellent investment vehicle for producing gains, while the risks are equally as high. When you finally decide to get involved in penny stocks, to go ‘Beyond the Brink,’ there are some things you need to know.

In fact, whether you have been burned by penny stocks in the past, or have never even invested, the following theories are designed to give you an instant and significant advantage over all those inexperienced and uninformed traders. After all, to make money in stocks someone usually has to be losing money. Which side of the fence do you want to fall on?

Glass Jaw

Lots of people have made lots of money from trading penny stocks. Lots of people have lost plenty, as well. What is the difference between a successful micro-cap trader, and one who continually takes it on the chin?

Uses professional stock picks and research. Does their own due diligence. Observes patience. Takes lessons from past trades and stock activity. Takes lessons from other traders. Decides between 10 stocks at a time.

Uses tips at work, rumors, and so-called ‘inside scoops’ to pick stocks. Doesn’t investigate financials and corporate position. Falls victim to negative emotions like greed, anger, and desperation. Makes the same mistakes more than once. Looks at one stock alone on its own situation.

So Let’s Learn

The fact that you have taken the time to review this feature demonstrates that you have the characteristics of a successful trader, specifically the willingness to learn from experts and the experiences of other traders.
So let’s learn. As mentioned above, you should always examine groups of stocks together when looking for a new issue to invest in. For example, make a chart and write down the revenues of each. In the next column list the earnings. Follow this by each of the subsequent criteria you think are important. With all of the data on one table and available at a glance, you can easily get a clear picture of which are the one or two strongest companies from your pool of potential investments.

However, understand that stock prices do not necessarily act in concert with the underlying fundamentals of a company. For example, there is nothing saying that the stock of the worst company on your list won’t out perform the top ranked one.

For that reason you should also include factors such as trading volatility, your opinion of a potential break-through due to some new product, potential positive press releases, etc… This method is not intended to reveal the best stock, but instead to give you additional clarity about which are the best few and worst few according to your own weighting of the various factors you have chosen.

Available Advantages

Get a discount broker. Monitor your portfolio online, do your research online (and offline), and place your trades online. Embrace the technology, because it provides superior advantages all across the board. You can screen stocks, put those into comparative charts, instantly access the corporate press releases, check the latest industry news, and then place your trade… all for about $20.
Then you can monitor your trade order fulfillment, verify that the money and shares traded hands, track the progress of the stocks, get instant alerts for press releases… It is truly endless and complete, and each step that you take full advantage of leaves other traders one step behind you.

Keep small amounts of money in each stock, and only ‘risk’ money for penny stocks. While these low-priced, volatile investments can produce some truly incredible gains, they usually bounce among all sorts of price ranges.
On a related note, if you get ‘freaked out’ or worried about a stock you hold, you should consider selling your position. Try to invest in solid penny stock companies that have a low share price because they are small or undiscovered, not because they are having business troubles.

Be sure to read our related articles Falling in Hate, Fools Rush In, and Trading Myths, and our tools section on Choosing a Broker.

Beyond… And After That

Some of the most successful traders have a few things in common. Firstly, they have made some major trading mistakes in their day. However, they learned more from these mistakes than they ever did from any of their great trades. Don’t squander your failures by trying to put them behind you.

Secondly, keep a journal with dates, specific trade amounts and prices, and even the stocks you were thinking of investing in but didn’t. You can use this for a hundred different purposes as you become a more advanced trader, such as seeing opportunities you missed, or learning that your strategies are valid, or just to monitor your improvement as you become more experienced from month to month.

9 Survival Tips for the Market Shakeout Blues

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Investors who bought during the top of the frothy commodities rally are now panicking or kicking themselves. Neither activity helps an investor or trader think straight. Below are a few tips in dealing with the current market shakeout

stocks, investing, uranium, nuclear energy, oil, energy, gas, commodities

Investors who bought during the top of the frothy commodities rally are now panicking or kicking themselves. Neither activity helps an investor or trader think straight. Below are a few tips in dealing with the current market shakeout.

