ACTIONABLE ADVICE FOR FINANCIAL ADVISORS: Newsletters and Commentaries Focused on Investment Strategy

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2014-04-17 Designing Balanced DC Menus: Considering Diversified Fixed Income Choices by Stacy Schaus, Ying Gao of PIMCO

Sponsors of defined contribution plans face a dual challenge: They must present investment options appropriate for plan members and design menus that encourage selection of well-structured portfolios. We believe that actively managed strategies designed to potentially reduce risks, invest globally and enhance yield relative to the index may improve diversification and lower concentration risk in fixed income offerings. Plan sponsors may consider a range of return and risk measures as they evaluate current and prospective fixed income offerings.

2014-04-11 Can You Have Your Cake and Eat It Too? by David Braun, David Holdreith of PIMCO

Many insurers would like to optimize both total return and book yield income, which may be seen as competing and divergent goals. In fact many insurers fall somewhere on the spectrum between these goals or shift their objective based on business and market conditions. While it has long been an accepted practice to track manager performance with regard to total return, tracking book income has been more elusive: PIMCO has an innovative and unique solution to help manager’s track alpha generated by active managers.

2014-04-07 The Doubt of Appearances by Dimitri Balatsos of Tesseract Partners

Households have made significant progress mending their balance sheet in the post-crisis period. Assets have been boosted on the back of higher home values and stock prices, while liabilities have been trimmed, mostly mortgages, thanks in large part to widespread home foreclosures.

2014-03-19 Pockets of Opportunity in Europe, Emerging Markets by Lisa Myers of Franklin Templeton

Maintaining the right mix or balance of assets in a portfolio to achieve a desired goal can be a challenge, particularly when the markets are constantly shifting. As portfolio manager for Templeton Global Balanced Fund, Lisa Myers, executive vice president, Templeton Global Equity Group, regularly faces that task.

2014-03-03 Casting a Wide Asset Net in a Volatile Sea by Ed Perks of Franklin Templeton

It’s fair to say that investors will likely never be fully comfortable with market volatility. But actively managing the inevitable bumps that accompany equity investments, even in bull markets, can help make the ride a little less harrowing, according to Ed Perks, executive vice president and director of Portfolio Management, Franklin Equity Group®. He explains how understanding the fundamental dynamics behind market selloffs is key to uncovering potential opportunities in the face of a rough market ride.

2014-02-18 Stocks for 2014: Growth and Income For Total Return - Part 3 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

When investing in common stocks, there is no one strategy that fits all investors. Some investors are focused on investing for income, some for capital appreciation and others for various combinations of both. Additionally, there is the issue of risk tolerance. Some investors are willing and capable of assuming greater risk if they believe it will lead to greater returns, while others are more risk adverse. These are just but a few of the many variations that apply to the individual investor’s own unique goals and characteristics.

2014-02-03 Stocks for 2014: Fairly Valued Dividend Growth Stocks with an Emphasis on Dividends - Part 4 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

I am a firm believer that common stock portfolios should be custom-designed to meet each unique individual’s goals, objectives and risk tolerances. With that said, I believe it logically follows that in order to create a successful portfolio, the individual investor must first conduct some serious introspection to be sure that they truly "know thyself." Therefore, I believe the first, and perhaps most critical step, towards designing a successful equity portfolio is to ask your-self, and honestly answer several important questions.

2014-01-24 Stocks for 2014: Growth and Income For Total Return Part 3 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

When investing in common stocks, there is no one strategy that fits all investors. Some investors are focused on investing for income, some for capital appreciation and others for various combinations of both. Additionally, there is the issue of risk tolerance. Some investors are willing and capable of assuming greater risk if they believe it will lead to greater returns, while others are more risk adverse. These are just but a few of the many variations that apply to the individual investor’s own unique goals and characteristics.

2014-01-21 Stocks 2014: Investing for Growth - The Power and Protection of High Compounding Earnings Growth by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

As I become more mature (translate: gotten older), my investment philosophy has slowly evolved into a more conservative posture. When I was a younger investor I felt I had time on my side, and therefore, was willing to take on greater risk as long as I believed that greater rewards could follow. In other words, if I made a mistake by investing in an aggressive and more risky growth stock that went badly, I felt I had adequate time to overcome or recover my losses. Consequently, as a younger investor I relished a good growth stock.

2014-01-21 Kansas by Jerome Schneider of PIMCO

In the coming year, traditional money market strategies, long viewed as safe havens, will be challenged by new regulations, near 0% returns and a lack of investable assets. Short-term bond strategies could provide the right balance between risk-taking and liquidity management, and offer the potential for positive returns. Active managers have a distinct advantage because they can manage interest rate volatility and potentially source assets by identifying underappreciated sectors.

2014-01-16 Stocks for 2014: Something for Everyone: Part 1 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

My biggest pet peeve regarding common stock investing is how so many people have a tendency to over-generalize this asset class. Commonly held beliefs such as investing in stocks is risky, or that the stock market is overvalued, or that the fed is driving stock prices, etc., are just a few examples illustrating my point. In truth, common stocks are as individually different as people are individually different. When dealing with human beings, most reasonable thinking people would reject prejudicial statements. Personally, I believe we should have the same attitude about common stocks.

2014-01-10 5 Investor Tips for 2014 by Kristina Hooper of Allianz Global Investors

While the winding down of QE signals better times ahead, investors need to be selective and focused in taking smart risks, says US Investment Strategist Kristina Hooper.

2013-12-16 The Power of the Platform: The Promise and Peril of Technology Investing by Ryan Jacob of Jacob Asset Management

Without question, technology’s rapid development during the past 20 years has played an incredibly powerful and largely positive role in furthering the progress and productivity of modern economies throughout the world. Technology’s track record as a profitable investment theme, however, is a bit cloudier.

2013-12-12 Stay the Course or Take an Unconstrained Approach to Bonds by Matthew Pasts of BTS Asset Management

BTS Asset Management contends that today’s bond market environment calls for an unconstrained approach to bonds with the ability to move between bond asset classes based on economic indicators and market opportunities. The potential discrepancy in results among bond asset classes may be more pronounced than we have seen in the past 30 years which creates opportunity for a more tactical approach. Now may be the time for an unconstrained approach to the bond market.

2013-11-25 Solving the Income Puzzle by Christopher Remington, Michael Cirami, Kathleen Gaffney, Scott Page of Eaton Vance

Income needs may be as high as they’ve ever been, while the yield potential from many traditional investment classes has dwindled to generational lows. Investors who remain in high-priced, low-yielding core bond strategies could experience loss of principal (and mounting retirement shortfalls) if interest rates revert toward their mean. We advocate creating an integrated, multi-pronged income plan that may offer yield potential that meets investor needs, while managing key risks found in the typical core fixed-income allocation.

2013-10-28 For Maximum Total Return Go for Growth by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Not all investors are the same. Therefore, not all investors share the same goals and objectives. Consequently, there are numerous strategies and investing methods available to choose from. Moreover, it also goes without saying that the investment strategy that’s right for me may not be right for you. For that reason, it’s imperative that each individual looks for the strategy that is right for their own individual goals, objectives, risk tolerances and status. By status, I’m referring to how many years you have left before retirement.

2013-10-18 Trying To Beat The Market Is A Fool's Errand by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Proponents of indexing as the best investment strategy seemed to take great delight in reporting how the vast majority of professionally managed portfolios (mutual funds, separately managed accounts, hedge funds, ETFs, etc.) fail to outperform the S&P 500. Therefore, they argue, it is best not to even try. Investors should simply invest in index funds and forget about it.

2013-10-09 The Squeeze Play by Jerome Schneider of PIMCO

Reductions in Treasury bill and commercial paper issuance compounded by developments on the demand side mean the “squeeze play” is on for many short-term portfolios. Investors should consider the potential for substantive changes to liquidity conditions as banks contend with increases in capital requirements due to updated Basel III regulations. Active management of short-term investments is important: Don’t rely on static regulatory frameworks or traditional indexes to determine a portfolio’s unique liquidity needs.

2013-09-23 Enhanced Dividend for Income by Jim O'Shaugnessy of O'Shaughnessy Asset Management

It is axiomatic in the financial planning canon that investors searching for a steady source of income should rely heavily on bonds. Stocks are for capital appreciation and bonds for income. The practice is so ingrained, that I have not heard of many investors who would make the case for using an equity portfolio to generate income. Bonds also appeal to advisors because of their inherent principal protection advantage. As a bond owner, you are a creditor, not an owner.

2013-08-29 Monthly Investment Commentary by Litman Gregory Research Team of Litman Gregory

U.S. stocks resumed their positive streak in July (after a slightly negative June). Large-cap stocks rose in three out of the four weeks and were up 5% for the month. Smaller companies generally outperformed their larger-cap counterparts. After Federal Reserve comments regarding the timing of its stimulus withdrawal upset markets in May and June (particularly the bond market), investors seemed to take comfort in the Fed’s more recent comments. Among other points, Chairman Bernanke reiterated that a decision to taper bond purchases is different from raising the federal funds rate

2013-08-23 Utilities - Today's Best Bond Alternative by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

To refer to any stock or equity as an alternative to bonds or fixed income is sure to stir up the ire and consternation of many professional and individual investors alike who deem themselves prudent. Frankly, under normal circumstances I would tend to agree.

2013-08-16 The Telecommunications Services Sector Untethered and Poised to Grow by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Suffice it to say that the Telecommunications Services sector of today is not your grandfather’s Telecommunications Services sector. The explosion, and rapidly becoming ubiquitous implementation, of wireless technologies have been disruptive and game changing. As a result, the very nature of the established stalwarts within this industry have gone through an extraordinary metamorphosis.

2013-08-14 What Role for Emerging Markets After the Sell-Off? by Ramin Toloui of PIMCO

While history suggests that the sell-off in emerging market bonds could ultimately offer attractive buying opportunities, it is important to anchor investment decisions firmly within a forward-looking economic and market outlook. Continuing vulnerabilities in global growth suggest there is fundamental value in EM bond yields at present valuations, as interest rate hikes priced into EM yield curves are unlikely to materialize in an environment of tentative growth.

2013-08-08 Is The Financial Crisis Over For Financial Stocks? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The cause of the financial crisis of 2007 -2008, also known as the Great Recession of 2008, is attributed to many different theories. However, one of the most common theories is an easy money regulatory environment that led to an abundance of subprime loans, which in turn inflated real estate prices to bubble levels. Additionally, many blame the Financial sector, predominantly the money center banks, for exploiting the lax lending requirements with reckless and greedy behavior.

2013-07-31 Still High Time for High Yield? by Team of Rainier Funds

Given recent strong performance and yields hovering at historic lows, a current topic of debate has been whether the high yield bond market has become an asset bubble and how much of a risk is the potential end to the Federal Reserve’s accommodative monetary policy to high yield investors. While we at Rainier acknowledge there are current risks in the fixed income market, we believe these concerns are not unique to high yield bonds.

2013-07-26 For A Healthier Portfolio - Look Here by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The Health Care sector is comprised of many diverse companies, as can be seen from the list of subsectors provided below. Historically the Health Care sector has been comprised of a significant number of companies with above-average growth rates of earnings. Consequently, a majority of the companies comprising the Health Care sector could be thought of as growth stocks over dividend growth stocks.

2013-07-24 D-Day +1 by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James

I have termed last Friday (7/19/13) as D-Day because for the past few months my work has targeted that date as a potential turning point for the equity markets. Given the upside stampede, my sense was/is that “turn” would be to the downside for the first meaningful pullback of the year. In past missives I have elaborated on the reasons and clearly the media has “listened.”

2013-07-19 Are Blue-Chip Consumer Staples Worth Today's Premium Valuations? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The Consumer Staples sector consists of companies that provide essential products. In other words, Consumer Staples are products that people cannot or are unwilling to do without. As a result of the essential nature of Consumer Staples, there are several attributes that distinguish this sector from most others. First of all, the essential nature of the products that Consumer Staples’ companies produce, are for the most part, non-cyclical. Second, Consumer Staples tend to be very insensitive to economic cycles.

2013-07-10 Beware Of The Valuations On The Best Consumer Discretionary Dividend Growth Stocks by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The Consumer Discretionary sector consists of businesses that sell nonessential, and therefore, discretionary goods and services. Companies in this sector include retailers, media companies, consumer services companies, consumer durables and apparel companies, automobiles and components companies. Since so much of what this sector offers is discretionary items, companies in the sector tend to do best when the economy is strongest. Unfortunately, as we will soon see, so do the prices of their stocks tend to perform best when the market is performing best.

2013-07-02 Finding Value In The Materials Sector Is A Material Thing by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This is the third in a series of articles designed to find value in today’s stock market environment. However, it is the second of 10 articles covering the 10 major general sectors. In my first article, I laid the foundation that represents the two primary underlying ideas supporting the need to publish such a treatise. First and foremost, that it is not a stock market; rather it is a market of stocks. Second, that regardless of the level of the general market, there will always be overvalued, undervalued and fairly valued individual stocks to be found.

2013-06-25 How Not to Invest in Dividend Stocks: Seven Mistakes Investors Commonly Make by David Ruff of Forward Management

While investors may assume that dividend investing is relatively straightforward, they commonly make mistakes that may undercut the potential income and total return of their investments.

2013-06-25 Reframing Expectations by Aaron Reynolds of Baird Advisors

Even facing headwinds, bonds still serve important roles in a portfolio, including diversification and downside protection potential. As the heavy burden of total return falls on interest income, investors are being pulled toward higher-yield, higher-risk bond types. Investors can still benefit from the segmented bond market and the various strategies that are available. Expectations need to be reframed given the current environment of low yields and potential interest rate increases.

2013-06-25 Canadian National Railway Co: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of Canadian National Railway Co (CNI) through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool.Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort.Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-06-21 Finding Great Value In The Energy Sector by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This will be the second in a series of articles designed to find value in today’s stock market environment. However, it will be the first of 10 articles covering the 10 major general sectors. In my first article, I laid the foundation that represents the two primary underlying ideas supporting the need to publish such a treatise. First and foremost, that it is not a stock market; rather it is a market of stocks. Second, that regardless of the level of the general market, there will always be overvalued, undervalued and fairly valued individual stocks to be found.

