Saturday, April 30, 2011

How To Stop the Foreclosure Of Your Property

Find out the techniques and strategies that stop the foreclosure on your property which have been hidden from us for more than 70 years and use hidden ways that can effectively save your house from foreclosure that attorney's can not tell you.

A lot of honorable, hard working Americans are losing their homes every day. The banks are foreclosing at a rate of about 160,000 homes a month as of this writing!

Do not let fear overcome you! Find out how to save your house right now! Get informed. After reading “How to Stop the Foreclosure on Your Property”, you will discover that your condition is not bad. There are various options you can use to help.

You will start to learn about laws and strategies that the banks have tried to keep hidden over the last 70 years. There are lawful strategies that can save your home and free you from the slavery that the banks want to keep you in.

• Find out how to keep the bank at bay.
• Discover your options attorney's won't tell you about.
• You do not have to put up for sale your home to avoid foreclosure
• You do not have to borrow additional money!
• Do not let the American Dream be stolen from you!
• Learn to use Bankruptcy (if you totally have to) to your benefit.

read it here

Sell in May and go away: fact or fallacy?

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Where is the stock market heading? Is the cyclical bull market that started in early March 2009 close to exhaustion? These are the key questions on all investors’ minds as financial markets remain caught between the easy money actions policies of central banks on the one hand, and a still tentative economic outlook on the other.

It is therefore no wonder that even so-called “pop analysis”, including some legendary axioms, is resorted to in a quest for direction. And besides “buy low and sell high” few other axioms are more widely propagated than “sell in May and go away”. A Google search revealed an astounding 12 million items featuring this phrase.

As equities have seen a particularly strong rally since August 2010, investors are justifiably questioning the market’s next move. And they nervously wonder whether this May will not only herald longer days in the Northern Hemisphere, but also live up to its reputation as the advent of a corrective phase in the markets.

The important issue, however, is whether this axiom actually has any scientific basis at all. Analyzing historical returns, the figures vary from market to market, but long-term statistics seem to show that the best time to be invested in equities is the six months from early November through to the end of April of the next year (“good” periods), while the “bad” periods normally occur over the six months from May to October.

A study of the MSCI World Index, a commonly used benchmark for global equity markets, reveals that since 1969 “good” periods returned +6.5% per annum while investors were actually in the red by -1.0% per annum during the “bad” periods.

“Sell in May and go away” also holds true for the US stock markets. An updated study by Plexus Asset Management of the S&P 500 Index shows that the returns of the “good” six-month periods from January 1950 to April 2011 were 8.1% per annum whereas those of the “bad” periods were 2.4% per annum.

A study of the pattern in monthly returns reveals that the “bad” periods of the S&P 500 Index are quite distinct, with five of the six months from May to October having lower average monthly returns than the six months of the good periods. Interestingly, May – the first month of the bad patch – is the only exception.

But what exactly does this mean for the investor who contemplates timing the market by selling in May and reinvesting in November? Further analysis shows that had one kept the investment in the S&P 500 Index only during the “good” six-month periods, and reinvested the proceeds in the money market during the “bad” six-month periods, the total return would have been 10.5% per annum.

These calculations do not take tax into account. And, of course, every time one switches out of and back into the stock market there are costs involved, which would also reduce the returns for the market timer.

How did the good and bad periods stack up during the past two years? The results are as follows.

  • May 2009 – October 2009: +19.53%
  • November 2009 – April 2010: +10.94%
  • May 2010 – October 2010: +5.01%
  • November 2010 – April 2011: +14.32%

Some you win, some you don’t! It seems that the axiom “sell in May and go away” in itself is a rather doubtful basis for timing equity investments. However, it may serve a useful purpose as input, together with other factors, to otherwise rational decision making.

In the video clip below, James Mackintosh, FT’s investment editor, analyses the maxim’s record and considers whether to heed it this year.

Click here or on the image below to watch the video.

Source: Financial Times, April 29, 2011.

What's the Difference Between Smart Money and Dumb Money?

By Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD

You’ve probably heard the term “smart money” used by various pundits, a reference to those investors and institutions that are consistently better at making money than the uninformed masses. Which begs the question: are you one of them?

To answer that query, let’s first describe smart money (not to be confused with the magazine by that name) so we have an idea of what makes this group of investors successful…

Smart money buys when others are fearful. A good example of this is last year’s Gulf oil disaster. Wild speculation of British Petroleum’s ultimate demise caused panicked bouts of selling. The stock lost roughly half its value in less than two months. To use a classic idiom, there was blood in the streets – and that, of course, was the time to buy. The investor who did so is currently up 50%, and that’s not even measuring from the stock’s absolute bottom.

Smart money sells when others are greedy. My colleague Doug Hornig is a perfect example of selling when others are greedy. In the Nasdaq hysteria of the late 1990s, Doug had accumulated a number of Internet stocks and watched his brokerage account swell to a level he’d never seen before. The greed around him was palpable; everyone was talking about the latest stock pick, the classic sign of a mania in full bloom. “But I’d had enough,” he told me. “My positions had logged spectacular gains, and bottom line, I knew this couldn’t go on forever.” He sold his Internet stocks prior to the 2000 top, just as the greed reached a pinnacle.

Smart money sees trends others don’t. Doug Casey urged readers in 1999 to buy gold, convinced from his own research and study that a bull market was about to get underway. But he couldn’t get an audience; no one wanted to talk about the metal or mining stocks. It goes without saying that he and many of his readers have since profited enormously, with many stocks earning doubles on top of doubles.

Smart money ignores the headlines. Beyond the traditional advice of “Buy the rumor/sell the fact,” smart money largely ignores the blather from mainstream media and instead focuses on the factors that ultimately drive headlines. When it reaches mainstream coverage, the smart money is already invested. And is looking at what will be tomorrow’s headlines.

Smart money plays the big trend, not the gyrations. What do Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Rick Rule, Doug Casey, and Warren Buffett have in common? None of them “traded” their way to riches. They identified the fundamental factors driving the trend, bought big, and held on. No technical analysis, no trend lines on a chart, no fancy signals from moving averages. And they didn’t get scared out at the first drop in price.

Smart money doesn’t count its money before it’s made. These investors understand there are no sure things, and further, that no one is going to bail them out if their analysis turns out to be wrong. They keep a realistic expectation – and an eye – on their investments. And if they take a loss, they learn from it and refuse to let it keep them from investing again.

And the one that’s becoming increasingly critical to businesses and investors…

Smart money ignores official government reports and relies on its own research.There are copious examples of government reporting that is patently off base. The best current example is the Department of Labor’s CPI number. It claims that core inflation is a mere 1.1%. When looking at all your expenses over the past year, have they risen just 1.1% since last spring?

Here’s what real inflation looks like compared to what the U.S. government reports.

Costs in every major area of our lives have risen greater than what the government states in its core figure. The smart money ignores the official report and instead focuses on its own research and data.

With that description of smart money, the next logical question to ask is, what are they looking at now?

To answer that question, understand the time horizon they have in mind. They’re not looking at next week or next month like a trader would, nor so far out that it will take the rest of their life to realize a profit. The smart money is looking at the likely trends over the next few years.

Therefore, I think they’re asking themselves questions like these:

  • Is real inflation likely to rise or fall over the next few years?
  • Is it more probable that interest rates will remain depressed or move higher?
  • Is the U.S. dollar likely to be stronger or weaker in the next few years?
  • What is the best way to hedge against egregious debt and runaway government spending?
  • Which assets are most likely to make money over the next few years? Which should be avoided?
  • Is it time to invest in real estate again, or will it take the rest of my life to see big profits?
  • Will the global economy be on solid footing during the next few years?
  • Is oil – or something else – the best energy investment?
  • Are gold and silver in a bubble, or will they push higher in the coming years?

The answers to those questions will dictate how the smart money invests for the next few years.