1. If you believe you invested in the right stock(s), then turn off your computer and do something enjoyable. Exercise is a great stress reliever. The market has already begun its shakeout. If you didn’t get stopped out, or failed to place earlier stops, your best opportunity lays ahead in picking up additional shares at a much lower price. Most of the experts we’ve interviewed tell us the next rally should start sometime between late July and Labor Day. In an attempt to interview the uranium guru James Dines in late May, we were told, “Call back in a couple of months.?That was a helpful clue that the markets were less than exciting. Mr. Dines is often eager to be interviewed, but recently he was not.

2. Do you believe the fundamentals which engendered the commodities boom have changed? If they haven’t, then the bullishness is only taking a breather. We don’t see any fundamental change in the markets. Russia still wants nuclear power, and its oil production may be peaking. China hasn’t announced the end of its nuclear expansion program. India wants to spend $40 billion on new nuclear reactors. If you are invested in uranium stocks, spot uranium jumped another dollar to $45/pound this past week. Hardly the end of the bull market.

3. If you worry about your investment in one stock or another, then stop watching the ticker and focus on the company fundamentals. Is the story still true or has it changed? See #7 A, B and C below.

4. There’s an old clich?that the time to buy is when you feel like dumping everything you own in the category. At the exact moment you want to sell your entire portfolio of uranium stocks, it may be wiser to add to your holdings. This applies mainly to the retail investor. Most of the professionals did dump at the top and are now slowly accumulating the shares of the na├»ve who waited until the washout to start selling off.

5. Has a major, earth-shattering event occurred? The last bull cycle in uranium ended with Three Mile Island (TMI). The last decent rally in the precious metals markets fell off a cliff after it was discovered Bre-X Minerals had perpetrated a fraud about its gold ‘discovery?in Indonesia. Something significant and newsworthy always transpires, and it is also far-reaching. That is the trigger. As with TMI and Bre-X, those were the first shots which launched a later chain reaction to end those bull markets.

6. Before pulling the sell trigger, ask yourself: Do I really want to give up these shares to a bargain basement hunter, who will make a killing on my losses?

7. Since most of you will still panic, please review the following basics for any of the uranium companies you’ve read about:

A) How much cash does the company have in the bank? During shakeouts, cash is king. Prescient companies, which completed their financings during the recent and robust rally, are sitting pretty. They can weather the short-term storm and are well-oiled to move forward when this correction bottoms and reverses. Those companies are the strongest ones to check out when this correction looks gloomiest.

B) Has the management remained the same? Unless the top financial and/or technical people blew out the door, in recent weeks, the story probably hasn’t changed much. Companies which built a strong technical team are resilient and powerful. They will move forward.

C) Have the properties come up dry? One of the reasons you invested in a uranium company was because it announced it had “pounds in the ground.?Some companies have more than others. Some went to the expense and trouble of completing a National Instrument 43-101, which independently confirmed the quantity and quality of the uranium resource. If that changed ?and the company announced, “Sorry, nothing there after all,?or announced, “Hey, we were kidding,?that’s one thing. If you haven’t heard that, or read a news release announcing that, then the uranium didn’t walk away or move onto a competitor’s property. It’s still there.

Next time, when the markets are racing higher, and you feel like you won the lottery, consider this bit of biblical advice. The old joke goes, “When did Noah build his ark??The answer of course is: Before it began to rain.

How To Rate Your Favorite Uranium Company

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Many investors invested in the Great Uranium Bull Market with little rationale behind their speculation. Through the robust rallies of the past two years, it was easy to play the momentum of a newsletter writer’s recommendation. Quite a few did so, often employing the ‘greater fool strategy?and hoping the last and dumbest investor would provide an exit strategy for the early and nimble speculator.

We have created a 7-point ratings system to help you in determining which c…

uranium, nuclear power, electricity, utilities, stocks, mining, exploration, Canada, Wyoming, energy

Many investors invested in the Great Uranium Bull Market with little rationale behind their speculation. Through the robust rallies of the past two years, it was easy to play the momentum of a newsletter writer’s recommendation. Quite a few did so, often employing the ‘greater fool strategy?and hoping the last and dumbest investor would provide an exit strategy for the early and nimble speculator.

We have created a 7-point ratings system to help you in determining which companies might be best suited for your degree of investment risk. It’s a guideline you can use, and we’ve not assigned a weighting to each item. Nor have we named any uranium companies. This is a do-it-yourself ratings system, which requires but two actions on your part: (a) be persistent in your data-gathering from each company by asking the questions we posed below, and (b) be honest in your assessment when you review this data.

