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    Free Essay
    7.3 of 10 on the basis of 2733 Review.
     

     

     

     

     

     

         
     
    Are stock market prices an accurate reflection of the value of your stock portfolio

     

    The usual description of any market assumes that every trader wishes to purchase or sell a known quantity at each possible price. All the traders come together, and in one way or another price is found that clears the market – that is, makes the quantity demanded as close as possible to the quantity supplied. After all it has been said by the authoritative stock trader W. Haddad of B. K. Labovitch that ultimately economics is supply and demand. This may or may not be an adequate description of the markets for consumer goods, but it is clearly inadequate when describing security markets. The value of any capital asset depends on its future prospects, which are almost always uncertain. Any information that bears on such prospects may lead to a, which s we know are always uncertain. Any information that depends on its future prospects may lead to a revised estimate of value. The fact that a knowledgeable trader is willing to buy or sell some quantity of a security or commodity at a particular price is bound to be information just of that sort. Offers to trade May this affect other offers. Prices may, therefore, both clear markets and covey information. The dual role of prices has a number of implications. For example, it behooves the liquidity motivated trader to publicize his or her motives and thereby avoid an adverse effect on the market. Thus, an institution purchasing securities for a pension fund that intends, simply to hold a representative cross section of securities should make it clear that it does not consider the financial interments under priced. On the other hand, any firm trying to buy or sell al large number of shares that it considers wrongly underpriced should try to conceal its motives, its identity or both (and may try). Such attempts may be ineffective, however, as those asked to take the other side of such trades try very hard as you know to find out exactly what is going on and many do well succeed in these days of rapid communications and access to many sources of information succeed. Most securities are sold in very standard ways which requires payment and electronic notification of delivery within the standard settlement period (standard is three Business as opposed to calendar days). On rare occasions, a sale may be made as a cash transaction requiring payment immediately on receipt. Sometimes as a reward or as in effect a marketing or sales promotion payment may be extended over a longer time period – usually 15, 30 or 60 days. Sometimes in the case of new issues a payment extension period is also granted for the same reasons as above. It would be extremely insufficient if every securities transaction had to end with a physical delivery of transfer of actual share certificates from seller to buyer. A brokerage firms might well sell 1000 shares of ABC Co. for one client. , Mr. Stevens to another client and later that day buy 1000 shares for Mr. Felon obtained by accepting delivery from her seller. Mr. Stevens’s shares could be delivered to his buyer, and Mr. Felon’s shares could be obtained by accepting delivery from her seller. However, it would be much easier to transfer Mr. Steven’s shares to Mr. Felon and instruct Felon’s seller to deliver the 1000 shares directly to Mr. Steven’s buyer. This would be especially helpful if the brokerage firm’s clients Mr. Felon and

         
    Are there any great new mining stocks left

     

