How to Find How Much Stock a CEO Holds

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Have you ever been curious about how much stock your company officers hold? Or, are you an investor who needs to know? This article gives a fairly quick method to find out, utilizing information available on the NASDAQ’s web site.

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Corporate officers enjoy many additional benefits over rank-and-file workers. For the uninitiated, it may be surprising to learn the amount of stock compensation they hold. Are you curious about how much stock the CEO and other officers of a particular company control? You can find out very easily.

This is how to uncover the amount of stock held by the officer of any publicly held company. Go to the NASDAQ web site and enter the stock ticker symbol for the company you are interested in. Click on ‘Flash Quotes’. Use the drop down box to select ‘Insider Form 4’. Scan down the list until you find the company officer’s name you are interested in. Click on that name. Go to the top of the list which should be the latest date. Move your eyes to the far right column entitled ‘holdings’. That is how many shares that officer currently holds and controls. Multiply that number by the most recent price for the company’s stock and you will arrive at a dollar figure.

Of course, that figure will change from day to day. You may be amazed at just how high that number is. Consider that this is merely the officer’s current stock holdings. It doesn’t tell you how many shares he has sold in the past; it also doesn’t tell you how many shares the company will grant him or her in the future.

When you start to look at these figures you may find them amazing. If you are currently a company CEO or officer, the numbers will not shock you because you will already be familiar with them. However, if you are currently an employee for a publicly held company you may wonder about the discrepancy between your salary and the officers’ stock holdings.

Some will say, “but the CEO and other officers worked hard for their money”. And that may very well be true. But did they really work any harder than you on a day to day basis? And if they did, does the harder work they did add up to account for the discrepancy between an average worker’s pay and a company officer’s stock holdings? Chances are, the answer is no.

This leads to some interesting realizations about how our economy works. The days of serfdom are supposed to be over, but are they really? We now have an economic feudal system. The real estate owned and tribute collected by a monarch have been replaced with stock compensation for corporate officers and owners. But the serf or worker is the one who does the work. The monarch and his court are still the ones who reap the rewards.

In private companies you probably won’t be able to find out the information that you can find on the NASDAQ web site about publicly traded companies. I think it is a good thing that the SEC or Securities and Exchange Commission requires this information to be available to the public. Of course, it is meant to be available to potential investors. But if you own stock in your company via a 401K plan, then you are an investor.

Besides the NASDAQ web site, you can also find this information on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s web site. In fact, there is a wealth of information out there to discover. In many instances it is actually easier to find on the NASDAQ web site.

Perhaps knowing the value of the stock held by company officers will make you less timid about asking for that raise you’ve been thinking about. Knowledge often equates to power.

Choosing Stocks from a Consumer Perspective

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Investing in the stock market sometimes boils down to one essential element, namely good choices. No matter how well we do our research, how often we buy and sell, or how much we pay experts for their tips and advice, without choosing stocks that represent value, we won’t succeed

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Investing in the stock market sometimes boils down to one essential element, namely good choices. No matter how well we do our research, how often we buy and sell, or how much we pay experts for their tips and advice, without choosing stocks that represent value, we won’t succeed. Although some are good at predicting the direction of the market and timing the ups and downs, if they don’t purchase the right stocks, they will still meet with difficulties when trying to reap profits.

For that reason, some of the best paid people on Wall Street known primarily for their talent at picking stocks. Financial advisors give talks and write books and newsletters about how to choose stocks that will outperform the market, and most experts echo the same sentiment and agree that one of the best ways to judge a stock is from the point of view of a consumer. By using instincts we have already honed as ordinary shoppers, we can often ferret out information that even the most skilled and software-savvy market watchers miss. While they study analytical charts, earnings reports, and the stock exchange ticker tape, folks just like yourself actually do business with the companies they invest in, because their experience as a customer speaks volumes about the value of the company and its products and services.

Here are the kinds of things to look for as indicators of a company’s worth:

1) How popular is their product or service? If everyone you know uses it, and is satisfied with such things as price, customer service, and reliability, the company is probably well situated among the competition.
2) Are the employees satisfied? One of the best ways to judge a company is by talking to employees. Many companies put on a good fa├žade, but underneath the fancy marketing is plenty of discontent. But if employees like a company ?especially if they like it enough to buy stock in it ?that’s a very good sign.
3) How well known are they? You may find a great startup company with all the trappings of success, but discover that it is lesser known. Many small or regional companies are popular in their own back yards, but the rest of the world may not yet know about them. Buying such unknowns can be a great way to invest in the next hot stock. If the fundamentals look good, sometimes being lesser known is a good thing for investors getting in on the ground floor.
4) If they went out of business, where would you go for similar products and services? If you can’t think of a convenient alternative, the company is probably in a niche market that enjoys customer loyalty and repeat business.