2013-06-18 American Eagle Outfitters Inc: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of American Eagle Outfitters Inc through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool. Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort. Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-06-14 Searching For Value And Finding It In Today's Market - Sector By Sector by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

“I think the market is overvalued now,” is a common refrain that I’m hearing from most of the individual investors I have recently been coming in contact with. Consequently, many of these same investors are also currently eschewing investing in common stocks because of that fear. Although I do not agree that the market is currently overvalued, I believe I understand why so many people think it is. Individual investors currently believe the market is overvalued because of two common fallacies that at first blush appear to be logical.

2013-06-12 Curtiss-Wright Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Curtiss-Wright Corp (CW) is an innovative engineering company that provides highly engineered, critical function products, systems and services in the areas of flow control, motion control and surface treatment technologies to the defense, energy and commercial/industrial markets. The legacy company of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers, Curtiss-Wright has a long tradition of design and manufacturing innovation and prides itself on long-standing customer relationships.

2013-06-07 Own These World's Leading Brands And Never Fear A Recession Again by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

If you were to take the essence of most people’s beliefs and understanding about investing in common stocks, or the stock market for that matter, and turn it into a movie, I believe it would have to be labeled under the category science fiction. In other words, in my experience, most of what people believe about common stocks or the stock market is predicated more on opinion than on fact. But even more importantly, it is predicated on opinions that are driven by strong emotional responses.

2013-06-05 Will Green Shoots Flourish in U.S. and Latin America? by Josh Thimons, Lupin Rahman of PIMCO

The US economy is much further along the road to repair relative to its developed market peers, but it is still dealing with an unsustainable fiscal situation. Latin America is closely coupled to the rest of the world. What happens in the U.S., China and Europe over the secular horizon is especially critical. Our secular investment outlook calls for a more defensive posture toward risk. In U.S. fixed income, this suggests positioning for alpha rather than capital appreciation.

2013-06-03 Qualcomm Inc: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of Qualcomm Inc through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool. Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort. Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-06-01 After the Gold Rush by Nouriel Roubini of Project Syndicate

The run-up in gold prices in recent years from $800 per ounce in early 2009 to above $1,900 in the fall of 2011 had all the features of a bubble. And now, like all asset-price surges that are divorced from the fundamentals of supply and demand, the gold bubble is deflating.

2013-05-29 Ball Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Ball Corp (BLL) is a supplier of high quality packaging for beverage, food and household products customers, and of aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the U.S. government.

2013-05-24 Bifurcation Blues by Herbert and Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

Bifurcation. A very technical sounding word. It merely means “a division into two parts”, which is what we are witnessing in many areas related to investment, both macro and micro. And it is exhibiting to value investors those areas to avoid and the most attractive to embrace. And giving rise to a wide range of disparate opinions among economic and investment professionals as to what outcomes are likely. Needless to say, we have our own strong views.

2013-05-21 General Electric Looks Like It's Becoming The Shareholder-Friendly Company It Once Was by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

General Electric (GE) was once revered as one of the bluest of all blue-chip companies in the world. During its glory days, GE was respected as an industrial conglomerate that manufactured some of the world’s best jet engines, locomotives, appliances and even the highly regarded General Electric light bulb. However, as best I can determine, the roots of General Electric’s ultimate demise were established in 1930 when the company, responding to the great depression, formed GE Finance in order to help their customers finance GE appliances over time.

2013-05-17 Making the Most of Equity Allocations by Andrew Pyne, Sabrina Callin of PIMCO

We believe slowing global growth and deleveraging are likely to result in lower long-term returns for equities. Traditional approaches to building equity portfolios may not be enough for investors to meet their return goals. We have found three complementary ways investors can enhance equity return potential: fundamental indexes, index-plus strategies and high active share stock selection approaches.

2013-05-17 Opportunistic Investing: Making the Most of Your Cash in Today's Market by Chris Engelman of Cedar Hill Associates

With the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index rising more than 20% since last June, some people are reluctant to invest now, fearful that stocks are poised to tumble again. By focusing on their long-term investment objectives rather than short-term market fluctuations, however, investors can plan for a sound financial future. Here, Cedar Hill Managing Director Chris Engelman offers strategies for building a portfolio that helps to limit market risks and increases the likelihood of achieving your long-term goals.

2013-05-15 Yen Weakness: Buffett\'s \"Shot Heard Round the World\'\" by Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management

We returned recently from the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholder Conference. The most exciting and profound comment to us was what Warren Buffett said about the unprecedented actions the last three years by the Federal Reserve Board. Buffett was asked about the risks of the Federal Reserve’s current plan to buy Treasuries to keep interest rates very low.

2013-05-11 Three Reasons to Buy Gold Equities Today by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

A strong stomach and a tremendous amount of patience are required for gold stock investors these days, as miners have been exhibiting their typical volatility pattern. That’s why I often say to anticipate before you participate, because gold stocks are historically twice as volatile as U.S. stocks. As of March 31, 2013, using 10-year data, the NYSE Arca Gold BUGS Index (HUI) had a rolling one-year standard deviation of nearly 35 percent. The S&P 500’s was just under 15 percent.

2013-05-10 DICK's Sporting Goods Inc: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of DICK’s Sporting Goods Inc through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool. Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort. Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-05-09 Equity Market Distortions Create Big Payback Potential by Joseph Paul, Kevin Simms of AllianceBernstein

Even after this year’s equities rally, market imbalances created by the financial crisis in 2008 have not disappeared. When these distortions unwind, we expect deep value stocks to rapidly recover.

2013-05-09 BlackRock Inc: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of BlackRock Inc through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool. Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort. Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-05-07 Deere & Co: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of Deere & Co through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool. Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort. Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-05-07 Attractive Dividends? Earnings Growth? A Way to Get Both by Team of Lord Abbett

International equities provide broader opportunities for combining appealing divided yields and earnings growth.

2013-05-07 Investing for Income and Capital Appreciation by Giorgio Caputo, Rob Hordon, Ed Meigs, Sean Slein of First Eagle Investment Management

A Q&A with First Eagle Investment Management’s senior members and their market views and strategic insights.

2013-05-03 Oracle Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graphs on Oracle Corp shows a picture of undervaluation based upon the historical earnings growth rate of 18.5% and a current P/E of 13.7. Analysts are forecasting the earnings growth to continue at about 10%, and when you look at the forecasting graph below, the stock appears undervalued (it’s inside of the value corridor of the five orange lines - based on future growth).

2013-05-02 Nu Skin Enterprises: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of Nu Skin Enterprises through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool. Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort. Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-04-26 Coach Inc: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graphs on Coach Inc shows a picture of undervaluation based upon the historical earnings growth rate of 27.3% and a current P/E of 13.7.Analysts are forecasting the earnings growth to continue at about 13.5%, and when you look at the forecasting graph below, the stock appearsundervalued (it’s inside of the value corridor of the five orange lines - based on future growth).

2013-04-26 Many Of My Dividend Growth Stocks Have Become Overvalued, What Do I Do Now? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

To me, there’s almost nothing better than finding a great company that I truly want to own at a fair valuation, or better yet, undervalued. In the long run, it has been my experience that this usually leads to outsized future returns, especially if you buy stocks when they are undervalued at the time. But there is quite often a side effect that can prove very disconcerting. Once an undervalued stock starts moving to the upside, momentum will often carry it above what prudent fair valuation would dictate.

2013-04-25 Closed-End Fund Review by Jeff Margolin of First Trust Advisors

The first quarter of 2013 was a solid quarter for many closed-end funds, with the average fund up 4.31% on a share price total return basis, according to Morningstar. As you would expect, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rocketing 11.25% in the quarter, which represented the best first quarter for the index since 1998, and with the Standard and Poor’s 500 up 10.03%, domestic equity funds were up on average 11.80% during the quarter on a share price total return basis.

2013-04-23 Enhancing Credit Returns in 2013 by Andreas Berndt, Ryan Blute of PIMCO

While credit achieved exceptional returns in 2012, achieving such returns in 2013 will be challenging in light of less upside potential and limited spread compression. Challenged by continued loose central bank monetary policies, alpha generation plays an increasingly significant role in seeking attractive total returns within credit portfolios. Encouraging investors to provide managers with a variety of innovative approaches and flexibility may enhance the return potential of a European corporate bond portfolio without materially changing overall credit or interest rate risks.

2013-04-19 Archer Daniels Midland Co: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

For more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve vital needs. Today, 30,000 ADM employees around the globe convert oilseeds, corn, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses. This article will reveal the business prospects of Archer Daniels Midland Co through the lens of F.A.S.T. Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool.

2013-04-19 CSX Corp Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graphs on CSX Corp shows a picture of undervaluation based upon the historical earnings growth rate of 21.2% and a current P/E of 13.5. Analysts are forecasting the earnings growth to continue at about 12.5%, and when you look at the forecasting graph below, the stock appears undervalued (it’s inside of the value corridor of the five orange lines - based on future growth).

2013-04-12 The Truth About The Impact Of Dividend Reinvesting by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

What follows will be several examples of different kinds of dividend paying stocks offered in order to provide deeper insight into several commonly held notions. With each example, I will focus on how much return comes from dividends and how much comes from capital appreciation. I will also illustrate the precise benefits and effects of dividend reinvestment as it applies to different types of dividend paying stocks.

2013-03-21 The Constancy of Dividends by Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management

The payout ratio on the S&P 500 Index currently hovers around 30% of the after-tax profits of companies in the indexat the low end of the last 100 years. In comparison, the capital appreciation portfolio here at Smead Capital Management has a payout ratio of 27%. This is important because most studies show that over 40% of the returns provided by common stocks come from dividends over long stretches of time. With those figures in mind, we reasoned that this is a good juncture to remind everyone about our vision of the next ten years as it pertains to dividends.

2013-03-19 Paul Matlack from Delaware Investments on the Direction of the Bond Market by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Paul Matlack is senior vice president, senior portfolio manager and fixed income strategist for Delaware Investments. His firm oversees $145 billion in fixed-income strategies, and in this interview Matlack discusses his outlook for the economy and the bond market, and how advisors should be positioning client portfolios.

2013-03-14 DC Plan Sponsors: Now's the Time to Get More From Bonds by Stacy Schaus of PIMCO

Long on equities and light on bonds, today’s DC plan lineups may expose participants to extreme market risks. Plan sponsors could potentially improve retirement outcomes by trimming choices for stocks and considering additional options for bonds. The inclusion of active fixed income strategies with global exposure or additional income opportunities could help participants reach their retirement goals.

2013-03-01 The Walk of Life: Stepping Away From Dire Straits and Toward Active Short-Term Mgmt Strategies by Jerome Schneider, Andrew Spottiswoode of PIMCO

Money market investors may find the benefits of recent regulatory and industry reforms bittersweet at best, as they are still tolerating borderline zero percent yields in a persistent low rate environment. Without creative strategies for liquidity management, many investors are finding themselves in the "dire straits" of actual negative real returns on their cash allocations even with modest current levels of inflation.

2013-03-01 Critical Juncture? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen and Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Headwinds have reemerged and investor concern is heightened yet again. We still believe stocks can run further, but a pullback is more likely in the near-term. The sequestration is now in affect but that doesn't necessarily mean it's here to stay and more budget fights loom, particularly in advance of the potential government shutdown on March 27. Meanwhile, some members of the Fed are in favor of scaling back its quantitative easing (QE) program, rattling markets a bit.

2013-02-27 The Great Migration by Herbert Abramson, Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

We are value investors dedicated to creating portfolios for clients, whether growth (equities), income or a balanced blend of both, of undervalued securities with meaningful upside potential and a margin of safety to guard against permanent loss. For us, the bottom-up factors are the most compelling, but we are also mindful that we need to take account of the top-down macro factors. We know how the Crash of ꞌ08 and the accompanying recession created havoc for investors, including us, no matter how undervalued stocks were.

2013-02-25 Tupperware Brands Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This report presented essential fundamentals at a glance illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, its imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

2013-02-22 Uncovering 'Diamonds in the Rough' in Today's Credit Markets by Mark Kiesel of PIMCO

There are still good opportunities for yield and total return in the credit markets, but there has been a shift in where and how investors can find them. A "diamond in the rough" is a credit that is under-covered, or not actively followed or researched by many investors. At PIMCO, we identify these opportunities through our top-down and bottom-up investment process. We've identified a number of sectors that appear poised for above-average growth.

2013-02-21 General Dynamics Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of General Dynamics Corp through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool. Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort. Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-02-19 Kyle Bass on Inflation and How to Protect Against It by Mark Quam (Article)

Kyle Bass, the founder of Hayman Capital, foresaw the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage bond market in 2008 and the foreign sovereign debt crisis in Greece. Bass' latest warning is about looming Inflation – and he advises how to protect against it.

2013-02-19 Ketchup vs Cash by John Petrides (Article)

Last week Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, along with 3G Capital, bought Heinz (ticker HNZ) for $28 billion, paying a 20% premium to the prior trading day’s closing price (as well as Buffet rewarding himself with preferred stock yielding 9%). Heinz is a mature company trying to reestablish growth by selling ketchup and other condiments in developing countries. However, Heinz is a classic "steady-eddy."

2013-02-01 2013 Economic & Capital Market Outlook by Gregory Hahn of Winthrop Capital Management

It took our country 229 years to accumulate $8 trillion in federal debt. It only took the next eight years to double it to $16 trillion. History shows that when a country accumulates debt at this rapid pace, economic growth languishes. Not surprisingly, Congress is pursuing policies that attempt to inflate the economy. Five years after the Financial Crisis, we really havent fixed much. Instead, we've issued more debt in order to pay our bills and sustain a quality of life society cannot afford long term.