    Where are the hot and cold spots around the world for resource investors? The stampeding bull market in commodities has investors reaching for new ideas. Highly respected newsletter writer Lawrence Roulston of “Resource Opportunities” favors Canada, Alaska and China for investing in mining and energy companies. StockInterview: Let’s get the cold spots out of the way so investors are forewarned about which countries to avoid. Lawrence Roulston: A lot of the (mining) companies that went overseas in decades back are recognizing the political difficulties with dealing in some jurisdictions. These include places like Indonesia, Columbia, and several of the African countries, such as Congo, Sudan and Eritrea. All of those places where there are great geological prospects, but are more and more risky to deal in. I think some of that mining is coming back closer to home, which is right here in Canada. StockInterview: So Canada is on your “favorite countries” list? Lawrence Roulston: At the very top of the list would be Canada. As of right now, taking into account the geological potential, political situation, infrastructure and all the other issues, I would (highly) rate Canada and British Columbia. They have had decades of work. But for the last decade, there hasn’t been very much going on. The companies are just coming back and picking up with what’s been going on. Similarly, Ontario, Quebec – tremendous geological potential – and it’s been kind of ignored for a long time. Canada is now the most important place in the world for diamonds, representing 50 percent on exploration spending for diamonds. StockInterview: Is there a specific mineral or metal that makes Canada especially appealing? Lawrence Roulston: It’s the whole gambit. Canada has always been one of the top metal producers, and it’s coming back to life. Of course, gold is at the top of the list, but also base metals and uranium. The Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan is far and away the most important area to be looking at, geologically. It’s currently the biggest source of uranium and contains the highest grade deposit. There are other uranium prospective areas in Canada that are just emerging. The Thelon Basin in the Northwest Territories, north of the Athabasca Basin, is very similar, geologically, to the Athabasca Basin. It had some work done in the 1970s, and it’s been pretty much ignored until very recently. Going a little further north to Hornby Basin, it is a similar kind of situation. In Labrador, the central mineral belt is just emerging as a very important place to be looking for uranium. StockInterview: Do you have any favorite companies, which you are following and which have good prospects? Lawrence Roulston: NovaGold Resources (TSX: NG; Amex: NG), for example, with the Galore Creek. It’s a billion ton deposit with enormous metal content. (Editor’s Note: Galore Creek has been called one of the largest and highest grade undeveloped porphyry-related gold-silver-copper deposits in North America.) StockInterview: What is another of your favorite areas, which has gone largely undetected during this bull market? Lawrence Roulston: Nevada would be at the top of the list of anywhere in the world to be working and Alaska right behind it. There is huge potential in Alaska. Mining companies have only scratched the surface of exploration up there. Two of the largest metal deposits in the world are in Alaska. These are both discoveries going back decades, but work over the last couple of years has brought them to the point where they’re now recognized as among the largest metal deposits in the world: Donlin Creek, a 25-plus million ounce gold deposit, and the Pebble deposit, held by Northern Dynasty (TSX: NDM). The Pebble deposit is significantly larger than, and of comparable grade to, Ivanhoe’s (NYSE: IVN) Oyu Tolgoi (copper-gold) deposit in Mongolia. (Editor’s Note: The Donlin Creek project is a joint venture between NovaGold and Barrick Gold.) StockInterview: Anywhere else in the world where you can find a great, but still “new” resource investment opportunity, in light of how hard the commodities bull has been stampeding the past few years? Lawrence Roulston: Often the better value to be had, or the better opportunity, is in being a little bit out of step with the crowd. One of the areas offering some outstanding opportunities is China. China has done a tremendous amount of geological work, over the last few decades, but all from the perspective of finding, and then quickly developing, small deposits. There has been very little effort devoted to taking a bigger picture type look at China. The companies that have been able to take a kind of bigger picture look at China have begun to develop what I think are going to be some pretty spectacular results over time. StockInterview: Isn’t it tough, though, doing business in China? Lawrence Roulston: There is still a perception out there that China is a difficult place to do business. Most people from the west walk into China cold and try to do a deal. It would be impossible for them. But, for western companies that are able to team up with groups that are well established within China – so that they’re able to find their way through the system over there – then there are outstanding opportunities. There are mountains of geological information – all in Chinese, of course. You’ve got to be able to work within that system and get the information, know how to put the deals together. StockInterview: What do you mean by “knowing how to put the deals together?” Lawrence Roulston: If I was to go over to China and try to do a deal to get access to a coalbed methane property, I wouldn’t have a clue about how to begin. On the other hand, I could walk into the Petroleum Club in Calgary, and meet a half dozen guys and talk to them. I could build on my leads, and probably in a day be talking about a deal. When you go into China, unless you have somebody on your team that can get into the system and deal with the people, because of language issues, cultural issues and just having access to the information and knowing what sort of terms that they might be looking for… It’s a different culture from every perspective, and not the least of which is a different way of doing business. StockInterview: In your April issue, you recommended one company, which overcame those hurdles, meets your criteria and already has a coalbed methane deal in China. Lawrence Roulston: Pacific Asia China Energy (TSX: PCE) established connections in China. They can draw on their contacts and their network. They can get into see the right people, where they can actually talk seriously about doing deals, and have an enormous leg up over somebody that walked in cold and tried to establish and build contacts and put a deal together. I think it is an absolutely outstanding opportunity that they’ve seized on. StockInterview: There are many coalbed methane opportunities in Alberta. Why look to China? Lawrence Roulston: One of the things that makes China interesting is the entry cost to get into a coalbed methane (CBM) play in China is fairly modest. For example, to go to Alberta, or anywhere in the United States, and get access to the exploration rights, or exploitation rights, is enormously expensive. In China, they walked in and, for a fairly modest up-front commitment, obtained a control position in a CBM prospect. StockInterview: How does Pacific Asia China Energy’s coalbed methane property in Guizhou, China rate against other coalbed methane plays? Lawrence Roulston: I think it’s an outstanding opportunity. Chinese government agencies have done an enormous amount of work at delineating the coal. To be able to step into that amount of data as a starting point to build up their CBM resource? The bottom line is that they’re not out there looking for coal. They know exactly where the material is, and they’re able to quickly start defining the issues like recoverability. They’re drilling in order to establish the basic physical parameters of the flow rates and the content within the coal. I think the companies which are able to effectively exploit the CBM technology in China are going to be the pioneers in that area. StockInterview: To Americans, any business in China might appear to be “pioneering,” since most of still think of China as a third world country. Lawrence Roulston: I’ve been to China many times and I’ve been to parts of China where most people, as tourists, would never get anywhere near, because I go there to look at mineral exploration projects and mining projects. I’ve been to every corner of the country as well as the major cities. What I see happening everywhere I go is a pace of development that I’ve never seen anywhere else in my life, anywhere in the world. That is, 1.3 billion people are going from a basically rural farm-based economy to a modern industrial economy at a pace that has just never before been conceived. StockInterview: How do you quantify that? Lawrence Roulston: This is a number that most people won’t get, and you won’t get until you’ve been over there and have seen it. There are 300 million people in China that are already well into the middle class. By middle class, I am comparing (the Chinese middle class) to the same absolute standards as we would apply in Canada or the United States in terms of dollars in your bank account, value of your house and your car, and everything else. There are 300 million people that have already achieved that status, which is more than the people at that status in North America. There are another 1 billion people who are busting their butts to get to that level. StockInterview: But isn’t the rest of the world’s rural population just as industrious and ambitious? Lawrence Roulston: I’ve been in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. If you go into any of those areas and you walk into the small towns, a lot of people are sitting around drinking coffee, crying the blues and complaining about how terrible life is. Go into a similar area in China, and the people are out working in the fields. In the middle of winter, they’re fixing up their fences, the dams and terraces, and clearing rocks, removing trees and stuff like that. It’s a high level of industry I’ve never seen in any other part of the world. So it goes from that ground level right up to the entrepreneurs, and the guys who are building the high rise condominium complexes in Shanghai. StockInterview: How long will it take before American investors realize the impact China has on the global economy? Lawrence Roulston: It’s going to happen in a gradual way. I think those that keep their heads buried in the sand are going to get left behind as the world pulls ahead. I would suggest any investor in any company ask the question of the company: “Is that company involved in some way in China?” There are a lot of North American companies that have a very significant presence in China in terms of doing business over there, of getting established, of selling products or manufacturing products in China. StockInterview: Why is China so important with regards to this commodities bull market, and are there still opportunities for investors? Lawrence Roulston: There is a lot of geological potential, and there is the perception that it’s difficult. Therefore, there isn’t yet a big crowd of people over there chasing after deals. The flip side of it is that China and its neighbors in southeast Asia, representing 3 billion people, are going through the modern industrialization process. That is going to continue to create a massive demand for metals for, I believe, a decade or probably even a couple of decades into the future. StockInterview: And most likely, the U. S. investor is going to be left behind or the last one into the pond? Lawrence Roulston: The bottom line is that Americans tend to be more inward focused. The other evening I was having dinner with an oil man from Texas who had spent a lot of time in China. He had seen China first hand and was very bullish. I asked him, “How many of your countrymen do you think really get it about China?” And he responded, “Oh, about five.” Then he said, “Congress doesn’t get it, investors don’t get it and the man in the street doesn’t get it.” Americans just don’t understand what’s happening over there yet.

