The recent losing streak continues for the market. This is the first one we have seen in 2012 and we are carefully looking at the names we currently like to see if any recommendation changes are warranted. We will keep subscribers updated to any possible moves.
Making headlines today were shares of Best Buy (BBY), which did end the day more than 5% lower on news the company’s CEO has resigned. Best Buy has been hurt badly by the rise in online electronics sales by competitors such as Amazon.com. As we’ve maintained for a while now, investors are much better off avoiding this so-called “value” name.
Commodity-related stocks continue to act heavily, with investors moving away from names like Caterpillar (CAT) and Freeport McMoran (FCX). Meanwhile, Wall Street analyst downgrades pushed down shares of Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), ConocoPhillips (COP), and Entergy (ETR). A couple of names that avoided much of selling were Harley-Davidson (HOG) and Pfizer (PFE), with both companies getting an early boost from positive analyst commentary, but ending the day essentially flat.Words Can Break You
Baseball fans are used to hearing crazy comments from former major league player and current Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen, but his latest rants about loving Fidel Castro and respecting his ability to hold his position of power for decades may punch his ticket right out of Miami. Athletes and celebrities tend to gravitate toward a microphone and just let words fly, many times without much through behind their words. When sensitive topics like Fidel Castro’s reign of terror in Cuba come up, it’s all too easy for Mr. Guillen to put his foot in his mouth.
In your own career, you may find yourself in a predicament where you’re asked to make your thoughts known, but sometimes you need to really step back and decide if the consequences of offering your opinion have any upside at all. In a recent “Celebrity Apprentice” episode, actor Lou Ferrigno was asked if his team had the better video production than his opponent, and he said he liked the other team’s better. Donald Trump used this “disloyalty” as the main reason he “fired” Lou Ferrigno from the team. Clearly, there will be times in life where speaking your mind can only do damage.
I recently watched a movie called “Doubt” in which a priest (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman) was accused by the school’s principal (played by Meryl Streep) of having an inappropriate relationship with one of the students. In one of the more stirring scenes, Mr. Hoffman gave a sermon during mass with gossip being the subject. He told of a situation in which a woman asked if gossiping was a sin. The priest in Mr. Hoffman’s example said it was a sin and hurt the reputation of her fellow man. The priest told the woman to go up to the roof with a pillow and gut it with a knife. She later went back to confession and when he asked her what happened when she gutted the pillow. The woman replied that feathers came out and flew everywhere. He told her to go back and retrieve all the feathers, but the woman said that would be impossible, because the wind has taken them all over. Then priest replied, this is what happens with gossip. Once word gets out, it’s impossible to retrieve.
I always try and think before I speak, and I teach my own kids to do the same. Whether it is in an e-mail, in person, or on the phone, your words carry a lot of weight. We all learn as we get older that speaking without thinking first can be disastrous.
In investing, reacting too quickly can also be a costly error. How we react to various levels of turmoil can sometimes be the difference sometimes in how successful we eventually become.Surround Yourself with the Best Company Possible
We’ve all heard some great one-liners about how you’re only as good as the group you hang with. As kids, it was easy to make new friends. I remember that in the schoolyard, my friends consisted of whoever had a ball and was willing to play. As adults, however, we tend to slow down the process of getting to meet and freely reach out to new people. If anything, adulthood is the time where we have the most to gain from forging new relationships — particularly in our career or financial livelihood.
Some people may feel uncomfortable being around experts in a particular area. I urge you to forget those initial feelings of inferiority and instead learn to ask better and better questions. Most successful people do not mind talking about their road to success, especially if someone crafts questions that are deeper than those they normally hear. Ask someone who is successful how much money they make, and they will probably look to dismiss of the conversation quickly. Instead, ask about the timeline of their success. How long did it take for the seeds they planted to bloom? These kind of questions will make folks think of the struggles they went through and how they persevered. They’ll gladly bring you into their world because they know you understand the time and sacrifices needed to achieve success.
Being around talented and successful people should only inspire and motivate you. Envy should never be part of the equation, since it’ll only delay your development. Think back to the days when you were young and fearless, and you will soon find yourself seeing the world in a better way as you get older.17 Money Excuses People Make (Part 1)
Excuse #1 – “If I earn interest, I have to pay more taxes.”
My Response: Don’t get preoccupied with taxes when it comes to investment returns. For many of us, making more money with our investments should be the goal, not avoiding paying more in taxes by possibly foregoing better investment opportunities.
Excuse #2 – “At my age, it’s too late anyway.”
My Response: Don’t ever start thinking in this negative way. Remember my dad’s barber friend who bought his first house at age 77. That’s the right mentality! Compound interest from dividend stocks kicks in sooner than you think, so don’t ever tap out.
Excuse #3 – “Why save money? You can’t take it with you when you die!”
My Response: This is normally the rationale for those around us that have racked up the most debt. I personally would rather create a positive legacy rather than one where you burden your loved ones with all your poor financial habits.
Excuse #4 – “We’re only young once!”
My Response: I never stop believing I’m young, and there’s no reason to waste money just because you want to stand by an “only young once” mantra. Ask anyone that is in their 30′s and 40′s and they will tell you about being a bit too foolish with money in their early earning days.
Excuse #5 – “But it’s only zero percent interest!”
My Response: Yes, the “free money” myth is super popular when it comes to borrowing these days. But what about the obligation of making monthly payments once you make a big purchase you likely don’t need? There’s no such thing as free money, regardless of interest rates.
Excuse #6 – “I’ll pay it off next month!”
My Response: This is where the credit card companies really get you. The minute you start falling behind is when the fees start to pile on. Pay it off on time and learn to be consistently responsible.Income, Income, Income
At Dividend.com, we maintain our focus on the best income-producing investments the markets have to offer during time of heightened volatility. We want to make sure we have only the most pullback-resistant names on our Best Dividend Stocks List. Also, if we see the market putting in what looks like a decent bottom, we will be prepared to scale up the list of stocks we like. Stay tuned and be sure to look for Dividend.com Premium member alerts along the way. Don’t count on the government or your employer to set you up for a remarkable retirement. Take control, do your own research, and achieve your goals yourself!Go Beyond This Newsletter
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Thanks for reading everybody. I’ll see you tomorrow!