Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Captain Kirk is a Billionaire?!

Maybe so.

It appears that Octogenarian William Shatner, famous for playing Star Trek's Captain Kirk, is bolding going where few men his age get to go - the Billionaire's club!

According to this article, Shatner's Price Line stock was worth about $600 million when the stock was worth $300 per share. It's now close to $500 per share. It seems he opted to be paid in Price Line stock when he took the gig as "Priceline Negotiator", pitching the company in often hysterical commercials. That decision looked pretty bad when the stock was $2 a share, but it's looking pretty sweet now!

Congratulations William Shatner, you are an inspiration. Not just for those seeking wealth, but for all of us who refuse to get old and spend retirement retiring from life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How the Rich Stay Rich. (video)

The beautiful Farnoosh Torabi presents 5 ways the rich stay rich, profiling Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Sean Combs, Mark Hurd and John Paulson.

How do they do it?

1. Live below your means
2. Bounce back from defeat
3. Self promote
4. Have street smarts
5. Buy cheap

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why Now is Not the Time to Buy Stocks. (video)

Gary Shilling is warning of  - of all things - a bubble in the stock market!

After the meltdown in 2008 and all the talk of a second depression, it may seem silly to say that the recent bull market is just another bubble, but he may not be as crazy as he sounds.

Here are some of the things he sees:

  • He's looking at deflation, not inflation
  • He says the dollar will rebound... eventually
  • Treasuries are the place to be.
He talks about how the rise in the stock market is largely due to government "stimulus" and not to fundamental performance or improvement. When the smoke and mirrors come down on the "recovery", so will the market (those are my words, not his).

 He points out that while everyone is warning about inflation, wages are actually stagnant or falling. Producers, like P&G, Kroger, etc.. are seeing their margins squeezed as consumers are simply putting the breaks on higher spending.

My take :

I'm thinking more stagflation than inflation or deflation. Prices are going up, and it's not because people are making so much they have the extra cash to throw around.

The dollar may eventually rebound, and the massive deficits may not be so bad... OR the dollar will lose its reserve currency status, leaving the country without the option of monetizing the debt. That would likely bring an end to Treasuries "safe haven" status as well.

I'm just a amateur investor and blogger, so what do I know? These are just things I'm working through and have yet to find any answers to.

Click the image to see the video interview

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Behold- the BIG Picture of the U.S. Stock Market!

Check this out:

It's the BIG picture of the U.S. Stock market - everything from 1925 to today!

The image is courtesy of and it's zoom-able on their site.

Some observations:

  • The stock market really does go up over time! ;-)
  • 93% of the time, the market is up over any given 10-yr period - 100% of the time over 15-years.
  • An investment of $1 invested continuously for 30 years (1981-2010) would be worth $21.13, while that same $1 invested using market timing would be worth only $9.06 if you missed the best year in each of the 10-year segments!
  • The best year for international stocks is 25% higher than the best year for U.S. Stocks, while the worst years differ only by 3%.
  • $1 invested in 1926 in U.S. stock would be worth $2,829 in 2011.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How To Make Money On Higher Food Prices.

If you've been to the grocery store in the past month you already know that food prices are on the rise, despite official claims that there is low to no inflation. Food prices rose 3.9% in February - the biggest one month jump since 1974! And that was before the catastrophe in Japan. What the Tsunami and earthquake didn't destroy, the damaged nuclear reactors will probably contaminate.

Then you factor in a harsh winter and ethanol programs turning food into fuel, you can see why prices have started to rise. Fear is also at play. But ask yourself this: What's going to happen when the world emerging market economies really start growing, and demand skyrockets?

Global food prices are at their highest since the U.N. started tracking them in 1990.

So how do you take part in these rising prices to make a little money for yourself, and help offset what you'll be spending yourself? ETF's, of course!

Here are 5, agriculture ETF's that provide broad exposure to various food commodities:

  • PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA)
  • iPath Dow Jones-UBS Agriculture Subindex Total Return ETN (JJA)
  • E-TRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI Agriculture ETN (UAG)
  • E-TRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI Food ETN (FUD)
  • PowerShares DB Agriculture Long (AGF)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kiplinger 2011 Stock March Madness.

It's March Madness!

For those who are more interested in investing, stocks and trading, you can check out the 2011 brackets at Kiplinger.

They've chosen the sweet 16 - top 16 performers - of the S&P 500, and you choose which you think will perform best over the next 3 years.

From the site:

Here’s how our game will work: Every weekday throughout the NCAA tournament, we’ll feature a face-off on Facebook between two of these sweet 16 stocks and ask you to vote for your pick. The company with the most votes will advance to the next round of our tournament until only one winner remains.
Tipoff for the vote is at noon each day, and runs until the next day at 10 a.m. The championship "game" coincides with that of the men's NCAA game on April 4th.