         
    Bear market bull market or dead cat bounce...it matters little to the stalwart penny stock

     

    Over the last eight weeks [June, 2006] I've been spending a lot of time reading articles describing the current market conditions...trying to figure if it really affects penny stock investors. Are we in a bull market...are we wading into a bear market. Or is the recent rally just a dead-cat bounce? The dead cat bounce refers to a short-term recovery in a declining trend. There's a (relatively) old saying in investing: even a dead cat will bounce if it's dropped from high enough. No matter how you slice it...I'm not sure it even matters to penny stock investors like you and me. For example...stocks surged in Japan this week as reports showed growth in manufacturing and exports. Markets rose across Asia as investors were encouraged by Wednesday's gains on Wall Street. Strong earnings reports from two bellwether stocks gave penny stock investors hope that rising interest rates wouldn't kill profits. The recent sell-off, said one economist was "just turbulence." The turbulence, it seems, is continuing on this side of the pond. U. S. stocks traded flat to lower Thursday as the market took a breather as higher oil prices and downbeat economic data curbed Wall Street's momentum. So, what are we to believe, is the market heading up...or heading down? How does the market look in general terms? As far as stocks are concerned, the S&P index is up just 0.3 percent for the year, the Dow is up 3.4 percent and the NASDAQ is down 2.9 percent. Not sparkling data. But for penny stock investors, the recent roller coaster ride that many seasoned blue chip investors are reeling over, is just par for the course. We know that a penny stock is often volatile and just as unpredictable. While a penny stock may be more vibrant when the market is upbeat, in general, a penny stock marches to its own tune. Why? Few investors venture into the field of penny stocks because they are either unwilling or unable to do the work required to accurately predict what these shares may do. By their nature, it is nearly impossible to know what price a penny stock share should be trading at, and conventional financial ratios and industry comparisons are rarely effective measures for realizing a penny stock's value. Large one-day percentage gains and losses are not an uncommon occurrence for penny stock investors. So really, bull, bear or cat...it's just another day at the computer screen for penny stock investors. The work may be fun...but it's not easy. Of the 14,000 public companies in the U. S., about 3,300 are considered penny stocks that trade on the OTC Bulletin Board operated by the NASDAQ. Their visibility is low, chances are you've never heard of their CEO and I doubt they have any institutional following. And while they're highly speculative, the more promising ones have a targeted business plans, and solid positions in niche markets. And for now, they're flying under the radar of Wall Street So what do you do in an unpredictable market like the one we're in? Continue applying the same principles you've always used when searching for that untapped penny stock. And enjoy the volatility.

         
    Beating the s p 500 with stock market timing

     

    Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc. Approximately 75% of fund managers do not beat the S&P 500 year in and year out. How can a basket of 500 hundred stocks beat the majority of actively managed mutual funds? The people who manage these funds are, for the most part, brilliant people. They are highly educated and have access to the most advanced information and decision support systems in the world. So why is it that they do not outperform the S&P 500? A Quick Test: Here's a very crude test of management performance: Let's compare the domestic-equity mutual fund performance supplied by Morningstar against the S&P 500 index for one, three, five and ten-year periods, looking back from April 30, 1995. The S&P 500 index is a fair comparison for large, domestic companies. Our results: --Of the 1,097 funds Morningstar covered for the one-year period, 110 beat the S&P 500, while 987 fell short. Results ranged from 46.84% to -32.26%, while the S&P 500 attained a 17.44% return. --During the three-year period, the S&P 500 returned 10.54%, while results in the funds varied from 29.28% to -15.02% compounded annually. Of the total 609 funds, only 266 beat the S&P 500. --Shifting to the five-year period, of 470 funds, 204 beat the S&P 500. Results ranged from 27.35% to -8.51%, while the index racked up 12.62%. --At ten years, only 56 of 262 funds managed to beat the index, and results varied from 24.77% to -4.06% compounded annually against 14.78% for the S&P 500. The fact that most funds do not beat the overall stock market should not be surprising. Since the majority of money invested in the stock market comes from mutual funds, it would be mathematically impossible for the majority all of these funds to out perform the market. The implied promise held out to investors in actively managed mutual funds is that in exchange for higher fees (relative to index funds), the actively managed fund will deliver superior market performance. There are a host of barriers to fulfilling this implied promise. Some of the problems are: --The larger a mutual fund gets, the more difficult it becomes to deliver exceptional performance. --Although fund size runs counter to performance, fund managers have a strong motivation to let the fund grow as big as possible because the bigger the fund gets, the more money the fund managers make. --Most skillful mutual fund managers are hired away by hedge funds, where their financial rewards are greater and there are few restrictions on investment techniques. --By law mutual funds are supposed to be conservative, which in theory limits their potential losses. This conservative stance generally limits their ability to use arbitrage, options, or shorting stocks. Can You Do Better? Because of the general inflexibility and restrictions of most mutual funds, your investment capital is not properly hedged against market fluctuations. In most cases, if you compared the beta of the equity exposure held in actively managed mutual funds to an equal equity exposure to the S&P 500 index, your reward/risk ratio would be less rewarding than purchasing an identical equity exposure to the S&P 500 index. So, the answer is, you can do better and beat the S & P 500 by using an effective stock market timing system.

