ONLINE TRADING STOCKS
What is the Stock Market?
It's time to start trading the futures-markets successfully starting today . . . Generally speaking the Stock Market refers to equities where actually stocks and derivatives are traded. In the U.S.A. we think the Stock Market is New York City. In fact there are major Stock Markets in Hong Kong, Hamburg, London, Paris, Canada, Japan and others that influence one another and impact the world Stock Market.
The New York Stock Exchange may have stocks listed that are listed on other major Stock Markets. A company headquartered in Amsterdam may be listed on multiple stock exchanges. Many foreign organized companies are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. There is a tremendous value for foreign companies to be listed on an exchange in the U.S. The exposure and knowledge of a foreign company has a face on the New York Stock Market.
An example would be a Chinese stock named Baidu. This China information and search technology company has grown in leaps and bounds since it was introduced on the New York Market. Sometimes all it takes is making a good impression to stock analysts and a good review by key people to give the foreign company a boost.
The reality of the Stock Market today is its world wide integration of investors, companies and alliances that create an unprecedented dynamic. Thus far this United Nations of the financial markets has produced an unspoken treaty of like minds. The main objective is to create a win-win scenario for all of the world players in the Stock Market.
Any investor wherever located may hold a substantial stake in any given equity no matter where the equity is traded. The Stock Market is a very large private club that anyone can join with the only admission ticket is the price of a single share of stock.
Most people are aware of American companies utilizing off shore manufacturing of their products. It may be not as well known that some traditional American brand companies are owned by foreign companies. Other American brand companies have a significant multi-national presence with significant stock ownership by foreign banks and investors.
The term equity should be broadly interpreted. There are equities that involve the manufacturing of products and goods, but a product can be intellectual or an entity like insurance. Banks are equities and financial brokers are all traded on the various exchanges. An investor may own gold stocks, mining companies and equities that package these equities into a corporate entity. The only limitation is that if the investor is interested in owning the commodity or trading in the futures market the Chicago Mercantile or other commodities exchanges is the investing tool.
In other words you may own a bank as an equity who may have bonds and other commercial paper that may trade on the commodities exchanges, but you can' t buy a commodity as a stock. If you want a commodity like wheat, currency, corn, gold, silver or the like you need to look to the commodities exchange.
In the United States the New York Stock Market is comprised of the NASDAQ, NYSE and the newly created combination of the NYSE Group with Euronext. The Euronext holding company is a phenomenal synergy between Paris and the NYSE whose history goes back to 1792.
The Euronext is a combination of derivatives, currency and equities to name a sample of products. There are other exchanges that include the AMEX. There are listing requirements for each of the exchanges. The Stock Market is basically a place where buyers and seller of a piece of a company come together and in the process the company hopefully raises some cash or other value.
What Are Blue Chip Stocks?
Blue Chip Stocks are quality stocks that have a proven track record. A Blue Chip stock is like a member of the family in the American pastoral landscape. The Blue Chip stock makes toilet paper, laundry soap, aluminum, steel , washing machines and just about every well known brand we used every day The Blue Chip stock is Bank of America, U.S. Steel, Proctor & Gamble and others we think of as being our companies.
In times of uncertainty and for long term investors the Blue Chip stocks are a part of every portfolio either in direct stock purchases or through mutual funds. The Blue Chip stock is a large cap company and has decades and even a century of presence on the stock market. Some Blue Stock stocks are relatively new players like Home Depot or the result of a merger & acquisition. If you look around your house and around your town the brand products you use or have come to rely on are Blue Chip stocks.
The fact is that we take for granted the Blue Chip stocks both in our familiarity as an end user, but often times in the stock market. The Blue Chip stocks make up the S&P500 index. These stocks as a whole can be purchased as an index fund. Some Blue Chip stocks make up the Dow 100. These stocks on the whole are a bell weather of how the overall market is doing.
Like any familiar item the Blue Chip stocks become like a comfortable old pair of sneakers. We know where they are and they are easy to slip into, but they may not be as exciting as say Google or Baidu. In recent months some of the Blue Chip stocks have been a flight to safety for some investors. Not all Blue Chip stocks are alike, but some have been grossly undervalued and therefore a good buy.
Ways to invest in Blue Chip stocks . . .
The investor can pick and choose a Blue Chip stock and buy it through a stock broker or on-line with a trading. This gives you access to the companies performance on the short term and charts going back at least 10-yrs. The investor can access the companies financial reports and quarterly earnings on-line. The investor can ask the company to send you a company prospectus.
There are index funds of Blue Chip stocks that can be bought through a financial brokerage house. There are mutual funds that are designated as Blue Chip Funds in most family of funds offered in all of the major mutual funds companies. There is even a mutual fund company that offers a spider fund comprised of Blue Chip stocks that is similar to the S& P 500.
