Will you have your life turned upside down because of limiting choices?

Posted October 31, 2013 at 10:48 am

By Simon Black

We have entered what I call the Age of Turmoil, a time that is marked by rapid change and fluctuating crises.  The old system of debt and consumption that gave us great salaries, generous benefits, stock market and housing appreciation, and a high standard of living is gone forever.

What’s happening right now is a major sea change: the game is being reset, and the rules are being rewritten.

I’m not being pessimistic, and this is not a cause for fear.  We shouldn’t be afraid of the Age of Turmoil, but rather prepare for it by becoming more self-reliant.  Those who are prepared will survive, thrive, and be well-positioned for the enormous opportunities that await.

Conversely, those who cling to their faith in the old system, desperately hoping for a return to the carefree days of the past, will have their lives turned upside down.

This is because all the major elements of the old system– our political process, our money and financial institutions, the job market, police forces, etc.– only function as long as the system is operating normally.

Think about how things work under the old system– people are effectively given pre-packaged options for the major decisions in their lives. Do you want to be a doctor? Follow this career template. A pilot? Follow that one. Investing your money? Select from these mutual funds.

I call these ‘limiting choices,’ and they are a staple tradition in our modern society. Our realities are defined by people and regulations which govern our thinking, restrict our options, and constrain our creativity.

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The Best Android Apps of 2013 by PC Magazine

Posted July 28, 2013 at 8:00 am

The 100 Best Android Apps of 2013

by Max Eddy | PC Magazine

I just checked and apparently there are well over 800,000 apps on Google Play. That means if you wanted to see them all, you’d have to download and try over 90 apps an hour for a year.

No one’s got that kind of time, which is why we’ve put together this list of 100 Android apps that are sure to pique your interest.

We’ve been pruning and updating this list for over a year, trying to make sure it has a little something for everyone but also keep it fresh and interesting. While our tastes and yours may be different, we think our list is a good starting point. Hopefully the next time you stop by, you’ll see something new.

Whoa, 10 pages? Uncool. Paginated stories are pretty annoying, I agree. But with 100 apps, we had to break it up just to make it readable. We’ve even divided the article into themed sections, so you can skip over the first 50 or so if you’re only interested in, say, music apps.

Hey, You Missed Something Though we are professionals, we have yet to physically and mentally merge with the Google Play store, becoming an omnipotent being of total app knowledge. Until that glorious day, we’ll rely on our own humble judgment and your feedback. If we missed something, or you have a recommendation, be sure to drop us a line in the comment section.

This App Is Stale While 100 apps is a far more manageable slice of the enormous Google Play store, it’s still a challenge to keep up to date. That’s the nature of a platform as large and dynamic as Android. In order to keep these reviews fresh and accurate we’ll be doing rolling updates to the list.

Hopefully, the next time you read this, there’ll be some new hidden gems for you to discover. As always, tell us what your favorite Android apps are in the comments section below.

Continue reading…

 

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A Tale of Two Markets (Guest Commentary)

Posted May 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

by Doug Robertson
Guest Commentator

“It was the best of times, it was the worst  of times” – Charles Dickens, A tale of two cities  (1859)

Despite being written by Dickens in 1859,  these words seem to be amazingly descriptive of the markets right now.

Every day, I am being inundated with contradictory messages.  Just by flipping between the financial news  networks, I can be told in one breath that the markets are ready to crash down  and in another, that the current run is going to keep going forever.

We’re continuing to hear the extremists claiming,  ‘the world is falling, the world is falling’, yet the markets (most notably,  the S&P 500) are as high as they’ve ever been.

{ EDITORS NOTE: To remind  you of our view on these Chicken Little extremists, click here for an article written by M4 Research Co-Founder,  Barry Goss… }

So  what is it, the best of times or the worst of times?

It certainly can’t be both; and if the  market is going to crash, I want to get  out before it does.

Given the crazy way the markets are  behaving, this is a good question to be asking.