         
    Before you start stock trading first think if it is worth your time and money

     

    That was the good news. The bad news is that those companies are selling you the tools and service only. They do not sell you any guarantees of success. It does not matter if you profit or lose money, the trading company will get its fee for each trade anyway. Since you are considering going into the stock market, most likely you are planning to get a significant return on your investment which should also be better than what you would get buy investing your money into mutual funds (less risky than single stocks) or even no-risk certificate of deposits (CDs) where returns are guaranteed. Well, how can you get such returns? The answer of course is simple and well known: buy low, sell high. If you do it most of the time you’ll be a successful stock trader. Now the first problem comes: how do you know when to buy? There are probably several ways to do that, we do not discuss this here, let’s assume that you know somehow or think you do know. Lets say you got lucky and the stock after you bought it is going up, just as you planned. Now another problem comes: when to sell? After the stock is up 20%, what do you do? Sell now, or wait until it is up 50%, 100% or 200%? Do you listen to investor news and do what everybody else does: selling, buying more, or continue holding the stock? If you choose one of the first two options, how much of the stock you should buy or sell? Or if you hold the stock, are you sure it will continue to go up, or you may end up waiting until the stock price is back to the original and than lose it’s value resulting in your losses. The truth is some people actually do know the answers to those questions most of the time and actually make profit. The question is, are you as good as those people? Most people are losing money guessing and trying to time the market. If you’re new in this game and not planning to spend much time on research, chances are you will lose. You will be competing with professional traders, big players and insiders who profit mostly because many others keep losing. Plus what are the chances that you can predict the market? The chances are very slim. Some may argue: “I had that stock, I sold it when it was up 20%, but if I did not sell it at that time, now it would be up 300%. How stupid I was when I sold it, if I did not I’d made a lot of money. I have to do this again. It really proves that I can make a lot of money there and it’s easy!” That is right you can make a lot of money, but it is not that easy as it looks. Lets assume you did not sell the stock at the time it was up 20%. Then what makes you think you would wait until it is up 300%? You may have sold it when it was up only 25%. Or it may go down several times below 20% increase, you could have thought it was going down forever and sold it even with a lower than 20% profit. The bottom line is that it is easy to look at the past and see all the mistakes you’ve made. However it is very difficult to do right things for the future. Unless you know market trends well, understand related industries and stock company financials, most likely you will not be able to make profitable trades. Even professional traders do mistakes and lose money. If you are not one of them or not planning to become one, your best bet would be investing into CDs, mutual funds or your own business.

         
    Beyond the brink

     

    Penny stocks represent an excellent investment vehicle for producing gains, while the risks are equally as high. When you finally decide to get involved in penny stocks, to go 'Beyond the Brink,' there are some things you need to know. In fact, whether you have been burned by penny stocks in the past, or have never even invested, the following theories are designed to give you an instant and significant advantage over all those inexperienced and uninformed traders. After all, to make money in stocks someone usually has to be losing money. Which side of the fence do you want to fall on? Glass Jaw Lots of people have made lots of money from trading penny stocks. Lots of people have lost plenty, as well. What is the difference between a successful micro-cap trader, and one who continually takes it on the chin? Uses professional stock picks and research. Does their own due diligence. Observes patience. Takes lessons from past trades and stock activity. Takes lessons from other traders. Decides between 10 stocks at a time. Uses tips at work, rumors, and so-called 'inside scoops' to pick stocks. Doesn't investigate financials and corporate position. Falls victim to negative emotions like greed, anger, and desperation. Makes the same mistakes more than once. Looks at one stock alone on its own situation. So Let's Learn The fact that you have taken the time to review this feature demonstrates that you have the characteristics of a successful trader, specifically the willingness to learn from experts and the experiences of other traders. So let's learn. As mentioned above, you should always examine groups of stocks together when looking for a new issue to invest in. For example, make a chart and write down the revenues of each. In the next column list the earnings. Follow this by each of the subsequent criteria you think are important. With all of the data on one table and available at a glance, you can easily get a clear picture of which are the one or two strongest companies from your pool of potential investments. However, understand that stock prices do not necessarily act in concert with the underlying fundamentals of a company. For example, there is nothing saying that the stock of the worst company on your list won't out perform the top ranked one. For that reason you should also include factors such as trading volatility, your opinion of a potential break-through due to some new product, potential positive press releases, etc... This method is not intended to reveal the best stock, but instead to give you additional clarity about which are the best few and worst few according to your own weighting of the various factors you have chosen. Available Advantages Get a discount broker. Monitor your portfolio online, do your research online (and offline), and place your trades online. Embrace the technology, because it provides superior advantages all across the board. You can screen stocks, put those into comparative charts, instantly access the corporate press releases, check the latest industry news, and then place your trade... all for about $20. Then you can monitor your trade order fulfillment, verify that the money and shares traded hands, track the progress of the stocks, get instant alerts for press releases... It is truly endless and complete, and each step that you take full advantage of leaves other traders one step behind you. Keep small amounts of money in each stock, and only 'risk' money for penny stocks. While these low-priced, volatile investments can produce some truly incredible gains, they usually bounce among all sorts of price ranges. On a related note, if you get 'freaked out' or worried about a stock you hold, you should consider selling your position. Try to invest in solid penny stock companies that have a low share price because they are small or undiscovered, not because they are having business troubles. Be sure to read our related articles Falling in Hate, Fools Rush In, and Trading Myths, and our tools section on Choosing a Broker. Beyond... And After That Some of the most successful traders have a few things in common. Firstly, they have made some major trading mistakes in their day. However, they learned more from these mistakes than they ever did from any of their great trades. Don't squander your failures by trying to put them behind you. Secondly, keep a journal with dates, specific trade amounts and prices, and even the stocks you were thinking of investing in but didn't. You can use this for a hundred different purposes as you become a more advanced trader, such as seeing opportunities you missed, or learning that your strategies are valid, or just to monitor your improvement as you become more experienced from month to month.

