I love finding stealth rallies in the financial markets. These under-the-radar moves higher are ignored by the financial media and therefore by most investors.
Stealth rallies occur for any number of reasons. Primarily, these types of upward moves happen in commodities or stocks that have been beaten down for so long that the public simply loses interest in them.
A stealth rally starts by attracting the attention of only the most die-hard followers. These early investors quietly pocket huge gains while the rest of the investment community is chasing the latest hot stocks or futures.
Right now, a stealth rally is taking place in a commodity that has not been in the headlines for a while. Once a darling of the financial media, this commodity has been beaten down so severely it is rarely mentioned in the daily financial press. After being hailed as the savior of the United States' energy future, this commodity quickly became over-produced. It may have succeeded in revitalizing U.S. energy, but its price continued to plunge lower as the years passed.
In case you haven't guessed it, I am referencing natural gas. The widespread use of fracking created an oversupply of the commodity, resulting in a price plunge.
Recently, however, things have changed. Natural gas is in the middle of a monster upward rally and it's not too late to jump on board.
Imagine living in a world with stocks creating dividend yields of 20%, 30% or even over 40% on an annual basis. For income investors, that sounds like a dream come true -- but the truth is, these yields exist right now.
I recently searched for the highest-yielding stocks on the U.S. stock markets. I found 10 actively traded stocks that yield between 20% and close to 50% annually. My first reaction is that there must be something wrong with the data -- but these stocks actually exist. Here are three examples:
It may seem like all an investor needs to do is invest in one or more of these names and their portfolio will grow like wildfire. However, nothing is further from the truth.
Sure, several of the top 10 names will continue to pay ultra-high dividends for a while, but the dangers inherent in them are simply too high for prudent, risk-averse portfolios. Remember, a high dividend does not always indicate a successful company. Often, a high dividend yield is indicative of a plunging stock price or a failing company's last-ditch effort to attract interest.
History has shown us that America was built on the back of positive rivalries.
Like the long-standing feud between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox... or the U.S. vs. Russia in the Olympics. That's to say nothing of more serious rivalries like the political feud between Democrats and Republicans.
Nothing can drive competitors to perform their best like a well-matched rivalry. This is particularly true in the world of business. Think of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), Ford (NYSE: F) and General Motors (NYSE: GM), or ATT (NYSE: T) and Sprint (NYSE: S).
All of these (and dozens of others) have resulted in increased innovation, industry growth and -- most critically for investors -- shareholder value. One rivalry in particular stands out to me in terms of longevity, pure competitive zeal and using nearly every trick in the book for the upper hand: the epic cola war between Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and Pepsico (NYSE: PEP).
Both of these companies have made great investments over the years, both offer solid growing dividend yields, and both excel in a particular niche. However, going forward, I think one of these companies has the edge on the other as an investment. Continue reading "Coke Vs. Pepsi: By The Numbers"→
Popular apparel brands like Andrew Marc, Wilson Leather, Cole Haan, Levi's, Nine West, Sean John, Calvin Klein and even Tommy Hilfiger all have a secret. If this secret was widely known, it might change many consumers' perceptions of their favorite clothing brand. Years of expensive and highly effective marketing have differentiated each brand into a specific demographic, price range and even perceived quality.
For a brief time in 1991, there was no question that I was going to earn a fortune.
By making a few lucky stock and option trades, I had accumulated a modest sum of trading capital in my brokerage account. Knowing that the United States was about to invade Iraq, I had no doubts that the markets would plunge as fears of Iraq's weapons and military capacity reached a fever pitch around the globe.
I decided to short the market with all of my meager funds. Knowing that the U.S. would invade any day, buying put options on the SP 100 index provided the most return for when the market plunged. As fate would have it, my timing on the invasion was dead on -- the U.S. launched the first airstrike the day after I purchased the put options. Continue reading "What The Syrian Crisis Means For Oil Prices"→