When it specifically comes to gold and silver, they ignore the bubble talk and instead focus on facts and trends. While they acknowledge that precious metals have risen tremendously over the past decade, they’re analyzing the factors that will either continue to drive prices higher or take them lower. So they’re looking at supply and demand trends; fiat currencies and if they’re likely to be further diluted; the logical outcome of too much debt and too much deficit spending; the direction of inflation; gold’s role as a store of value and if there are reasons for it to remain; and just as important, how the greater masses are likely to react to all this.

Once you address those topics, you can determine if we’re in a true gold bubble. And your answer to those questions will determine the action you should take at the next correction.

How does Doug Casey answer the question as to whether we’re in a gold bubble? Here’s what he told me:

“The peak is not going to be here until you hear the money-honeys talking about gold on television and all your friends are talking about the latest silver stock. Don’t worry about charts. Don’t worry about statistics, lines on charts, supply and demand figures, or any of that. The best indication of where the market is at any moment isn’t mathematics. It’s psychology. Watch the public’s psychology.”

While new investors are beginning to enter our sector, the psychology of the gold market is not like the crazed hysteria with the Internet stocks in late 1999. Yes, gold is not cheap, but if we were in a bubble, those shouting “Bubble!” would be buying gold, not bashing it. By Doug’s definition, it’s when their psychology has turned from negative to giddy that will mark the top.

If your own research tells you this isn’t a true bubble in precious metals, then you might embrace the next correction instead of fearing it.

15 Undervalued Stocks Trading Near 52-Week Lows: BBY, CPLA, CSCO, FSR, HGG, HPQ, ITRI, LOGI, LOPE, MTU, PTI, STRA, TEVA, TGT, WMS

If you’re looking for stocks with rebound potential, you may be interested in this list of undervalued stocks. Below we present 15 stocks that are trading within 10% of their 52-week lows; however, they are also undervalued by several price multiples relative to their industry averages, including TTM P/E, PEG, and TTM P/CF.

[Click all to enlarge]

Are these stocks ready to bounce back? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis. List sorted by market cap.

1. Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Networking & Communication Devices Industry. Market cap of $94.53B. The stock is currently trading 3.51% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 12.93 vs. industry average of 26.58. PEG ratio at 1.25 vs. industry average of 1.45. TTM P/CF ratio at 9.61 vs. industry average of 21.95. The stock has lost 37.75% over the last year.

2. Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): Diversified Computer Systems Industry. Market cap of $87.70B. The stock is currently trading 9.23% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 10.43 vs. industry average of 18.85. PEG ratio at 1.08 vs. industry average of 1.17. TTM P/CF ratio at 6.59 vs. industry average of 13.53. The stock has lost 24.74% over the last year.

3. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MTU): Money Center Banks Industry. Market cap of $65.38B. The stock is currently trading 5.96% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 7.53 vs. industry average of 12.94. PEG ratio at 0.64 vs. industry average of 1.53. TTM P/CF ratio at 5.42 vs. industry average of 11.9. The stock has lost 14.76% over the last year.

4. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (TEVA): Drug Manufacturer. Market cap of $42.96B. The stock is currently trading 1.83% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 12.26 vs. industry average of 25.72. PEG ratio at 1.24 vs. industry average of 1.36. TTM P/CF ratio at 9.36 vs. industry average of 15.15. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 8.07% below its SMA20, 8.37% below its SMA50, and 11.09% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 8.6% over the last week.

5. Target Corp. (TGT): Discount, Variety Stores Industry. Market cap of $34.31B. The stock is currently trading 4.10% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 12.44 vs. industry average of 20.45. PEG ratio at 1.04 vs. industry average of 1.72. TTM P/CF ratio at 7.16 vs. industry average of 9.08. The stock has lost 13.25% over the last year.

6. Best Buy Co. Inc. (BBY): Electronics Stores Industry. Market cap of $11.90B. The stock is currently trading 8.04% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 9.65 vs. industry average of 18. PEG ratio at 0.94 vs. industry average of 1.22. TTM P/CF ratio at 6.04 vs. industry average of 12.03. The stock has lost 36.41% over the last year.