The variety of ways to invest in Blue Chip stocks is endless. Spiders, Index funds, and hybrids in between. There are option contracts and some tricky investments that only a really savvy trader can advise you about.
The Blue Chip stocks merit a good review in all times not just in times of market uncertainty.
See Your Cupboard As A Stock Picker
There are experts in the field of making predictions on stock performance. Another expert in the field of some stocks may be you the consumer. Think about it, you pick products that for various reasons are your favorites. Your kitchen cupboard or shopping basket may be a very good prediction on the long term performance of the company stock.
Company brand products did not become staples in most homes because of clever packaging and cute commercials. The brands we as consumers rely on are on shopping list because the particular product is tried and true to its word. The household purchaser can make or break a product. The true clout of the American consumer is not to be underestimated in the Stock Market.
On a larger scale, you as the consumer may have a grocery store that over the years you may find carried all the products mentioned above. The convenience of a grocery store that carries all of your favorite items save you time and money in traveling around. The success of Wal-Mart, Target and other big box stores is the convenience of one stop shopping. The prices for brand names in the big box stores are good. Other personal favorites in shopping venues may include Safeway, Albertson's and Kroger. All of these companies are listed on the stock exchange.
In the brand name product area you may need to look on the packaging to determine the name of the company to find the stock. Some favorites like Clorox, Johnson & Johnson, and others are listed under the familiar company name. Due to mergers and acquisitions many name brand products have become subsidiaries or subsumed in a larger company's product line. All you need to do is check out the references on the label or customer service information that is located somewhere on the product.
The idea of you as the consumer being the best stock picker extends to larger items. You spent some time looking for an automobile, washing machine, refrigerator and like items. You chose a particular brand for a reason. The factors could be value, reliability or your past experiences. The reason could be a combination of all factors mentioned above. Value your decision process and consider investing in the company that produces the product.
A cautionary note is that even the best company may have a down year. The reasons could be management changes, and other economic pressures. The product is still good, but the internal structure of the company needs a quick fix. In these circumstances make a decision whether you want to weather the storm or wait until the company gets its act together. Sometimes the stormy days of a company can be a buying opportunity.
For those of you who actively trade (or desire to learn how to trade) the financial and futures markets, there are a lot of other things outside the markets you should be following. But, I guess my bigger message is for those of you that aren’t in the futures markets, whether you trade them or not, the futures markets have a significant impact on what happens in the other financial markets, including forex, currencies, options and stocks. That’s why you should soak up every piece of good trading knowledge like a sponge in a quest to clearly see the bigger picture.
In conclusion your cupboard or your shopping cart may be a good indicator of the stocks you should consider choosing. The other good aspect of investing using your cupboard is personal satisfaction. As a consumer you have the dual role of being an investor in your product. It is a good feeling to put your dollars into growth instead of simple consumption.
Investing in the Oil Sector
There is advantages to investing in areas of the stock market that you know or have some personal experience with on a daily basis. Nearly everyone is effected in one way or another by the commodity oil. If you are an individual you take note of prices at the gas pump, heating bill and other uses of oil. If you are a business owner the price of oil is a factor in the operation of your business. For the purposes of this article the two areas that will be covered is oil & gas and oil service stocks. The first area oil & gas covers some of the big oil stocks whose names you may know. The second area is the oil service stocks that support and aid the extraction and distribution of oil.
Big Oil & Gas . . .
For all the rhetoric and interesting speculation about "green energy," and the alternative fuels like ethanol, biomass, and wind energy the present circumstances places the lion share of energy that moves the world in the lap of the oil industry. Names you not only hear about, but have been around in one shape or another for a century. Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, Conoco-Philips, British Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell and Hess Corporation. These companies have an individual market capitalization of hundreds of billion of dollars, with the exception of Hess that has a mere 19 billion in market cap. It is hard to imagine a more solid group of stocks with as much clout as this elite club.
All of the stocks mentioned above are involved in exploration, distribution and marketing of oil products around the world. Their influence and their financial worth allows them to invest in costly drilling, manufacturing and distribution of oil in all of its forms. While the rhetoric continues about building and providing alternative sources of energy. These companies presently support a significant percentage of the every day uses of energy. Some of the big oil companies even support blends of biomass fuels and ethanol as a compliment to their own primary purposes.
The cost of purchasing stock in this stock is relatively cheap when you consider the likes of Google selling for in excess of $500 per share. Still other intellectual property stocks on the market and conglomerates sell for in excess of $200 a share. The range of prices in Big Oil is between $61 to $89 per share. What you get is a stock that is capitalized with billions of dollars, has a management team that is beyond exceptional and an underlying product "oil" that is in short supply.