Some of the more speculative, pure exploration plays might abandon their properties by the end of the year or in 2007. Those would include under-capitalized companies with the more speculative properties and who also fare poorly on our ratings system. This ratings checklist would also apply to the pure specs. We began with our article, “How to Choose a Uranium Stock,?featuring Sprott Asset Management Market Strategist Kevin Bambrough and Senior Portfolio Manager Jean Francois Tardif, as a starting point to create a more advanced ratings system for you.

Uranium producers are likely to make a strong comeback as they cross over or switch to more lucrative long-term contracts. But, it could be the smaller, but more solid, uranium development companies which could emerge as the preferred investment vehicles, when the bull resumes the next leg of its long run. Now that we have had a shakeout, with possibly another one on the horizon, it is wise to properly evaluate the important merits of the more serious uranium development companies.

Below are some of the key criteria we are using in our ratings system to objectively evaluate uranium companies covered in our new book, “Investing in the Great Uranium Bull Market: A Practical Investor’s Guide to Uranium Stocks.?Please determine if your favorite exploration and/or development company meets these standards. This is one way of obtaining sufficient data to help you form a snapshot of a company’s prospects.

1.Cash Position. The more cash a company has in its treasury, the longer it can survive. Find out if your favorite company has a minimum of $20 million in cash. More than $30 million gives a company some breathing room. Exploration and development are very expensive propositions. Raising money in a down market is very tough.

2.National Instrument 43-101. This independent geological assessment determines how many pounds of uranium a company’s property hosts. While there are flaws with this system, it can be a workable yardstick. Find out if your favorite company has a minimum of 20 million pounds of a NI 43-101-compliant uranium resource. One should consider historical resources inadequate for evaluation purposes. They may also be misleading and open to hyperbole.

3.Pedigree of Known Deposits. Many of the uranium development companies hold properties, which were once held by the minerals or uranium divisions of major oil companies. Some were continuously held, during the 20-year bear market in uranium by one company or another, and then abandoned during the nadir of the drought. Find out if your favorite uranium company’s primary properties were continuously held until 2000 or a bit longer, but before the spot uranium market reversed. The earlier a company acquired its properties, the greater the probability that company got the best ones. Those who came into the game late often got the crumbs.

4.Drill Databases. Those previous land tenants, the major oil companies, who spent tens of millions of dollars drilling the uranium properties, accumulated drill databases. Some companies got the property, but not the drill databases. Some companies bought the drill database as part of their property acquisition. Find out if the company’s primary properties also have the drill database accompanying it. You may be surprised at what you find.

5.Pedigree of Uranium District. There are several premier uranium districts, which have a history of large-scale uranium production: Athabasca, Australia’s Northern Territories or South Australia, Grant’s New Mexico, Wyoming, Kazakhstan, Niger, and Namibia. Find out if your favorite company has holdings in these districts. Some companies have holdings in multiple uranium districts, which may also become recognized as a wise decision by their management.

6.Management’s Technical Experience. There are three categories of uranium experience: exploration geologist, project geologist and mine operations. Find out how much experience your company’s geological team has in each of those three categories. Those with less than 100 man-years of uranium experience behind them may be lacking. Those companies which have strength in all three categories could become the next uranium producers.

7.Political or Environmental Risk of Primary Assets. Finally, you should assess the risk of the company’s primary assets with regards to its location. Primary uranium assets in North America or Australia’s Northern Territories hold the lowest risk. Those companies exploring or developing in Niger, Namibia or Brazil have slightly higher political risk. Companies with prospects in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kazakhstan or Mongolia hold more risk than some investors may wish to tolerate. Areas which forbid mining such as Queensland, Western Australia or the U.S. state of Virginia carry an enormous degree of risk and a Kierkegaardian leap of faith.

Now you can rate your favorite uranium company and use this ratings system to help you sift through the more than 300 potential stocks in which you might have considered investing.

Beating the S&P 500 with Stock Market Timing

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Investors can beat the S&P 500 using stock market timing. Most mutual funds can’t.

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Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc.

