Showing posts from May, 2019

Important Dates for Dividend Investors

Dividends on stocks, mutual funds and ETFs can enhance your investment return and can provide income in retirement. Most dividends are paid quarterly, but many ETFs pay monthly dividends. Some also get preferential tax treatment, in that they are not taxed at your normal income tax rate, depending on your tax bracket. See this article for more information on that.  A dividend payment procedure follows a chronological order of events and the associated dates are important to determine the shareholders who qualify for receiving the dividend payment. Announcement Date : Dividends are announced by company management on the  announcement date , and must be approved by the shareholders before they can be paid. Ex-dividend Date : The date on which the dividend eligibility expires is called the ex-dividend date or simply the  ex-date . For instance, if a stock has an ex-date of Monday, May 5, then shareholders who buy the stock on or after that day will NOT qualify to get the div

Is the Housing Market Weakening? Or Not?

GUESS IT DEPENDS ON YOUR SOURCE OF INFORMATION I wrote back in September of last year that I thought that the housing market was showing signs of weakness. This is important because it is a large part of our overall economic outlook. But there are currently differing opinions, depending on the source. From the American Institute of Economic Research on May 23: Housing Outlook Remains Weak Sales of new single-family homes fell 6.9 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000, down from a multiyear high of 723,000 in March. Sales fell in three of the four regions, with only the Northeast - the smallest region by volume - posting a gain. Total inventory of new single-family homes for sale fell 0.9 percent to 332,000 in April, pushing the month's supply to 5.9 months, up from 5.6 months in March. Slowing sales and rising inventory are coinciding with slowing permit issuance. Overall, despite weakness in housing, the economy continues to be supported by a tight lab

Ignorance Doesn't Mean You're Dumb

In old English, the word "idiot" actually meant ignorant. Think about that. And I'll take this one further. All the knowledge in the world is useless if you don't act on it.

"Rich" People Are Rich Because "Poor" People Get Poorer

ANOTHER CLASS ENVY ATTACK TO GET YOUR VOTES:   Democrats, Socialists and Liberals in general believe in the zero sum game. In other words, in order to get "rich" you must take from someone who is "poor." (Only criminals do that, and I assume you're not a criminal. Not a good career move). From Daniel Mitchell, Phd at TownHall Finance   In the debate over “fairness,” my statist friends mistakenly see the economy as a fixed pie . This leads them to claim that rich people are rich because poor people are poor. But there’s no data to support this position (other than in kleptocracies such as Venezuela where a ruling socialist elite steals wealth ). So some folks on the left will back down from that extreme claim and instead assert that the rich are the only ones enjoying more prosperity as time goes by.   For evidence, they cite data showing that incomes have been mostly flat over the past 30-40 years for poor people and middle-class people, particularl

Are there lessons learned from the Australian Election?

From CNBC's the Exchange" newsletter May 20, 2019, quoted in its entirety. We should pay attention. The Australian dollar saw its biggest rise of the year overnight after a shock win by the conservative* coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who replaced Malcolm Turnbull just nine months ago.  The results were such a surprise the win has been called a miracle and a bombshell--and it's right in line with Brexit and Trump's victory in terms of major electoral upsets that have caught experts and pollsters flat-footed.    After all , as the BBC noted , "For well over  two years , the coalition has trailed behind Labor in the opinion polls, and the assumption had been it would be Labor's turn to govern." (Emphasis mine.)    Morrison thanked "the quiet Australians" who turned out to vote:  "It has been those Australians who have worked hard every day, they have their dreams, they have their aspirations, to get a job, to get an

Stock picks by others: Caveat Emptor

From Barron's this weekend :  5 Cheap Stocks to Ride Out the Trade War After stocks tumbled on trade tensions this past week, Wall Street quickly offered more repositioning advice than a yoga class, with none of the relaxation  . Get defensive. No, defensive stocks look expensive. Avoid companies that import from China. No, buy them, as long as they have enough pricing power to pass along higher costs to customers. Reduce large-caps. No, look to them as havens. Not so fast. If you're taking stock picks from writers in magazines, I'd hesitate.  Look before you jump.  Here's was my response to Jack Hough's article (which by the way was well written, but still caveat emptor .) I have certain criteria that must be met before I invest in a stock. P/E is just one. If a stock is trading at a historical low p/e, I want to know why. Other factors such as 5-year P/E growth, revenue growth, ROI, Free Cash Flow, Dividend growth (if it pays a dividend, which is not a

Things Smart People Don't Say

These ideas are from Entrepreneur  magazine and apply to the workplace. But I think they should apply to life in general. What you say reflects your attitudes toward yourself, others and the world in general. No matter how talented you are or what you've accomplished, there are certain phrases that instantly change the way people see you and can forever cast you in a negative light. It's important to think about what you say before you engage your mouth.  I have not included the entire list here, but these were always my pet peeves. 1. It's not fair.  Everyone knows that life isn’t fair. Saying it’s not fair suggests that you think life is supposed to be fair, which makes you look immature and naive. Don't fall into the entitlement trap. Do not be the victim.  2. It's the way we've always done it. Einstein said that trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results was a sign of insanity. Saying this is the way it’s always b

The Green New Deal: Bad Policy

The Austin City Council recently voted to endorse the Green New Deal. Most idiotic thing I've heard in some time. This "policy" is based on ignorance, plain and simple.  From the Texas Public Policy Foundation: Writing in Forbes, Jude Clemente points out five practical problems with the Green New Deal, including the spacing needs for renewables, their unreliability and the fate of humans who are denied access to cheap, dependable energy.   “I’m only going to mention cows, airplanes, tearing down homes and buildings, railroads from the West coast to Hawaii, a $93 trillion price tag, and a hundred other things that you can do your own research on,”  Clemente writes . “I’m going to limit my focus here: not a bash fest but a reality check. We need it… The quiet reality: more renewables inevitably mean more fossil fuels.”    The TPPF Take:  Advocates of the Green New Deal (and similar legislative efforts) must face facts—the plans are unworkable.   “The Green New De

Around and around we go

The Dark Reason So Many Millennials Are Miserable and Broke From Barron's: You’re not going to like this. Millennials spend more time on social media than older generations: People ages 25-34 spend 141 minutes per day on it, versus 105 for the 35-44 set. And that could be hurting both their finances and mental health. 5 Stocks to Ride the Coming Wave of Millennial Spending Also from Barron's: This year, the oldest millennials are turning 38—a prime age for young families and household formation. Spending tends to rise with income as consumers reach their late 30s and 40s, and then tapers off in their 50s, according to Census Bureau data.  Stocks Drop As U.S.-China Trade War Escalates From Schwab, via Seeking Alpha: Volatility is often a wake-up call for investors who haven't been engaged in their portfolios. If you're not comfortable with your risk level, it may be prudent to dial back the overall risk in your portfolio, while taking into account both short-