7. Logitech International SA (LOGI): Computer Peripherals Industry. Market cap of $2.63B. The stock is currently trading 4.18% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 16.36 vs. industry average of 18.85. PEG ratio at 1.16 vs. industry average of 1.17. TTM P/CF ratio at 10.61 vs. industry average of 13.53. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 18.73% (equivalent to 18.34 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 25.72%.

8. Itron, Inc. (ITRI): Scientific & Technical Instruments Industry. Market cap of $2.20B. The stock is currently trading 6.97% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 21.34 vs. industry average of 28.43. PEG ratio at 1.56 vs. industry average of 2.04. TTM P/CF ratio at 9.35 vs. industry average of 10.58. The stock has lost 29.02% over the last year.

9. WMS Industries Inc. (WMS): Recreational Goods Industry. Market cap of $1.87B. The stock is currently trading 9.36% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 17.19 vs. industry average of 29.75. PEG ratio at 1.36 vs. industry average of 1.76. TTM P/CF ratio at 10.66 vs. industry average of 15.94. The stock has lost 33.07% over the last year.

10. Strayer Education Inc. (STRA): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $1.51B. The stock is currently trading 6.51% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 12.37 vs. industry average of 22.61. PEG ratio at 1.34 vs. industry average of 1.66. TTM P/CF ratio at 11.05 vs. industry average of 16.93. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 21.14% (equivalent to 10.77 days of average volume).

11. Patni Computer Systems Limited (PTI): Business Software & Services Industry. Market cap of $1.22B. The stock is currently trading 5.19% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 10.19 vs. industry average of 19.64. PEG ratio at 1.33 vs. industry average of 1.43. TTM P/CF ratio at 8.14 vs. industry average of 16.03. Short float at 5.92% (equivalent to 13.95 days of average volume), indicating the stock is a short squeeze candidate.

12. Capella Education Co. (CPLA): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $796.64M. The stock is currently trading 6.34% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 13.62 vs. industry average of 22.61. PEG ratio at 0.91 vs. industry average of 1.66. TTM P/CF ratio at 10.31 vs. industry average of 16.93. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 18.19% (equivalent to 10.35 days of average volume). The stock has lost 47.28% over the last year.

13. Grand Canyon Education, Inc. (LOPE): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $625.78M. The stock is currently trading 7.84% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 14.28 vs. industry average of 22.61. PEG ratio at 0.8 vs. industry average of 1.66. TTM P/CF ratio at 11.11 vs. industry average of 16.93. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 7.23% (equivalent to 5.55 days of average volume). The stock has lost 46.19% over the last year.

14. Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings SA (FSR): Property & Casualty Insurance Industry. Market cap of $571.29M. The stock is currently trading 1.74% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 6.69 vs. industry average of 10.85. PEG ratio at 0.89 vs. industry average of 0.93. TTM P/CF ratio at 5.97 vs. industry average of 7.44. The stock has lost 27.18% over the last year.

15. hhgregg, Inc. (HGG): Electronics Stores Industry. Market cap of $477.31M. The stock is currently trading 1.09% above its 52-week low. TTM P/E ratio at 11.22 vs. industry average of 18. PEG ratio at 0.61 vs. industry average of 1.22. TTM P/CF ratio at 7.02 vs. industry average of 12.03. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 29.07% (equivalent to 12.72 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 7.61% over the last week.

The Economist - 30th April-06th May 2011

The Economist - 30th April-06th May 2011
English | 104 pages | HQ PDF | 97.00 Mb

Forget the rosy Euro headlines... Spain's economy is burning

Spanish unemployment, the highest in Europe, rose more than expected as inflation accelerated and retail sales plunged, undermining the nation's recovery from its worst recession in six decades.

Joblessness rose to 21.3 percent in the first quarter, the National Statistics Institute said today in Madrid, compared with 20.3 percent in the previous three months and a median forecast of 20.7 percent in a Bloomberg News survey.

