My Blog http://jay.ihelphosting.com Just another WordPress site Wed, 08 Apr 2015 23:56:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 Podcast: Blood Moons on Wall Street? http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/27/podcast-blood-moons-on-wall-street/ Fri, 27 Mar 2015 19:35:08 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=7118 This week we will look at:Untitled design-4
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    • What are the blood moons and how they could impact your portfolio?
    • Is another financial collapse on the horizon for 2015?
    • Proud to Own Series – A company creating life saving medicines for hard to treat diseases.
    • Into the Light Series – Is there porn in your portfolio?
    • My trade idea of the week
    • My weekly run down on top sectors of the economy, my favorite currencies, commodities, and countries you should consider for your investment dollars.

    This week’s question comes from Erick, a longtime VIP subscriber at wallstrenegade.com. He says,  “Jay I loved your last two books The Faith-Based Millionaire and The Faith-Based Investor, any new books coming out?”

    It was perfect timing for his question because the past few months I have been working on a book. It is set to come out the end of next month. It is in the editing process now. The cover and everything is done. We are just fine tuning the details…  Blood Moons on Wall Street: How to Profit from the Upcoming Financial Crisis

    Listen Below:

    Untitled design-3

    Investment Themes & Strategies Podcast

    Each and every week we tackle the world of finances so I can help you grow, protect, and share your wealth!

    If you would like a review of your portfolio, whether you have IRAs, 401ks, Roths, or taxable investment accounts give me a call or email me for a FREE 30 minute review. Call me at 866-594-9919. For more information about our products and services check out wallstrenegade.com/products.

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    Is there Porn in Your Portfolio? http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/27/is-there-porn-in-your-portfolio/ Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:19:27 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=7111 Into the Light Series ON NOW]]> Into the Light Series

    ON NOWEvery Friday I highlight a company that fail our moral screens. We use our “proud to own” processto screen out companies that don’t line up with our faith and values.

    This week we look at Comcast Corporation (CMCSA). Comcast Corp., is among the world’s leading communication companies, providing basic cable, digital cable and high speed internet services. But are they providing healthy content?

    Unfortunately not!

    Though it may be decent from a financial perspective, it doesn’t make it through our moral screening process. We prefer stocks that make it through both the moral and financial screens.  There are just 6.5% of the publicly traded stocks that fail our moral screens and Comcast is one of them.

    Is there Porn in Your Portfolio?

    Is there Porn in Your Portfolio?Many investors invest in mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and buy stocks in companies. You may own some of these investments in your 401k at work, or your IRA or Roth IRA, or maybe in a taxable account.  Have you ever stopped to think about what companies you own in your portfolio?

    There may be companies that violate your faith and values.  Companies involved in pornography, explicit entertainment, and promoting unbiblical lifestyles.  Would you knowingly and willingly invest in companies like this?

    Comcast Corporation is one of these companies that violates biblical values.

     

    Here are three big reasons why Comcast fails our moral screens:

    1. Explicit Entertainment Provider

    Distribution

    Through cable, pay-per-view (PPV) or video-on-demand channels, it distributes anti-family programming. It offers Video on Demand (VOD) containing sexually explicit, profane, and violent programming through Comcast, premium services. It also produces motion pictures, miniseries, sitcoms, other types of programming, or commercials containing sexually graphic, violent or profane material. Source: Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org)

    2. Pornographic Provider

    Distribution

    It distributes pornographic films through cable, pay-per-view (PPV) or video-on-demand channels. Source: www.comcast.com. It offers channels containing adult-content through Comcast Premium. Channels include: Playboy.

    Advertising

    It also advertises in pornographic media to potential customers about their products and/or services by placing advertisements in adult content magazines, cable networks and/or internet sites.

    3. Homosexual Promotion

    Films

    It produces theatrically-released movies, made-for-TV movies, miniseries, sitcoms, other types of programming, or commercials that promote the homosexual lifestyle as an acceptable alternative lifestyle. These feature gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender characters or issues and may have same-sex romance or relationships as an acceptable and important plot device. Source: Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org)

    Workplace Groups

    It recognizes GLBT organizations or affinity groups in the workplace, including: Cg Network

    Philanthropy

    It provides charitable aid or donations to non-profit organizations that include foundations actively pursuing and advancing the alternative lifestyle movement. Source: GLAAD (www.glaad.org)

    Sponsorship

    It has formed a business relationship with GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, and/or questioning) organization(s) or events in an attempt to gain marketing and community relations opportunities. Money, products or services are exchanged for corporate recognition for their involvement. Source: NLGJA (www.nlgja.org)

    Television Programming

    It distributes homosexual programming through cable, pay-per-view (PPV) or video-on-demand channels. Source: Bravo TV (www.bravotv.com)

    Bottom Line: As you can see, Comcast is not a company we can be “proud to own”. It is a company that violates our faith and values. You may be involved with companies like Comcast that don’t line up with your faith and values. You may own Comcast and others in your stock and mutual fund accounts. Get a FREE MORAL AUDIT of your portfolio to make sure your portfolio matches your faith and values.