Approximately 75% of fund managers do not beat the S&P 500 year in and year out. How can a basket of 500 hundred stocks beat the majority of actively managed mutual funds? The people who manage these funds are, for the most part, brilliant people. They are highly educated and have access to the most advanced information and decision support systems in the world. So why is it that they do not outperform the S&P 500?

A Quick Test:

Here’s a very crude test of management performance: Let’s compare the domestic-equity mutual fund performance supplied by Morningstar against the S&P 500 index for one, three, five and ten-year periods, looking back from April 30, 1995. The S&P 500 index is a fair comparison for large, domestic companies.

Our results:

–Of the 1,097 funds Morningstar covered for the one-year period, 110 beat the S&P 500, while 987 fell short. Results ranged from 46.84% to -32.26%, while the S&P 500 attained a 17.44% return.

–During the three-year period, the S&P 500 returned 10.54%, while results in the funds varied from 29.28% to -15.02% compounded annually. Of the total 609 funds, only 266 beat the S&P 500.

–Shifting to the five-year period, of 470 funds, 204 beat the S&P 500. Results ranged from 27.35% to -8.51%, while the index racked up 12.62%.

–At ten years, only 56 of 262 funds managed to beat the index, and results varied from 24.77% to -4.06% compounded annually against 14.78% for the S&P 500.

The fact that most funds do not beat the overall stock market should not be surprising. Since the majority of money invested in the stock market comes from mutual funds, it would be mathematically impossible for the majority all of these funds to out perform the market.

The implied promise held out to investors in actively managed mutual funds is that in exchange for higher fees (relative to index funds), the actively managed fund will deliver superior market performance. There are a host of barriers to fulfilling this implied promise.

Some of the problems are:

–The larger a mutual fund gets, the more difficult it becomes to deliver exceptional performance.

–Although fund size runs counter to performance, fund managers have a strong motivation to let the fund grow as big as possible because the bigger the fund gets, the more money the fund managers make.

–Most skillful mutual fund managers are hired away by hedge funds, where their financial rewards are greater and there are few restrictions on investment techniques.

–By law mutual funds are supposed to be conservative, which in theory limits their potential losses. This conservative stance generally limits their ability to use arbitrage, options, or shorting stocks.

Can You Do Better?

Because of the general inflexibility and restrictions of most mutual funds, your investment capital is not properly hedged against market fluctuations. In most cases, if you compared the beta of the equity exposure held in actively managed mutual funds to an equal equity exposure to the S&P 500 index, your reward/risk ratio would be less rewarding than purchasing an identical equity exposure to the S&P 500 index. So, the answer is, you can do better and beat the S & P 500 by using an effective stock market timing system.

A Cheap Strategy to Play Microsoft

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Articles takes a look at Microsoft and how you can play the stock with options.

stocks,investing,trading,options,technical analysis,george leong,money,finance,small cap stocks

Bill Gates is super rich but his once high-flying software company has been in the doldrums since mid-2002 after falling from the $35 level. The problem with Microsoft (MSFT) has been its failure to grow both its revenues and earnings at the superlative rates the company once enjoyed.

Any company the size of Microsoft, with a market-cap of $242 billion, will find growth an issue because of its size. But this is not to say the stock is dead. Far from it, Microsoft remains a viable long-term software company and is cash rich with $34 billion or $3.28 per share in cash. This gives the stock plenty of financial flexibility to develop or buy growth technologies. Microsoft just announced it would spend $1.1 billion in R&D at its MSN Internet unit in the FY07. And according to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is exploring the possibility of taking a stake in Internet media company Yahoo (YHOO) to take on Internet advertising behemoth Google (GOOG).

But with an estimated five-year earnings growth rate of a pitiful 12%, the company has its work cut out for it. Trading at 16.30x its estimated FY07 EPS of $1.44, the stock is not expensive but appears to be priced not as a growth stock.

Its PEG on the surface of 1.51 is not cheap, but if you discount in the cash of $3.28 per share, the estimated PEG falls to around 1,0, a decent valuation. Also, if Microsoft can improve on its estimated 12% growth rate, the PEG would decline further.