         
    Blockbuster miscalculated

     

    Blockbuster (BBI) is a perfect example of what can go wrong when you misread the industry trends and then realizing it, try desperately to catch up. In the period from late 2001 to 2002, Blockbuster was the leader in the video rental business. Its shares were trading at nearly $30 a share and its market-cap was at around $5.75 billion. But there was a trend developing towards movie rentals via the Internet. Blockbuster failed to recognize the growing significance of Internet video rentals, a very poor miscalculation on its part. The shares have steadily declined to the current $3.80 to $4.20 channel. Once a large-cap, Blockbuster is now a small-cap and struggling to regain any sense of direction. The company has entered into the Internet DVD rental business but it has a lot of catching up to do. Fundamentally, Blockbuster has lost money in the last three straight quarters and struggling to grow its revenues, which are forecasted to increase a mere 1.1% in fiscal 2006. Its estimated five-year earnings growth rate is a mere 2.5% per annum, which is pitiful. Blockbuster also has to deal with its massive debt load of $1.27 billion or a debt-to-equity of 2.73:1, which suggests a weak balance sheet. Couple this with poor working capital and you understand the high financial risk. Faced with stagnant revenue growth and losses, Blockbuster faces a difficult upside battle to regain its lost glory. The odds are stacked against it. In the face of Blockbuster is online DVD rental company Netflix (NFLX), which debuted in May 200, trading at close to $40 in 2004 before sinking to the $10 level in 2005 before the rally. Netflix saw the future for DVD rentals and it was online and not via the “brick and mortal” route that Blockbuster decided to maintain. In direct opposite to Blockbuster, Netflix is profitable and has been for the last three straight quarters. It has 4.2 million subscribers and growing. Its revenues are growing and expected to surge 32.5% in fiscal 2007 whereas Blockbuster is seeing non-existent revenue growth. Blockbuster has entered into the online DVD rental arena but it is well behind Netflix. Moreover, Netflix also operates the online DVD rental business for Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), after the retail giant decided to shut down its own online DVD rental unit and instead let Netflix run it. Trading at 36.73x its estimated FY06 EPS, Netflix is not cheap. But if it can continue its strong growth and earn the estimated $1.11 per share for the FY07, the valuation becomes more reasonable. The pressure is clearly on Netflix to deliver but it is on the correct path. Note: you are welcome to post this article on your site if it is financial related. You must cut and paste the bio and make sure the web site link is live. Also please e-mail me to let me know.

         
    Blue chip stocks not a poker game

     

    Investing in conservative blue chip stocks may not have the allure of a hot high-tech investment, but it can be highly rewarding nonetheless, as good quality stocks have outperformed other investment classes over the long term. Historically, investing in stocks has generated a return, over time, of between 11 and 15 percent annually depending how aggressive you are. Stocks outperform other investments since they incur more risk. Stock investors are at the bottom of the corporate "food chain." First, companies have to pay their employees and suppliers. Then they pay their bondholders. After this come the preferred shareholderspanies have an obligation to pay all these stakeholders first, and if there is money leftover it is paid to the stockholders through dividends or retained earnings. Sometimes there is a lot of money left over for stockholders, and in other cases there isn't. Thus, investing in stocks is risky because investors never know exactly what they are going to receive for their investment. What are the attractions of blue chip stocks? 1. Great long-term rates of return. 2. Unlike mutual funds, another relatively safe, long term investment category, there are no ongoing fees. 3. You become a owner of a company. So much for the benefits - what about the risks? 1. Some investors can't tolerate both the risk associated with investing in the stock market and the risk associated with investing in one company. Not all blue chips are created equal. 2. If you don't have the time and skill to identify a good quality company at a fair price don't invest directly. Rather, you should consider a good mutual fund. Selecting a blue chip company is only part of the battle - determining the appropriate price is the other. Theoretically, the value of a stock is the present value of all future cash flows discounted at the appropriate discount rate. However, like most theoretical answers, this doesn't fully explain reality. In reality supply and demand for a stock sets the stock's daily price, and demand for a stock will increase or decrease depending of the outlook for a company. Thus, stock prices are driven by investor expectations for a company, the more favorable the expectations the better the stock price. In short, the stock market is a voting machine and much of the time it is voting based on investors' fear or greed, not on their rational assessments of value. Stock prices can swing widely in the short-term but they eventually converge to their intrinsic value over the long-term. Investors should look at good companies with great expectations that are not yet imbedded in the price of a stock.

         
    Buy to cover orders with stock trading

     

    If you have always wanted to know more about this topic, then get ready because we have all the information you can handle. Within the buy to cover orders, there are four options in which to place against your stock purchases. When you buy to cover on a stock order, you are in agreement that you will buy the stock at the latest share price; however, because there is a lag between the time you approve to buy the stock and the actual transaction, a price difference may occur. You could end up paying more than anticipated for each stock, or a considerably lesser amount per stock, which is what you are eager for. You can also buy to cover limit orders, which guarantees that you pay no more than the set limit price. However, if stock prices hold above the limit buy price, this type of buy to cover order will never be executed. This type of transaction is mainly used by investors who want to get into a certain market. You may also want to buy, to cover stop orders in which case the stop orders become simple stock orders as soon as the value is at or above the stop price. This type of order is used to get you out of an unfavourable stock so that you will not have lost any profits. And, finally, you may want to buy to cover a limit order that converts to limit order only when the share value is at or above the stop price. You have to know each of the buy to cover orders so that you can make educated decisions about your investments. From one decision period to the next in the stock market game, the markets can move up and down non-stop, which means that prices of shares are at a frequent changing point. You may think about purchasing a certain stock that is at $5 per share, and in the next day, the value per share has risen to $15 per share. This is where the betting of the stock market comes into play. By erudition the advantages of the buy to cover orders, you can multiply your odds of earning money on the stock exchange rather than of losing money. The most obvious benefit to the entire buy to cover options is that they are in place to make you money, when executed properly. For example, you would not perform a stop loss on a stock that has steadily increased over a 5 month period. If you did this, you would force yourself to squander money to buy the stock in order to cover your mistake. You choose to buy 175 shares of stocks from Albertson's, a grocery store chain, at $75 each, for an entire investment of $13,125. Over a four month period, you observe that the stocks have gained in profit, and you would like to do something to guarantee that you keep this earned profit. Not knowing better, you put a stop loss of $45 per stock without consulting with your stockbroker. From that position forward, if your stock decreases to $45 per stock, you have to sell it, and any earlier earned profit is null and void. The only chance you have in getting back that profit is if you are swift enough in the non-stop stock market game, to buy the Albertson's stocks before somebody else does. However, even if you are able to do this, you have still suffered a great loss monetarily. Educate yourself in the stock market game. As with any game, there is some form of jeopardy involved, however, when you play the stock market game, you can avert a great deal of distress by simply taking the time to acquire knowledge about all types of orders you are able to place on your stocks. If you require help educating yourself about the types of orders to place on your stocks, you should consult your stockbroker in order to take professional advice before taking matters into your own hands, inevitably forcing yourself to lose some of your invested money's profit. Thus, it is absurd to invest your hard earned money into any program before you know all the data necessary to make a well-informed, educated judgment. If you could take the main ideas from this article and put them into a list, you would a great overview of what we have learned.

