Vol.2 Issue 12 December 1st, 2005
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of the Month:
many borrowers, lenders, consumers, bankers, bond investors,
stock investors, hedge funds and pension funds are taking on
more risk than they should. And the end, when it comes, won't
commentator from his article, "Airlines and the Epidemic of
on Earth: Weaving a Tapestry of Understanding. By
Her Majesty Queen Noor, of Jordan.
& Greener. Is Alternative Energy the Next Big Thing?
By Paul Woods, President & CEO of Odyssey Advisors,
Rally or Boxing Day? 3 Reasons Why Wall Street's
Annual Giving Might End the Day After Christmas. by
Natalie Pace, Founder and CEO, NataliePace.com.
Feed the Bears During an Overvalued Market: Investment
Outlook. by Kelley Wright, Managing Editor, Investment
Quality Trends Newsletter.
Wisdom. Career Angst: I am tempted to go after
my series 6 license, but I am still walking down a dark
road and have no idea where to go. Anyone got a map?
the Career of Your Dreams. An Excerpt From Money
Clips: 365 Tips That Will Pay One Day at a Time.
by Lorraine Spurge, Managing Director, Post Advisory
Million-Dollar Smile and 11 Other Qualities of the Rich
and Successful. By Natalie Pace, CEO and founder,
Not as Thrilling as 007, But More Faithful. by
Steve Selengut. Sound Retirement Planning Means Understanding
Fixed Income Investing and Expectations.
Gala Honors Women Leaders. The Women's Foundation
of California Has Awarded Over $17 Million to Innovative
Community-based Nonprofit Organizations.
What Poker Champs and Champion Investors Have In Common:
Neither Gamble. By Natalie Pace, Top Stock Picker,
Gifts for Friends and Lovers, , Including NataliePace.com's
Pick for the Best Couple's Get Away: The Parker Palm
Most Common Investment Mistakes. by Natalie Pace,
CEO and Founder of NataliePace.com. Learning what to AVOID
could save you a bundle.
Power's Billion Dollar IPO: Investing in Renewable Energy.
Article and Report Card by Natalie Pace.
News on Cool Stocks:Invest in the Santa Rally and
a Canadian Clean Up Company. By Natalie Pace.
Web Site: Don't Miss NataliePace.com's new web site features
and calendar listings, including surveys (best holiday
gift for guys and gals), online chats with money managers,
Sharing Wisdom bulletin boards and business conferences.
Nominate Women of Excellence, a Software Company of
the Year and more!
Peace on Earth: Weaving a Tapestry of Understanding.
Her Majesty Queen Noor, of Jordan
Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan
Reprint from Queen
Noor's speech at the
Salvation Army Dinner Gala,
in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on April 6, 2004
greatest oppressors are those who feel entitled to impose by force
their idea of what is right. The greatest injustices in human
history occur when people believe so strongly in their own ideology
that they are willing to hurt others in its name." Her Majesty
for inviting me to join you this evening. It is inspiring to be
here among people devoted to giving of themselves to help others
in the most fundamental ways-- "to meet human needs in His
name without discrimination." That kind of tolerance and
genuine charity are what we need most desperately in the world
we know it means love of our fellow human beings. It is that kind
of love that drew me, at the very beginning of my political awareness,
to march with Dr. Martin Luther King in Washington. It was that
kind of love, the language of the heart, that allowed me, as an
untrained, inexperienced, volunteer teacher, to communicate with
struggling students in Harlem ghetto schools in New York in the
60s. It was that kind of love that guided me toward one of my
original career goals — in the Peace Corps. And it was that kind
of love — along with a more personal kind — that led me to take
a leap of faith, and join in marriage a man who shared that ideal
of human charity. My husband and I were drawn together by a mutual
devotion to public service, of giving back to society. In my case,
it was crystallized by the first real adult conversation I had
with my father, when he had recently given up a lucrative career
in the private sector to head the FAA under President Kennedy.
his worries about failing to make ends meet on a government salary,
but he also shared with me that he was far more fulfilled in public
service than by merely achieving for himself. In my husband's
case, his sense of responsibility to others grew naturally from
his Muslim faith and Hashemite heritage as senior direct descendent
of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and his position as King, leader
and father figure to the entire Jordanian family. The sources
were worlds apart. The feeling was the same.
heard of the phrase "the clash of civilizations." It
first appeared in an essay by Samuel Huntington in the summer
of 1993, describing what the author saw as looming, inevitable
phrase has become shorthand for a complicated history and a multi-faceted
conflict. To deny a cultural aspect to the differences between
the Middle East and America, of course, would be plainly wrong;
but to reduce the clash to simplistic formulations is to miss
an important opportunity for the kind of deep understanding that
would invite the first steps to rapprochement.
with roots in both East and West, who has spent most of her adult
life trying to build bridges between Arab and American culture,
I have come to phrase the debate differently - not as a clash
between Islam and Christianity, or between East and West, but
between the forces of intolerance and the forces of understanding.
In my work with the United Nations and human rights groups, I
have time and again seen that the clashes that impede progress
begin with those who insist their way is the only way; who paint
the world in black and white.
No one culture
has a monopoly on either virtue or intolerance; such qualities
are not apportioned geographically, or by religion. Advocates
of compassion and peace can be found in all houses of worship.
I should know — my Grandfather was an Eastern Orthodox Christian
Arab who emigrated to the United States and converted to Christian
Science when he married my Grandmother. I was raised by my parents
to find my own path, and converted to Islam when I married.
But I also
know that a great gulf exists between those who are genuinely
willing to listen to and empathize with others, and those who
oppressors are those who feel entitled to impose by force their
idea of what is right. The greatest injustices in human history
occur when people believe so strongly in their own ideology that
they are willing to hurt others in its name. The ideology can
be one of self-preservation and lust for power, as with dictators.
It can be paternalistic, viewing the oppression of women, minorities,
and the otherwise disenfranchised as "for their own good."
Or, it can be a so-called defensive policy that targets all dissent
as a threat that must be dealt with preemptively. All of these
arguments have been used in one way or another to justify injustice
all know, remains one of the most compelling wellsprings of human
action, and so, tragically, the justification for political coercion
is often cloaked in the language of religion. We have seen how
the perverted actions of a violent fringe have hijacked the great
faith of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for its own ends.
And yet Islam
has no monopoly on radical fundamentalism. Sadly, Christianity,
too, has been used as a pretext for "Holy War" — not
the Salvation Army's war on want and despair, but violent conflict
from the Crusades a thousand years ago, to "ethnic cleansing"
in the Balkans in the last decade. Jewish extremists also use
violence to further their distorted aims; one of them killed Itzhak
Rabin for daring to contemplate peace. As you know all too bitterly
here, terrorist threats in America come far more frequently from
Aryan-rights fanatics spouting twisted Christian dogma than from
Arabs or Muslims. But to single out a religion because it is used
as a cover for evil is exactly the kind of black-and-white thinking
that gives rein to the abuse in the first place.
It is convenient
for many pundits to describe these affronts as a "clash of
civilizations," and to promote the view that cultural differences
are hard-wired, that no amount of dialogue will change the dynamic
of conflict and that geopolitical power politics, backed by force,
is the only way to manage these crises. I couldn't disagree more
abandon the argument to the extremists. We must rescue faith from
the forces of intolerance. Moderates of all creeds must embrace
their shared, universal values, and defy those who cloak hatred
in religious rhetoric. We must not let the idea of "a clash
of civilization" become a self-fulfilling prophecy, heightening
the fears of people who think in black and white.
What has been
lost in the seemingly endless news reports on so-called Islamist
violence is that Islam itself is not inherently violent, intolerant
or closed-minded. It was conceived as a continuation and culmination
of the other monotheistic faiths Judaism and Christianity, and
shares many of their principles including justice and charity.
Two requirements of Islam, zakat, and sadaqa, will I think sound
familiar to you— tithing to support the house of worship and additional
charity to feed, clothe, and tend to the needs of the poor, infirm,
widows, orphans, and homeless. There is a passage that seems particularly
appropriate: "On the day of judgment God Most High will say,
"Son of Adam, I was sick and you did not visit Me." He will reply,
"My Lord, how could I visit Thee when Thou art the Lord of the
Universe!" He will say, "Did you not know that My servant was
ill and yet you did not visit him? Did you not know that if you
had visited him you soon would have found Me with him?" I know
that you live by these precepts every day — but this is not the
Gospel passage you are used to — it is from Muslim Holy Scripture,
and it emphasizes how close our faiths really are.
equality, tolerance, and respect for other faiths. The Qur'an
prohibits compulsion in religion and forbids violence except in
self-defense: "Allah loves not the aggressors" and "let
there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression."
Far from ordering all Muslims to kill all unbelievers the Qur'an
emphasizes that Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same
its kinship with the other great monotheistic religions, whose
followers it calls the "People of the Book" (The Torah,
Bible and Qur'an ). Islam recognizes their shared origin, but
also their diversity, and calls upon believers to value other
cultures: "O mankind! We created you from a single (pair)
of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes,
that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other)."
such injunctions towards tolerance and equality, early Islam was
a wellspring of human rights at a time when they were almost unknown.
There was remarkable freedom of religions worship throughout the
Muslim world during its early expansion. An early Muslim caliph
offered feuding Christian factions the opportunity to work out
their disputes under the auspices of his court, and Jews fleeing
persecution by the Inquisition received sanctuary in Muslim-ruled
Most of us
here would agree that religion is fundamental to human life. Let
us not confuse fundamental with fundamentalist.
The test comes
when one's principles appear to conflict with the rights and needs
of others. It is one thing to be willing to die for one's beliefs
— but quite another to be willing to kill for them. And, those
who hijacked our faith on that dreadful day 9/11 sinned (in my
view) against Islam which expressly forbids violence toward the
insecurity grows from frustration and anger. People who feel they
have nothing left to lose can resort to desperate acts. From long
experience, I know that the majority in the Middle East long for
freedom, and control over their own destinies. They want and deserve
no less than freedom fighters who two and a quarter centuries
ago, waged a war for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
For them, as for people everywhere, true security derives from
a sense of freedom, hope and opportunity. And that security is
the ultimate source of peace.
can be achieved, I believe, through at least three interrelated
priorities: education, women's empowerment, and action through
partnership. I know you appreciate the importance of these, because
in their focus on women and children, they are very much allied
with the Salvation Army's mission.
There is a serious knowledge and communication gap between East
and West, and to bridge that gap, each side must strive to educate
itself and reach out to communicate with the other. Education
is supremely powerful — more powerful in the long term, than even
the most potent weapons. In the first place it provides people
with the techniques they need to operate in an increasingly complex
environment benefiting us all by developing the modern world's
most precious resource, the human mind. But more important, education
can be the most effective tool for increasing global security.
the highest value on learning, a fact that has been obscured by
sensationalistic news stories about terrorist training camps masquerading
as "madrassas." Education in the Golden Age of Islam,
a thousand years ago, emphasized independent, creative, analytical
thinking, linked to the larger world — and planted the seeds of
Western liberal education. The Islamic reverence for scholarship
transmitted and enhanced new ideas from the East, ranging from
mathematics, to music, to medicine. Islam spread enlightenment,
justice and equity, intellectual creativity and the concept of
a humane society, and through the preservation of knowledge helped
bring about the end of a dark age in European history. Today a
renaissance of this kind of enlightened, broad-minded education
can nurture the security we all seek.
education can give people the ability to open their minds, to
ask the right questions, to look at the world from others' points
of view. It can give them the skills they need to make their voices
heard, without resorting to violence. I know that those of you
who work with Boys and Girls Clubs have seen this principle in
In our region,
I have seen the bitter enmity of previous generations overcome,
transcended by young people encouraged to meet and interact in
an atmosphere of trust. Seeds
of Peace, for example, founded after the first
World Trade Center bombing in 1993, brings together youth from
conflict-torn regions to begin to break down the barriers of ignorance
and prejudice. For a time, they live together, and work to build
mutual understanding and respect; to value communication over
confrontation. When they go home, they continue to hold out their
hands and hearts to each other.
Even now —
especially now — Seeds graduates (in the Middle East) phone or
e-mail across conflict lines to comfort their friends in the midst
of the worst violence their region has seen. They also inspire
their families and neighbors to take a chance on hope and humanity.
They have stared hatred in the face and refused to succumb. They
are living proof that people can love their own country, and also
love their neighbors.
towards peace education is growing. More than 100 US colleges
and universities now have programs in conflict resolution. Internationally,
there are a wealth of other programs I have worked with, from
the United World Colleges, a network of 10 international equal
opportunity colleges across the globe that foster cross cultural
understanding and peace, to the United Nations International Leadership
Academy in Amman. All, like Seeds of Peace, are predicated on
the idea that bringing people of different backgrounds together
to talk, to listen, and to learn is the surest route to tolerance
not only from goodwill and understanding, important as those are,
but from concrete results which I have seen these programs produce,
by motivated people pooling their ideas and resources in networks
and forming creative coalitions to solve real problems in their
own communities, across their countries, regions and the globe.
This kind of education for peace, and indeed peace itself, is
impossible without respectful dialogue based on genuine listening.
rather than a debate that one side must win, or an inflexible
exchange of entrenched positions, allows the voices of tolerance
to be heard above the rhetoric of a "clash."
priority is the empowerment of women. 51% of the world's population
is women, two-thirds of the world's work is done by women, yet
they represent 60% of the world's poor, generate only 10% of the
income and own only 1% of property. In the Middle East, although
female education has made marked progress in the past 30 years,
half of Arab women are still illiterate, and they suffer from
social, legal and economic discrimination perhaps more severe
than anywhere in the world, causing extreme development distortions.
sobering figures, perhaps I shouldn't have been so surprised,
when I first married, that reporters were constantly asking me
how a liberal, progressive American woman could go live in such
a backward and oppressive culture.
This was one
of the many stereotypes about Middle Eastern societies that I
have spent most of my adult life working to dispel, and, like
many stereotypes, it was based on a half truth. Those reporters
did not know the Arab women I did — the doctors, lawyers, professors
realize that 7th century Islam granted women political, legal
and social rights then unheard of in the West, in fact, rights
women in this country still struggled for in the 20th century,
such as the equal right to education, to own and inherit property,
to conduct business, and not to be coerced into marriage, basing
those rights on the equality of men and women before God. This
when the rest of the world considered women chattel.
in Muslim countries are not mandated in the Qur'an, but are holdovers
from pre-Islamic cultures, or the cultural residue of colonialism.