2013-01-31 Closed-End Fund Review: Fourth Quarter 2012 by Jeff Margolin of First Trust Advisors

Following a year (2011) when the average closed-end fund was up a respectable 5.37% on a share price total return basis, closed-end funds posted even better performance in 2012, with the average fund up 14.00% (according to Morningstar) on a share price total return basis. The strong performance was broad and deep with many categories posting double-digit total returns. There were many factors which contributed to the strong results posted in 2012 and while I have written and spoken about them before, I want to reiterate them here.

2013-01-23 Norfolk Southern Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC) is one of the nation's premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 20,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers.

2013-01-22 Keep Your Eye On The Ball - 2012 Year End Letter by Team of Sloan Wealth Management

The members of the Portfolio Management Team at Sloan Wealth Management (SWM) coach two baseball teams, two soccer teams, one T-ball team and one basketball team for our collective young children. Thus, we find ourselves stressing the basics. Learning the fundamentals of how to catch a pop-up will eliminate some of the fear of getting hit in the face. In 2012, we found many parallels to the capital markets as our portfolios posted high double digit returns in the face of fear.

2013-01-22 Fossil Inc Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Fossil Inc. (FOSL) is a global design, marketing and distribution company that specializes in consumer fashion accessories. The Company's principal offerings include an extensive line of men's and women's fashion watches and jewelry sold under proprietary and licensed brands, handbags, small leather goods, belts, sunglasses, soft accessories, shoes and clothing.

2013-01-18 VF Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of VF Corp through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool. Therefore, it is offered as the first step before a more comprehensive research effort. Our objective is to provide companies that have excellent historical records and appear reasonably priced based on past, present and future data and expectations.

2013-01-15 The Markets and the Cult of Now by Joseph Paul of AllianceBernstein

Crisis-battered investors continue to favor the relative certainty of current income over the "maybe" of future capital appreciation. If you ask me, however, this hyperfixation on Now is creating some provocative opportunities in Later.

2012-12-19 Accenture: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of Accenture (ACN) through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool.

2012-12-19 Energen Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of Energen Corp (EGN) through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool.

2012-12-19 PIMCO Cyclical Outlook for Europe: Policy Developments Will Shape Growth Prospects and Risks by Andrew Balls of PIMCO

Policy developments in particular, the European Central Banks acceptance of its role as a lender of last resort have helped to normalize European financial markets but been insufficient to promote decent growth. Eurozone leaders recently laid out a long-term roadmap to achieve stability, but the plan faces great execution risk, technically and politically, and in cross-border coordination. We continue to take a cautious approach and underweight European credit risk and European financials in general, looking for specific opportunities rather than broad exposure.

2012-12-12 Nu Skin Enterprises: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article will reveal the business prospects of Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS) through the lens of FAST Graphs fundamentals analyzer software tool.

2012-12-11 Loomis Sayles' Matt Eagan on the Macro and Fixed Income Outlook by David Schawel, CFA (Article)

In this interview, Loomis Sayles' Matt Eagan discusses the fixed income universe, Fed policy and issues facing the global macro economy. Eagan is the co-manager, along with Dan Fuss, of the Loomis Sayles Bond Fund and he manages the Loomis Sayles Strategic Alpha Bond Fund.

2012-12-07 Archer Daniels Midland Co: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by F.A.S.T. Graphs of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This report presented essential fundamentals at a glance illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, its imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

2012-12-07 Ball Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by F.A.S.T. Graphs of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This report presented essential fundamentals at a glance illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, its imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

2012-12-07 Dillards Inc: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by F.A.S.T. Graphs of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This report presented essential fundamentals at a glance illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, its imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

2012-12-07 Hormel Foods Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by F.A.S.T. Graphs of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This report presented essential fundamentals at a glance illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, its imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

2012-12-06 Regal-Beloit Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by F.A.S.T. Graphs of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This report presented essential fundamentals at a glance illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, its imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

2012-12-06 United Technologies Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by F.A.S.T. Graphs of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This report presented essential fundamentals at a glance illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, its imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

2012-12-05 Nordstrom Inc: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by F.A.S.T. Graphs of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This report presented essential fundamentals at a glance illustrating the past and present valuation based on earnings achievements as reported. Future forecasts for earnings growth are based on the consensus of leading analysts. Although with just a quick glance you can know a lot about the company, its imperative that the reader conducts their own due diligence in order to validate whether the consensus estimates seem reasonable or not.

2012-12-04 Don't Let Sleeping Utilities Lie by Pamela Rosenau of HighTower Advisors

As the market continues to digest the unrelenting daily news flow relating to the fiscal cliff, some investors are trying to anticipate who the big winners and losers will be as we head into 2013. Although some may worry about uncertain economic consequences, Ned Davis Research notes that history reveals that in periods of market decline between 1970 and 2000, dividend paying stocks have outperformed their stingy counterparts by 1.5% per month.

2012-12-03 CVS Caremark Corp: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by FAST Graphs of FAST Graphs

This article is going to look at CVS Caremark Corp (CVS) through the lens of FAST Graphs - fundamentals analyzer software tool. The 12-year historical chart on CVS Caremark Corp shows that the company is undervalued. The prudent investor seeking growth and a rising income stream might want to look more in-depth at CVS Caremark Corp for possible addition to his own portfolio.

2012-11-16 The REIT Stuff: How REIT Investors Have Benefited from the Real Estate Recovery by Steve Benyik of Lord Abbett

In an otherwise slow-growth economy, real estate investment trusts' (REITs) strong returns and yields have attracted considerable investment in recent years. Steve Benyik, Lord Abbett REIT analyst, provides perspective on the sector's key trends.

2012-11-08 A Delicate Balance by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

You'd be hard-pressed to find someone who argues that balance is a bad thing, but in this time of austerity versus growth and political us-versus-them, you'd be equally hard-pressed to find agreement on how to achieve balance. Right now the U.S. economy is teetering on the edge of the much-publicized so-called "fiscal cliff," a one-two punch of automatic spending cuts and tax increases set to go into effect in 2013, and which threaten to tip the nation into recession.

2012-10-26 How Can I Know If My Stocks Are Fairly Valued? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

When the operating results of a business, i.e. its earnings and cash flows, do not represent an attractive rate of return on investment, it should be instantly obvious to the prudent investor that fair valuation is not present. Conversely, when the earnings yields are very high based on reasonable assumptions, the opportunities this represents should be readily apparent as well.

2012-10-24 Emerging Markets Local Currency Bonds: Reducing Risk and Improving Returns in a Global Fixed Income by Marcela Meirelles, Blaise Antin of TCW Asset Management

Emerging market (EM) local currency bonds broaden the scope for income generation and risk diversification in a global fixed income portfolio. The asset class offers a unique opportunity to access higher income and potential for capital appreciation through a basket comprised of mostly investment grade credits with an average yield spread of 475 basis points over US Treasuries.

2012-10-23 Weekly Market Commentary by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management

Instinct tells us that a heightened focus upon negative influences yields a self-fulfilling prophecy, a result which is either negative or perceived to be negative. Conversely, an inordinate predisposition with "good news" yields a new normal, a world where everything piggy-backs upon unrealistic expectations. Unfortunately, markets fall victim, too, to this kind of either/or thinking and sometimes rupture the performance of investment portfolios built upon an "all-in" methodology

2012-10-22 Cracker Barrel: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article is going to examine the home-style country restaurant Cracker Barrel (CBRL) through the lens of FAST Graphs - fundamentals analyzer software tool, which shows us a picture of a company that is currently in value. The prudent growth and dividend investor may want to do their own due diligence into this fine company for possible addition to their own portfolio.

2012-10-19 Cyclical and Turnaround Stocks: There Is A Lot Of Value In This Market: Part 5 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article represents the final installment in our "There Is A Lot of Value In This Market" series. In some ways, this article represents prima fascia evidence supporting some of our main hypotheses. First of all, this article will clearly support the notion that not all common stock are the same, and therefore, they should all not be painted with the same broad brush stroke (generalities or opinions).

2012-10-18 Quest Diagnostics, Inc: Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In this article we are going to examine Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX) through the lens of FAST Graphs - fundamentals analyzer software tool. Quest Diagnostics, Inc. is the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services. FAST Graphs shows us a picture of a company that is current undervalued.

2012-10-16 Weekly Market Commentary by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management

Active investors like to think that it's alright to take risk as long as commensurate reward is a possibility. Further, they base this analysis upon whatever methodology they employ as long as the data, the systems and the game are fair for all who play. Thus, it is no surprise that last year more money was withdrawn from global equity markets than committed, and that more investors operate upon a short-term trading mentality than a longer macro-themed expression.

2012-10-15 Lender of Last Resort Move Crucial to Regional Stability by Andrew Balls of PIMCO

While the ECB's engagement as a lender of last resort is crucial, Europe's big four governments must provide political commitments supportive of ECB policy to counter the lingering threat of a Greek exit, address convertibility risk, and build a more stable union. However, this will require sustained growth. Faced with capital flights from the periphery and lowered credit ratings, the key challenge remains crowding-in private and foreign official investors to buy peripheral sovereign debt.

2012-10-12 Long/Short Investing: Bon Apptit by Geoffrey Johnson of PIMCO

Long/short equity is a distinct investment approach that seeks to reduce downside risk while still capturing much of the equity markets upside potential. By removing the long-only constraint, long/short managers have an expanded opportunity set with the potential to generate returns and mitigate risk from both long and short investment ideas. Long/short equity strategies have a lower long-term volatility and risk profile than the market as a whole and have captured a good percentage of price movement in up markets and a smaller percentage in down markets.

2012-10-11 When Averting Loss Can Lead to Averting Gains by Team of Franklin Templeton Investments

Think about something you'd really hate to lose, something of value to you such as a treasured possession. Now imagine you're told that if you lay that object on the line in a bet, you have a good shot at doubling its value, but there's also a possibility you'll lose it. How low would the chance of loss have to be before you'd be willing to take the risk? Maybe 10 percent? Less than that? The answer may lie in a behavioral economic theory called "loss aversion."

2012-10-05 High-Yield Buys: There Is a Lot of Value In This Market: Part 3 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In this part 3, we turn our attention to the highest yielding stocks that are constituents on the S&P 500. However, we submit that there are essentially two primary reasons that explain why these stocks offer such high yields.

2012-10-05 Union Pacific Corp:Fundamental Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

With this article we are going to examine Union Pacific Corp (UNP) through the lens of FAST Graphs - fundamentals analyzer software tool. Union Pacific Corp is a company that is currently in value. With analysts from Capital IQ forecasting earnings growth to continue at about 15.2%, this may be an opportune time for the prudent dividend and growth investor to look into this fine company further for possible addition to their portfolio.

2012-10-04 Overtime, Then (not so) Sudden Death by Jerome Schneider of PIMCO

The FDIC's unlimited insurance coverage on demand deposits is set to expire on December 31. While the expiration by itself might not be a game changer, it adds to the uncertainty that looms over liquidity strategies as global interest rates continue to be squeezed. We believe that actively managed short-term strategies that dynamically adjust to market conditions are viable solutions, with more attractive risk and return characteristics than money markets.

2012-10-03 Where are the Global Winners? by Louie Nguyen of Soledad Investment Management

In today's ber-dreary and volatile global market condition, it can be difficult to imagine how the various markets around the world will eventually right themselves. It is worth noting, however, that the global market has righted itself before, from predicaments that seem just as, if not even more, dire than what we face today. Think Thailand and Korea in 1997, Mexico in 1994 and the Dot-Com Bubble in 2000. The following is the latest in our annual Global Price to Earning (P/E) analysis. It is part of our on-going effort to find compelling investments from around the world.

2012-09-28 Growth Stocks: There is a Lot of Value in this Market Part 2 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In part one of this series we introduced the notion that in all markets whether bear or bull, there will always exist individual stocks that are fairly valued, overvalued or undervalued. In this same vein we argued that it's a market of stocks, not a stock market. To put this into context, we are simply suggesting that the discerning investor can always find bargains if they are willing to look and do their homework. However, we should also add that bargains can come from many different types of equities.

2012-09-24 Energen Corp: Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

With this article we are going to examine Energen Corp (EGN) through the lens of FAST Graphs - fundamentals analyzer software tool, which shows us a picture of a company that is currently in value. The prudent investor might want to do their due diligence on this company as a possible addition to their portfolio.

2012-09-21 Growth for the Long Run by Jonathan Coleman, Brian Demain, Nick Thompson of Janus Capital Group

"I skate to where the puck is going, not where its been." Wayne Gretzky. Many investors would love to be as successful as The Great One when it comes to their portfolios. Yet investors are often heavily influenced by the past, losing sight of where they need to be going. This seems to be especially true today: mistrust of equities is running high after a decade of disappointing returns and excessive volatility.

2012-09-19 Technology Dividends: Oxymoron No More by Ryan Issakainen of First Trust Advisors

In recent years, equity income ETFs have gained in popularity, as investors seeking growth and income have poured billions of dollars into these strategies. While each of these ETFs takes slightly different approach for selecting and weighting stocks, there is one common characteristic shared by all: an underweight position in the technology sector relative to broad equity benchmarks. While this allocation may seem intuitive to some, we believe it's time to include technology stocks in equity income strategies.

2012-09-18 Buckle Inc: Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article is going to analyze Buckle Inc (BKE) through the lens of FAST Graphs. Buckle announced at its quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors, held on September 17, 2012, the Board authorized a $0.20 per share quarterly dividend to be paid to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 15, 2012, with a payment date of October 26, 2012.

2012-09-14 The Cure for Baldness by Neel Kashkari of PIMCO

Rarely does one find market commentators offering moderate, balanced investment advice these days. More likely one will find extreme headlines designed to capture maximum attention. We believe it is worthwhile to take time to craft an investment strategy that can withstand a range of market outcomes. In a lower-return world, we look to buy companies that are attractively priced and that can grow faster than the market as a whole, and we actively manage downside risks.