Shop around, and notice what you see and how each business makes you feel. Then trust your intuition. Make a list of companies that get your attention, and then call their shareholder relations department and ask for more details. By starting your list with companies you already have a first hand experience of, you raise the chances considerably that you will make smart choices.

An Industry Blueprint To Stocks And Shares

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In this day and age, a lot of things have changed from how they used to be, which can be new and exciting for most.

Because of the large size of the stock market, beginner investors appear to feel overwhelmed as to where to even activate investing their money. To most people, the stock market presents a messy web of options but does not reveal the highway map of clarity to guide their way along way in their investment adventure. The key to investing in the stock market is …

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In this day and age, a lot of things have changed from how they used to be, which can be new and exciting for most.

Because of the large size of the stock market, beginner investors appear to feel overwhelmed as to where to even activate investing their money. To most people, the stock market presents a messy web of options but does not reveal the highway map of clarity to guide their way along way in their investment adventure. The key to investing in the stock market is to become as educated as it is possible so that you know exactly what is taking place at all times. This helps people to make plausible and sound decisions about their money, thus, dropping the stress involved with investing.

The usual person, when beginning to entertain the idea of investing in the stock market, falls into one of two categories. Class one is the gambler who feels that investing is definitely a form of betting and no question what they do, they are certain that they will drop money slightly than make money. It seems that this opinion of investing in stocks is either formed from friends and family that have been baffled by the stock market or private experience and lost money. If someone has personally made losses in the stock market, it is pretty evident that they were not educated enough at the time of their investment in the stock market. Therefore, they must become educated as to what exactly the stock market is as well as how its system works in order to become a successful investor. Class two, on the other hand, represents the “go-getter?investor, which is an individual who knows that they should invest into the stock market for the safety of their monetary future, but they have absolutely no idea where to begin. The “go-getters?lean towards avoiding their monetary decisions and leave it up to professionals; therefore, they are powerless to justify why they own a certain stock. A usual “go-getter?operates in blind faith, as one stock goes up in value, they more than likely will hold it. The “go-getter?is in poorer shape than the gambler in that they will invest like everyone else and then wonder why they receive an unsatisfactory or devastating outcome. This just proves that the typical person should become thoroughly educated about the stock market as well as stocks before investment takes place.

Essential to every economy is business…businesses that started out as small operations that have grown to become money making giants, raising capital by promoting stock in them to people who want to invest to make their futures financially secure. As small businesses start to grow, one of the supreme obstacles is generating enough money in order to develop into a superior operation. Businesses either scrounge the money in the form of a offer from a bank or venture capitalist, or someone that will invest money into a business in which they feel they will receive a high rate of return, or a reap from their investment into a business, in order to create the currency to expand. The most common choice for a business to gain money for the view of expansion is to take out a loan; however, there is no agreement that a bank will offer money to any given business.

What we have explored up to now is the most important information you need to know. Now, let’s dig a little deeper.

In this case, business owners roam to the stock market for help in the form of issuing stocks. Firm owners relinquish a tiny fraction of control over their business and in reciprocation; the stock market provides that business money that does not have to be salaried back, in order to guarantee expansion. As an added bonus, the business is permitted to “go public,?a saying that means a brand is selling stocks for itself for the first time, so that business owners no longer are required to borrow money from banks because they can merely use their own stocks for getting monies to use for expansion. Thus, as the business grows and sells their stocks to people, the better chance a sponsor has on gaining a return on their investment as opposed to a loss.

As an investor, it is to your advantage to efficiently study each and every business in which you propose to hold stocks. The more facts you know about any certain business, the easier it is to make a plausible decision as to whether you should hold stocks or want a different business in which to work with.

Try searching for a particular keyword from the title of this article on your search engine and you are sure to find a wealth of knowledge.

Active Stock Market Timing

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Active Stock Market Timing discusses the merits and pitfalls of stock market timing.

