Drugstore Wars: Walgreen Vs. CVS

I hope I'm not dating myself too much, but I remember when the neighborhood chain drugstore was almost a one-stop shop for human needs.

For example, you dropped off your film to get developed. You could get the ointment for that embarrassing itch. You could even get a BLT and some fries. (Not necessarily in that order.)

The BLTs and fries are long gone, but the chain drugstore on the neighborhood corner has continued to evolve and embed itself into our daily lives. And it will continue to do so in an even bigger way going forward.

By far, the two biggest players in the drugstore space are Walgreen Co. (NYSE: WAG) and CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS). If two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the remaining third is covered by these two companies. But which stock makes the most sense for your portfolio? Continue reading "Drugstore Wars: Walgreen Vs. CVS"

3 Time-Tested Ways To Beat The Market Every Year

I probably don't have to tell you this, but the odds are stacked against you when it comes to "beating the market."

By nearly 6 to 1 in fact...

Investment analysts, advisors and fund managers -- the so-called experts -- spend their entire working lives and billions of dollars on research vowing to "beat the market" in any given year -- yet the vast majority of them fail...

Just look at mutual fund industry's record. In the past three years, just 14% of actively-managed mutual fund managers matched or exceeded the market's performance according to Standard Poor's.

So how are the small minority beating the market? Continue reading "3 Time-Tested Ways To Beat The Market Every Year"

Profit With Less Risk With This Options Strategy

Capital preservation and minimizing losses should be the most important objectives of any investor or trader. Warren Buffett is credited with the saying:

Rule No. 1: Never lose money

Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1

Oftentimes, investors are drawn to options because they think of them as a way to limit risk while still offering huge potential profits. This is true in theory, but the reality is a different story.

An option is a wasting asset. It has a limited lifespan, and every day that it draws closer to expiration, its value erodes as the chances of it being profitable diminish. This is known as time decay.

There are two types of options, and you can be a buyer or seller of either: Continue reading "Profit With Less Risk With This Options Strategy"

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?"

High-Frequency Trading: What You Need To Know

Being the "little guy" in the markets is never easy, it seems.

The recent airing of a "60 Minutes" special concerning high-frequency trading (HFT) and Michael Lewis' new book, "Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt," went into detail on how retail investors are being duped by this new wave of algorithmic gurus and computer experts.

Lewis' book has sparked controversy across the investing community, with the "Liar's Poker" author claiming the stock market is "rigged." Some high-frequency firms argue the heat is unwarranted, saying they provide liquidity and keep fees down. Just how bad investors are being affected and just how much money is being made from HFT practices have been debated since the program aired. Continue reading "High-Frequency Trading: What You Need To Know"