Tag: news

A Self-Employed Carpenter’s Thoughts on the Future

The world is changing. Currently, as a nation, we have a large and well-trained section of our work force dedicated to residential construction. Unemployment within the construction industry now exceeds 20%. That number takes into account only workers getting unemployment compensation. There are also many self-employed individuals, ineligible for unemployment compensation, who have simply run out of customers and work. That is the bad news. Now the worse news: Not only are those jobs not coming back, but the construction industry will continue to diminish for the foreseeable future. The real estate glut is not on hold; it is over. Waiting for its return is similar to waiting for next the big surge in typewriters, 35mm cameras, and home phones. Why are the construction jobs not coming back? There are three main reasons, the first of which is inflation. Decades of credit expansion and the recent printing of money (quantitative easing) have increased the overall volume of our fiat currency: dollars. Therefore, the value of each dollar unit has been reduced, causing prices to rise. This results in increased costs in construction of new homes. Higher new construction costs make staying in and repairing older structures, or renting, more attractive. The second reason is fuel costs. Living rurally and working in urban areas is becoming very expensive. Reasons one and two will keep an increasing number of younger workers and couples living and renting closer to work. Why take the financial and mobility risks associated with homeownership? The third reason is we are broke. Who are “we”? Western civilization, comprised mainly of the U.S. and Europe. Consider this…there are gold and silver coins and bullion: actual wealth storage vehicles. There are paper dollars: temporary wealth storage vehicles. And there are also trillions of “dollars” represented as pixels on screens in accounting software programs. When I say that we are broke it is because I don’t believe those pixel dollars represent anything. All of the wealth supposedly held in those pixels does not exist. It is a classic Ponzi scheme. If you go today and convert your pixels to actual dollars, everything is just fine. But if 10% of us go today and try to convert our pixels into dollars, the banks will shut down…Why? Because the money doesn’t exist. There is no actual wealth stored in any of those pixels. Spain and Portugal may require financial bailouts in 2011. Part of the fallout from the Greek financial crisis last year was the creation of a eurozone bailout fund of $1.01 trillion. That fund could be used to assist Spain and Portugal if necessary. Where did that $1.01 trillion come from? Was it removed from another sector of Europe’s economy? Supplied in gold bullion to EU headquarters in The Hague? Removed from the savings accounts of earnest Europeans? No, none of those could supply …

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The Metal People are Dying For

The Metal People are Dying For

Maybe the weak are simply being weeded from the gene pool so the strong may survive… This theory might help explain why people keep electrocuting themselves to death, cutting into live power lines to extract copper. Stories of deaths related to copper thefts have been all over the news: Last summer, a 42-year-old Appalachian man died while trying to steal copper from a live power line. Charleston Daily Mail reported “American Electric Power says copper thieves are becoming increasingly brazen, and their tactics have resulted in four deaths so far this year in the Appalachian service region.” An Illinois man hit a live wire while scrapping for copper last fall and was electrocuted. Police said this is a recent trend, with similar activity in Granite City, Venice, Brooklyn, Washington Park, and Belleville. In October, a couple from Southern California attempted to steal copper from an electrical vault. The man was electrocuted to death; the woman suffered severe burns from attempts to pull the man from the vault when it exploded. And just last month , a man attempted cutting live copper wires with a bolt cutter. He suffered from electric shock and fell 30 feet from his ladder, later dying at a Charlotte hospital. I could go on, but I think you get the point. I guess these people aren’t bright enough to know that rather than risk electrocution, it’s easier to rob someone’s house and …

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NaturalNews exclusive: International Medical Council on Vaccination refutes vaccine propaganda with myth-busting report

Filed in Bank Gold, Gold Spot Market, o by on February 1, 2011 0 Comments

(NaturalNews) To hear it from proponents of the vaccine industry, vaccines are based on rock-solid science that proves them to be completely safe and widely effective. These beliefs, however, are not factually based on real science but rather a persist…

