Play Defense With This Strategy In 2015

 

Over the holidays, I decided to drive to Orlando and give the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) a few of my hard earned dollars. My 12 year-old son talked me into riding the Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

As a thrill ride, the Tower of Terror plays on three of humankind’s most basic fears: falling, the unknown and the dark. I wasn’t that concerned. In the investment biz, that’s just another day at the office.

But when it comes to the investing, I’ll be honest. I am a concerned about the stock market in 2015.

Here’s why: It’s all about earnings.

At the end of the day, an investor should buy a stock based on the underlying company’s ability to deliver quality, consistent earnings. Those earnings should also be purchased at a fair-to-discounted price as measured by a stock’s price-to-earnings ratio (PE).

In more bullish times, investors are sometimes a bit too optimistic about the future and will push stock prices and their attached PE’s higher. In bearish times, they often become too pessimistic and drive prices and PE’s down.

I took notice after working on this chart of peak PE ratios for the SP 500 Index.

The way the picture tells the story, we’re overly optimistic and at the same valuations as before the 2008-2009 crash.

So are we so positive? The current numbers don’t indicate a profoundly bullish market in 2015.

Consensus estimates for the SP 500's 2015 EPS are around $125. In 2014, the SP saw EPS at around $117.

If things go according to plan, the market would see EPS growth of about 6-to-7%. Curb your enthusiasm. Continue reading "Play Defense With This Strategy In 2015"

Article source: http://www.streetauthority.com/node/30500855

Apple Vs. Amazon: Which Should You Own?

I've long been an Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) bear. But we're all capable of change.

When AAPL fell more than 40% to just under $400, the forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio fell to barely 10 and the dividend grew to just over 3%. The stock suddenly made sense from an investment standpoint, and I began including it in client portfolios.

Similarly, I was the lone Android user in a house full of iPhone users. But when my contract expired a few weeks ago and my carrier offered me a free iPhone 4S, I became an adopter (if not a fanboy).

Having used an Android device for a few years, I used Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN) cloud music player and built a decent cloud library. When I switched to the iPhone and downloaded the Amazon cloud app, I was immediately bombarded by offers from Amazon to buy MP3 albums from my favorite artists at $5 a pop. Continue reading "Apple Vs. Amazon: Which Should You Own?"

Article source: http://www.streetauthority.com/node/30452655

Think It's Time To Get Back Into Gold? Think Again

By: Adam Fischbaum of Street Authority

I love James Bond flicks, preferably from the Sean Connery era. "Goldfinger" is one of my favorites. I am often reminded by the classic scene in which a captive James Bond is seconds away from being charred by a laser.

James Bond: "Do you expect me to talk?"

Goldfinger: "No, Mr. Bond -- I expect you to die!"

Quintessential 007: Ridiculous stunts and jams, sports cars, beautiful women and a dastardly, almost clownish villain -- in this case, one whose plan was to poison the U.S. gold supply at Fort Knox to create global financial chaos. His endgame? Simply to drive up the value of his own gold holdings. Continue reading "Think It's Time To Get Back Into Gold? Think Again"

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/StreetauthorityArticles/~3/YYf6HyVxhVo/think-its-time-get-back-gold-think-again-476152