2012-09-14 Dont Be the Equivalent of a Stock Market Racist by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Common stocks are very different and come in all assortments, sizes, shapes and flavors. Consequently, we encourage investors to think more specifically and rely more on the precise characteristics of the individual company or companies they are contemplating. Worrying about the general state of the economy or the stock market, or their future direction, is not only an exercise in futility, but an unnecessary exercise as well.

2012-09-06 Reconnaissance: Strategy Notes by Douglas Clark Johnson of Codexa Capital

Pessimism about the next administration's impact on the emerging markets is held in check by the likely convergence of US and Chinese economic interests. More than ever, Ms. Smith needs Ms. Wong. To borrow a recent Financial Times headline, "Obama should pray that China overtakes the US." To us, Indonesia and Malaysia look pretty promising by this standard. Other stories include a look at timber and an update on Bahrain's economy.

2012-08-28 General Mills Inc: Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

General Mills Inc (GIS) is a high quality blue-chip dividend growth stock with a consistent long-term record of earnings growth averaging approximately 8% per annum.

2012-08-23 No Recession Now - But When? by Lance Roberts of Streettalk Live

There have been a few calls as of late (Hussman, ECRI, Shilling) stating that we are currently in the next recession. Then there is everyone else. While the "optimistic" outlook is always more enjoyable to listen to - the problem is that the current "no recession" view is primarily predicated on current quarter growth rates looked at in isolation. These data points are then extrapolated into continuous future economic expansion.

2012-08-22 Dividends Provide A Return Bonus by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

With all things being equal, dividend paying common stocks provide their shareholders a return bonus, or what some might like to call a kicker, over an equivalent common stock that pays no dividend. Many investors do not see it this way, as they tend to think of the dividend providing them their return. However, the stock market capitalizes earnings whether a company pays a dividend or not.

2012-08-20 Eaton Corp: Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We believe Eaton Corp (ETN) currently represents an above-average dividend yield opportunity. The company can be purchased at a discount to its earnings justified fair value, and offers a dividend yield of over 3.3% (light blue highlighting). We recommend doing your own due diligence, but Eaton Corp looks like a classic buy low today to sell later at a higher value with a nice yield to sweeten the pot.

2012-08-10 Ross Stores Inc: Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graph on Ross Stores Inc shows a picture of overvaluation based upon the historical earnings growth rate of 19.6% (orange circle) and a current PE of 21.3 (red circle). Another interesting note is that Ross' price follows its Historical PE of 15 rather than following its Operating Earnings Growth Rate of 19.6%.

2012-08-09 Big Lots Inc: Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

As a special request of a reader, we are reviewing Big Lots Inc. (BIG) through the lens of FAST Graph with this article. In an instant, the Earnings and Price Correlated graph on Big Lots tells a story of a cyclical company with a rather erratic operating history. We believe this is important information for prospective investors to know.

2012-08-07 Investing in Central Utility Stocks - Do Todays Valuations Make Sense? Part 3 by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This is the third in my series on investing in utility stocks based on the sector's current valuation levels. The series was initially inspired by concerns that utility stocks may be overvalued because they had recently performed very well. When the series first started with Part 1, utility ETFs were showing the best one-year performance of any sector. By the second installment Part 2, the utility sector had fallen into second place (Utility Sector Performance July 31, 2012).

2012-08-06 Family Dollar Stores Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graph on Family Dollar Stores (FDO) shows a picture of overvaluation based upon the historical earnings growth rate of 15.2%. Analysts are expecting the earnings growth to continue at about 15%, and when you look at the forecasting graph the stock appears overvalued, (it's at the top of the value corridor of the five orange lines - based on future growth).

2012-08-06 TJX Companies Inc Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graph on TJX Companies shows a slight picture of overvaluation based upon the historical earnings growth rate of 18.6% (orange circle) and a current PE of 20.4 (blue circle). Analysts are forecasting the earnings growth to continue at about 12%, and when you look at the forecasting graph below, the stock appears overvalued, (it' outside of the value corridor of the five orange lines - based on future growth).

2012-08-03 Real Assets Replication: Solving the Capital Call Conundrum by Andrew Hoffmann, Niels Pedersen, Mihir Worah of PIMCO

Risk factors help to identify the fundamental value drivers of real assets and explain differences in the reported returns of public and private equity investments that hold substantially similar assets. By combining the fundamentals of real asset valuations with the statistical tools required to unlock the component risk factors of asset classes, it is possible to replicate the returns of private real asset investments using liquid publicly traded instruments.

2012-08-03 Family Dollar Stores - Stock Research Analysis by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graphs on Family Dollar Stores (FDO) shows a picture of overvaluation based upon the historical earnings growth rate of 15.2%. Analysts are expecting the earnings growth to continue at about 15%, and when you look at the forecasting graph the stock appears overvalued, (it's at the top of the value corridor of the five orange lines - based on future growth).

2012-08-01 Real Estate Portfolio Construction for Individual Investors by Casey Frazier of Versus Capital Management

Commercial real estate is an asset class that includes many different strategies and approaches. Investors segment real estate investments into a few categories. This segmentation is done by several key factors including income profile, leverage, operational risk and potential returns. The most important segmentation is core versus non-core, or properties with stable income versus properties that have unstable or no income.

2012-07-27 Buffalo Wild Wings Inc - Stock Research Analysis Is It Too Saucy? by FAST Graphs Team of FAST Graphs, Inc.

A quick glance at the historical earnings and price correlated FAST Graphs on Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) shows a picture of slight undervaluation. However, since analysts are expecting the earnings growth to somewhat slow down, when you look at the forecasting graph the stock appears modestly overvalued - its just within the value corridor of the five orange lines - based on future growth.

2012-07-25 If You Own Utility Stocks, Consider Selling The Overvalued Ones - Part 1 by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Recently, I've come across several discussions by dividend growth investors as to whether the utility sector is overvalued or not today. Therefore, I decided to look into the sectors relative valuation as a whole to see what I could find. The only way to efficiently conduct this kind of research is to rely on a broad statistical array utilizing traditional valuation metrics. However, before I report my findings there are some caveats and clarifications that I feel are very appropriate.

2012-07-16 Weekly Market Commentary by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management

In order to achieve optimal portfolio returns, particularly in un-optimal market periods, it is vital to adopt an ongoing strategy/methodology that is consistent. Attention to details, without capitulation, is the hallmark of a professional portfolio manager. Ideally, one is seeking durable results over the course of a long-term, and not a reflex change to short cycle events.

2012-07-11 Advisor Perspectives Marketing Case Study: A Small Fund with Large Ambitions by Team (Article)

For many smaller investment firms, growing a fund’s assets can be an enormous challenge, typically constrained by labor-intensive lead generation and qualification processes, lengthy sales cycles, and limited resources. One Boston-based firm found a way to eliminate these bottlenecks—and nearly double their assets as a result.

2012-07-10 Benchmarking Your Retirement Portfolio With a Risk-Free Strategy by Laurence B. Siegel (Article)

Making the savings from 35 or 40 years of work pay for a retirement of the same length is a real challenge. At a zero real rate of return, you would have to save half of your income to enjoy a retirement that long without taking a cut in your living standard. There is, of course, a better way - judicious use of TIPS and annuities. A riskless strategy using those asset classes can safeguard one's retirement assets and can serve as a benchmark against which riskier portfolios can be measured.

2012-07-05 How to Know What Rate of Return to Expect from your Stocks: Part 2 by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

In this Part 2, we will focus on how to utilize current valuation in conjunction with earnings growth rates in order to come up with a reasonable expectation of the future total returns a stock can be expected to provide. The point is that neither can be looked at in isolation. In other words, the price you pay to buy the growth that the company ultimately delivers, will determine not only how much money you make (the percentage return on investment), but how much risk you took to make it.

2012-06-21 H.B. Fuller Co - Can you Stick with Them? by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Founded in 1887, H.B. Fuller Co (FUL) is a world leader in adhesives and specialty chemicals. H.B. Fuller has generated an above-average growth rate, although results have been somewhat cyclical since 1998. The current consensus estimate shows that leading analysts believe earnings are expected to accelerate over the next five years. Prospective shareholders may want to review this company.

2012-06-20 Is AutoZone A Little Out Of The Zone? by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A good growth company is always a nice addition to a portfolio, but you have to watch to make sure you are not paying too much. The old saying is: You make your money on the buy side. Looking at AutoZone (AZO) at a glance, we see that it normally trades (Normal Historical PE the blue line) at or below its historical operating earnings growth rate (the orange line). Therefore, it appears that AutoZone may be trading at a slight premium to its historical valuation.

2012-06-15 Its Not Just Dinah In The Kitchen Anymore At Williams-Sonoma! by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Founded in 1956, Williams-Sonoma (WSM) is not just a quality kitchen store, but a specialty leading home furnishing retail store. Williams-Sonoma has historically grown earnings at a compounded rate of 12.9% since 1998, resulting in a 3.4 billion dollar market cap. Williams-Sonomas earnings per share have risen from $0.51 per share in 1998, with a drop in 2008 to $0.22 per share, to a current forecast earnings per share of approximately $2.49 for fiscal 2012. The current dividend yield is 2.6% and the dividend has increased each year for the past 7 years.

2012-06-15 Schwab Market Perspective: Time for Action by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, and Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

With escalated uncertainty, sitting back can be an easy choice, but we believe investors and policymakers alike need to take action. Equities bounced off of what appeared to be oversold conditions but although the US economy appears to be holding its own, a renewed sustainable uptrend may be hard to come by until some substantive policy actions are taken around the globe. The time for decisive action in the eurozone appears to be quickly approaching as short-term solutions are no longer satiating the market.

2012-06-13 Can Nu Skin Keep The Wrinkles Out Of Earnings? by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Founded in 1984, Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS) is a distributor in clean personal care products. Nu Skin has historically grown earnings at a compounded rate of 6.1% since 1998, resulting in a 2.71 billion dollar market cap. The companys earnings per share have risen from $1.49 per share in 1998, to current forecast earnings per share of approximately $3.06 for fiscal 2012. The company started paying a dividend about 11 years ago and has raised their dividend every year.

2012-06-13 The Tip of the Iceberg For Dividend Stocks by Team of Columbia Management

Post-crisis equity investors seek to lower portfolio volatility. Dividend stocks have provided higher returns with less risk compared with non-dividend payers. Baby boomers are retiring now with much smaller nest eggs than they had anticipated. They need reliable sources of income and growth. Cash-rich companies are in a position to pay and potentially grow dividends, while dividend payout ratios are historically low. Active managers leverage in-depth research to uncover promising opportunities among companies likely to initiate or raise dividends.

2012-06-12 Bemis Co Inc - Attractive Value, Yield and Growth by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Bemis Co Inc (BMS) has achieved a moderate record of long-term earnings growth in a semi-cyclical fashion. However, even though earnings growth had faltered slightly during our last two recessions, the company remained highly profitable. We believe the company appears reasonably valued at its current quotation. This article looks at Bemis Co Inc, a Dividend Champion, through the lens of the F.A.S.T. Graphs Fundamentals Analyzer Software Tool. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the reader will be provided the essential fundamentals at a glance expressed vividly in pictures.

2012-06-06 Energize The Growth Component Of Your Portfolio With Chicago Bridge & Iron Co by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Chicago Bridge & Iron Co (CBI) potentially offers high growth at a very reasonable price. Although the company does exhibit the occasional bout of cyclicality, long-term earnings growth has averaged over 16% per annum. Consequently, long-term buy and hold shareholders have earned returns that have exceeded the market by a large margin. Some of the best advances are achieved coming out of weak periods as earnings explode off of cyclical lows.

2012-06-05 On Their 30th Anniversary - Get Your Dividend Portfolio Rolling with Norfolk Southern Corp. by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Like most railroads, concerns regarding the coal industry have driven Norfolk Southern Corp.s share price to one of its lowest levels since 1998. Nevertheless, strength in other areas of their business seems to support continued confidence in long-term earnings growth. Therefore, current weakness in the share price may represent an excellent long-term opportunity.

2012-06-05 Reynolds American Inc. - Reasonably Priced with a High Yield by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Even though Reynolds American Inc. (RAI) has risen substantially off of its lows in 2009, the company looks reasonably valued at todays quotations. Therefore, the dividend growth investor looking for above-average dividend yield with moderate growth might want to look closer. The company claims to be transforming the tobacco industry, and maybe it can transform your income portfolio as well.

2012-06-04 Why Smaller Banks Are Attractive by Richard Bernstein of Richard Bernstein Advisors

We continue to prefer smaller, US domestic banks to larger, multinational banks. A backdrop of anemic yet improving US employment and stabilizing housing markets will likely benefit domestic lenders, but the continued deflation of the global credit bubble could continue to hurt the growth prospects for global financial institutions. Although the vast majority of the risks related to the deflation of the US credit bubble seem well-known, investors still appear to be underestimating the risks of credit deflation in Europe and in the Emerging Markets.

2012-05-30 McGraw-Hill It Provides A Lot of Information, So Let The Pictures Do The Talking! by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP) looks like a good addition for the dividend growth investor. The market has historically applied a premium valuation to this company. Its historically above-average earnings growth had pushed the company to trade at premium, until recently.At its current valuation, McGraw-Hill sits at a fair valuation.Therefore, we believe today's price represents a sound valuation given McGraw-Hills quality and consistency.

2012-05-25 Caterpillars Earnings Look Like And Act Like A Caterpillar; Moving Slowly But Steady by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article looks at Caterpillar Inc, a Dividend Contender, through the lens of the F.A.S.T. Graphs Fundamentals Analyzer Software Tool. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the reader will be provided the essential fundamentals at a glance expressed vividly in pictures. In order to provide you the opportunity to research this company deeper and faster we are providing a link to a live, fully functioning earnings and price correlated set of graphs.

2012-05-25 General Mills: Food for Thought! by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

General Mills has an impressive dividend yield for the income investor. Its estimated earnings growth is on the mark at about 7.2% and would make a nice contribution to an income portfolio. This article looks at General Mills Inc (GIS), a Dividend Challenger, through the lens of the F.A.S.T. Graphs Fundamentals Analyzer Software Tool. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the reader will be provided the essential fundamentals at a glance expressed vividly in pictures.

