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  • NASAA: Protecting Main Street Investors - 16 October 2014
  • With its membership consisting of 67 administrators from United States territories, districts and states, as well as from the provinces of Canada and Mexico, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has as its main aim the protection of consumers who purchase investment advice and/or securities. To this end, the NASAA has jurisdiction over a wide range of intermediaries and issuers offering securities to members of the public. The Association also facilitates information sharing and multi-state enforcement actions for the state securities agencies it represents, and arranges training and education programs and seminars for securities agency staff at state, district and provincial level. The Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam, referred to as 'Series 63', required as a qualification for securities agents in most states, was formulated by the NASAA and is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

  • Pharmaceutical Sector Shake-up - 8 may 2014
  • In an effort to boost share prices and profits, thereby keeping shareholders satisfied, major pharmaceutical companies are currently negotiating mergers, acquisitions and hostile takeovers which will essentially narrow their focus, allowing them to specialize in various fields. This latest trend of divesting assets is quite a turnaround from a few years ago when drug companies were diversifying through acquisitions to avoid an 'eggs-in-one-basket' scenario. Analysts note that deals currently underway are focusing on cutting costs and boosting sales to produce results investors have come to expect based on performance over the last two decades or so. However, the bullish activity in the pharmaceutical sector has been driven, in large part, by marketing of new products. With patents expiring and generic medicines flooding the market, many drugmakers have seen their revenue level out, or dip in recent months and will be hard-pushed to match past performances.

  • Solar Energy Surging Ahead as Alternative Energy Option - 4 April 2013
  • A recent Gallup poll revealed that three out of four Americans are in favor of the United States government increasing the use of solar energy, with up to 71 percent of those surveyed being in favor of developing wind power. The expansion of oil production received the thumbs-up from 46 percent, with only 37 percent approving of expanding nuclear power and less than 30 percent approving of increasing coal production as a means of generating energy. While results of the survey revealed trends associated with geographic location and political affiliation, the overall result was in support of solar power as an alternative source of energy. These finding are supported by activity taking place on Wall Street as solar energy costs come down and more home and business owners take advantage of the option to lease the equipment for solar power generation.

  • Eurozone Hopes, Mortgage Rates, Corporate Earnings in Week Ahead - 10 October 2011
  • With the "Occupy Wall Street" protests continuing to gain ground, America's financial system and economy remain hot topics for debate on both Wall Street and Main Street. Calling themselves "the 99 percent" these protestors, among other issues, are highlighting the fact that ordinary Americans are battling to cope, and their call has resonated with supporters around the world. Investors are painfully aware that the economy is significantly affected by consumer spending, which has been dramatically curtailed due to the ongoing jobless situation. Moreover, a recent survey revealed that workers are taking huge pay cuts to secure employment, with little hope of receiving increases, certainly not to the extent of raising them back to the pay level they may have been at before losing their jobs – all of which has a negative effect on disposable income and the economy.

  • Safer Than Fort Knox - 3 March 2011
  • The term 'safer than Fort Knox' is readily equated with security that cannot be breached – and for good reason. The United States Bullion Depository is more commonly referred to simply as 'Fort Knox', in reference to its location adjacent to the Fort Knox army post in Kentucky. It is used to house more than 4,603 tons of gold bullion, representing a significant portion of the official gold reserves of the United States. Fort Knox is also used to store other highly valued items, such as historical documents.

  • Cash for Clunkers Boosts New Car Sales - 6 August 2009
  • In an ongoing effort to rejuvenate the U.S. auto manufacturing industry, an additional $2 billion has been allocated to CARS – Car Allowance Rebate System – more commonly referred to as "Cash for Clunkers". This is over and above the amount of $1 billion which was originally allocated to the program, giving consumers between $3,500 and $4,500 on the trade-in of older model gas-guzzling vehicles. Cash for Clunkers not only promotes going green and reducing motorists' carbon footprint, but at the same time is boosting new car sales which have been hard hit by the current recession.

  • Mosaic Theory for Stock Picks (Part 2) - 14 December 2007
  • Mosaic Theory for Stock Picks (Part 1)

    Adaptive Practice Makes Your Stock Picks Better!

    There is much to commend domain expertise when it comes to making stock picks. Each sector, industry, and country has its own drivers and characteristics of stock value. It is best to understand the business model of an enterprise before investing in its stocks. What are the key factors for success? Which are the main threats? Secondary sources of such insights are rare, and not trustworthy when available. It takes years of experience to generate primary information, but focusing on a defined and narrow area can expedite matters. That is why large and professionally managed financial institutions typically employ banks of industry experts.

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