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Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc.

Much has been written about the virtues and dangers of active stock market trading, or “market timing.?
Most of the pundits and so called “experts” will tell you that stock market timing doesn’t work, that it’s dangerous, and that “buy and hold” is the best and only way to invest.

But this conventional wisdom is patently untrue. Here are the facts based on my research and extensive real time experience.

If you want to be a successful stock market timer, you need three key elements:

1. A system that actually works.

2. Discipline to follow the system.

3. Patience to stick with the system long enough to make it work for you.

And it’s tough to do all three.

Here’s why:

Most market timing systems don’t work. Or don’t work consistently enough to be valid. Some will work in trending markets but get slaughtered during flat times. Most systems don’t work in all markets.

Investors lack the discipline to follow a proven system. Once an investor finds a viable program, he or she needs the discipline to follow it. Sadly, some either can’t or won’t do that. When they let their own judgment or intuitions interfere, they don’t get the results they want or could have enjoyed by simply following the buy and sell signals they receive.

Investors lack the patience to stick with their system. Many investors are constantly in search of the Holy Grail, a program that never loses a trade. The fact is, no method will win every trade, and investors without patience will find themselves hopping from advisor to advisor with no rewards to show for their efforts.

However, there are a number of proven systems available that recognize these pitfalls and successfully time the market to massive profits year after year. Anything you hear or read to the contrary is simply not true. Wall Street has a vested interest in opposing stock market timing because it is a threat to their very existence.

Investors have two choices. They can pursue the conventional wisdom of buy and hold and hope for the best, or the modern investor can educate himself and find a timing system with which he is comfortable to protect and grow his wealth. There are a number of proven options available, but the absolute worst thing one can do is listen to the pundits who tell you that “stock market timing” doesn’t work.

A Disciplined and Organized Approach to Trading in the Stock Market

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90% of traders in the stock market lose money most of the time. Find out what consistent winners have in common.

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A Winning Approach to Trading in the Stock Market

Many traders lose simply out of ignorance. They base their trades on hunches, news, or tips from friends, and do not define specific risk and profit objectives before placing trades.

Others have the merit of educating themselves but fall victims of their emotions. They hold on to losing positions hoping they will turn into winners and sell winners by fear of losing a small gain. They overtrade to fulfill a need for action or by fear of missing out.

The consistent winners follow a winning approach:

  • They have a strategy to enter and exit trades
  • They use good money management
  • They take consistent actions, they follow a trading plan
  • They keep good records so they can review their actions
  • They avoid overtrading
  • They have a winning attitude

A strategy to enter and exit trades

You need to a strategy to put the odds in your favor for each trade you take. Your strategy should be as objective as possible and include the following elements:


  • Entry: conditions required before you can enter a trade – may include technical analysis, fundamental analysis, or both.



  • Initial stop loss: price at which you will close the entire position if it does not go in your favor. The risk per share is the difference between the entry price and the initial stop.



  • Initial price objective: price at which you will take some or all profits if the trade goes in your favor.



  • Trade management: set of rules that dictates your actions while a trade is opened. It may include trailing stops, closing position, etc…


For every action you take, the reason should be clearly described in your strategy.

Money management rules to keep losses small

The goal of money management is to ensure your survival by avoiding risks that could take you out of business. Your money management rules should include the following:

  • Maximum amount at risk for each trade. The different between your entry price and your initial stop loss is your risk per share. Your maximum amount at risk for each trade determines the share size.



  • Maximum amount at risk for all your opened positions.



  • Maximum daily and weekly amount lost before you stop trading – avoid trying to trade your way out of a hole after a loosing streaks.


During your learning phase, your goal should be to survive, not to make money. Start with low limits and raise them as you become a consistent winner otherwise you will simply go broke faster.


Good record keeping

Although the process of gaining experience cannot be rushed, it can be made much more efficient by keeping good records of your actions. Good records will allow you to:

  • Review your actions at the end of each day to make sure you followed you strategy, not your emotions.



  • Learn from your losses – they cost you money, make sure you get the education in return.


You should also keep a journal of your observations.


A trading plan to keep emotions out of your decisions

During trading hours, emotions will turn smart people into idiots. Therefore you have to avoid having to make decisions during those hours. This requires a detailed trading plan that includes your strategy and your money management rules.


