Saturday, October 6, 2007

Trading Futures Contracts - How It Works

Trading is a simple process. Connect to the Internet and log onto your brokers web site. Choose the contract you wish to trade and display its details on your screen.

You are presented with two buttons - Buy and Sell. There are actually different ways to enter Buy/Sell orders, but we keep it simple here.

To bet that the price will go up, press the Buy button to enter a Long trade. The trade is ended by pressing the Sell button.

To bet that the price will go down, press the Sell button first to enter a Short trade. The trade is ended by pressing the Buy button.

As an example, one of the Dow Jones futures contracts trades at $5 per point.

The market is moving up and the trader decides to take a Long trade, pressing the Buy button when the index is at 11,600. 20 minutes later the index is at 11,640. The trader presses the Sell button, making $200 profit - the index went up 40 points at $5 per point.

Suppose that, after 5 minutes, the index has dropped to 11,580. The trader could press the Sell button to close the trade with a $100 loss - the index dropped 20 points losing $5 per point.

In a weak market, the trader might decide to take a Short trade, pressing the Sell button with the index at, say, 11,600. If half an hour later the index has dropped 100 points to 11,500, the trader could press the Buy button to close the trade, and book $500 profit - a 100 point drop at $5 per point.

If the assumption of weakness turns out to be wrong and 20 minutes after the start of the trade the market is up 30 points, the trade might be closed by pressing the Buy button and taking the 30 point loss - $150 - the index gained 30 points losing $5 per point.

In summary, Long trades make money if the price rises and lose money if the price falls. The opposite applies for Short trades.

Before trading, there must be a minimum amount of money deposited in your trading account. This is called the margin. It is not the same for different contracts. For example, the day trading margin for a soybeans contract is currently $675 at my broker, but it is $1,406 for the Dow Jones contract which is perceived as more risky.

If you are losing on a trade you may reach a point where your balance no longer covers the required margin for the position you are in. If this occurs, your broker may either close your position without consulting you, or contact you requesting that you immediately deposit more money to cover the margin. That is a margin call.

The broker charges you a fee every time you press the Buy or Sell button. That is the brokerage fee. My broker charges $2.40.

David Bennett trades US commodity futures from his home on the Gold Coast in Australia. He provides coaching and mentoring services for people wanting to start trading for themselves. Visit to read more futures trading articles.

Fibonacci Numbers - How to Use Them for Huge Trading Profits!

The Fibonacci numbers sequence and the golden ratio have fascinated mathematicians for hundreds of years.

While Fibonacci numbers have many applications, they have received considerable interest from traders due to their uncanny accuracy in spotting market turning points in advance.

You can use Fibonacci numbers as a predictive tool and when used correctly they can enhance a your analysis of the market, helping you to increase profits and decrease risk.

The History of Fibonacci Numbers

The Fibonacci number sequence first appeared as the solution to a problem in the Liber Abaci, a book written by Leonardo Fibonacci in 1202 to introduce the Hindu-Arabic numerals used today to a Europe still using Roman numerals.

The original problem in the Liber Abaci posed the question: How many pairs of rabbits can be generated from a single pair, if each month each mature pair brings forth a new pair, which, from the second month, becomes productive.

The Fibonacci number Sequence

The resulting Fibonacci numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, are the result of the following equation.

If Fn is the nth Fibonacci number, then successive terms are formed by addition of the previous two terms, as Fn+1 = Fn + Fn-1, F1 = 1, F2 =

The ratio of any number to the next larger number is 62%, which is a popular Fibonacci retracement number. The inverse of 62% is 38%, and this 38% is likewise a Fibonacci retracement number.

Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Ratio

Fibonacci numbers are found to have many relationships to the Golden Ratio F = (1 + /5)/2, a constant of nature which was of constant interest to the ancient Greeks, appearing in both Greek art and architecture.

Fibonacci Numbers and Market Analysis

Changes in stock prices are not simply a tug of war between supply and demand but also reflect human opinions, valuations, and expectations.