     

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    Market Indicator Spots Danger Ahead http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/26/market-indicator-spots-danger-ahead/ Thu, 26 Mar 2015 16:07:19 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=7082 market update]]>

    3-26-15

    Our Short-Term Market Indicator has been downgraded from Yellow to Red.

    market updateLong-Term Indicator: Bullish

    Long-term Indicator: Green

    We are still in the midst of a strong up trending bull market. This means investors should consider trading with a bullish bias. You can accomplish this through buying (going long) stocks, long ETF’s or by using call options. These are positions you plan to hold for at least 2-5 years.

    Short-term Indicator: Bearish

    Short-term Indicator: Red

    Our market indicator has turned bearish…
    Our short-term market indicator has gone from Yellow (Caution) to Red (Danger).  We are starting to see some warning signs for the markets and as a result, we are suggesting you reduce your equity exposure.

    Because the long-term indicator is still green (bullish), we are closely monitoring positions within our model portfolios. 

    For the full briefing and actions to take, CLICK HERE 

     

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    A Proud to Own Company Focused on Saving Lives http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/25/a-proud-to-own-company-focused-on-saving-lives/ Wed, 25 Mar 2015 18:55:50 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=7070 Proud to Own Series

    pto logoEach Wednesday, we highlight a core portfolio holding within our Faith-Based 100 Index,  and show why it is a part of our “Proud to Own” universe.

    As a reminder, for the company to be included in our “proud to own” universe, it must meet three criteria:

    1.  It must not violate your faith and values. Some of the types of companies we can avoid include those involved in the abortion industry, those producing explicit entertainment and pornography, those conducting embryonic stem cell and fetal tissue research, companies funding and lobbying for homosexuality, those involved in vices like alcohol, tobacco and gambling and companies that are abusing the environment.

    2. It should be a company that complements your faith and values. This involves finding companies: Helping the poor and defenseless; Protecting the sanctity of human life; Producing morally sound entertainment; Finding cures for life threatening diseases; and Improving the society we live in…

    3. It should be a company with strong profit potential. This involves finding companies in solid financial condition that have strong profit potential and/or provide strong cash flows via dividends. We use a five-point inspection to evaluate each investment we are considering. We analyze a company’s earnings potential, price momentum, risk, financial health, and its current valuation. Our goal is to find quality companies that stay true to your values AND are profitable! This is not an either /or scenario but rather a winning combination.

    This Week’s Highlighted Company

    We look for companies changing the world around us.  This includes companies creating life changing medicine. That’s where this week’s “proud to own” company comes into play…

    mdvnMedivation, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDVN) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the rapid development of novel therapies to treat serious diseases for which there are limited treatment options. Medivation aims to transform the treatment of these diseases and offer hope to critically ill patients and their families.

    Medivation’s prostate cancer drug Xtandi (enzalutimide) was discovered through university research. It was then brought through clinical trials. once these trials showed promise, Medivation brought the drug to the market through its partnership with Astellas Pharma.

    Enzalutimide targets the androgen receptors in cancer cells to slow the development of certain types of prostate cancers.  This has improvied and lengthened the quality of life for its patients.

    Saving LivesMedivation blends a unique business model with an expert team to bring promising medical technologies from the lab bench to the patient bedside.

    Through its extensive network of contacts with top-flight scientists and research institutions, it acquires early-development stage pharmaceuticals and medical devices that have promising clinical, intellectual property and commercial prospects. Using the extensive development experience and expertise of its core team, supplemented by expert consultants in relevant functions, it identifies and executes the strategic pathway that will allow the most rapid, efficient and effective development.

    ​Its business strategy is straightforward:

    1.  Build a portfolio of four to six product candidates. It focuses on those that have the potential to be in clinical development within 12 to 18 months after acquisition.

    2. Develop those product candidates as rapidly and efficiently as possible.

    3. It considers partnering or selling successful programs to large pharmaceutical, biotechnology or medical device companies for late-stage clinical studies and commercialization.

    Founded in 2004, Medivation was named one of the top places to work in the San Francsico/Bay Area in both 2013 and 2014 . Here is a great quote on why it is a great place to work:

    “The fact that our own employees have once again placed Medivation among the best places to work in the vibrant and diverse San Francisco business community speaks volumes to the culture we’ve built here and the passion we all feel for our work,” said David Hung, M.D., founder, president and chief executive officer at Medivation. “I am proud to say that this spirit is evident in our daily interactions as colleagues, the game-changing success we’ve achieved to date, and the evident determination of everyone on the team to pursue the significant opportunities that still lie ahead. I can’t think of a better, more exciting place to work and I am deeply gratified that our employees feel the same way.” 