They do not reflect the beliefs of the majority of Muslims or
the teachings of the Prophet himself. The oppression of women
in the Arab world is not because of Islam, but contrary to it.
central to any definition of human security. I have seen in my
work, and studies confirm, that the position of women is the
best marker of a country's development. Increasing women's
economic empowerment may be the single most direct route to improving
the lives of the less fortunate: their work reduces poverty and
hunger, promotes improvements in maternal, child and general health,
enables women to pursue education for themselves and their children,
and gives them the confidence to make their voices heard, in the
family, the community and even in national government.
important, women must be involved in building peace. They suffer
disproportionately in war; they and their children make up 75%
of refugees, and they are at greater risk for violence, poverty
and malnutrition. They are most vulnerable victims during conflict,
and the ones left to pick up the shattered pieces of their societies,
as well as their own lives, when it is over.
the brunt of violence, but their voices are ignored in conflict
resolution, community rebuilding and government planning. And
this is not only unjust, but also unwise. Women bring key strengths,
talents and unique perspectives to the quest to resolve conflict
and establish genuine political freedom. On the most basic level,
peace begins in the community, and women hold that community together.
In working for what is best for their families, they can cut across
ethnic, religious and tribal lines, and break through obstacles
to reconstruction. Organizations like Women
Waging Peace have formed a network of peace-builders
who use the power of modern technology and women's unique perspectives
to cut across political and doctrinal boundaries and help ravaged
communities recover from conflict.
I have worked
with women who, under the most repressive possible circumstances
during the Taliban regime, ran community services, schools for
girls, and health care for women out of their homes. And who now
are, playing a crucial role in the social, and political reconstruction
of their society.
The Mano River
Peace Network brings women together to end
conflict in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Israeli and Palestinian
women have worked with each other — electronically, if violence
prevents it physically — in organizations like Jerusalem Link
and the Jerusalem Center for Women.
of courageous women are raising their voices — and sometimes risking
their lives — in conflict areas around the world from Columbia
to the Balkans to the international Women in Black peace network
first founded in Israel in 1988. UNIFEM awarded the Serbian Women
in Black the Millennium Peace Prize for their civil disobedience
against Slobodan Milosevic. Senator George Mitchell said about
the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland: "The emergence
of women as a political force was a significant factor in achieving
the agreement. Women were among the first to express their weariness
of the conflict… Overall in achieving the level of stability now
enjoyed, women's involvement at all levels was a very important
is to take root in the Middle East and the world, it is time to
bring women back into partnership, especially in pursuit of peace.
is one more crucial element in the fight against fanaticism, without
which the other two count for little: action through partnership.
The most powerful educational programs and the most intensive
efforts of women peace builders will change nothing if those in
power do not listen and respect the perspectives of those who
suffer the most. No amount of public diplomacy can assuage anger
in the Middle East towards U.S. and Western policies on the ground
as long as the occupation of the Palestinian Territories continues.
America's efforts to build cultural bridges to the Middle East
will be held in suspicion as long as its policies appear primarily
self-interested and contradictory.
The core values
of modern Western culture are tolerance, freedom, democracy and
human rights, but tragically, many throughout the world see the
United States and its allies abandoning, in the name of security,
the very values they claim to protect. Certainly, those in positions
of authority in the Middle East must do their utmost to curb the
violence spawned by a fanatical minority in their midst, and to
encourage the forces of moderation by opening up political and
economic systems, safeguarding human rights and giving sustainable
development priority over military buildup.
action as well as words. But that action cannot be unilateral
and coercive. It must be mutual, positive and cooperative. Recent
events make it quite clear that successful international action
is impossible without international cooperation.
inevitable resentment that builds when one nation intervenes unilaterally
in another, no nation, even the most powerful, can change the
world alone. For reasons of morality, legitimacy and practicality,
global intervention must be based upon international norms and
involve credible multi-lateral institutions — especially the U.N.
I have worked in various forms of partnership with the United
Nations for a quarter century, addressing issues from hunger to
the environment to refugees to children's welfare, and scores
of others, and I can tell you that the UN, whatever its challenges
today, is one of the most powerful engines for cooperation ever
created by humankind.
The UN epitomizes
dialogue among nations but dialogue is perhaps even more crucial
among people. The recent Geneva Accord was the fruit of cooperation
between people exhausted by violence and political stalemate in
the Middle East who dared to defy the inflexible extremism of
their own party leadership, and had the moral courage to compromise.
As one of the Accord's architects put it, "Today we are extending
our hands in peace for peace. Our critics say that officials should
make such agreements, not representatives of civil society. We
could not agree more" he said. "But what do we do if
officials do not meet, if governments do not negotiate? We cannot
wait and watch as the future of our two nations slides deeper
one of the world's senior statesmen and a driving force behind
a wealth of peace treaties, inspired the different people of the
region to understand what he believed so deeply, that peace is
not made among governments, but among peoples; that it is written
not only on pieces of paper, but must be enshrined in the hearts
of those who live together side by side, who sacrifice for and
sustain real peace.
It is hard
to be a passionate moderate, as my husband was, but that is what
we need now, in every culture. It is especially difficult because
tolerance, by its very essence, cannot be imposed. Coercion is
easier than persuasion. To take refuge in extremism and condemn
others on the basis of half-truths and exaggerations is fairly
simple. But to pay attention to nuance, especially the nuances
of other cultures, and still be able to act decisively, is a delicate
balancing act. Still, it can be done. As Salvation Army volunteers
prove every day, conviction and compassion can go hand in hand.
We are not
facing a new clash of civilizations. We are seeing civilization
in its age-old struggle against inhumanity. Fanaticism has always
bedeviled mankind, but we cannot abandon mankind because of it.
Neither can we wrap ourselves in a comforting blanket of dogma,
to keep us from facing the hard questions.
communication and action, people like you who believe in tolerance,
compassion and the rights of others can join forces to reinforce
the global community of shared benefits, responsibilities and
values. It has been said that there are two kinds of people in
the world: those who divide people into two types, and those who
do not. This aphorism has more than a grain of truth: It is so
much easier to divide the world into us vs. them than to praise
the richness of its diversity. But it is in the glory of diversity
that true dialogue among civilizations is forged.
we need an army, but an army like yours — an army of compassion
to fight not against other countries and cultures, but to wage
war against intolerance wherever it is found. That is a battle
in which everyone wins.
We must embrace
the values that we share. The great Abrahamic religions; the three
faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, believe in the supremacy
of one God, benevolent and merciful and concerned for the welfare
of all life on earth. These three faiths spring from the same
root, the faith of Abraham, all three teach common principles,
which can and should be a unifying force among people. To respect
both knowledge and belief, to allow all human beings equally to
serve the creator, the creation, and one another — these are values
that reverberate through all holy texts. The Ten Commandments
and the Golden Rule are primary guiding tenets of all three. In
the words of the Prophet, Mohammed — "none of you is a believer
until he wants for his brother what he wants for himself".
For all of
the people of the book, this is a holy season. For all their differences,
these holidays share an emphasis on sacred contemplation, and
the universal values of mercy, understanding and forgiveness.
We need to let this kindred nature of these great religions guide
us. For all our differences, we need to concentrate on the values
we share — and to quote another great scripture verse, "the
greatest of these is charity."
& Greener. Is Alternative Energy the Next Big Thing?
Woods, President & CEO of Odyssey Advisors, LLC
market is huge. So are the risks. There are a total of about 30
stocks with varying degrees of exposure. Almost all have short
track records, are losing money, bleeding cash, and will need
more money from investors to survive. The hot money crowd is piling
in and, in the last few months, some stocks have increased dramatically
on not much more than hopes and dreams. If you're thinking "been
there, done that", you're right. In the 1980s, biotechnology
companies overcame these problems to become the next big thing.
In the 1990s, it was Internet stocks. This decade, with a few
more breakthroughs, it could be alternative energy.
In the meantime,
however, this industry still has cost and other issues that limit
its widespread use. For alternative energy to become the next
big thing, we'll need large capital infusions and continuing breakthroughs
in technology. This industry is heavily subsidized in some developed
countries, and taxpayers will have to keep paying part of the
bill to keep demand growing over the short term. It would also
be helpful if energy prices remain relatively high for a few more
years to narrow the cost difference and keep these technologies
on a glide path toward profitability. The risks are enormous,
but the prize is a much bigger share of a global energy market
amounting to trillions of dollars.
If we look at BTU consumption, our energy has come from
the following sources in the last 15 years.
Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy
As you can
see, fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) account for over 85% of our
energy consumption and their share of the market has remained
fairly constant. While this drives most environmentalists crazy,
it's a rational response to the availability and low cost of these
sources of energy. With their low cost, there was little incentive
to conserve and demand continued to grow at just over 1% per year.
For our energy
consumption patterns to change, something had to happen to change
the dynamics. In this case, we should thank SUV owners and the
Chinese for finally tilting the balance. The demand for fossil
fuels is finally starting to overwhelm supplies and prices are
going up. At the same time, technology is continuing to reduce
the cost of alternative energy and clean alternatives are closer
to taking an increasing share of what is probably a $1 trillion
market for energy in the U.S and several times that on a global
Wind turbines are packaged systems that include the rotor,
generator, turbine blades, and drive or coupling device. The wind
turns the blades of a windmill-like machine. The rotating blades
are attached to a shaft that turns as the blades rotate. The turning
shaft typically either powers a pump or turns a generator that
Due to recent
breakthroughs in wind turbine design, this is the only clean energy
technology with a cost of producing electricity that's comparable
with fossil fuels at the present time. Site selection is critical
as winds in the range of at least 10-15 mph are required for the
cost effective production of power. However, there are also a
few obstacles. The enormous wind turbines are eyesores that limit
site availability. They are also expensive to build, are usually
located some distance from the demand for power, require maintenance,
and only produce power when the wind blows.
enough, the biggest potential problem is that birds dumb enough
to fly into the rotors usually end up dead. While this wouldn't
cause Charles Darwin to lose any sleep, it hands environmentalists
and NIMBYs a nuclear weapon to use against these operators. These
groups managed to destroy the economics of nuclear power through
endless court challenges and skyrocketing legal costs, and the
Endangered Species Act potentially gives them the power to do
the same to this industry.
the problems, there are still plenty of locations available according
to one expert in the industry. The Sioux Indians in the Dakotas
appear to be sitting on the equivalent of the Saudi Arabia of
wind, and he believes this technology has the potential to eventually
provide 5% or more of this country's energy needs. However, assuming
you're willing to deal with the environmental risks, finding a
way to make money on the wind is still difficult as the companies
making the most progress in this area are huge, like General Electric,
and wind energy is a small part of their total business.
A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device
that generates electricity from a variety of fuels, using a combustion-free
process discovered more than 150 years ago. As a result, fuel
cells don't produce the pollutants commonly associated with fossil
fuels. These are also silent, compact, and can be used for many
different power applications. They are similar to batteries in
that they come in a variety of sizes, are capable of powering
everything from cell phones to buses, and can be combined to increase
on a variety of fuels and even waste gasses from water treatment
plants can be converted into electricity using fuel cells. For
systems designed to consume hydrogen directly, the only by products
are electricity, water, and heat. When a fuel cell consumes natural
gas or other hydrocarbons, it produces some carbon dioxide in
addition. However, the carbon dioxide produced is much less than
produced by burned fuel, and it's emitted in a concentrated form
which makes capture and storage much easier.
and solar produce power at the mercy of the weather, the ability
to produce power 24 hours a day is the most compelling thing about
fuel cells. These were originally developed to supply electric
power for the space program in the 1960s and were hideously expensive.
As the cost has come down, they've found wider use in military
bases and commercial buildings and these will have a much broader
range of potential uses when costs come down further. However,
it's difficult to get too excited about a technology that mostly
maintains our dependence on the handful of lunatics that control
fossil fuels. Renewable hydrogen is the more interesting fuel,
but whether the required infrastructure will ever be built out
remains an open question.
Evergreen Solar panels on a National Park Service building
at the White House
Photo credit: "Evergreen Solar"
Of the three
major alternative energy technologies, solar is the one that curls
our toes. Solar cells are semiconductor devices that convert sunlight
into electricity using a process known as photovoltaic. They have
no moving parts, require almost no maintenance, have zero emissions,
are totally silent, and can connect to the existing infrastructure.
The simplest are used to power watches and calculators while the
more complex systems can free homeowners from electric bills.
still has a few problems to overcome. The biggest is that this
is still the most expensive source of clean energy. For the time
being, it would be helpful for energy prices to remain high and
narrow the cost difference. In addition, the polysilicon used
to produce most solar panels remains in critically short supply
and prices have risen about 80% in the last 18 months. This situation
may not be resolved until 2008, and raw material constraints may
limit production and put pressure on profit margins over the near
term. The final problem is that the production of power from solar
is intermittent and dependent upon the sun.
As in wind
technology, it's location, location and location that drive the
economics of solar. The more sunny days in a year, the more a
solar system will be producing energy. The economics favor the
southwest over the northeast in the U.S. and inland locations
over coastal. The economics also favor connecting solar panels
to the electricity grid as opposed to having to use rechargeable
batteries or other devices to store the energy produced.
Solar is typically
an expensive system to install, but once installed, the subsequent
costs are low. As a result, it makes sense for a home that an
owner plans to keep a long time. Even though it's expensive, it's
cost effective for remote locations not covered by the electricity
grid and is useful in growing third world countries that have
a constant problem with power reliability and availability. As
a result, according to a recent article in the New York Times,
the global market for solar energy systems is estimated to be
around $10 billion and growing at about 35% per year.
As we think
this is by far the most interesting clean energy technology, we
plan to explore solar in more depth in an upcoming article.
I'm part of a vanishing breed that still believes in free
markets, but enough of realist to know that politicians have a
need to be perceived as doing something about big problems. Our
current energy situation appears to be one of those things that
will have politicians from both parties falling all over themselves
to provide a big government solution. Rising energy prices are
beginning to strain household budgets. In addition, there are
legitimate security concerns with the present situation and a
strong desire for energy independence. Finally, politicians appear
to have a need to appease a noisy group of environmentalists who
are deeply troubled that our planet is warmer than it was during
the last ice age and believe that fossil fuels are somehow responsible
for a cycle of global warming that began over 200 years ago.
of these concerns is likely to be more government subsidies, and
we expect solar to receive the vast majority. For those of you
concerned about an industry that feeds at the public trough, try
to remember the last time that government subsidies on anything
were cut. With the latest rise in energy prices, we think there's
a very high chance that state and federal subsidies for clean
energy will expand and more people will decide to get some of
their tax dollars back by buying one of these systems. Even though
these technologies will probably become competitive with fossil
fuels by the end of the decade, we'd also be willing to bet that
clean energy subsidies will remain in place long after the need
for them has disappeared.