A study carried out by mathematical psychologist Vladimir Lefebvre demonstrated that humans exhibit positive and negative evaluations of the opinions they hold in a ratio that approaches phi, with 61.8% positive and 38.2% negative and that Fibonacci numbers are rooted in a traders psychology.

Predicting Market Movements with Fibonacci Numbers

Research shows markets as being perfectly patterned, explaining that humans, being part of nature, create perfect geometric relationships in their behaviours, even if they dont realize it themselves.

The Golden Mean is the number 0.618. In Both Greek and Egyptian cultures, this number was highly significant. They believed that the number had important implications in many areas of science and art. This dimension was utilised in the construction of many buildings - including the pyramids.

The Golden Mean appears frequently enough in the timing of highs and lows and price resistance points that adding this tool to technical analysis of the markets can help to identify key turning points.

W. D.Gann and Fibonacci Numbers

Gann was a stock and commodity trader who reputedly made over $50 million trading the markets.

Gann made his fortune using methods which he developed for trading instruments based on relationships between price movement and time and his work was heavily influenced by Fibonacci numbers.

Gann divided price action into eighths and thirds. This yields numbers such as 1/3, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 2/3. In percentage terms, these fractions are 33.3%, 37.5%, 50%, 62.5%, and 66.7%. These five ratios are commonly used retracement values. Gann placed strong significance on 50% retracements.

To learn more about using Gann trading methods please visit our web site:

Job Search - "Market Timer Needed"

Requirements For The Position

Have you ever wondered what the job requirements would be for the position of "Market Timer?" Assuming such a position existed, would you be qualified for it?

Such requirements would obviously be the same as those needed for anyone to successfully time the markets.

Let's see... what would the ad look like?


Candidates must be able to go against the prevailing opinion.

Candidates must be able to take a bullish position when everyone is bearish, and take a bearish position when everyone is bullish.

Candidates must be independent and self-assured. They don't worry about how they are doing compared with other investors.

Candidates must be able to accept that sometimes their investments will underperform the market, knowing that over time, they will outperform the market.

Candidates must be able to accept that their timing will require them to make frequent trades that may seem like mistakes, and a string of successive small losses won't drive them up the wall.

Candidates must be able to adopt a strategy for the long haul and stick with it, even when at times it is discouraging.

Candidates must be able to able to obey buy and sell signals, which often are issued against the prevailing sentiment.

Candidates must be able to ignore the mass media, which raise emotions and thus increase the risk of not executing a trade. It is often the trade that is hardest to take, that winds up being the most profitable.

Candidates must be decisive and willing to move at a moment's notice, without second-guessing, when a timing system calls for buying or selling.

Candidates must be willing to watch their investments every business day without fail.

What Each And Every One Of Us Face

Okay.... maybe it is not a job that we would see advertised anywhere. But the job requirements tell us a great deal about what each and every one of us face as market timers.

Market timers face a constant psychological battle. Prevailing sentiment, not to mention our next door neighbor, is constantly telling us to cave in and go with the majority. There is comfort in following the majority, at least for awhile.

But timers must walk alone. They can never give in to these pressures because just when the urge is greatest, the next profitable trend is launched. We must be on board. No trade can be missed.

Against The Herd

Yes... sometimes the majority are right, especially during a long trend. But never forget that the majority are wrong at market tops as well as market bottoms, when volume swells and everyone is moving in the same direction with herd-like mentality.

As market timers, we go against the herd. It may be tough at times, but we know that the profits realized over the years are well worth the battle.

Getting That Car Loan.:A Warning - Make Sure You Have A Set Budget

Getting approved for a loan is always the ultimate goal when you apply and it can be tough if you don't know the ropes. Several alternatives can make it easier for you though. You can always go the bank or credit union route for approval. This process of course will scrutinize your credit rating closely. It will greatly improve your chances of going through if you have steady income, a good job history, and a favorable credit report.