    Medivation Inc. (NASDQ: MDVN) is a company you can be “proud to own”.

     

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    Creating a Solid Retirement Strategy http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/19/creating-a-solid-retirement-strategy/ Thu, 19 Mar 2015 16:46:39 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=7022 How to Create a Solid Retirement Plan

    These days, preparing for retirement can feel like you’re in some sort of matrix. Not only are there more retirement investing options than ever, but the future looks very unsettled. How can you create a solid retirement plan in this environment?

    Start with retirement asset location

    How's Your Plan Working?This is simply about deciding where your retirement assets will be located. This is a critical decision because there are so many options.

    Some people are content to accumulate all of their retirement assets in a single retirement investment vehicle. While that may be convenient, it’s not the best type of retirement planning from a strategic standpoint. Just as you would diversify your investment portfolio, you should also diversify your retirement plans. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

    When it comes to retirement planning, there are a few basic options, and you’ll want to take advantage of them, especially from a tax standpoint.

    Here are the primary options:

    Taxable accounts. These are traditional investment brokerage accounts, or even mutual funds, that are held outside of tax-sheltered retirement plans. You should have a significant portion of your money in these accounts because they will enable you to withdrawal funds once you reach retirement age without incurring any tax consequences. They can also represent primary emergency funds after you retire, that way you can preserve your tax-sheltered accounts for income generation.

    Tax deferred plans. These include employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, as well as traditional IRAs. These should represent the largest share of your retirement assets, since they are tax-deferred, and some have very generous contribution limits. They are however taxable upon withdrawal, which is why you need to diversify your money into taxable accounts and tax-free plans.

    Tax-Free plans. This relates primarily to Roth IRAs. Though you get no tax deduction when you contribute to these plans, the investment earnings on the plan are tax-deferred. But more important, there’ll be no tax on withdrawals as long as you are at least 59 ½ and have been in the plan for at least five years when you begin taking them. This will mean that at least some of your income in retirement will be tax-free, and that will be extremely important if you have multiple income sources. You can contribute to $5,500 to a Roth IRA for 2015, or $6,500 if you are 50 or older.

    How do you chose among these retirement plans?

    Obviously, retirement investing in tax-deferred plans will be your first choice, since these will likely represent your most important income when you retire. If you have an employer-sponsored plan, such as a 401(k) plan, you should certainly enroll in the plan, particularly if the employer matches contributions. Failing that, you should set up your own IRA and fund it each and every year with the highest amount you’re able.

    If you do have employer-sponsored plan, you should supplement it by contributing to a Roth IRA. There are income limits for Roth IRAs for those who are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan. But you can still make what is known as a “backdoor Roth IRA contribution”, by making a nondeductible traditional IRA contributions (there are no income limits for this), then doing a Roth IRA conversion (see below).

    You should also fund taxable investment accounts, since you never want to have all of your money in tax sheltered plans. If you do, and you need something more than your emergency fund has, you’ll have to pay taxes and early withdrawal penalties to pull money out of your tax sheltered accounts.

    It should go without saying that you should invest all you can in taxable accounts in the event that you are not covered by employer-sponsored retirement plan.

    Basics on Social Security – But will it be there when your turn comes?

    Social Security has become the giant X factor in retirement planning. As it is currently constructed the plan is fiscally unsound. That means at a minimum, we should expect less from it than current retirees are receiving.

    There are at least three possible outcomes to the Social Security crisis – short of the plan blowing up and disappearing forever:

    1. Benefits will be reduced
    2. The retirement age will be increased, perhaps substantially
    3. We’ll be paid in inflated dollars that will have far less purchasing power than they do nowThis is why it is so important to make sure that you have retirement savings. They’re probably the best insurance we have against a partial or full default by Social Security.It’s also possible to manage how much benefit you receive from Social Security. For example, the later that you retire, the higher your monthly benefit will be.

      You can get an estimate of your future Social Security benefits, by going to the Social Security Administration’s Retirement Estimator page. On that page you’ll be given instructions on how to use the estimator, and what the qualifications are. You can use the estimator to run various scenarios as to what your benefit will be.

      How to rollover an IRA

      If you have IRAs, you’ll most likely be faced with the task of rolling one or more over at some point in the future.

      Any IRA account can be rolled over into another IRA without incurring a tax liability or penalties, as long as it‘s done in a timely manner (within 60 days of distribution). Employer-sponsored retirement plans can also be rolled over into an IRA upon terminating your employment.

      The rollover methods into an IRA are similar to what they are for a Roth IRA conversion (see below), except that the funds are being rolled over into a traditional IRA, not a Roth.