For every action you take during trading hours, the reason should not be greed or fear. The reason should be because it is in the plan. With a good plan, your task becomes one of patience and discipline.


You have to follow the plan without exception. Any valid reason for an exception – for example, correcting an oversight – should become part of the plan.

Overtrading

Sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing. Not trading on those bad days is key to becoming a consistent winner – in some situations it is very tempting to overtrade:

  • If you trade to fulfill a need for action, to relieve boredom
  • If you can’t find the proper setup but can’t wait
  • If you fear you are missing out on a great trade or on a great market
  • If you want to make up for losses (revenge)
  • If you trade to feel like you are working instead of sitting around. Trading involves a lot of work other than the actual buying and selling.

You should not trade under the following conditions  

  • You are not following my trading plan
  • You have reached your daily or weekly maximum loss
  • You are sick or very tired
  • You are very emotional (upset, pressured to make money, self-esteem destroyed)
  • You are using new tools you are not completely familiar with
  • You need time to work on your trading plan

A winning attitude

Losing traders look for a “sure thing”, hang on hope, and avoid accepting small losses. Their trading is based on emotions. You must treat trading as a probability game in which you don’t need to know what is going to happen next in order to make money. All you need to know is that the odds are in your favor before you put a trade.

If you believe in your edge, which is you believe that the odds in your favor for each trade you enter, then you should have no expectation other than something will happen.

Your attitude will have a direct influence on your trading results:

  • Take responsibility for all your actions – don’t blame the market or world events.

  • Trade to trade well and for the love of trading, not to trade often and not for the money. The money will come as a result of trading well.

  • Don’t be influenced by the opinions of others. Reach your own decisions and follow them.

  • Never think that taking money from the market is easy and never assume that you know enough.

  • Have no particular expectation when you place a trade because you know that anything can happen.

  • Don’t try to guess the future – trading is a game of probabilities.

  • Use your head and stay calm – don’t get excited or depressed.

  • Handle trading as a serious intellectual pursuit.

  • Don’t count how much money you have made or lost while you are in a trade – focus on trading well.
  • Trading Framework was designed to help you build those crucial elements into your trading.

    www.tradingframework.com

How Risky is Stocks And Other Relative Investments?

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Just as the saying goes, we live in a risky world. Almost everything we do involves some degree of risk. Generally, to invest is to risk… since one is not certain about the outcome of the investment.

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Just as the saying goes, we live in a risky world. Almost everything we do involves some degree of risk. Generally, to invest is to risk… since one is not certain about the outcome of the investment.

According to Wikipedia, investment or investing is a term with several closely-related meanings in business management, finance and economics, related to saving or deferring consumption. An asset is usually purchased, or equivalently a deposit is made in a bank, in hopes of getting a future return or interest from it.

Today, many don’t like to hear the word investment merely because it involves risks. Apparently, to invest is to risk; but we should not because of the risk avoid investing.

It will be much better for one to learn how to manage risks associated with investment rather than avoiding investing totally. A good investor should learn how to manage the various risks associated with every investment. It will not be wise for one to avoid investing merely because of the risks associated with investment.

A potential investor should also know that the risks associated with every investment varies. For instance the risk associated with Stock Investment or Stock Trading is not the same with that associated with forex trading. Likewise, the risk associated with real estate investment also defers from the risk associated with transport business. Every business we do, no matter how small has its own risk.

What is the major fear an investor faces? The major fright investors face is the fear of losing money. Each time you give investment a second thought, the next thing that may come to your mind is that you may be losing your money.

Also, if the assets you invest in are held in another currency there is a risk that currency movements alone may affect the value. This is called currency risk. To venture is to risk and it is very difficult for one to do without risk in life, since every thing in life is all about risk… even life its self is quite very risky as well.

Finally, to invest is to risk, look for a good financial adviser before embarking on any investment, or read more on how to avoid some mistakes in the investments through the author’s links below:-

Fair Value of A Common Stock

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A lot of discussions have been devoted towards finding fair value of an investment. The goal of every investors is to find undervalued investment and sell it when it reaches fair value. Admittedly, this is the hardest part of investing. So, what is fair value? Fair value is a point where the price of an investment reflect its earning power.

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A lot of discussions have been devoted towards finding fair value of an investment. The goal of every investors is to find undervalued investment and sell it when it reaches fair value. Admittedly, this is the hardest part of investing. So, what is fair value? Fair value is a point where the price of an investment reflect its earning power.