A Warning

It's no secret that sometimes choosing how the car is going to paid for can be more difficult than choosing the car itself. What makes it so difficult is there are what seems like an endless array of financing options to choose from. Some options are going to be good, and others are not going to be as favorable. You can either end up with the car of your dreams, or you can walk out with a loan deal that will leave you upside down-thus affecting your financial peace of mind for years to come.

More and more people are finding themselves upside down in their new car purchases, especially people with credit problems. The car dealer shows you a car that deep down, you know you can't afford...until he shows you how you can! Don't fall for it. You can easily end up in a lease or worse an 72 month loan!

First Things First, Budget!

Before you go to the car lot, do an honest budget. Calculate your net income (what you actually bring home after taxes and other deductions) and deduct all your bills and see how much free cash you have per month. If paying for a car and insurance will leave you at zero available cash for an emergency, you need to budget a little harder and cut financial corners where you can.

So you think you qualify for that beautiful car on the showroom floor? Think again...very carefully. Even though you may be told that the numbers indicate that you qualify, you still may not be able to afford it. This is where honesty should take center stage. Your thoughts should be centered on what the monthly payment is going to be, and how you're going to make the payment each month. Be patient, go through as many offers possible before committing. The real prize will be to walk away with the car of your choice and a low-interest loan to pay back.

If you belong to a credit union, this should be a good place for you to start looking. Credit Unions can offer some great rates for members. Another option is to go online. The loans are about as diverse and numerous as the websites themselves. There are a lot of competitive deals to be found. Online shopping only takes a moment of your time, and based on your present credit, may be able to give you a better deal than a dealership can.

Then there is the dealership car loan. A lot of people will warn you about this route, and often with good cause. But, if you do your homework and walk in with options in hand, you will be negotiating from a position of power. Make sure you're up on any dealer rebates as well. In the end, dealerships know they have a great deal of competition, and will do what is necessary to make the loan go through.

There will of course be those of who don't want to commit to a lengthy car loan deal. For the chosen few, there is always the leasing option. You may find your payments to be a lot lower, because you actually wind up paying for depreciation, and not equity. Be careful on this one so that you don't end up with overpayment for overage fees, which can sneak up on you. Do the homework, and you'll come out the real winner.

Liz Roberts is a loan consultant with NewHorizon Finance and has been providing consumers and business owners with financing since 1989. Bad Credit? Join our mailing list for tips on building and repairing your credit yourself without hiring a credit repair. For a list of unsecured bad credit credit cards click here. For a list bad credit auto loan lenders click here

Is Putting Real Estate in your Self-Directed IRA a Realistic Investment Choice?

The pursuit for a secure retirement has become progressively more difficult. Given the uncertainty of today's stock market in light of corporate governance failure on a massive scale with the Enron and WorldCom scandals, the poor recovery of investment because of the panic selling of stocks and bonds that have since wobbled their way back up, without bringing investors' funds with them and the political and economic uncertainty generated by the 'war against terrorism', it is not surprising that investors are looking for alternative choices to invest their retirement funds.

These days, many investors prefer to have a wider range of choices and the ability to diversify their retirement fund investments outside the poorly performing, so called conservative choices of stocks and bonds, and into other areas. This has resulted in a massive expansion in the market for self-directed IRAs.

Oftentimes the phrase self-directed IRA is tossed around by prominent investment firms and is only narrowly understood by the majority IRA investors. Unbeknownst to many self directed IRA investors many investment firms would have them believe that the term self-directed IRA only refers to the ability to choose which stocks, bonds and mutual funds they can buy. Fortunately, there is more to this narrative.

In contrast, a growing culture of investors is educating themselves on their investment alternatives and they are now starting to invest in real estate and other non-traditional assets. Indeed, any legitimate business investment is open to them both as single investors and undertaking group investments. If you know what you are doing or have expert advice in the area, it is possible even with low cash reserves to diversify retirement portfolios and in particular to capitalize on the growing real estate industry for example.

Most conventional financial planners don't offer truly self directed IRA plans since they may operate under plan documents which only allow investors to invest in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Nor is it in their interest to do so. Their commission structures are set up to favor investment in the financial markets whether this is in the best interest of the investor or not. Which means their advice is hardly objective.