The cost of producing energy is still the biggest issue
for this industry. To gain a bigger share of the energy market,
costs have to keep coming down, subsidies need to remain in place
or expand, and it wouldn't hurt if oil prices remained high. However,
given the huge potential market, it's a good bet that enough capital
and ingenuity will be thrown at the remaining problems to make
alternative energy competitive or even cheaper than fossil fuels
by the end of the decade. According to one website, here's the
cost per kilowatt-hour of each:
Power - 3-5 cents per kWh
Turbines - 5-10 cents per kWh
Cells - 10-15 cents per kWh
- 20-40 cents per kWh
federal government as well as most state and local governments
are dying to use taxpayer dollars to help you purchase part of
one of these systems, the economics are not as bad as they look.
For anyone considering clean energy, there's a comprehensive listing
of all the tax breaks available at http://www.dsireusa.org/.
It's also worth noting that, in California, an initiative to
install solar panels on a million roofs was sponsored by the Governor
but killed by Democrats in the Assembly because of trade union
lobbying. However, it's likely that the Public Utilities Commission
will create a rebate program of its own by the end of the year,
based upon the bill.
also be noted that the cost of producing conventional power rises
dramatically during periods of peak electricity demand. In the
middle of a hot summer day in states with aging infrastructure
and tight supplies, it can cost up to 30 cents per kWh to find
enough electricity to supply peak demand. That's when solar is
producing maximum electricity and the economics of fuel cells
also become viable. As it becomes more difficult to build new
power plants in some states because of endless court challenges
and bureaucratic red tape, utilities may very well turn partially
to alternative energy to supply new demand.
It's a pretty
good assumption that the cost of conventional power has risen
significantly since the cost statistics shown above were published.
In addition, depending upon where you live, different tax incentives
can reduce the cost of these systems by 50% or more. As a result,
the economics of these systems are probably coming closer to an
inflection point that favors the use of clean energy.
in This Industry
Investing in companies that have a limited track record
and are losing money and bleeding cash in a developing industry
isn't for everyone. If you need income, are risk averse, or have
a heart condition or nervous disorder, don't even think about
it. Even if these stocks produce a payoff, it's certain to be
a very bumpy ride requiring a strong stomach.
that wants exposure to this industry but isn't interested in closely
monitoring his or her holdings, a good choice is the WilderHill
Clean Energy Portfolio, symbol PBW. It's an exchange-traded fund
with a relatively low (.6%) expense ratio that invests in a broad
range of alternative energy stocks, including some larger and
established companies with a clean energy component.
purposes, it should be mentioned that Odyssey Advisors LLC has
investments in Distributed Energy Corporation (DESC) and Evergreen
for a select group of clients. This is not a recommendation, please
do your own homework before investing in any of these companies.
has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable however
Odyssey Advisors LLC does not warrant its completeness or accuracy.
Opinions constitute our judgment as of the date of this material
and are subject to change without notice. This material is not
intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale
of any financial instrument. Securities, financial instruments
or strategies mentioned herein may not be suitable for all investors.
is the President & CEO of Odyssey Advisors, LLC, an independent
investment advisory firm specializing in equities and fixed income.
He can be contacted at www.odysseyadvisors.com
Rally or Boxing Day?
Natalie Pace, Founder and CEO, NataliePace.com
Santa Rally is historically a very predictable phenomenon. As
you can see from the below chart, which lists average monthly
returns, the period of November through January has a much larger
monthly return rate than July through October. Over 50% of the
gains in the stock market each year are, most reliably, made in
the 4th quarter.
500 Index Average Monthly Returns 1928-2002
year, there are a number of factors that mitigate the scenario.
With rising interest rates, simmering inflation, ballooning budget
deficits, Fading Blue Chips, pension fund problems, and a falling
presidential approval rating, those bags of coal might be enough
to soil the holiday spirit. Also, the first year of a presidential
term tends to be the worst performing year in the four-year cycle.
So, as we've stressed all year, gains in a flat, but volatile
market are made in shorter windows, and unless the bears are
crazy and the DOW is headed to 40,000, there are more stocks to
sell out there than there are to buy.
500 Index Average Total Returns 1928-2002
Year Before Presidential Election
of Presidential Election
Year After Presidential Election
Years After Presidential Election
For a quick
review of some of the most troubled companies (Fading Blue Chips),
read the article in the November ezine, "Celebrities,
Style and Parties. While You Dream of the Good Life, Your Future
could be Cat Food."
or not you are paying retail (i.e. overpaying) for your stock,
is not merely a matter of Price to Earnings ratio. (Earnings are
not always the most reliable way of understanding the health of
a company.) At minimum, take a peak at the 5-year stock price
chart, in addition to P/E. (It's a handy click tool on most large
money sites. You can enter the company symbol in the RESEARCH
NOW box on the NataliePace.com home page, to get to a fact sheet on the
company, including price to earnings ratios, pricing charts, news,
insider trading and more.) it's also not a bad idea to see what
price the insiders set on their own company. Check out the insider
trading to see it there is consensus insider buying (usually a
good sign) or selling (can be a red flag).
Builders, Toll Brothers and KB Home
although I don't ever rely solely on insider trading (or any other
one piece of information) as the only indicator for the desirability
of a stock, it is important to notice when company executives
are speaking a different language with their wallet than they
are to their shareholders. This year, $151 million in stock
was sold by Robert Toll, and $110 million was sold by Bruce Toll.
There was additional Consensus C-Level Selling at Toll Brothers.
On November 8, 2005, in a press release touting that 4th
quarter revenues rose 39%, a key warning was imbedded in the otherwise
optimistic Toll Brothers outlook. Joel H. Rassman, chief financial
officer, stated: "The 400 to 700 home reduction in our projected
FY 2006 delivery guidance should reduce our earnings growth projections
for Full Year 2006. As we evaluate this change, we will provide
more guidance for FY 2006 when we announce earnings on December
8, 2005." Meanwhile, Robert Toll said, "We remain optimistic.
The demographics for our industry remain outstanding due to continuing,
regulation-induced, constraints on lot supplies and a growing
number of affluent households."
Mr. Toll's wallet more than his words, especially since we're
seeing the same massive insider selling in another large homebuilder,
KB Home. KB Home CEO Bruce Karatz has sold $146 million in
stock over the last 10 months, and there has been consensus C-level
insider selling at KB Home as well. If all of these executives
were truly as excited about the future of real estate as they
gush on at business conferences, it is unlikely that the selling
would be so broad-based.
a few comments from respected money managers and market commentators,
regarding the seasonal Santa Rally. Don't be sucked into buying
at top dollar on the expectation that the holidays will surprise
you with a dream come true gift.
get carried away and chase anything here. The traders who have
profited from this rally will be looking for overly enthusiastic
investors to sell their shares to in December. Keep both your
eyes on the fundamentals of what you own -- and be prepared
to sell if the price of anything gets too far out of line. This
market is likely to swing too far to the long side in December
after swinging too far to the short side in October." Jim
"Profit from short-sellers' problems"
still find it hard to believe that all the people who've made
the calendar/no-news bet are going to get paid this year --
though the weight of their sentiment may suffice to keep serious
downside action at bay until next year… This is only a near-term
scenario, as I continue to be completely convinced that the
next move of any consequence will be lower." Bill
Fleckenstein, The Contrarian Chronicles.
stock market seems to have embarked on its usual year-end rally.
It remains to be seen, however, whether this rally will last
until the New Year. The big concerns remain. The economy is
slowing, and when winter heating bills show up in the mail,
consumers will have even less to spend. The Federal Reserve
is unlikely to stop raising interest rates in the face of inflation.
So while higher rates will keep prices in check, those too will
reduce the amount of money people and companies have to spend."
Thanks for Even Minimal Returns" by
the Associated Press.
was forced to take guidance down for next year. The company's
stock declined about 14%, with every other homebuilder hit for
5%, plus or minus. It is worth noting that since last summer,
insiders -- continuing to wax poetic about their business prospects
-- sold more than 3 million Toll shares, at an average price
of approximately $51." Bill
Fleckenstein, The Contrarian Chronicles.
we're heavily mortgaged in a period of extreme prices. The return
to more normal prices could be as painful at the Great Texas
Real Estate Crash." Scott
Burns, MSN columnist
festive this holiday season. But you may wish to box up your profits
a little early, and begin the New Year fresh, fat (in the wallet)
Feed the Bears During an Overvalued Market: Investment Outlook.
Wright, Managing Editor, Investment Quality Trends Newsletter
would suggest that investors wait for historic values to become
available and then to add [companies] to their portfolio." Kelley
Wright, Managing Editor, Investment Quality Trends Newsletter
is starting to resemble the storyline in the movie Groundhog
Day. This is to say we keep seeing the same thing over and
over. The market rallies close to the old high set on (fill in
the blank) date, rolls over and heads back toward 10,000.
The only thing
more tedious than the market action itself is the myriad explanations
by the punditry. The real answer to this market is to understand
this question; "What does a bear market behave like?"
this is still a bear market and will be until the dividend yield
on the Dow Industrials reaches its historic level of undervalue.
Until that time, the market will rally and decline, much like
it has the last five years.
strategy for most investors is to try to pick the hot stock du
jour or to time short-term market or sector direction through
indices or ETFs. This is a tough way to make money.
for a Better Price
We would suggest that investors wait for historic values
to become available and then to add them to their portfolio. This
generally takes courage, especially if the stock is out of favor
with the general market trend. This is the lot of the value investor
however; treading where others dare not.
As a general
rule a stock is overvalued when it has a relatively high price
and low dividend yield. It is undervalued when it has a relatively
low price and a high dividend yield. It can be observed then,
that dividend-paying stocks fluctuate over time within a range
of low dividend yield - establishing a plateau of Overvalue -
and high dividend yield, establishing a valley of Undervalue.
The plateaus and valleys identify areas in which stocks should
be sold or bought.
has its own profile of Undervalue and Overvalue, its own distinctive
high and low yield characteristics, and must be studied individually.
So, in addition to producing income, dividend yield can be used
to identify value in the stock market.
You may wonder,
"Why should the dividend bear a relationship to the price
of a stock, and how does that relationship serve to measure value?"
First of all, dividends meet the most basic of all investment
fundamentals --- income. Even if income is not the primary objective
of a particular investor, to MOST investors income is a very significant
factor in stock market selections. Proof of this can be seen in
what happens to the price of a stock when a dividend is raised
or lowered. Even the suggestion of a dividend increase or decrease
will send the price of a stock up or down.
to income, there is an important significance to the dividend.
Executives and directors of large corporations know far better
than anyone else the financial condition of their company and
the direction future earnings will take. It is reasonable to assume
that directors are not going to raise a dividend unless that payout
is fiscally justified and sound. A consistently rising dividend
trend dramatically reveals a company's profitable progress; much
more so than earnings.
unlike earnings, are real money; not just figures on a balance
sheet. Once a dividend is paid it is gone forever from that company.
Therefore, a consistent trend of dividend payments, especially
a rising dividend trend, is more reliable and less erratic than
the trend of earnings. Earnings are subject to bookkeeping terms
such as depreciation, cash flow, inventory adjustments, etc. A
skillful financial officer can make earnings appear not-so good,
and vice-versa, depending on tax considerations.
tell the truth. A rising dividend trend offers uncontestable proof
that a company is, in fact, making profitable progress.
Quality Trends) approach to value through dividend yield is technical
because it identifies historically repetitive price/yield areas
in which, over the years, investors have been motivated to buy
or sell their stock holdings. In that regard, it technically measures
the sentiment and habit patterns of investors as they view each
in the Undervalued category have completed a decline from Overvalued
prices to Undervalued prices. These stocks offer historically
good investment value. Any stock listed in the Undervalued category
is generally recommended for purchase. A selection will depend
on individual investment objectives and personal preferences.
Even if the
timing of a purchase is not exactly right in relation to the general
market trend, stocks, which are purchased at Undervalue, tend
to hold their value and their price.
of identifying value can be applied to any stock with a fairly
long dividend history. HOWEVER, there is no greater potential
for capital appreciation in stock of poor quality. So we select
for our service only stocks that are of prime, blue chip quality
- with relatively little risk to the investor.
the stocks that command institutional support and sponsorship
from powerful money forces. These are the mature, time-tested
companies, with proven managements and established marketing techniques.
These are the winners, the survivors. Lastly, these are the companies
that seem to be more concerned about their stockholders and most
reluctant ever to lower a dividend.
on which our stocks are selected weigh profitable progress, growth
of income and capital, professional management interest and marketability.
For each stock, we take into account the past history of earnings,
dividends, growth rates, financial strength, research and development
and an appraisal of the future. As you can see, each stock is
carefully selected, and our roster of Select Blue Chips is an
elite representation of the most prosperous and progressive corporations
in the country.
from the IQTrends.com mid-November newsletter.
Quality Trends (at IQTrends.com) is rated the #1 Top Performing
Newsletter for five-year, ten-year and fifteen-year risk-adjusted
returns by Hulbert's Financial Digest. That's no small feat,
considering the Wilshire 5000 has posted negative annualized returns
of -1.4% for the past five years, while Investment Quality Trends
has booked an impressive, annualized 15.90% gain. If you are interested
in accessing Mr. Wright's newsletter and to post those kinds of
gains yourself, go to www.IQTrends.com.
Angst: I am tempted to go after my series 6 license, but I
am still walking down a dark road and have no idea where to go.
Anyone got a map?
monthly Sharing Wisdom feature, NataliePace.com subscribers get answers
to questions about money, career, business, investing (and really
what doesn't have an element of money to it?). The collective
experience, success and wisdom of the NataliePace.com circle can help
you to follow the golden brick road to your dream life.
month, a motivated young man writes: "I have watched
my parents and how they live, comfortably yes. They have their
needs, but not their wants. I have watched them struggle with
bills, arguments etc all over money, and I do not want to go through
that. I do not necessarily like working FOR other people, but
I love working WITH other people. I am tempted to go after my
series 6 license, but I am still walking down a dark road and
have no idea where to go. Anyone got a map? Dennis, age 21
Now, I want
to tell you a little bit about Dennis' talents. He runs the largest
finance-related no spam/moderated group on Myspace.com. Dennis'
Young Millionaires Association, has more than
4000 members. He obviously knows something about marketing, and
the success of his group says a lot about Dennis' initiative,
intelligence, creativity, dedication and ability to work independently.
