Four score and one weeks ago, our fathers brought forth on this World Wide Web, a new blog carnival, conceived in a stock market on a day on which the Dow opened at 11389, the NASDAQ at 2152, and the S&P500 at 1289. Dedicated to the proposition that markets will go up and down. And up. And down. And people will try to grow their investments in it in many different ways.
Now we are engaged in a great roller coaster of a market, testing whether the investors who read that blog carnival, or any other investors so like-minded and strong-willed, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of uncertain economic times. Our citizens cannot help but ask, are we in a recession, what does the future hold, and what should our leaders be doing. Andy asks, “Will America drive the rest of world into a Recession?” with the unerring eye of his Finance ViewPoint. Helen Anderson lambasts, “5 Reasons Why the Federal Reserve is a Failure!” at the Bankaholic. And Sagar observes, “10 Surprising Economic Implications of a Barack Obama Presidency,” at CurrencyTrading.net.
It is fitting and proper that we should look also for opportunities among these ashes of despair. Steve Faber describes the strategy, “Short Selling Stocks – When Bad for the Market is Good for You,” at DebtBlog. And GBlogger notes, “Recession May Be Good For Financial and Home Builder Stocks.”
At the market close last week, the Dow was at 12361, the NASDAQ at 2258, and the S&P500 at 1329. These were rises of 414, 91, and 46 points for the week. Still, we have come to dedicate a portion of that week as a resting place for those who gave their money so that others would not totally freak out and throw the market into a panic. For the Fed’s $30 billion loan, for J.P. Morgan Chase, and for Bear Stearns. And Raymond presents, “CNBC’s Jim Cramer Advises Investors - Bear Stearns Is Fine, Don't Be Silly,” from the Money Blue Book.
We live in the age of Mad Money. We live in the information age. When one source tells us the dividend yield is 8.43% but Google Finance and Yahoo! Finance report it at 25%, we go with Google and Yahoo!. And when we see 25% yield, we read on, or at least I do. Namely, we go to Living Off Dividends and read, “Investing in Lazard World Dividend & Income Fund?”
But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot celebrate—we cannot lose all sense of decorum over a single week of market gains. The brave investors, living and dead, who struggled here, have celebrated and mourned this market for many years, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, except for the fact that what you say on the Internet seems to last forever. And the Wayback Machine. It is for us the living to be dedicated here to the unfinished work of our investments, for ourselves and for our families and others whose interests we try to nobly advance. We must look at what has worked and what has not.
For those of us who count themselves among the ranks of beginners, Aussie Investor presents, “Using Return On Equity,” from his headquarters at Stock Market Investing For Beginners. He explains, “Beginners to stock market investing need to understand the return on equity ratio. Consider it the companion to value investing ratios like price to earnings. But unlike P/E ratios, return on equity can be used to uncover stocks which have top quality businesses behind them.”
For those of us who know or imagine ourselves to be more sophisticated, we consider more advanced techniques. From the front lines, George reports on, “Consistent Cash Creators, Part 3: The Value Screen,” at Fat Pitch Financials—including a list of the top 30 “consistent free cash flow growers with low earnings yield ratios.” And we look at how we are measuring it all—and how others are measuring theirs. Dividends4Life waxes eloquent on the calculation of your total return in, “How To Increase Your Portfolio’s Return.”
Which of these will work for us, which will suit our personalities and those of our loved ones, and which will not? One that presumably will not is found in, “My Biggest Financial Mistake,” at Millionaire Money Habits.
In our global markets, people will always need a way to get from Point A to Point B. But Frank Lara, Jr. warns us, “I hate airline stocks, you can do better at the blackjack tables. But there’s one quirky, popular airline that is just different enough from the rest . . .” He presents, “JetBlue charging for legroom, how about throwing in a free share too” at The StockMasters (see also: JBLU).
It is again for us to be here dedicated to the great task before us—and when our spouses tell us something is so, we take increased devotion to the cause and never ever respond that it is not so. When Pinyo Bhulipongsanon’s wife tells him he should have bought gold when it was cheaper, we must all nod our heads. But should he buy it now? The answer lies in, “Gold hits $1,000: Should I Invest In Gold?” at Moolanomy.
We here highly resolve that these lessons shall not have been blogged in vain—that this blog carnival shall have a new birth of freedom—and that the stock market of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this Earth.
What’s that? I was supposed to talk about what? And the date was what?
Four score and seven years ago…
Editor’s Endnote: Thanks for all the submissions. Several great submissions were left out for being a bit too far outside the scope of the Festival of Stocks, at least as far as I understand it. As a reminder, the Festival of Stocks is dedicated to “stock market related topics,” with examples given as “research and commentary on specific stocks, industry analysis, ETFs, REITs, stock derivatives, and other related topics.” Please submit again for the next carnival through this link! The host will be Dividend Growth Investor. Past and future editions of the Festival of Stocks can be found at Blog Carnival and at the Carnival homepage.
Here are links to other personal-finance blog carnivals that I have hosted.