Of course, this is not advising that investors completely abandon stock market offerings, merely that they do not keep all their eggs in one basket. Just as stock markets rise and fall so can real estate prices. But diversifying your investments minimizes the risk on your returns.

Procuring real estate for investment purposes with an IRA provides several favorable tax breaks. A Roth IRA allows the investor to benefit from tax deferral while it is growing and to be free from tax on distribution in contrast to a traditional IRA which is taxed at time of distribution. Nor is there a minimum distribution and investors can also continue to pay into Roth IRAs which can be of benefit if they intend to pass them to their heirs (which can be done without taxation). In addition, unlike 1031 exchanges, there are no specified investment timeframes or requirements to procure 'like kind' investments. Finally, capital gains tax is not applied since taxation does not occur until distribution.

All of these factors contribute to making real estate investment with IRA funds very tempting. However, it is not something that should be undertaken lightly nor should investors, unless they are experts in their own right in the tax and investment laws, undertake for themselves, due to the strict and sometimes complex legislation imposed through the IRS. Otherwise they may find themselves exposed to penalties and taxes. Just as you choose a traditional financial advisor when looking into stock and mutual fund investments you should also look a properly qualified self-directed IRA advisor.

First, traditional financial advisors are not usually best placed to give advice on real estate investment. While they have a good understanding of stocks and shares, they have very little experience of the real estate market. Instead, you should look for an advisor who can help you structure IRA and real estate entities, evaluate investment opportunities and avoid infringing self directed IRA rules in setting up investments.

Your IRA advisor will need to have extensive knowledge of self-directed rules and the expertise to implement complex deals plus a good strong background in real estate and real estate development. Because, while an investment in a single property is probably no more difficult than buying your own home, using private funds, especially self-directed IRA funds to invest in real estate developments, real estate lots, purchasing apartment communities and other larger scale real estate investments is something that most people don't have the requisite knowledge to undertake.

A good example is rehabilitating individual residential real estate. If you have never undertaken this kind of work, it can be a very risky business. Without substantial amount of real estate investment experience, you can easily lose your IRA retirement money. It is very important to have an appropriate real estate advisor who understands where to find to good real estate opportunities and knows what a realistic real estate investment and realistic rate of return is and how to appropriately manage a real estate rehabilitation or real estate development project from start to finish. Mainstream do-it-yourself TV shows showing rehabilitation projects are a case in point as the majority of people go over budget during the rehabilitation and the majority of times lose money. Don't let this happen to your retirement.

Ability to offer advice has to be accompanied by permissibility to offer advice. A self directed IRA custodian (as opposed to a self directed IRA advisor) may not offer any investment advice to an investor. It is prohibited. They must maintain a neutral position and can only give you advice on the IRS regulations and their firm's investment policies. Therefore, an IRA custodian cannot offer advice on real estate transactions, which is a good thing because their primary purpose is to hold account holders monies.

In short, real estate investment is a realistic option for most investors looking to diversify their holdings, but the key to benefiting from it is getting the right advice from the right source.

Joshua Geary with Asset Exchange Strategies is an avid writer, business strategist and online marketing consultant. For more information on how you can get checkbook control of your IRA and turn your self directed IRA into a wealth magnet visit the link.

Online Stocks - Swing or Stay the Day

Online traders enjoy the convenience of being just a click away from buying or selling. As they become more sophisticated in trading strategies, traders may consider which approach they prefer; day trading or swing trading. The major issue is timeframe whether you prefer rapid fire trades or longer term investing.

Day traders are geared for instant gratification or instant desperation depending on the success of the transaction. The day trader may follow a few stocks or skip around within an industry to take profits from sudden swings in the market. This strategy eliminates exposure from holds. It can be an exhausting process, sitting at the computer screen intensely for hours. Frequent trading can pile up big bills for trading fees. Thus for day traders trading fast also means trading smart. When not at the computer screen, the dedicated day trader is wired to information using notifications sent to the cell phone or other mobile electronic device. Almost like the thrill of a hunt, day traders are driven by the excitement as well as the profits from beating other traders to a winning score.