If you are
interested in Sharing more Wisdom about obtaining a series 6 license
and/or entering the financial services profession, please go to
the Sharing Wisdom bulletin board at www.NataliePace.com.
Click on the topic: "What Kind of Job Should I Look For?"
If you are interested in contacting Dennis directly, go to his
MySpace group, and you'll be able to send him a message. Dennis
is the moderator, and his picture/link is located on the upper
right side of the page.
Companies Sponsor the Series 6 license
Linda Moore, Private Client Services
Private Client Services,
& Insurance Services
one's Series 6 absolutely opens many doors in the financial
services industry. Upon graduating from USC with a Business Administration
degree, I wasn't quite sure where I would go, and what career
path would ultimately allow me the greatest career opportunities
the years ahead. Someone must have been watching over me, as my
put on the right path. I
met a recruiter for a large insurance company, which ultimately
getting my Series 6 license. Financial security has been with
since. Given what you share, I would definitely pursue getting
and ultimately obtaining your Series 7. Much success in all your
and remember to give back as you grow in your financial wealth.
is responsible for business development in Southern California
Marsh's Private Client Services. Marsh PCS is the world leader
in risk management
and insurance services for high net worth individuals and families.
Career Path: Gaining Knowledge Through "Jobs"
Marc A. Miles, Director Center For International Trade and
A. Miles, Ph.D.
Center For International Trade and Economics
thing to do is differentiate between a job and a career. You
apparently have a goal of being a partner in a firm or having
your own firm. That is your career. Getting there,
however, will require learning the ins and outs of the industry
you have chosen, and trying to anticipate how it will change.
That is where the jobs are important.
At 21, you
are still in the learning stage of your life. Strive for
jobs that will allow you to learn as much as possible. Your mileposts
should be to have a good understanding by the time you are roughly
30, and being where you want by your early 40s.
Don't be afraid
to make mistakes. We all have and do, and some of the great
success stories came from early errors the entrepreneur made.
The fact that you do not know how to achieve your goal yet
is normal; the fact that you are asking the right questions is
encouraging. Just keep asking as you go down your career
Education: The Investment of a Lifetime!
by Natalie Pace CEO and founder, NataliePace.com
notice that both of the respondents to your question, who are
very respected professionals in the field of economics and finance,
have degrees. Dr. Miles has his Ph.D. and Linda Moore has a degree
in Business Administration. Your options for getting the best
"jobs" to learn on (as you continue to advance toward
your ultimate career goal) will increase dramatically if you have
at least a degree from a university, in economics and/or business.
It's a lot
easier to devote time to an education when you are 21 than it
is when you are 31. Responsibilities tend to increase as you age.
When I went to college, I lived in a huge house (with a pool and
an elevator, believe it or not), with five other college students.
Now that I am a mother, that is unthinkable. But it was a lot
of fun at the time, and those friendships have proven extremely
valuable to me today, as a business owner. (Some of my friends
went on to found multi-million dollar corporations. It helps,
when I have a serious business dilemma, to have an experienced
you'll have with your professors (who can provide job recommendations
in the future), and the partnerships that you'll establish with
your colleagues, provide for a solid support foundation for any
future job and/or career that you choose. Without hesitation,
I recommend that you get your 4-year degree from a university
BEFORE you get your Series 7. Investing in your education is the
most important investment of a lifetime. Education is the
easiest, most reliable way for any person to jump income
There is a
way RIGHT NOW for you to enroll in college. You might have to
work part-time, live with your parents, take minimum units, apply
for every scholarship and grant available, take out loans, etc.
But there is a way. If I can do it, you can do it. (My dad was
a copper miner, and didn't contribute one dime toward my education.)
I challenge you to dive into your future right now.
month's Sharing Wisdom Question:
asks: "A young man who is 22 years old works fulltime as
an Assistant General Manager of a gym in the Los Angeles area.
The company does not have a group health plan but they do give
fulltime employees money toward health insurance. Do you
or anyone else know where he can get reasonably priced health
insurance? He is in excellent health."
Please Share Your Wisdom with Bobbi:
you or anyone you know has experience in getting and/or offering
individual health insurance without paying through the nose or
getting an excessively high deductible, please go to the Sharing
Wisdom bulletin board at www.NataliePace.com.
Post your responses in the topic, "Affordable Individual
Health Insurance." Please limit your responses to 300 words
or less. Submit your quotable wisdom now, before Friday, 12.9.05,
so that we can include your advice in the January Sharing Wisdom
If you are
interested in being quoted, be sure to include a short bio, your
web site information and a phone number, so that we can contact
you. Thanks in advance for helping NataliePace.com to continue to "spread
wealth by sharing wisdom."
a Question for our Experts?
info@NataliePace.com with your burning money questions-- be they
business, investing or personal -- and we will continue the dialog
by having our very knowledgeable subscribers answer your most
pressing needs. Also, feel free to visit our Sharing Wisdom bulletin
board at www.NataliePace.com and post your question there in a new
Choosing the Career of Your Dreams.
Spurge, Managing Director, Post Advisory Group, LLC
Excerpt From Money
Clips: 365 Tips That Will Pay One Day at a Time.
you want a job or a career?
you need to clock in from 9 to 5, if your mantra is TGIF, if you
give just enough of yourself to get by while expecting to get
the most - then you're looking for a job. A career is a life-long
experience. It's giving as well as getting. Having a career is
about getting excited about going too work in the morning and
not looking at your watch to check if your day is over. It's about
wanting to share your day's events with friends and family long
after your workday is done. Simply put, you should love what you
do for a living.
you do not only improves the quality of your life and enhances
your own well-being, but also the lives of those around you. It's
an extremely rewarding process. Many people base their career
ambitions on what they think is monetarily rewarding and overlook
the obvious: what will drive them to get up and go to work, excited,
by appraising yourself
career choice should be made with careful consideration. So before
selecting a potential career, ask yourself some critical questions:
skills do I have? Does my desired career choice require any
of these skills?
am I really, uniquely good at? What makes me stand out from
the next job candidate?
job activity makes me happiest?
job activity makes me both happy and proud - because I do
an outstanding job?
gets me turned on about a job? Does my current job exhaust
or energize me?
- How can
I transfer my hobbies, interests or unrelated skills into
thinking about money, what would I most like to spend my time
contribution do I want to make to my community?
good attitude will take you anywhere
attitude is so important - not just for getting a good job, but
for your mental health and overall well-being. Face it, the workplace
is full of stresses. Learn to view them as obstacles to be hurdled,
not walls you've come up against. When frustrated, try this imagery
technique: just close your eyes and say to yourself, "I'm
going to switch to a different attitude about this thing (or person)
that's bothering me," and view yourself successfully managing
the situation. Sometimes that's all it takes to begin to relieve
some of the pressure and stress. Try it and see how your attitude
enjoyed working so much I would get to the office two hours early.
And if I was sick and we needed to get a project done, I was there
anyway. I can remember once coming in with a 102-degree fever
because we had a big presentation to make. My boss ran around
getting me tea, bringing me a heater to warm me up - he couldn't
thank me enough - the best thanks came at Christmas when I got
a big bonus and raise. But it's funny, looking back now, I wasn't
event thinking about the money. I just wanted to do the best job
I could possibly do.
I take that
work ethic with me in everything I do. Today I am CEO of my own
business. But if we're up against a deadline you won't find me
sitting behind an executive desk. I'm there, assembling marketing
packages, photocopying and collating - whatever it takes to get
the job done.
on a fact-finding adventure
skills will not only help you manage your career, the skills you'll
develop will help you manage your money, and ultimately, your
life. Find out about careers and opportunities and how they might
suit your skills and background. Even if you're unemployed and
looking for a job, or still in school, it will give you a chance
to call prospective employers and interview them for your own
research purposes, while you don't have the anxiety about getting
a particular job. Remember, you're on an adventure.
looking for a long-term career, this strategy will open doors
or paths that you never dreamed of, and may not even have considered.
your way to success
meeting, phone call or acquaintance has the potential to bring
you closer to your dream career. This is a building process -
a foundation of information that you will inventory for current
and future use. It will help you build a database of contacts
that can become your network to success.
could be with people you think you'd like to work for or with
people who are doing what you'd like to be doing. This gives you
a tremendous opportunity to talk with other professionals at a
particular company or in a specific industry. Don't even bother
with Human Resources departments. Go straight to the person who
has the job that interests you. People love to talk about themselves
- and you can often find out more about the company and industry
than you could ever learn through its promotional materials.
to ask when networking:
- Why did
you pick this job in this particular industry?
do you like most about your line of work?
do you dislike most about it?
is your vision for the future of this industry?
your company, who are your competitors?
would you recommend I speak with for additional information?
to follow up, follow up, follow up. One of the mistakes many people
make is neglecting to follow up with a phone call, card or letter.
Many people give up after one attempt at contact. Don't. Be persistent.
Always follow up a telephone or face-to-face interview with a
thank-you note, and make a note on your calendar to call or meet
Try to get
a sense of the buzzwords used in the industry you are seeking.
This will give you a bit of an inside look at what's going on.
If your research
reveals that a company you're interested in is weak financially,
it doesn't mean the company might not appreciate and reward talented
people like yourself. Young and growing companies might offer
the greatest future rewards, even though they might not be able
to offer huge starting salaries. And remember, not all rewards
Spurge (Managing Director - Portfolio Management) joined Post
with over 20 years of finance and business experience. Prior
to Post she founded a financial consulting company, which later
evolved into Spurge Ink!, a publisher of books and designer of
marketing programs for leading consultants and business executives.
Lorraine began her career in finance at Drexel Burnham Lambert,
where she managed the capital markets group. During that
period of time, she was responsible for structuring, negotiating,
and marketing various transactions, including private placements
and public new issues of high yield bonds, common stock, and equity-related
derivatives. Lorraine was also responsible for helping distressed
companies through complex exchange offers, covenant waivers, and
Million-Dollar Smile and 11 Other Qualities of the Rich and Successful.
Pace, CEO and founder, NataliePace.com & trade;
and California First Lady Maria Shriver At the 2004 California
Governor and First Lady's Conference for Women and Famlies
ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you
come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs
are people who have come alive."
has its secrets, and any veteran who makes it into the elite ranks
has those secrets imbedded into her bag of tricks by the time
her peers acknowledge her. The world-boxing champion may naturally
have a mean jab, but along the way, he learned how to dance, how
to survive ten rounds of pummeling, and to protect his face and
body from deadly punches. The concert pianist may have skill and
technique, but before she can fill the Hollywood Bowl, she must
infuse soul into the notes and play off of and with the musicians
in the orchestra. Business is no different. There are tried and
true secrets that you can learn by trial and error, or you can
learn from rising through the ranks or you can post on your bedroom
mirror as the Bible of Business and incorporate/implant into your
brain day and night. Either way, it is unlikely that you will
be successful until you have mastered the following 12 success
secrets of CEOs.
The Million-Dollar Smile:
This is all about how you conduct yourself and present yourself,
and if you think that is only important during meetings or that
you can fake it, you're mistaken. Think of it as the Obi-Wan Kenobi
factor. If you want to open doors, receive special treatment,
attract positive attention and succeed, you need to carry, not
only an aura of success, but also a persona of fairness and joie
de vivre at all times. If you cut off your client in the
parking lot, it's going to be hard to sell that million-dollar
smile at lunch. If you're rude to your colleague's assistant,
you might find your messages getting bungled up. If you're desperate
to win a sale, nobody is going to want to work with you because
your focus is on the sale, rather than the success of the partnership.
the hardest part about that smile: it can't be fake. It's impossible
to pretend to smile all day long and have it pass for the genuine
thing. It's impossible to be pleasant all day long if you're all
keyed up and pissed off. And you'll have a hard time relaxing
into the natural rhythm of negotiations and agreements if you
are desperate to win the business because you need the cash to
keep the lights on.
So, how do
you find a way to smile naturally? Simple really. Entrepreneurs
have to love what they do. Your hours are long, the challenges
are many, the risks are lethal, and the only way to smile through
it all is if the work is something that lights your soul on fire.
That's the core: love what you do. The million-dollar smile flows
naturally from people who are passionate about their business.
From that important foundation, there will still be stress, setbacks
and serious challenges, which can be relieved , through exercise,
yoga, meditation, massage - whatever it takes.
air: fresh ideas.
have a very successful writer friend, who has had four New
York Times bestsellers, who hardly ever sits down to write.
Instead he goes about his life with a pen and paper in his pocket,
ready at all times to observe what he sees in the natural world.
This writer assured me that writer's block is simply sitting too
long in front of a computer expecting to be inspired, and sure
enough, since I adopted his advice, longer ago than I'm willing
to admit, I've never suffered from a block on ideas or inspiration.
if you strangle it. A watched pot doesn't boil. Sometimes the
solution looks out of focus if you are too close or stare too
that you are out in the real world observing. Whether you have
a product or a service, understanding the whims, tastes and trends
of society in general and your target market in particular will
help you succeed far more than trying to design something in your
cubicle. Millions of marketing dollars are thrown at bad ideas,
while great ideas spread rapidly through word of mouth. Myspace.com
is a great example of that.
of Snak King has never spent a dime on advertising, and yet his
cashews, nuts, trail mix and candy sell millions all over the
U.S. He thought of his million-dollar idea while in a golf cart,
after spilling ketchup on his shorts. "Why can't we have
snacks that are easy to eat?" he asked. And voila, Snak King
was born. Get out of the office and live a little.
"Never Underestimate the Power of a Free T-Shirt." Philip
Knight, founder, Nike.
