Vol. 8 Issue 10, October 1st, 2011
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"Above everything, what unites us is that we want to find unity and we want to find agreement about changes that need to occur in our society in order for it to be more equitable, in order for it to be more just, in order for it to be more participatory, and more artistic and more beautiful. We all want to find consensus and agreement on that. We're in it for the long haul. We're going to do it together. We're going to remain peaceful. We're going to remain strong. We're going to remain organized and fun and exciting. And we want you to join us."

Justin Wedes
Speaking to Natalie Pace on September 21, 2011
Day Five of the Occupy Wall Street Encampment
Occupy Wall Street at Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park) in NYC

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Will Congress Kill the Electric Car Again?

by Natalie Pace.

Includes Electric Car Battery Makers Stock Report Card.

Electric vehicles and bikes are two of the most dynamic growth industries in the world today. The U.S. is projected to sell four million EVs annually by 2030 (source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance), and China vows to have 500,000 EVs on the road by 2015 and five million by 2020. China has developed strong policy incentives to achieve that, including restrictions for non EV-drivers in certain mega-cities, like Beijing, Cash for Clunkers, tax incentives and more. Yet, last week, House Republicans were trying to kill the electric car (again) by wiping out the funding to The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program.

Whether you are making the case for economic growth, for putting more money in people's pocket, for national security, for energy independence or for saving soldier's lives, electric cars are part of the solution. The Navy will cut their petroleum use in their non-tactical fleet (commercial vehicle fleet) by 50 percent by 2015. By 2020, half of the energy used by the Navy will come from alternative sources and half of the installations will be net zero energy. Why? According to Thomas Hicks, the deputy assistant secretary of energy for the U.S. Navy, who spoke to me at the Clinton Global Initiative, "For every 50 fuel convoys, we have one American killed or wounded. For us, that's just too high a price to pay for fuel."

It's also a matter of price. Just as the spike in gas prices has drained the consumer's spending power, it has also added billion in fuel expenses to the Navy's budget this year. At today's gas prices, the Nissan Leaf more than pays for itself versus the equivalent gas-guzzler. Albert Cheung, of Bloomberg's New Energy Finance, issued a report on April 6, 2011 that shows the payback of the Leaf begins when the price of gas is $2.80 or more per gallon. When gas is above $4.00/gallon, Leaf owners are saving $4,000 or more over the lifetime of the vehicle.

Most city commuters are driving within a one-charge range and can recharge at night. Gas stations can (eventually) dispense electricity as easily as gas for road trips.

This is still a young industry, and as we've done with every nascent product from oil to the Internet, it requires an investment of time, talent and money. You can see from the Electric Car Stock Report Car that none of the electric car battery makers are profitable -- yet. That means that emailing your Senators and Representative to keep the R&D dollars flowing into electric cars is key. An investment in cleaner cars during the R&D period will help the best companies turn the corner into cash positive operations.

Politics, high R&D costs, cuts to government spending and the expense of ramping up new factories aren't all of the headwinds that the EV industry faces. Over the next two years, supply is projected to exceed demand, according to Ali Izadi-Najafabadi, an energy-smart technologies analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Demand for lithium-ion batteries will increase 7X over the next two years, up to 18GWh, while the supply is projected to be almost double of that need, at 35GWh. This means that it is very likely we'll see at least one EV battery maker fail over the next four years (or before).

So, which company, if any, is your best investment bet? "In the short term the larger, mainly Asian, conglomerates can cope with limited demand and compete by lowering prices, but smaller pure-play battery makers will be left vying for an increasingly limited number of supply contracts. For the latter group, other applications such as grid-scale energy storage will be a critical source of demand," according to Izadi-Najafabadi.

Only one-fourth of the 20 lithium-ion battery manufacturers have secured long-term contracts with automakers, according to Bloomberg NEF. Tesla has Toyota. Ener1 has Volvo and Wanxiang Group Corporation (a Chinese company that makes EVs and also powers the State Grid -- the largest power supplier in China). BYD (which is partially owned by Berkshire Hathaway) powers their EVs with their own batteries. South Korean battery maker LG Chem will fuel the Chevy Volt, while A123 Battery (an American company) will provide batteries for other General Motors cars. Johnson Controls-Saft has partnered with Ford.

One way of predicting which companies will fly and which will fail is to look at the board of the company. Not surprisingly, the two electric car battery makers on the Stocks Report Card with the strongest sales growth (in dollars) are also the two companies with the strongest management teams. ENER1 has directors from General Motors, Advanced Micro Devices and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Kenneth Baker, another ENER1 board director, was the first Chairman of the United States Advanced Battery Consortium, the public/private partnership that has partially funded EnerDel's lithium-ion battery development. Tesla's executive team includes key executives from Ford, PayPal, Mazda, GM, Apple and Toyota.

While ENER1 is the company investors have the least faith in at this moment, China Bak Battery is the company that has seen sales fall off by 19% in the last quarter, versus a year ago. Altair Nanotech, with just $8 million in sales, compared to $89 million at ENER1 and $175 million at Tesla Motors, continues to struggle and lag the competition. Altair hired a new president/CEO and CFO effective September 22, 2011. This is the second time in three years that Altair has tossed its executive team out.

The root of ENER1's problems stem from the company's investment in the Think EV. Think hasn't sold well and recently become an accounting issue for ENER1. Earnings will have to be reinstated. ENER1's share price is in the penny stock range, and the whole mess cost CEO and chairman Charles Gassenheimer his job. Gassenheimer resigned on September 27, 2011, handing his CEO spot to ENER1 president (and former AMD executive) Chris Cowager. Thomas J. Snyder, an ENER1 board director, became the non-executive chairman.

The ENER1 senior notes have been restructured and ENER1's $15 million line of credit has been extended through July of 2013. At the time of the restructuring on September 12, 2011, Gassenheimer said in a statement, "Through our industry-leading technology, business pipeline and investor commitment, we believe that we will maintain our position as a significant player in energy storage for electric utilities, transportation and industrial applications in the U.S. and around the world. We look forward to providing more details on our financial position and business opportunities once the restatement of our financial statements is completed." Brian Sinderson, ENER1's director of corporate communications, advised me by email that ENER1 is in a quiet period until after they restate their financial statements. ENER1 has not released the date of when that will occur, however, the clock is ticking because NASDAQ could delist ENER1 on October 17, 2011 if an acceptable plan for regaining compliance with NASDAQ is not in place.

These are volatile times for a very young industry. Electric Vehicles dodged a bullet when the Senate voted down the House's disaster relief spending bill, which proposed scrapping The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program. However, the hand has been shown, and you can expect this topic to become heated debate (again) in the months to come, as more government spending must be slashed. Thus, any investment in electric vehicles comes with high risk and a potential for losses, as investors in ENER1 know all to well.

Still, if the political maze is navigated and the JVs that ENER1 is involved in are fruitful, then the company has a bright future as a leader in the crowded race of powering electric vehicles and a cleaner power grid. (Note the number of "if's" in that sentence.) Tesla Motors is one of the strongest U.S. companies in the EV and lithium-ion battery industry space. I added Tesla to my Hot Stocks List today, and I highlighted ENER1 on the Hot List with a share price of just 14 cents.

Full Disclosure: I own shares in ENER1.


About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street. and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, and the founder and CEO of the Women’s Investment Network, LLC. She is a blogger on, and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV,, NPR and more. As a philanthropist, she has helped to raise more than two million for Los Angeles public schools and financial literacy. Follow her on For more information please visit

Please note: does not act or operate like a broker. We report on financial news, and are one of the most trusted independently owned and operated financial news corporations in the U.S. 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 consult an experienced, reputable financial professional before buying or selling any security, and consider your long-term goals and strategies.   Investors should NOT be all in on any asset class or individual stocks. Your retirement plan should reflect a long, safe strategy, which has been designed with the assistance of a financial professional who is familiar with your goals, risk tolerance, tax needs and more. The "trading" portion of your portfolio should be a very small part of your investment strategy, and the amount of money you invest into individual companies should never be greater than your experience, wisdom, knowledge and patience.  

Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable however does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Opinions constitute our judgment as of the date of this publication 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.

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Maryland Wins, but Sunpower Scores.

by Natalie Pace.

Includes a Solar Panel Stock Report Card.

Rapid innovation in a nascent industry always has its share of blowups. However, the cost of not investing in innovation is even higher. Imagine a world without Google, smart phones, washing machines or electricity! Which is why it is important to realize that the Solyndra bankruptcy is simply part of the progress toward becoming cleaner, greener and more energy independent -- and a small part of the progress at that.

The Solyndra loan, at $528 million, is just 1.3% of the $39 billion in DOE loans. So why is Solyndra 100% of the debate?

This week, the Department of Energy hosted the Solar Decathlon -- an event where eight out of 19 student-led teams achieved net-zero energy, generating more energy than they consumed. Sunpower Solar, a U.S. based company, powered half of those net-zero homes and boasts the highest energy efficiency of any solar panel in the world. In the 2005, 2007 and 2009 Solar Decathlons, winners were powered by SunPower, and in the 2009 event, the top three finishers used SunPower panels.

Purdue University, powered by Sunpower panels, won second place in the 2011 Decathlon. Maryland University, the winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon used Sanyo solar panels, but installed eight more panels than Purdue (42 to 36), in order to remain competitive in the energy contests. Maryland narrowly beat the Purdue team with what the judges believed was better architecture and market appeal. Purdue's home scored neck in neck with all of the energy-related categories and was more affordable than Maryland's.

Exterior architectural photograph of Maryland's entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, Washington D.C., Sept. 30, 2011. (Credit: Jim Tetro/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon).

Exterior architectural photograph of Purdue University's entry in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011, Washington D.C., Sept. 30, 2011. (Credit: Jim Tetro/U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Solyndra has shuttered its doors, but solar is still on fire worldwide. Europe, particularly Germany, has led the world in solar energy generation for the past decade. China's new investments make it the top spender on clean energy in the world today. China recently introduced a national feed-in tariff to bring more solar and wind into the power grid.

In the U.S., the military is one of clean energy's top advocates. "For us, this is an energy and a national security issue," according to Thomas Hicks, the deputy assistant secretary of energy for the U.S. Navy, who spoke to me at the Clinton Global Initiative. According to Hicks, clean energy promotes energy independence, national security, saves lives and will eventually even cost less. "What we're seeing in terms of solar and wind are competitive rates over long-term contracts. The cost of power from a solar farm or wind farm is no different than what we might get from traditional power," according to Hicks. (Did you know the Navy has had a 270 MW geothermal plant in California and has been selling back 200 MW of power to the grid?)

As you can see from the Solar Stock Report Card, the leading solar panel manufacturers are still seeing robust earnings growth -- even in these tough economic times. Sunpower sales are up 54% year over year, with similar revenue growth at Trina Solar and Suntech Power (both Chinese companies).

While the silicon solar manufacturers are enjoying more sales this year, sales for First Solar were down 9% in the most recent quarter. This is something I projected would happen a few years ago, as the price of silicon became competitive. First Solar uses thin film technology and cadmium telluride, a trace mineral that is far less efficient than silicon. For more information on the silicon versus cadmium telluride debate, read, "Spring Springs Up Again," from my April 2008 ezine, volume 5, issue 4.

The challenge for the solar industry is to continue to innovate and invest heavily into R&D, manufacturing and brand positioning, while cutting costs and getting back to more healthy profit margins. Trina is in the best shape on that front at this time, however, Suntech's investments into vertical integration -- including silicon manufacturing and ingots needed for the panels -- may pay off going forward. And Sunpower remains the leader in power, efficiency and aesthetic appeal.

The sad truth is that despite worldwide demand for solar, investors are getting burned. Last week was a tough week for all clean energy companies. Solar companies are trading at less than half the price they were at the beginning of the month.

Yet, the price of not investing in our future is too high. Too many are misinformed about the affordability, the efficacy and even the success rates of clean energy. Solyndra stole headlines away from the Solar Decathlon, and as long as Solyndra is the only story, solar will suffer. However, when the truth about solar has its turn in the spotlight, the future will be very bright.

I highlighted Trina, Sunpower and Suntech on the Hot Stocks List today. These are all companies with sales that are double and triple their market value, and have low price to earnings ratios. (Trina and Suntech were in the 1.50 range today.)


About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street. and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, and the founder and CEO of the Women’s Investment Network, LLC. She is a blogger on, and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV,, NPR and more.
As a philanthropist, she has helped to raise more than two million for Los Angeles public schools and financial literacy. Follow her on For more information please visit

Please note: does not act or operate like a broker. We report on financial news, and are one of the most trusted independently owned and operated financial news corporations in the U.S. 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 consult an experienced, reputable financial professional before buying or selling any security, and consider your long-term goals and strategies.   Investors should NOT be all in on any asset class or individual stocks. Your retirement plan should reflect a long, safe strategy, which has been designed with the assistance of a financial professional who is familiar with your goals, risk tolerance, tax needs and more. The "trading" portion of your portfolio should be a very small part of your investment strategy, and the amount of money you invest into individual companies should never be greater than your experience, wisdom, knowledge and patience.  

Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable however does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Opinions constitute our judgment as of the date of this publication 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.

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The High Price of Gas (in Lives).

by Natalie Pace.

Business 101 teaches us that failure is valuable to business. The Apple computer and the IBM PC rose out of the ashes of the Osborne computer bankruptcy. The colossal failure of eToys didn't stop Amazon from becoming the most successful retailer on the planet. Dot Coms collapsed in 2000, but Apple is worth $353 billion today. And even as Solyndra solar failed, Sunpower Solar remains a worldwide leader in power output, with sales that are almost double what they were two years ago.

As talking heads kick the Solyndra scandal around to score political goals, as if it's the only green company worth discussing, there are corporations, countries and individuals that are using green products to increase economic growth, save lives, cut costs, create jobs, increase national security and reduce pollution.

Economic Growth
Having a leading solar panel manufacturer, like Sunpower and others, at a time when China is investing multi-billions in clean energy could be key to U.S. economic growth. A report by The Pew Charitable Trusts states that China has developed the world's most aggressive strategic plan for clean energy adoption. China became the worldwide leader in clean energy with $34.6 billion in investments in 2009. China vows to have 500,000 electric, hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles on the road by 2015 and five million by 2020. The government is employing tax incentives, Cash for Clunkers, feed-in tariffs and government spending to promote the adoption of electric vehicles, next generation information technology, energy efficient products and renewable energy. According to Yang Jiechi, the minister of foreign affairs, People's Republic of China, who spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting on Sept. 21, "It is very important to build environmentally friendly mechanisms. We have spent a lot of capital on hybrid cars and electric cars."

Focusing on fuel efficiency made Toyota Motors the No. 1 automaker in the world. U.S. automakers like Tesla Motors, General Motors and Ford are banking on having a strong EV presence going forward -- with the Chinese market directly in their sights. Is this the time to cut funding to The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program?

In cities like Beijing, Los Angeles, New York and even Las Vegas, it's not just a question of being on the right side of global warming. It's a question of reducing pollution and cutting down on respiratory illnesses.

Saving Lives
Oil prices are sky high, but the cost of fuel in lives is even higher. According to Thomas Hicks, the deputy assistant secretary of energy for the U.S. Navy, who spoke to me at CGI, "For every 50 fuel convoys, we have one American killed or wounded. For us, that's just too high a price to pay for fuel." Bringing fuel into "the theatre" means sending convoys from Pakistani ports through insurgents and IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) to Afghanistan.

To reduce the risk and save lives, Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy, has outlined five energy goals, namely:

1. Incorporating "green" evaluation factors when awarding contracts
2. Sailing the "Great Green Fleet"
3. Reducing petroleum use in non-tactical vehicles
4. Increasing alternative energy ashore
5. Increasing alternative energy use department-wide

The Navy will cut their petroleum use in their non-tactical fleet (commercial vehicle fleet) by 50 percent by 2015. By 2020, half of the energy used by the Navy will come from alternative sources and half of the installations will be net zero energy. And to ensure that these goals are met, Mabus just launched a new dedicated energy masters degree program. "Through the masters program and the executive energy series, [Naval Postgraduate School] will ensure that energy is fully integrated," said Mabus. "As a result, NPS students will guide the Navy and the nation toward a better, more secure energy future."

Is alternative energy reliable enough for our national defense?
Tom Hicks advised me that the U.S. has a 270 MW geothermal plant in California that we have been operating for 20 some odd years. "Most people don't know about it," Hicks told me. "It's enough power to power the base in China Lake, but also to provide 200 MW of power to the grid," he said.

National Security
The spike in oil prices during the Arab Spring sank the average American's budget, but it had a similar affect on our defense budgets (and any business involved in transportation as well). Based on June oil prices, fuel costs will increase by a billion dollars to the Navy this year, according to Hicks. "That impacts our flying hours, our steaming hours, our ability to sail our ships and to fly our planes," Hicks warns -- making energy independence a national security priority.

Creating Jobs
One of the most important pieces of going green is energy efficiency -- something old buildings are very deficient in. The Better Buildings Initiative, a policy that U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced at CGI America in June of this year, will upgrade the energy efficiency in up to 300 million square feet of office space -- from military housing to college campuses. According to President Obama, who spoke at CGI in New York City on Wednesday, Sept. 21, this will "create jobs, while saving billions for businesses in energy bills, and cut down on our pollution." It also trains out-of-work constructions workers -- who make up one of the largest unemployed industries in the U.S., at 11.3 percent in August of 2011 -- to have new skills that are valuable for 21st century construction jobs.