      How to convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA

      You can also roll a traditional IRA over into a Roth IRA, but it‘s more complicated.

      Roth IRA contributions are limited to $5,500 a year ($6,500 if you’re 50 or older), however there are no dollar limits for IRA conversions to a Roth IRA. Also, the income limits that apply to Roth IRA contributions do not apply to Roth IRA conversions.

      Unless you are rolling one Roth IRA over to another, the rollover of funds from a traditional IRA will create a tax liability. The amount of the rollover will be subject to ordinary tax rates, but there will be no 10 percent early withdrawal penalty tax on the transfer.

      The tax bite can be substantial, as you will be exchanging a tax-deferred retirement asset for one that will be completely tax-free in retirement. For many people, that will be an exchange well worth making.

      The transfer must be done properly or the penalties will be severe. It is best to handle the Roth conversion with strong input from a competent tax expert, fully coordinated with the brokerage firms or trustees that are involved. Translation: Roth IRA conversions are not the time for the DIY thing.

      Here are the IRS rules on traditional IRA to Roth IRA conversions:

      • Rollover – You receive a distribution from a traditional IRA and contribute it to a Roth IRA within 60 days after the distribution (the distribution check is payable to you);
      • Trustee-to-trustee transfer – You tell the financial institution holding your traditional IRA assets to transfer an amount directly to the trustee of your Roth IRA at a different financial institution (the distributing trustee may achieve this by issuing you a check payable to the new trustee);
      • Same trustee transfer – If your traditional and Roth IRAs are maintained at the same financial institution, you can tell the trustee to transfer an amount from your traditional IRA to your Roth IRA.

      The conversion is reported on your tax return with the IRS Form 8606, Nondeductible IRAs. More information is available through IRS Publication 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs).

      There’s a lot involved in retirement planning, and you’ll have to have a solid strategy as to how to approach it.

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    Is Johnson & Johnson Really a “Family” Company? http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/19/is-johnson-johnson-really-a-family-company/ Thu, 19 Mar 2015 06:27:36 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=7019 Into the Light Series

    ON NOWEvery Friday I highlight a company that fail our moral screens. We use our “proud to own” process to screen out companies that don’t line up with our faith and values.

    This week we look at Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), which claims to be a “family” company.

    Johnson & Johnson is engaged in the research and development, manufacture and sale of a range of products in the healthcare field. The Company operates in three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices and Diagnostics. It offers baby products, oral care, skin care, and a variety of other pharmaceutical products.

    Though it may be decent from a financial perspective, it doesn’t make it through our moral screening process. We prefer stocks that make it through both the moral and financial screens.  There are just 6.5% of the publicly traded stocks that fail our moral screens and Johnson & Johnson is one of them.

    Here are the reasons it fails our screens:

    Abortion Involvement

    Is Johnson & Johnson  a Family Company?It produces oral contraceptives. Some birth control methods act as “abortifacients” by preventing the fertilized egg from being implanted, or by causing a premature delivery.  Source: International Planned Parenthood Federation (contraceptive.ippf.org)

    It is involved in fetal tissue research.  It does scientific experimentations performed upon or using tissue taken from human fetuses. In order for stem cells to be harvested from an embryo the embryo is destroyed. A human embryo is the earliest stage of human life. Ironically, adult stem cells have been successful in treating and curing 65 human diseases, while embryonic stem cells have not cured a single one. Adult stem cells are obtained from body tissues such as bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, fat cells, etc., and do not destroy life.  Source: www.crucell.com

    It is involved in abortion philanthropy. It has history of corporate philanthropy to Planned Parenthood, single largest provider of elective abortions in the US.   Source: Internal Revenue Service 2012.

    Explicit Entertainment Advertising

    It addvertises and supports shows containing sexually graphic, violent or profane material and ultimately undermines the positive values parents are trying to instill in their young ones. On the list of “Top Fifteen” advertisers sponsoring TV-series/Sitcoms/Movies containing sex, violence and foul language.  Source: Parents Television Council (www.parentstv.org)

    Homosexual Activism

    Formation of homosexual groups.  It officially recognizes GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual) employee groups and/or special networks designed especially for GLBT employees. It recognizes GLBT organizations or affinity groups in the workplace, including: GLOBAL Source: Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org)

    Provides philanthropy to homosexual organizations. It provides charitable aid or donations to non-profit organizations that include foundations actively pursuing and advancing the alternative lifestyle movement. Source: Point Foundation (www.pointfoundation.org)

    It promotes gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual, or questioning lifestyles (GLBTQ). This may include advertisements or marketing campaigns targeted to those who choose alternative lifestyles, proudly display or boast being “gay-friendly”, and/or provide resources for the advancement of GLBTQ groups (meeting places, materials, etc). Source: HRC Corporate Equality Index Guide (www.hrc.org),  Out & Equal Workplace Summit (www.outandequal.org)

    It has supported legislation to advance alternative lifestyles.  It supports federal legislation that affects the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. Source: Supreme Court of the United States (www.supremecourt.gov)

    Bottom Line: As you can see Johnson & Johnson may be involved in areas that don’t line up with your faith and values.  However you may own this company in your stocks and mutuals funds.  Get a FREE MORAL AUDIT of your portfolio to make sure your portfolio matches your faith and values.

