CategoryBusiness

Slow Growth Hits Home

S

Expect tepid growth in the economy and the market in the coming years—but don’t settle for lousy returns in your stock picks” O THE LIST OF RESOURCES IN DWINdling supply—oil, forests, clean water— add company growth. There’s reason to believe rich economies and their stock markets are entering a long, chilly phase, during which sales gains and higher share prices will prove harder to come...

Hagglers For Hire

H

Even in this market, finding car bargains can be tricky. Enter: the car broker. As a serial entrepreneur, Brian Valente figured he knew how to land a good deal and that the $19,000 he negotiated for a new Honda Element (only $100 over the dealer invoice) was just that. But that was before the Sherman Oaks, Calif., businessman ran his bargain by Orcn Wcintraub, a local car buyer’s agent, or car...

Invest in Your Asset Manager

I

The stocks of firms handling your money are soaring. Is it too late to get in? THE STOCK MARKET’S RALLY might have done great things for your personal portfolio, but it has been even better for the firms that invest your money. At Janus Capital, which runs the popular Janus Twenty and other mutual funds, the amount of money managed has increased by $41 billion since March, a 37 percent jump. As...

Tinkering With the Formula

T

Some ETFs are beating a popular index while holding the exact same stocks. IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR: Mutual funds buy and sell a variety of stocks in an often futile effort to top the performance of the broad, well-tracked Standard & Poor’s 500 index. But recently, a couple of exchange-traded funds have pulled off the improbable—handily beating the S&P 500 while owning the same 500 stocks...

Help Wanted: Geriatric Docs

H

Elderly patients are demanding an increasing amount of health care. So why isn’t the system keeping up? AS YOU AGE, THE MOST IMPOR- tant relationships in your life become the ones you have with your spouse, your kids and your doctor—and not necessarily in that order. The older you get, the more medical care you need and the more frequently you need it; in fact, a majority of seniors suffer...

Stress-Test Your Portfolio

S

After a big market run-up, look for dependable performers that wont get whipsawed in the next downturn. WHATEVER THE STOCK market has given you over the past year—losses, gains or a mild swearing problem—it has provided a valuable look at how things hold up when conditions turn ugly. Bank regulators and heart doctors call that a stress test. They use simulated strain to tell whether a bank like...

Is Your Broker Putting You First?

I

AS WE ALL KNOW, brokers are supposed to work for their clients. If a new proposal finally works its way through Congress, that actually could be the law. Though most investors don’t realize it, most brokers currently don’t have what’s known as a fiduciary duty—a term that essentially means an adviser must act in the best interest of his client. So instead of, say, having to offer the best fund or...

What’s in Your Wallet?

W

Consumers racked up debt, but some credit card companies are in decent shape. MasterCard (MA, $237) THINK OF MasterCard and rival Visa as the AT&T and Verizon of the credit card world: They provide the networks on which banks process transactions. Despite the uncertain economy, both companies are benefiting from more people choosing to pay for purchases with credit (or debit) cards rather...

Learn to Love Your HMO

L

Health care reform has spooked investors in this sector, but some stocks could be bargains nok All the ruckus in Washington over reforming the health care system has made Wall Street just sick about health care firms, particularly the outfits that insure more than half of Americans: managed-care companies. Indeed, investors have been nervous about the sector for months now, as they fret about the...

Is It the Wrong Time for REITs?

I

YOU CAN PROBABLY SEE the headlines about the real estate bust in your sleep. Foreclosures are rising. House prices are falling. Commercial real estate borrowers are defaulting. But behind the headlines is a little noticed fact: Publicly traded real estate investment trusts have soared from their bear market lows. The Wilshire U.S. Real Estate Securities index has nearly doubled since March. One...

Recent Posts