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Dividend.com Weekend Edition – Hustle and Be Positive

Filed in dividend, Ford, Gold Investing, Gold Investment, Lear, o, upgrade by on January 30, 2011 1 Comment

It has been a crazy last 12 hours for us at Dividend.com as we have just upgraded to a brand new server that will be accommodating our ever-expanding audience. It is quite an amazing thing to see what we have been trying to accomplish when I step back and look at what our small and very hungry team has been able to achieve. You can say that the biggest risk you will ever take is launching a start-up. I guess it is par for the course for me, as I spent years making money as a trader – not an easy task for sure. As we grow, there will be some hiccups along the way technically. For example, we had to re-do all our premium articles from the last 3 days this morning. Nothing like coming back from church this morning to hear from the technical team that we needed to get all hands on deck to clear up some of the glitches from the server switchover. I try to make Sunday my least intense day work-wise and spend some quality time with the family, but when you own your own business/firm, you are never really off. It’s funny because I have worked my share of Sundays for many years, whether it was my early jobs in the pizzeria or deli, or helping my family run our food business in New York, which was open 7 days a week of course. My family knows the responsibility we have at Dividend.com and does a great job to support the efforts that need to be made to keep users happy. It is definitely a labor of love or none of us would put in the time that we do to keep everything running smooth and more importantly deliver solid RESULTS! The stringent research we do and data we interpret is going to be the difference in our future success as a firm. We know we have to be at our best at all times since there are other financial services/newsletters that we compete with. As we look to the week that was, the big story is unquestionably the chaos taking place in Egypt. The market sure felt the pain of the uncertainty on Friday with the indices seeing lots of red across the board. For dividend investors, sell-offs like this eventually turn into opportunities to buy quality names at better prices. The one thing to remember is not to over-think things and get paralyzed in fear. The only thing we can do for you here at Dividend.com is provide you the best names possible to invest in, but it is up to you to get your capital in your brokerage accounts…

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Wednesday: 6 Iraqis Killed, 5 Wounded

Filed in Bank Gold, gld, o by on January 26, 2011 0 Comments

At least six Iraqis were killed and five more were wounded in light attacks that focused on ministry officials in Baghdad. Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s sister-in-law called on the International Court of Justice in The Hague to …

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Agent Orange victim loses health coverage over 2-cent shortfall

Filed in Gold, Gold Spot Market, o by on January 26, 2011 0 Comments

A Vietnam veteran suffering from a bone cancer blamed on exposure to Agent Orange was dropped from his health insurance for a two-cent shortfall on a premium payment, only to have the insurance reinstated when the story became public. Ronald Flanagan o…

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Market Wrap-Up for Jan.19 (IBM, GS, STT, MOS, NTRS, POT, more)

I just got the results from my recent blood work and my cholesterol came back at 207. It is about the same it was three years ago, but I need to dedicate a bit more time to exercise and taking care of my body as I do my finances. Without health, what good is wealth? I was never a big fan of going to the doctor (who is?), but as I get older and have much more responsibility (family, thousands of Dividend.com Premium subscribers, etc.), I need to step up being proactive when it comes to health. I am probably one of the few Italians I know that doesn’t eat fish — not a great thing when you are trying to bring down cholesterol levels. It’s time to cut back a touch on the pasta and hit the treadmill more. Hopefully everyone out there is trying to pay attention to health and fitness as well. We all need each other on our “A” game. We are now entering earnings season and this is where there could be some stomach-turning action in the markets. There will be some good news that gets rewarded and some good news that gets sold. It’s always hard to pinpoint why the moves happen as they do sometimes, but just try and hang in there. I am always happier when earnings season is nearing the end for each quarter, so I can examine where the overreactions occurred or where the news may be a bit more gloomy than we like for names that could be on our recommended list. As for today’s action in the markets, we saw some significant selling in more of the growth plays for a change. Earnings results jolted several big-name financial plays, including State Street ( STT ), Northern Trust ( NTRS ), and Goldman Sachs ( GS ). Fertilizer play Mosaic ( MOS ) took a hit as agribusiness giant Cargill may be planning to relinquish its majority control in the company. Selling spread to other names in the sector, including CF Industries ( CF ) and Potash Corp ( POT ). One of the few bright spots that stood out was IBM Corp ( IBM ), up nicely following the tech giant’s earnings results. We’ll continue to monitor the markets closely as we have been and will keep subscribers alerted to any changes we make on our recommended list. Continuing with yesterday’s theme, here are some more common money excuses people use and my response to them: Excuse #6 – “I’ll pay it off next month!” This is where the credit card companies really get you. The minute you start falling behind is when the fees start to pile on. Pay it off quickly and learn to be consistently responsible. Excuse #7 – “Old cars just aren&#…