The swing trader searches for cycles and hopes to be on the right side of the cycle for maximum profits. Swing traders make use of technical analysis in trading decisions. The swing trader may use options and future as well as stocks. With this approach, the swing trader does not make as many trades in a given day as a day trader does. Waiting for that right opportunity increases the risk of each trade. But the willingness to avoid jumping at fluctuations rather than trends is part of the strategy. Also the swing trader spends less in trading fees and commissions by trading less often.

Another variation is the long term swing trading strategy. The long term swing trader counts on information from the indexes combined with fundamental and technical analysis to make trading decisions. The longer timeframe of weeks or months gives the long term swing trader some protection against those odd blips in the market day which are not real trends. Some stocks need time to level out, which can be missed by day traders. What the long term swing trader misses is the fast break day trading style; it can be made up with patience and persistence. Holding for longer periods definitely increases the risk, particularly for stocks in volatile industries. When the long term trader wins, its often a big win worth the patience.

Many online stock traders cut their teeth with day trading. Moving into the longer timeline of swing trading may seem slow at first, but also gives the trader great opportunity to become expert in one or two industries rather than being the generalist that some day traders attempt to be. The former buy and hold investor can find that long term swing trading gives the slower pace preferred with the chance of making profits from online trading.

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Weekly Markets Thoughts - August 12, 2007

The Fed kept again the interest rates unchanged. Is there any other choice? Well, not really and until it is possible the rates will be kept at these levels. The problem is that it is already very suicidal not to increase them as the inflation is accelerating more and more. On the other side, rising interest rates will block the not so robust American economy and will push it to a recession probably never seen beforeIt is a no win situation and the only thing to do for now is to postpone the disaster as long as possible, not to prevent it. And this is exactly what the Federal Reserve and its Chairman Ben Bernanke are doing.

The big story for the past week was that American Home Mortgage Investment filed for Chapter 11. Hey, everybody is looking surprised. Are you really? With all those mortgages given to people who have trouble to pay their grocery bills, is it surprising that they are not able to make their mortgages payments? And the absurdity of giving a 40 years mortgage to a 55-60 old year borrower? We have been to the extreme for sometime now and the bankruptcy of AHMI is just a little sign of what is lying ahead of us. It is a little warning wave. The tsunami is not here yet but it is approaching faster than most of us can imagine. As I said in one of my previous commentaries, we are not there yet. Those of you who are overloaded with mortgages of two, tree or more properties, you still have the time to reposition and better diversify your investments. For another 12-18 months we have the opportunity to rethink our investment portfolios and hedge our assets value.

The stock markets are still in a correction mode but nothing significant. Most of them crossed support levels and are going down further. It is still within the expectations. There is room for a further decrease but no place for worries. Not for now. The fall will push them back up and 2008 is expected to be a very profitable year. And probably the last one for a long, long time.

The currencies are consolidating and preparing for the next move up. The US dollar index is staying around 80.50 and is going to improve a little bit. Nothing major!

The commodities are the only stable place to be now and for the years to come. They will be your lifeline - the only hedge against inflation and economic collapses. Gold and silver are building a very solid support and the next move up should be very impressive. Crude oil is correcting from its recent highs but has room to rise further. The fall season is usually very good for commodities and this fall will not be an exception. Do your research or ask your financial advisor for help.

Best regards and good investing,

Stefan Penkov

Disclaimer: Stefan Penkov is not a registered investment advisor.The opinions and statements made in the above publication are the result of extensive research and are believed to be accurate and from reliable sources. The contents are my current opinion only, further more conditions may cause my opinions to change without notice. The insights herein published are made solely for international and educational purposes. The contents in this publication are not to be construed as solicitation or recommendation to be used for formulation of investment decisions in any type of market whatsoever. WARNING share market investment or speculation is a high risk activity. Investors enter such activity at their own risk and must conduct their own due diligence to research and verify all aspects of any investment decision, if necessary seeking competent professional assistance.