Fair value is relative and it depends on other factors beyond the investors’ control. In here, we will discuss on calculating fair value within our own boundary of control. In short, calculating fair value of an investment depends on the rate of return expected and the risk taken to achieve that return. Higher risk needs higher reward. It is quite simple.

So, what asset constitute lower risk investments? We can only compare. First thing that comes out of my mind is Certificate of Deposit (CD). You are guaranteed certain return (interest rate), if you can hold for a certain pre-determined time frame. You would never lose your principal at the end of the time frame.

The next low risk investment is Treasury Bond. This is the bond issued by the United States government, which is deemed to be safest in the world. There are certain risks associated with the small fluctuation in the bond price. However, if you held the bond until maturity, you are guaranteed certain rate of return. Your rate of return depends to certain extent on the price that you bought the bond at.

The next higher risk investment is buying common stock. This is what we are going to focus more here. It is considered higher risk than the two types of investments mentioned previously because you have a higher chance of losing money on your investments. Earlier, we established that higher risk needs higher reward. Therefore, stock investing requires a higher reward.

So, what does this have anything to do with fair value? Quite simply, the price of a common stock that we buy must gives us a higher annual return than bonds or CD. For example if a CD gives you a 3% return, treasury bonds give you a 4% return, then you would want your stock gives you a higher return of perhaps 6%.

What does it means for a stock to give investor a return of 6%? It never really say it, doesn’t it? You are partly right. While it is not explicitly shown, you can do a little digging and find out how much the return of your stock investment would be. For example, if your Certificate of Deposit (CD) gives you a 2% annual return, for $ 100 of investment, you would earn $ 2 every year. Let’s assume that you want your stock to give you a return of 6%, which is higher than CD or treasury bond. This implies for every $ 100 invested in common stock, it needs to give us a return of $ 6 annually.

Where can we get this information? You can get it on Yahoo! Finance or other financial publications. All we need to do is find the share price of a common stock and the profit per share (also known as earning per share) of that particular stock. Let’s use an example to illustrate my point. Magna International Inc. (MGA) is expected to post a profit of $ 6.95 per share for fiscal year 2005. Recently, the share is trading at $ 73.00. The annual return of buying Magna stock is therefore $6.95 divided by its share price $ 73.00. This gives us a return of 9.5%.

Will Magna continue to give investors a 9.5 % return year after year? It depends. If the stock price rises, Magna will return less than 9.5 % annually. What else? Well, Magna might not constantly produce the same amount of profit year after year. It might even produce a loss! So, you see, stock investing is inherently risky because there are two moving part in the equation. Price of the common stock and the profits produced by the company itself. That is the reason why investor need to aim for higher return when choosing their stock investment.

All right. So, let’s move on to the crucial thing in investing in common stock. What is the fair value of Magna stock assuming a constant profit of $ 6.95 per share? Personally, I assign fair value of a common stock to be at least 2% above the rate of Treasury bond. Please note that I am using the 10 year bond here. Recently, treasury bond can give us a 4 % return. Therefore, the fair value of Magna common stock is when it can give me a return of 6%

So, what is the fair value of Magna common stock in this case? For a profit of $ 6.95 per share, the fair value of Magna common stock is $115.80 per share. That’s right. At $ 115.80 per share, Magna common stock will return investors 6% annually. Having said that, we should never buy a common stock at fair value. Why? Because our investing purpose is to make money. If we buy stocks at fair value, then when do we profit from it? Do we expect to sell it when it is overvalued? Sure, it would be nice if we can do that all the time. But to be conservative, let’s not bank on our stocks reaching overvalued level.

There you go. I have explained how to calculate fair value in a common stock. Of course, the $ 6.95 per share profit figure is the expectation of profit compiled by Yahoo! Finance. It is not in any way an endorsement to buy Magna common stock. You should do your own calculation to verify that number.

Day Trading Online in the UK

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If you know the slightest thing about the English economy, then you will know that England has maintained a strong, stable currency for centuries, even through wars and times of economic distress.

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It is one of the strongest currencies in the world, but the whole economy is not as powerful. It fluctuates up and down, along with trends in privately and publicly-owned companies. England’s economy has experienced some very high points, but has also experienced some low points as well.