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Gold Stocks, GDX Steady, Sunridge Surges 8.0% – Marketcut …

Filed in African Gold, Gold, Gold Miners, miners, o by on January 19, 2011 0 Comments

GOLD STOCKS NEWS – Gold stocks held firm Wednesday, with the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) rising $0.12 to $55.93 in morning trading. The modest gain in gold stocks and the GDX came as gold bullion rose $3.76 to $1372.08 amid …

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Merck Downgraded to “Hold” at Citigroup on Failed Blood Clot Drug (MRK)

Filed in citigroup, dividend, downgrade, earnings, Gold Investing, o, shares, target by on January 14, 2011 0 Comments

Pharmaceuticals giant Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ) on Friday caught a downgrade from analysts at Citigroup, following the company’s Thursday announcement of the failure of its blood clot drug Vorapaxar. Vorapaxar has been deemed inappropriate for patients who have suffered a stroke, thus halting the drug’s development and eliminating a key potential earnings pipeline for the drugmaker. That announcement on Thursday sent Merck’s shares reeling nearly 7%. On Friday, Citigroup said it downgraded MRK from “Buy” to “Hold” on the news with a $39 price target. That target implies a 12% upside to the stock’s Thursday closing price of $34.69. Citigroup noted that Vorapaxar was the company’s best near-term drug prospect. Merck shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Friday. The Bottom Line Shares of Merck ( MRK ) have a 4.38% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $34.69. The stock has technical support in the $32 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $38 price level. Merck & Co., Inc. ( MRK ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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Obama’s Next Bungle

Filed in BP, dividend, economy, EPS, euro, Gold, Gold Market, inflation, o, obama, target by on January 3, 2011 0 Comments
Obama’s Next Bungle

Certainly! And how…; You increased the price of wheat you sell us by 300%, and the same for sugar and cement…; You buy our crude oil and sell it back to us, refined as petrochemicals, at a hundred times the price you’ve paid to us…; It’s only fair that, from now on, you should pay more for oil. Let’s say ten times more.” — Shah of Iran, 1973 In the early 1970s, the oil producing nations in the Middle East discovered the power in crude oil and began hiking the price. On October 6, 1973, Syria and Egypt invaded Israel. This action was the equivalent of throwing water at a grease fire. It made a bad situation worse, and the price of oil jumped from $2 a barrel to $13. This created a decade of economic malaise in the United States, destroyed the future of the American muscle car, and produced negative returns for the stock market… There are indicators that we are heading for a surge in the price of oil again. It’s hard to imagine the price doubling to $184 a barrel— much less rising by a factor of five, like it did in the early 70s — but it could happen. In fact it is likely… and you’ll want to leverage the move when it happens. Price Change Dividend Dist. Rate Total Return Inflation Real Price Change Real Total Return 1950s 13.2% 5.4% 19.3% 2.2% 10.7% 16.7% 1960s 4.4% 3.3% 7.8% 2.5% 1.8% 5.2% 1970s 1.6% 4.3% 5.8% 7.4% -5.4% -1.4% 1980s 12.6% 4.6% 17.3% 5.1% 7.1% 11.6% 1990s 15.3% 2.7% 18.1% 2.9% 12.0% 14.7% 2000s -2.7% 1.8% -1.0% 2.5% -5.1% -3.4% 1950-2009 7.2% 3.6% 11.0% 3.8% 3.3% 7.0% $5 gas by the Fourth of July Over the weekend, former president of Shell Oil John Hofmeister predicted Americans will be paying $5 for a gallon of gasoline by 2012. He blames growing global demand for oil, tighter supplies, and inadequate responses by the U.S. government. Here’s more of what he said: If we stay on our current course, within a decade we’re into energy shortages in this country big time… Blackouts, brownouts, gas lines, rationing — that’s my projection based upon the current inability to make to …