Consumer prices rose 3.5 percent in April from a year earlier, based on a European Union measure, after increasing 3.3 percent in March. Retail sales fell 8.6 percent in March from a year earlier, the steepest decline in two years, INE said.

Spain is trying to steer the economy back to growth while slashing the euro region's third-largest budget deficit with the deepest austerity measures in at least three decades. Rising interest rates and oil prices prompted the government to revise its growth and unemployment forecasts on April 6, even as it still sees growth of 1.3 percent this year, led by exports.

"In the current scenario, with rising interest rates, I'm not at all sure this is the peak" in unemployment, said Jose Luis Martinez, a strategist for Spain at Citigroup in Madrid. "The decline in employment, rising interest rates, and rising prices leave little margin for consumption to be reactivated."

'Hard to Predict'
Deputy Finance Minister Jose Manuel Campa said the first quarter is traditionally weak for employment, and the data should start to improve. Asked if the jobless rate had peaked, he told reporters in Madrid it's "hard to predict the future."

Spain has 4.9 million jobless workers, the survey showed today, compared with 3 million in Germany, a country twice its size. The Socialist government says the number of unemployed won't reach 5 million.

As companies adjust to forecasts of slower growth in Spain after a decade-long boom, Telefonica SA (TEF), the country's largest telecoms operator, said on April 14 it plans to cut its workforce in its home market by 20 percent over the next three years. London-based Burberry Group Plc closed a warehouse in Spain last year, while Diageo Plc (DGE) cited "economic weakness" on Feb. 10 when it said its Spanish whisky and vodka sales declined in the last six months of 2010.

Spain's recovery from the collapse of the debt-fueled property bubble is being undermined by spending cuts and tax increases as the government aims to narrow the deficit to 6 percent of gross domestic product this year – in line with France's projected shortfall – from 9.2 percent in 2010.

The government expects the jobless rate to fall to 19.8 percent on average this year, the Finance Ministry estimated on April 6, compared with a previous forecast of 19.3 percent. The economy will expand 1.3 percent in 2011 after two years of contraction, accelerating to 2.3 percent next year and 2.4 percent in 2013, it said.

"The market consensus is around 0.7 percent" for 2011 growth, said Martinez, adding that the government should revise its forecast "as there have been a lot of negative factors." He said he sees a jobless rate of 21 percent this year.

The European Central Bank increased its benchmark interest rate on April 7 for the first time in almost three years and policy makers have signaled more increases may follow. That risks further crimping household spending in Spain, where 97 percent of mortgages have variable interest rates.

Price Pressures
The ECB is trying to stem inflation, which probably accelerated to 2.7 percent in the euro region in April, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 34 economists, from 2.6 percent in March. Inflation in Spain, Portugal and Greece, which are all struggling to rein in growing debt burdens and spur growth, is higher than the euro-region average.

As part of plans to raise tax revenue, the government will pass measures today to press employers to legalize underground jobs. The plan will offer "incentives" to declare unregistered workers before tougher sanctions on clandestine employment are imposed in three months time, Labor Minister Valeriano Gomez said yesterday. It also aims to toughen sanctions on those working illegally while claiming jobless benefits.

Coffee May Climb 40% on Brazil Frost Risk as Kraft, Smucker Raise Prices

Brazil, the world’s biggest coffee grower, is facing the risk of frost after hail this month, raising the prospect of a 40 percent jump in bean costs after Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) and J.M. Smucker Co. already increased prices.

The chance of frost in Brazil increased with the weakening of La Nina, a cooling of waters in the Pacific Ocean, Brazil’s Somar Meteorologia said this week. Frost in 1994 damaged 35 percent of the crop by 1997, sending prices up 39 percent that year, according to Somar. Should cold weather damage trees this year, coffee may rise to a record $4.20 a pound, the median in a Bloomberg survey of 11 analysts, traders and investors.