2012-05-25 Sysco - Building A Case For A Return To Growth by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Sysco Corp is an extremely high quality powerful franchise that is positioning itself for long-term future growth. Currently, the company controls about 17 % of the $225 billion North American food service distribution market. Since this industry is currently experiencing stress, it seems only logical that Sysco is best positioned among its peers to survive and prosper. On the other hand, many of its smaller local and regional competitors may not.

2012-05-24 Repair Your Dividend Portfolios With Genuine Parts by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Genuine Parts Co (GPC) has over 80 years of distribution expertise in replacement parts for automotives and industrial parts, as well as office and electrical materials. It appears to be a company poised for continued earnings and dividend growth. The company is a Dividend Champion with 25 years of raising its dividend. The strong dividend yield should attract a conservative investor looking for income and steady growth.

2012-05-22 David Rosenberg - I am not a Permabear by Robert Huebscher (Article)

While most sell-side analysts are correctly classified as permabulls, Gluskin Sheff's David Rosenberg has been branded as the opposite - a permabear. He rejects that label. He recently said he's indeed bullish - on bonds and income - and has been so for quite a while.

2012-05-21 Gilead Sciences Inc Strong Growth At An Unreasonably Low Price by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD) is an innovative healthcare company with a strong record of historical earnings growth and expectations for above-average growth into the future. Nevertheless, Mr. Market seems unwilling to recognize the past and future earnings power of this niche pharmaceutical growth stock. Consequently, the company trades at a single digit PE ratio that we believe significantly undervalues both the companys past and future potential. Therefore, investors seeking high growth at a reasonable level of risk might want to look further into this undervalued growth opportunity.

2012-05-17 Avoiding a Cold Shower in the Cash Markets by Jerome M. Schneider of PIMCO

A concern for investors would be to vigilantly monitor the global marketplace for any changes in the liquidity markets, reviewing aspects and conditions in both the unsecured and secured markets. The second source is the capital market participants themselves. Reduced or reallocated dealer balance sheets have led to wider bid-offer spreads in the marketplace. The final evolutionary condition to monitor is the regulatory environment in the U.S. The SEC and the Fed have recently become critics of the current structure of 2a-7 money market funds.

2012-05-16 Keep Your Portfolio Rolling Along With Canadian National Railway by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We believe at its current quotation CNI offers dividend growth investors an above-average total return at below levels of risk. Although the company only offers a market average dividend rate, we would expect its dividend to grow commensurate with its above-average expected earnings growth. We consider this a high quality dividend growth stock that is ideally suited for the long-term buy and hold conservative investor. As always, we recommend you conduct your own thorough due diligence.

2012-05-15 Dividends: A Timeless Component of Equity Return by Loomis Sayles & Company, L.P. (Article)

With interest rates at historic lows and many dividend-paying stocks boasting yields comparable to or higher than US Treasurys, it is no wonder that dividends have recently been at the forefront of many investors' minds. But dividends have a long history as a significant component of total return, and today's buzz is just the most recent chapter.

2012-05-15 McDonald's Back In Value, Above Average Growth And Yield by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

McDonald's represents an excellent choice for the prudent dividend growth investor seeking both capital appreciation, and above-average current yield and the opportunity to grow both in the future. With its recent pull-back, McDonald's is priced at the upper end of our valuation corridor. Therefore, although the company is not cheap, we do consider it a sound long-term investment at these levels. Furthermore, we would suggest that if the stock continued to drop from these levels, the prudent investor could use the lower price as an opportunity to average down their cost basis.

2012-05-15 Cummins Inc: Gear Up Your Dividend Portfolio For Strong Growth With A Dividend Kicker by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

The recent pull-back in Cummins' stock price has created an excellent opportunity for prudent investors seeking growth and income an opportunity to achieve above-average long-term results. The company has little debt on their balance sheet, the potential for strong growth and a recent history of increasing their dividend consistent with their earnings growth. A quick glance at their historical earnings and price correlated graph show that anytime the company could be purchased at a PE ratio below 14, like it is today, represents an excellent long-term buying opportunity.

2012-05-10 Speed Up Your Portfolio Performance With Comcast by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Comcast has been a very consistent growth stock since 2004. However, as we previously stated, overvaluation kept shareholders from earning the returns that Comcasts excellent operating achievements deserved. However, valuation became aligned with earnings in late 2008, and the company instituted a dividend in calendar year 2008. Today the combination of above-average past and expected future growth with an above market and potentially growing yield, position the company for attractive future returns.

2012-05-10 Staying Bullish by Herbert Abramson and Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

We believe we are in a new bull market, and bull markets thrive on climbing that proverbial wall of worry. Bullish sentiment is low and bearish sentiment high. Anxious retail investors, having suffered two ugly bear markets since 2000, continue to shun stocks, with money flowing out of mutual equity funds now for more than 5 consecutive years. The public is hugely underinvested. Cash on the sidelines is enormous. The fuel to ultimately power stocks higher as confidence returns.

2012-05-09 Going Global Can Pay Dividends by Brad Kinkelaar, Cliff Remily and Raji Manasseh of PIMCO

In todays low yield environment, many investors now include dividend-oriented equities in their portfolios in an effort to reach their income goals. U.S. investors with home market bias risk severely limiting their income potential because in the U.S., dividend payout ratios are on the decline, taxes are potentially on the rise, and valuations in sectors that typically offer attractive dividends are near historical highs. In our view, global equities can provide more attractive dividend income opportunities and offer potential for additional benefits, including diversification

2012-05-08 Baidu Inc: High Priced or Valued to Buy? by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Baidu Inc is most commonly referred to as the Chinese version of Google. On the one hand, the stock is cheap relative to expected growth. While on the other hand, its current valuation is more than twice the average company. Therefore, we believe that although the company appears attractively valued based on earnings growth, it should be recognized that it is only appropriate for the aggressive investor seeking maximum capital appreciation. Furthermore, there are additional risks that the discerning investor should consider before investing in Baidu Inc.

2012-05-08 Use Snail Mail to Place Your FedEx Order by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

After suffering from shrinking earnings during the great recession, FedEx (FDX) appears on track to once again deliver the goods profitably. However, the market seems to have already recognized the current opportunity and pushed valuation to the outer limits of fair value. Therefore, FedEx may be an investment that requires patience. Aggressive investors could take a position here, but more conservative investors may want to wait for a more attractive entry point.

2012-05-04 Southern Co: A Solid Dividend Choice Worth Waiting For by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We believe that Southern Company represents an extremely high-quality option for the investors seeking a high level of current income with an opportunity to grow moderately. However, we believe the current valuation is a little extended. Although Southern Co's current stock price is currently within our corridor of value, it is at the high end. Therefore, we would be more comfortable in recommending Southern Company if the PE ratio were a couple of points lower. On the other hand, Southern Company is an extremely high-quality and stable utility that may be worth waiting for.

2012-05-02 Newsflash: The Dividend Aristocrats Found The Lost Decade by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Volatility can only hurt you if you react to it. And you should not react to it unless there is a real fundamental deterioration with the fundamentals of the businesses you own. If fundamentals are strong and price falls, then buy more if you can, or hold if you cant buy more. The very best companies can remain profitable even during our most severe economic challenges. Consequently, when you can find these companies on sale, regardless of what caused it, I believe you should consider optimistically investing in them. It sure beats taking losses that you dont need to absorb.

2012-05-01 Why MLPs Belong in Your Portfolio by Geoff Considine (Article)

One would think that an asset class yielding 7% and carrying less volatility than do equities would be popular with investors. Yet, despite those attributes, master limited partnerships (MLPs) remain unknown or ignored by large numbers of investors. The case for MLPs is compelling, so it's time for a deep examination of the special properties of this asset class.

2012-05-01 Congress Needs to Stop a Dividend Tax Hike by Richard McMahon (Article)

Bad news is lurking right around the corner for investors, businesses and the nation's economy. Unless Congress acts before the end of the year, dividend income will be taxed at individual tax rates instead of at the same rate as long-term capital gains.

2012-04-27 Roller Coaster Returns by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, and Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Despite an earnings season that has been much better than expected so far, investors appear to be again focusing on more macro concerns. Europe and China are dominant concerns but US growth sustainability is also being questioned. We remain optimistic on the ultimate direction of the stock market. The Fed meeting provided no changes but did show a slightly more hawkish tilt in their economic forecasts. Meanwhile, the US government continues to play a dangerous game of chicken as election season is already in high gear and the so-called "fiscal cliff" looms.

2012-04-26 Dividends: A Timeless Component of Equity Return by Richard Skaggs of Loomis Sayles

With interest rates at historic lows and many dividend-paying stocks boasting yields comparable to or higher than US Treasurys, it is no wonder that dividends have recently been at the forefront of many investors minds. But dividends have a long history as a significant component of total return, and todays buzz is just the most recent chapter. Stripping away the noise, what should investors consider as they survey the universe of dividend paying companies? We believe dividend payments are poised to grow in 2012, likely faster than earningsper-share growth.

2012-04-25 Avoiding Equity Market Exposure by Team of American Century Investments

The year 2012 finds the search still on for income and capital appreciation with acceptably low volatility. Many investors remain leery of stocks and are also interested in opportunities that possess low correlation to equity markets. In addition, the low interest rate environment presents difficulties for those trying to achieve total return goals by relying on fixed income investments. Given these issues, some may wish to learn more about the techniques utilized by many equity market-neutral (EMN) strategies.

2012-04-24 65+5+Dividends: The case for quality dividend stocks in the first five years of retirement by Legg Mason ClearBridge Advisors (Article)

Retirees are living longer than ever before, and for many, outliving their money is a real concern. A good reason to consider quality large-cap dividend stocks in the early years of retirement - which have historically offered higher returns than fixed income with lower volatility than equities overall.

2012-04-24 SteelPath MLP Alpha Fund Quarterly Commentary by Gabriel Hammond and Stuart Cartner of SteelPath MLP Mutual Funds

Though the MLP sector provided positive returns this quarter, the sectors performance lagged that of the broader markets. The MLP sector, as measured by the Alerian MLP Index, produced a total return of 1.97% for the quarter versus the 12.59% total return of the S&P 500 Index. The broader market rally appeared to have been sparked by some encouraging domestic economic data and seeming improvement in the Eurozone. Given that the industries represented by the S&P 500 Index often have greater exposure to general economic trends than MLPs, this broader market outperformance is not surprising.

2012-04-24 SteelPath MLP Select 40 Fund Quarterly Commentary by Gabriel Hammond and Stuart Cartner of SteelPath MLP Mutual Funds

Sector performance for the quarter was characterized by a continued appreciation for partnerships exposed to oil and NGL rich shale plays and the corresponding growth opportunities. Additionally, both sectors and names that were neglected last year received attention during the quarter while investors took profits in investments that had outperformed over the past several months.

2012-04-13 Schwab Market Perspective: Concern or Correction? by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, and Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Economic data has softened a bit lately but still indicates growth in the US. After a long stretch of relative calm in the markets, we've seen the markets pull back, possibly fulfilling the correction that was overdue. We believe the longer-term trend is higher but near-term risks continue to be elevated and earnings season could bring more volatility. The minutes from the most recent meeting of the Fed seemed to solidify that another round of quantitative easing (QE3) is not in the offing. Although the stock and bond markets initially reacted negatively, we are heartened by the rhetoric.

2012-04-11 Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc.: A Financial Institution Investors Can Bank On by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We believe Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc. represents an excellent opportunity for investors seeking a well-managed financial with an above-average dividend yield and excellent track record based on conservative and prudent business practices. The fact that this financial has strung together 18 years of dividend increases through the financial services industrys most difficult times is a testament to the quality and management of this banking institution. Therefore, investors seeking an attractive and growing dividend yield might want to consider a position in Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc.

2012-04-11 Carlisle Companies Inc.: Accelerated Earnings Potential and a Growing Dividend by Team of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Carlisle Companies Inc. appears to be poised for accelerated earnings and dividend growth. Even though this company offers a below-market current yield, it is a Dividend Champion with 25 years of raising their dividend. On the other hand, the accelerated expected earnings growth should lead to a rapidly increasing future growth yield that could reward shareholders that are more concerned with future income than current. Investors seeking above-average capital appreciation, coupled with a dividend that could grow at above market rates might want to look deeper into Carlisle Companies Inc.

2012-04-10 Super Macro - A Fundamental Timing Model by Theodore Wong (Article)

Rather than endure losses in bear markets - as passive investors must - I have shown that a simple trend-following model dramatically improves results, most recently in an Advisor Perspectives article last month. Now it's time to extend my approach by showing how this methodology can be applied to fundamental indicators to further improve performance.

2012-04-09 How high is up? by Scott Brown of du Pasquier Asset Management

Europe hopes the latest (bailout and reg) moves will help it get its act together. (Good luck with that.) China applies the brakes. Labor looks strong, but can it continue? The Fed debates the need for more stimulus (without any consensus). Facebook moves closer to IPO (and investors beg to participate). The world lectures Iran and finally takes harsh measures (stand by to help Saudi). Investors hope to keep the mo going for another quarter, while being tempted to take profits along the way. Can we finally start focusing on Obama vs. Romney?

2012-04-09 How high is up? by Scott Brown of du Pasquier Asset Management

Although performance in our portfolios was good during the first quarter, it is likely that my defensiveness might be costing us during the current rally. Right now, my allocations reflect a lack of conviction that the rally can sustain, so while cash is king is a handy catchphrase, in our case it is our best defense against the kind of draw-down that ruins portfolios. Our methodology is not to have one or more security rupture the probability of continued portfolio progress, point A to point B. In that sense, we successfully continued our steady climb in valuation appreciation.