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Good News for Credit Card Issuers? Holiday Spending Jumps 5.5% (V, MA)

Filed in dividend, Gold Investing, Mastercard, o, recession, shares by on December 29, 2010 0 Comments

According to a report from MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse late Tuesday, holiday retail sales from Nov. 5 through Dec. 24 rose 5.5% from last year — which could be good news for retailers and credit card companies alike. That gain was better than last year’s 4.1% rise in sales. In total, holiday shopping for 2010 amounted $584 billion, including Internet sales. This news could bode well for both retailers and credit card issuers like Visa Inc. ( V ) and MasterCard Incorporated ( MA ), who’ve been hurt by the economic recession as consumers have reigned in their spending. Visa and MasterCard shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Wednesday. The Bottom Line Shares of Visa ( V ) have a .85% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $70.73. Shares of Mastercard ( MA ) have a .27% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $224.52. Visa Inc. ( V ) and MasterCard Incorporated ( MA ) are both rated “Neutral,” holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Ratings of 3.4 out of 5 stars. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

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Market Wrap-Up for Dec.28 (GM, MCP, REE, more)

Filed in commodities, dividend, economy, General Motors, Gold, Gold Investing, lead, o, silver by on December 28, 2010 0 Comments

As I mentioned yesterday, we are seeing lots of trading activity in stocks that have a bit of a speculative tone to them this last week of the year. Why are we noticing it more? Because there are many retail investors home the last week of the year (vacation time for many) and starving for action. The rare earth stocks had a crazy day of trading (MCP, REE) on news China is trimming exports of rare earth supplies. The stocks rallied big early on, but word of production delays made both names tumble off the intraday lows. You have to remember that these companies have yet to make a profit and are highly volatile trading instruments. As for other news on commodities, gold, oil, and silver are moving higher as well. I worry about the effects ramping commodity prices will have on corporate profits as the economy tries to stabilize further into 2011. Companies are not hiring now while things are going well, so what will happen if commodity costs eat into margins. The bounce-back in the jobs market is still a concern for me, because at some point, the ability for the market to ignore this key fact will certainly be tested. Everyone is clamoring for housing prices to bounce, but data out this morning paints a continued ugly picture. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values fell 0.8 percent from October 2009, the biggest year-over-year decline since December 2009, the group said today in New York. Economists had only expected a 0.2 percent drop. I still see homes as mostly vehicles for people that are looking for a place they want to live. The old-fashioned way and most reliable way to make money in real estate is to buy income-producing properties where the numbers work and you are actually making money each month (rents cover all the expenses and you can put some money in your pocket). Wall Street analysts all put in a good word for General Motors ( GM ) today as many initiated positive ratings following the auto manufacturer’s recent IPO. December has been a solid month for the market with very few down days. As a matter of fact, the S&P has closed higher 16 of the 19 trading sessions this month. Volume has not been as strong as previous months, so take that as a bit of caution as the new year gets set to roll in. A pullback in January would certainly be welcome for some of our higher-yielding recommendations. It would be great for investors to get into high quality dividend names at even better entry points. The key to building long

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