Tag Archives: Stocks

5 Beginning Investor Mistakes I’ve Made (And You Don’t Have To)

There’s something I’ve noticed about a lot of people who write about investing: They’re either very rich or they work as investment professionals. Now, I don’t think that that makes them unqualified to give advice to those of us who don’t have a seven (or eight!) figure net worth, but it does make it a little hard to identify with them. After all, if I had a million bucks in the bank, putting some of it in riskier investments would be a lot easier to stomach. Ditto for investing other people’s money.

But here’s the thing. I’m an investor, too. I’m not a professional one or a rich one. But I am richer than before I started. And I’m a smarter investor than I was when I started, too. I’m also getting more confident about investing money in the stock market. That said, I made a lot of rookie mistakes along the way. Here are five of the ones that stand out. Read about them in my new post on WiseBread. And try to avoid them, OK?

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5 Weird Ways People Try to Predict the Stock Market

Flickr/The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Flickr/The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

If you could pick just one superhero skill, what would it be? Being able to leap tall buildings in a single bound would be a great way to get to work. And wouldn’t you just love to be invisible sometimes? Oh, the possibilities…

If you’re into investing, however, there’s only one superpower that will do: the ability to divine the future of companies, stocks and entire markets. Maybe that’s why, short of a crystal ball, people have been trying every trick in the book to do just that. From peering at ladies’ hemlines to looking for a sign on the cover of Sports Illustrated, check out some of the strangest stock market predictors out there (and find out if they work) in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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Lessons from the Floor of the NYSE

Flickr/brian glanz

Flickr/brian glanz

You’ve probably seen it on TV or the big screen…

The clanging bell, computer screens and stock tickers, and an apparent mess of people milling around, talking, typing and sometimes shouting. To an outsider, that’s how the largest stock exchange in the world, the New York Stock Exchange, appears. But while most people are familiar with the NYSE, what they don’t understand is how all that commotion relates to the simple, silent stock purchases we so often make through a computer screen. In fact, what happens between the moment you click “Buy” and the time that stock lands in your brokerage account isn’t just a technicality – it’s one instance of how the whole stock market works.  And it’s something every investor worth her salt should understand.

FOX Business Network anchor Nicole Petallides spends every business day reporting from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. We caught up with her for an inside look into the very real place where a large portion of the world’s trades take place. Check it out in my new post on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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Sports, Celebrity, Scandal … and Nike’s Winning Streak?

Flickr/bilobicles bag

Flickr/bilobicles bag

First it was Marion Jones, then Tiger Woods, followed by Lance Armstrong and, most recently, Oscar Pistorius. That is, star athletes whose names hit the headlines once again, only this time it wasn’t for their latest sports coup, but for scandal. As it turns out, these athletes have more in common than world-class sporting skills and celebrity. They are all – or in all but Woods’ case, were – sponsored by Nike (note the prophetic Oscar Pistorius ad for Nike above). Of course, Nike isn’t alone in its sponsorship of top athletes, but it certainly has a record for holding the best roster. Indeed, it’s got the money to pay for it.

In 2012, Forbes ranked Nike as the most valuable sports brand in the world, pegging the worth of its Nike-branded products at nearly $16 billion. It’s also the big spender when it comes to athlete endorsements. In 2012, its annual report showed that the company had dedicated $3.2 billion to endorsement deals over the following five years.

It all seems to fit, doesn’t it? The sports company that dominates its industry is also the one that clothes and promotes athletes who don’t just win, but who demolish the competition, the records and even the limits of what was previously thought possible. In terms of marketing, sporting a Nike logo while doing something deemed impossible for your sport is about as good as it gets.

Unless, of course, that athlete is caught doing something a little less laudable, whether it’s the use of performance-enhancing drugs, a brush with the law or a scandal of a more personal nature. Privacy, after all, is one perk that doesn’t come with promotion.

Athlete scandals are hardly new, but the size and publicity of recent scandals has upped the ante from minor faux pas to epic fail. As a result, the view of athlete endorsement appears to have shifted, leaving many people wondering whether companies can afford the liability their multi-million dollar celebrity endorsements increasingly entail. These errant athletes are an embarrassment to the brands they represent, critics say, and they’re bad role models for consumers.

But does any of that even matter? When it comes to a company like Nike, the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might imagine. Read all about it in my new post on GoldenGirlFinance.com.

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Facebook Graph Search: Can It Find the Money?

Flickr/pshab

Flickr/pshab

When Facebook sent out a vague alert to the press about a big unveiling it would be making January 15th, it set off the kind of hysteria we’ve come to expect from any announcement made by the omnipresent company, whether it’s about the stock, the CEO, or in this case, what turned out to be a brand-new feature called Graph Search.

Although investors had no idea what the announcement would be, that didn’t stop them from speculating and driving the stock price to a high of $32, the first time it’s broken out of the $20s since July. You can’t blame beleaguered Facebook investors for being a little over-eager to see this highly publicized stock live up to its long-running hype. But for all Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s attempts to make Graph Search sound like a new phase in the history of the Internet, the announcement itself failed to woo investors. The stock dropped that day and has since slipped below $30.

Graph Search has also put Facebook in a bit of an ideological tug-of-war. On the one side are investors who believe that Graph Search – a new kind of search that sorts through social data to answer users’ queries in a more personally relevant way – will revolutionize the Web and put Facebook right at the center of it. On the other side are those who think Graph Search is, well, kinda neat, but also kind of irrelevant, both for the company’s bottom line and the big picture on the Web.

The question remains: Does this new search feature hold any promise for Facebook investors, or is it yet another opportunity for social media speculators to get burned on this overhyped stock? Get the facts in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com: http://goldengirlfinance.com/inspiration/?post_id=1148

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7 Stocks That Suffered Huge Losses in 2012

Flickr/beardenb

Flickr/beardenb

January is often promoted as the time for a fresh start: time to clear out your closets, spruce up your diet and clean up your act. For investors, it can also be a time for renewal and reflection.  What this often means is selling those losing stocks you’ve lost faith in – the ones you no longer believe will shed their ugly duckling status. (Hopefully you did this in December during tax loss season to take advantage of the capital loss!)

We took a look at some of the stocks that are most likely to land on some investors’ hit lists this year. Not necessarily because they’re bad stocks or all hope is lost, but because they’ve declined so precipitously that they’ve become pretty hard to love – at least for those holding them. Check out some of the biggest losers of 2012. Will investors find a reason to love them, or let them go at a loss? Read more in my article on GoldenGirlFinance.com: http://goldengirlfinance.com/inspiration/?post_id=1111

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