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    Podcast: Will the Strong Dollar Wreck Your Portfolio? http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/18/podcast-will-the-strong-dollar-wreck-your-portfolio/ Thu, 19 Mar 2015 00:23:04 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=7015 This week we look at:COFFEE-2

    • With the U.S. dollar strong and interest rates set to rise: are these the kiss of death for stocks and commodities?
    • I will show how the dollar could get even stronger and how to prepare your portfolio for that… Some smart money moves to take now!
    • Proud to Own Stock: This company goes head to head with Wal-Mart and is a clear winner!
    • Into the Light – Stock to Avoid: This so called “family” company is involved in abortion, sex, and homosexuality.
    • My trade idea of the week
    • My weekly run down on top sectors of the economy, my favorite currencies, commodities, and countries you should consider for your investment dollars.

     

    investment themes and strategiesPodcast #31: Strong Dollar

    Each and every week we tackle the world of finances so I can help you grow, protect, and share your wealth!

    If you would like a review of your portfolio, whether you have IRAs, 401ks, Roths, or taxable investment accounts give me a call or email me for a FREE 30 minute review. Call me at 866-594-9919. For more information about our products and services check out wallstrenegade.com/products.

     

     

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    Investing in Your Employees Can Lead to Big Profits http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/18/investing-in-your-employees-can-lead-to-big-profits/ Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:23:50 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=7005 Proud to Own Series

    pto logoEach Wednesday, we highlight a core portfolio holding within our Faith-Based 100 Index,  and show why it is a part of our “Proud to Own” universe.

    As a reminder, for the company to be included in our “proud to own” universe, it must meet three criteria:

    1.  It must not violate your faith and values. Some of the types of companies we can avoid include those involved in the abortion industry, those producing explicit entertainment and pornography, those conducting embryonic stem cell and fetal tissue research, companies funding and lobbying for homosexuality, those involved in vices like alcohol, tobacco and gambling and companies that are abusing the environment.

    2. It should be a company that complements your faith and values. This involves finding companies: Helping the poor and defenseless; Protecting the sanctity of human life; Producing morally sound entertainment; Finding cures for life threatening diseases; and Improving the society we live in…

    3. It should be a company with strong profit potential. This involves finding companies in solid financial condition that have strong profit potential and/or provide strong cash flows via dividends. We use a five-point inspection to evaluate each investment we are considering. We analyze a company’s earnings potential, price momentum, risk, financial health, and its current valuation. Our goal is to find quality companies that stay true to your values AND are profitable! This is not an either /or scenario but rather a winning combination.

    This Week’s Highlighted Company

     

    costcoThis week our selection is Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST). Costco Wholesale Corp. operates membership warehouses based on the concept that offering members very low prices on a limited selection of nationally branded and selected private label products in a wide range of merchandise categories will produce high sales volumes and rapid inventory turnover. This rapid inventory turnover enables Costco to operate profitably at significantly lower gross margins than traditional wholesalers, discount retailers and supermarkets.

    Employees are a company’s best asset

    We look for companies that treat their employees with respect and dignity. Companies that find themselvesUntitled design-3on the worst place to work lists don’t make it into our portfolios. Instead we look for companies that can boast being one of the best places to work.

    As we see in the God’s Word: ““So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages . . .” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:5)

    God sees it is important to treat workers fair and just.  Costco is one of those types of companies.

    Walmart is the largest U.S. retailer while Costco is second-largest. Both compete head on selling a wide variety of low-priced items such as food, home goods, apparel, and toys to budget conscious customers. However, they have much different business strategies, especially when it comes to employee compensation. Costco pays its employees much better than Wal-mart. Here are a few examples:

    • Not too long ago, a BusinessWeek article reported that the average full-time U.S. workers earned an average of $12.67 an hour working at Wal-Mart. However, Walmart aggressively controls its labor costs by hiring a large percentage of part-time workers. After factoring in full and part time workers, IBIS World, an independent market research group, concluded that the average hourly wage of a Walmart sales associate is just $8.81.
    • Costco, on the other hand, pays its hourly workers approximately $21.00 an hour, not including overtime, and not including the typical $5,000 annual bonus received by employees who have been with the company for five years or longer.
    • Wal-Mart estimates that “more than half” of its employees receive health care benefits. However many of its part-time workers receive little to no benefits.
    • The Costco benefit package includes health, vision, dental, and 401(k) programs for both full- and part-time workers. 88% of employees are eligible. Full-time new hires must wait 90 days before becoming eligible while part-time workers must wait 180 days. 98% of eligible employees are enrolled in the plan and employees pay less than 10% of the overall cost of their health plan.
    • Back when the economy is heading in a recession in 2008-9, while other retailers were slashing jobs and benefits, Costco stepped up big time.  Even though Costco saw declines in same-store sales in 2009, it chose to help its employees. While the economy was bad, it figured out how to give its employees more and not less.  Costco approved a $1.50 an hour increase for hourly employees spread out over three years, which was unheard of during a recession!
    • It also belives in hiring from within. More than 70 percent of its warehouse managers began their careers working the register or on the floor.

    For a good comparison of Wal-Mart vs. Costco, seeing the numbers, here’s how they really compare.

    Has investing in its employees been profitable for Costco?  Here’s one chart that will answer that question:

    cost chart

    Since 2009, COST is up nearly 400%! 

    Bottom Line:  Though Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) is far from perfect, it is a company worth considering for your portfolio.  It treats its employees and customers with dignity and respect.   Its actions of paying its employees a “living wage” speaks louder than words.  It focuses on keeping prices low, volumes high, and employees happy.  Costco is a company you can be “proud to own”.

     

    DISCLAIMER: Faith-Based Investor’s Wall St. Renegade Monthly™ Newsletter is published by Faith-Based Investor, LLC, 1121 Park West Blvd. Suite B, #156 Mt. Pleasant SC 29466. Publisher/Founder: Jay Peroni, CFP®.

    Current Subscription Rate: $199 per year, online subscriptions are available at www.wallstrenegade.com. ©2009-2015 by Faith-Based Investor, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Photocopying, reproduction, quotation, or redistribution of any kind is strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher.

    Wall St. Renegade Monthly™ Newsletter is strictly an informational publication and is not intended to provide individual, customized investment or trading advice to its subscribers. Although many of our analytical approaches are unique, they are based on publicly available data; and although analysts may visit specific sites, companies or countries to gain a more objective on-the ground perspective regarding specific investment opportunities, they do not seek or accept data that’s not available to the public. The money you allocate to speculative trading should be strictly the money you can afford to risk. While every effort is made to simulate the actual experience of subscribers, all performance figures must be considered hypothetical.

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    5 Ways Investing is Similar to Managing the NFL Salary Cap http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/16/5-ways-investing-is-similar-to-managing-the-nfl-salary-cap/ Mon, 16 Mar 2015 22:27:11 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=6984 New England Heartbreak

    patriots 80sI grew up about 50 miles north of Boston, in a little town called Pepperell. As a young boy I was a big football fan as I watched my beloved New England Patriots have their share of heartbreaks:

    • I watched them lose the Super Bowl in 1985 to Refrigerator Perry and the relentless Chicago Bears defense in a 46-10 old school beat down.
    • Then I suffered through a near winless season as the Patriots went 1-15 in 1990. I still can’t believe they actually won a game that year!
    • It didn’t get much better my senior year of high school as my team went 2-14 in 1992. Can it get any worse?
    • Then in my college years, I finally saw some winning years under Coach Bill Parcells: Hope was on the way!
    • The Patriots had four years in a row when the team made the playoffs. It was highlighted by a trip back to the Super Bowl in 1997. However, my hopes were dashed as they once again lost on the big stage, falling 35-21 to Brett Favre and the Packers.

    Y2K Changed My Team’s Destiny

    Then in 2000 something significantly changed! As Y2K became the concern of the computer world, my team changed its destiny!

    It didn’t happen right away. In fact it took almost 18 months to unfold…

    At first it seemed very minor. The Patriots made a head coaching change like it had many times before. This year, it went from Pete Carroll (Yes the same guy who now coaches the Seattle Seahawks) to a relatively unknown guy named Bill Belichick.

    Coach Belichick had been a mostly, failed head coach for the Cleveland Browns in the early to mid 1990s, but had a great resume as a Defensive Coordinator winning Super Bowls with the New York Giants.

    His first year out of the gate in New England wasn’t too impressive… The Patriots finished in last place with a 5-11 record.

    However, the next season the magic began!  patriots

    The Patriots won their first of four Super Bowls.

    Since Coach Belichick took over as Head Coach:

    • The Patriots have finished first or second in the AFC East every year since 2001. Both second place finishes were caused by tiebreakers.
    • They have won four Super Bowls and been to 6 in the last 15 years.
    • New England has won six AFC Championship Games,
    • It has won twelve AFC East titles
    • Overall the team amassed a regular season record of 137–53.

    Winning in a salary cap era is harder than it seems!