         
    Canadian coalbed methane stocks 7 things to know before investing

     

    More investors are now inquiring about Coalbed Methane exploration companies. Just as uranium miners were flying well below the radar screen in early 2004, coalbed methane exploration may very well be the next very hot sector later this year and next. Historically, coalbed methane gas endangered coal miners, resulting in alarming fatalities early in the previous century. This is the fate suffered today by many Chinese coal miners in the smaller, private coal mines. Typically, the methane gas trapped in coal seams was flared out, before underground mining began, in order to prevent those explosions. Rising natural gas prices have long since ended that practice. Today, coalbed methane companies are turning a centuries-long nuisance and byproduct into a valuable resource. About 9 percent of total US natural gas production comes from the natural gas found in coal seams. Because natural gas prices have soared, along with the bull markets found in uranium, oil, and precious and base metals, coalbed methane has come into play. It is after all a natural gas. But because it is outside the realm of the petroleum industry, coalbed methane, or CBM as many industry insiders call it, is called the unconventional gas. It may be unconventional today, but as the industry continue to grow by leaps and bounds, on a global scale, CBM may soon achieve some respect. Please remember that a few years ago, there was very little cheerleading about nuclear energy. Today, positive news items are running far better than ten to one in favor of that power source. CBM is the natural gas contained in coal. It consists primarily of methane, the gas we use for home heating, gas-fired electrical generation, and industrial fuel. The energy source within natural gas is methane (chemically, it is CH4), whether it comes from the oil industry or from coal beds. CBM has several strong points in its favor. The gases produced from CBM fields are often nearly 90 percent methane. Which type of gas has more impurities? No, it isn’t the natural, or conventional, gas you thought it might be. Frequently, CBM gas has fewer impurities than the “natural gas” produced from conventional wells. CBM exploration is done at a more shallow level, between 250 and 1000 meters, than conventional gas wells, which sometimes are drilled below 5,000 meters. CBM wells can last a long time – some could produce for 40 years or longer. Natural gas is created by the compression of underground organic matter combined with the earth’s high temperatures thousands of meters below surface. Conventional gas fills the spaces between the porous reservoir rocks. The coalification process is similar but the result is different: both the coalbed and the methane gas are trapped in the coal seams. Instead of filling the tiny spaces between the rocks, the coal gas is within the coal seams. One of the past problems associated with CBM exploration was the reliance upon expensive horizontal drilling techniques to extract the methane gas from the coal seams. Advanced fracturing techniques and breakthrough horizontal drilling techniques have increased CBM success ratios. As a result, a growing number of exploration companies are pursuing the early bull market in CBM. Market capitalizations for many of these companies mirror similar “early plays” we mentioned during our mid 2004 uranium coverage (June through October, 2004). Industry experts told us there would be a uranium bull market. Now, we are hearing the same forecasts about CBM. SEVEN TIPS BY DR. DAVID MARCHIONI We asked Dr. David Marchioni to provide our subscribers with his 7 Tips to help investors better understand what to look for, before investing in a CBM play. Dr. Marchioni helped co-author the CBM textbook, An Assessment of Coalbed Methane Exploration Projects in Canada, published by the Geological Survey of Canada. He is also president of Petro-Logic Services in Calgary, whose clients have included the Canadian divisions of Apache, BP, BHP, Burlington, Devon, El Paso Energy, and Phillips Petroleum, among others. He is also a director of Pacific Asia China Energy and is overseeing the company’s CBM exploration program in China. Our series of telephone and email interviews began while Dr. Marchioni sat on a drill rig in Alberta’s foothills, the Manville region, until he finished outlining his top 7 tips, or advices, on how to think like a CBM professional. 1) COAL SEAM THICKNESS Is there a reasonable thickness of coal? You should find out how thick the coal seams are. With thickness, you get the regional extent of the resource. For example, there must be a minimum thickness into which one can drill a horizontal well. 2) GAS CONTENT Typically, gas content is expressed as cubic feet of gas per ton of coal. Find how thick it is and how far it is spread. Then, you have a measure of unit gas content. Between coal seam thickness and gas content, you can determine the size of the resource. You have to look at both thickness and gas content. It’s of no use to have high gas content if you don’t have very much coal. The industry looks at resource per unit area. In other words, how much gas is in place per acre, hectare, or square mile? In the early stage of the CBM exploration, this really all you have to work with in evaluating its potential. 3) MATURITY LEVEL OF THE COAL This is the measure of the stage the coal has reached between the mineral’s inception as peat. Peat matures to become lignite. Later, it develops into bituminous coal, then semi-anthracite and finally anthracite. There is a progressive maturation of coal as a geological time continuum and the earth’s temperature, depending upon depth. By measuring certain parameters, you can determine where it is in the chemical process. For instance, the chemistry of lignite is different from that of anthracite. This phrasing is called “coal rank” in coal industry terminology. 4) PERMEABILITY When you are beginning to think about CBM production, this and the next item must be evaluated. How permeable is the CBM property? You want permeability, otherwise the gas can’t flow. If the coal isn’t permeable at all, you can never generate gas. The gas has to be able to flow. If it is extremely permeable, then you can perhaps never pump enough water. The water just keeps getting replaced from the large area surrounding the well bore. The water will just keep coming, and you will never lower the pressure so the gas can be released. 5) WATER In a very high proportion of CBM plays, the coal contains quite a lot of water. You have to pump the water off in order to reduce the pressure in the coal bed. Gas is held in coal by pressure. The deeper you go, typically the more gas you get, because the pressure is higher. The way to induce the gas to start flowing is to pump the water out of the coal and lower the “water head” of pressure. How much water are we going to produce? Are we going to have to dispose of it? If it’s fresh, then there may be problems with regulatory agencies. In Alberta, the government has restrictions on extracting fresh water because others might want to use it. One could be tapping into a zone that people use as water wells for farms and rural communities. Both water quality and water volume matter. For example, Manville water is very salient so nobody wants to put it into a river; this water is pushed back down into existing oil and gas wells in permeable zones (but which are also not connected to the coal). 6) FUNDING To be able to access land and do some initial drilling, i. e. the first round of financing, it would cost a minimum of C$4 million. This would include some geological work and drilling at least five or six wells. In Horseshoe, that would cost around C$4 million (say 1st round of finance); in Manville, about C$9 million. This is under the assumption that the company doesn’t buy the land. The land in western Canada is very expensive and tightly held. Much of the work is done as a “farm in” drilling on land held by another for a percentage of the play. (Editor’s note: During a previous interview, Dr. Marchioni commented about his preference for Pacific Asia China Energy’s land position in China because comparable land in western Canada would have cost “$100 million or more.” 7) INFRASTRUCTURE The geology only tells you what’s there, and what the chances of success are. You then have to pursue it. Can we sell it? Gas prices are “local,” meaning they vary from country to country, depending whether it is locally produced and in what abundance (or lack thereof). How much can we extract? How much is it going to cost us to get it out of the ground? Are there readily available services for this property? Will you have to helicopter a rig onto the property at some incredible price just to drill it? Will you have to build a pipeline to transport the gas? Or, in China as an example, are there established convoys for trucking LNG across hundreds of kilometers? One addition, which we have mentioned in previous articles, and especially in the Market Outlook Journal, “Quality of Management Attracts PR,” it is important that the CBM company have experienced management. This would mean a management team that includes those who have gotten results, not only a veteran exploration geologist but a team that can sell the story and bring in the mandatory financing to move the project into production. There are two primary reasons why many of these coalbed methane plays are being taken seriously. First, the macroeconomic reason is that rising energy costs have driven companies in the energy fields to pursue any economic projects to help fill the energy gap. Coalbed methane has a more than two decades of proof in the United States. The excitement has spread to Canada, China and India, where CBM exploration is beginning to take off. Second, the fundamental reason is that exploration work has already been done in delineating coal deposits. There are, perhaps, 800 coal basins globally, with less than 50 CBM producing basins. In other words, there is the potential for growth in this sector.

