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March 16, 2012 at 16:29 PM EDT
Market Wrap-Up for Mar.16 (POT, MOS, BHI, AMTD, NKE, ORCL, more)

With interest rates climbing back up, we’re hearing more rumblings about inflation fears. Predictably, some knee-jerk reactions in equities are taking place as traders try and position themselves accordingly. Rates are still near historic lows, however, so we’re not really concerned at this point.

As for today’s action, a strong fertilizer inventory report helped lift stocks like Potash (POT) and Mosaic (MOS). It was a good day for oil service plays like National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and Baker Hughes (BHI) as oil prices continue to push higher. A Wall Street analyst downgrade held back shares of online broker TD Ameritrade (AMTD). Gold (GLD) prices had a tough close on the week and could struggle further if equities continue to show strength.

We’re Not a Bunch of Muppets

The fallout from a Goldman Sachs (GS) executive’s very public resignation continues to gain national attention. Allegedly, the firm’s management repeatedly referred to their own clients as “muppets,” or rather, a group of people that listen to everything they say. As I stated in yesterday’s newsletter, I’m sure similar things are said at a lot of top brokerages on Wall Street. Why, then, do so many investors entrust their assets to people who may not even respect them?

I truly believe that most people are more than capable of handling their own finances/investments. Some, however, still feel enjoy the of panache of having someone “look after” their wealth for them.

A bit of assistance isn’t a bad thing, but investors should never just green light every investment idea a broker throws their way. If you do use a full-service broker, I urge you to learn the ins and outs of the investment vehicles you’re being pitched. The same applies for financial planning/tax shelter ideas that can sometimes walk a fine line if not thoroughly investigated. From the feedback we’ve received from our Dividend.com subscribers, I can tell you that our audience is a savvy bunch. Most are not afraid to roll up their own sleeves to do what needs to be done to secure their ever-growing wealth.

Taking a Positive Approach

As the stock market continues to hit multi-year highs, and the press coverage expands to the local papers as well (which tend to only cover the stock market whenever something dramatic happens), those who totally abandoned the stock market as an investment tool can not be too happy.

The same media coverage that scared many out of the markets is covering every little blip of positive news like it’s another reason for the markets to continue higher, adding to the frustration of those sitting in cash.

Although it can be prudent to tightening your investment focus in times of trouble, cashing out of quality companies entirely rarely pays off in the end. If you’re worried about the market’s recent run-up, I suggest consider investing at least on pullbacks and avoid chasing on big up days.

Your investing success will ultimately boil down to how positive an approach you take to various situations. If you adopt a “we’re all going to get screwed in the end” approach, then you’ll have limited options in terms of finding success. Of course, you can choose to invest in a business of your own, but if you’re stuck in a negative mindset, going into business won’t change your perspective all that much. The most successful people in business and investing rarely have an extremely cautious mindset. More often than not, these folks tell you their success stemmed from opportunities where others saw little value. Why not take the same approach?

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A Look to Next Week and a Weekend Preview

Looking ahead to next week, earnings will be fairly light, with reports from the likes of Oracle (ORCL), Tiffany & Co. (TIF), and Nike (NKE), just to name a few.

Be sure to catch up with our latest watchlist updates this weekend on Dividend.com Premium, including reports on earnings/story stocks, analyst upgrades/downgrades, dividend ETFs, and much more. And as always, you can view our current recommendations on our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks List.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you this weekend! P.S. Please pass this e-mail on to someone you think can use some financial motivation as well as being kept in the financial news loop that could affect them.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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