Long-term investing is an investment strategy where a position is taken in a stock, a market, a currency, or a commodity and is not sold for at least a few years. Proponents of long-term investing believe this buy-and-hold pattern will pay off in the long run.
The danger with long-term investing is staying with a position that continues to lose money. The most important aspect of long-term investing is to evaluate the investment thesis constantly. Things change. If the change alters the investment thesis, then an investor needs to sell and move on. If the thesis still works, then the difficult part is staying with a losing position until the market turns and proves the thesis right.
The stock market is showing that it will not be easy to move to new record-highs given the overhanging uncertainties around the world, stretching from our backyard over to the Middle East and on to China. The current market risk is high, but as I mentioned briefly in my previous commentary (see “How to Limit Risk and Profit from Momentum Stocks Like Netflix”), you can play the upside via a leveraged risk management strategy: call options.
Use of Call Options on the Rise—And for Good ReasonWhile the majority of professional and retail portfolios are composed of stock positio ... Read More
In the past, I have often talked about the quick money that can be generated trading big-volume momentum stocks in the Internet and social media spaces. Take a look at the biggest companies by market-cap on the NASDAQ and S&P 500, and you'll find numerous highflying, valuation-defying stock market trades. Of course, I'm talking about the likes of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ/FB), The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ/PCLN), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE/TWTR), LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE/LNKD), Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ/TSLA), and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ/NFLX). Apple Inc. (NASDAQ/AAPL) is not in this group because the stock’s gains tend to be steadier, rather tha ... Read More
Uncertainty appears to be influencing oil prices near-term, and the long-term outlook doesn’t look to be showing much strength. For the time being, oil prices are stuck in a trader’s market.
Current and Near-Term Action in Oil PricesOil prices are currently at a crossroads with the longs and shorts battling it out. On one hand, there appears to be some decent support at the $40.00 level for the West Texas Intermediate (WTI), as prices for the May futures contract has been bid up to the $52.00 level. Conversely, I expect to see some resistance selling, as oil prices edge higher due to the record oil storage and the fact that the global demand side continues to be a major overhang. China is importing less oil ... Read More
In the first quarter, we witnessed a market shift back to higher-beta technology, growth, and small-cap stocks as investors searched for higher potential profits. Yet while this investment strategy makes sense, you also need to make sure your portfolio is diversified across numerous sectors and stocks with varying market caps, including dividend-paying stocks. Dividend stocks may not have the upward explosiveness of smaller technology stocks or the large-cap momentum stocks like FaceBook, Inc. (NASDAQ/FB), Twitter, Inc. (NYSE/TWTR), and Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ/NFLX); but you know the large-cap blue-chip dividend stocks found on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 offer ... Read More
Success in the stock market is all about balancing risk and reward. Too much risk and you leave yourself vulnerable to added downside when the stock market turns, as may be the case at this time. However, too little risk and you don't fully partake in the upside moves of the stock market, though your downside risk is lessened. The key is to understand the stock market we are in and alter your investment strategy accordingly. Prior to the flush in the stock market on Wednesday, technology growth and small-cap stocks were leading the broader market higher this year. Yet as we also witnessed, the higher-beta stocks were also vulnerable to added selling on Wednesday. What happened on Wednesday (and what hap ... Read More
Oil prices are on the downside, and we could see West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil decline to the $40.00 level and below. A few years ago, the mere mention of oil in the $30.00 level would have been viewed as silly, as many believed $100.00-a-barrel oil prices would be the norm. But here's the problem: the advanced fracking technique to squeeze out oil from the cracks in the rock led to a revolution in oil production, which inevitably is hurting oil prices. The good news: it’s creating an investment opportunity for aggressive investors.
Pressures Pushing Oil Prices DownwardNow, we have massive domestic oil production from the shale oil in Montana and North Dakota that has helped to produce a flood of oil i ... Read More
When Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. crashed after the impact of the sub-prime financial crisis in 2008, the financial sector was turned upside down. Regulators made a bold and smart decision to clean up the banking sector and its somewhat secretive high-risk activities. Fast-forward nearly seven years, and the banking sector is clearly stronger and more trustworthy than it has ever been. Investors can thank the annual Federal Reserve bank stress test for this.
Fed’s Stress Test Making Banks the Safest Investment for Long-Term Investors?The Fed’s financial crisis stress test aims to analyze the stability of the country’s largest banks with assets of more than $50.0 billion. It includes both a round ... Read More
One of the most hotly debated topics these days is the role of activist investors. Some people have the impression that an activist investor is not a positive factor when it comes to long-term investing. I disagree, as many times, the investment strategy recommended by these activist investors ends up benefiting all shareholders. Probably the most well-known, and certainly the wealthiest, activist investor is Carl Icahn. One of the things I like most about Icahn’s investment strategy is that he is willing to buy when others are selling and be vocal about his intentions. A pe ... Read More
With a long-term portfolio, the goal is to earn a constant rate of return over a long period. Sadly, even with this in mind, investors end up making decisions that jeopardize their long-term objectives. They make mistakes, but luckily, the effects of these mistakes can be easily controlled, saving their portfolio from disaster—it all comes down to these three principles of smart long-term investing that every investor needs to know when building their long-term portfolio. When There’s Rising Optimism, Go into Protective Mode Too ... Read More