P. Mooney, the chairman of the Walt Disney Company's consumer products
division, gave Mickey Mouse t-shirts to Jennifer Garner and Sarah
Jessica Parker in 2001. Retail sales doubled annually after that,
and Dolce & Gabbana subsequently designed a $1,400 sequined
Minnie Mouse T-shirt.
the founder of the popular head massage widget, the Tingler,
has been known to sit in the first row of Bill Clinton book
signings with the Tingler on her head to attract attention to
wears it once and that photo makes it to the fanzines, sales
go through the roof. It's not easy getting your product to celebrities,
but if it is whimsical, unique and makes them feel or look better,
you might have a shot. If you give them money for the endorsement,
you might have a partnership.
famous loves you and/or your product, get it in writing (testimonial),
and, if possible, on film or in a digital photo. You can use this
as your calling card to establish your niche and reputation, for
future sales and perhaps as publicity both for your product and
your new celebrity friend.
Stop Chasing Venture Capital.
entrepreneurs fund their own dreams, so make sure that your plan
includes getting to cash flow positive as quickly as possible. Secure
loans and lines of credit BEFORE you need them, as you'll likely
be ineligible or pay a higher interest rate if you wait until you're
desperate. Don't waste precious time chasing money that is unlikely
Executive Network secured two million in corporate sponsorships,
but had to close up shop when the follow-on venture capital
never came in. Co-founder Beth Fehmel now believes that her
team wasted too much time chasing venture capital, leaving too
little time to develop and market the product and establish
an audience and customer base.
Businesses Get Their Startup Capital
loan or funds from other government program
from supplier, customer or other business entity
bank loan or line of credit
of family or friends
founders' personal assets
Plan B is Often Better
The famous (and popular) scene when Harrison Ford shoots
an attacking swordsmen in the first Indiana Jones movie was,
reportedly, a solution to getting something on tape when Harrison
was sick as a dog and couldn't do another ten-minute, choreographed
fight sequence. It became the most talked about moment of the film.
Don't be too focused on failure. If something isn't working out,
be creative at finding something that works even better.
Don't Dilute the Gene Pool
best barrier to entry is greatness, and you will find that colleagues
in your field will refer your services if they are high quality,
specialized and priced right. My content has appeared on Forbes.com,
in Kiplinger's, on Women and Co's website and on Fox News. Experienced
money managers with exceptional track records, like Kelley Wright
of IQTrends.com, contribute to NataliePace.com's pages because we hold
the same standards of excellence as those we seek to partner with.
The content is held to an exceptionally high caliber, so others
can be proud of being associated with us. An advisor of NataliePace.com
sums this up, saying, "Don't dilute the professional gene pool."
Partner, Not Competitor
one succeeds on his/her own. If your business is web design, and
your designs specialize in small business, you might find another
established web designer, who specializes in mid-size businesses,
to refer small business leads to you. This is more bound to happen
if you contact your competitor to refer your mid or large size business
leads to him/her. The malls were designed to bring customers to
one place, where there are many options to buy essentially the same
thing. It's easier to get more customers to come to the mall, than
it is to attract customers to various stores scattered across the
city. You want someone to refer customers to who don't fit your
niche, and you want others to recognize your expertise and send
customers your way. You might also consider creating an affiliate/referral
in Big Partners.
"What's in it for them?" Big partners, and/or advisors
with outstanding reputations and/or followings, can help your business
succeed. Perhaps one of the biggest values a board member or an
advisor brings to a business, outside of experience and expertise,
is her rolodex. You will only attract such individuals if you can
offer them something for their time and expertise. That enticement
might be a social need, networking, resume building, like-minded
vision, etc. It is rarely just a matter of money. Non-profit organizations
are able to attract major CEOs to their cause. Lloyd Braun, the
head of Head of Yahoo! Media Group, is also the Vice Chairman of
the Lauri Strauss Leukemia Foundation.
than anything else, you have to love what you do, and you can NEVER
give up," according to Donald Trump. " If there's a concrete
wall, you have to go through it."
says, "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't
do a thing, you're right."
is everything. When you worry that you can't do something, you
waste time. When you are committed to doing something, you find
a way. Winners find a way, and work hard to achieve.
As Carly Fiorina,
the former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard notes, "There
are people who focus on the limitations of the situation, and
there are people who focus on the possibilities. The people who
focus on the possibilities always achieve more. See what's possible!!"
Brand Recognition: Whimsical and Memorable
Perhaps the best example of this is Google, which is a
play on "Googol," the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100
zeros. Skype has become one of the most popular names in Voice
Over Internet Telephony (VOIP). The more whimsical your brand
name, the easier it is to protect and trademark, and the easier
it is for customers to start feeling more passionately connected
to your product. Think iPod.
to Live with the Snakes in Your stomach
[Andreessen] always says that you only experience two emotions
when starting a company: euphoria and terror. And lack of sleep
enhances them both. If you don't feel your guts boiling then you're
not aiming high enough ;-) ." Ben Horowitz, President and
have challenges. You are not being picked on. So, stop whining
and get back to doing 1-10, or stop whining and realize that you're
better suited too work for someone else than you are to owning
your own business. That's the difference between an owner and
an employee. The owner dreams of the business at night, and achieves
superhuman feats by day. Employees can leave the pile of things
to do at the office when they clock out, for it is the owners'
responsibility to keep the lights on, keep the customers happy
and pay the staff.
You need to have "IITT."
Integrity, Initiative, Talent and Tenacity. You need it. And you
need to be surrounded by it.
are used by corporations to challenge a higher level of achievement
from their divisions and teams. However, competition without ethics
is war. Enron was a corporation based upon an intensely competitive
ethos, and the war that ensued destroyed the company. Warmongers
destroy. Peacemakers create.
team wins, you win. There are very few ventures that are small
enough to launch on your own. So, as Anne Sweeney, the Co-Chairman,
Disney Media Networks and President, Disney ABC Television Group
says, "Invest in the success of those around you."
is inhibited if we cannot trust the reliability of counterparties'
information and commitments. Indeed, the willingness to rely on
the word of a stranger is integral to any sophisticated economy."
Alan Greenspan, 5.20.2004
You will need
to ally with people who are trustworthy, reliable, talented and
full of initiative and intelligence. Avoid the opposite, and save
yourself a lot of grief, distraction and lawsuits.
Not as Thrilling as 007, But More Faithful.
Retirement Planning Means Understanding Fixed Income Investing
the past few years of falling interest rates, Fixed Income securities
have risen in price and investors (should) have realized capital
gains as a result… Now, that trend has reversed itself and you
have the opportunity to add to existing holdings, or to buy new
securities, at lower prices and higher interest rates." Steve
Income Security: An investment that provides a return in the form
of fixed periodic payments and eventual return of principle at
maturity, like bonds and preferred stock.
of a fixed-income security would be a 5% fixed-rate government
bond where a $1,000 investment would result in an annual $50
payment until maturity when the investor would receive the
$1,000 back. Generally, these types of assets offer a lower return
on investment because they guarantee income. (source: Investopedia.com)
I've come to the conclusion that the Stock Market is an
easier medium for investors to understand (i.e., to form behavioral
expectations about) than the Fixed Income Market. As unlikely
as this sounds, experience proves it, irrefutably. Few investors
grow to love volatility as I do, but most expect it in the Market
Value of their equity positions. When dealing with Fixed Income
Securities however, neither they nor their advisors are comfortable
with any downward movement at all. Most won't consider taking
profits when prices increase, but will rush in to accept losses
when prices fall.
Theoretically, Fixed Income Securities should be the ultimate
Buy and Hold; their primary purpose is income generation, and
return of principal is typically a contractual obligation. I like
to add some seasoning to this bland diet, through profit taking
whenever possible, but losses are almost never an acceptable,
or necessary, menu item. Still, Wall Street pumps out products
and Investment Experts rationalize strategies that cloud the simple
rules governing the behavior of what should be an investor's retirement
blankie. I shake my head in disbelief, constantly. The investment
gods have spoken: "The market price of Fixed Income Securities
shall vary inversely with Interest Rates, both actual and anticipated…
and it is good."
"It's OK, it's natural, it just doesn't matter," I say
to disbelieving audiences everywhere. You have to understand how
these securities react to interest rate expectations and take
advantage of it. There's no need to hedge against it, or to cry
about it. It's simply the nature of things.
There are several reasons why investors have invalid expectations
about their Fixed Income investments: (1) They don't experience
this type of investing until retirement planning time and they
view all securities with an eye on Market Value, as they have
been programmed to do by Wall Street. (2) The combination of increasing
age and inexperience creates an inordinate fear of loss that is
prayed upon by commissioned sales persons of all shapes and sizes.
(3) They have trouble distinguishing between the income generating
purpose of Fixed Income Securities and the fact that they are
negotiable instruments with a Market Value that is a function
of current, as opposed to contractual, interest rates. (4) They
have been brainwashed into believing that the Market Value of
their portfolio, and not the income that it generates, is their
primary weapon against inflation. [Really, Alice, if you held
these securities in a safe deposit box instead of a brokerage
account, and just received the income, the perception of loss,
the fear, and the rush to make a change would simply disappear.
Think about it.]
Every properly constructed portfolio will contain securities whose
primary purpose is to generate income (fixed and/or variable),
and every investor must understand some basic and "absolute"
characteristics of Interest Rate Sensitive Securities. These securities
include Corporate, Government, and Municipal Bonds, Preferred
Stocks, many Closed End Funds, Unit Trusts, REITs, Royalty Trusts,
Treasury Securities, etc. Most are legally binding contracts between
the owner of the securities (you, or an Investment Company that
you own a piece of) and an entity that promises to pay a Fixed
Rate of Interest for the use of the money. They are primary
debts of the issuer, and must be paid before all other obligations.
They are negotiable, meaning that they can be bought and sold,
at a price that varies with current interest rates. The longer
the duration of the obligation, the more price fluctuation cycles
will occur during the holding period. Typically, longer obligations
also have higher interest rates. Two things are accomplished by
buying shorter duration securities: you earn less interest and
you pay your broker a commission more frequently.
Defaults in interest payments are extremely rare, particularly
in Investment Grade Securities, and it is very likely that you
will receive a predictable, constant, and gradually increasing
flow of Income. (The income will increase gradually only if you
manage your asset allocation properly by adding proportionately
to your Fixed Income holdings.) So, if everything is going according
to plan, all that you ever need to look at is the amount of income
that your Fixed Income portfolio is generating… period. Dealing
with variable income securities is slightly different, as Market
Value will also vary with the nature of the income, and the economics
of a particular industry. REITs, Royalty Trusts, Unit Trusts,
and even CEFs (Closed End Funds) may have variable income levels
and portfolio management requires an understanding of the risks
involved. A Municipal Bond CEF, for example will have a much more
dependable cash flow and considerably more price stability than
an oil and gas Royalty Trust. Thus, diversification in the income-generating
portion of the portfolio is even more important than in the growth
portion… income pays the bills. Never lose sight of that fact
and you will be able to go fishing more frequently in retirement.
The critical relationship between the two classes of securities
in your portfolio, is this: The Market Value of your Equity Investments
and that of your Fixed Income investments are totally, and completely
unrelated. Each Market dances to it's own beat. Stocks are like
heavy metal or Rap…impossible to predict. Bonds are more like
the classics and old time rock-and-roll…much more predictable.
Thus, for the sake of portfolio smile maintenance, you must develop
the ability to separate the two classes of securities, mentally,
if not physically. For example, if your July 2005 Market Value
fell, it was because of higher interest rates not lower stock
prices. More recently, the combination of higher rates and a weaker
Stock Market has been a Double Whammy for portfolio Market Values,
and a double bonanza for investment opportunities. Just like at
the Mall, lower securities prices are a good thing for buyers…
and higher prices are a good thing for sellers. You need to act
on these things with each cyclical change.
Here's a simple way to deal with Fixed Income Market Values to
avoid shocks and surprises. Just visualize the Scales of Justice,
with or without the blindfold. On one side we have a number that
represents the Current Market Value of your Fixed Income portfolio.
On the other side, we have a small "i" for interest
rates, and "up" or "down" arrows that represent
interest rate directional expectations. If the world expects interest
rates to rise, or even to stop going down, "up" arrows
are added to "i" and the Market Value side moves lower…
the current scenario. Absolutely nothing can (or should) be done
about it. It has no impact at all on the contracts you hold or
the interest that you will receive; neither the maturity value
nor the cash flow is affected… but your broker just called with
The mechanics are also simple. These are negotiable securities
that carry a fixed interest rate. Buyers are entitled to current
rates, and the only way to provide them on an existing security
is to sell it at a discount. Fortunately, one rarely has to sell.
Over the past few years of falling interest rates, Fixed Income
securities have risen in price and investors (should) have realized
capital gains as a result…adding to portfolio income and Working
Capital. Now, that trend has reversed itself and you have the
opportunity to add to existing holdings, or to buy new securities,
at lower prices and higher interest rates. This cycle will be
So, from a "let's try to be happy with our investment portfolio
because it's financially healthier" standpoint, it is critical
that you understand changes in Market Value, anticipate them,
and appreciate the opportunities that they provide. Comparing
your portfolio Market Value with some external and unrelated number
accomplishes nothing. Actually, owning your fixed income securities
in the most freely negotiable manner possible can put you in a
unique position. You have no increased risk from a reduction in
security prices, while you gain the ability to add to holdings
at higher yields. It's like magic, or is it justice. Both sides
of the scales contain good news for the investor… as the investment
Professional Portfolio Management since 1979
Author of: The
Brainwashing of the American Investor: The Book that Wall Street
Does Not Want YOU to Read, and A
Millionaire's Secret Investment Strategy.
Gala Honors Women Leaders.
Women's Foundation of California Has Awarded Over $17 Million
to Innovative Community-based Nonprofit Organizations
|Senator Hillary Clinton
Photo Credit: Women's Foundation of California
October 14, the Women's
Foundation of California hosted a Gala celebration
at the Beverly Hills Hotel, to honor women leaders and community-based
organizations that have championed the human rights of women and
girls. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton gave the keynote address,
speaking to an audience of 550 guests from the Los Angeles political,
business, entertainment and non-profit sectors. Proceeds from
the benefit went to the Women's Foundation, a grant-maker, which
has awarded over $17 million to innovative community-based
organizations that work to: promote pay equity and economic security,
advance legislative and policy efforts that benefit women, girls
and their families, ensure women's and girls' leadership, advocate
for reproductive health and rights, promote environmental health
and eliminate violence against women and girls.
can be bystanders and watch the ground being seeded and the clock
turned back, or we can hold our ground and seek common ground
to try to build a better future for girls and boys, for women
and men, " said Senator Clinton. " It is our birthright,
it's what others have done for us, and it's what the Women's Foundation
of California is doing. And all of us who support its work are
in the progression of leaders and citizen-activists who know that
America can only do better if we make a commitment to bring that
new future into being."
actress Camryn Manheim served as the mistress of ceremonies;
and Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson, were the gala's
leaders, including Senator Clinton and 11 organizations that are
blazing trails for women and girls in communities throughout California
were included among the honorees of the evening.