The hard part is giving a worthwhile answer  without just becoming another opinion in the crowd. Instead of telling you that  I think the market is going to crash or the Dow is going to 20,000, I am going  to walk you through some data and  hopefully get you thinking.

As a smart self-directed investor, I am going to leave you to make up your own  mind about what it means – perhaps with the help of your qualified  financial advisor.

I first want to look at the basic ‘things’  that make up the price of a share of stock – or, the stock’s value. Each share  of stock gives you a small piece of ownership in two things: company assets and  future cash flow.

The assets are easy to understand; just add up all the value in the company, the cash,  inventory, buildings, etc… and subtract out the liabilities.

The cash flow is a little trickier. This relies on people making assumptions about what will  happen in the future and often determines if a stock price is over- or undervalued.

By looking at these basic pieces of  information, we can get a sense of the  current relative value of the market and where it has room to move, either  up or down.

So, let’s take a look at the general  valuation of the S&P 500 Index in two different ways. We want to see how the market measures up today against  historical markets

 

NOTE: The above is a preface of a guest editorial contribution shared with Wealth Vault members on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. To get the full review of this particular resource, either login, or become a member

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5 key reasons why the market will rise into 2013

Posted September 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm

by Michael Tarsala

Citigroup stock strategist Tobias Levkovich sees the S&P 500 rising another 12 percent to reach an all-time high of 1,615next year.

He still sees “substantive challenges”for the markets, including a shrinking European economy and the looming U.S. fiscal cliff.

Yet his reasons for optimism seem to rest on five key factors:

1) The economy and earnings will expand

Levkovich sees coming improvements in capital investment, industrial production, as well as employment. That should make for modest corporate earnings growth and sustained GDP growth.

2) Washington will find a way to play nice

There will be agreements to address the current fiscal imbalances, pretty much no matter who is in the White House next year.

3) Valuations are OK

Levkovich thinks that valuations support further index gains. His assumption is for forward PEs to rise to 14.9. See a related story on forward PEs that provides a different perspective as to why forward PEs may not stay near that mutliple.

4) The U.S. will remain the relative economic leader

Levkovich sees continued U.S. energy sector expansion, leadership in mobile devices, positive demographic factors and a continued housing recovery.

5) Pessimism reigns

One of the best times to be optimistic is when everyone else is pessimistic.  As Warren Buffett likes to say, be greedy when others are fearful. Levkovich sees no shortage of worries, but he also thinks that many are already priced in.

[ Details / Source:  Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "5 Reasons Citi is Bullish for 2013"]

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Facebook will thrive, just as Google has

Posted September 6, 2012 at 2:59 pm

by James Altucher

Jimmy Stuart @JStuartTweets: Facebook has an extremely uncertain future, with the outcome teetering from good extremes to bad ones. How does it end?

Answer:

Only the headlines say Facebook has an uncertain future. The headlines also said Fukishama radiation was going to hit San Francisco within days of the tsunami. The headlines also said Avian Flu was going to wipe out the world, or at least be a major epidemic? Well, where is Avian Flu?

And where are the apologies? How come the people who write the headlines never apologize when they are wrong? Thousands of people in San Francisco and the rest of Japan were scared to death because of the headlines created after the tsunami? Where are the apologies to those people? Where is Swine Flu? Where are the weapons of mass destruction?

Ok, and now people are saying a company with a billion addicted users that is also the website that people spend the most time on (compared with a billion other websites) is “teetering” on self-destruction.

I’ll tell you from my perspective. Not only do I spend a lot of time on Facebook but I advertise  on Facebook and I am an advisor or investor in several social media agencies that focus on Facebook and  I was also an investor in the largest social media agency.

Facebook is an enormous success and is going to continue to be. I am seeing them unveil new sources of revenue on a weekly basis. Do you notice the ad that is now there on the login page? It wasn’t there last week. Or the fact that brand pages with over 100,000 fans can now promote specific posts. That’s about a month old. Or the fact that there will be realtime bidding on Facebook ad units. That was mentioned on the conference call but I don’t think has been released yet. And then there’s mobile. Facebook is not going anywhere.