Cutting Costs
In his speech at CGI, Obama also told the crowd, "The CEO of Southwest Airlines estimates that if we put in the new generation of GPS air traffic control, we would save 15 percent in fuel costs. Think about what that would do overall for the cost of the ticket... Maybe they could start giving out peanuts again." Indeed the cost of fuel is not peanuts to the airline industry. Fuel costs were over $3.6 billion in 2010 for Southwest Airlines.

Energy Independence
Companies, countries and individuals alike suffer when the price of energy is the most expensive budget line item -- and can be increased significantly at the drop of a hat by countries that are not friendly to American interests. Innovation, research and development and even failures are all part of the solutions needed for the many challenges that America, and the world, face today. With trillions being spent worldwide on solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, electric vehicles and other clean energy products, continuing the U.S. commitment to R&D, private enterprise, public policy and consumer incentives is an investment in economic growth, national security, saving lives and a better world.

There are many successful clean energy projects and companies that are as news and water-cooler worthy as the one green company that failed.


About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street. and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, and the founder and CEO of the Women’s Investment Network, LLC. She is a blogger on, and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV,, NPR and more.
As a philanthropist, she has helped to raise more than two million for Los Angeles public schools and financial literacy. Follow her on For more information please visit

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"Gold" Stocks—Some Investments Mine Your Pocketbook.

A Investor Alert.

The 1933 Double Eagle $20 Gold Coin Lady Liberty holds a torch and olive branch, backed by a glory Designed by Augustus Saint-Gauden in 1907

The price of gold bullion—which recently touched an all-time high—has sparked considerable interest in gold investing, not to mention aggressive marketing and advertising of gold investments, including gold stocks. And even a cursory Internet search will pull up numerous websites, blog posts, investment newsletters and social media posts (including YouTube videos and Tweets) devoted to the topic of investing in gold.

But some of the stocks and opportunities being promoted have precious little value, and others are outright frauds. This spring, for example, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) took three separate actions against precious metals firms engaged in various schemes involving investments in gold, silver and other precious metals. In one action, the CFTC charged a precious metals firm in Florida with running a boiler room fraud that bilked investors out of more than $23 million.

As with other commodities, there are prudent and not-so-prudent ways to invest in gold. We are issuing this Alert to warn investors about investment scams that promote the latest "hot" gold stock and to provide information on how to invest wisely in gold.

Spotting "Gold" Stock Scams
Many gold-related investment scams involve the stocks of gold mining and/or exploration companies. The stock value is often based on gold reserves that are difficult to estimate, much less verify. While stock promoters regularly cite the potential value of a gold reserve, some statements can be deliberately misleading. For example, in 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) took legal action against a mining company based in Florida for false press releases and other misleading statements associated, in part, with a mining project in Ecuador. The releases claimed the gold reserves were worth more than $1 billion. The SEC noted that the exact value of those reserves could not be known "without further detailed exploration."

Warning signs related to gold stocks include:

  • Price targets or predictions of swift and exponential growth. These predictions often are based on gold reserves, the actual existence and true size of which are next to impossible to verify. A company recently claimed that its mine in Nevada contained "approximately 2.14 million ounces of gold equivalent resources," with an estimated market value of over $2 billion. Based on these reserves, the company touted in one of its promotions that an investment "Could turn $10,000 into $384,600."
  • References to being a "buyout target" for other mining companies. One company claiming gold reserves valued at more than $112 billion declared in an Internet promotion that it was a "PRIME BUYOUT TARGET" at a buyout price that was 15 to 35 times its current value, which was around a dollar.
  • Claims that tie stock performance to the general rise in gold prices. Stock prices tend to rise or fall for a host of reasons, such as overall market conditions, sector performance and an individual company’s earnings. A rise in gold prices does not guarantee a rise in the price of a gold company’s stock—there might be little or no correlation between these two things.
  • Scare tactics such as the threat of inflation or an economic meltdown. While some investors might hold gold as a hedge against inflation or economic uncertainty, owning a gold stock does not automatically serve that same function. Scare tactics are often used to push an investor to make a quick decision.
  • Speculative claims based on a new reserve’s proximity to an existing reserve.  A company recently stated in one of its promotional materials that its mining property could be worth "billions in unrecovered gold" based "on the success of its neighbors." Without more information, such an assertion amounts to little more than idle speculation.
  • A change in the company's name or trading symbol to align it more closely with gold. One company that currently purports to engage in gold mining and exploration was originally incorporated with a business strategy to provide golfing opportunities on private courses to nonmembers.  Another’s original focus was to establish health spas in urban areas. Yet another cited its original business plan was to develop, manufacture and sell commercial feed to nurture the Chinese mitten-handed crab. Name changes are reported through SEC Form 8-K, which you can find by using the SEC's EDGAR database.

Fool’s Gold for Lunch
Be wary of "free lunch" programs that purport to provide educational information about gold investing. In June 2010, the SEC charged six individuals with running a Ponzi scheme that bilked more than 3,000 investors out of $300 million. The fraudsters, none of whom were registered to sell securities, claimed to represent an independent financial education firm that had discovered a way to earn up to 36 percent annual returns by investing in mining investments that were "fully collateralized by gold." Rather than invest the money, the firm’s salesmen used the assets on lavish home renovations, mortgage payments for members of their extended family and the purchase of a luxury fishing resort in South America.

In addition, be mindful of warning signs common to many stock scams:

  • Claims that making profits in gold are "easy."
  • The use of headlines from respected financial news sources regarding gold, which can easily be taken out of context.
  • Mention of the names of major investors or investment institutions that provide an air of credibility.
  • Statements about how much easier it is for lower-priced stocks to skyrocket in value in comparison to higher-priced stocks.
  • Pressure to invest immediately.

Smart Tips
To avoid potential gold stock scams:

  • Investigate before you invest. Never rely solely on information you receive in an unsolicited fax or email. It's easy for companies or their promoters to make exaggerated claims about new products, lucrative contracts, or the company's revenue, profits, or future stock price. Be wary of claims about significant mineral reserves or mining operations in countries far removed from the U.S. that make it difficult to verify such claims through independent research.
  • Always ask: "Why me?" Why would a total stranger tell you about a really great investment opportunity? The answer is that there is no such opportunity. In many email, fax and online scams, those who tout the stock are corporate insiders, paid promoters or substantial shareholders who stand to profit handsomely if the company's stock price goes up.
  • Read a company's SEC filings, if available. Most public companies file reports with the SEC. Check the SEC's EDGAR database to find out whether the company files with the SEC. Read the reports and verify any information you have heard about the company. But remember that just because a company has registered its securities or has filed reports with the SEC, it doesn't mean that it will be a good investment.

Alternatives to Gold Stocks
While you may be tempted to invest in a single stock, it is very risky to put all your "golden eggs" in one basket. Investing through a mutual fund or exchange traded fund (ETF) that focuses on gold companies or gold itself can help spread out and potentially lower your risk. Take the time to research fees and other expenses. Review the underlying securities that make up a given fund. You can do so by going to the issuer’s website, reviewing the latest quarterly report showing the fund’s major holdings or, in the case of an ETF, the exchange on which the ETF trades. Research the fund's manager or management team and read the prospectus carefully, and consider enlisting the help of an investment professional before you invest.

If you are considering a mutual fund that focuses on gold, be aware that most gold mutual funds primarily hold mining stocks, many of which are international, but some hold physical gold, as well. Mutual funds do not allow investors to take possession of physical gold.

If you are considering investing in an ETF that focuses on gold, understand its structure, including whether it uses futures strategies—and whether or not it holds the physical gold, invests in gold futures contracts or tracks a gold-related index. Be aware that ETFs that are backed by physical gold are not the same thing as a direct investment in gold. While some ETFs that are backed by physical gold allow individual investors to redeem shares for bullion, the ones that do may only allow physical redemptions under certain limited circumstances. So while they may be effective at offering exposure to gold prices, most are not an efficient way to obtain an ownership interest in physical gold. Therefore, if you are investing in a physical gold ETF, make sure you understand your redemption rights. Depending on its legal structure, a gold commodity ETF can be subject to varying tax treatments. Be sure to check with your tax advisor about the consequences of investing in a gold commodity ETF.  

If you are thinking about investing directly in bullion or gold coins, similarly research your options. For a basic how-to overview, questions to ask and additional resources, read the Federal Trade Commission’s Investing in Bullion and Bullion Coins. Investors should be aware that while some gold promoters and dealers deliver what they promise, others don’t. Also, verify that a ready market exists to liquidate personal holdings of bullion and coins at current market prices and the related transaction costs. 

Finally, be advised that while legitimate gold and ETF investments may be an acceptable diversification strategy, these investments can be quite volatile. A heavy concentration of gold investments can leave you overly exposed and at risk of losing a substantial percentage of your money.

Touts and outright scams come in many forms and involve many types of investments. Right now, you would do well to avoid unsolicited promotions of low-cost "gold" stocks. They are likely to mine a hole in your pocketbook.

Additional Resources
Investor Alert, Stock Spams and Scams
FINRA BrokerCheck
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Litigation Release, CFTC Charges Florida Firm, American Precious Metals, LLC and Principals, Sammy J. Goldman and Harry Robert Tanner, Jr., with Fraud.
Commodity Futures Trading Commission Fraud Advisory, Precious Metals Fraud
SEC Litigation Release, SEC Brings Action Against Purported Florida Mining Company and its President for Fraud
SEC Release, SEC Charges Perpetrators of $300 Million Ponzi Scheme Involving Purported Gold Mining Investments
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Alert, Investing in Bullion and Bullion Coins
Federal Trade Commission Consumer Alert, Investing in Gold? What's the Rush?

To receive the latest Investor Alerts and other important investor information sign up for Investor News.


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. All told, FINRA oversees nearly 4,800 brokerage firms, about 170,400 branch offices and approximately 643,000 registered securities representatives.

FINRA believes investor protection begins with education. Using the Internet, the media and public forums, we help investors build their financial knowledge and provide them with essential tools to better understand the markets and basic principles of saving and investing.

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The Fed Twists and the Market Turns.

by Liz Ann Sonders, Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Strategist, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

September 22, 2011

Liz Ann Sonders.

Key points

  • The Federal Reserve announced "Operation Twist," which was largely expected, but did little to calm markets.
  • The goal is to further reduce borrowing costs and push money via lending out into the real economy.
  • Whether it will work is the big question … because high interest rates are not the economy's problem.

(The bulk of the article below was penned immediately after the Fed's announcement of "Operation Twist" on September 21, but the following 11 paragraphs add fresh perspective on the recent market action.)

Stocks, commodities and even gold prices tanked the day after the Federal Open Market Committee's latest policy meeting concluded, adding fuel to the notion that the confidence crisis is reaching new heights. Often the goal of a Fed that's easing monetary policy is to stir up animal spirits, but instead its move and more pessimistic outlook only added to the lack of confidence about the future health of the economy.

Adding to the woes is the continued meltdown in the eurozone, leading investors to exit all forms of risk and head to the safety of cash and US Treasuries. This has spurred a rally in the US dollar, which, given the recent inverse correlation between the dollar and stocks, has also exacerbated the market sell-off (in commodities, too). In short, the market is coming to the realization that there’s only so much the Fed can do.

Not helping matters were comments from Mohamed El-Erian of PIMCO, speaking at an event in Washington, DC today: He suggested that the world was on the eve of the next financial crisis with sovereign debt its epicenter, and that the European Central Bank hasn’t put in place a "circuit breaker" to contain the region’s debt crisis. This has been our concern for some time now as well, believing a default by Greece is inevitable. Michelle Gibley and I addressed the eurozone crisis in our report last week titled "The End of the Line."

Lending some credence to the view that the eurozone crisis has become the market's biggest driver is an analysis of daily trading activity. Based on a study by Birinyi Associates, for the first seven months of this year the primary focus of the US stock market appeared to be the domestic economy, but since August attention has shifted toward foreign concerns.

Through July, the first half hour of trading—when US markets are often reacting to overnight trading in foreign markets—had little effect on the overall returns of the S&P 500. However, since the end of July, if you exclude the first half hour of trading from the S&P 500's return, the market would be 9% higher than it is now, suggesting the market has become more reactionary to global events and trading.

Even an on-the-surface strong reading in the leading economic indicators out today didn't ease concerns. Although the LEI was up more than expected, it was driven by the wide yield spread and rising money supply. Both of these financial indicators may be less relevant to growth than in the past: Indeed, every recession in the past 60 years has been preceded by an inverted yield curve (when short-term interest rates are higher than long-term rates); but with short rates pegged at zero, that’s not going to happen. As for money supply, it's been boosted by fear and lack of confidence as investors of every variety have sold riskier assets in favor of cash holdings—not presently a positive sign.

The strong LEI but weak market action is characteristic of what still remains a somewhat mixed set of indicators. Corporate profits have remained healthy, though earnings estimates have been trending lower. Industrial production and durable goods orders have remained healthy. But macro concerns have taken precedence over some micro positives. And weaker manufacturing growth reported in China yesterday only added fuel to the global slowdown fire.

Finally, there may be another government shutdown pending given the inability to pass a stopgap budget measure that would keep the government running into next month. Just what markets didn’t need is further lack of confidence in political leadership in Washington DC.

We’ve received a lot of questions about the likelihood of a double-dip recession and what the stock market's saying about the economy. As we've often noted, the risk of another recession is certainly elevated, but it's not yet conclusive. Part of why we think another official recession might be avoided is actually not great news: Many segments of the economy, including small business and housing, never came out of the 2007-2009 recession to begin with, so they may not drop from recent levels sufficiently enough to hurl the economy into another official contraction.

Recessions are defined as sharp declines in activity, but the rebound from the last recession was relatively anemic, suggesting that a sharp decline from these levels is less of a risk. In addition, historically there's not much difference between the depth of a cyclical bear market that's accompanied by a recession and one that isn't followed by a recession.

More troubling is the potentially unique relationship we're seeing between stocks and the economy. Normally the stock market is a discounting mechanism, and its weakness could indeed be sending a message about future economic growth. But the stock market has also become a catalyst, and its weakness (and the attendant weakness in confidence) could actually be the trigger for another recession … the "self-fulfilling prophecy" concept possibly in play about which we've written and spoken, most recently in the latest Schwab Market Perspective.

(Post-Fed meeting comments from September 21):
No doubt in reaction to the significant weakening of the economy over the past several months, the Federal Reserve acted as expected and announced what's known as "Operation Twist" (OT). The goal of this program, first instituted in 1961 and indeed named after the dance popular at the time, is to lengthen the average maturity of the Fed's balance sheet. The result, ostensibly, will be to lower longer-term borrowing rates, including mortgage rates.

The details
Specifically, the Fed will buy $400 billion of US Treasury bonds with maturities of six to 30 years through next June. Over the same span, the Fed will sell an equal amount of shorter-term Treasuries, with maturities of three years and less. The Fed also announced that it will reinvest maturing mortgage debt into mortgage-backed securities (MBS) instead of Treasuries. This is intended to help reduce mortgage borrowing costs and stimulate additional mortgage refinancings and demand for new mortgages.

Over the past three months, the value of government agency securities and mortgages on the Fed's balance sheet has contracted by nearly $40 billion, and the move to reinvest into MBS is to prevent a shrinking of its balance sheet.

My office is adjacent to that of Kathy Jones, our fixed income strategist. We listened to the announcement together, and she had this to say: "The only surprise was that the Fed will shift nearly 30% of its $400 billion in bond holdings into 30-year Treasuries, which is more than most thought would occur at the very long end of the yield curve. This will flatten the yield curve even further. We've been using the mantra 'lower for longer' … now I guess we'll have to say 'lower and flatter for a lot longer'."

Not everyone's a fan
As has been the case recently, there were three dissenters on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC): Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota and Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser. They've been more "hawkish" on recent Fed decisions, concerned about the unintended consequences of extremely easy monetary policy, including inflation.

That said, the statement accompanying the FOMC's decision did note that "inflation appears to have moderated since earlier in the year as prices of energy and some commodities have declined from their peaks." The statement did note additional downside economic risks though, specifically mentioning "strains in global financial markets."
50 years later
Today's OT has the same rationale as that of 1961—to stimulate a very weak economy while trying to keep inflation at bay. The decision to "sterilize" the purchases of longer-dated Treasuries with sales of shorter-dated Treasuries, thereby keeping the balance sheet at its current size, is an attempt to keep inflation at bay. Recall that both rounds of quantitative easing, QE1 and QE2, did expand the balance sheet and helped unleash a rapid acceleration of commodity inflation. The Fed had been very transparent about its desire to prevent the unintended consequences of more quantitative easing.

What differentiates QE from OT is that OT does not impact the amount of money supply in the markets and therefore the effect on the dollar, and in turn commodity prices/inflation, is more limited. By adding liquidity at the longer end of the Treasury curve and pumping up the supply of Treasuries at the shorter end of the curve, the Fed is hoping that cash will venture into the real economy.

Will it work?
There are risks that the money won't find its way into the economy and create jobs, as intended by the Fed. Remember, full employment and stable prices are the Fed's dual mandates. There's legitimate fear that the Fed's siphoning of liquidity at the short end of the curve won't actually lead to increased lending in the real economy. Instead, the move could destroy yields on savings without the beneficial effect on growth, leading to a form of liquidity trap.

We've consistently expressed concern that the Fed is unable to cure what ails the economy. The problem is not that interest rates are too high, but that we're in a debt-deleveraging cycle that started three years ago in the private sector and is only just beginning in the public sector. This will take time—a lot of it—and although the Fed is not impotent, it does not possess the Holy Grail for the economy.

As for housing and mortgage rates, we're also still in a mortgage deleveraging and foreclosure cycle, and frankly, policy makers may be missing what ails the housing market. The focus has been on getting mortgage rates down further in order to stimulate refinancings and new borrowing. But as I've noted many times, it's the "real" mortgage rate that matters to prospective borrowers, not the "nominal" mortgage rate. What do I mean by that?