         
    Chasing value versus growth

     

    A lot of opinions had been thrown regarding the benefit of value investing versus growth investing. The proponents of each styles of investing insists that their method is superior over the other. I believe that each has its own merit. Being a proponent of value investing, let me state the case for value investing. First, value investors buy companies in a mature industry. That said, it is easier to predict earning of such company. This is why I lean towards value investing. I am in favor of reducing risk instead of chasing return. Anybody can make an estimate that a small biotech company A will rake in X amount of profit after several years. But, if your prediction is not accurate, then how do you determine the fair value of the common stock? Your valuation will be out of whack. Disease comes and go. Technology fames and fades. It might defy common sense to some but I prefer a low or no growth industry. Another benefit of investing in value stocks is that you might get decent dividend yield from the companies. They are growing less and management feel that they do not need all that profits to fund expansion. As a result, they propose dividend payments to shareholders. This helps reduce risk. Having said that, I believe that the return of growth stocks will be higher than value stocks. No, I don't mean you can profit handsomely buying overpriced stock. You should of course buy it at a reasonable price. You should not overpay for any stocks, including growth stocks. Growth stock is companies that are growing or expected to grow rapidly in future. Is advertising a growing industry? Yes, but it is not growing big. How about pay per search or pay per call advertising? Oh, yes. If you invest in these types of companies, you are investing in growth stocks. These new forms of advertising is less than 5 % share of total advertising budget. Can their share grow? You bet. Just like television gets some share of advertising pie, pay per click advertising will get more of its share if it is cost effective for advertisers to do so. We can say that value investing takes less return for engaging in little risk. Growth stock, on the other hand, takes in more risk in order to garner greater return. That is fine. There are, however, other kind of investing that will burn your pocket. A lot of investors engage in an investing style that get little reward while taking a big risk! Buying a stock at any price is one example. Do not misunderstand growth stocks with buying at any price. It is just plain silly. There are calculations and predictions involved in buying a common stock. Determine its fair value and decide whether you want to invest on a stock based on the risk/reward that it offers.

         
    Choosing a stockbroker

     

    It is true that even though you can choose your own investments you must still use a stockbroker to execute the orders. You do not have to rely in their advice though it may be helpful. You can make your own selections but you will still require their services to invest. There was a time when you had no choice about the type of stockbroker to utilize. There was only one type of broker, the full service brokers, and they controlled the market. The commissions that they demanded for their services were very high but this was the industry standard. This contributed to the notion that the stock market and stock market investment were beyond the means of the average person and only for the very affluent. The initial loss of control of the market by these full service brokerages occurred in 1975 and discount brokers emerged. They charged a fraction of the fees the full service brokers did and as such were a big hit on the market. They offered the same great services but were affordable to the average individual as the cost were significantly lower. Another great innovation was the introduction of the internet. This was a great innovation as there was greater trading efficiency as a result. The overall effect of all the changes on the stock market was that individuals now had access to a ton of information that was never accessible to them previously. It is a debate however whether these avenues have in fact enhanced investments and made better investors. In the case of persons that do their homework and seek out the truth behind the hype the answer is a definitive yes. The investors out their can now choose the type of broker they require from the range available. There are four categories of brokers. These are the discount/online broker, the discount broker that provides advice, the full service broker and the money manager. The discount/online broker is basically an order taker. They do not offer advice and will not tell you when to buy or sell a stock. There may be research available and other account management tools but the choice of investment in the stock market is entirely up to you. The variation of the discount/online broker that assists customers is the nest type. They do not offer full consultation services but will have more research than order taking sites. They will offer newsletters and investing tips but most likely not recommend particular stocks. You are not totally on your own with this option but you will still need to do a lot in terms of deciding on the best stock investment. The full service broker will provide recommendations on specific stocks and the broker will also access your financial situation to determine your needs and investment options. This service is suitable for the investor that does not have the interest or time in making their investment decisions. The money manager is made for the investor with a hefty investment sum. This broker will handle only significant portfolios and will invest and manage the entire account for a percentage of the assets under investment. This option can be expensive but very worthwhile in the long run. Whichever option that you choose make sure it suits your purpose and that you are covered by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. Ask about backups and other options in case of technical problems and ensure that your broker has your best interest at heart.