But I still see people saying “Mark Zuckerberg is not ready to be a CEO”. Are you kidding me? How many users did he build the site up to? Has anyone else ever done that in the history of the planet Earth? Let’s look at his latest achievement. The IPO. People say the IPO was a failure. Very funny.

He raised the great amount of money at the highest possible amount, with the lowest dilution, and paid a lower percentage of fees to Wall Street than any IPO before him. That’s a pretty amazing success. If you bought the IPO for a quick flip, sorry. You lost. But if you bought for the long run, you’re going to be a big winner. Even bigger if you buy now.

[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "Ask James: Failure, Success, Facebook, and How to Survive Your Darkest Moments"]

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We’re in the “sweet spot” for stocks

Posted July 13, 2012 at 12:29 am

by Matthew Boesler   

The latest research note from Citi’s Richard Schellbach includes the firm’s “Multi-Asset Investment Clock.”

“Our place on the investment clock sits at 8 o’clock given we are now clearly past the period of falling interest rates, yet still not overly mature into the earnings recovery,” he writes. “Even as deep concerns remain over the developed world’s medium term growth outlook, risk assets should outperform.”

According to Citi, we are in the “sweet spot” for stocks.

Print this one out and maybe swap it with the clock on your wall if you’re not already on Citi time.

[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "Citi: It's Time To Buy Stocks... "]

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Thought leaders explain why to be optimistic about America

Posted May 4, 2012 at 12:21 am

by Stacy Curtain

The Daily Ticker headed to Los Angeles this week to cover the Milken Institute’s annual Global Conference where many of the world’s most influential investors, economists, CEOs, innovators and policymakers met to discuss some of the most imminent and dire problems facing America and the world.

For a change of pace, we asked our guests to tells us what makes them most optimistic about the America today. We got a wide-range of responses, but many added one caveat to their answer: the hindrance of political dysfunction in Washington and its negative drag on prosperity in America.

Here’s what they said:

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The new face of wall street

Posted April 23, 2012 at 3:26 am

by D.M. Levine

Mark Gorton is the new face of Wall Street. Gorton is a high-frequency trader. His company, Tower Research Capital LLC, with its 275-person global staff of engineers and computer science and physics majors, is part of an industry that today is responsible for more than half of all stock trading in the United States, according to the Tabb Group, a financial markets research and strategic advisory firm. Gorton’s is an industry under scrutiny.

People like Gorton are increasingly replacing the traders in traditional stock exchange pits — those nervous-looking people in vests, furiously hand signaling buy and sell orders in a sort of rapid-fire sign language. But instead of huddling on the floor of an exchange, high-frequency traders sit at their computers tweaking and retweaking algorithms that do the buying and selling electronically far faster than any human can.

Gorton’s job then is not to buy and sell stock, but rather to oversee a business filled with programmers who devise the algorithms to automatically trade those stocks, bonds and futures far faster than his competitors. “What we do is try to identify patterns and trading strategies that might work in the market, and if we find something that works, we deploy it,” Gorton says matter-of-factly.

[ Details / Source: Above is our hand-picked KEY excerpt(s) from this full article: "Is Speed Trader Mark Gorton Killing Wall Street?" ]

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These 10 American industries are dying, or already dead

Posted April 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm

via Business Insider

The rise of cheap imports, technological advancements and the financial crisis have collectively delivered a harsh blow to some U.S. industries.

IBISWorld is out with a list of 10 American industries that have seen sharp revenue declines, a fall in industry participants and a declining life cycle stage between 2002 and 2012.

Some of the worst hit industries include newspaper publishing, women’s and girls apparel manufacturing and appliance repair industries.

Take a look at the slideshow [continue]…

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Project Glass – bring ‘em on baby

Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:24 am

Er, yes — absolutely YES —  we are so ready for these glasses. Your eyes, now a consolidated window into managing your entire digital life:

IFRAME Embed for Youtube

More from a secret team at Google…

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