The math of "real mortgage rates"

Back at the peak of the housing bubble in 2005, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate (the nominal rate) was about 6%. To get the "real" mortgage rate, you have to subtract the appreciation in home prices (the "deflator"). Home prices were appreciating at a 17% annual rate at the bubble's peak. So, the real mortgage rate was actually -11%: 6% - 17% = (11%). No wonder we had a bubble … who wouldn't want to borrow at negative rates? You could borrow at 6% to buy an asset appreciating at 17% per year.

Fast-forward to the trough in housing in 2009. The nominal 30-year fixed mortgage rate had dropped to 5%, but home price appreciation became depreciation at an ironic 17% rate. So, the real mortgage rate was actually +22%: 5% - (17%) = 22%. Who wants to borrow at any rate to buy a rapidly depreciating asset?

I think this is what many policy makers are missing. It's the "rapidly depreciating" part of the equation that needs to heal. If home prices are still declining, even with rates low, there's likely to be limited demand to borrow. I do think mortgage refinancings could get at least a marginal lift from OT if rates go lower, but we need to be realistic about the overall affect on housing.

Confidence is key
Ultimately, confidence has to improve before we're likely to enjoy any reasonable pace of economic growth. Whether this move by the Fed starts the confidence-healing process remains to be seen. But we suggest you keep your expectations relatively low.

Important Disclosures

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The investment strategies mentioned here may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review an investment strategy for his or her own particular situation before making any investment decision.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Examples provided are for illustrative purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve.


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Market Failure Compared to Government Failure.

by Dr. Gary Becker.

Gary S. Becker.

When an industry in the private sector is not performing efficiently or effectively, there is said to be "market failure". The recommendation by economists and others typically is then for government actions to combat such failure, such as taxes to help reduce pollution. The diagnosis of market failure may be accurate, but the call for government involvement may be naïve and inappropriate.

The reason is that actual governments do not necessarily do what economists and others want them to do because there is "government failure" as well as market failure. Before recommending government actions to correct market failures, one should consider whether actual government policies would worsen rather than improve private sector outcomes. Since many factors often make for considerable government failure, considering such failure is crucial and not just a theoretical fine point.

Consider, for example, that consumers are sometimes ignorant of the qualities and other aspects of the products they buy. However, before advocating various forms of government protection of consumers, we should recognize that voters are far more ignorant of political candidates then consumers are of what they buy. The reason is that consumers directly suffer if they make bad choices out of ignorance, while individual voters have negligible influence over political outcomes. Hence voters have little incentive to be informed about different candidates and their positions, and the consequences of the mistakes they make are largely borne by others.

Monopolies do arise in the private sector, as when Microsoft had monopoly power over personal computer operating systems, when IBM still earlier had monopoly power over computers, or when manufacturers form cartels to raise their prices by restricting production. Yet, monopoly also occurs in the political sector, and it is far more pervasive there. An industry that contains only two firms is considered a duopoly that is presumed to raise prices above competitive levels, but the political process is dominated in democratic countries by duopolies, such as the Democratic and Republican parties. In addition, when government companies receive monopoly positions, such as the US Postal Service or national oil companies in many countries, they generally succeed in either keeping out or greatly delaying the entrance of private competitors. By contrast, private monopolistic positions are usually temporary, as seen in the eroding over time of IBM’s and Microsoft’s dominant positions in the computer industry.

Government actions sometimes not only fail to overcome market failure but rather worsen the failure. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were formed as quasi-governmental institutions to help encourage mortgages in the residential housing market because of a belief that the private sector was not providing enough mortgages, especially to lower income families. Yet, as documented in detail in Reckless Endangerment by Gretchen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner, these two companies used their privileged positions to take excessive risks, and to insure large numbers of mortgage loans that should never have been made.

European regulators have attacked Microsoft, Google, General Electric, Intel, and other (mainly American) companies because of various alleged anti-competitive policies. In these cases, and in many antitrust cases brought by American regulators, such as the recent objection to the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, the motivation seems to be to protect the competitors of these companies or to protect jobs rather than to improve outcomes to consumers.

Many countries subsidize various alternative forms of energy, such as wind, solar, biofuels, and electric batteries, because of the substantial pollution from using coal, oil, and other fossil fuels. Often, however, the choices of what to heavily subsidize are made on political rather than economic criteria. For example, for years hydrogen cars were politically the most promising substitute for gasoline driven cars; then hydrogen fell out of favor and electric cars became the political darlings. Since governments have seldom succeeded in picking technological winners, I suspect they will be wrong again in these attempts to steer the development of cost-effective alternatives to the internal combustion gasoline engine. Another example is the scandal about the heavy American government financial support to the solar panel company Solyndra that recently failed.

How does one approach policy once it is recognized that government failure is substantial, and often much worse than market failure? As a general rule I believe the presumption should be in favor of government actions only when market failures are quite large and persistent. So clearly governments should have the dominant role in the military and police areas, in the judiciary, in protecting against massive pollution, and in providing a safety net for its least fortunate members (private charities are important but do not do enough). On the other hand, when market failures are relatively small and likely to be temporary, as in monopoly situations or in exploiting consumer ignorance, government involvement should be minimal, as in minimalist anti-trust policies, and in allowing consumers generally to make their own decisions.

The intermediate cases are the most difficult: when market failures may be significant, and yet government alternatives are not attractive. This may be decided on a case-by-case basis, but I believe the usual rule should then be to let the market operate. This belief is based on the conclusion that, on the whole, government failure is far more pervasive, damaging, and less self-correcting, than is market failure. Others may reach different conclusions, but these are the problems that a relevant welfare analysis should focus on. Simply concluding that in particular instances markets are not working perfectly is a misleading and incorrect basis for supporting active and sizable government involvement.


Dr. Gary Becker is a University Professor, Department of Economics, and Sociology Professor, Graduate School of Business, The University of Chicago. He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1992 for his groundbreaking work in "human capital." President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007.

To keep track of Dr. Becker's continuing research and commentary, visit his website and blog.

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Too Many Government Workers?

by the Honorable Richard A. Posner.

Much of the concern with government deficits in countries as unlike as the United States and Greece focuses on public employees, viewed as overpaid parasites who, being paid by the government, contribute directly to the public debt. And there are indeed good economic reasons to expect the public sector to be less efficient than the private sector. The principal reasons are four: the incentive provided by the profit motive is absent; public agencies tend to be monopolies; public employees are voters; and public employers tend to substitute nonpecuniary for pecuniary emolument, such as tenure and generous retirement benefits, because the public notices and reacts adversely to high government salaries. 

Therefore one might think that the larger the fraction of public employees in a nation’s workforce, the less efficient the nation’s economy, and so the lower per capita GDP would be. (Commonly for international comparisons GDP is translated into U.S. dollars on the basis of estimates of purchasing power parity, and I will do that.) I decided to examine that question empirically, with respect to 27 countries, including the United States and Canada from the Western Hemisphere, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore from East Asia, Israel, and all the countries of Western, Northern, Central, and Southern Europe, plus Poland. The countries were not chosen at random, but instead selected as being at least roughly comparable to the United States in their economic system and political culture. 

The percentage of public employees in the workforces of these countries ranges from 6.35 percent in Singapore to 33.87 percent in Sweden. Indeed the three lowest countries, and the only ones with fewer than 10 percent public employees, are Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan. The highest countries after Sweden are Denmark (32.3 percent) and Norway (29.25 percent). The remaining Scandinavian country, Finland, is fifth with 26.31 percent. In fourth place, just below Denmark, is Hungary. The other countries with public-employee percentages above 20 percent are Greece (22.3 percent), Canada, and Poland, Greece being the lowest in this group of eight countries, despite all the negative attention its public-employee workforce has received lately. 

The rest of the countries in my list (that is excluding the above-20 percent and below-10 percent countries), are grouped pretty tightly between about 12 and 19 percent. The United States is in approximately the middle, with 16.42 percent. Surprisingly, it is well ahead of Israel, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, and Portugal. The European countries with the lowest percentage of public workers are the Netherlands and Austria, but Portugal is only slightly above the Netherlands. 

Per capita income, in purchasing power parity terms, ranges from $17,537 in Poland to $53,748 in Norway; interestingly, both have very high percentages of public employees. Regression analysis reveals no systematic correlation between percentage of public employees and per capita GDP, except that the Scandinavian countries as a group exhibit a statistically significant positive correlation between those two variables, if the Asian countries are treated as a separate variable—Singapore has the second highest GDP per capita after Norway, yet the lowest percentage of public employees. 

The upshot is that there does not appear to be a relation between a country’s prosperity and the number of public employees it has. (Or between population and the percentage of public employees, though one might expect that, given fixed costs of government, the percentage of public employees would be higher the smaller the population. Singapore is a dramatic refutation of the point, as it has a population of only 4.6 million, one of the lowest of the 27 countries, yet it has the lowest percentage of public workers.) 

A more sophisticated analysis would cover more countries (there are 195 countries in the world) and correct for more variables; obviously there is much that affect a nation’s prosperity besides the percentage of its public employees. I am nevertheless surprised that my crude analysis should yield no correlation between per capita GDP and percentage of public workers in a nation’s workforce. The critical omitted variable may be the jobs the public employees do. Are they teachers? Bank examiners? Revenue agents? Food and drug inspectors? Air traffic controllers? Police officers? Medical workers? Or are they railroad workers or other employees of business enterprises owned by the government, politicians’ relatives, licensing officials taking bribes from small business, or beneficiaries of a spoils system of public employment? It does seem significant, though, that the Scandinavian countries should be as prosperous as they are (though Norway, with a very small population and huge oil reserves, may be a special case) despite having such a high percentage of public workers, and it is equally striking that the East Asian countries (though my sample of them is very small) should be so prosperous despite having such a small percentage of public workers. Perhaps the relation between a nation’s economy and the percentage of its public workers is determined by a political and social culture that determines what tasks are assigned to government, what incentives and constraints are placed on public workers, and who is attracted to public service. Maybe, with the right combination, public service can be as economically productive as private enterprise.


About Judge Richard A. Posner
Judge Richard A. Posner is Judge, United States Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals & Senior Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School. His most recent book is The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy. Read his ongoing blog with Dr. Gary Becker at

This blog has been reprinted with permission of the author. All rights are reserved by Judge Richard A. Posner.

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Prince Harry Will Be in Arizona This Fall.

by Natalie Pace.

10 Reasons Why You Should Be There, Too.

Royalty Meets Bravery in the Desert's Saguaro Paradise.

Prince Harry opening the first remembrance field dedicated to those killed in Afghanistan on Nov. 9, 2010. (Photo by Adrian Brook, Imagewise, 2010)

I, like most of the world, fell in love with Tucson, Arizona last January 8, 2011, when an intern, mobilized citizens, an emergency response team and the mind-bogglingly adept Tucson University Medical Center surgeons performed in concert to save the life of Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Had even one of those incredible forces for good faltered, a mentally ill gunman who would have succeeded in taking her life.

So, being in awe of the people of Tucson and their humble, but grand, rise to the world stage, I decided to experience the city firsthand before Representative Giffords releases her highly anticipated memoir (written with her husband astronaut Mark Kelly) Gabby: a Story of Courage and Hope, on November 15, 2011. Now that I know where to go and what to eat, chances are you'll find me lounging at my favorite desert oasis in Tucson - ; The Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain - ; sipping a prickly pear margarita amidst the saguaros, while I immerse myself in Rep. Giffords' book.

Oh. And Prince Harry might be in town, too (as you might have already heard). Luke Air Force Base public affairs spokesperson Captain Carla Gleason has confirmed that Captain Wales (His Royal Highness) will be in Arizona and California for two months this fall, as part of his Apache helicopter Conversion to Role (CTR) course.

Don't worry, Captain Wales. While the 'mountains in the desert' tour is designed to provide Afghanistan-like conditions for your Royal Air Force training, there are plenty of places in Arizona, particularly in my favorite city, Tucson, that offer regal delights that you don't want to miss.

Below are a few must-see, must-do experiences -- when you're not navigating updrafts and hot spots in the chopper.

  1. Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope. On November 15, 2011, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband astronaut Mark Kelly will release their new book documenting their moving story of public service, risk-taking, romance—and the journey toward recovery. Great reading while in the vicinity of the Wild West, where citizens wrestle shooters to the ground with their bare hands, interns risk their own life to save the life of their real-life hero and the trauma center surgeons are the best in the world.

  2. Saguaro National Park. Desert Hiking and Botanical Gardens. The Giant Saguaro is only found in a small portion of the United States -- Tucson. With more than 165 miles (264 km) of hiking trails, a hike at Saguaro National Park can be a stroll on a short interpretive nature trail or a daylong wilderness trek.
    Saguaros at Sunset in the Saguaro National Park.

  3. Old Tucson Studios. Family fun enjoying hayrides, guzzling down sarsaparillas and experiencing shoot-outs in the studio where over 300 old Westerns and TV productions have been filmed. Old Tucson is designed to have you experience what life was really like in the Old West, from the perils of a cross-country stagecoach trip, to the adventures of the town sheriff and even the rituals of Native Americans. Between September 30 and October 31, 2011, Tucson Studios will host Nightfall -- 20 years of Terror (in celebration of Halloween).

  4. Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain. What impressed me most about this extraordinary resort is that it is everything you love about the Ritz (luxurious with personable staff who are a glance away from fulfilling all of your needs and desires), while also being "native." From the Southwestern décor, including geodes and quartz crystals, to the backdrop of the Tortolita Mountains, to the evening Native American flute serenade out by the fire pit, the Dove Mountain experience embraces all that is rich and blessed about cowboy country in a comfortable, yet elegant, ambiance.

    View of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Design golf course at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain.

    At the same time, there is plenty of fun for all. There are poolside cabanas for grownups and a giant water slide for kids. (I was happy to race the 3-year olds for my turn in line). Have a delicious gourmet meal overlooking the saguaros at Clayton's (where the sliders are as delightful as the crab cakes). Experience an "Elements" massage treatment, which includes a fireside consultation with an aromatherapist, a Jacuzzi bath and 90 minutes of healing and bliss. Golf on a Jack Nicklaus Signature course. Ride horses along Wild Burro Canyon. Star gaze. The Ritz is off by itself, away from the city, so plan on enjoying the property to its fullest and planning your excursions off property well. Don't miss the sunset wine tasting!

    The Turquesa Pool at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain.

  5. Westin La Paloma Golf Resort and Azul Restaurant. Like the Ritz, La Paloma sits above the city with stunning views of the valley below, and like the Ritz, La Paloma boasts a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course for golf lovers, and a water slide for the kids. La Paloma is very family friendly, is close to the La Encantada Mall and sports the finest restaurant in the city -- Azul. The only downside of La Paloma is that it feels less like authentic Tucson (no geodes or crystals or flutists) and more like a "resort." However, the room sizes will astound you, the Westin amenities will spoil you and the prices will make your wallet very, very happy as well.

    The Westin La Paloma Golf Resort.

    Enjoy the Unlimited Golf Package with room rates that are as affordable as some green fees, a Girls Get Away Deal that includes a $170 spa credit and $50 shopping credit and a 25th Anniversary Package (celebrating the resort's anniversary) where your 3rd night is under $20! La Paloma is definitely the kind of resort where you can get a suite, bring the kids and your parents (hopefully for some time alone golfing, playing tennis and getting spa treatments) and everyone will thoroughly enjoy themselves. If Grandma and Grandpa aren't available, there's a Kids Center, with movie night on the weekends, so that you can savor the gourmet cuisine at Azul Restaurant. Great for weddings, Parent's Night at the University of Arizona and company conventions, too. If your company is planning an off-site event, La Paloma is the kind of place where you can design your own experience. From fashion shows to discos, outside or in the ballroom, La Paloma has the space and staff to host large events and make them feel intimate and special at the same time.

    The 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at La Paloma Golf Resort in Tucson, Arizona

  6. Azul Restaurant. Serge yves Delage is the executive chef for La Paloma, and Azul will sizzle your taste buds as much as this gifted chef has sparked the passion of peers and critics around the world. Chef Delage has been named to the Top 100 Names in Travel by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine and is one of only 60 chefs in the United States to have been inducted into the exclusive Académie Culinaire de France. It might take you a few nights to sample everything you want to try on the menu, and the investment will be very worth it. Fortunately, since Azul specializes in tapas and small plates, if you have an adventurous, willing partner, you can graze and share to your heart's delight. Don't miss the fuego shrimp, the warm tomato and burrata salad, the mushroom torta, the scallops and polenta, the certified angus filet mignon (melt in your mouth tender) and whatever you do, beg, borrow or steal for a side of the truffle mashed potatoes.

    Serge yves Delage, executive chef for La Paloma.

  7. Teresa's Mosaic Café. Bobby Flay put Teresa's Mosaic Café on the map when he was doing his Southwestern throw-down tour, challenging the Matias Family to cook up the best huevos rancheros. The New York Times and the book 500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late name Teresa's dish as the perfect breakfast. Mosaic Café offers authentic Mexican food prepared with love and only the finest, freshest ingredients. Sample homemade tortillas, fresh salsa, chunky guacamole and creamy frijoles (refried beans). You'll love the enchiladas, the chile Colorado, the chile relleno -- everything is a cut above what you'd expect. However, do yourself a favor and be sure to order the chile and cheese tamale, which is melt in your mouth delicious. The best I've ever had anywhere!

  8. La Encantada Mall. This is one of the most beautiful outdoor malls in America, tucked beneath the Catalina Mountains and overlooking the city of Tucson. Sadly, you won't find any cowboy boots or rainmakers here. The stores are standard mall fare -- Victoria's Secret, Coach, Bebe, Crate and Barrel -- with a few shops specializing in Southwestern gifts. There are a number of good restaurants however, including one of my favorite moderately priced eateries, Firebird's.