The fact is Microsoft at the current price deserves a look. If you want to play the stock but don’t want to shell out the $2,347 for a 100-share block, you may want to take a look at the long-term options, also known as LEAPS. For instance, the in-the-money January 2008 $22.50 Microsoft Call LEAPS not set to expire until January 18, 2008 currently costs $380 a contract (100 shares).

This means you risk a total of $380 for the chance to participate in the potential upside of 100 shares of Microsoft over the next 20 months. The breakeven price is $26.30. If Microsoft breaks $26.30, you would begin to make money on your LEAPS. Conversely, if Microsoft fails to do anything, your maximum risk is $380 on the initial option play.

Warning: The aforementioned example is for illustrative purposes only and not to be construed as an actual option strategy. Due to the higher risk inherent in options, I recommend you speak with an investment professional before deciding to employ any strategy involving options.

Growth and Value: What’s the Difference?

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While the majority of American investors understand the importance of diversifying across growth and value investments, few are able to achieve a passing grade on a test of their knowledge of the differences between the two, according to a new American Century Investments survey.

Growth and Value: What’s the Difference?

While the majority of American investors understand the importance of diversifying across growth and value investments, few are able to achieve a passing grade on a test of their knowledge of the differences between the two, according to a new American Century Investments survey.

Test your knowledge with the Growth & Value IQ quiz below:

1. Which best describes a growth stock?

a) Stock that offers guaranteed rate of growth tied to consumer price index.

b) Stock in a company specializing in agriculture, lumber, landscaping, and other organic products.

c) A stock in a company demonstrating better than average profit and earnings gains.

d) All of the above.

2. Which best describes a value stock?

a) Stock in fast-growing company specializing in high-value, low-cost products, like a discount retailer.

b) Stock in a company specializing in valuable goods, like precious metals and jewelry.

c) Stock that has a low price-to-book ratio.

d) All of the above.

3. Which statement is true?

a) Value stocks outperformed growth stocks between 1927 and 2001.

b) Smaller company value stocks outperformed larger company value stocks between 1927 and 2001.

c) Maintaining a portfolio with a combination of growth and value stocks generally is considered a prudent investment approach.

d) All of the above.

4. During periods of strong economic expansion, which fund generally performs better?

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

d) Both.

5. Generally speaking, value funds outpaced growth funds in 2000 and 2001.

a) True.

b) False.

6. Generally speaking, growth funds outpaced value funds during the 1990s.

a) True.

b) False.

7. Which type of fund is more likely to invest in stocks paying a significant dividend?

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

d) Both.

8. Higher price-to-earnings ratios normally would be associated with stocks in which type of mutual fund?

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

d) Both.

9. What kind of stock is described in this example: “Established baked-goods company with strong balance sheet and good cash flow experiencing temporary drop in reaction to changes in senior management.”

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

10. What kind of stock is described in this example: “Software company, enjoying steady sales increases, is in the process of rolling out an eagerly anticipated update to a popular software application.”

a) Growth.

b) Value.

c) Neither.

Key: 1(c); 2(c); 3(d); 4(a); 5(a); 6(a); 7(b); 8(a); 9(b); 10(a). – NU

Day Trading Online in the United States

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Day trading online in the United States has become a powerful trend in recent years.

online day trade trading invest

Day trading online in the United States has become a powerful trend in recent years. And while growth rates in the US have been sluggish in recent years, the US has still maintained a strong dollar, which is still used as the unquestioned international standard.
Unemployment rates have been better than where they are now, but consumer spending is at a normal pace.

But what does all of this have to do with the stock market?-Surprisingly a lot. Macroeconomic trends are quite simply the sum of microeconomic decisions and realities. If the economy overall is suffering, there’s a good chance that most firms are also experiencing slow growth rates, which will be reflected in share prices on the NASDAQ.

This also means that day traders will feel the strain; some may even avoid trading altogether out of a sense of despair, which may further lag growth rates.

Most of stock trading websites are actually based in America. So that means that you will always have a huge selection of companies to choose between for your stock trading services.

Day trading online in the USA is a big business and a lot of people setting up online companies are making a lot of money, often through sign-up and service fees. But the real winner can be the consumer–the one who signs up for the website: these people get into the online stock trading world and can make a real killing when they are buying and selling all the right kinds of stock.