Wall Street to Main Street: News, Views and Commentary: April 26, 2006

Its Wednesday April 26, 2006, and after President Bushs speech yesterday oil markets are still towing the line as the main catalyst is still the situation in Iran, the rising prices at the pump has a big question mark on it as the switch to the ethanol additive may partially be to blame.

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Political Front

Twin suicide attacks targeting security personnel rocked northern Sinai near the Gaza Strip today, two days after triple bombings killed at least 18 people in a resort further south.

It looks as though Fox News Tony Snow will be named White House press secretary by President Bush at some point this morning, an excellent replacement for Bush.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to Iraq to show support for the country's emerging new government.

Added note:

The film about United Flight 93 that depicts the events of September 11 has premiered at the Tribeca Film and over 90 relatives of the victims of Flight 93 attended the premiere. Robert DeNiro acknowledged the presence of the relatives and the nature of the film as he addressed the audience before the showing.

On a personal note, being a New Yorker and seeing first hand the devastation that day, almost losing my wife in the WTC and attending countless wakes, I have to say that even though for most this may be a hard film to watch, it is a story that must be told so that we do not forget those that were lost and those heroes that never made it back home. I have yet to see the film but for Robert DeNiro to allow it to be shown at the Tribeca Film festival it had to be worthy.

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Movers and Shakers

Some major movers in yesterday's trading session include Pope and Talbot (NYSE: POP) which traded up $1.29 to close at $7.05, Great American Financial (NYSE: GFR) which traded up $2.53 to close at $22.65, Millipore Corp (NYSE: MIL) which traded up $5.90 to close at $75.25, NewMil Bancorp (NASDAQ: NMIL) which traded up $10.92 to close at $39.83, NurtiSystem (NASDAQ: NTRI), a company that is in its zone with summer creeping ever so close, the stock traded up $17.31 to close at $68.01, Serologicals (NASDAQ: SERO) which traded up $7.83 to close at $31.15, Zoran Corp (NASDAQ: ZRAN) which traded up $6.50 to close at $29.13 and Indymac Bancorp (NYSE: NDE) which traded up $5.94 to close at $75.99.

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Tid Bits

Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT) ripped through 1st quarter projections with a 48% rise in profits beating the analyst estimate and still the stock of the heavy machinery company was pounded yesterday as it closed at $74.93 down $2.45. But just like Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), this company was oversold and for all intents and purposes is still at a discount as it has to potential to go into the double digits this year.

Boeing (NYSE: BA) is not only a company to watch as earnings are on the way but its a stock to own. With major contracts being signed with China as of late its only a matter of time before that relationship grows a lot stronger, one other avenue of growth is Boeing tapping into the other emerging market India. So there are a lot of opportunities for growth as the stock has the potential to be a $100 stock in the next 6 to 12 months.

Amazon.coms (NASDAQ: AMZN) earnings slide down over 35% as they announced 1st quarter earnings of 12 cents per share, compared with $78 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same period a year ago. They painted a colorful picture as they gave some guidance for future quarters but proceed with caution as competition is going to get fierce in 2006/07 and the rising oil prices will drive up their shipping cost and will eat into their earning ability..

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This is the third of our Furious Five companies that we see excelling in their industry in 2006. Our third addition to this weeks Furious Five is Power Integrations Inc (NASDAQ: POWI) it trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol POWI.

To get our outlook on the Furious Five and other vital information about this company and others, just subscribe to Wall Street to Main Street FREE at

We cannot stress enough that investors need to do their due diligence, call the companies, get the information, consult with your investment advisor and if you do not have one consider getting one. Put the same time into investigating these companies as you do when you go to purchase a new television, its only for your protection. When it comes to thinly traded securities stagger your orders or put a limit order in to avoid a run up.