  9. Firebird's Wood Fired Grill. If you enjoy unique cocktails, be sure to try Firebird's pineapple infused vodka martini. Just the right amount of sweet and kick. I fell in love with the pecan-crusted trout with mango relish and mashed potatoes, while my girlfriend gushed over her steak salad. And if you go at lunchtime, you will be surprised at just how affordable a great meal can be.

  10. Anthony's in the Catalinas. Over the years, Anthony's has won quite an impressive number of awards for outstanding cuisine and wine. The AAA Four Diamond Award, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator to name a few. This is an old school Italian restaurant where you will enjoy the best Caesar salad you've ever had, made fresh at your table. Tucson locals love Anthony's so be sure to make a reservation. Host your own luncheon, or drop by for dinner and breathtaking views of the Catalina Mountains. Enjoy house smoked breast of duck, scallops Rockefeller, crab cakes or shrimp chorizo for appetizers. Dinner choices include chateaubriand, roasted rack of lamb, salmon, filet mignon, veal marsala, a grilled vegetable platter, fresh fish of the day and lobster specials on Friday nights.

  11. Brushfire BBQ. It's always good to know the cheap, but good go-to meal, and Brushfire BBQ is it in Tucson -- provided you are a meat eater. Melt in your mouth Brisket, ribs, potato salad, grilled corn, yams, and cornbread -- tasty comfort food in sizable portions for a very reasonable price.

So, whether you are royal or brave, or just admiring those qualities of the locals and visitors in the unique Southwestern city of Tucson, Arizona, now you know the best of the city and just why this is indeed a Desert Paradise.


About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street. and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, and the founder and CEO of the Women’s Investment Network, LLC. She is a blogger on, and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV,, NPR and more.
As a philanthropist, she has helped to raise more than two million for Los Angeles public schools and financial literacy. Follow her on For more information please visit

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The Mom Network.

by Natalie Pace.

Thriving, despite the money and time challenges of divorce.

Photo by: Doug Mazell.

Getting divorced is one of the most expensive hardships of life. Your expenses double (two households), while your income feels split in half. Your time is drained as well, with all of those extra trips to your ex's to pick up forgotten homework assignments, and trying to take on an extra job for income.

If this isn't your experience, then count yourself lucky. Single mothers and their children are by far the largest demographic living in poverty. In 2010, 31.6 percent of households headed by single women were poor, while 15.8 percent of households headed by single men and 6.2 percent of married-couple households lived in poverty (source: University of Michigan).

While the statistics are startling and the challenges are daunting, single mothers (and fathers) are finding creative solutions. And the Mom Network is a big piece of what works...

Even the famous attorney and women's advocate, Gloria Allred, once used house sharing as a solution. "As a young and struggling mom," Ms. Allred shared in an email, "I shared a place with another young single mother." helps single moms find a match, and even provides resources for interviewing potential roomies for compatibility. It's not forever and it's not a replacement for the family, but it does provide more time, support and money for over-worked single moms, who desperately need the help. Jennifer and Simone in Minneapolis told CoAbode that they are far better mothers because they are less stressed. House sharing trims the cost of housing, childcare and food and gives single parents an extra helping hand in the household. CoAbode is a service for single moms only, however, the solution works for single dads as well. Remember The Odd Couple?

Carpooling to school, to afterschool classes and even to soccer tournaments can save a lot of time and money -- especially with today's gas prices. This seems like an obvious solution, however, when people are stressed out, it can be difficult to see beyond the problems. If you know a single mom or dad, it's worth a call to let them know that you're available for ride sharing. And if you are a single mom or dad, make it a point to reach out to fellow soccer moms, troop dads and classroom parents who live local. The world isn't against you (like it feels); others just don't always know how to help.

Sleepovers & Play Dates
When money is tight, it's hard to think about fun. However, the payback on your investment is beyond measure in dollars and cents. The single parent has to be a lot more creative about entertaining the troops, but the other parents appreciate the effort, as do the kids -- even if they tease you about it. As a single mom, I was known for "hell hikes." I took the kids for nature walks, instead of the movies. However, how else would the boys have learned to skip rocks across a pond, rappel down real cliffs, fish and identify which animal created that scat?

Girl's Night In
Whether it is an investment club, a book club, a cook's club, or just dinner and drinks, create a monthly Girl's Night for yourself and your friends. Through these social events, which are fun, you'll find yourself bonding and opening up about some of the issues, challenges and fears that are weighing you down. Your load may be lightened literally, when a friend comes up with a solution that you have never considered. Other times, the load just feels lighter because you shared your problems instead of keeping them in. Be careful, however. A great dinner party includes wine and cheese, not whine and cheese.

Charity is Networking
It's hard to think of being charitable when you feel like you are the one in need of charity. However, if you want to create a better life for yourself, then charity is one of the highest return, lowest cost, simple solutions on that path. Through charitable giving, you showcase your talents, meet people who are on the move and create a new network of friends who can be helpful in creating new income opportunities with you. Many people think they can increase income through high-cost "networking" groups. However, you're more likely to create a bond with others when you are working side by side in a passion project than you are by standing up in a room of a hundred strangers you have little in common with, and throwing out a 30-second elevator pitch to people who don't care what you do and are there mostly to sell you their wares, too.

Increasing Income
Far too many single parents are taking on a second low-paying job to increase income. Others fall for get-rich-quick schemes and/or pie-in-the-sky promises of MLM sales. Get creative and mindful about your path to greater income. Should you get more education? Intern to learn new skills? Reach out to your friends for job referrals? Rethink which profession you are in altogether? In a world where those with PhDs are experiencing less than 2% unemployment, whereas almost 15% of those without high school diplomas are out of work, you cannot overlook the value of new skills and education.

Local community colleges offer low-cost education. There are scholarships and grants available for parents who are returning to school. Some of our most successful CEOs went back to live with the parents or slept on friend's couches in order to invest in a better tomorrow -- and are very happy they did so. (Think Steve Jobs.)

For more information on how "Education Pays," please read my HuffingtonPost blog of the same name.

There is no doubt that single parents have it a lot tougher than married parents. However, creating partnerships, which I lovingly call The Mom Network (even though it includes a few dads, too), is a very rewarding way to ease the burden.


About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street. and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, and the founder and CEO of the Women’s Investment Network, LLC. She is a blogger on, and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV,, NPR and more. As a philanthropist, she has helped to raise more than two million for Los Angeles public schools and financial literacy. Follow her on
For more information please visit

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A Meditation to Call in Divine Inspiration.

by Natalie Pace.

Photo by: Mary Margaret Stratton,

There's a lot of stress in me on some days.

I feel beaten up by random anger. Or blasted with rage-filled opinions. When the noise is too loud and beauty is pushed out of the picture, for me at least, it's time to call in ancient wisdom, art, music, and nature -- the songs of the stars.

So I...


Find a quiet place to stand, sit or even invert myself into a shoulder, head or handstand.

Music or no music. Depending upon the day. (My meditation favorites tend to be Guru Ganesha Singh or Jai Uttal.)

I breathe in deeply and slowly. Take breath into my diaphragm. Hold.

I imagine as I breathe in that I am breathing in the wisdom of the universe -- that which created the galaxies and stars and life on Earth.

I take more breath into my diaphragm before exhaling.

I hold my breath.

As I exhale, slowly, I imagine that there is a river flowing out of me, carrying away all of the stress of the day, the old thoughts that no longer serve me, the garbage of my life and thoughts, the nonsense and rhetoric and misinformation and lies and cheating and greed that I may have encountered. I give thanks for the magical moments of the day, the inspirations that I've encountered, the synchronicity, the fertility, the new insights, the truth, the loyalty and the generosity that have been placed in my path, gifts free for the taking.

And here is my meditation...

O Divine Breath of my Life,
Clear my heart so the sacred may dwell within me,
Fill me with your creativity, so that I may be empowered to bear the fruit of your vision
May the wisdom of the heavens be manifest through me, here on Earth
Give me the vision to flourish and thrive each day
Forgive me of my failures, my frustrations and my weaknesses, as I forgive those who are "in debt" to me
Keep me pure, that I’m not distracted with the mundane, the superficial, the destructive, the unripe and the rotten
For the kingdom, the power and the glory are present always in my life and forever more.  Amen.  

By Natalie Pace. Copyright 2009.

Inspired by the Lord’s Prayer.

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NYPD Shuts Down Wall Street.

by Natalie Pace.

Protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement had hoped to take command of Wall Street on September 17, 2011, but the New York Police Department quickly showed them who was in charge, by barricading all entrances to the heart of America's financial institutions. Police began locking arms in front of the barricades and street lifts about 1:00 p.m. ET -- two hours before the General Assembly of the protest was scheduled to begin at Chase Manhattan Plaza. (The boys in blue obviously have a Twitter presence, too...)

The "Day of Rage" turned out mostly to be a day of peace. Only two arrests were made.

Media reports have called this movement "Marxist," "Guerrilla" and have claimed that the protestors are anti-Capitalist, "airy" hippies. However, anyone moving through the crowd and listening to their conversations wouldn't come to that conclusion. While the word has spread through the best viral mediums available, including Facebook and Twitter, the theme -- anti-Corporatocracy -- is one that attracts people from all stripes of life -- veterans, moms, families with children, young professionals (in sunglasses, hoodies and/or masks) and students. The crowd was predominantly 20-ish, with a majority of males, however, many were educated, and quite a few of the "speakers" spoke with an economist vernacular that suggests some may even have jobs on the street they are united against. You can't even assume these are young Democrats; I saw more than one picture of President Obama with a Hitler mustache.

You can hear some of the Voices of Democracy from the Occupy Wall Street movement -- in their own words -- on my channel. Links to a few are directly below.

Justin: leader on the ground, Occupy Wall Street
Veteran with a Flag

As Barbara Ross, the press coordinator of Time's Up (an environmental group) and a participant in Occupy Wall Street, told me, "Corporations are too powerful in this country. They control the media and are more powerful than the politicians. This is a way to say that we want to have a voice again." Some people brought flowers with them. Others brought handmade signs and billowing billboards. Barbara's bike sported the only professionally made sign I saw on the first day of the protests, with the slogan, "Bicycling Against Oil Wars."

Photo: Barbara Ross, press coordinator for Time's Up!
Photo by: Natalie Pace.

None of the flyers or the speeches that I witnessed suggested that Marxism, Anarchy or Violence is the answer. Most people sat peacefully and quietly in makeshift circles and took turns sharing what they thought should be the next step in this nascent movement. In fact, one young woman, who proposed that it was time for "Grass Roots Capitalism," was quickly corrected by another protestor, who suggested that Capitalism works -- when there is adequate regulation.

Indeed, it is quite apparent, that these protesters love their country and stand united against one enemy only. That enemy is not capitalism or free markets or even the NYPD. That enemy is quite simply, cronyism economics. It is clear that everyone was there as part of a movement that is simply You Vs. Wall Street. Chants of "Occupy Wall Street," and "Banks get bailed out, we get sold out" are being chanted as, day after day during the opening and closing bell of the New York and NASDAQ stock exchanges, hundreds of people parade down Wall Street, "escorted" by the NYPD.

On October 1, 2011, the 15th day of the Liberty Plaza occupation, over 700 protesters were arrested as the Occupy Wall Street protesters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge (source: NYPD). No one has an accurate head count of the number of protesters, however, it has been estimated that over 1500 marchers were in NYC on that day.

The most viral video on the protest came on Day 8, Saturday, September 24, 2011. 80-100 peaceful protesters were arrested for "blocking the sidewalk," and other minor infractions. The situation escalated when police officers corralled a group of young women with a net. While the young women were confused and protesting the entrapment, a white-shirted NYPD officer approached and sprayed them with what appears to be pepper spray.

In a telephone conversation on September 29, 2011, a spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed that the Internal Affairs Bureau and Civilian Complaint Review Board are both investigating the Pepper Spray incident, involving Anthony Bologna, that occurred on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. I asked for details on any other disciplinary action that might be taken against NYPD Deputy Inspector Bologna, but have received no response from the NYPD.

 What is compelling (and under-reported) is the compassion, wisdom, commitment and patience that underscores most of the protesters, even in the face of violence.

After the pepper spray attack, Chelsea Elliott, one of the young women who was sprayed, defended the NYPD, saying to the Village Voice, " "Most of the cops are really not like that. Most of the time they're with us. The cops around me were pissed that it happened. Yesterday, I think they were scared, and under a lot of pressure." Those sentiments were seconded by another protester, spokesperson Kelly Heresy, who appeared on Keith Olbermann's Countdown on Monday, September 26, 2011.

At least once a day, the group has a "General Assembly." Dr. Cornell West, professor, Princeton University, spoke at Liberty Plaza (Zuccotti Park) on Tuesday night, Sept. 27, 2011. Since there can be no amplification, the crowd repeats each sentence so that everyone can hear. Dr. Cornell West started his speech, saying, "There is a sweet spirit in this place. I hope you can feel the love and inspiration of those everyday people who take a stand with great courage and compassion because we oppose the greed of Wall Street oligarchs."

To see the video of Dr. West's speech, visit

Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore and former governor David Paterson have also visited Occupy Wall Street.

During the week after the violence of September 24, 2011 (and before the clash on October 1), things were relatively quiet. It's as if both sides plan all week and then have a big confrontation on the weekends. Many allies of the protesters have day jobs, and the numbers of the movement can swell by 7X or more on the weekend. True to the pattern, Occupy Wall Street spokespersons confirmed that only five people were arrested on Monday, October 3, 2011, for "wearing masks.".

The protesters who can continue to sleep in the park, surrounded by police who make no attempt to break things up. Some people in the movement Occupy Wall Street sleep on cardboard, others in sleeping bags and some locals go home to freshen up and return in the morning. Others commute from local colleges. Some hitchhike across America to join the group. They are cleaning up their trash and staying quiet. Donations of food and money are coming in from around the world.

The police have erected a portable surveillance camera on the crowd, and certain areas, like Wall Street and the famous Wall Street bull sculpture remain fenced off and off-limits to the protesters.

Is this the beginning of a Main Street versus Wall Street movement across America? Occupy Wall Street reports that "There are occupations in 147 US cities and 28 cities around the world including London, Paris, Switzerland & Cologne." Indeed, I've been receiving video and photos from across the U.S. -- from Asheville, North Carolina, to Los Angeles, to Washington D.C.

On September 17, 2011, Day of Rage was a Top 10 search trend on Google.

Stay tuned in. This story gets bigger every day. I continue to provide almost daily updates in the comments section of my HuffingtonPost blog, "NYPD Shuts Down Wall Street."


About Natalie Pace:
Natalie Pace is the author of You Vs. Wall Street. and Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is, and the founder and CEO of the Women’s Investment Network, LLC. She is a blogger on, and a repeat guest on national television and radio shows such as Good Morning America, Fox News, CNBC, ABC-TV,, NPR and more.
As a philanthropist, she has helped to raise more than two million for Los Angeles public schools and financial literacy. Follow her on For more information please visit

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Buying Low Stinks.

by Natalie Pace.

Includes my Hot News on Cool Stocks List.

October 3, 2011

General Stock Market Performance

Monday, 1.2.2008

Monday, 1.2.2009

Monday 1.3.2011

Friday, 10.3.2011

Gains 3-yr, 2-yr & 9 mo.

Dow: 13,044.12

Dow: 9,034.69

Dow: 11,577.43


-18% & +18% & -8%

Nasdaq: 2,609.63

Nasdaq: 1,632.21

Nasdaq: 2,676.65


-10% & +43% & -13%

S&P: 1,447.16

S&P: 931.80

S&P: 1,257.62


-24% & +18% & -13%

Wall Street Highs/Lows in the New Millennium:




Dow Jones Industrial Average

6,547 (3.9.09)

14,164 (10.9.07)

NASDAQ Composite Index

1,114 (10.9.02)

5,060.34 (3.10.00)

Hot News on Cool Stocks Important Data
Up to 18X gains on U.S. Gold, our 2009 Company of the Year!
NASDAQ Doubled the Dow Jones Industrial Average gains from 2009-2011
Gold continues momentum, at 19% gains so far in 2011 (-13% off of high of $1,895/ounce set on 9.5.11)
13 out of 14 Company of the Month features from 2010 posted gains.
Gold tops stocks, real estate, bonds and T-Bills Over the Last 10 Years.

Compare those returns to the returns of stocks, real estate, bonds, Treasury bills and gold over the last 30 years.


Market Update:
Buying Low Stinks.
All year, while the markets were in a rally, people were in a rush to buy because they didn't think the markets would ever bring a lower price. And then immediately when the lower price came, after the U.S. credit downgrade and again today, those same people are now worried that they shouldn't buy now because we were in the Apocalypse. Having been in this business for over a decade now, it's the same thing that I heard in March of 2009, when the Dow lost more than half of its value, and in October of 2002, when NASDAQ was trading almost 80% lower than its high of March of 2000.

Performance of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
October 1, 2007 to March 10, 2009

Source: (for illustration purposes only)

Performance of the NASDAQ

March 1, 2000 to October 11, 2002

Source: (for illustration purposes only)

Conversely, at the market tops, nobody wants to sell. Everyone thinks that the "New Economy" or "immigration" or "China's growth" is going to keep the stock market or the real estate market increasing in value forever. And that is why buying low and selling high is so easy to say and so hard to do. It is completely against human nature.

