Folks, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for subscribing to my blog. And I want to give special thanks to those of you who have added your comments, both supportive and contradictory. It’s flattering to know that others think enough about what you have to say to not only welcome it into their mailboxes every week, but to digest and think about it.
This will be my last post for a while—perhaps for quite some time. And, this evening’s broadcast will also be my last for a while as well, as I’m also going to take a sabbatical from my on-line “radio” show. Both of these activities have been labors of love. But they have both consumed considerable time, energy, and thought—resources that I’ve decided to apply exclusively to a couple of other things.
The first is a very exciting, new project whose mission is to promote financial literacy. As most of you who have known me for a while know, this is—and has been—a passion of mine for some time. And, I’m going back to school to acquire some skills in the graphic arts and video field that I can apply to this project. And I’m looking forward to both the education and the constructive result.
I’m also going to play a more active role in helping my wife, Dianne, with her business. She’s been doing a fantastic job as it is; but it’s time for me to be more actively supportive than I have been. I think this will be fun as well.
So, thanks again for both your interest in my effort to help you be more successful investors, and your indulgence when I’ve occasionally drifted off target to rant a bit.
I’ll keep my Web site open at http://www.financialiteracy.us. The archives for this blog will remain there for anyone to prowl around in and refer to. And, there’s no need to unsubscribe, should you want to know about it when or if I should start back at it again.
Best wishes and so long for a while!
I’d like to provide something of a ray of sunshine to those who, while usually stalwart and rational investors, may have become dismayed by the current investment climate.
You simply cannot judge the investment climate by the state of the stock market. Instead, I look at the number of companies whose shares are available on the major exchanges that meet my rigid requirements for sustained sales and earnings growth and for their ability to sustain healthy profit margins.
For that purpose, I consult the result of screening the database of companies provided by ICLUBCentral and NAIC for those which meet or exceed the “Acceptable” Take Stock Quality Index. In normal times, and until the recent market collapse, only about 150 companies, give or take 10, met those criteria. This meant that, of the more than 9,000 publicly-traded companies, fewer than 2 percent warranted my investment interest. When this recession was at its worst, that number of shares declined to only 32! There is no question but that the recession decimated the number of companies that could meet those strict guidelines. Happily, that number is once again commencing to grow.
Reminder: Join me on Take Stock with Ellis Traub, this Thursday evening at 7:30PM Eastern (6:30PM Central). Call (347) 857-3608 to listen. This week, we’ll talk about the stock market and what the election results may or may not do to it. Dial “1″ to jump into the conversation.
The mid-term elections are about over, thank goodness! And it appears that we’re finally going to get off our apathetic duffs and put people in office who at least claim to want to show some fiscal responsibility. They will have work to do, to nurse the nearly cooked goose—mother of our golden eggs—back to health.
Barrack Obama was selected to be his party’s champion because he was one of the most articulate speakers his generation has produced. What’s more, I have to acknowledge that a relative newcomer like him doesn’t get as far as he has, without having more behind his eyes than the average, and without having enough street-smarts to work the political machinery, from ward to world stage.
Well, here it comes! Expected to rival the rout of 1994, next Tuesday should see a relatively large turnout.
Why? Because all of those who sat on their hands before, thinking their votes weren’t worth the trouble, have had a chance to see what happens when apathy rules. And they’re not about to sit still this time and let us get deeper into the hole.
While the only question remaining seems to be how much of a rout it will be, until the day after, there’s no telling who will represent us going forward. But, I do have a wish list for the electorate, and it goes like this:
For the second year in a row, the Consumer Price Index has not increased and the Social Security Administration has announced that there will be no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) raises going to Social Security recipients, disabled workers, or survivors of deceased workers this year. And the seniors are up in arms about it.
Now, mind you, I’ve been a senior citizen—for quite a while now. And Social Security makes a welcome contribution to my retirement income. But the sole purpose of the COLA provision was to help people overcome the ravages of inflation; and, if there ain’t any, they don’t need that protection!
Sure, I’m familiar with the argument that the increase in cost of the things important to seniors, like food and medicine, has not abated; and the the things that held prices down were those that did not affect them.
I was exploring some ideas for my watch list, and one of the companies that surfaced was Ebix (EBIX), a world-wide provider of custom software solutions for the insurance industry. It was recently ranked the third-fastest growing company in the world by Fortune magazine.
Now I’ve said many times that those who trade stocks and bet on the stock market are confused and bewildered. Nor do they have a clue as to what any stocks will do tomorrow. And, of course, that confusion is compounded by the contribution that technical analysis makes to the mix. As an example to bear out my conviction, I would offer the following two excerpts about Ebix from the Investors Business Daily, each appearing within three days of the other.
My mission, when I started this blog, was to persuade my readers that “investing,” is not what the securities industry has spent gazillions convincing everyone it is: betting on the stock market, which is risky and unpredictable. Rather, “investing” is a simple means of earning money with your money. It can make you wealthy and is virtually risk-free. For at least this week, we’ll return to our roots and stick to the mission, both in this post and in Thursday’s on-line “radio” show.
Hey, I know I’m preachin’ to the choir here. Anyone reading this blog is probably already pretty savvy about economic issues. But this is a topic I touched on at the end of one of my on-line radio broadcasts a couple of weeks ago, and it needs a whole broadcast to get the point across. So we’ll do it this coming Thursday evening.
The middle-class is evaporating fast enough to make your head swim! The chasm between the haves and the have-nots is widening by the day; and the number of people who are receiving money without earning it are commencing to outnumber those who are earning and paying for them.
I’ve been wanting to vent about the media for some time; so here goes! And I’m going to violate a basic precept when I do—I’m going to generalize.
In general and with notable exceptions, those who write or speak in the media are very bright, well educated, academically grounded, and articulate people who, despite their protestations to the contrary, are egregiously irresponsible, self-righteous, and self-important! In the name of honesty, forthrightness, and zeal to fulfill their fancied obligation to honor their readers’ and listeners’ right to know everything, they say and do things on a daily basis, the result of which can destroy the very rights they claim eagerness to uphold.
There are only four ways you can get money legally. You can make it. You can earn it. You can be given it. Or you can borrow it (which is legal only if you give it back).
“Making money” means starting with something, adding value to it, and realizing something from that added value. Mining ore adds value to dirt. Refining that ore into metal adds value, as does creating parts from that metal, and constructing a machine from those parts. Agriculture adds value. So does construction.
The significance of making money is that assets are created and can be sold or accumulated. Intellectual property is also such an asset. And it’s the accumulation of assets (or the wherewithal to accumulate them) that creates wealth.