But you do need to have some kind of knowledge about buying and selling stocks when you are taking part in online stock trading. Brokers are available to give you any advice when you need it; and if you are always failing to earn, then you should really give a broker a call, just to see if they can help you out of your losing streak.

USA is recognized by many as the home of the strongest and largest stock market. This is why foreign investors from around the world choose to invest a good amount of their money in US-based business. For you to make the most out of the US stock market, you need to be able to know when to buy and sell. If you do not know when to say that enough is enough for that share, then you should not be trading at all. A lot of people have exact strategies-technical or fundamental-to determine exactly when to buy and to trade and exactly how much to diversify to manage risk appropriately; and these are the people who are usually earning a steady income.

An Analysis Of Overstock.com (OSTK)

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Why is a value investor writing about an unprofitable internet company? Because value investing is about finding dollars that trade for fifty cents; with a market cap of less than 75% of sales, Overstock.com (OSTK) looks like it may be exactly that.

But isn’t it too risky?

The greatest risk in any investment is the risk of overpaying. So, the real question is: what is Overstock worth? I think it’s worth at least $1.5 billion. With Overstock’s market cap currently sitti…

overstock.com, overstock, OSTK, (OSTK), overstock (OSTK), stock, stocks, stock market, investing,

Why is a value investor writing about an unprofitable internet company? Because value investing is about finding dollars that trade for fifty cents; with a market cap of less than 75% of sales, Overstock.com (OSTK) looks like it may be exactly that.

But isn’t it too risky?

The greatest risk in any investment is the risk of overpaying. So, the real question is: what is Overstock worth? I think it’s worth at least $1.5 billion. With Overstock’s market cap currently sitting around $500 million, my valuation certainly looks far fetched. But, there’s only one way to know for sure. Let’s take apart my argument piece by piece, and see if any of my assumptions are unreasonable.

First Assumption: Over the next five years, Overstock will neither generate truly free cash flow nor consume cash. In other words, its free cash flow margin will average 0%. Cash generation in some years will exactly offset cash consumption in other years. Obviously, this assumption is unreasonable, because there is almost no chance the cash flows will exactly offset.

That’s not a problem if it turns out Overstock does generate some free cash flow over the next five years. In that case, my assumption simply errs on the side of caution. If, however, it turns out Overstock actually consumes cash over the next five years, there is a problem ?possibly a very big problem. So, which scenario is more likely?

Overstock’s revenues are growing quickly. Gross margins look solid at 13.3% in 2004 and 14.9% over the last twelve months. Overstock’s unprofitability is the result of its selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A) which have been growing exponentially. Will these expenses continue to grow? Yes, but not as fast as revenues. Over the last twelve months, Overstock’s spending on cap ex has been 5.6% of sales. That number is an aberration. In the long run, spending on cap ex should not exceed 3% of sales. Considering the business Overstock is in and the expected sales growth, the company will, more likely than not, generate some free cash flow over the next five years. Therefore, the assumption that Overstock will be cash flow neutral over the next five years is not overly optimistic.

Second Assumption: Over the next five years, Overstock’s sales will grow by 15% annually. Is this an unreasonable assumption? Again, I don’t think it is. Very few industries are expected to grow as fast as eCommerce. Overstock’s revenue growth in 2003 and 2004 was over 100%. In the past year, that growth has slowed. However, it is still closer to 50% than it is to 15%. Overstock isn’t in a cyclical business. So, there is no reason to believe current sales are abnormally high.

Also, all that spending on advertising is increasing consumers?awareness of Overstock. A review of Overstock’s traffic data shows it has not only been gaining more visitors; it has also been climbing the ranks of the most popular web sites. While it is a long, long way from the Amazons, Yahoos, and eBays of the world (and will never reach those heights) Overstock is becoming a well known internet destination. This fact was most clearly evident in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Shoppers who visited Overstock during the holiday season obviously know it exists, and may very well return at some other point in the year. Analysts are predicting very high growth rates for Overstock; however, they are also recommending you sell the stock. I don’t put any weight in their estimates. But, for the other reasons given, I believe the assumption that Overstock will grow sales at 15% a year for the next five years is not unreasonable.