Performance of the NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

January 1, 1996 to March 30, 2000

Source: (for illustration purposes only)

Performance of the NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

10 Years (October 3, 2001 - Oct. 3, 2011)

Source: (for illustration purposes only)

A person who is comfortable buying low will enter a burned-out building and see opportunity. (A buy-low enthusiast is happy that her Stock Shopping List is now on sale!) A person who knows how to take profits (sell high) is the same one who stops drinking an hour before s/he has to get behind the wheel of a car. Selling high is like leaving the party at midnight and having all of the drunks tell you how stupid you are for taking off when the party has only just begun. But the benefits of that kind of vision and discipline are significant.

Even with the most recent pullback on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 63% from the March 9, 2009 low; NASDAQ returns are even higher. And, as you'll see below, though you may wish to fly to safety, corporate earnings make it clear that stocks are a better investment than the debt-laden bond options.

Performance of the NASDAQ and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

March 1, 2009 to October 3, 2011

Source: (for illustration purposes only)

Doubling your gains can compound your assets rapidly and beautify your bottom line -- provided you don't let them slip away. It is equally important to make sure that your assets are not binging and purging all the time, riding the rollercoaster of these dramatic Wall Street mood swings. If you start with $100,000, lose half and then achieve gains of 74% on $50,000, you have only $87,000. If you start with $100,000 and keep half safe, then you'll still have at least $100,000 at the end of the wild ride and will be poised for further gains, while others are still suffering and underwater on their investments.

It is impossible to guess exactly when the tops and bottoms of stocks occur. That is why the secret to success is employing my Easy-as-a-Pie-Chart Nest Egg Strategy, which works wonderfully in bull and bear markets. This strategy operates the buy low; sell high equation on auto-pilot, for maximum gains and optimum protection. You always keep enough safe, and you always have a piece of the action in the hottest industries when Wall Street rallies. During Recessions, your safe side performs well; during Recoveries, your stocks do.

Easy-as-a-Pie-Chart Investing

Here's how it works.

  1. Deposit 10% of your income into a tax-protected retirement account automatically.
  2. Always keep a percentage equal to your age safe. Stocks, equities and funds are not safe. Bonds are more vulnerable than you think, so you have to get educated on what's safe.
  3. Diversify the remaining money into 10 funds, according to small, medium and large, value and growth and four hot industries.
  4. Avoid the Bailouts.
  5. Overweight 10% safe in recessions; overweight 10% into equities during recoveries.
  6. Rebalance 1-3 times per year. (This allows you to capture gains and buy into funds low.)

The "how-to" on each of these five criteria is outlined in my book, You Vs. Wall Street. Better yet, come to one of my Investor Educational Retreats, where you will learn these strategies firsthand from me in a boardroom setting. You can walk in without a clue, or with a cracked nest egg, and walk out with a plan that works for the rest of your life. Call 310-430-2397 to learn more now.

Double Dip Recession or Recovery?
You can't turn on television without hearing someone talk about the possibility of a double-dip recession. However as you can see from the earnings chart below, companies are recovering and the trend is far from bleak. Corporate earnings are higher than they've been in decades.

S&P500 Earnings Per Share



6/30/2011 $24.19 $24.12
03/31/2011 $21.44 $22.56
12/31/2010 $20.67 $21.93
09/30/2010 $19.52 $21.56
06/30/2010 $19.68 $20.90
03/31/2010 $17.48 $19.38
12/31/2009 $15.18 $17.16
09/30/2009 $14.76 $15.78
06/30/2009 $13.51 $13.81
03/31/2009 $7.52 $10.11
12/31/2008 -$23.25 -$0.09
09/30/2008 $9.73 $15.96
06/30/2008 $12.86 $17.02
03/31/2008 $15.54 $16.62
12/31/2007 $7.82 $15.22
09/30/2007 $15.15 $20.87
06/30/2007 $21.88 $24.06
03/31/2007 $21.33 $22.39
12/31/2006 $20.24 $21.99
12/30/2005 $17.30 $20.19
12/31/2004 $13.94 $17.95
12/31/2003 $13.16 $14.88
12/31/2002 $3.00 $11.94
12/31/2001 $5.45 $9.94
12/31/2000 $9.07 $13.11
12/31/1999 $12.77 $13.77

Source: Standard and Poor's

Job growth is always the lagging indicator, which is why 9.1% unemployment is not unexpected, though it is tragic to the 14 million people who are still unemployed.

Another under-reported statistic is that there are 3.2 million jobs available right now. So, part of the solution is that people who are unemployed need to improve their skills and/or consider getting more education. For the unemployed construction worker, the solution might be learning how to retrofit buildings for energy savings, such as the Green City Force. The unemployed high school graduate might consider specialized skills training, such as that provided by the Bay Area Medical Academy. For more ideas on how to get back to work, be sure to read my HuffingtonPost blog, "Education Pays."

With the state of the world today, which is very high debt in the developed world and very high growth in the developing world, it is very possible that we could have more economic headwinds. Certainly, war, terrorism and other natural disasters weigh heavily on the recovery as well. So, no one can say with absolute certainty that now is an opportunity to buy low. We can say that now is an opportunity to buy lower than stocks have been all year, and at a discount to where they were at the highs in 2007.

And that is why the Easy-as-a-Pie Chart plan is so valuable. It takes the guesswork out of it.

Buy and hold doesn't work, so if you are watching your nest egg get smashed time and again, as so many Americans are horrified to witness with their 401Ks, IRAs and annuities, your fear is justified. Don't try to change your mind; change your strategy. Praying for a miracle or taking anti-depressants is not as smart as removing the cause of the problem - a flawed strategy. The volatility in stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, energy, oil and more are likely to continue over the coming years.

So, learn and implement a sound blueprint now and you'll rest much easier at night, buying low when incredible buying opportunities occur and earning gains while you sleep.

Investor Edu Retreat:
Modern Portfolio Theory (what my Easy-as-a-Pie Chart Nest Egg strategy is based upon) saved Bill and Nilo Bolden's nest egg in the Great Recession and had novice investors doubling the returns of the Dow over the last few years. Call 310-430-2397 NOW to learn how you can attend a boardroom retreat with just 12 others, learning these strategies hands-on from me.

Investor Alerts:
1. OPEC & a Basket of Currency: OPEC has released a new Long Term Strategy report. There is speculation that OPEC will be going from the U.S. dollar valuation to a "basket of currency," though the Report doesn't state this explicitly. If true, this will be distressing to U.S. investors, once they learn about it.

2. Debt: Standard & Poor's lowered the U.S. debt rating from AAA to AA+  on August 5, 2011. The Budget Plan of August 2, 2011 fell short by almost $2 trillion.  A lowered debt rating means we will likely pay more interest - potentially a lot more - which makes it even more difficult to balance the budget and spark GDP growth. 

3. Real Estate: There were 9.3 million foreclosure filings between 2007 and 2010. At least 3.7 million properties are in a seriously delinquent stage. This means that there will no upside in real estate prices (except in certain cities) until 2013. Could be a good time to buy, while interest rates are low. If you are underwater on your mortgage or delinquent on your payments and are considering the "unthinkable," email Heather at to get the links to some very important articles.

4. 911 Investor Alert: Bonds and Treasury Bills Read up on how to understand the risk in bonds and select high quality safe areas for your money in two featured bond articles in the May 2011 ezine (volume 8, issue 5). In the meantime, low-risk, cash-positive hard assets are King (and no, I'm not suggesting to go all in on gold, see below). Bonds and bond funds are vulnerable to loss of principal value now. Interest rates will rise if the U.S. debt is downgraded. It might take a few months or even a year, but without reform, credit risk will increase, driving up interest rates.

5. Gold: If you purchased gold at $850/ounce in 1980, you had to wait 26 years for the value to return. Most of the time, gold seesawed between $250-$350 an ounce over that period. Now, with prices at $1800/ounce, large holders of gold, including the United States, Brazil and more, could be tempted to sell high. For a brief history of gold and information on which countries are the biggest holders of gold, read, "The Gold Crash of 1980," from the September 2010 ezine, volume 7, issue 9. Gold continues to be a hot industry, but you do not want to be all in.

So is There Anything Good Out There?
Yes, believe it or not, there are some excellent areas in the economy. My 2009 Company of the Year, U.S. Gold, posted up to 18X gains. Applied Materials, the 2010 Company of the Year, posted 25% gains within a few months of being named. 13 out of 14 Companies featured in my Company of the Month articles in 2010 were winners. Your nest egg has almost fully recovered from the Great Recession. If you have a great credit rating and can get a loan, there are areas of the country where you can buy cash positive, low risk income property. And even if you're in trouble, in doubt, losing a home or declaring bankruptcy, there are some very important things to do to squirrel away as many assets as possible. The best way to learn about these things is to read this ezine top to bottom, read You Vs. Wall Street and register to attend the next Get Rich and Enrich Retreat. Once you have the wisdom and education that you should have received in high school, all of this will be easy and can be set up on auto-pilot. Until then, you are vulnerable to more boom/bust markets.

Banks Are Still Failing
There were 157 bank failures in 2010, 140 bank failures in 2009 and 25 in 2008. 74 banks have already failed in 2011 (source: Don't be seduced by the banks reporting record earnings! Most of them are fairy tales. (Nonproducing loans are carried off the books; TARP and other Federal Reserve swaps are about as easy to figure out as the origin of the life.) 13 million homes (or more) will be lost between 2007 and 2012 and not all of them hitting the financial statements with as much force as they should...

Track Record of our Reporting
While the markets are still down significantly since their high in October of 2007, the Hot News and Cooling Off lists below have a winning track record before, during and after the Great Recession - in bear and bull market years. 106 positions listed over the last four years - 70% - have delivered impressive gains, even while the Dow Jones Industrial Average is still trading lower than it was in 2007 (when it cracked through 14,000)! Only forty-six of our listings went in the opposite direction of the reporting, which is quite impressive given the market gyrations of more than 7000 point swings since 2008.

Remember that the trading portfolio should be equal to your experience, and should not be part of your nest egg. (The nest egg is money you earn while you sleep, not while you day-trade.) If you're new, you should be using education or fun money, not your nest egg, to learn on. Take your trading profits early and often in these volatile, whip-sawing years. (Your nest egg is better off just rebalancing once or twice a year, not trying to market time.)

Half of My Company of the Year selections more than doubled.  My 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2009 Companies of the Year posted up to 9000% gains (Taser), up to 690% gains (Opsware), up to 215% gains (Suntech Power Holdings), and up to 18X ROI for U.S. Gold, respectively. Applied Materials, 2010 Company of the Year, and MySpace, my 2006 Company of the Year, were both super performers within a few short months of their listings.   So seven out of nine Company of the Year selections were the best Wall Street has to offer. That's the kind of record that made me a #1 stock picker.  (I launched my first publication on 11.15.02, and featured the first Company of the Year, Taser International, on 1.1.03.)

13 out of 14 companies featured in the Company of the Month articles in 2010 earned gains - 93%! Some other big hits were Google at the IPO (over 7X gains), Rio Tinto (tripled in value) and shorts like Fannie Mae (in 2003), real estate (2005), General Motors (2005) and Las Vegas (2008).

The ezine was the first to list the following 911 alerts:

  1. Muni bond and bond funds 911 Investor Alert in Sept. 2010.
  2. 2008 Recession (Get Safe)
  3. Trim back on Faded Blue Chips in 2006
  4. Get out of Dodge (real estate) in 2005
  5. Google at the IPO! (May 2004)
  6. To get Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of your 401(k) in 2003

Market Movers:
The Federal Open Market Committee and Monetary Policy
The Fed funds rate continues to be "0 to 1/4 percent." The next FOMC meeting takes place on November 1-2, 2011.

GDP Growth Rates: The third estimates of 2nd quarter GDP growth are anemic, at 1.3% (revised upward from 1% in the 2nd estimate). But what is even more startling is that 1st quarter 2011 GDP growth rates were revised downward to 0.4% (blame the high price of oil). 3rd quarter 2011 (advance estimates) will be released on October 27, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. ET.

GDP Growth in the U.S.


GDP Growth










These release days tend to be very active on Wall Street.  For more information on GDP growth and other important economic statistics, go to the website and be sure to visit the calendar section often.

1. FOMC Information: Interested in reading the press release of the September 20-21, 2011 FOMC meeting for yourself? The official Federal Reserve document is available online. Go to to read! According to the Committee, "The Committee continues to expect some pickup in the pace of recovery over coming quarters but anticipates that the unemployment rate will decline only gradually toward levels that the Committee judges to be consistent with its dual mandate. Moreover, there are significant downside risks to the economic outlook, including strains in global financial markets."

The tentative FOMC meeting schedule for the 2011-2012 calendar is Nov. 1-2, 2011 (Tues.-Wed.), December 13, 2011 (Tuesday), January 24-25, 2012 (Tues.-Wed.), March 13, 2012 (Tuesday), April 24-25 (Tuesday-Wednesday), June 19-20 (Tuesday-Wednesday), July 31 (Tuesday), September 12 (Wednesday), October 23-24 (Tuesday-Wednesday), December 11 (Tuesday), January 29-30, 2013 (Tuesday-Wednesday).

2. Calendar Section: Conferences, Online Chats and more: Check out the Calendar section of regularly. You will find great opportunities to attend the most exclusive business and Green Conferences, learn about upcoming TV and radio shows and other educational opportunities - many are FREE! Get more information on how to best use our articles in the FAQs article, located under the Investor Edu link on the home page of

Don't miss the Pace and Prosperity Show with Natalie Pace on Check for upcoming shows and call-in and log-on instructions and to listen back to any shows that you might have missed. These shows are pod casts and are FREE!

BlogTalkRadio offers a Q&A format, where you can call in with your most pressing questions. Be sure to keep a list of your questions as they come up, and join our ongoing dialog on peace and prosperity, getting rich and enriching, green investing, the Thrive Budget and more on Facebook at

3. Survey Results: Each month we have three new surveys so that we can stay in touch with your needs and desires. Cast your vote on our survey page.

4. Euro interest rates: ECB rates are at 1.50% (main refinancing), 2.25% (marginal lending) and 0.75% (deposit facility). The next meeting and interest rate announcement are scheduled for October 6, 2011 at 2:30 p.m. CET. (October 20, 2011 after that.)

Hot Stocks List
Investors who "never pay retail," note that the BOLD highlighted stocks are trading at their 52-week lows or near the price featured in's article. This may be a good buying opportunity. (If the stocks are not highlighted, then in our estimation, this is not a good time to buy. Reasons are explained in the news commentary.) The companies that are listed below which are not highlighted may not be in a good buying range, but they appear to be poised to continue performing well (if you have already purchased them). 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. And remember that these "Stocks on Steroids" are not intended to be part of your nest egg strategy at all - not even for "pros." If you've never traded individual stocks before, this is your "fun" or "education" money. You should not stake your future on anything that you don't have mastery over.

Hot News List (highlighted).  Be sure that you are buying low.
American Superconductor (AMSC)
SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa (GAF)
Applied Materials (AMAT)
iShares Australia Index (EWA)
Bank of Montreal (BMO)
Canadian Imperial Commerce Bank (CM)
iShares Chile Fund (ECH)
iShares China Small-Cap Index Fund (ECNS)
Cree (CREE)
iShares Emerging Markets Index (EEM)
FMC Corp. (FMC)
Galaxy Resources (GALXF)
Goldman Sachs (GS)
Google (GOOG)
Green Dot (GDOT)
Jiayuan (DATE)
KLA Tencor (KLAC)
iShares S&P Latin America 40 Index (ILF)
MEMC Electronics (WFR)
Netflix (NFLX)
Powershares Lux Nanotech (PXN)
Powershares Wilderhill Clean Energy Fund (PBW)
Rio Tinto (RIO)
Satcon (SATC)
Sociedad Minera & Chimica (SQM)
Sohu (SOHU)
iShares S&P Tech Semiconductors (SOXX)
Sunpower (SPWRA)
Suntech Power Holdings (STP)
Tesla Motor Company (TSLA)
Trina Solar (TSL)
U.S. Gold (UXG)
Veeco (VECO)
VMWare (VMW)
Westpac (WBK)
Youku (YOKU)

DELETIONS (Take your profits early and often):
Eldorado Gold (EGO) on 9.7.11



NP owns?


Price when added to Hot News List



52-week High

52-week Low


S&P Emerging Middle East and Africa Fund








Read "Travel Rewards," from Vol. 8, issue 7.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions




$15.27 (8.15.11)




-6% &


Read "Health Care Reform" Vol. 7, issue 4.

2nd quarter 2011 earnings: GAAP revenue of $356.8 million, up 11% from a year ago. Bookings of $244.6 million, 15 percent sequential growth compared to $212.4 million in the first quarter of 2011. GAAP net income of $15.9 million.

Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc., formerly Allscripts-Misys Healthcare Solutions, Inc. (Allscripts), is a provider of clinical software, services, information and connectivity solutions that are used by physicians and other healthcare providers to improve the quality of healthcare.

Added four strong executives to the team in July 2011. Cliff Meltzer, a veteran development leader for Apple, Cisco, IBM and most recently CA Technologies, joined Allscripts as Executive Vice President, Solutions Development, with responsibility for product development company-wide. Steve Shute, a veteran sales leader, will be joining Allscripts as Executive Vice President, Sales. Mr. Shute has held numerous executive leadership positions at the IBM Corporation. Jackie Studer joined Allscripts as Senior Vice President and General Counsel; she comes from GE. John Guevara, a seasoned leader with extensive success leading mission-critical operations for Microsoft and other top technology companies, joined Allscripts as Chief Information Officer.

American Super-conductor









-88% &


Read "The Sunny Side" Vol. 6, issue 3.

9.23.11: American Superconductor Corporation AMSC, a global power technologies company, today announced its recent successes in the wind power and power grid markets, including nearly $100 million in new contracts since the start of the company’s fiscal year on April 1, 2011. AMSC signed contracts with wind turbine manufacturers in China, India and Korea.

