The Hunt for Higher Yield: Investors Pour Into Emerging Market Debt

By Don Miller, Contributing Writer, Money Morning

The never-ending hunt for higher yield is leading investors to bet record amounts on emerging market debt.

In just the first two weeks of 2012, governments of undeveloped economies from Asia to Africa sold more than $30.6 billion in dollar-denominated bonds, More…

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Value Stocks Can Reward Contrarians and Investors Who Take a Long View

By Christopher Boyd

During the great bull runs of the past two decades, finding value on Wall Street was child’s play. Novice investors struck gold day trading, and fund managers reaped huge returns at practically every turn.

But since the stock market’s 2008-09 meltdown, value investing has been no easy chore. Yet that hasn’t stopped the dedicated from scouring the world for the next big thing.

Value investors typically try to look beyond the markets’ daily ups and downs. Instead, they focus on fundamentals such as price-to-book and price-to-earnings ratios to ascribe value.

In most cases, value investors try to use their research to identify stocks whose book values exceed market valuations More…

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The Truth About ‘Doomsayers’: Is the sky really falling, or do they just want your money?

By Sean Holton

Call them prophets of gloom or the doomsday peddlers. Or, if you prefer, just go ahead and lump them all together into some even larger force that sounds darker and more conspiratorial: The Economic Cassandra Complex.

If you spend much time watching financial-news channels or surfing the Web for investment and economic advice, you know who they are: The Doomsayers. They might be urging you to dump your stocks, buy government bonds, hoard gold, brace for the “Greater Depression” by going into survivalist mode or simply to curl up under your desks to take cover from a sky that is perpetually falling.

Their voices grew ever louder over the past year, amplified by the ongoing realities of a “jobless recovery,” a sputtering stock market and nagging fears of a double-dip recession. More…

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What Investors Need to Know About the Role of Bonds in your Portfolio

By WEALTH Magazine Staff

As you know, a bond is a security in which the issuer promises to pay you, the purchaser, a set interest rate for a fixed period of time for the use of your money. Bonds are generally less volatile than stocks and are considered safer because bonds are often secured by the assets of the issuer.

Also, bonds are usually a good hedge against stock investments. Why? Because bonds often go the opposite direction of stocks. When stocks are hot, bonds are not. But when stocks sag, bonds often perk up.

Some experts subscribe to the theory that bonds do not need to be a part of your portfolio. Why? Because over a long period of time, stocks tend to outperform bonds. More…

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Be Wary of Initial Public Offerings of Stock

By WEALTH Magazine Staff

Recent volatility in the stock market has dampened interest among many investors in initial public offerings of stock. But online coupon company Groupon has renewed interest in IPOs. As we post this story on Friday (11/4), Groupon has just offered its IPO. And despite some analysts’ gloomy reports on the company, this IPO has attracted lots of interest: Groupon’s stock jumped $9.52 to $29.52 in the first few hours after its IPO debuted.

But is an IPO a good opportunity for you?

The answer may not be instantly clear. More…

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Smoothing out the Stock-Market Roller Coaster

By WEALTH Magazine Staff

With the stock market surging wildly up and down, many investors have been scared away from equities. But for most investors, a complete retreat from stocks is not the best move. What might make more sense is to rebalance your portfolio toward low-volatility stocks.

As The Wall Street Journal recently reported, the Standard & Poor’s Low Volatility Index, a portfolio of the 100 least-volatile stocks in the S&P 500 stock index, lost just 1.1 percent, compared with a 9.8 percent drop for the S&P 500 overall More…

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The Power of Persistence in Investing

By Christopher Evan

Recent dramatic fluctuations in the stock market have intensified the temptation to do something—anything—to avoid risk, to capitalize on what’s hot.

To change.

And there’s nothing wrong with change, in and of itself. Sometimes change is warranted. We all want to continue to get better at picking winning stocks or bonds, exchange-traded funds or commodities. But sometimes this urge to change should be resisted. More…

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How to Pick Good Mutual Funds

By WEALTH Magazine Staff

Mutual funds can provide a good way to diversify your portfolio and protect you from the risk of investing in a specific stock. But how do you sort through the thousands of funds that are out there to find the right ones for you?

Here are some principles to consider.

1. Mutual funds can be made up of stocks or bonds. More…

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How to Invest in Commodities

By WEALTH Magazine Staff

Commodities are things you can touch and feel, like oil, gold and wheat. Some are absolutely necessary, such as food products and raw materials for construction and energy. Others, like gold, do not have that kind of intrinsic worth. But both are at the mercy of the markets to decide their value.

Investing in commodities is sometimes tougher than investing in stocks, because market forces are much harder to predict. More…

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Beware the Pitfalls of Investing in Penny Stocks

By WEALTH Magazine Staff

Penny stocks are common shares of public companies that trade for less than $1 per share. Because of this low share price, it’s possible to invest in penny stocks even if you don’t have a lot of capital. This makes them an appealing investment for many—and especially so for new investors.

Penny stocks can offer the promise of reaping a significant payout from a modest investment. For example, if you buy 1,000 shares of a penny stock trading at 25 cents per share, your initial investment would be just $250. If that company’s share price rises to $20, your shares would be worth More…

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