In this volatile economy, is there such a thing as a good investment?
Every morning, I read the Wall Street Journal for a glimmer of hope for the US economy. On some days, today being one of them, the paper is filled with good news followed by a positive forecast and a upbeat market. Just when I think we have what it takes to get out of this economic stagnation, my hopes are dashed with one bad news after another. For myself and others following finance, this has been the common theme for the entire past year. We all face the same question: When will there be any certainty in forecasts?
What’s really going on with the real estate market? Does anyone really know?
Last year, I gave you the best and worst housing markets for the 2009 year, with the average percent fall (and very rarely, gain) in selling prices.
This year, real estate prices seem to follow no pattern. In some areas, they are recovering from their 2008 price lows and in other areas, foreclosures keep piling up. Investors have it tough… speculators are everywhere, pointing to positive signs in the economy one day and then predicting doomsday the next.
Many of us have considered opening franchises in the past or are actively looking for one to open. Franchising has been around in the United States since the 1850s and there are currently over 1500 franchise-able brands. Approximately 4% of all businesses in the United States are franchises accounting for billions of dollars of sales every year.
There are several advantages to franchising: benefiting from an already successful or tested businesses model, sharing risks with a larger amount of people, technical support for problems, marketing and brand names are already well known, and finally, you are your own boss. These advantages have helped a franchise boom since the 1960s, with the ubiquitous McDonald’s the clear-cut leader in world wide franchises.
The early months of 2010 will see the stock market quietly gain ground on huge losses in 2008. Coming from the abyss, some publicly traded companies will immediately feel the benefits of a better economy, while others will not be affected until the end of 2010.
In 2010, Wall Street will bet on the positive direction of the economy, interest rates, and inflation. However, in the first quarter, smart investors may also benefit from good research and strong picks. Strong individual results – especially unexpected earnings and sales growth – could help certain stocks stand out from the crowd.
The price of gold hit $1,100 an ounce today on signs of a weakening dollar. With the stock market as volatile as ever with the coming end of a bullish market, many investors are thinking about buying gold. Gold has always outperformed other commodities during times of economic uncertainty and this “super-recession” is no different.
Here are some things to consider in order to understand if buying gold is the best idea for you:
In order for America to avoid economic downfalls of this magnitude in the near future, the public have to be educated in their investment options. There are a multitude of areas one can invest in at a young age, but making the right choices early in your career can save you tons of trouble in the future and lend hard-learned experience, allowing one to formulate a strategic approach that could potentially secure income from an array of resources.
With that in mind, I have come up with several important tidbits of advice:
This is the second part of SmarterSpend.com series on managing your stock market funds.
In the first part of my series, I highlighted the best performing stocks in the 2008 year, including the dismal third quarter, and analyzed the significance of the recession on stock performance in the upcoming fiscal year. I will use the same approach to identify 25 key stocks that every investor should avoid in 2009. The key to finding successful stocks in a recession this deep is identifying the effects of the lack of money supply to consumers, businesses, and corporations.
In the past four months, the US stock markets have found themselves in a state of havoc. The Dow Jones has now fallen almost 50% from its previous highs in 2007, NASDAQ dropped from about 2,700 to a current level of 1,400, and the S & P has also dropped in similar proprtions, from a high of 1540 in the third quarter of 2007, to a current level of 764.90. Whole companies have been wiped out in a matter of days from rapid drops, retirement funds have lost trillions of dollars, American automobile manufacturers were barely saved with emergency government funding, and the entire American banking system is on the verge of collapse.
“The sun never sets on the British Empire” was a popular phrase heard during the Victorian era in Britain. For many years leading up to World War I, the phrase held true, the British navy controlling the sea, using imperialistic tactics in dominating global commerce, and allowing British at home to enjoy the merits of a powerful state.
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