9.23.11: Announced full year 2010 and 1Q 2011 results. Fiscal 2010 revenues were $286.6 million, which compares with $316.0 million for fiscal 2009. The company reported a net loss of $186.3 million, or $3.95 per diluted share, for fiscal 2010. Fiscal 2010 revenues include the impact of applying a cash basis of accounting to recognize revenue for shipments to certain customers in China as of September 1, 2010 and for shipments to Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd. (Sinovel) as of October 1, 2010. The company’s fiscal 2010 net loss includes $158.5 million in aggregate one-time asset write-downs, impairments and accrued charges recorded primarily in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 associated with the company’s accounting judgment that its relationship with Sinovel will not continue. This compares with net income of $16.2 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, for fiscal year 2009.

Revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 were $9.1 million. This compares with $97.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. The decline is due primarily to a lack of revenue from Sinovel. The company reported a net loss for the quarter of $37.7 million, $0.74 per diluted share. This compares with net income of $9.2 million, or $0.20 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2010.

Net of the advance payment of approximately $20.6 million for the company’s proposed acquisition of The Switch Engineering Oy, the company’s balance of cash, cash equivalents, marketable securities and restricted cash on June 30, 2011 was $166.2 million. This compares with $245.5 million on March 31, 2011 and $120.7 million on June 30, 2010.

"Our financial results for fiscal 2010 and the first quarter of fiscal 2011 are a reflection of our past," said AMSC President and Chief Executive Officer Daniel McGahn. "Our efforts to build a better AMSC are now well underway. We have reduced our cost structure by more than $30 million annually and realigned our business into market-facing Wind and Grid segments. We also have won nearly $100 million in new contracts since the start of our fiscal year, which we believe will help expand our customer base, diversify our revenue streams and return the company to growth.










-46% &


Read "AOL" from Vol. 6, issue 12 and "Is GroupOn the Next Google?" from Vol. 8, issue 7.

On 8.11.11, AOL announced authorization to buyback $250 million of its own shares. Meanwhile, rumors swirl that AOL will be bought by a private equity firm.

2Q2011 earnings on August 4, 2011: revenue was $542 million, down 8% from a year ago. Net loss was $11.8 million, down 99% from a year ago, when the loss was over $1 billion.

AOL purchased Huffington Post for $315 million in Feb. 2011 (Huff generates upwards of $50 million). AOL owns Moviefone, Mapquest, among other popular destinations. Launched Editions on Aug. 2 for iPad - the magazine that customizes reading experiences for each user.

Per Nielsen Net Ratings, AOL is the 10th most trafficked "web parent companies" in the United States, with more time online than the other top 9, at 51 minutes per person. Sales for AOL is $2.30 billion annually, but there is plenty of room for this company to come closer to Yahoo's $6 billion in annual revenue and take a bite out of Google's $31 billion.

"AOL's return to global advertising growth for the first time since 2008 reflects the hard work of our team and another meaningful step forward in the comeback of the AOL brand," said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO. "AOL is singularly focused on becoming the next great media company for the digital age and we have positioned the Company's best people, technology and assets in front of some of the largest opportunities on the internet."

Applied Materials

2010 Company of the Year








Read "Let There Be Light" and "LED Lighting," from the December 1, 2010 and August 1, 2010 ezines, Vol. 7, issue 12 and 8. 2010 Company of the Year! 3Q earnings will be announced on August 24, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. ET.

iShares Australia Index








Read "Hot Funds," from Vol. 7, issue 7. This fund was a rock star on Wall Street in 2009-2010. Australia benefits from having lower debt and a closer proximity to China than the U.S. Also, is rich in natural resources (needed by China), lower in unemployment (at 5.1%) and avoided the bank bailouts that sank the U.S. and U.K. Queensland rains and flooding in 2010 and 2011 impacted GDP growth in the most recent quarter (negative GDP growth), however, GDP growth has been stronger than the U.S. and Western Europe.

Activate link:


Bank of Montreal








Refer to the "Debt World" article in volume 8, issue 2 for details. Canada's banks were ranked #1 by the Milken Institute for global capital in 2009; Australia was #2. Canada has a higher debt to GDP ratio than the U.S., however, so don't dive in without testing the water first. Check out the article.

Canadian Imperial Bank









Refer to the "Debt World" article in volume 8, issue 2 for details. Canada's banks were ranked #1 by the Milken Institute for global capital in 2009; Australia was #2. Canada has a higher debt to GDP ratio than the U.S., however, so don't dive in without testing the water first. Check out the article.

iShares Chile Fund








Read "Hot Funds," from Vol. 7, issue 7 and "Latin American Funds Doubled" article from the August 2010 ezine, Vol. 7, issue 8.

iShares MSCI China Small Cap Index Fund




$46.61 (6.24.11)




-46% &


Read "Travel Rewards," from Vol. 8, issue 7.









-55% &


Read "Let There Be Light" and "LED Lighting," from the December 1, and August 1, 2010 ezines, Vol. 7, issue 8. Love the company. Revenue growth is solid. Sales to Asia are strong. Future likes bright! And the price is finally right.

4Q And FY 2011 earnings on August 9, 2011. 4Q revenue was $243.0 million, with net income of $19.8 million. Full year revenue was $987.6 million, up 14% from a year ago. GAAP net income for the year was $146.5 million, down 4% from 2010.

President Obama visited CREE on June 15, 2011 to discuss policies to spur economic growth. In his remarks, President Obama stated, "So today the small business that a group of N.C. State engineering students founded almost 25 years ago is a global company. Next month, your new production line will begin running 24/7. So you're helping to lead a clean energy revolution. You're helping lead the comeback of American manufacturing. This is a company where the future will be won."

"As we look ahead to Q1, demand has improved from earlier in the calendar year and we are well positioned to continue to lead the LED lighting revolution," Chuck Swoboda, Cree chairman and CEO said, in a press release.

iShares Emerging Markets Index








Read "Hot Funds," from Vol. 7, issue 7.





$1.06 (6.1.11)




-96% &


Read "Will Congress Kill the Electric Car (Again)?" in Vol. 8, issue 10, "Earth Hour" in Vol. 8, issue 4 and "Life Begins with Li (Lithium)" from Vol. 6, issue 4. Ener1 develops and manufactures compact, high performance lithium-ion batteries to power the next generation of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles.

2Q earnings will be late. Company filed for an extension on Aug. 9, 2011. On August 16, 2011, ENER1 announced that they will be restating their earnings to reflect Think Holdings affect on the company. "All of the restatements involve non-cash items and will have no impact on the company's current or previously stated cash position or cash flows," according to the company. NASDAQ has issued a letter to the company notifying them that they are out of compliance (due to the late earnings reports). Short sellers are having a field day with the stock. Having the price at 40 cents a share is a big problem as well, but one that financially savvy CEOs, like HEV's, know how to solve (usually with a reverse split).

Activate link:

FMC Corp.








Read "Life Begins with Li (Lithium)" from Vol. 6, issue 4 and "Should You Put the Brakes on Toyota?" from Vol. 7, issue 2.

Galaxy Resources


(off the boards, thinly traded)








-51% &


Read "Should You Put the Brakes on Toyota?" from Vol. 7, issue 2. Lithium exploration, mining, etc. in Australia and China. Traded off the boards in the US, but is listed on the Australia Stock Exchange.

Galaxy has two strong aspects - Australia-based company in an emerging market - lithium. Galaxy Resources Limited (ASX: GXY) is an international S&P/ASX 300 Index Company which is soon to become one of the world's leading producers of lithium - the essential component for powering the world's fast expanding fleet of hybrid and electric cars.  By 2012, Galaxy's Mt Cattlin mine will be the world's second largest hard rock producer of lithium and through the development of its value adding lithium carbonate plant (17,000tpa), the Company will be the largest and lowest cost lithium producer in China.

Annual meeting was held on Friday, May 13, 2011 at 10 a.m. in Perth, Australia. Loss for 2010 was $29.6 million. Had $28 million in cash before the $120 million private placement in April 2011.

Announced private placement of $120 million at $1.10 share on April 14, 2011. The issue was substantially oversubscribed with strong interest coming out of Europe, Asia, US and Australia.

Galaxy wholly-owns and operates the Mt. Cattlin mine, which is currently producing spodumene concentrate. Galaxy's Jiangsu lithium carbonate plant, once completed, will have a design capacity of 17,000 tpa of lithium carbonate, which Galaxy expects would make it one of the largest plants in China converting hard rock lithium mineral concentrates into lithium compounds and chemicals.

Lithium compounds such as lithium carbonate are forecast to be in high future demand due to advances in long life batteries and sophisticated electronics including mobile phones and computers.

Galaxy Resources has positioned itself to meet this lithium future by not only mining the lithium, but also by downstream processing to supply lithium carbonate to the expanding Asian market.

Goldman Sachs








Look for an article in the October 2011 ezine. Reports 3Q 2011 results on October 18, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. ET (before the markets open). The Feds issued a "formal enforcement action" against Goldman for mortgage related problems with Litton Loan Servicing. Goldman sold Litman on Sept. 1, 2011, but acknowledges that they are responsible for the enforcement action. Goldman has been beaten up and their share price might continue to be battered in the near term. However, this company is at the top of the game in terms of Mergers and Acquisitions, LBOs (Leveraged Buy Outs), and is trading far beneath the book value of its shares, which were at 142 on Sept. 7, 2011.









See Vol. 8, issue 2 article, "Big Bites Out of Apple and Google," and Vol. 6, issue 5 for "Hulu Your Heroes." Excellent company and great anchor for your large caps in the nest egg, with one huge hitch - the company lost its leader on April 1, 2011. Larry Page became the CEO, moving Dr. Eric Schmidt, whom everyone considers to be the mastermind from Google the search engine to Google the ubiquitous Internet and phone behemoth, to executive chairman. Sergey Brin will handle "strategic projects" without a real title, except "co-founder."

Announced 2Q results on July 14, 2011. Google reported revenues of $9.03 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2011, an increase of 32% compared to the second quarter of 2010. Net income was $2.51 billion, compared to $1.84 billion a year ago.

Cash - As of June 30, 2011, cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities were $39.1 billion. No debt.

Headcount - On a worldwide basis, Google employed 28,768 full-time employees as of June 30, 2011.

Green Dot




$29.95 (8.15.11)




-28% &


Read "IPO of the Year" from Vol. 7, issue 3.

2Q results on July 28, 2011: Total operating revenues increased 27% from a year ago, to $115 million. Net income was $12.1 million for the first quarter of 2011 compared to $12.5 million for the first quarter of 2010. Gross dollar volume was at $3.6 billion this quarter, up 48% from the same quarter 2010.

Cool progress and steady, though not stellar growth, in a space that is bound to see a lot more competition (from MasterCard and Visa to name two). WalMart is a partner and investor.

Hoku Corporation










-81% &


Read "One Hot, Overlooked Commodity: Sand," Vol. 8, issue 5, "The Sunny Side," Vol. 6, issue 3 and "Solar Giants Tap a Small Hawaiian Company For Silicon," in the Oct. 2007 ezine, Vol. 4, issue 10. 1Q earnings announced on August 11, 2011.

Revenue for the quarters ended June 30, 2011 and 2010 were $485,000 and $930,000, respectively. Net loss was $10.2 million, or $0.19 per share, compared to $2.7 million, or $0.05 per share, for the same period in fiscal 2011. The increased net loss is attributable to HOKU's increasing operating costs, including labor and materials, as we begin commissioning and prepare for the operation of HOKU's polysilicon plant, and $5.3 million in expenses from payments to Idaho Power Company pursuant to HOKU's electric service agreement with them. Scott Paul, chief executive officer of Hoku Corporation, said, "During the last quarter we have continued our construction and commissioning activities at Hoku Materials as we prepare to commence operations in the weeks ahead, and we have maintained our focus on delivering investment-grade photovoltaic (PV) systems at Hoku Solar."

8.4.11: Forest City Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Company have reached a power purchase agreement for up to one megawatt of solar photovoltaic (PV) power to be generated at the Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park in Kapolei, Oahu. Hoku Solar, a subsidiary of Hoku Corporation (NASDAQ: HOKU), will design and install the project using more than 4,200 solar panels atop a concrete racking system.

Tianwei has invested more than $129 million of its own capital in Hoku, and they have provided support for another $244 million in debt financing from banks in China. Tianwei continues to support the financing required to bring HOKU's 4,000 metric ton polysilicon facility online.

Has only $18 million in cash... Will need to raise more. Again... Unless they start bringing in revenue from the silicon manufacturing facility in Idaho.









Read "The Chinese Facebook," from Vol. 8, issue 9. Jiayuan is the Chinese

KLA Tencor








-9% &


Read "LED Lighting," from the August 1, 2010 ezine, Vol. 7, issue 8.

4Q and full year earnings on July 28, 2011: $892 million revenue in 4Q, up from $559 million in 2010. Net income more than doubled to $245 million, from $113 million last year. Full year revenues were $3.175 billion, compared to $1.820 billion a year ago. Net income was $794 million, compared to $212 million last year.

Has over $2 billion in cash.

On July 7, 2011, the Associated Press reported that, "UBS Investment Research analyst Stephen Chin said in a note to clients that the Milpitas, Calif., company is well positioned to keep sales up even as the semiconductor market hits bottom early in 2012." KLA-Tencor will be able to reap more revenue once the market turns around. China's new target price for KLAC is $49.50.

Watch my 2.3.11 report on the LED marketplace on CNBC, or by visiting my YouTube channel at

iShares S&P Latin America 40 Index








Read "Hot Funds," from Vol. 7, issue 7 and "Latin American Funds Doubled" article from the August 2010 ezine, Vol. 7, issue 8.










-91% &


Read the articles, "One Hot, Overlooked Commodity: Sand," Vol. 8, issue 5, "Green" in Vol. 6, issue 2 and "Solar Springs Up Again," in Vol. 5, issue 4.

2Q 2011 earnings were announced on August 29, 2011. Net sales of $499.4 million, a decrease of 34.8% sequentially and a decrease of 11.6% year-over-year;. Net loss was $47.9 million, compared to a net profit of $78.6 million a year ago. During the preparation of its second quarter 2011 financial results, LDK Solar's management determined that an inventory write-down of $52.9 million was required as a result of the significant drop in market price for wafers and modules during the second quarter. As a result, gross margin and results from operations were negatively impacted in the second quarter of fiscal 2011.

"Our second quarter results reflect the challenging solar industry dynamics that resulted from recent policy revisions in Europe and consequently reduced demand for PV products," stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar. "Lower pricing across the supply chain negatively impacted our financial results for the quarter.

"In recent weeks, we have seen average selling prices begin to stabilize and improvement to order patterns. We have continued to gain traction in expanding our presence in key markets such as North America and China. In the U.S., our recently established sales and marketing operation has already begun to gain traction in winning large module contracts. In China, we are encouraged by the announcement of the unified national feed-in-tariff program. We have an established, strong market position in our domestic market and see significant long-term growth opportunities.

MEMC Electronics









-61% &


Read "One Hot, Overlooked Commodity: Sand," Vol. 8, issue 5 and "The Sunny Side" Vol. 6, issue 3.

2Q earnings on August 3, 2011. GAAP net sales of $745.6 million, an increase of 66% from a year ago.   MEMC reported GAAP net income for quarter of $47.3 million.

MEMC has $652 million in cash.  

The Japanese earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis interrupted operations at MEMC Electronics Utsunomiya facility between March 11, 2011 and early April 2011.










Flat &


Watch my appearance on CNBC, outlining the reasons Skype is a very hot acquisition for Microsoft, and read my article, "One Very Hot IPO" from the September 1, 2010 ezine, Vol. 7, issue. 9. Microsoft purchased Skype on May 10, 2011 for $8.5 billion in cash. I added Microsoft to the Hot News list on 5.15.11.

PowerShares Lux Nanotech




$7.32 (8.15.11)




-38% &


Potential hot industry for your pie chart. Read the 2011 Company of the Year article from December 2010 ezine, Vol. 7, issue 12. Watch my 2.3.11 report on the LED marketplace on CNBC, or by visiting my YouTube channel at









Read "Blockbuster’s Second Coming" from Vol. 7, issue 5. Content continues to lag behind the competition. Great, innovative company, with a lot of competition.

2Q results announced July 25, 2011: $789 million in revenue; $68 million in net income. 75% of new subscribers are streaming video. Netflix has over 25 million global subscribers, up 70% from 15 million a year ago! This is all great news. The problem is the worldwide recession. Best price for this company in a long time.

As Netflix acknowledges in their earnings report:

Over the past 12 months, both Hulu Plus and free video on Amazon Prime have launched. Dish Networks is likely to launch a substantial subscription streaming effort under the Blockbuster brand. Netflix's competitive strategy relative to other streaming services is simply to grow as fast as the company can, so they can afford more content, more marketing, and more R&D than the competitors.

Unfortunately, with Blockbuster's exclusive access to first-run movies and Dish Networks reach, Netflix is likely to take a big hit. According to Ira Bahr, Chief Marketing Officer for DISH Network. "DISH Network now offers more than twice as many movie choices as any other TV provider. If you love movies, you're going to love DISH Network." New DISH subscribers now receive 3 months of Blockbuster by mail free.

PowerShares Wilderhill Clean Energy Portfolio ETF








-50% &


Read "$100/Barrel Oil" from the March 1, 2011 ezine, Vol. 8, issue 3.

Rio Tinto








Gold, copper and other commodities mining. Based out of Australia. Mines worldwide, but great way to capitalize on Australia's robust economy.