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Louis Victor NAMC Newswire 888-463-9237

Disclaimer: None of the information contained on the NAMC Newswire constitutes a recommendation by the NAMC Newswire, its journalist, nor its parent company that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific investors or person. Each individual investor must make their own independent decisions regarding any security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy featured on the NAMC Newswire or NAMC Radio Any past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance. The NAMC Newswire, its journalist nor its parent company does not guarantee any specific outcome or profit, and all investors should be aware of the real risk of loss in following any strategy or investments featured on the NAMC Newswire or the NAMC Radio. The strategy or investments discussed may fluctuate in price or value and investors may get back less than you invested. Before acting on any information featured on the NAMC Newswire website or the NAMC Radio segment, investors should consider whether it is suitable for their particular circumstances and strongly consider seeking advice from their own financial or investment adviser. Investors are also urged to do their own due diligence before investing in any security.

All opinions featured on the NAMC Newswire or NAMC Radio are based upon information that is considered to be reliable, but neither the NAMC Newswire, its journalist, its parent company, affiliates nor assigns warrant its completeness or accuracy, and it should not be relied upon as such. The statements and opinions featured on the NAMC Newswire by its journalist are based on their outlook at the time of the statement or opinion, and are subject to change without notice. NAMC may at times hold a position in the companies that it features, in these cases appropriate disclosure is made.

Louis Victor is the host of the syndicated podcast show and financial newsletter "Wall Street to Main Street" which is featured on the NAMC Newswire Radio. He has been involved in the financial industry for over two decades, on the retail and investment banking ends. He is also well versed in the advertising and marketing industries, which has given him insight into market trends and unqiue companies that may be under the radar.

Finding A Good Stock

One of the things people are always asking me is how can I find a good stock. The answer I give does not please them. I say, "You are not qualified to pick stock. You don't know how so don't try. Put your money in a no-load mutual fund that is going up".

The next cry is, "I don't want to buy mutual funds. What do I do?" OK, so I'll tell you. It is easy. You will have to do less than an hour of work. None of that Wall Street mythology about research which is all horse hockey. The way Wall Street does research is worthless. And don't listen to any broker. Advice from a broker is a eulogy for your money.

They want you to look at the company prospectus. This document isn't worth the paper it is printed on. It was not written for the investor; it was written to pass inspection by some Dilbert lawyer in Washington to see that it meets all the regulations. You can take a prospectus of a very good company and one of a company that has gone bankrupt and you will see they are almost identical. Throw them away.

Read the Annual Report. Another bit of smoke and mirrors. The title should tell you - Annual. Much of what is in it is a year old. Worthless. And let's hope it doesn't have a case of Enronitis.

Get a report from Morningstar. They know all about every financial statistic for a company that you can think of. You might even find out how many sugar lumps the CEO has in his coffee, but there is one thing you won't learn. If you buy this company's stock will it go up? What I am saying is that all the conventional wisdom methods of doing research are worthless. So what do you do?

On the Internet you can find a list of the best performing mutual funds. Go to or . There are other places also, but these 2 are very good. List the top 5 mutual funds (write down their symbols). Now go to . Put in the symbol for one of the funds. A chart will come up giving you a picture of the price performance of that fund. If it is going up at a 25-degree angle or more it means the fund manager is doing a good job of picking stocks. At the top of the chart picture there is a legend for Morningstar. Click on that. The new page will show near the bottom the major holdings of this fund. Again you need to get the symbols for his top 5 stocks and look at the chart picture for each one. If that stock is going up in a nice steady price over a period of time of 6 months or longer you have found a winner. Do this with several funds until you have found some stocks you like.

You have let a professional stock picker do all the work for you and now can piggyback his expertise at no cost. Please remember that when that stock turns down you want to sell it. You may be able to ride one up, but you can never tell when it will turn into another Enron. Always be ready to sell.

Al Thomas' book, "If It Doesn't Go Up, Don't Buy It!" has helped thousands of people make money and keep their profits with his simple 2-step method. Read the first chapter at and discover why he's the man that Wall Street does not want you to know.

Copyright 2005