Investing Blog

Thursday, March 15, 2012 2:50 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Here we are in the middle of the third month of an election year, and the stock market is going gangbusters: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index, for example, closed 2011 at 1257.60 and hit 1401.07 today, an 11.4 percent increase.

Is it a coincidence or the presidential election cycle at work? That’s a theory that posits that the stock market does better in the second half of a president’s term. In an interview two months ago, editor of the “Trader’s Almanac,” Jeffrey Hirsch, told me:

You hear that there have been no losses in the third year of a president’s term since 1939, and it’s because …

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Monday, March 12, 2012 3:07 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

This week’s economic calendar will be dominated by the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on Tuesday. Not much in the way of new information is expected from this week’s meeting.

But Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report from the Department of Labor showed more jobs than expected being added to employer payrolls for the month of February. Combined with decreases to the headline unemployment rate for five straight months through January, the Fed may find reasons to be a bit more enthusiastic about economic growth at Tuesday’s meeting.

Before the Fed announcement, on Tuesday morning, the retail sales report will be released.

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Friday, March 9, 2012 4:27 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

With Wednesday’s launch of the newest iteration of their groundbreaking tablet, the iPad, Apple is once again the toast of the town. The new iPad will be in stores March 16, and forecasts for the stock are stretching into the stratosphere. For now, it’s tough to scratch up arguments against investing in Apple.

Most mutual fund investors probably already own the iconic technology company in large-cap mutual funds.

A story published in the Wall Street Journal on March 5, “Apple is hard to resist” tells us that nearly 86 percent of the large-growth funds tracked by Morningstar own Apple. Many own quite a bit.

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Monday, March 5, 2012 10:00 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

This week’s key economic reports for investors, the nonfarm payrolls report and the unemployment rate, will come on Friday. There are plenty of other reports and global activities to keep investors busy throughout the week, however. Today, factory orders will be released at 10 a.m. This report comes from the Census Bureau and contains the

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Friday, March 2, 2012 5:43 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Income investors are still scraping the bottom of the barrel for yield and finding a pittance. One area investors could consider offers high dividends, but they do come with some risks — mortgage real estate investment trusts, or mREITs. Real estate investment trusts, or REITs, are companies that invest in real estate or mortgages and

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Thursday, March 1, 2012 4:42 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Every year, companies hold shareholder meetings at which the state of the company is discussed, and votes are held on any proposed changes to the way the company does business — including environmental, social and governance issues. For shareholders who can’t make it to the meeting, there is proxy voting. Well ahead of the meeting,

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Monday, February 27, 2012 6:00 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Economic reports coming out this week deal with a few key areas of the economy including housing, consumers and manufacturing. There’s just one caveat, according to Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at the Economic Outlook Group in Princeton, N.J. “All of these economic indicators or rather most of them that will come out (this) week

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Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:35 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

The financial services industry can be an unforgiving place for everyone. For every story of hapless investors being taken advantage of, there are countless untold stories from the other side: those of the rude, abrasive, inconsiderate clients and the investment advisers that have to deal with them. It’s true that in many cases, advisers are

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012 10:44 am
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Online brokerages are still keeping investors happy according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s annual E-Commerce Report released this morning. Not quite as happy as last year however; customer satisfaction is down 3 percent overall. ASCI attributes the dip in customer satisfaction to the volatility of the stock market. No matter how much research, slick

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Friday, February 17, 2012 12:28 pm
By Sheyna Steiner · Bankrate.com

Exchange traded funds, or ETFs, have snowballed in recent years, exploding in popularity and number. The first ETF was started in 1993. By the end of the first quarter 2011, the ETF market had grown to $1.07 trillion, according to a 2011 report from BNY Mellon and Strategic Insight, “ETFs 2.0: The next wave of

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