Half Year 2011 results were released on August 4, 2011. Record underlying earnings of $7.8 billion, 35 per cent above 2010's half year results. Net debt reduced to $4.3 billion at 31 December 2010, from $18.9 billion at 31 December 2009. $5 billion share buyback program now through year end 2012. Net earnings are up to $14 billion in 2010, over $4.9 billion in 2009. Chairman Jan du Plessis said "This year's record results reflect a combination of strong commodity markets, first class assets and excellent operational performance at our managed operations.

Prices improved for nearly all of Rio Tinto's major commodities: copper prices were up 47 per cent, molybdenum prices were up 45 per cent, gold prices were up 26 per cent and aluminium prices were 31 per cent higher than 2009. Demand and prices for diamonds and minerals improved significantly as the worldwide economy emerged from the global financial recession.


2011 Company of the Year









-76% &


Read "2011 Company of the Year," from Vol. 8, issue 4 and "$100/Barrel Oil" from the March 1, 2011 ezine, Vol. 8, issue 3.

8.11.11: Satcon announced that 10 of their 1 MW Prism Platform™ Solutions will be used in the New Jersey Oak Solar PV Power Plant in Fairfield Township, Cumberland County, New Jersey.

2Q 2011 earnings on August 9, 2011: revenue was $45.5 million, up 64.7% from last year

Net loss was $20.1 million.

"The market environment in the second quarter was challenging. Despite the strength of North America, the market conditions in Europe and Asia had negative effects on our overall performance," said Steve Rhoades, President and Chief Executive Officer of Satcon. "In addition, we incurred one-time charges associated with inventory, restructuring, and the strategic decision to accelerate product development. Although these measures have resulted in a higher than expected operating loss, they have effectively strengthened our ability to achieve our revenue and cost targets by the end of 2011."

At March 31, 2011, the company's backlog, which consists of purchase orders from its customers, was $55.2 million. Backlog from North America represented 74% of orders to be delivered. Asia contributed 15%, while Europe contributed 611%.

On 5.23.11: Satcon announced that it had achieved the number one position in market share for the North American solar inverter market.

On 5.13.11 Satcon announced that Aaron M. Gomolak has replaced Donald R. Peck as Satcon's Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. This was a last minute shuffle. Not a good sign.

Sociedad Minera y Quimica de Chile








This is a great company that manufactures lithium for the electric car & IT industry and potash for agriculture. Businesses include: Specialty Plant Nutrition, Iodine and Lithium. Looking for a better buy-in.

Read the article,"Treasure Hunting," in Vol. 5, issue 10 and the article "Life Begins with Lithium," from Vol. 6, issue 4.

SQM began paying a dividend in 2010. The annual dividend was US$0.72592 per share, with US$0.30798 per share to be paid on May 11, 2011.









Read "The Chinese Facebook," from Vol. 8, issue 9. Sohu is a Chinese mega portal, with gaming, news, search and TV.

iShares S&P North American Tech Semi-conductors








Read "LED Lighting," from Vol. 7, issue 8 and 2010 Company of the Year from Vol. 7, issue 12.

Watch my 2.3.11 report on the LED marketplace on CNBC, or by visiting my YouTube channel at





$13.07 (7.1.10)




-72% &


Read "The Sunny Side" in Vol. 6, issue 3.

2Q 2011 earnings on August 9, 2011. $592.3 million in revenue, an increase of 54% over the previous quarter. Net loss of $148 million. $246 million in cash on hand. Long term debt and liabilities of $1.8 billion.

August 29, 2011: Akuo Solar, a subsidiary of Paris-based Akuo Energy, has ordered 75,000 high efficiency SunPower solar panels for Akuo's planned 24-megawatt solar development.  The development consists of two power plants that will be located in the Provence-Alps-Cotes d'Azur Region in the South of France. Construction on the project has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

Sunpower panels are the most efficient in the world and have powered Solar Decathlon winning teams. Maryland, the 2011 Solar Decathlon winner, used Sanyo solar panels, but needed six more panels to compete in the energy contests with #2 ranked Purdue (which used Sunpower).

Ford and Sunpower inked a deal on Aug. 10, 2011 to offer rooftop solar panels to Ford Focus owners, offering them to "Drive Green for Life."

Suntech Power Holdings (solar)










Read "The Sunny Side" Vol. 6, issue 3. The world's largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer. P/E on 8.31.11 was 3.50.

Suntech began manufacturing in the US on Oct. 8, 2010, at its Goodyear, AZ HQ. Dept. of Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited Suntech and reported on it to The National Press.

2Q 2011 earnings were reported on August 22, 2011. Total net revenues were $831 million in the second quarter of 2011, representing a sequential decrease of 5.3%, and an increase of 32.9% year-over-year. Net loss was -$259.5 million. " "Operationally, we implemented a number of initiatives to improve our supply flexibility and lower our cost structure. Specifically, we discontinued a long term agreement with MEMC and expanded internal wafer capacity to 1.2GW. We also continued to drive solar innovation with the launch of two new high performance product lines that we are shipping in large-scale today," according to Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Chairman and CEO.

9.28.11: Suntech announced that they had delivered 150,000 solar panels for utility-scale electricity generation by Cupertino Electric for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) under the utility's five-year, 500MW clean energy initiative.

8.24.11: Suntech will supply 28.7MW (DC) of solar panels for a 23MW (AC) solar power plant in Niland, California for SunPeak.









Read "Will Congress Kill the Electric Car (Again)?" "Tesla Trades on NASDAQ" from Vol. 7, issue 7.

Should you buy now? Very volatile stock. Also, beta models of the new sedan are just rolling out and production is in the early phase. It's at a former Toyota factory, which places a lot of ducks in a row, however, ramping up for production is something that can be wrought with delays and other unexpected kinks. Combine that with competition for the Leaf and the Volt, and you have a more vulnerable company. The Leaf is lower-priced, but also has a lot less battery power and distance. The Volt is a hybrid, more like the Prius. However, the Volt won the 2011 Car of the Year Award! Strong board and management team.

2Q results were announced on August 12, 2011. Revenues increased to $58 million, Double the revenue of a year ago. Net loss was $59 million. Cash = $318 million. Long term debt: $134 million. Total cash burn from inception to date is $396 million.

Toyota and Tesla announced on August 5, 2011 that they will build electric RAV4s beginning in 2012. The production line will be in Woodstock, Ontario, and the electric powertrains will be shipped by Tesla from California.

Very exciting car company. But very early stage, and may be in need of raising more and more dough to stay on production track before the RAV4 and Model S hit stores. Be careful.

Trina Solar LTD.









-80% &


Read "The Sunny Side" Vol. 6, issue 3. 2Q earnings will be announced on August 23, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. ET. P/E on 8.31.11 was 3.83.

2Q earnings on 8.23.11. Net revenues were $579.5 million, an increase of 5.2% sequentially and 56.3% year-over-year. Net income was $11.8 million, compared to net income of $47.7 million in the first quarter of 2011 and $38.7 million in the second quarter of 2010.

"In the third quarter, we expect a significant reduction in our manufacturing costs due in large part to recently completed renegotiation of the majority of our long term polysilicon feedstock and wafer agreements," according to Mr. Jifan Gao, Chairman and CEO of Trina Solar. He continued, "We are very encouraged by China's solar feed-in-tariff updates announced on August 1, which we believe reflect the improved economics and efficiency of solar energy. Since our recently announced agreements to supply two large-scale solar projects in Qinghai, we have seen increased opportunities to expand our domestic shipment allocations as the market expands."

U.S. Gold








Note: U.S. Gold is not producing gold at this time; is it a gold exploration company, based in Nevada and Mexico which has begun the process of filing for production permits, with a goal of producing gold by 2014.

Added back to the Hot List on June 8, 2011 (in a special Subscriber Only Alert). On June 14, 2011 the Company announced that Mr. McEwen proposed to combine the Company with Minera Andes to create a high growth, low-cost, mid-tier silver producer focused on the Americas.

On August 31, 2011, U.S. Gold announced: that the Company has approved Phase 1 development of its El Gallo project in Sinaloa, Mexico, with mining expected to commence mid-2012. Phase 1 will focus on the permitted satellite gold deposits at the project and is expected to produce 30,000 ounces of gold per year after initial ramp up. This decision is expected to generate cash flows approximately two years earlier than originally planned at a minimal capital cost and will help fund Phase 2, which is forecasted to produce an additional 5 million ounces of silver per year, beginning in 2014.

U.S. Gold began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Nov. 2, 2010, and has a goal of qualifying for the S&P 500 by 2015. US Gold explores for gold and silver in the Americas and is advancing its El Gallo Project in Mexico and its Gold Bar Project in Nevada towards production. US Gold's shares are listed on the NYSE and the TSX under the symbol UXG, trading 1.9 million shares daily during the past twelve months. Added to the S&P/TSX Global Gold Index and S&P/TSX Global Mining Index on 9.15.09. Added to the Chicago Board of Options Exchange on July 19, 2010. Began trading on the AMEX stock exchange on 12.11.06. (Also trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.)

U.S. Gold was the 2009 Company of the Year. The article was featured in the October 2009 ezine, Vol. 6, issue 10.









Read "LED Lighting," from Vol. 7, issue 8 and 2010 Company of the Year from Vol. 7, issue 12. VECO was added on 7.6.11, with a special alert sent to subscribers at that time.

Watch my 2.3.11 report on the LED marketplace on CNBC, or by visiting my YouTube channel at

On 8.30.11, Veeco opened a new tech center in Taiwan. According to John R. Peeler, Veeco's Chief Executive Officer, "The TTC is the newest part of our significant expansion in Asia that we announced last fall. Veeco will invest over $30 million to dramatically expand our Asia footprint to help customers continue to accelerate the pace of adoption of LEDs for consumer electronics and solid-state lighting, including additional new R&D/demo and process support sites in Shanghai, China (opened May 2011) and Seoul, Korea (opening in 2012)."

Reported 2Q on 7.28.11. $265 million in revenue for the 2Q, up 19% from a year ago, when revenue was compared to $221.4 million. Net income of $19.2 million, compared to $50 million last year.

What happened to the income? Veeco took a $51 million loss in asset impairment and restructuring charges related to the CIGS Solar Systems business. This unprofitable business will be discontinued. Assets and personnel have been transferred to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE).

Quarter-end backlog was $558.2 million. Cash on hand is $198 million.

John R. Peeler, Veeco's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "LED & Solar revenues were $219 million, including $206 million in MOCVD, and Data Storage revenues were $46 million, the highest quarterly level in five years. Veeco met our quarterly guidance, yet timing of revenue continues to be impacted by the longer order-to-revenue cycle times associated with the high percentage of MOCVD business currently coming from China, primarily due to customer facility readiness and credit tightening."

Mr. Peeler added, "We have seen spectacular customer reaction to our new MaxBright MOCVD system - in the second quarter we booked over $100 million of MaxBright systems - 40% of our total MOCVD bookings. We believe customers are clearly recognizing that MaxBright is simply the best tool on the market to drive down LED manufacturing costs."

During the second quarter, under its Board authorized share buy-back program, Veeco purchased $7.8 million in stock at an average price of $46.91 per share. Veeco also completed the redemption of its outstanding Convertible Subordinated Notes for $98.1 million aggregate principal amount and completed the purchase of a privately-held company which supplies certain critical components to our MOCVD business for $28.3 million. Veeco purchased an additional $71.9 million of stock, at an average price of $42.21 per share, so far during the month of July (as of 7/26/11). Since the $200 million buy-back program was authorized last August, Veeco has repurchased a total of 3 million shares for $117.8 million.









Read "Health Care Reform" Vol. 7, issue 4.

Announced 2Q results on July 19, 2011: Revenues were $921 million, an increase of 37% from the second quarter of 2010. Net income for the second quarter was $220 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, compared to $75 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2010. Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $3.7 billion and unearned revenue was $2.1 billion as of June 30, 2011.









Issued it's half-year results on May 4, 2011. Go to to access. Australian banks fared far better than the rest of the world banks. So did Canadian banks. P/E is good, but the debt is quite high, at 4.34 X equity (on 5.15.11).

Key financial highlights (comparisons are with prior year):

Cash earnings $3.2 billion, up 7%

Statutory net profit of $4 billion, up 38%

Westpac's Chief Executive Officer, Gail Kelly, said: ""Key indicators were generally positive during the half with the economy generating good growth, low unemployment and moderate inflation. Despite this, both consumers and businesses remain relatively cautious and while confidence is expected to pick-up, lending growth is likely to be moderate in the immediate future."









Read "The Chinese Facebook," from Vol. 8, issue 9. Youku is the Chinese Netflix and YouTube.

Deleted Companies 2010-2011:
Deleted 1.11.10: KCI with 88% gains! Deleted 8.1.10: Galaxy Resources with 48% and 9% returns and Rio Tinto with 21% gains. Deleted 9.13.10: American Superconductor (flat) & AOL (flat). 10.1.10: Blockbuster busted out in bankruptcy on 9.28.10. KLAC was deleted with 11% gains. 10.15.10: ENER1 was deleted with flat performance. 11.11.10: ENER1 was deleted with 37% gains. VECO was deleted with 2% & 41% gains. 12.1.10: KLIC was deleted with 12% gains. 1.14.11: Advanced Materials was deleted with 30% gains. 2.2.11: BEARX with losses of 14%. 2.14.11: U.S. Gold with 14.5X gains. 6.13.11: EPU with flat performance. 9.7.11: Deleted Eldorado Gold with 38% & 52% gains.

Deleted Companies 2008-2009:
60 winners and 9 losers.

Recently Deleted from the Hot News list:
Eldorado Gold on 9.7.11.


NP owns?


Price when added to Hot News List



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Eldorado Gold




$14.11 (6.13.11)




+38% &


Read "Investing in Gold" from Vol. 6, issue 9.

I'm taking EGO off the Hot News List because in the volatile trading climate of today, you must capture gains early and often. This is a wonderful gain in just a few short months. P/E is high at 52, and gold could retreat if stocks and dollar start to recover.

Eldorado is a gold producing, exploration and development company actively growing businesses in

Brazil China, Greece, and Turkey and surrounding regions. We are one of the lowest cost pure gold


Produced 162,429 ounces of gold at an average cash operating cost of $397 per ounce (total cash cost $477 per ounce). Sold 162,164 ounces of gold at an average realized price of $1,510 per ounce.

Net income was $74.9 million, compared to $55.7 million a year ago.

Stocks to Watch
Some of these are great companies that we're thinking of adding to the Hot List and some are stinkers we're thinking of adding to the Cooling Off List.  Read carefully to identify which is which!  Note that right now most of our favorite companies are on the Watch List. Getting the price right is as important as picking the right company. Never pay retail!

Recent Additions:
Eldorado Gold (EGO) on 9.7.11
Toyota (TM) on 8.31.11

Recent Deletions:
SPDR S&P Emerging Middle East & Africa (GAF) moved to Hot List on 10.1.11
Canadian Imperial Commerce Bank (CM) moved to Hot List on 10.1.11
FMC Corp. (FMC) moved to the Hot List on 10.1.11
Google (GOOG) moved to the Hot List on 9.1.11
Netflix (NFLX) moved to Hot List on 10.1.11
Sociedad Minera & Chimica (SQM) moved to the Hot List on 10.1.11
Sohu (SOHU) moved to the Hot list on 9.1.11
iShares S&P Tech Semiconductors (SOXX) moved to Hot List on 10.1.11
Tesla Motor Company (TSLA) moved to Hot List on 10.1.11
VMWare (VMW) moved to Hot List on 10.1.11


NP owns?


Price when added to List



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Hot company. Buy at a good price. P/E ratio is very high, at 98 on August 1, 2011.








One of the largest company in the world - trading #1 spot with ExxonMobil since August 10, 2011. Buy at a good price. Also, be aware that Steve Jobs is on medical leave of absence. Tim Cook, current COO, has been running company many times over the years during Jobs' medical leaves and investors may be accustomed to having him run the show, if Jobs should announce his resignation.

3Q results were announced on July 19, 2011: The Company posted record third quarter revenue of $28.57 billion and record second quarter net profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $15.70 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

The Company sold 20.34 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 142 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 9.25 million iPads during the quarter, a 183 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. The Company sold 3.95 million Macs during the quarter, a 14 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 7.54 million iPods, a 20 percent unit decline from the year-ago quarter.

"We're thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "Right now, we're very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall."

Revenue and profits are expected to pull back in the 4th quarter, however. According to Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO, "Looking ahead to the fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, we expect revenue of about $25 billion and we expect diluted earnings per share of about $5.50."

How much of a threat are the competing Smart Phones to the iPhone? Since iPhones and iPads are primary drivers of revenue for Apple, it pays to compare...








Hot company. Buy at a god price. P/E 69 on 10.3.11.

Berkshire Hathaway







Warren Buffett's company has more exposure to the bank bailouts (Wells Fargo and American Express to name just two) than most investors realize. And, contrary to what he used to say, the company engages in active trading and hedging. Plus, he's 82 and doesn't have a clear, young successor in place. (Last one, David Sokol, had to resign on March 30, 2011.)

2Q 2011 (announced on 8.5.11): Net earnings $2.7 billion, compared to $3.074 billion a year ago.

Eldorado Gold







Read "Investing in Gold" from Vol. 6, issue 9.

Eldorado is a gold producing, exploration and development company actively growing businesses in Brazil China, Greece, and Turkey and surrounding regions. They are one of the lowest cost pure gold producers.

Produced 162,429 ounces of gold at an average cash operating cost of $397 per ounce (total cash cost $477 per ounce). Sold 162,164 ounces of gold at an average realized price of $1,510 per ounce.

