March 25, 2013 |
Stocks have had a good year, but experts say many small investors remain on the sidelines. These sites help you know whether the stock market is the right place for you to be, and how to invest wisely. A beginner's guide to investing at about.com suggests that there are four major ways for individuals to get into the stock market: 401(k) retirement accounts; IRAs; brokerage accounts and dividend reinvestment plans. The last of those, referred to as DRIPs, may be the most mysterious to the uninitiated.
February 19, 2013
UPON GRADUATION from high school in 1941, my first job was as an office boy at DuPont. At Christmas, my boss handed me a present of $25, equal to a third of my monthly salary. No one has ever spent as many hours on calculations and projections as to how such a windfall should be invested. The result: I purchased a lifetime subscription to Reader's Digest . By age 80, that had averaged out to 3.4 cents per issue. - D.W., Solvang, Calif. The Fool responds: That's a great reminder that some of the best kinds of purchases and investments are ones that keep giving for a long time.
January 15, 2013
LAST YEAR, I sold my Wal-Mart stock on someone's recommendation. There was this scandal in Mexico, and all of a sudden the thinking on the stock went from buy to sell. Of course, a huge company like Wal-Mart isn't going to collapse on a little political thing, and here it is, a few months later, selling for a lot more than it was when I sold it. - J.S., Burlington, Conn. THE FOOL RESPONDS: This past spring, Wal-Mart was hit with allegations of spending millions on bribery in Mexico.
January 3, 2013
Q: What's the definition of "market share?" - E.M., Victoria, Texas A: The useful online glossary at investorwords.com provides a good definition: "The percentage of the total sales of a given type of product or service that are attributable to a given company. " Consider smartphone- operating systems, for example. According to Kantar Worldpanel Com- Tech, in the United States, Apple's iOS recently held a 53 percent share of the market (up from 36 percent a year ago), versus 42 percent for Android, 3 percent for Windows and less than 2 percent for BlackBerry OS. Recent global data from IDC for "smart" connected devices (which include smartphones, PCs and tablets)
December 27, 2012
MY DUMBEST mistake was shorting Amazon.com when its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was around 200. No matter what its P/E is, there always seem to be buyers. - O.W., online The Fool responds: It's reasonable to steer clear of sky-high P/E ratios, as overvalued companies can be more likely to fall than to keep surging. But there's risk in actually putting money on the expectation that the stock will fall. Remember that a P/E ratio is just that - a simple ratio, dividing a stock's current price by its trailing year of earnings per share (EPS)
December 18, 2012 |
I'M EMBARRASSED just thinking about it. I've owned Netflix since it was $19 a share. When it hit $277, I sold. The next day it went up to $283, and I thought, "What was I thinking?" and bought it back. The rest is sad history: It's now around $90 per share. My original gut instinct was accurate, but greed got in the way and I'm paying for it now. I've lost a lot, but at least I did milk the stock over the years, taking profits numerous times to expand my portfolio in other directions.
May 13, 2008
By now you've likely heard that beleaguered automaker Ford (NYSE: F) will sell the British car companies Jaguar and Land Rover to India's Tata Motors (NYSE: TTM) for about $2.3 billion. Upon closing the deal, Ford will contribute $600 million to the two units' pension funds, leaving it with $1.7 billion, roughly a third of what it originally paid for the brands. Tata apparently intends to maintain the units' current management teams. For at least three years, Ford will still supply power trains, stampings, and other parts and technologies for the brands.
March 16, 2008 |
If living beyond our means is what gets us into financial trouble, why is it so difficult to live below our means, save money, and avoid grief? Here are some Web sites meant to make it easier. Ten ways. The writer here says he retired at age 51. It's not clear if buying store brands and brown bagging lunch played a huge role in making that possible, but those tricks are listed here among the 10 "smartest ways to live beneath your means. " The bigger picture is to avoid being taken in by advertising - and to save.
July 22, 2007 |
After last week's Web Winners about real estate investment trusts, we heard from passionate industry types (who knew?) about additional REIT sites for investors. Here are two of them, plus some more on understanding the subprime-mortgage crisis. REIT cafe. Under a drawing of a steaming cup of java, this Web site has industry news and a variety of episodic podcasts called REITtalk and REIT Report, where real estate industry experts, such as John Kriz, managing director for real estate finance at Moody's Investors Services, are interviewed, in some cases, at great length.