Simon, McArthur Fellow and former executive director of
the Center for Young Women's Development in San Francisco
Buck, Executive Director of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery
and Trafficking in Los Angeles, and
DeAnda, staff for Californians for Pesticide Reform in the
San Joaquin Valley.
organizations honored for their work include:
Café, a restaurant and catering company that employs
and trains young women who are transitioning out of gang life
- The Youth
Justice Coalition, which educates girls in the juvenile
justice system about their legal rights and trains them to be
their own advocates
- The Center
for Young Women's Development, which helps young women,
ages 16-24, become voices of change in their lives and communities
through personal development and civic engagement
for Pesticide Reform, which works to change policy related
to pesticide use and pollution, and
Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, works with
community leaders to ensure their access to clean, safe and
affordable drinking water.
addition to being a grant-maker, the Women's Foundation of California
runs it's own programs including a Women's Policy Institute, serves
as a trusted convener and provides grant partners with technical
assistance in a variety of areas to build their organizational
capacity. For more information on how you can help the Women's
Foundation of California continue improving our world, go to www.womensfoundca.org.
Poker Champs and Champion Investors Have In Common: Neither Gamble.
Pace, Top Stock Picker, per TipsTraders.com
didn't win the 2004 World Series of Poker because she's a great
gambler. She won because she knows her profession and doesn't
gamble at all. In fact, her book, Annie
I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed and Won Millions,
isn't a book about gambling. It's a course book - an educational
prerequisite for ANYONE who cares to sit at a poker table with
bets larger than single digits - that carefully charts a number
of mathematical calculations that you can use to win at the poker
This is America,
however, and no one is going to deny you your right to dump yourself
bold and naïve at a poker table any more than anyone is going
to deny you your right to gamble on the stock market. Trouble
is: professionals don't gamble, and if you are, guess who is more
likely to lose. Unfortunately, what most Americans don't realize
is that they probably have a seat at the stock table, whether
they know it or not. Odds are your company retirement plan and/or
your personal 401 (k) or IRA have holdings in mutual funds or
publicly traded companies. So, it's not a game you can easily
walk away from. In fact, there's almost no alternative to educating
yourself, if you want to start winning, instead of losing money.
the average investor has lost money in the stock holdings in his/her
retirement account. If you were a Global Crossing, Enron, World
Com, US Airways, United Airlines or Delta Airlines investor or
employee, you have lost most, if not all, of your investment (though
a portion of retirement benefits are guaranteed by the Federal
Pension Guaranty Corporation).
Duke's book if you want to win at poker. Buy Peter Lynch's books
if you want to learn investment tricks of a pro. Here's the interesting
thing. They're both talking the same game.
On What You Know. Annie Duke is a meticulous observer who
counts eye blinks before the game begins, so that she can assess
when someone is lying. She knows the probability of any set
of cards winning, and that "you should only play 25% of
the hands you're dealt." Peter Lynch says, "If you
like the store, chances are you'll love the stock." It's
better to invest in companies that you know and understand (and
as a consumer, you know what products you like and don't like
and why) than to blindly chase every "hot" company
that gets reported on.
As an example,
if you know and love Google, and invested in the IPO last
May, your investment is up over 370% ((You've made $3.70 for
dollar.) Baidu, a Chinese search engine, was a hot IPO a few
months back, and more than doubled in under a week, only to
drop back down to just 18% above the initial price. If you bought
at the high, $154, your losses are 54% (over 50 cents on every
dollar). How many Americans have a clue about Baidu? The site
is completely in Chinese!! Now, if you did know the site and
the company, you'd know whether it's a great site, or the IPO
was just the result of good hype! And if you did that amount
of research, then chances are you also know what a reasonable
price for the company is as well.
the Odds. "A-2 offers nineteen combinations for making
the best low" in Omaha Hi-Lo, according to Annie Duke,
who cautions to avoid trap hands, like A-5, which can be beaten
by a number of low combos. How do you play the winners on Wall
Street? Avoid companies that owe over a billion to their pension
plans. Two companies with severely underfunded pension plans
have entered bankruptcy recently, namely Delphi and Delta Airlines.
Exxon Mobil, General Motors and Ford each owe billions to their
pension plans, $11.5 billion, $7.5 billion and $12.3 billion
respectively, according to Standard and Poor's. Check your mutual
funds to be sure that you are not over-exposed to these and
other Blue Chip companies that are suffering from "legacy"
costs. (You'll see this term in a lot of news articles these
days.) For a list of the top 40 companies with a billion or
more owed to their pension plan, read the article "Celebrities,
Style and Parties" from archived issue 2, volume 10.
Chase Bad Hands. "Cards that look good to you because
you've been card dead aren't right for playing," according
to Annie. The odds of winning in poker and in life are quantifiable,
and increase if you are willing to play hands with a high probability
of winning and pass over hands that have a high probability
of losing. Real Estate Investors, especially novices, should
take great heed today.
been looking all year for a good real estate investment or even
to buy your own home, and all you can afford is the run-down
shack in the ghetto, don't bet on that shack getting sold higher
in a few years to someone more foolish than you are. Houses
with security bars on the window in Inglewood, California are
going for half a million dollars today. Modest homes (hardly
more than shacks) in Venice, California are selling for over
a million. When the price of anything becomes higher than the
customer base can afford, buyers dry up and excess stock begins
accumulating. Stocks in 2000 weren't immune. Real Estate in
2005 may continue to rise in value, albeit more measured than
in the past few years, but rest assured that prices cannot rise
at such a pace forever.
the Future by Doing Your Research. Annie recommends paying
attention to how fast or slow people play their hands. "It
can help you predict what they're holding in future hands,"
according to Annie. So, who do you watch on Wall Street? Turns
out certain trends are extremely predictable. For instance,
during the Santa Rally of 2002, NataliePace.com reported that 2003,
the year before a presidential election, was a year that had
statistically significant odds of posting positive gains. ((2000-2002
were all losing years, and, after a very dismal October 2002
on Wall Street, many investors were starting to think that the
Apocalypse had arrived.) btw: Santa Rally is another fairly
reliable trend. Over half of the gains in the stock market occur
in the 4th quarter. Does that mean that you will
win every hand if you learn how to read the future based on
historical trends? No. Does it increase your chance of success?
Yes. Additionally, if you get into a bind where you are invested,
but feel blind (as the Virgin
Investor, Jodi Seidler, did when she made
her first trade), you can commit to obtaining the facts that
will help you to make a more informed decision, rather than
taking a shot in the dark (which has a big chance of missing
play a bad hand. In Omaha Hi-Lo, a bad hand is 2-2-7-Q.
"The hand literally has no potential," according to
Annie. What "bad hands" are there in investing? Swamp
land in Florida. Free money to help a diplomat/royal from Nigeria.
Penny stocks that get pumped through spam email campaigns. Assume
that any get rich quick scheme that comes from someone you don't
know is swampland in Florida until proven otherwise. With regard
to real estate, remember that past performance is no guarantee
of future results.
Play With Cheaters. As Annie notes, "Generally the
people who play dishonestly are the ones who have leaks… If
you're trying to take edges like that, you likely have the kind
of personality that is going to have other problems - a drug
addiction, for example." There are signs that a company
and CEO are bending (if not breaking) the rules. If the company
is "based" out of the Bahamas, but has no real offices
there. If the CEO is seen more often in the society pages than
in the Board Room. If the product prices are dropping faster
than the Titanic, but the balance sheet reflects a steady climb
in sales. Click here for the Top
10 Signs the CEO is rolling in your dough,
and avoid investing in companies with products you don't like
(think Altria, which is the Philip Morris tobacco company) or
CEOs whom you don't trust.
As in poker,
there are many more things to learn about investing that will
help you up your chances of winning. Before you sit at the poker
table, you might start by reading Annie Duke's excellent book.
She very generously reveals the strategies she used to become
the 2004 Tournament of Champions winner. Before you start putting
your money in the stock market, and remember chances are you already
have some money invested, you would be smart to continue learning
from professionals who have a record of posting consistent gains
over time. (This is very different from just listening to the
broker behind the counter or reading the Spam or direct mail that
you receive from "experts" who are touting HUGE GAINS.)
It's a thrill to win money at either seat - poker or Wall Street
- and it is assured that you will get that joy more often if you
know what you are doing. No one can play your cards better than
you can, provided you learn the rules and fundamentals of the
Gifts for Friends and Lovers,
NataliePace.com's Pick for the Best Couple's Get Away: The Parker Palm
perfect gift for your guy? For women? Well, according to an NataliePace.com
survey, it isn't crock pots and garden tools. (Go to www.NataliePace.com
to cast your vote, so that men and women across the U.S. can get
their gift-giving right this year, and no one is stuck with a
rooster cookie jar or a Mickie Mouse tie.)
Gift for Guys
Gift for Women
iPod Nano or other music device
Couple's Get Away Vacation
Spa gift certificate (massage, facial)
Camera, PDA, camcorder
Appliances and House Furnishings (from couches to cuisinarts)
you know where to get your favorite electronics device and are
smart enough to ask your loved one the exact brand that he desires
(you don't want to give XM Satellite Radio to a Howard Stern/Sirius
Satellite Radio lover), we'll focus our tips on the #1 best gift
for women - a couple's get away.
Best Get Away (with spa facilities): The Parker Palm Springs
people just get it right, and the management team responsible
for the Parker experience is quite simply the Muhammed Ali of
hotels. They work exceptionally hard and smart behind the scenes
to make mastery look beautiful. So, trust that your every need
is not only provided for; it has been anticipated, and is ready
at your beck and call.
Now for the
unique allure of the Parker PS. It is retro risqué, uptown,
not uptight, architecturally whimsical, a taste delight and you
are treated like a guest of the estate, i.e. spoiled, flirted
with and fawned over. Whether you have two days or a week, trust
that time will slow down, that you can renew/revive your soul,
challenge yourself or refuse to do anything at all and even risk
a spiked lemonade and game of Petanque before noon. (Where else
can you play Petanque?) If you want a getaway with kids, the Gene
Autry house, which is in the center of the Parker PS estate, is
perfect, with the 2nd bedroom located far enough away
on the other side that your kids can make all the noise they want
(and so can you) without being a bother.
at the Parker PS is designed to invite you to "live a little"
beyond your comfort zone. In the yoga class, I thought the instructor
might be kidding with the positions he was challenging his beginning
students to assume. (My head stand ended up in a back bend, and
trust me, everyone in the class took at least one tumble.) What
was most refreshing was that I was in a class that was actually
challenging me, rather than holding back, worried that I might
sue if I pushed myself beyond my capabilities. I thought at first
it might just be a renegade instructor, but soon learned that
pushing you a little beyond your blasé day-to-day existence
is part of the Parker Palm Springs ethos.
from the Parker PS Manifesto:
believe in the American country club experience: mixed doubles,
a long steam and a stiff cocktail.
the last thing a woman wants to see while having a treatment is
a man; so we maintain a separation of the sexes.
newlyweds are too naïve to recognize this, and the elderly
too old to recognize each other, so we have couples treatment
in inner beauty. But, do what you can on the outside.
in good sport as well as fitness: Petanque and Pastis, Pimms Cup
and Croquet, Snooker and single malt whiskey.
you are only young once…but you can be immature forever.
court is clay. The pastimes include Petanque and Croquet. At breakfast
you can have foie gras. The lemonade stands leave you feeling
a little extra happy (Pastis or champagne spiked lemonades are
refreshing and delicious, with a kick, adding a little pizzazz
to your tennis or golf game.). Dinner is served in a risqué
‘70s setting that looks straight out of a Saturday Night Live
spoof of the Playboy mansion. As Lynne Puttman-Dibley, Parker
Palm Springs' human resources director puts it, "Mrs. Parker
has the culture of a queen, but she can also drink with the sailors."
When I mention
the drill sergeant yoga instructor, Lynne responds, "If we
can have you experience one little thing you've never done before,
that's excellent." I'm sure she didn't mean back surgery,
but how refreshing it is to be in a resort that focuses on giving
you a memorable experience, at the risk of enraging their legal
team? Later that evening, a friend and I swung our legs freely
in the "bird cage" chairs that are in the lounge fire
pit area. There was a couple making out on the sofa across from
us. I got the feeling that we were having more fun.
breakfast restaurant at the Parker PS, is the best breakfast on
the planet., whether you're an egg person, a lox and bagel person,
a crab cakes person, a waffle person, a parfait person or a foie
gras addict. If you're in the Palm Springs vicinity, whether you
are staying at the Parker or not, make sure you make a reservation.
You'll want to have dinner at Mr. Parker's as well. More than
the food, consider it a field trip back to the ‘70s, when life
was a little bit more… daring. You'll delight in the handsome,
charming maitre d'. The motto in Mr. Parker's is, "If Andy
Warhol would like it, it's here!"
gift and/or get away ideas, please check out the NataliePace.com Shopping
Mall, located on the home page at www.NataliePace.com. For jewelry,
there is nothing more priceless than Sculpture
to Wear. For cultural experiences, there is
nothing more delightful than the Los
Angeles Opera, under the executive direction
of Placido Domingo. Our breakout artist is Michel
Tabori. (If you purchase his "Forest Triptych"
before I do, I'll cry.) For spas, it's hard to beat Canyon
Ranch. These and more unique and memorable
gift ideas are just a click away in the NataliePace.com shopping mall.
You might conveniently leave the page open (or select NataliePace.com
as your home page), so that your lover will know where to shop
for your gift!
East Palm Canyon Drive
Springs, California 92264
the holiday season, let us not overlook those who are not in a
position to give or receive gifts. NataliePace.com continues to donate
10% of our proceeds to CoAbode.org, an organization that assists
single mothers in transitioning into better living situations.
While you're planning your gift-giving budget, why not set aside
$100 (minimum) to celebrate the holidays as they were truly intended
- to share in peace and love. Below are three organizations that
would love to receive your support this holiday season.
Single Mothers house sharing. This simple, profound solution helps
single mothers to double their spending power, cut their expenses
in half and have more quality time with their children. It is
a nationwide service, with some members in Canada.