Third Assumption: Six to ten years from today, Overstock will have a free cash flow margin of 3%. Ten years from today, Overstock’s free cash flow margin will rise to 4% and remain at that level. Now, of all the assumptions I’ve made, this one is the most questionable. Sure, Amazon has that kind of free cash flow margin, but Overstock isn’t Amazon, and it never will be Amazon. Overstock’s gross margins are less than Amazon’s. In fact, Overstock’s gross margins are less than Wal ?Mart’s. However, Overstock’s fixed costs will eat up a much smaller portion of its sales than is the case over at Wal – Mart.

If you compare Overstock to other online retailers, you will see that if Overstock does experience strong sales growth, a 3% free cash flow margin six years from now is not unreasonable. I assumed Overstock’s sustainable free cash flow margin will be 4%. There’s a case to be made that 4% is too high. I won’t make that case, because I don’t believe in it. Remember, that 4% number comes ten years out. That gives Overstock plenty of time to grow sales and thus reduce SG&A as a percentage of sales.

Fourth Assumption: Six to ten years from today, Overstock will be growing sales by 12% a year; eleven to fifteen years from today, Overstock will be growing sales by 8% a year; thereafter, Overstock will grow sales by 4% a year. Let’s see what this really means. According to these assumptions, Overstock’s sales will be as follows:

Today: $707 million

2011: $1.59 billion

2016: $2.71 billion

2021: $3.83 billion

2026: $4.66 billion

2031: $5.67 billion

2036: $6.90 billion

Seven billion dollars is not an unreasonable target ?if you have thirty years to achieve it. To put that figure in perspective, Amazon.com currently has sales of about $8 billion. So, even after thirty years, these assumptions don’t lead to Overstock reaching the same size as today’s Amazon. Don’t forget these numbers assume some inflation. For instance, if inflation averages 3% a year over the next thirty years, Overstock’s projected $6.90 billion in sales only translates to $2.84 billion in today’s dollars. So, these assumptions only lead to a fourfold increase in Overstock’s real sales over a period of thirty years. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

If you take these four assumptions together, you get a value of $1.5 billion for Overstock. Today, Mr. Market is offering it for $500 million ?that’s why I’m writing about an unprofitable internet company.

An Overview Of The Stock Market

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When you are interested in investing in the stock market one of the first things you will need is a reliable and affordable stockbroker

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When you are interested in investing in the stock market one of the first things you will need is a reliable and affordable stockbroker. At one point in time, a stockbroker was seen as a very high priced person that was extremely hard to understand. In today’s world, stockbrokers have become much different, they have begun to make their services cheaper to obtain and in such a way that is easier to understand. This is an extremely wonderful change for the simple reason that you will not be able to trade in any way, shape, or form without a stockbroker.

One of the major rules within the stock market is that no person is allowed to trade within the stock market unless they are a certified stockbroker. A stockbroker, within the United Kingdom twelve million investor’s trade in the stock market, performs every trade that occurs and each one has enlisted the services of a stockbroker.

So you are probably now wondering, what exactly can a stockbroker do for me? There is a wide range of abilities and services that any stockbroker can offer you, at the same time there are also various ranges of fees that will be collected from them. Typically, a stockbroker will charge a commission, a set fee, or some combination of the two. In regards to the services a stockbroker can offer you, there are three basic levels that include only execution, portfolio management, and advice.

When a stockbroker only deals with the selling and buying of particular shares, per the instructions you give them, this is generally called execution only or in softer terms dealing only. With this type of service, they do not offer you any type of advice on any action you want perform. Typically, investors that are experienced or novice in investing will use this type of service. Execution only is cheaper and extremely efficient the fees the stockbroker charges can range anywhere between ?0 to hundreds of pounds, this will depend on the specific stockbroker you choose.

Portfolio management is extremely detailed and the most expensive type of service performed and dealing with advice is typically a little more expensive than execution only, because the stockbroker will offer advice and views on what is happening within the stock market. The stockbroker at this level of service will also take the time to explain anything you may not understand very well.

Within the portfolio management service, you can separate these into two other categories these are advisory and discretionary. When under the advisory category, the stockbroker will create a proposal of a portfolio for you; however, he or she will not take any action without express permission from you. Within the discretionary category, your stockbroker will completely run all aspects of your portfolio and will give you reports as needs on how the portfolio is working.