    Now the National Football League (NFL) is not like many other sports where teams can go out and buy whoever they want. Every team has to play within a salary cap. Your team has a set amount of money it can spend each year and it cannot go over that limit.

    Teams go out all the time and give away the moon and stars to sign one or a few big name players. These players sign monster contracts and can ruin a teams salary cap space for years or even decades.

    In a day and age of the salary cap, how can the Patriots put up 15 years of such significant success?

    Bill Belichick has been the king at managing the NFL’s salary cap! He has made all the difference in the world because of his incredible talent of roster management.

    Recently Jason from Over the Cap, one of the best sites on the planet looking at NFL salary cap issues, answered a few questions about the salary cap. In this Q&A session, he specifically mentioned the Patriots as the top team managing the salary cap.

    Here is a quote that stood out to me:

    What sets New England apart isn’t so much the financial acumen (the Patriots have had more than their fair share of bad deals), but their steadfast approach to valuation of a player. They don’t waver or allow themselves to be taken advantage of. They are cold as ice when it comes to their players. It goes back years, to the team cutting Lawyer Milloy on the eve of the season. No player is bigger than the organization. Whether it was Wes Welker, Randy Moss, Richard Seymour, Logan Mankins, Mike Vrabel, Deion Branch or a number of other players, the team either turned the players into draft picks or walked away without getting stuck in a bad contract.

    Just the fact that they would approach Tom Brady about accepting a contract that would pay him in the ballpark of $10 million a year is something to appreciate. The Patriots can also be very quietly generous with their players to build that trust with a player who performs.”

    What does this have to do with investing?

    Here are 5 ways investing is like the NFL salary cap:NFL Salary cap

    1. Don’t pay too much! In the world of investing you need to make sure you don’t pay too much for a company. As an investor, your job is to find value. Whenever a transaction takes place someone is selling and someone is buying. The person selling believes they are selling at the best possible price while the buyer believes they are buying at the best possible price. Over time only one of them will be right!  To be a succesful investor, you must become good at valuing investments.

    The NFL is similar. A General Manager’s job is to understand the true value of a player. They have to evaluate talent, consider the short and long-term implications of each contract to ensure they build a roster of championship-caliber players. What if the GM overpays for one player and he gets hurt or fails to live up to expectations?   What if he pays too much for several players? If a GM makes a series of wrong moves it can sabotage the team for a long period of time. Just ask the New York Jets.

    1. You only have a limited amount of capital, make it count! Your portfolio has a limited amount of capital. Each investment you make can help or hurt your portfolio! You have a limited amount of funds. Just like an NFL team has a salary cap, your portfolio has a dollar cap. Whether it’s $1,000, $100,000, a $1 million, or more, you can only spend so much.

    So you have to be wise with your investments. If you place too much into one bad company it can sink your portfolio for years to come… Yes you may be able to add to your portfolio over time, but the amount you have today needs to be managed wisely for your future.

    1. Spotting opportunities before others can prove to be extremely profitable over time. In the investment world, finding companies before others do can lead to huge wins.   When we found Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) at $37 a share or Vipshop Holdings (NASDAQ:VIPS) at $7.20 (split adjusted) or Hanesbrands (NYSE: HBI) at $12.90 (split adjusted), it has allowed us to double, triple, and even quadruple our returns. Getting into these companies early has paid off over time. These three stocks are a big reason the Contrarian Strategies Portfolio is up nearly 160% since 2010.

    Tom Brady, who was taken by the New England Patriots in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL draft, is a true example of a diamond in the rough. The Patriots found their future franchise quarterback seeing value where others missed it. By doing so, they spotted one of the best quarterbacks of all-time while other teams missed out. If you think the Patriots just “lucked out” read this article on how the Patriots drafted Brady.

    brady draft

    1. Persistence and patience pay off in the long run. It often takes time to see what you really have. Many times it can take months or years for an investment idea to pay off. Very rarely does a stock just double or triple in value overnight. The event may happen regularly but finding those ideas consistently can be quite challenging. You often strike out quite a bit before hitting a home run. But if you have a solid investment game plan, your portfolio can double or triple over time and have a lot more consistency.

    It is the same way with building an NFL roster. Very rarely does a trade or a signing change a team overnight. Instead it usually pays off over the course of a season or in many cases over several seasons. A player or players may need time to develop or learn the system. It may take a team a while to understand a player’s key strengths and weaknesses and how to best use that player.   Many people criticize the “Patriot way” which seems to be a cold business, but they have produced one of the most successful franchises in all of sports.

    1. Be diversified. Investors should never place too much of their portfolio into any one company no matter how good of an idea it might seem. Instead by diversifying into many companies in many sectors, you can build a winning portfolio just like a championship team!