For the moral investor that blames Big Oil for the environmental mess, wars and other maladies the world faces the only American not to blame are the Amish with their horse and buggies. Still, the Amish may leave a smaller foot print, but we all have in one way or another impacted and contributed to the need Big Oil has satisfied and will continue to do so. At present there is small improvements everyone can do, but Big Oil's contribution to a strong economy, and living in a modern society is not going to be replaced any time soon.
The best bet for future stock growth and for pure investment is in oil & gas. Of the Big Oil stocks that are worth looking at Royal Dutch Shell and Conoco-Philips are the two that have some notable room for short term growth. Another reason to consider Conoco-Philips is that George Soros recently took a position in this company. In investing it is good to follow the leaders. Review the institutional investors in all of the stocks mentioned above and make a decision on which company you think will be a good addition to your portfolio. If in time you make a huge gain take a portion of the profits and contribute to a fledgling "green energy" cooperative.
Oil Service Stocks . . .
The oil sector would not be complete without mentioning the drillers who get that precious commodity out of the ground, ocean bed or frozen tundra. The oil drilling stocks are rumored by some financial experts to be waning in appeal or topped out. In order to put this in perspective the long history of the oil drilling companies goes back a century. These tough minded riggers and engineers made the oil industry what it is today. The inventive engineers and scientists found astounding ways to detect and then extract oil from the most harsh environmental challenges. The oil drilling stocks are part and parcel of the oil i. (GSF) announced merger plans. Individually, RIG sells for around $70 per share and RIG in the neighborhood of $102. These companies are backed by billions of dollars and their institutional investors are stellar. Another drilling company of note is Diamond Drilling. This drilling stock is owned by Fidelity Funds, Vanguard Funds, Loews Corp.. and Thornburg Investments to name just a few. The oil drilling stocks merit a good look and watch for buying opportunities if there are dips in the near future. In the alternative you can choose a mutual fund from one of the institutional investors mentioned in this piece that focuses on the oil sector.
This has been a brief overview of the oil sector. Review your investment objectives and seek the advice of licensed estate planner or stock broker. Company prospective's are available on-line and by mail.
Investing in Chinese Companies
China's economy has been soaring for some time. It is possible the growth potential is only at the starting point. During the years of its world seclusion. China as a country amassed trillions of dollars in its coffers. American companies that have relocated some of their operations to China has added even more capital to the China economy. The Chinese are wise investors and do not seem to make a bad deal in any of their financial transactions. China calls the shots in the deal making process.
This year in particular China is going through a massive infra structure and building phase within China to prepare for the 2008 Olympics. This factor has increased China's tremendous building phase in manufacturing aluminum, building trades and the railroad industry. In the area of communication China has stepped up its manufacturing and distribution of products. China also has plans to build a small economy car called the Chery Automobile.
For all the reasons mentioned above and the overall strength of the China economy this could be a good time to buy China stocks. The average American can purchase China stock on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ Exchange. The other avenue available is the mutual fund or spider that is geared to Asian or China investments only. These funds do exist and are doing exceptionally well.
Specific China Stocks . . .
The need for raw materials and manufacturing of materials is a high priority for China. One particular shining star is Aluminum Corp.. China. It trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock ticker ACH. This is an $8.7 billion dollar market cap company. It has seen tremendous gains in the past two years. The growth spurt almost seems endless due to China's demand for aluminum and other metals. The stock is currently selling in the high $60 range. The major institutional holders are John Hancock Trust-Natural Resources, Allianz, Goldman Sachs and other prized investor funds.
In the technology areas Chinese companies have some interesting choices. .The web company and software technology and mobile phone application company CDC Corp.mpanies have some interesting choices. .The web company and software technology and mobile phone application company CDC Corp. is a low cost stock to watch. The stock sells under the stock ticker CHINA. It is currently a $6.40 stock that can easily make its mark at $11 and higher. The Olympic 2008 event in Beijing is expected to boost their technologies.
A great information and search engine company is Baidu. It trades under the stock ticker BIDU. For whatever reason the brains on Wall Street love this stock. It sells in the $200 plus range, but it rivals the likes of Google. It is a stock to watch.
Mutual Funds . . .
The investor looking to invest in China and Asian Markets should definitely consider the mutual funds offered by various family of funds. Nearly all of the large fund companies have a fund that is designed for for exposure to the growth in China. Alger China Growth, Thornburg Global Opportunities, Evergreen Opportunities Fund, American Funds, Oppenheimer and Allianz all have great funds with good returns.
If you are interested in China stocks discuss it with your advisor or ask one of the funds mentioned above to send you a prospectus.