2012-04-09 Pigs and Panics! by Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James Equity Research

As stated, this is a key week for the equity markets and we continue to wait and see how the equity markets resolve themselves on a short-term basis, a trading stance we have been in for weeks. Meanwhile, for investors, I met with a portfolio manager last week whose investment style I think is suited for the current stock market climate. The investment style of Troy Shaver, PM of Dividend Asset Capital, sub-advisor to Goldman Sachs Rising Dividend Growth Fund (GSRAX/$15.05), is to invest in companies that increase their dividends by 10% per year on average for 10 years in a row.

2012-04-06 If You Think All Utility Stocks Are The Same - Think Again by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Utility stocks, especially regulated utility stocks share certain characteristics that differentiate them from the typical dividend growth stock. On the plus side, utilities are thought of as predictable stocks with low volatility characteristics. Utility stocks also tend to provide a higher current yield than many dividend growth stocks. On the other hand, all of this consistency comes at a sacrifice of growth. Since the typical utility has a significant portion of their businesses regulated, their ability to grow earnings and dividends is restricted.

2012-04-05 CACI - Growth at a Ridiculously Low Price by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We believe that CACI it is extremely high-quality Defense Company with a niche that is currently being unfairly discounted by Mr. Market. The company possesses a predictable and consistent opportunity for continued double-digit earnings growth that is significantly in excess of the average company. Nevertheless, it can currently be purchased at a significant discount to the average company. This company pays no dividends; it is purely an opportunity for growth that can currently be purchased at a significant discount to its True Worth.

2012-03-30 Stocks, Bonds, and the Efficacy of Global Dividends by Ehren Stanhope, CFA of O'Shaughnessey Asset management

First, we look at the prospects for the two assets classes that comprise a majority of investors portfolios: stocks and bonds. Second, we review one of the most tried-and-true investment strategies that has been a part of the investment lexicon since the beginning of the modern investment era: dividends. But we do so with a caveat global dividends. Finally, we review the results of two strategies back to 1977 to demonstrate the applicability of our approach. We think you will find the results both eye opening and compelling.

2012-03-27 Uncovering Equity Yield Traps by Team of American Century Investments

As the low interest rate environment persists, uncertainties continue even as new marketplace concerns begin to emerge. This observation is especially applicable to investors that are desperate for current income opportunities. In their search for equity investments, many will opt to screen for opportunities using current yield as the main filtering criterion. In situations such as this, those in hot pursuit of rich rates find themselves at risk of falling prey to nasty yield traps. Although yield traps exist in the fixed-income space, this piece focuses on yield traps involving equities.

2012-03-21 The Scarcity of Income: A Hobsons Choice by Alan Dorsey, Juliana Hadas and Leah Modigliani of Neuberger Berman

The post-global financial crisis environment has resulted in rock-bottom yields for U.S. Treasuries and other sovereign debt deemed to be either liquid or low risk. This situation leaves income seekers in some markets with a negative real yield (inflation adjusted), which could become more manifest during periods of rising interest rates in eventually recovering global economies. Alternatively, these investors may want to consider migrating a portion of their asset allocation to less senior income-producing securities.

2012-03-20 A Look Back at the Performance of the Holy Grail by Theodore Wong (Article)

Back-tested results often look good on paper because stellar performance could have come from curve-fitting. If that were the case, then my 'Holy Grail' model would not have withstood the test of time. But in the 32 months that have passed since its publication, investors who heeded its advice would have outperformed the market on a risk-adjusted basis.

2012-03-16 The Truth About Earnings and How They Drive Stock Values and Shareholder Returns by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

I wanted to clearly establish the importance of a comprehensive fundamental analysis before an investment decision is made. However, determining fair value from the perspective of the right market price to pay to buy a stock is a function of applying the appropriate PE ratio to reported earnings, and the recognition that, long-term rates of return are going to be a function of the companys earnings. Finally, my objective was to provide, conclusive and undeniable evidence that this theory actually works under real-world conditions. Fair market value is clearly a function of earnings.

2012-03-09 Earning Real Income With Real Estate by Team of Emerald Asset Advisors

The oldest mantra about investing in real estate holds that the key to success is location, location, location. While there is always the chance that real estate investments will produce capital gains (or losses), we believe a better reason to consider real estate investments is for income, income, income. That's especially true in today's ultra low rate environment. While the words "real estate" conjure images of the woeful state of the residential real estate market, the commercial real estate market is in much better fundamental shape.

2012-02-27 In Dividends We Trust Payout Ratios Low By Historical Standards by John Buckingham of AFAM

Dividends, dividend and more dividends. It would seem that everywhere we look these days, we find investment professionals singing the praises of dividends. And why not, given that interest rates continue to rest (and I do mean rest) at microscopic levels, while the yields on most of the major equity market averages exceed that of the 10-year U.S. Treasury. More importantly, perhaps, there is plenty of room for payouts to increase going forward given that the percentage of annual earnings distributed to shareholders for S&P 500 companies stood at a record low level of 30% in 2011.

2012-02-21 David Rosenberg: "Searching for Certainty in a Sea of Uncertainty" by Katie Southwick (Article)

David Rosenberg is known for his bearish outlook, and he has not yet seen anything in recent economic news that persuades him to change his tune. Contrary to prevailing "bullish complacency" and the widespread belief that central banking systems "have the answers to the ongoing global debt deleveraging cycle," in the United States Rosenberg sees monumental deficits, flat growth, an underlying trend of deflation, and current fiscal policies that will limit future flexibility. In other words, trouble remains on the horizon.

2012-02-17 Oracle Is Too Cheap To Ignore Any Longer by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We believe that Oracle Corp. is just one of many technology titans that we believe the market is mispricing. Furthermore, we believe part of that stems from the general pessimism that has created the so-called flight to safety get out of equities. Pessimism thrives on uncertainty; and one of the main attributes of technology is uncertainty. We believe that investors seeking maximum capital appreciation at reasonable levels of risk might do well to take a hard look at not only Oracle, but the technology sector in general.

2012-02-14 The Dividend Yield Love Affair by Michael Nairne (Article)

Employee share-based compensation is now a significant expense deduction for public companies and hence, is already accounted for on the financial statements. Concerns that options-related stock issuance nullifies the impact of stock buybacks are accordingly overstated. This bolsters the view that you need to look at stock buybacks as an additional form of cash remittance to shareholders and not simply at dividends.

2012-02-10 Nike (NKE): Just Do It - Sell by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

A close examination of the earnings and price correlated graphs, coupled with the historic valuations that the market has applied to Nike shares, it becomes clear and obvious that Nike shares are overpriced today. Even with its high expected future earnings growth, the headwind of such overvaluation seems likely to make it extremely difficult to achieve any acceptable long-term rate of return. On the other hand, its also obvious that the market has decided to price Nike at todays rich valuation, and therefore, its at least possible that it can continue to do so.

2012-02-10 A Stock for its Dividends - Revisited by Jesper Madsen of Matthews Asia

Since investors often turn to Asia looking for growth, they may overlook that the region offers a well-diversified universe of dividend-paying companies in terms of sectors and countries. This month Jesper Madsen revisits the notion that the Asia Pacific region should play an essential role for investors seeking yield and growth in income.

2012-02-03 Fastenal (FAST): A Vivid Case of Overvaluation by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We believe that the Fastenal Company is an extremely high-quality stock with a very bright future. Nevertheless, we feel that the current valuation the market is placing on their shares is not only higher than their fundamentals justify, but also seem excessive in light of the valuations that the market is generally applying to other businesses. Consequently, we believe that shareholders would be prudent to either sell their shares or at least take some of their profits off the table. The stock has had a great run over the last three years but valuation now appears to be excessive.

2012-02-02 Has McDonalds Become Too Pricey To Buy or Hold? by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

There are two primary reasons for writing this particular article at this particular time. First of all, weve seen a running debate regarding whether McDonalds (MCD) is fairly valued or overvalued at todays valuation levels. Second, weve been challenged to write articles that were depicting full value or overvaluation because we have typically only written articles on undervalued selections. We believe that because McDonalds had such a strong run in calendar year 2011, that many people believe that it now must be overvalued after rising so much.

2012-02-02 Knowledge is the Antidote to Fear by Team of Sloan Wealth Management

We feel investors should focus on the high probability that this could be a rewarding decade. The volatility of the market can often mask the improving fundamentals. Now two years into the decade, we are pleased that the SWM Moderate Risk Composite is up 14%. This election year will create endless entertainment, needed discussion on the future of our great nation and finally clarity for corporations and individuals. This clarity should allow corporations to loosen their purse strings and continue to fuel growth.

2012-02-01 Investment Opportunities in the Changing Cash and Short Duration Markets by Jerome Schneider and Paul Reisz of PIMCO

Volatility has soared in the cash markets as the eurozone crisis has deepened, prompting many investors to pull cash out of prime money market strategies over the last year. With U.S. interest rates on hold until 2014 and regulations on 2a-7 money market strategies putting pressure on yields, cash investors will likely face near-zero yields for several years. In this environment, we believe investors should reassess their liquidity needs and consider putting cash that is not needed right away into short and low duration instruments instead of money market strategies.

2012-01-30 Tide Turns for Structured Credit by Joshua Anderson and Carrie Peterson of PIMCO

Many investors remain skeptical, but the market environment for structured products has changed markedly since the financial crisis of 2008. Current pricing now reflects a more realistic view of the underlying fundamentals, including weakness in the global economy and U.S. housing market. We believe now is the time to consider entering the structured credit market.

2012-01-25 Closed End Funds Investment Commentary December 2011 by Team of Cohen & Steers

The U.S. economic picture has brightened in recent weeks, a positive for equities and credit markets, and we expect slow sustained growth. However, Europe remains a risk. While recent fiscal, political and central bank initiatives to address the credit crisis in Europe are encouraging, the political landscape remains uncertain, and economic austerity measures will weigh on growth. With interest rates likely to remain near historical lows for an extended period, we believe that attractive spreads should continue to benefit the income-generating potential of leveraged closed-end funds.

2012-01-24 The Plain Facts by Herbert Abramson and Randall Abramson of Trapeze Asset Management

We believe that, while Europe will suffer a recession in 2012 on its painful path to recovery, with or without Greece, the U.S. and Canada will likely see accelerating growth this year, as will China, India and Latin America. In fact, global growth should be above 3%, supported by record high total household wealth in the world, which has doubled since 2000. China and India provide half of the worlds economic growth. And manufacturing in India and China grew in December and should continue to do so from renewed government stimulation.

2012-01-20 Becton Dickinson- A Healthy Dividend Growth Stock On Sale by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Becton Dickinson & Co. is a blue-chip dividend growth stock that is on sale. Becton Dickinson is also a Dividend Aristocrat and Dividend Champion, that Value Line Investment Survey has awarded high scores for financial strength, price stability, earnings predictability and price growth persistence and a low beta of .65. The company has shown great persistence and strength through the last two recessions, and we believe that estimates for future growth are well reasoned and well defined.

2012-01-18 The Bigger the Base, the Higher the Space by Pamela Rosenau of Hightower Advisors

Overall, people around the globe are underinvested or invested in the wrong asset classes. As data point continue to strengthen, coupled with the fact that income (and sustainability of income) are becoming a scarce commodity, a significant rally in the equity markets could ensue. As some technical analysts may suggest, the bigger the base, the higher the space. As U.S. blue chip stocks have lagged for more than ten years, they have built a base that has prepared these stocks for liftoff.

2012-01-13 The Top 25 Best Dividend Challengers To Buy Today by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This is the third and final article of a series of articles we have prepared on dividend paying stocks with a history and legacy of increasing their dividends each year. Our first article covered Dividend Champions, dividend paying stocks with a history of increasing every year for 25 years. Our second article covered Contenders, companies that have increased their dividend every year for 10-24 years. This final article in the series will cover\ Challengers, companies that increased their dividend every year for a minimum of five, to up to nine consecutive years.

2012-01-12 42 Dividend Contenders for Above-Average Total Return by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

With interest rates hovering near all-time lows, investors needing income are faced with very limited choices. The traditional high yield available from bonds and other fixed income vehicles are no longer available to meet the needs of retirees needing income to live off. Moreover, it is almost a certainty that todays low yields are not adequate enough to fight inflation. Consequently, there is a growing investor interest in dividend paying common stocks, especially those that have a long record of increasing their dividend every year.

2012-01-06 Wal-Mart - The Worlds Greatest Retailer, After a Long Hiatus, is a Solid Buy by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We are going to start the new year off by looking at Wal-Mart which we believe is a blue-chip growth and dividend income selection that can be purchased at a sound and attractive valuation. We believe it is currently fairly valued. Therefore, it represents a very attractive candidate for the long-term investor interested in above-average capital appreciation, with an attractive dividend yield that is greater than the 10-year Treasury bond yield and potentially growing at double-digit rates.The company represents an ideal long-term buy-and-hold investment for the prudent fundamental investor.

2011-12-22 Value Traps and Investor Psychology by Team of American Century Investments

Many financial market participants are familiar with what is generally known as the two basic emotions felt by investors, greed and fear. Very often, over-enthusiasm is observed accompanying greed during bull markets and over-despondency is seen on the heels of fear during bear markets. Besides the cyclical aspects of investor psychology, there are other aspects of behavioral finance (another name for this branch of psychology) to explore that relate to value trap avoidance.

2011-12-20 Do-It-Yourself Equity-Indexed Annuities by Geoff Considine, Ph.D. (Article)

Equity indexed annuities offer retirees a compelling combination of guaranteed income and participation in the market’s upside. But EIAs are exceedingly complex and have been the subject of numerous regulatory challenges. For those who seek a simpler alternative with a comparable return profile, a combination of fixed-income securities and options is viable choice.

2011-12-06 Why Shiller and Soros May Be Wrong about Farmland Investing by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Earlier this year, Yale's Robert Shiller identified farmland as an asset class in the early stage of bubble formation. George Soros, Jim Grant and Jim Rogers have espoused similarly bullish views. But advisors - even those managing the assets of very wealthy clients - shouldn't bet the farm on these expert forecasts just yet.

2011-11-29 The Investment Case for Israel by Jamia Jasper (Article)

What country went into the 2008-2009 recession in a stronger position and exited sooner than any western nation? Whose stock market has outperformed the MSCI EAFE over the past 10 years?

