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The Best Advice I've Heard in a Long Time

While it's true that I keep a journal of trades, so I can go back and look at what I did, especially the mistakes, this is only a learning tool. I do not wallow in misery over missed profits, missed trades, or any such thing.

I get Jeff Clark's Market Minute newsletter every morning. Today he repeated an essay that I think every investor or trader should take to heart. I repeat it here.

“Don’t look back.” That was the advice the angels gave to Lot and his family as they led them out of the city of Sodom, just before it was destroyed by the wrath of God. Whatever happened to the city after he fled was no longer Lot’s concern. It was no longer any of his business. He couldn’t do anything about it. So, “don’t look back” was the angel’s way of saying, “Look forward. There’s nothing to gain by watching what happens behind you. Focus on your future and what is ahead of you.” As the Bible tells us, Lot’s wife wasn’t all that good at following directions. She couldn’t resist the tempt…
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What Do I Do Now?

Probably nothing but watch closely, at least your weekly charts. Many of my investments have already stopped out (for gains) this week, as the market weakened a bit, and has been kind of sideways like. 
With recession concerns lingering as soft global economic data is countering relatively upbeat domestic reports, Schwab’s Chief Investment Strategist Liz Ann Sonders offers her latest article, Take Me to Your Leader: Analyzing the Latest Leading Indicators, noting that leading indicators are at a record high, but in a relatively flat trend over the past year. 
Liz Ann adds that manufacturing remains weak, while services/consumer remains healthy; with confidence/employment likely defining whether the divergence persists. She concludes that Citi’s Economic Surprise Index has shot up, but Bloomberg’s Economic Surprise Index of Leading Indicators has not confirmed.
As of this morning, the consumer confidence index had been showing exceptional strength but did fall back unexpectedly in Sep…

Democratic Hopefuls Plan to Rob You Blind

I thought that headline would be sensational enough to get your attention. But it has some truth to it.

Update Sept 25: Warren and Sanders now want to tax wealth (assets) not just income. Watch your pocketbooks.

You might not realize it yet, but all the "free" programs that are being promised by Democratic presidential candidates all come with a price tag. And you may also not realize it, but the "rich" don't have enough money to pay for it all.

So who does?

Dr. Daniel Mitchell, an economist and Chairman of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity, says:

"Lower-income and middle-class taxpayers need to realize that they’re the ones with bulls-eyes on their back."

The plans laid forth by Warren, Sanders, Harris and others use what Mitchell calls "sloppy math."

During an "interview" with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Elizabeth Warren said this when asked How was she going to pay for "Medicare for All."

“So, here’s how we’re g…

Are Markets Overpriced?

The Shiller PE ratio and the Buffett Indicator are two measures to indicate whether markets are over valued. These are not indicators to time the market. They just provide general indicators of value. Markets can certainly go higher -- if over valued -- or down -- of under valued. But they are useful as a gauge whether you should be watchful and cautious.

The Shiller can be found here. The Buffet Indicator here.  The Shiller PE is first, the Buffett Indicator is second. Both show overvaluation.

What are some ticker symbols a trader must know for monitoring the market like VIX, TLT, SPX etc?

I use the flowing ETFs, more or less; some I don’t pay attention to on a daily basis): SPY (S&P index) DIA (DJIA index) (QQQ) (NASDA 100)’ IWM (Russell Small Caps) Though you could just do SPY and be close to market trends, I also do the QQQ because of its tech weighting) AGG (Agreegate Bond Market) GLD (Gold) HYG (Hi-Risk bond market,mostly incorporates) QLD (Corporate Investment Grade Bonds) RXE (Real Estate) TLT Treasury Bond). Even on most day’s that too many. Pick what you want to specialize (6 maybe) in and follow those more closely. I have two stock lists. The overall markets, and 6 or 7 stocks (or an ETF or Mutual Fund) I’m really interesting right now. I’m not a professional trader, so I don’t get paid to track these markets. In fact, most professional traders focus on one or two asset classes. They must know something. And do yourself a favor. If your watch list is larger than 20, pare it down. Humans tend to handle categories and process information in 7-bit chunks. (Re…

Is a savings account the saftest investment for a recession?

Forget all the analysis (There' a Recession Coming! There's a Reason Coming!)* and all the “mix” of ideas depending on your “circumstances’) and / or rationalization or reasons behind savings counts or investments or burying your gold coins in the back yard.

There is a very basic principle (which has been around since at least the invention of writing) that most people don’t follow. And it's so simple. Forget recessions and all the super analysis by talking heads and financial reporters. And especially those who want a recession because they think it will make Trump lose an election (pathetic humans who wan to see millions suffer because they hate one guy).

Most economists, like weathermen, are wrong on predictions, especially when it comes to your money. The number 2 requirement of any financial plan is to have a saving accounts with emergency fund. (Number #1 having a budget). Forget the rest of the stuff for now -- if you don’t have this emergency account, in a saving…

Tips for Buying a Home

Once you have your financial house in order, as explained in my article Critical Financial Steps When Buying a Home, it's time to actually buy a home. These tips are generally for the buyer of existing homes, but can apply to purchasing a newly built home.   1. Hire a real estate agent An experienced real estate agent can be the key to help you find your dream home and negotiate with the seller on your behalf. This person should be on your side, helping you make informed decisions and refer you to other professionals like home inspectors, contractors (if needed), appraisers and title companies. That said, you should still shop around and compare fees from other professionals, too.

Before hiring a real estate agent, find out about their track record, knowledge of your desired neighborhood and what their workload is like (some agents may be over-scheduled).

An agent with knowledge of an area can also tell if your budget is realistic or not, depending on the features you desire in a h…