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I first started working in the financial markets—as a clerk on an options exchange—in November of 1999. Four months before the top. So over the first three formative years of my career, stocks only went down, not up. Not only did they go down, but they went down relentlessly. Demoralizing…
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Websters Dictionary defines a zero-sum game as: a game in which the sum of the winnings and losses of the various players is always zero. Origin: 1940–45 Myth: Investing IS a Zero-Sum game Wall Street in and of itself is filled with countless “myths”  largely because so many people, even the so-called professionals, simply do not understand it. One of these myths is that investing is a zero-sum…
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The major indices are hitting a new all-time highs again. If you lived on another planet and were told the S&P 500 is at an all-time high, one would expect to hear that the US economy (Main Street) is surging. Unfortunately, the US economy has been barely growing. Meanwhile, the…
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I look at capital markets (stocks, bonds, currencies, and commodities) as the last economic frontier. For the purpose of this article, I’ll focus on Wall Street, but the same concepts apply to other markets. It is the one place on earth where anyone can make (or loss) a fortune–regardless of…
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Each week, we tap the insight of Sam Stovall, Chief Equity Strategist for S&P Capital IQ, for his perspective on the current market.  EQ: The S&P 500 continues to hit all-time highs. Just as important, however, is that the SmallCap 600 seems to be keeping pace with it. Does this…
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Profits are a function of time. By definition, any trade that is exited with a profit requires a certain element of time. The problem is that most people have a natural tendency to seek immediate gratification at the expense of long-term gratification. That is why most people lose money on…
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The stock market is continuously changing but the one constant throughout history is (has always been and will always be) human nature. The stories, stocks, centuries, asset classes, bubbles, busts always change, but people don’t. That is why it is important to understand market cycles not just from a technical…
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Who is my pick for a great value investor to emulate? Sir Paul McCartney. I know, I know, I’m supposed to respond with Ben Graham or maybe Warren Buffett, but McCartney is a great example of how to be successful through value investing, and one whose approach is far more…
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An art dealer is very different from an art collector. The art dealer will not buy famous paintings and store them in the safe for decades, hoping their value will rise. The art dealer buys a painting only if he or she estimates there is a certain range of profit…
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Each week, we tap the insight of Sam Stovall, Chief Equity Strategist for S&P Capital IQ, for his perspective on the current market.  EQ: The S&P 500 hit a new all-time high this week. Do we have much more room to run after overcoming the recent pullback? Stovall: There’s not…
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Has copper lost its importance? The basic premise is that for the past few years, copper and other industrial metals, no longer play a critical role for global economic growth. Don’t take my word for it; the proof is in the charts. Since 2011, copper prices have been steadily falling while…
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The short answer is you fail. It's easy to forget now, but remember what happened to major institutions like Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers? The long answer is that when you overlook risk, at the very least, you hinder your ability to prosper. For the purpose…
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