2011-11-28 The Global High Yield Opportunity by Matt Eagan, Kathleen Gaffney and Elaine Stokes of Loomis Sayles

The shifting characteristics of US, European, Asian and emerging markets high yield assets have contributed to an expanding opportunity set. This has prompted many institutional investors to broaden their high yield investment guidelines, often giving portfolio managers the flexibility to include exposures to these markets within one portfolio. The days of silo investing, in which non-US investors sought exposure to US high yield and emerging market debt through separate mandates, may be giving way to an era of sector allocation driven by investors.

2011-11-26 Beyond the Supercommittee by Team of Charles Schwab

After months of negotiations, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction announced that it could not reach agreement, stating: "we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee's deadline" The supercommittee had a deadline of November 23 to make recommendations to trim at least $1.2 trillion from the budget deficit. What's beyond the supercommittee? Schwab answers the key questions. Such as, why did the supercommittee fail? and are US Treasuries still a safe-haven investment? among others.

2011-11-17 Supercommittee Update by Team of Charles Schwab

New this week: the real deadline for the supercommittee; why we think there's still hope for an agreement; President Obama's vow to veto legislation to "undo" automatic cuts if an agreement isn't reached. What are the different deadlines for the supercommittee, and what do they mean? November 23 is the deadline by which the supercommittee must put forward recommendations to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the deficit. However, the supercommittee must post its recommendations publicly 48 hours prior to November 23, meaning the true deadline for finishing its work is Monday, November 21.

2011-11-10 Aflacs (AFL) Fair Value PE Ratio Should Be Double, and So Should Its Price by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This is the third in a series of articles that have been designed to provide investors greater insights into the proper understanding and utilization of the PE ratio as a valuation measurement tool. With this iteration were going to look at Aflac to identify significant undervaluation. The first article in this series looked at Amazon as an example of overvaluation. Our second article looked at SCANA Corp. and Darden Restaurant Group as examples of fairly valued companies; however, we further introduced the concept of the earnings growth rate as a relative component of future return.

2011-11-05 Two High-Yield Choices by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

This article is the second in a series of articles designed to elaborate on the proper utilization and understanding of the PE ratio as an important investing metric. Our first article in this series looked at how the PE ratio could be used to determine overvaluation. With this article we are going to review two companies where each is fairly valued and each has similar current PE ratios. Moreover, both companies offer yields above 3 % which is greater than is available on the 30-year Treasury bond (current yield 30-year Treasury bond 3.02%).

2011-10-17 9 of the Second 10 Best Performing Dow Stocks are Fairly Valued by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We have continued to see a lot of good companies producing good shareholder returns. However, as we have gone deeper down the list, we have begun to see more examples of cyclical companies and companies that have not had as stellar a record of operating performance. Therefore, it stands to reason that these less successful businesses have also produced lower shareholder returns. We believe its important for prospective investors to realize how different specific companies can perform regardless of the general state of the market.

2011-10-14 Most of the 10 Best Performing Dow Jones Industrial Stocks are Great Buys Today by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

When people refer to what the stock market is doing, they are more often than not speaking about the Dow Jones Industrial average. This leading index of 30 high profile stocks serves as a proxy for the overall health of both the economy and the stock market. We have long held that thinking in generalities can be harmful. When dealing with averages the numbers we associate with it represent an average of the whole group. It's important to remember, that the individual companies or components can have materially different results and even attributes than what we glean from the average itself.

2011-10-11 The Global ‘Old Normal’ by Michael Nairne (Article)

Amidst a torrent of dismal economic news and plunging stock prices, investment horizons have become increasingly short-sighted. The new normal of faltering growth and painful deleveraging appears to be only too true. However, investors capable of taking a long-term, global view will find forces at work that will likely drive resurgent world growth akin to that which occurred in the decades right after World War II.

2011-10-07 The Hunt for (Sustainable) Yield by Team of Emerald Asset Advisors

In any low-rate environment, it is easy to be seduced by any investment that can deliver high yields. But to achieve a consistent total return, you need to carefully weigh the risks and focus on investments that can deliver attractive yields that are sustainable, while also providing the potential for higher income in the future. Our answer thus far has been a combination of sources. Given the current miniscule yield environment, we expect these higher-quality asset classes to move the income-generation meter at least a little for client portfolios without exposing them to inordinate risk.

2011-09-27 Darkest Before the Dawn by Bill Smead of Smead Capital Management

Even though we are not traders or short-term oriented, we would like to throw out a few opinions which cause us to be very positive about the stock market over the next one to two years. While market participants look to the US government and the Fed for answers, US Households are doing remarkable and historical work of getting their finances in order. Insiders have been as aggressive in their purchases of their own companys stock as they were in early in 2009.We believe many of our stocks have held up quite well in this environment, but some of them look especially attractive at this point.

2011-09-23 5 Exceptional Dividend Growth Stocks - Lower Volatility and Higher Total Return by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

For many people these are troubled times where fears about our economy and the stock market are at a heightened state. Stock price volatility is higher than we've ever seen it, adding to investor nervousness. Therefore, we searched for a safe place for conservative investors to invest. Our due diligence identified five dividend growth stocks that possess stringent quality characteristics, while at the same time have produced strong above-average historical returns. But more importantly, each candidate had to have future consensus earnings estimated growth rates greater than the S&P 500.

2011-09-20 The Power of Dividends – And What They Say About Future Returns by Lance Paddock (Article)

The return on equities is driven by dividends, since companies must ultimately distribute their hard-earned cash to shareholders. Given that reality, recent history of dividend yields portends a disappointing future for equity investors, one of sub-par returns relative to historical averages.

2011-09-20 Point & Counterpoint: Value vs. Growth by Kendall J. Anderson of Anderson Griggs

The debate over which investment philosophy is best will continue with winners promoting their own style and losers rationalizing their losses. Value vs. Growth. In 1996 the now defunct Mutual Funds Magazine invited me to contribute my thoughts in this ongoing debate in a featured article titled Speaking Out. The case for growth would be argued by John D. Gillespie. Since the debate between Value and Growth has continued to this day I am providing you, word for word, our Point and Counterpoint.

2011-09-16 China as an Asset Class by Henry Zhang and Robert Horrocks of Matthews Asia

China's economic expansion over the last 30 years has allowed many enterprises to prosper. For a number of investors, Chinese stocks have also grown in importance. As modern capital markets have taken root in China, stock markets have become one of the primary channels for companies to raise capital. While China's capital market is still early in its development and has its own risks and challenges, the country is expected to continue to grow and increasingly influence world economies. For a variety of reasons, we believe China is emerging as an investment asset class in its own right.

2011-09-16 Sell your Bonds and Gold and Buy Dividend Growth Stocks Before it is Too Late by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

Although we generally believe in the soundness of the principle of diversification, we also believe that extraordinary times require extraordinary measures. Any historian of markets or economies would agree that financial markets are currently far from behaving ordinarily. We intend to point out several markets that are behaving both inefficiently and completely out-of-sync from sound and prudent economic principles. Therefore, we will argue that certain sacred cows that would and should apply during normal circumstances need to be questioned and challenged in these very uncertain times.

2011-09-15 Six Reasons to Sell Economy, Buy Stocks by Frank Holmes of U.S. Global Investors

Money supply is a key lubricant of the economy and financial markets. Historically, if money is growing faster than nominal GDP, the excess money has found its way to other uses such as investment in stocks, commodities and other financial assets. The risk/reward profile for owning stocks appears positively skewed. While bond investors have enjoyed a 30-year bull market, equity investors can now use long-term mean reversion to their advantage by buying those undervalued companies that are flush with cash, reward their shareholders with a dividend payment and have envy worthy balance sheets.

2011-09-07 Keep Calm, Carry On by Scott Minerd of Guggenheim

The markets overreaction has created an incredible opportunity in U.S. equities. In particular, I see value in high-dividend stocks. Many companies with strong cash flows and stellar credit ratings pay more in dividends than the yield on their bondsa situation that hasnt existed for such a large number of stocks since the 1950s. Without doubt, Europes problems indicate that further turbulence, even a retest of recent lows on the S&P 500, cannot be ruled out. Nevertheless, for investors with 2- to 5-year horizons, price dips represent buying opportunities.

2011-09-02 8 Strong Growth Stocks Significantly Under-valued by Mr. Market by Chuck Carnevale of F.A.S.T. Graphs

We don't believe in investing in the stock market, we believe in investing in great businesses. Therefore, we tend to focus more on how the business is performing on an operating basis than we do on stock price volatility. True Worth valuation is what we monitor and measure most closely. Our rationale is based on the reality that any business, public or private, ultimately derives its value from the amount of cash flows and earnings it can generate for stakeholders. The bigger the income stream they can buy, the bigger the value they will eventually receive.

2011-08-19 Paper Currencies Finally Redeemed for Gold by John Browne of Euro Pacific Capital

The basic unwillingness of politicians to face economic and financial realities has caused the United States and European Union to face currency collapse. The politicians are content literally to paper over the problem with massive amounts of newly printed currency. This means that savvy investors, facing major real losses, are turning increasingly to gold. In essence, even though currencies are no longer on a gold standard, they are increasingly being redeemed for gold in the marketplace.

2011-08-09 Implications of the Debt Downgrade by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff

As we had suggested in recent weeks, a U.S. downgrade was going to likely be more negative for the equity market than Treasuries, and that is exactly how the week is starting off. The reason is that history shows that downgrades light a fire under policymakers and the belt-tightening budget cuts ensue, taking a big chunk out of demand growth and hence profits. It is not just the United States the problem of excessive debt is global, from China to Brazil to many parts of Europe. And lets not forget the Canadian consumer.

2011-08-02 Improving on the Ultimate Income Portfolio by Geoff Considine (Article)

The Ultimate Income Portfolio, which was published in this newsletter July 6 of last year, has delivered the risk-adjusted returns that I projected. Here's a detailed look at how last year's portfolio performed and several ways it can be improved in today's environment.

2011-06-15 Understanding the Investment Process at Jensen Investment Management - Step One: Return on Equity by Team of Jensen Investment Management

We believe that Return on Equity is a very useful criterion for identifying companies that have the potential to provide attractive returns over long periods of time. Our experience and research suggest that our requirement of consistently high Return on Equity results in a universe of high-quality, profitable companies that are able to generate returns above their costs of capital in a variety of circumstances and economic environments. This paper serves to illustrate the reasons why we use Return on Equity the way we do, and why we use it for the first step of our investment process.

2011-05-26 Protecting Bond Portfolios From Rising Rates by Team of Neuberger Berman

As the U.S. economy continues to strengthen and the prospect of inflation rises, investors are concerned the U.S. may potentially face a sustained period of rising interest rates. This matters to bond owners because changes in interest rates directly impact the market value of bonds and bond portfolios. With today’s fixed income markets now implying an increase in interest rates and higher volatility in credit spreads, a traditional buy-and-hold bond portfolio or a more traditional fixed income mutual fund strategy may not be as attractive to investors.

2011-05-24 What is conservative about Absolute Return, Market Neutral or Long/Short Mutual Funds? by Kendall J. Anderson of Anderson Griggs

The machine of Wall Street has convinced many individuals who believe they are prudent, conservative, investors that a mutual fund whose name or objective includes the terms Absolute Return, Market Neutral, Long/Short or hedged, will never lose your money. An individual whose fear of losing again from common stocks just can’t bear sitting on cash and earning a nickel of interest every three months 1k. The desire to increase returns is just too great. Before you fall for the hype there are a few things you should know. The most important item you should remember is that there is no guarantee.

2011-04-15 Not all Bonds are Created Equal by Dan Fuss, Kathleen Gaffney, Matthew Eagan & Elaine Stokes of Loomis Sayles

It has become the question of the day: If interest rates are heading higher, shouldn’t I bail out of bonds altogether? While we anticipate rates will rise, we don’t believe abandoning bonds would be prudent for most investors. Bonds can play an important role in investor portfolios by providing income potential plus diversification. In this piece, we describe why we think rates may be biased higher in coming years and how our portfolio strategies may adjust to the new environment.

2011-03-29 Is There More Room for Growth in US Equities? by BlackRock (Article)

There are risks to not being invested in today's improving environment. Given that equity valuations are fully supported by strong earnings, BlackRock believes that fundamentals argue strongly for an allocation to growth stocks. Read more to learn why.

2011-03-23 In Search of Value by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff

Within the space we do favour large-caps, strong balance sheets, high-quality, low P/E stocks, and commodities, especially energy. But among all the worries, we still see this as an overvalued market and we believe in buying low and selling high. We know that many pundits like to use short-term market measures of valuation using year-ahead or trailing earnings or cash flow, which at times seems a little disingenuous for an asset class that is inherently long-term in duration. Be that as it may, perhaps we can shed some light on why patience may still be virtuous here.

2011-03-22 Dividend Dynamics: Assessing the Five Key Benefits of Dividend-Paying Stocks by RidgeWorth Investments (Article)

Increased market volatility has placed dividend-paying stocks back into the spotlight. These securities have been long valued for their defensive characteristics during down markets, but their attractive combination of steady income and capital appreciation potential has also delivered consistent, strong returns across full market cycles.

2011-03-21 Equity Market Bounce-Back -- Don't get Too Excited by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff

Between the put-to-call ratio and the 40% share of stocks trading below their 50-day moving average, the U.S. stock market became hugely oversold. Plus we had the skew from the quadruple-witching session. And the cease-fire announced in Libya and the FX intervention to reverse the yen’s strength provided some fodder for the shorts to cover. But trend lines have been broken, portfolio managers have little cash to work, and according to a ML-BAC survey, we had a net 67% of global portfolio managers overweight equities against their position. Plus, the world is still a very uncertain place.