No matter where you live, you must carefully consider your options before you try to earn a return on your investment; and England is no exception to that rule. But some people in the UK still like to take a risk with their money and one of these risks is day trading online.

Day trading online involves the process of buying and selling shares over the Internet at short notice. Day trading online has been seen by many as a way to get rich quick, but that isn’t the half of it. Statistics show that online day traders are having a rough ride, with 70% of online day traders losing money. So if you are looking at getting into the world of online day trading, then you should know the risks that are attached to the service.

But when you are in the world of online day trading then you will get some excellent services given to you. One of these services is a chat room, where you can talk to other buyers and sellers. This is a good way to find out what the next big time company might be, but you have to know if this person is “share ramping,” which is the process of talking up the shares artificially. So you have to take the risk of guessing if this person is correct or not and if the information hasn’t been authorized.

These days, online trading websites are somewhat risky and can be dangerous. But if you are a professional when it comes to buying and selling shares, then you will know all about the risks and you can make yourself a tidy profit. Day trading online should not be used by beginners, but more used by people that are heavily experienced in the stock market world.

Go Stock Trade . com Primer: What is the stock market all about?

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Thousands of people who have money in any type of account for their retirement can consider ourselves participating in the Stock market. But have you pondered about the functionality of how this interesting market works? Imagine being at a regular auction, where instead of nice bits such as cars and antiques are being bidded away, think of bits of public companies being auctioned away.

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Thousands of people who have money in any type of account for their retirement can consider ourselves participating in the Stock market. But have you pondered about the functionality of how this interesting market works? Imagine being at a regular auction, where instead of nice bits such as cars and antiques are being bidded away, think of bits of public companies being auctioned away.

To make a less confusing analogy, think about the role of an auctioneer. The auctioneer’s role is to get the highest and best price for each product. Well, the stock exchanges around the globe kinda operate in the same fashion. The auctioneer role, is called a Market Maker. In a stock sale, there is no stable, set price for stocks, but instead, setting the price is the role of the Market Maker.

The price will fluctuate greatly, because the ying and yang of the market, the buyers and sellers, will bid on either the stock going lower, or higher. Usually when you see a stock price go up, it means that the buy price of a stock has increased. This is vice versa when a stock declines in value.

Now I am sure you have seen visuals on the major news networks of how a stock floor looks. You know, the floor where tons of stark raving mad folks, scream numbers and look at monitors and make trades all day. The trading day starts at 9:30 in the morning Eastern Time, and stops at 4:00 in the afternoon Easter Time. Depending on business news, market forecasts, world events, and a few other things thrown in between, can dictate how much volume a market can have in a day.

The last couple of paragraphs have mentioned all of the particulars of two major markets, the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE) and the lesser known American Stock Exchange. But there is a third one too! It is called NASDAQ.
Now what makes NASDAQ quite unique from the other two, is that this market is controlled by computers. Despite the technological advances of this stock market, NASDAQ still has the conventional bidding water of NYSE and American Stock Exchange. The buyers and sellers have their own areas to buy and sell stock, and bid through a quote system called Level II.

The great thing with stock trading, is that in order to be successful with trading stocks, you do not have to be in the pit, bidding like a madman on the hunt for their lives. Not at all! You can now use the very computer in your house, or go to a trading office if you live in a big city and trade stocks. Many different internet based brokerages are out there, and have plenty of materials to get you started on your way to becoming a great stocktrader!

PROFIT ON!

Investment Strategy: The Investor’s Creed

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The Stock Market is a dynamic place where investors can consistently make reasonable returns on their capital if they comply with the basic principles of the endeavor AND if they don’t measure their progress too frequently with irrelevant measuring devices. Five simple concepts of Asset Allocation, Investment Strategy, and Psychology are summed up quite nicely in the “The Investor’s Creed”.

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Fascinating, isn’t it, this stock market of ours, with its unpredictability, promise, and unscripted daily drama! But individual investors are even more interesting. We’ve become the product of a media driven culture that must have reasons, predictability, blame, scapegoats, and even that four-letter word, certainty. We are a culture of investors where hindsight is rapidly replacing the reality-based foresight that once was flowing in our now real-time veins… just like downhill racing, grouse hunting, and Super Bowls.

