Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Average Investor Take the Plunge?

Is it time for the individual investor to return to stocks, reversing the flows from equities to bond funds? The individual investor is usually the last to the party. What should we make of some nascent signs of a change in investing trends. The week ahead promises an avalanche of information. We have plenty of […]

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Weighing the Week Ahead: Time for a Rebound in Confidence?

Everyone agrees that the economic recovery has been disappointing.  There is no consensus on the cause.  Nearly everyone has missed the most crucial element:  The crisis of confidence. Confidence is essential to economic success, as we have known for more than a century.  Listen to this brief sound clip, instantly recognizable to many.   The […]

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A Unique Review of 2011: The Year that Wasn’t!

The "year in review" market is another crowded trade.  Either you have a special angle, or why bother?  I hope readers enjoy playing along with my idea for the year that wasn't. My approach involves an essential analytical skill.  You need to have a basis for comparison — often called the "counterfactual."  Regular readers know […]

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Investment Themes: The first step in finding a great stock.

Some stock pickers start with a screen.  I start with a concept:  Look for the hated! I search for investment themes that are decidely contrarian.  That means that few like the concept, the sector or the stock.  The themes must meet several important critera: Negative sentiment and/or polling Analyst skepticism Modest valuations and most importantly […]

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