    In a league that regularly hands out $5 million, $10 million, even $20 million a year contracts, the Patriots rarely spend more than $5 million a year on any one player. Instead they build quality and depth on its 53-man roster. The last player is as important as the first. That is how they have sustained a 15-year winning run. They don’t put all their eggs in one basket.

    Bottom Line: Investing is a long-term process that involves having a solid strategy for the future. It takes time and a consistent approach to be successful. Following these five key principles will make you a better investor!

     

     

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    Is a Strong Dollar Good or Bad for Stocks? http://jay.ihelphosting.com/2015/03/14/is-a-strong-dollar-good-or-bad-for-stocks/ Sat, 14 Mar 2015 16:29:49 +0000 http://wallstrenegade.com/?p=6974 Can the U.S. Dollar Keep on Climbing?

    If you have been following the U.S. dollar and its results you can see that  the dollar has been quite “strong”.  Take a look at the chart:

    us dollar

    The strong dollar can provide strong headwinds for stocks and commodities. However, a strong dollar doesn’t mean that stocks and the economy are doomed…

    The U.S. Dollar Index has soared the past 8 months

    Strong DollarFrom July 2014 to February 2015, the U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the dollar versus key foreign currencies (Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc) rose an astonishing 19.44%.

    With the European Central Bank initiating its quantitative easing program on March 9th, the dollar hit a 12-year high against the euro.  Since then the U.S. Dollar has soared more than 3% and has the potential to climb much higher.

    The Dollar Stopped Its Losing Streak

    From 2001 to 2011, the dollar declined significantly as a result of the monetary policy that the Federal Reserve adopted in the Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke years. With U.S. interest rates plummeting to all-time lows in the late 2000s, the dollar finally became more attractive as a funding currency. Thus the demand for dollar-denominated debt increased and we have seen the Dollar Index quickly pick up steam.

    So why has the dollar strengthened?

    You have two main reasons why:

    1.  The Fed tightened its monetary policies while other central banks have eased. This has increased our standing as a mightier currency.

    2. The U.S. economy is much healthier versus those of many other nations who are facing recessions and economic slowdowns. As a result, the U.S. dollar gained on every other major currency in 2014. This is something we haven’t seen unfold since the 1980s.

    There are two additional factors which could send the dollar even higher:

    In the first quarter of 2015, private sector dollar-denominated debt hit $9 trillion globally.  Liabilities will eventually increase for the issuers of this debt which will then ramp up demand for dollars as issuers look to hedge its dollar exposure.

    The account deficit has been slimming for the U.S. and as this deficit gets thinner, there will be fewer new dollars.  This could create a demand versus supply dilemma. As demand increases and supply decreases it could send the dollar much higher.

    It could take several years to unwind $9 trillion worth of dollar-denominated debt.  If you also factor in interest hikes from the Fed that may be coming down the road, the demand for the dollar could increase even more.  This dollar bull may be in the early stages of a long-term rally.

    If the dollar keeps rallying, how will this impact stocks & commodities?

    If the dollar remains strong, this could have a negative impact on corporate earning especially for multinational corporations who do business in foreign countries and have to convert profits back to U.S. dollars.  Additionally, there could be lower demand for U.S. exports, as a stronger dollar makes exports more expensive for foreigners.

    Companies that stand to do the best are U.S. companies who conduct the bulk of their business within America. Fixed-income investments based in U.S. dollars may also hold up better as well.

    As the dollar continues to gain strength, it will reduce the appeal of gold, oil and other commodities that are sensitive to the dollar. Because most of these commodities are mainly traded in dollars, they face a real up hill battle.  Resource rich countries like Canada, Brazil and South Africa could also see trouble if the dollar continues to drive down commodity prices.

    There is some good news in here though!  U.S. households will gain more purchasing power when the dollar strengthens and the price of imported goods fall.  This should lead to improved consumer spending, which will help American retailers and also could give the Fed  leadway to extend its accommodative monetary policy.

    How can you invest in the dollar?

    If you are invested in the U.S. equities markets, you already have exposure to the strong dollar. If you want more exposure to the dollar you can look at investment vehicles focused on dollar investing. One way to play the strong dollar:  The PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish ETF (UUP). The Index is a rules-based index composed solely of long USDX futures contracts. The USDX futures contract is designed to replicate the performance of being long the US Dollar against the following currencies: Euro, Japanese Yen, British Pound, Canadian Dollar, Swedish Krona and Swiss Franc.

    Bottom Line: No need to fear!

    Even though the dollar is strong, stocks can still rally.  Charles Schwab  Research indicates the average annualized return for U.S. stocks when the dollar rises has been 12.8% since 1970.  With a strong dollar, bonds have returned 8.5% in the years since 1976.  A dollar rally means the U.S. economy is strong and that in itself can help encourage and sustain our current bull market.

     

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