The Stock Market is a dynamic place where investors can consistently make reasonable returns on their capital if they comply with the basic principles of the endeavor AND if they don’t measure their progress too frequently with irrelevant measuring devices. The classic investment strategy is so simple and so trite that most investors dismiss it routinely and move on in their search for the holy investment grail(s): a stock market that only rises and a bond market capable of paying higher interest rates at stable or higher prices! Just not going to happen?

This is mythology, not investing. Investors who grasp the realities of these wonderful marketplaces recognize the opportunities and embrace them with an understanding that goes beyond the media hype and side show performance enhancement barkers. Simply put, when investment grade securities rise in price [As they are now, with the DJIA finally putting together a successful attack on the 11,000 barrier], Take Your Profits, because that’s the purpose of investing in the stock market! On the flip side (and there has always been a flip side, more commonly dreaded as a “correction”), replenish your portfolio inventory with investment grade securities. Yes, even some that you may have just sold days or weeks ago during the rally. This is much more than an oversimplification; it is a long-term (a year or two is not long term.) strategy that succeeds… cycle, after cycle, after cycle. Sounds an awful lot like Buy Low/Sell High doesn’t it? Obviously, Wall Street can’t let you know that it is quite so simple!

[Note that Dow Jones 11,000 was last breached during the infancy of this century, and that the last All Time High in this much too widely followed average occurred late in 1999. When the DJIA banner is repositioned on that historical peak of 11,700 or so, it will represent no less than six years of zero growth in this, the most respected, of all Market Indicators! Would the media strip the gold medal from this Stock Market Icon if it knew that during these same years: (1) There have been significantly more stocks rising in price on a daily basis than moving lower. In fact, more than two-thirds of the last 68 months have been positive. (2) Since April 2000, there have been 120 more positive days in NYSE issue breadth than negative days. (3) 250% more NYSE stocks established new high price levels than new lows. (4) We are working on our sixth consecutive year of positive issue breadth!]

So understand that your portfolio statement values will rise and fall throughout time, and rather than rejoice or cry, you should be taking actions that will enhance your “Working Capital” and the ability of your portfolio to accomplish your long term goals and objectives. Through the simple application of a few easy to memorize rules, you can plot a course to an investment portfolio that regularly achieves higher highs and (much more importantly), higher lows! Left to its own devices, like the DJIA for example, an unmanaged portfolio is likely to have long periods of unproductive sideways motion. You can ill afford to travel six years at a break even pace, and it is foolish, even irresponsible, to expect any unmanaged or passively directed approach to be in sync with your personal financial needs.

Five simple concepts of Asset Allocation, Investment Strategy, and Psychology are summed up quite nicely in what I call “The Investor’s Creed”:

(1) My intention is to be fully invested in accordance with my planned equity/fixed income asset allocation. (2) On the other hand, every security I own is for sale, and every security I own generates some form of cash flow that cannot be reinvested immediately. (3) I am happy when my cash position is nearly 0% because all of my money is then working as hard as it possibly can to meet my objectives. (4) But, I am ecstatic when my cash position approaches 100% because that means I’ve sold everything at a profit, and that I am in a position to (5) take advantage of any new investment opportunities (that fit my guidelines) as soon as I become aware of them.

If you are managing your portfolio properly, your cash position has been rising lately, as you take profits on the securities you purchased when prices were falling just a few months ago?and (this is a big and) you could well be chock full of cash well before the market blows the whistle on its advance! Yes, if you are going about the investment process properly, you will be swimming in cash at about the same time Wall Street discovers the rally and starts encouraging people to weight their portfolios more heavily into stocks; the number of IPOs coming to market starts to rise exponentially; morning drive radio DJ’s start to laugh about their stock market successes; and all of your friends start to talk about their new investment guru or the 30% gains in their growth Mutual Funds. What are you doing in cash!

This is what I call “smart” cash, because it represents realized profits, interest, and dividends that are just catching a breather on the bench after a scoring drive. As the gains compound at money market rates, the disciplined coach looks for sure signs of investor greed in the market place: fixed income prices fall as speculators abandon their long term goals and reach for the new investment stars that are sure to propel equity prices ever higher, boring investment grade equities fall in price as well because it now clear [for the scadieighth (sic) time] that the market will never fall again?particularly NASDAQ, which could double and still not be where it was six years ago. And the beat goes on, cycle after cycle, generation after generation. What do you think; will today’s coaches be any smarter than those of the late nineties? Have they learned that it is the very strength of a rising market that proves to be its greatest weakness!