         
    Choosing stocks from a consumer perspective

     

    Investing in the stock market sometimes boils down to one essential element, namely good choices. No matter how well we do our research, how often we buy and sell, or how much we pay experts for their tips and advice, without choosing stocks that represent value, we won’t succeed. Although some are good at predicting the direction of the market and timing the ups and downs, if they don’t purchase the right stocks, they will still meet with difficulties when trying to reap profits. For that reason, some of the best paid people on Wall Street known primarily for their talent at picking stocks. Financial advisors give talks and write books and newsletters about how to choose stocks that will outperform the market, and most experts echo the same sentiment and agree that one of the best ways to judge a stock is from the point of view of a consumer. By using instincts we have already honed as ordinary shoppers, we can often ferret out information that even the most skilled and software-savvy market watchers miss. While they study analytical charts, earnings reports, and the stock exchange ticker tape, folks just like yourself actually do business with the companies they invest in, because their experience as a customer speaks volumes about the value of the company and its products and services. Here are the kinds of things to look for as indicators of a company’s worth: 1) How popular is their product or service? If everyone you know uses it, and is satisfied with such things as price, customer service, and reliability, the company is probably well situated among the competition. 2) Are the employees satisfied? One of the best ways to judge a company is by talking to employees. Many companies put on a good faзade, but underneath the fancy marketing is plenty of discontent. But if employees like a company – especially if they like it enough to buy stock in it – that’s a very good sign. 3) How well known are they? You may find a great startup company with all the trappings of success, but discover that it is lesser known. Many small or regional companies are popular in their own back yards, but the rest of the world may not yet know about them. Buying such unknowns can be a great way to invest in the next hot stock. If the fundamentals look good, sometimes being lesser known is a good thing for investors getting in on the ground floor. 4) If they went out of business, where would you go for similar products and services? If you can’t think of a convenient alternative, the company is probably in a niche market that enjoys customer loyalty and repeat business. Shop around, and notice what you see and how each business makes you feel. Then trust your intuition. Make a list of companies that get your attention, and then call their shareholder relations department and ask for more details. By starting your list with companies you already have a first hand experience of, you raise the chances considerably that you will make smart choices.

         
    Competition between online brokers reduces commissions

     

    There's much to learn about the online brokerage industry. Unfortunately, many investors learn this the hard way. With so many options available, choosing the right broker is as crucial as making the right investment. For years, investors were accustomed to paying $9.95 or higher per trade based on their account equity or trade activity. However, those days have come to an end. When evaluating brokers, keep these factors in mind: * How fast can the broker execute my trade? * What type of technology does the broker use? * What level of customer service does the broker provide? * How much will the broker charge me per trade? The competitive nature of the new online trading industry has led to lower commission rates for all investors. While well-known brokers such as Ameritrade or ETrade are still charging around $10 per trade, smaller firms can charge less than $3. Investors willing to look beyond the industry leaders also may find that smaller brokers, such as RushTrade, have more to offer in other areas, including customer service, order routing and trading technology. RushTrade has made a name for itself as a leader among online brokers when it comes to fast, reliable trading and customer service. With the increase in competition among online brokers, RushTrade has structured its commissions to attract every type of investor.

         
    Constant access with stock trading online

     

    In a world built on capital, we humans are forever vying for that next big money-maker. It seems that everybody forever desires more cash. Some strive for a senior education; others compete for that big promotion. No worry what the method, we all find a way of increasing our income. Investing is a customary form of making an added buck. With the obsession of the stock market in gorged affect, many of us chance on that up-and-coming business, or upright product that has the latent to fuel in value. We know that shares can sky-rocket in appraise if purchased at the right time. A blessing to many investment junkies is stock trading online. The stock market is now at your fingertips. If you've never played the stock market, it may be time to inhibit it out. Many people make millions in selling and selling. Haven't you heard about the UPS shares? Those people got rich. It's amazing where a little chance can take you. With stock trading online somebody can have constant access to the market. Hop on your computer and inhibit out the websites that can help you with this process. It doesn't worry if you're looking to squander a little or invest a lot, there is something just waiting for you. The great thing about the Internet is the information. You can find an abundance of trading tips and truth about the stock market for free. This way when you commence stock trading online, you won't be in the dark. We hope that the first part of this article as brought you a lot of much needed information on the subject at hand. A few living back, my best friend hopped on the stock market bandwagon, and purchased some shares. When he began this little venture, he purchased on the recommendation of a partner who had been trading for years. After selling a number of shares at 10 bucks a pop, he was keen to go. It wasn't long before the shares had amplified to 60 bucks a pop. He took the innocent road and sold immediately. I think that this was a astute decision. He made the currency and puzzled nothing. With stock trading online, shrewd when to fold is key. Just like with gambling, you have to know when to currency out. Make some money, but don't get greedy. Before you know it, the shares have dropped below your purchase price. Stock trading online is a amazing way to veer a profit and make that added cash. Before you skip online and flinch investing, inhibit out some websites for figures and pointers on the contest of stock trading. A better understanding of the affair will pay off in the end.

         
     
         
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