Arabica beans have jumped 25 percent this year on signs demand is outpacing supply. The shortage will be 6.2 million bags in the crop year starting in October, according to Rabobank International. Kraft, maker of Maxwell House coffee, raised prices three times last year. It estimated in February that North American commodity costs would increase $700 million to $800 million this year, or about 1.5 percent of 2010 revenue.

“There is no room for disruption,” said Rodrigo Costa, vice-president of institutional sales at Newedge USA LLC in New York, who correctly forecast a year ago that coffee would climb. “If Brazil has a frost, not only will we see uncharted prices but the situation might become unbearable.”

Arabica-coffee futures for July delivery closed at $2.9985 a pound in New York. Yesterday, the price surged to a 14-year high of $3.034 and has more than doubled in the past year. Cocoa futures are up 4 percent for the same period, and raw sugar is 46 percent higher.

Folgers Coffee

Kraft, based in Northfield, Illinois, increased U.S. prices on Maxwell House and Yuban ground coffees by about 22 percent on March 16, spokeswoman Bridget MacConnell said. Orrville, Ohio- based Smucker, maker of Folgers coffee, raised them by 10 percent in February, Vincent Byrd, director and president of U.S. retail coffee, said on a conference call that month.

Global food costs tracked by the United Nations reached an all-time high in February and the World Bank says that contributed to 44 million more people being driven into poverty in the past year. Inflation is accelerating worldwide, spurring central banks from China to the euro region to increase interest rates, potentially curbing consumer spending.

Arabica coffee, preferred by coffee shops such as Starbucks Corp., climbed as rains associated with La Nina damaged crops in Colombia, the fourth largest producer last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Brazil’s crop will be 13 percent smaller than last year, Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry estimates.

Colder Atmosphere

La Nina is now declining and all climate models suggest further weakening, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology said on April 27.

“As La Nina fades and the atmosphere becomes colder, the cold masses from the South Pole gain intensity and may reach the Center South region” of Brazil, Marco Antonio dos Santos, an agronomist at Somar in Sao Paulo, said on April 27. The Center South includes the state ofMinas Gerais, Brazil’s biggest grower of arabica beans.

Cold weather from the South Pole is due in the Center South in the week of May 9 and temperatures are forecast to fall to about 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit), Santos said. Coffee trees can be damaged if temperatures fall below 1 degree Celsius, he said.

Frost in Brazilian growing regions can damage trees bearing the following year’s crop. Coffee futures soared to a record $3.375 a pound in 1977 after damage from the “black frost” in Brazil two years earlier, according to Bloomberg data.

“Even without weather disruptions there will be a deficit,” Newedge’s Costa said.

April Hail

There was hail this month in some Brazil growing regions, and the damage was estimated at 50,000 to 60,000 bags, according to Somar. Brazil produced 55.5 million bags last year, according to the USDA. This year’s crop is estimated at between 41.9 million bags to 44.7 million bags by Brazil’s Agriculture Ministry.

“The wild card will be the weather in Brazil,” said Walter “Bucky” Hellwig, who helps oversee $17 billion at BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama and correctly forecast higher gold and oil prices in February. “If Brazil does not have a big crop we will see pressure on prices.”

The earliest frost to damage the crop in Brazil was May 31, 1979, according to Newedge estimates. Brazil’s winter season traditionally extends through August. While Brazilian coffee isn’t deliverable against futures contracts in New York, it’s used in blends by roasters.

Falling Inventories

Stockpiles in producing countries have been falling since 2003, when inventories were at 52.7 million bags, data from the London-based International Coffee Organization show. The 13 million bags in storage now represent 1 1/2 months of global exports, the lowest in at least half a century, according to Jose Sette, the ICO’s executive director.

Inventories in producing nations are 69 percent lower than in 1997 and 71 percent lower than in 1977, years in which coffee prices climbed following frost damage, according to ICO data. Stockpiles were 42 million bags in 1997 and 45 million bags in 1977, Sette said.

“Given what frosts have done to prices in the past, coupled with the tight inventories of arabica, the upside potential if there is a frost is extreme, and records are very likely to be broken,” said Keith Flury, an analyst at Rabobank in London.