2011-03-17 5 Dividend Champions to Work Your Money as hard as You Worked for It! by Chuck Carnevale of EDMP

You worked hard over your lifetime to build a nest egg in order to fund your retirement. Doesnt it make sense that now that youre retired your money should work as hard for you as you worked for it? When you were working, you were accustomed to receiving a raise in pay each year. Why should that end now, just because you are retired? It doesnt have to, because investors today have the good fortune and opportunity to invest in blue-chip 'Dividend Champions' (companies that have increased their dividend every year for at least 25 years) which are trading at historically low valuations

2011-02-19 A Random Walk Around the Frontlines by John Mauldin of Millennium Wave Advisors

Today we do a Random Walk Around the Frontlines, surveying what’s going on in the world. The US economy continues to improve in fits and starts. Inflation for the last six months has risen rather smartly. And for the last three months inflation on an annualized basis is running over 3%. The recent drop in the unemployment rate was entirely due to rather dramatic drops in what is known as the participation rate - fewer people looking for jobs. The Fed needs to end its program of quantitative easing.

2011-02-16 A Primer On Valuation: 9 Very Fast-Growing Super Stocks by Chuck Carnevale of EDMP

We hope that this primer on valuing super fast growing companies provided insights into how the market can capitalize such enormous growth. It may not always make sense, but we feel it's valuable to be able to graphically see how the market values fundamentals. It's not always logical, or even fair, but if you look hard enough there usually is some logic that can be discovered. The important thing is that statistics alone do not adequately tell the true whole story, in our opinion.

2011-02-11 A Primer on Valuation (part 2) by Chuck Carnevale of EDMP

To us, the evidence is crystal clear, fundamentals provide a critical perspective that investors should be aware of. Possessing a clear and accurate picture of how well a business has performed on an operating basis is a vital component towards making sound and prudent investment decisions. Contrary to what some might argue, the fundamental operating results of the business tend to persist. The nature of a company's business and the industry it operates in can be reliably evaluated and understood.

2011-02-09 Ben Graham’s famed formula for valuing a stock works in the real world! by Chuck Carnevale of EDMP

These ten examples are based on our article: A primer on valuation: Testing the Wisdom of Ben Graham's Formula (part one) published on 2/08/2011. These represent just a few examples of many we could provide. Ben’s formula works because it is sound. The orange line on each logarithmic F.A.S.T. Graph below represents earnings multiplied by Ben Graham's formula. As you review each F.A.S.T. Graph note how the black price line tracks and correlates to Ben Graham's calculation of intrinsic value. In some cases, the correlation is almost perfect.

2011-02-09 Testing the Wisdom of Ben Graham’s Formula (part one) by Chuck Carnevale of EDMP

Ben Graham’s formula for valuing a company V* = EPS x (8.5 + 2g) established a solid foundation for future value investors to build upon. The small “g” in the formula represents your reasonably expected 7 to 10 year growth rate. Consequently, Ben Graham’s formula was forward-looking. In this article we looked at modern historical performance in order to test the validity of this famous value formula. Remarkably, the formula proves itself to being very precise when applied in the real world to businesses that grow earnings between zero and 5% per annum.

2011-02-04 Seeking Equity Dividends: Now More than Ever by Robert McConnaughey of Columbia Management

The evidence is clear that dividends have been a crucial part of total returns through history and that dividend payers (particularly sustainable dividend growers) have significantly outperformed their non-dividend-paying peers over the long haul. Couple those higher returns with the lower volatility that comes with the dividend-paying class vs. broader equity markets and it makes a clear case for the power of dividends.

2011-01-29 Schwab Market Perspective: Confidence Climbing by Liz Ann Sonders, Brad Sorensen, and Michelle Gibley of Charles Schwab

Although still relatively low, confidence is returning to businesses and consumers. We believe this confidence is well-placed and could portend healthy gains for the economy and the market as the year matures. Risks remain: commodity prices are rising, housing is still moribund, and federal and local governments have severe fiscal budget crises to deal with. Confidence in developed international markets is still lagging.

2010-12-01 The Risk of Fixed Income Indexing vs. Active Multi-Sector Management by Ken Taubes of Pioneer Investment Management

Tepid economic growth coupled with weak equity markets over the past few years have driven U.S. investors to the perceived safe haven of fixed income. We believe that fixed income indices may be appropriate as benchmarks, but not as investment strategies.

2010-11-23 Why Three Top Bond Managers Like Equities by Robert Huebscher (Article)

You'll rarely - perhaps never - hear a fund manager say that market conditions do not favor investing in their chosen asset class. That's why it was so remarkable when several prominent managers recently admitted that they favored equities over their own discipline - fixed income.

2010-11-02 Flaws in Vanguard’s Withdrawal Strategy: Income versus Total-Return Portfolios by Geoff Considine, Ph.D. (Article)

Vanguard advertises that its mission is to simplify investors' retirement decisions. In a recently published study, however, it oversimplified the critical choices investors and their advisors face in constructing a portfolio for the withdrawal phase of retirement.

2010-10-05 Do Past 10-Year Returns Forecast Future 10-Year Returns? by Bill Hester of Hussman Funds

The argument that above-average long-term returns typically follow periods of poor past long-term returns is not wrong, it's just incomplete.

2010-09-15 Using Convertibles for Prudent Stock Market Exposure by Douglas G. Forsyth of Allianz Global Investors

For investors still wary of stepping fully back into U.S. stocks, convertible securities - which possess both equity and bond features - may be a prudent way to participate in potential stock upside while also defending against market volatility. With economic growth and corporate profitability slowly but steadily picking up steam, the prospects for convertibles may be particularly attractive now. At the same time, their diversification and total return benefits make them an appropriate allocation in a long-term portfolio as well.

2010-08-20 Malaysia, Truly Asia? by Jesper Madsen of Matthews Asia

Malaysia will need to proceed further down the path of liberalization in order to ensure that it stays relevant in an ever more competitive environment and truly grow with the Asian continent. Fortunately, over the past few years, policymakers have scaled back parts of the country's affirmative action system and placed emphasis on the expanding the services sector - both of which are long-term positives that could bode well for Malaysia relevance, not just as a tourist destination, but for long-term capital appreciation.

2010-08-13 Medicine for a New Normal by Doug MacKay and Bill Hoover of Broadleaf Partners

We could be on the cusp of a major sea change in the markets, one in which cash-rich companies - which are in far better shape than governments - begin to compete for investors through the dynamics of dividend yield. Investors who can start to capitalize on these changes now are likely to benefit as the groundswell for all things bonds begins to find a suitable and potentially even safer path towards stocks with rising dividends.

2010-07-28 Market Thoughts and the Long-Term Outlook for Inflation by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff

The bull market in bonds will end reasonably close to the point in time that inflation (or deflation) bottoms. This is because the major economic factor that correlates consistently with the direction of market-determined interest rates, at least for long term Treasury Bonds, is CPI Inflation. Core inflation should recede from around 1 percent now to near 0 percent in the next 12-to-24 months, which would imply an ultimate bottom in the long bond yield of 2.5 percent and 2 percent for the 10-year T-note.

2010-07-14 The Fundamental Trendline is Still Down by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff

What we are grappling with is this: If the consensus earnings forecast is 'the market,' then the S&P 500 is de facto pricing in $96 of operating earnings next year - a new peak. That is a 35 percent increase from here, and it is extremely difficult to see profits soaring that much at a time when margins are already back at cycle highs and with the prospect of slowing nominal GDP growth. It just does not add up.

2010-07-12 Recession Odds Still on the Rise by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff

The Economic Cycle Research Institute's weekly leading index fell again last week despite the equity market bounce. The spot index fell 0.6 percent for the second week in a row, and the growth index slipped to -8.3 percent from -7.6 percent at the end of June. While this is the only indicator so far suggesting that recession odds are rising, once you get to -8.3 percent, looking at the historical record, downturns occur more often than not.

2010-07-06 The Ultimate Income Portfolio by Geoff Considine, Ph.D. (Article)

Conventional approaches to constructing income-oriented portfolios use either bonds or high-yield stocks. In this article, Geoff Considine explores a compelling alternative to that approach: a carefully selected model high-yield portfolio consisting primarily of low-beta, high-dividend stocks, against which the investor sells call options.

2010-06-17 Getting a Grip on Reality by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff

Double-dip risks in the U.S. have risen substantially in the past two months. While the economy's 'back end' of industrial production is still performing well, this lags the cycle. The 'front end' of consumer sales and housing leads the cycle. We have already endured two soft retail sales reports in a row and now the weekly chain-store data for June is pointing to subpar activity. The housing sector is going back into the tank - there is no question about it. The recovery in consumer sentiment leaves it at levels that in the past were consistent with outright recessions.

2010-06-10 The 'Yield' Theme Continues Unabated by David A. Rosenberg of Gluskin Sheff

Fixed-income is woefully under-represented in U.S. and Canadian household balance sheets, while the average baby boomer is 55 years old and as a result is at an age where capital preservation strategies win out over a strict capital appreciation focus, which worked so well in the 80s and 90s. The market moves in 16- to 18-year cycles. Sadly, this secular down-phase in the equity market began in 2000 when the major averages hit their peak in real terms, so the best we can say now is that we are probably 60 percent of the way into it.

2010-05-28 The Real Deal by Michael Nairne of Tacita Capital

Investors will face turbulent markets over the next several years as the world's credit implosion, now mutated into a sovereign debt crisis, plays out. Broad global asset class diversification is essential to riding out this storm. However, in the long run, it is the real economy that matters to equity returns. In today's climate of uncertainty, long-term investors should take heart that the drivers of world GDP growth - labor force growth and productivity increases - remain intact.

2010-05-19 Review of First Quarter 2010 by James F. Keegan of Ridgeworth

The recovery to date has largely consisted of an inventory correction and a response to various government stimulus programs; very little of it will prove to be organic or sustainable. Consumer spending has proven more resilient than anticipated, but this has come at the expense of savings. The consumer remains over-leveraged and the balance sheet repair process can't rely again on asset appreciation; hence, further gains in spending are unlikely. Meanwhile, capital expenditure plans remain tepid, and the tailwind from the stimulus plan is also diminishing.

2010-05-11 Talking to Clients about Expected Returns by Dan Richards (Article)

Of all the assumptions that go into clients' retirement plans, none has a bigger impact than the expected return on their investments, says Dan Richards. That number determines how much investors need to save, when they can afford to retire and the kind of lifestyle they can anticipate. Richards provides a context for discussing expected returns with clients.

2010-04-20 The Random Walk Spoiled: A Flawed Assumption for Long-term Equity Portfolio Simulation by Manish Malhotra (Article)

To optimize portfolios, the investment and wealth management industry still assumes a random walk of prices when running long-term simulations of equity portfolios, despite plenty of existing research pointing to serial dependency in returns, writes Manish Malhorta in this guest contribution. The random walk assumption for equities gives results that are counterintuitive and unobservable in practice. He recommends against using it.

2010-04-14 The Global Bond Market: Opportunity or Opportunity Cost by David W. Rolley of Loomis Sayles

The U.S. bond market is unlikely to offer investors the yield or capital appreciation opportunities they need to meet their investment objectives in 2010. Instead, investors will need to expand their investment universe. Investments in non-U.S., high-quality governments and supranationals could offer capital preservation, while emerging-markets debt and corporate debt might present performance prospects. In the non-dollar securities arena, investors could take advantage of securities offering capital preservation as well as performance.

2010-02-02 Good Day Sunshine by James A. Skinner of The Royce Funds

This is a review of 2009 market performance, with a focus on small-cap stocks. Historically, the authors argue, small-cap stocks are likely to lead in the decade that follows a decade of sub-par performance.

2010-02-01 Up, Then Down by Scotty George of du Pasquier Asset Management

“The aftermath of a bull leg is sometimes unpleasant. We are experiencing a normal capitulation in stock prices that follows the remarkable success of last year’s bull cycle. ‘Unleveraging the euphoria’ is far from crisis levels, yet, but unsatisfying, nonetheless, while it’s happening.”

2009-11-24 Dan Fuss and the Long-Term Outlook for Interest Rates by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Dan Fuss, the highly respected bond manager at Loomis Sayles in Boston, says we are in the early stages on a long-term rise in interest rates. His view was shared by two other panelists, Carl Kaufman of Osterwies and Margie Patel of Evergreen. If you accept this consensus, you must ask whether your fixed income allocation is appropriate.

2009-11-24 Buy Bonds and Not Bond Funds by Hildy and Stan Richelson (Article)

Record inflows into longer-term bond funds in the last six months have provided investors purported relief from the near-zero returns in money market funds. Do not mistake those inflows or rising prices for an endorsement of bond funds, write Stan and Hildy Richelson in this guest contribution. Bond funds are inferior to individual bonds, as those who are now buying bond funds may soon discover.

2009-07-21 Q2 2009 Performance among the Most Popular Mutual Funds in the Advisor Perspectives Universe by Robert Huebscher and Mary Pitek (Article)

Each quarter we analyze changes in the Advisor Perspectives database - a $50+ billion universe of high- and ultra-high net worth assets managed by Registered Investment Advisors. Our analysis has three parts. We look at changes in asset allocation, the performance of the most popular mutual funds, and the mutual funds that showed significant gains or losses in popularity during the quarter.

2009-06-09 Changes in the Most Popular Mutual Funds by Robert Huebscher (Article)

Each quarter we review changes in the Advisor Perspectives (AP) Universe, which represents $50 billion in high-net worth assets managed by RIAs. Our analysis looks at changes in asset allocation, the mutual funds and ETFs that gained or lost market share, and the performance of the most popular actively managed mutual funds. This analysis focuses on the most popular mutual funds.

2009-06-09 Q1 2009 Performance among the Most Popular Mutual Funds in the Advisor Perspectives Universe by Robert Huebscher and Mary Pitek (Article)

Each quarter we review changes in the Advisor Perspectives (AP) Universe, which represents $50 billion in high-net worth assets managed by RIAs. Our analysis looks at changes in asset allocation, the mutual funds and ETFs that gained or lost market share, and the performance of the most popular actively managed mutual funds. This analysis focuses on performance across the most popular mutual funds.


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