Net income was $74.9 million, compared to $55.7 million a year ago.

iShares JP Morgan Emerging Markets Index







Read "Hot Funds," from Vol. 7, issue 7.

First Solar







See "Solar Springs Up Again," article in Vol. 5, iss 4. 2Q 2011 earnings on 8.5.11: Sales and income are both down. Net sales were $533 million in the quarter, a decrease of $34.5 million from the first quarter of 2011, primarily due to lower average selling prices (ASPs) as solar photovoltaic (PV) policy uncertainties in Italy, Germany and France adversely impacted demand in the second quarter. Second quarter net income per fully diluted share was $0.70, down from $1.33 in the first quarter of 2011 and $1.84 in the second quarter of 2010. Quarter over quarter, the net income decrease was primarily driven by lower ASPs and a higher tax rate, partially offset by higher volume sold. Year over year, the net income decrease was principally driven by lower ASPs and increased investment in the Utilities Systems Business and research and development.

CFO Jens Meyerhoff is leaving to "self-reflect" on his next steps.

First Solar uses cadmium telluride instead of silicon to transfer sunlight into useable energy. First Solar's sales are flat, whereas sales with the silicon-based solar suppliers are up 80-100% year over year. The shift to silicon is occurring for two reasons. Silicon manufacturing is heating up and costs are lowering as a result, and cadmium telluride isn't as abundant or as efficient a power source as silicon. Read the article for more details. They still list CdTe as the semiconductor of choice on their website, citing old data from 2004 that this is a good strategy. Be forewarned!

Ford Motor Co.







Read "How Cap and Trade Saved Ford" from Vol. 6, issue 4. Ford is making cars people want to drive, but it owes over $100 billion dollars. Be careful with any investment here. The same conditions that plagued Chrysler and GM are present here - lots of debt, pensions and Other Post Employment Benefit Obligations. Ford built cars that won awards in 2010 (and attracted consumer interest). And for that they get a big bravo.

Ford's total debt is over $100 billion and their credit rating is below investment grade, at BB- (as of 2.1.11, by S&P), with a Positive Outlook.

General Motors







Read "Hot IPO," from the September 1, 2010 ezine, Vol. 7, issue 9. Chevy Volt won Motor Trend's 2011 Car of the Year, but can GM regain market share from worldwide market leader, Toyota? GM may have shed a lot of debt in the bankruptcy filing, however, the company's profit margins remain very slim at 4%.

Kulicke & Soffa







Read "Let There Be Light" and "LED Lighting," from the December 1, 2010 and August 1, 2010 ezines, Vol. 7, issue 12 and 8. Announced 3Q earnings on August 2, 2011.

3Q earnings report on 8.2.11: Net revenue of $294.4 million and net income of $70.7 million, higher than expected. 4Q is expected to soften tremendously - to $155-$175 million revenue...

Cash, cash equivalents and investments increased to $335.5 million up $53.7 million from the prior quarter.

iShares MSCI Indonesia Index







Read "Travel Rewards," from Vol. 8, issue 7.








Read my article, "Should You Link In?" from the June 1, 2011 ezine, Vol. 8, issue. 6.








Read "Big Bites Out of Apple and Google" from the February 1, 2011 ezine, Vol. 8, issue 2.








Read "Should You Put the Brakes on Toyota?" from Vol. 7, issue 2. This is an Australian lithium company with a deal with Toyota to supply lithium for lithium ion batteries. Began trading on TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange) in June of 2010 and trades on the Australian Stock Exchange as well.

Orocobre issued almost 7 million new shares in the price range of $3.20 Canadian on Feb. 25, 2011 to fund ongoing design work, pilot plan operation and other activities in relation to the construction of the Salar de Olaroz.

Recent trouble: On March 7, 2011, Orocobre announced that the Argentinian government is slowing down the permit process for the proposed lithium potash project in NW Argentina. On March 4, 2011, the local government declared lithium to be a strategic mineral resource and introduced a secondary approvals process. According to the decree, additional approval will be required for both the Olaroz lithium-potash project for which the Company has already received approval of its development and production EIS, and the Cauchari lithium-potash project, for which an exploration EIS has been submitted. This new process does not affect the Company's program at Salinas Grandes, which is predominantly located in Salta Province.

The company is based in Brisbane, Queensland, which had extensive flooding. The company's projects are located in South America, so it's possible that the floods won't impact this company severely. Lithium production isn't projected to begin until 2012 and with the new developments in Argentina, this could be further delayed.

Orocobre Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange (ASX:ORE, TSX:ORL) and is the leading lithium-potash developer in the lithium and potassium rich Puna region of Argentina. For further information, please visit

iShares MSCI All Peru Index Fund







Read "Hot Funds," from Vol. 7, issue 7 and "Latin American Funds Doubled" article from the August 2010 ezine, Vol. 7, issue 8. Left-winger Ollanta Humala, a career military man who has moderated his anti-capitalist views since narrowly losing the 2006 election, won the Presidential election and has become the President-Elect.

Humala notes that Peru has had economic growth of 7-8% for 8 years. He calls the Peruvian economy "solid." While Humala promises that the poor will receive more of the country's profits, he also says that his central bank will be run by an independent and that he wants to work closely with the United States. Check out this video interview with Humala by Reuters.








Read the article "The Priceline Negotiator," from Vol. 7, issue 10. Great company. Don't want people buying in high, hoping to sell higher. And if you made a healthy gain, considering capturing profits.

2Q results were announced on August 4, 2011. High P/E of 38.

Ross Stores







Read "Discount Designer Stores," from Vol. 5, issue 6. Sales have been growing steadily in this discount marketplace, especially given the "jobless recovery." Profit margins are slim, however, 7%.








Read "Diamonds or Scrapbooking," from the November 1, 2010 ezine, Vol. 7, issue 11. PE is 80 - far too high for our taste - especially for a company that posted a loss in the most recent quarter.

2Q 2011 results on July 27, 2011. Net revenues increased 62% year-over-year to $75.8 million (largely due to an acquisition). GAAP net loss was ($3.6) million, compared to ($5.9) million in Q2 2010. At Juen 30, 2911, cash and cash equivalents totaled $75.9 million, less than half of what the company had on March 31, 2011 - at $216.3 million.

Toyota Motor Company







Read "Should You Put the Brakes on Toyota?" from Vol. 7, issue 2 and "One Very Hot IPO" from Vol. 7, issue 9. 1Q results on August 2, 2011. Net revenues were down 29.4% from the same quarter a year ago. Net income fell off of a cliff - down -99.4%, to $1,160 million yen from $190,466 million yen a year ago.

TMC Senior Managing Officer Takahiko Ijichi said: "In Japan and North America where the effects of the earthquake were particularly serious, vehicle sales declined substantially. In the Asia region, despite the impact of the earthquake, we were able to maintain a similar level of vehicle sales as the previous year in countries led by Indonesia."

FYI: Honda results on 8.1.11 dropped off of a cliff, too and so did the Honda share price (while Toyota share price stayed relatively strong). Net income for Honda decreased 88%, down to $394 million. Sales were down 27.4%, at $21.2 billion.

Toyota and Tesla announced on August 5, 2011 that they will build electric RAV4s beginning in 2012. The production line will be in Woodstock, Ontario, and the electric powertrains will be shipped by Tesla from California.

Toyota continues to be the #1 automaker and a fave among greenies. The industry is vulnerable, however, and investors should be aware of the price and that 26 P/E is high for auto manufacturers, though if Toyota does succeed in capturing the EV market, the growth could be impressive.

Wells Fargo







3.7 million people are over 90 days late on their mortgage. Additionally, WFC credit card holders report getting charged 29.9% interest rates, while class action lawsuits against WFC continue to mount. However, the Feds keep giving the banks money and allowing banks to carry their losses off the books. Which means that earnings reports are fairy tales.

See "Wells Fargo’s Incredible Exploding Earnings" in Vol. 5, issue 9, and "Wells Fargo’s Great Depression," in Vol. 4, issue 12.

Wynn Resorts







Check out the article, "(No) Viva Las Vegas" in Vol. 5, issue 10.

Wynn is a great marketer and capital raiser. However, Vegas is one of the worst places for real estate in the U.S. and the city has taken a huge hit as a convention center as well. Be very careful here. The Hangover sparked a Vegas renaissance last year. The new Wynn pool scene is hot. Buying a vulnerable company with a high price to earnings ratio is not.

Increased cash flow has improved Wynn's debt rating. On July 8, 2011, Fitch raised its rating on Wynn Resorts Ltd and subsidiaries, including Wynn Las Vegas LLC and Wynn Resorts (Macau) SA to "BB" from "BB-" and it gave a positive outlook for the ratings.

Cooling Off Stocks List (may be Poised for a Decline in Share Price).
Note: The companies listed in bold have recently been added to this cooling off list and/or may be currently poised for a decline in value. Investors who have them in their portfolio should read the recent news and consider whether it is time to sell and take profits, dump losses, short the position and/or simply weather the storms, while keeping the company in their long-term portfolio. At any rate, always consult your certified financial partner before making adjustments to your portfolio. (Again, note that the stocks on this chart are expected to go DOWN in price.)

ALERT: We are in a pre-election year. The markets have been volatile and down-trending, but oil prices have backed off and GDP growth is expected to pick up in the coming quarters. So, even though consumer sentiment is down, now may not be the best time to initiate a short position. Some of the stocks on the list below are here simply to keep you from buying them high.

Highlighted Companies (Cooling Off List):
Rochester Municipals Bond Fund (RMUNX)
PowerShares Treasury Bill Index Fund (PLW)

LinkedIn (LNKD) on 8.15.11
Netflix (NFLX) on 8.15.11
Priceline (PCLN) on 8.15.11
Tesla (TSLA) on 8.15.11
Toyota Motors (TM) on 8.31.11
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) on 8.15.11


NP owns?


Price when added to Cooling Off List



52-week High

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News Corp.








-8% &


Read my article, "Murdoch's Humble Pie," from the August 1, 2011 ezine, Vol. 8, issue. 8.

Rochester Municipals Bond Fund








Read "Bond Beautification Project" from Vol. 7, issue 10 and "Bonds, Bond Funds and T-Bills: The Next Disaster," from Vol. 7, issue 9.

Taubman Centers









+92% &


Read the article, "Global Recession," from Vol. 6, issue 6 in June 2009. 2Q earnings on July 19, 2011:

As of June 30, the loans on both The Pier Shops and Regency Square are in default. The company is working with the respective special servicers to transfer title of both properties as soon as possible, however, the holding periods remain uncertain and could be extended periods. The non-cash impact of owning these centers (including anticipated default interest) is expected to result in an incremental FFO charge of approximately $(0.20) per diluted share for The Pier Shops and $(0.04) per diluted share for Regency Square for the full year 2011.

CFO dumped $240,000 in shares on 8.1.11.

Liabilities exceed assets by about $500 million.

Over the past six months, TCO has distributed "dividends in excess of net income," amounting to almost $2 billion. Net income in the 2Q was $20 million.

Paid down debt with a new stock issuance.

Malls are not doing well in general, with consumer spending off in the U.S.. Taubman is doing some very creative accounting and funding tricks and using some potentially misleading language on their earning reports. Such as, "We've now experienced an unprecedented six quarters of double digit sales increases," said Robert S. Taubman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Taubman Centers. "This is contributing to a robust leasing environment in our centers... The fundamentals of our business are extremely strong."

Taubman Centers is a real estate investment trust engaged in the development, leasing and management of regional and super regional shopping centers. Taubman's 26 U.S. owned, leased and/or managed properties, the most productive in the industry, serve major markets from coast to coast. Taubman Centers is headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and its Taubman Asia subsidiary is headquartered in Hong Kong.

Mall owners are hit with the quadruple whammy of sluggish retail sales, high turnover, lower occupancy and declining real estate value.

Time Warner








Read the article, "Hulu Your Heroes," from Vol. 6, issue 5 in May 2009.

PowerShares Treasury Bill Index Fund








Read "Don’t Get Fooled Again," from Vol. 7, issue 8. When interest rates rise, bonds and bond funds fall in value. Time to find another "safe" place for your assets. Read "The High Price of Questionable Credit" from the September 2011 ezine, Vol. 8, issue 9.

Deleted in 2010-2011:
Deleted AMAT on 8.1.10 with gains of 12.5% & 7% (put gains would be double or more). 8.30.10: Deleted FIG (-10% & -40%), MXWL (-37%), MDT (-4% & -24%), MSFT (-20%) - all for gains. Deleted MGM 9.13.10 for 61% gains. Deleted Tesla on 1.14.11 with 20% & 24% gains. 3.1.11: Deleted Shutterfly with12% gain (cooling off gain) and Sears with mixed results (up & down). 3.11.11: Deleted PIMCO Muni Bond fund with flat performance. Deleted Amazon, American Express, Capital One, Ford, Kulicke & Soffa, Netflix, Taubman, VMWare with mixed results. Deleted Apple, Baidu, Berkshire Hathaway, Intel, Transocean & Wells Fargo with losses. 4.28.11: ABAT with 51% gains. 6.13.11: LinkedIn was deleted with 25% gains, Orocobre with 18% gains, Shutterfly with 20% gains, Priceline with mixed performance and eBay was deleted with flat performance. 6.23.11: Yahoo was deleted with 12% gains. 8.15.11: LinkedIn with 10-11% gains, Netflix with -6-18% gains, Priceline with 6% gains, Tesla with 7% gains. Wynn Resorts was deleted with mixed results. 8.31.11: Toyota was deleted with gains of 14%.

Deleted 2008-2009:
19 gainers and no losers.

Recently Deleted:

Please note: does not act or operate like a broker. We report on financial news, and are one of the most trusted independently owned and operated financial news corporations in the U.S. 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 consult an experienced, reputable financial professional before buying or selling any security, and consider your long-term goals and strategies.

Investors should NOT be using the Hot News on Cool Stocks list or the Cooling Off list to trade their nest eggs. Your retirement plan should reflect a long, safe strategy, which has been designed with the assistance of a financial professional who is familiar with your goals, risk tolerance, tax needs and more. The "trading" portion of your portfolio should be a very small part of your investment strategy, and the amount of money you invest into individual companies should never be greater than your experience, wisdom, knowledge and patience.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable however does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. Opinions constitute our judgment as of the date of this publication 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.

Bookmark and Share Calendar:

October is Green and Zen. Don't Miss the Greenbuild Conference in Toronto and Mary J. Blige at the UrbanZen Concert Series Launch.

The Calendar section features conferences, teleconferences, retreats, educational opportunities, cultural events, galas, market events and online chats with executives and VIPs. Stay plugged in! We add online chats, article updates, teleconferences, etc. as they are booked, so be sure to visit the calendar section early and often.  Below is only a partial listing of what’s happening this month.

To access links to the event website and registration, go to the Calendar section at

Greenbuild Conference. Toronto, Canada
Tuesday-Friday, October 4-7, 2011
The Green Conference. Learn about future plans and budding technologies: From the newest LEED 2012 updates to the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG); from the path to greening our country’s schools to LEED Automation.

Nominate a Green Startup
Wednesday, October 5th, 2011
Now through Oct. 5, 2011, you can nominate your favorite Green Startup Company for the Opportunity Green Innovation Award. Criteria include: efficiency, design and more.

Columbus Day
Monday, October 10th, 2011

Mary J. Blige Sings for UrbanZen, NYC
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

7:00PM through 10:00PM
The launch of the Zen Rock Concert series features 10-time Grammy award-winning performer Mary J. Blige in an unforgettable evening supporting the Urban Zen Foundation and its initiatives.

Female Entrepreneurs: The Gender Advantage. Southern California
Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
5:30PM through 9:30PM
There are gender differences in the early formative stages of a startup business, and specific advantages that women founders have over men. Come hear about those differences and be encouraged by fellow female entrepreneurs! Natalie Pace is the keynote speaker. Come join us!

Womensphere Euro Summit. UK
Friday, October 21st, 2011

Join influential women leaders and emerging leaders in business, finance, media, entrepreneurship, and technology, throughout Europe and the world at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

3rd Quarter GDP Growth Estimates (Advance)
Thursday, October 27th, 2011
8:30 a.m. ET
The Bureau of Economic Analysis ( releases the advance estimate for GDP growth in the 3rd quarter.

FOMC Meeting
November 1-2, 2011

The Federal Open Market Committee meets to determine Federal Reserve policy in the U.S. Two-day meeting November 1-2, 2011.

Opportunity Green Conference, LA, CA
Friday, November 11th, 2011

Opportunity Green 2009 is a 2-day event that brings together the most innovative leaders in sustainability and promotes disruptive change. Discussions. Workshops. Valuable insights. A must-attend for any Greenie.

Investor Edu Retreat, Santa Monica, CA
November 11-13, 2011

In 2007, the Dow was at 14,000; in 2000, NASDAQ was at 5,000 (more than double what it is today). Buy and hold doesn't work. Learn the strategies that the pros use. Natalie Pace makes it easy as a pie chart in a 3-day boardroom retreat.

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

VISION: To build a global community of investors through a worldwide website, seminars, radio, television and print partners.
GOAL: To provide high-quality, first-run, ethical financial news, information and education, presented in an entertaining format, across all media (television, radio, print and online).
MISSION: To provide the news, information and education investors need to make better choices and to make investing as much fun as shopping.
PHILOSOPHY: Member Mosaic. Piecing together a more complete picture of the publicly traded company, one tile at a time, by valuing firsthand consumer experience, conducting evaluations of the executive team and lining up the numbers of the publicly-traded company with its competitors in a Stock Report Card.
For more information on contact us at, P.O. Box 1350, Santa Monica, CA 90406-1350 or 1-866.476.7442 (toll-free telephone number).

NOTICE: is NOT a stock brokerage service, and does not operate or act as one.