Charter school and support services for families living on and
around Skid Row in Los Angeles, California. This program has become
so successful that it is being modeled around the world.
of Children's Services.
This governmental agency, which is usually a county service, helps
find homes for abused and neglected children. They also run Teen
Homes, which are group facilities for teens preparing to live
on their own. The link will take you to the Los Angeles County
Department of Children and Family services. To find a service
in your area, just search on Google with the phrase, "Department
of Children's Services." These children and teens delight
in your generosity, and the Dept. of Children's Services staff
happily distribute new, unwrapped gifts.
Most Common Investment Mistakes.
Pace, CEO and Founder of NataliePace.com.
what to AVOID could save you a bundle.
is owned by Delta Airlines (Delta
entered bankruptcy on 9.14.05)
on Analyst Recommendations. If you thought Jack Grubman
and Henry Blodget (the former analysts who got in trouble for
recommending stocks in exchange for favors) were just flukes,
guess again. Researchers at the University of California and
Stanford found that, in the year 2000, the most highly rated
stocks had a -31% return. Those least favored soared an annualized
49%. This study examined 40,000 stock recommendations from 213
brokerages. Analysts may not all be criminals, but they are
definitely not fortune-tellers!
Buying. Think buying Delta at sixty-four cents a share when
you are POSITIVE that they will come out of bankruptcy is a
BRILLIANT idea? Guess again. Reorganization plans commonly call
for the CANCELLATION of the existing common stock, with holders
thereof receiving NO distribution. (Translation: your stock
becomes toilet paper). Common stock shareholders are commonly
wiped out during bankruptcy because they are last on the priority
list with claims against the company's assets. Global Crossing,
Enron, World Com, U.S. Airways, all of these companies wiped
out the common stock after their bankruptcies. Lawsuits are
a difficult way to try and recover losses.
Fat. Fat may taste good, but too much of that fat good thing
is definitely horrible for your health, just as buying in after
a company has fattened up its share price can be catastrophic.
It's very tempting to buy stock AFTER shareholders have earned
seven thousand times their investment, but that is called CHASING
MONEY. There were people, lots of them, who bought AOL Time
Warner and Priceline at peak share prices in 2000, thinking
that heavenly heights could last forever. Too bad losing weight
isn't as easy as losing money.
Tips. Pump and Dump schemes abound on the bulletin boards
and in those penny stock spam emails, where shareholders (and
scam artists) can ANONYMOUSLY talk up stocks for their own gain.
When the story sounds UNBELIEVABLE and you think you have to
ACT NOW to get it before the rest of the world finds out, you
could save yourself a big NIGHTMARE by peeking under the corporate
financial sheets. The higher the return that you are promised
by anybody, the more research you need to do before investing.
Assume hot tips are swampland in Florida unless proven otherwise.
Shots. If someone promises you to double your money in
a set period of time, assume that you are dealing with a novice
or a scam artist. There are no sure shots in investing, and
the higher the potential return, the higher the risk.
Headlines are usually not written by the writers who pen
the story. They are written by editors to catch your eye. If
you don't read the fine print, you could be missing the most
important information. Before United declared bankruptcy, investors
gobbled up shares of UAL shares on the headline that United
had received $1 billion in promised concessions from its unions.
A key consideration was hidden on the inside pages, however—that
the Federal Loan Guarantee required $1.5 Billion in union
labor concessions. The Loan Guarantee application was subsequently
rejected and United Airlines was forced into Chapter 11 only
a few weeks after that headline appeared in the New York
Times, one of the nation's most respected news sources.
The headlines of less respected news sources can be even further
from the complete story, which is found in the fine print and
often on page 13.
Releases. Press releases are written by professional writers,
who are employed by the company that they are writing about.
Additionally, press releases are not held to the same standards
as the official corporate earnings statements that public companies
must make with the SEC. A company can talk about an increase
in revenue without ever mentioning that increased revenues don't
mean the company is PROFITABLE or that, due to cash constraints,
the company's fiscal health is on the ropes. If you read
anything that is from PRNewsWire, BusinessWire or a company
press release, ask yourself, "What aren't they telling
too heavily upon the advice of your broker. If your broker
has handled your account beautifully through the market downturns,
and/or over the past few decades, just skip this one. You're
lucky to have a partner who cares about your future and has
the knowledge and expertise to get you there. Many investors
don't understand that the broker is the entry-level position
in the business, and place far too much faith in their knowledge,
morals and information. Many brokerages have extremely high
broker turnover. Some brokers are hocking stocks based upon
sales commission incentives. Finally, brokers don't have to
have a college education or experience in the field (although
they do have to pass a series of tests.) Read "Brokers
and Lovers, It Pays to Pick a Good One,"
for more tips on how to find a great broker.
and Hold. "Buy low, sell high" works
every time, whereas buy and hold gains can fluctuate greatly,
depending upon when you buy and when you sell. While
you are going to have a 401K that you take a longer view toward,
it is still important to re-examine your stocks routinely (once
a quarter or at least twice a year), or at specific buy/sell
target points. You might also consider having a smaller
portion of your portfolio set aside for more active trading,
especially if you are willing to do the research (or into buying
a top-performing stock newsletter subscription). As you mature,
the asset distributions in your retirement plan need to adjust.
Most of us get older once a year.
Placing all your chips on one sector. Even the
most stable stocks are considered to be high-risk. Additionally,
all markets are cyclical. Lynn Newman, CFP, warns that if everything
in your portfolio is doing poorly, you're not well diversified.
Conversely, if everything is going great, look out!! As
a starting point, you should protect a percentage equal to your
age in SAFE investments that do not fluctuate. Stocks
and bonds can both yield negative returns. Money markets,
treasury bills and savings accounts pay lower yields, but have
almost no risk. This is where a great financial partner
can help you determine your risk tolerance, and design a plan
that's right for you.
convenience and that of your friends, this article is featured
on the home page of NataliePace.com, under the Investor Edu navigation
link (located across the top of the home page).
note: NataliePace.com does not act or operate like a broker. We are
a media and information center. This article is intended to educate
and inform individual investors, and, thus, to give investors
a competitive edge in their personal decision-making. The publicly
traded companies mentioned on this site are not intended to be
buy or sell recommendations. ALWAYS do your research and/or consult
an experienced, reputable financial professional before buying
or selling any stock.
Power's Billion Dollar IPO: Investing in Renewable Energy.
Card by Natalie Pace
The good news
is that top governmental agencies and corporations are getting
behind renewable energy, and with oil prices at record highs,
the American consumer is downsizing from SUVs and considering
solar energy when remodeling their homes. Many states are offering
incentives to offset the cost of installing solar panels into
homes and buildings. Congratulations are in order to the following
companies which have designed 100% "green power" buildings,
according to the Environmental Protection Agency: The World Bank,
Advanced Micro Devices / Austin, TX Facilities, WhiteWave Foods,
The Tower Companies, Hyatt Regency / Reunion & DFW Airport
Hotels, and Western Washington University. Click to find out more
about the Top 25 partners in the EPA's Green
Power Partnership and the
of Energy just sponsored its second Solar Decathlon, where teams
from universities were challenged to design, build, and operate
the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home. (National
Renewable Energy Laboratory, the American Institute of Architects,
the National Association of Home Builders, BP, the DIY Network,
and Sprint were corporate sponsors of the event.) Each home was
judged in 10 areas: architecture, livability, comfort, power generation
for space heating and cooling, water heating and powering lights
and appliances. Each solar house had to also produce enough "extra"
power for an electric car.
the Solar Decathlon noteworthy for an NataliePace.com stock report card
is two-fold. It illustrates that solar energy is, unfortunately,
still a novelty, and one solar energy company's products clearly
stood out, as their solar panels were used in two of the award-winning
at this year's Decathlon, DOE's second, which was held in October
on the National Mall, was just 120,000 visitors. With over 291
million people living in the U.S., this indicates just how far
we have to go before solar powered lifestyles are the norm in
the U.S. (and the world). As you can see from the DOE statistics
below, wind and solar energy still only account for 2% of the
total energy consumed in the U.S., and those numbers haven't moved
a whole lot over the last fifteen years. (Petroleum, at 40% is
the most widely used energy.) To put this in perspective, people
have been touting solar energy since the 1960s (yes, it was peace,
love AND solar energy), and still less than 1% of our power is
derived from the world's most abundant energy source.
Energy Information Administration, Department of Energy
bore you, you don't have to read a bunch of mind-numbing charts
to know just how small the marketplace is for solar panels today.
Just visit your nearest Home Depot, like I did last Saturday.
went like this:
are your solar panels?"
solar panels. Those things you put on your house that generate
"Oh, I'm not sure. Try over in professional services."
Services counter was closed, so I leaned over to the person behind
the Contractor's counter.
are your solar panels?"
Solar panels. Those things that you put on your house to make
at me as if I'm a Trekkie asking for warp speed converters, but
leans in to see if another employee might understand what I was
saying (or if I was pulling a prank on them). They figured out
that I was indeed asking a "Professional Services" question.
Unfortunately, however, the professional services department isn't
open on the weekends. (Isn't that when most people do their remodeling?)
I asked her if they had any brochures that I could look at. She
looked everywhere. I looked through a wall of brochures that included
all kinds of home improvement options, but found not one brochure
on solar energy.
Solar (NASDAQ: ESLR) is making great strides to expand the solar
energy market. On November 4, 2005, Evergreen Solar and PowerLight
Corporation entered into a definitive agreement for a guaranteed
contract, which calls for Evergreen Solar to ship a minimum of
$70 million of photovoltaic (PV) modules to PowerLight over the
next four years. There are defined options, which could increase
the value of the shipments in the contract to approximately $170
million. Shipments to PowerLight are scheduled to commence during
the first half of 2006. PowerLight is a leader in large-scale,
grid-connected projects for customers worldwide.
Solar joined the Russell 2000(R) and Russell 3000(R) indexes on
June 24, 2005. That distinction, alongside pictures of contractors
installing Evergreen solar panels on government buildings around
the White House in D.C., is enough to make any socially conscious
investor giddy. This explains why a company that is still cash-negative
with a limited, but hopefully growing marketplace, has managed
to attract investors to pay $12.00 a share, when in February 2005,
12,500,000 shares were offered at just $5.00 each.
you run off and make an emotional play on Evergreen, allow me
to give you two important facts that had me turning my attention
to an Evergreen competitor. Mind you, in a growing sector, more
than one company can benefit. We wish all companies that are pushing
forward renewable energy products to be successful, and frankly,
even more than investors, I'm hoping to see CUSTOMERS for these
products. Please buy solar panels and install them in your home.
If you build buildings, please buy solar panels and make your
out a niche and reputation for picking "breakout" companies
that are poised to lead their sector, and It's in my nature to
get more excited about one company than another. With the pro-business
attitude and motivated labor market of Eastern Europe just footsteps
away, why did Evergreen choose to build its manufacturing facility
in Germany, a country that, like most Western European countries,
is known to have a very high cost attached to doing business?
Can the contracts they hope to win offset the bottom line costs?
Secondly, if Evergreen is the market leader then why did a new
competitor just explode on the scene in an IPO that has topped
ESLR's market capitalization in under a week? Why does that competitor
already have more revenues than Evergreen? Finally, guess which
solar panel company happened to be selected for two of the teams
that ended up winning first place awards in the Solar Decathlon?
You guessed it, the Evergreen Solar competitor: Sun Power, a division
of Cypress Semiconductor, which launched a successful IPO on November
17, 2005, putting the company's market value at $1.555 billion.
Monday, Oct.10, 2005, it was announced that Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University's energy-efficient, solar-powered
house won the Architecture and Dwelling contests at the Solar
Decathlon on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo taken
Oct. 9, 2005.
Photo by Stefano Paltera/Solar Decathlon
Virginia Tech team, which won first place in the Architecture
and Dwelling Contest of the DOE's Solar Decathlon, placed
a high priority on architectural design and attractive ways
to integrate solar power into a home. "We were first
drawn to SunPower solar panels due to their unique, all-black
design," explained Bob Schubert, faculty advisor to
the Virginia Tech team. "The opportunity to take advantage
of SunPower's solar panels' great aesthetics and high power
output [gave] us an edge in the Solar Decathlon, which considers
energy production, consumption and overall building design."
of Colorado's energy-efficient, solar-powered house
by Stefano Paltera/Solar Decathlon
of Colorado's energy-efficient, solar-powered house won
first place in the Solar Decathlon on Friday, Oct. 14. "We
evaluated more than 100 solar panels to optimize our solar
power generation and defend our Solar Decathlon championship
title," said Jeff Lyng, student project manager for
the University of Colorado. "We were pleased to find
that the best panels available were also the most beautifully
designed to blend into our building." This award-winning
house also utilized the Sun Power solar panels.
three new board members have credentials that include a presidential
appointee, Nasdaq nominating committee member and the past Chairman
of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The CFO is from the
Phillipines (where Sun Power's main manufacturing facility is
located). The Sun Power founder remains as the President and CTO.
In terms of talent, there appear to be brains and experience leading
the business expansion, more than cronyism, and the Board isn't
just stacked with venture capitalists, investment bankers and
personal friends, as can happen with companies that go through
long periods of being cash-negative and need investment dollars
to stay afloat.
In a stock
market that is overpriced (as you can see from the below chart,
the Dow Jones Industrial Average is near it's all-time high),
it's risky to buy at top dollar, however, even if the company
has a great future. Jittery investors could bring the whole market
down on worries of oil prices, a real estate bubble, terrorism,
etc. If your company's future is mostly hopes and dreams, those
are challenged when investors determine that the future is bleak.
(Value stocks, i.e. Those that are trading at "on sale"
prices, tend to tumble less than growth in a downturn; they've
already absorbed their fall.)
As U.S. Secretary
of Energy Samuel W. Bondman said, "They [the winners of the
Solar Decathlon] demonstrate that we can have it all - beautiful
homes, comfortable homes and homes that produce all the power
that they need."
this renewable energy future our present reality, by investing
in solar panels for our homes and buildings. Sign petitions, lobby
for tax incentives and march to get a few brochures put into the
Home Depots and Lowe's of the world! In terms of the stock, however,
it may be wiser to be a waiter than a buyer. We'll keep on eye
on Sun Power, and look to add it to our Hot News column if/when
the price takes a dip and become more attractive.
Buy the stock
on "weakness." Buy the panels to empower our world.
Click on Renewable
Energy to access this month's NataliePace.com stock report
note: NataliePace.com does not act or operate like a broker. We are
a media and information center. This article is intended to educate
and inform individual investors, and, thus, to give investors
a competitive edge in their personal decision-making. The publicly
traded companies mentioned in this article are not intended to
be buy or sell recommendations. ALWAYS do your research and/or
consult an experienced, reputable financial professional before
buying or selling any security.
News on Cool Stocks:
in the Santa Rally and a Canadian Clean Up Company.
are not buy/sell recommendations. Always consult a certified financial
professional before buying or selling stock.)
Facts, Quotes and Educational Information:
Environmental Technologies, inc. Canaccord Capital Corporation
has been authorized by Bioteq Environmental Technologies Inc.
to sell $5,000,000 worth of BQE units (traded on the Toronto
Stock Exchange only). Purchase price is set at $.90 per unit
and includes ż of a Common Share Purchase Warrant to buy at
$1.25 per share for up to two years. $5,000,000 raised will
be used for working capital. Go to Bioteq.CA for more information.
Please note that Bioteq, at under a buck a share, is still considered
a very high risk "penny stock," which means that you
need to do 100 times the research before plunking down your
investment. Bioteq is only traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange
Chips and Pensions: Endangered Species? Take Action to Protect
Yours Now. The S&P 500 reported in July 2005 that 311
companies are currently underfunded on their pension plans.
Of the ten companies that owe the most in pension plans, two
companies, Delphi and Delta Airlines, recently filed for bankruptcy
protection. United Airlines, a corporation that has been in
bankruptcy for three years, recently cancelled their pension
plan, with the approval of the bankruptcy court. It could pay
for you to read the "Celebrities…
While You Dream of the Good Life, Your Future
Could be Dog Food" article in the archived November ezine
(volume 2, issue 11), and consider rolling over your pension
into a brokerage
IRA or Roth 401K now. There should be no
fee to rollover your retirement plan, provided you do not take
out any money. This could save your nest egg, or that of a friend
or family member. As a general rule, companies founded after
1980 are not in trouble, and companies founded before 1980,
when defined-benefit plans were prevalent, are more vulnerable.
50% or more of the market gains are typically made in the 4th
quarter of the year. If you're looking to buy, make sure you're
not buying at a 52-week high, unless it's a company that you
think still has a lot of upside growth. If you're looking to
sell, odds are, at least historically, that there may be more
upside to enjoy if you wait until January. Click on Santa Rally
for a breakdown of historical market returns by month (which
was part of last month's Hot News column, entitled "Trick
- 20 BIG
WINNERS, which keeps us at #1 in Annualized Returns (according
to TipsTraders.com). This hot news article still has the proud
honor of featuring twenty companies that have posted positive
gains, versus six that have gone south. Of the six that have
gone south, we were most concerned with Krispy Kreme, but there
are signs (only a few) that Stephen Cooper, turnaround King/CEO,
is moving that company forward. Turnarounds are difficult
to stomach, even the turnaround of the most popular sweet on
the planet. Lawsuits are many. OSIP, IMCL, MSO, NWS and LVS
- in our view, these are all great companies with exceptional
products and/or leadership. Sometimes it takes awhile for the
rest of the investment world to realize that. Jet Blue was taken
off because airlines are in disarray with high fuel costs. Love
the airline, but can't trust the sector, and it is predicted
to report its first unprofitable quarter in 4Q, after 19 quarters
that Sunoco, NetGear and LifeCell have all been taken off of
the Hot News List and Put onto the Profit-Taking List. Challenges
for these companies have increased, and the run/ride since NataliePace.com
first featured the companies has been very profitable.
Line: NataliePace.com is providing you with news and important information,
but you need to consult your financial planner to determine your
best strategy for using the information. That will depend upon
your age, your retirement plan, your risk tolerance and portfolio
diversification. The stock portion of your portfolio is a higher
risk classification, where you ideally seek to gain higher returns.
As the NASD said in a recent investor alert, don't bet the farm
on the stock market. NataliePace.com is NOT a brokerage and doesn't operate
or act like one. We are an online media service with a mission
of providing the news and information you need to make better
choices in business, investing and personal prosperity. Always
consult a trusted financial professional before buying or selling
I have listed the companies that I own under the column "NP OWNS?"
who "never pay retail," note that highlighted stocks are trading
at their 52-week lows or near the price featured in NataliePace.com's
article. It may be a good buying opportunity. The companies that
are listed below which are not highlighted may not be in a good
buying range, but they (outside of KKD, which might be a real
dud) are poised to continue performing well. There are never any
guarantees in life, and all stocks are risk-based investments.
Consult your certified financial planner before making any changes
to your investment strategy.
since original feature
the article in the vol. 2 iss. 11 ezine, entitled, "Harvesting
Stock in a great sector. If your stomach is lined with steel,
this could be a fun, rewarding, high-risk bet.
this is only traded on the Toronto Exchange)
treatment and metals recovery for acid-contaminated water
in mining ind. BioteQ's customers include Breakwater Resources,
Falconbridge, and Phelps Dodge. This company is only trading
on the Toronto Stock Exchange's TSX. Canaccord Capital Corporation
is offering appx. 5 million shares at $.90/unit. Units include
warrants to buy at $1.25 for up to two years. Go to Bioteq.CA
for more info.
Global Investors Eastern Europe
vol. 2, issue 8
seems to be in the right countries, and, within those countries,
in the right, growing sectors. Easy to access information,
attention to detail on site, indicates attention to detail
the article in the vol. 2 iss. 11 ezine, entitled, "Harvesting
2, issue 4
Corp. bought Intermix for $12/common share on 9.30.05. Investors
will receive cash for their shares.
volume 2, issue 6 for a feature article
at 52 week low.
resigned 11.11.05, but analysts consider it a positive move.
BOD approved $100 million in common stock buybacks.
The news for what Erbitux is doing for ovarian cancer patients
could hardly be more impressive. 3Q results beat analyst
expectations, but reflected much higher costs and lower
revenue from Bristol-Myer. Costs jumped to $80.3 million
compared with $49.9 million last year. Filed for FDA approval
to use Erbitux on head and neck cancer on 8.30.05, and received
"priority" review status on 10.31 from FDA. Review
expected 2.28.05. Results from study are impressive.
turnaround mode. Trading at 5 year lows.
off S&P Midcap 400 effective 10.27.05.
is likely not going to meet its 12.15 deadline to file financials
with the SEC, and is seeking extensions from loan partners
so as not to default. Jeff Jervik, the former national VP
of operations for Pizza Hut, has been hired as executive
vice president of operations, effective immediately, and
the company is actively searching for a new CEO. Steve
Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts,
Inc. says, "We now have a financially viable business in
eastern and central Canada with the potential for solid
growth in both the retail and wholesale sides of the business."
Don't forget that Michael Sutton, the former chief accountant
for the SEC, is on KKD's board.
Vegas Sands Corp.
Vol. 2, Iss. 7
Venetian, Sands Macao
mover advantage in China's Vegas!!)`
Venetian, The Palazzo (2Q '07), The Sands Macao, The Venetian
Macao (1Q '07). 97% occupancy rates at the Venetian. Go
to LasVegasSands.com, click on Investor Information, and
then Investor Day, to see a Web Cast on fast growing and
vast the Macao market is. Huge Consensus Insider selling,
including CEO, on 9.13.05 at $35.64, totaling $366 million,
for trust diversification purposes. Amounts to less than
7% of CEO trust holdings of LVS. 3Q earnings up to $91 million,
compared with a year-earlier loss of $85.9 million. Beat
earnings by a penny.
says ad revenue is back, and merchandising is heating up.
Apprentice got fired by the public, and Martha's daytime
show is sagging. Martha's Rules to be Published in
October 2005. MSO is projecting to break-even on operating
revenue in 4Q. Deal with KB Home to build/market MSO homes.
Martha's 24/7 Channel on Sirius SR launched on 11.21. Ad
revenue in mags is picking up big time. Revenue should improve.
Although, flops usually spook investors, for a time, Martha
has enough "cooking" to make everyone forget the
phrase "You're just not working out."
2, iss. 10
article, "News Corp. Enters New Media," from vol.
2, iss. 10. Bought Myspace, Scout Media and IGN Entertainment,
all IT companies, for far less than competitors are paying
for their holdings. With an MC of just $15 billion, we think
investors will start taking notice of this undervalued juggernaut.
issue 44. 1st featured Dec. 2002.
Company of the Year 2004 (archived edition 44). Director
Michael Ovitz purchased 3/4 of a million in May, at $4.90.
3Q results beat Wall Street revenue expectations. signed
56 new license deals during the quarter and four new deals
worth more than $1 million, lifting sales to $15.3 million
from $10.2 million last year. 3Q loss was $2.8 million,
or 3 cents per share, from $6.3 million, or 8 cents per
share, a year ago.
near 52-week low.
2005 Company of the Year 2005. Read vol. 1, iss. 56.
net loss of $20.0 million and $77.1 million for the
three months and nine months ended September 30, 2005, respectively,
compared with a net loss of $123.2 million and $220.2 million
a year ago. FDA approved Tarceva for use with pancreatic
patients on 9.13.05, Genetic based "cancer pill."
1st and only of its kind. FDA-Approved for lung
cancer last November. Canadian regulators approved Tarceva
on 7.13.05. European approval granted on 9.21. Switzerland
approved Tarceva in March 2005. Partner of Genentech (DNA)
demand is huge; supply is limited; stock price is high.
RTP bought back 8.7% of stock as of 5.05, to the tune of
US$780 million, and plans to buyback up to $1.5 billion
in 2005 and 2006. Analysts say pressure on price should
continue on high demand in China and Asia. Increased its
dividend by 20 per cent. Finds, processes and mines minerals:
copper, iron, coke (from coal), aluminum, titanium dioxide
and diamonds. Rio Tinto has been added to Jim Jubak's 50
Best Stocks in the World List (eff. 9.05). Great press usually
means more buyers. Hang on, and enjoy the dividends, but
don't get sucked into buying high. Even Citigroup
has taken RTP down to Hold from Buy.
prices and edgier programming, including Howard Stern (starting
1.06), Martha Stewart and Rolling Stones 24/7, have us betting
on SIRI over competition XMSR. Was last year's Santa Rally
present, with gains of over 100% in the last quarter of
2004. Could be as popular of a gift this year as well. SIRI
beat expectations, but posted a net loss of $134 million
in the third quarter on 10.27.05 due to higher programming
and marketing costs. Revenue rose, as subscribers were more
than 5 million, more than double from a year ago. XM radio
is installed in GM cars; GM is losing market share and having
biz cash flow issues. Could impact XM. SIRI CEO KARMAZIN
MEL purchased $8 million last Nov. $334 million insider
selling. Mercedes just agreed to make SIRI standard on SL
and CL models for 2007.
feature company, in the "You Can Do Better Than Baidu"
article. Financial Times ranked Sohu in Top 10 Chinese Global
Corporate Brands on 9.6.05. (6 days after our article.)
SOHU selected as the official sponsor of Internet Content
Service (ICS) for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Insider
buying, including CFO.
Rowe Price Em Eur & Mediterranean
Vol. 2, iss. 8
Rowe Price Em Eur & Mediterranean Fund.
2, iss. 9
tones, domain names, plus, including Jamster…
2005 earnings reported on Wednesday, October 19th,
reflect 28% increase in revenue over last year, to $415
million. Net income was up to $45 million, over $40 million
last year, same quarter. Repurchased 9 million shares for
value of $215 million in the 3rd Q. Revenue shortfall
in the mobile content area is expected to improve, according
2, iss. 10
article, "News Corp. Enters New Media," from vol.
2, iss. 10. Yahoo is the #1 web site, with more traffic,
page views and time online than MSN or Google. 3Q Revenues
were $1.330 billion for the third quarter of 2005, a 47
percent increase compared to $907 million for the same period
of 2004. Net income for 3Q 2005 was $254 million or $0.17
per diluted share, similar to last year's results for the
in Profit-Taking Range. Note: We may still like these companies
(as we do Genentech and Google) for the long term as companies
(which means if you have them in your 401K or long term portfolio,
you might want to keep them there), but are taking profits in
shorter windows, based on a market that is posting modest gains,
with volatile movements. We may look to add some of these great
companies to our hot news list again, if the price point should
become attractive. In a market of modest gains but high volatility,
profits are made in shorter windows.
1, iss. 55
is trading near 52-week high. Volatile sector. Great future.
and reconstructive products. Recall of products, taking
a charge of $1.4 million in 3Q to reflect the recall. NY
DA investigation of a company supplier of LifeCell (not
LifeCell). LifeCell's product is in high demand and sales
are growing. However, a hit like this investigation could
be devastating. Profit taking now before this story
becomes more ugly could be prudent. The FDA issued a warning
on "unscreened human tissue" on 10.26.05. 3Q 2005
earnings were strong, with revenue of $24.5 million compared
to $15.6 million for the third quarter of 2004.
in mid-range. Growth company. Volatile share price.
named NTGR as one of its100 Hot Growth Companies. Distribution
with Digital China, with 6,000 resellers and agents in Asia's
largest market should mean continued growth. However, Consensus
insider selling makes us nervous in a market with this much
volatility and with executives who are new to the game and
largely unproven. Profit taking in shorter windows has been
working this year. Third quarter 2005 net revenue increased
to $111.3 million, 10% year- over-year growth.
court decision assesses after-tax damages of about $40 million
through Dec. 31, 2004, which Sunoco will record as a charge
in the third quarter. Shut down its LaPorte and Bayport,
TX polypropylene facilities and evacuated all its non-essential
personnel in TX on 9.22, due to Hurricane Rita. Company
press release says extended delays are expected, but hasn't
provided more details yet (not a good sign). Oil should
remain strong, while supply is constrained and demand is
outrageous. However, near term hit to earnings has a chance
of being ugly. 3Q 2005 net income was $329 million ($2.39
per share diluted) versus $104 million ($.69 per share diluted)
for the 2004 3Q.
Micro Devices closed out 8.15.05 at $20.85, with 74.3% gains.
closed out at $80.92, with 328% gains.
closed out at $292.72, with 193% gains.
Blue closed out at $19.27, with -9% losses.
closed out at $51.67, with 21% gains.
closed out at $34.50, with flat performance.
Power is on our watch list. Great future. Looking for a good price.
note: NataliePace.com does not act or operate like a broker. We are
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buying or selling any security.
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