Summary for Week Ending 12 March 2012

March 14th, 2012
in contributors

Written by Mark Bern, CPA CFA

I am afraid that until March Madness (NCAA Basketball Tournament) ends I’ll be working a lighter schedule since it is one of those times of year that I march-madnessSMALLcherish. The family situation is all better, but my alma mater has a solid team in the women’s bracket and I hope to watch all of their games as well as whatever else I can find the time to enjoy. This is one of those great perks of being retired. I did write four articles this week, two of which were out of the realm of normal for me, but that I just felt strongly about. I’ll start with a little summary for those two first.

Follow up:

The situation in Greece came to a head this past week with the deadline for debt holders to agree to a debt swap offering. I was a little worried that it might not happen and wanted to give my readers some guidance on what to do to at least partially insure their portfolios against any fallout. Thus, I wrote a piece titled “2 EFTs to Profit From  the Greek Debacle.” It wasn’t meant so much as a play on Greece as a way to keep from losing too much if things went awry. On Friday, once things were apparent that crisis had been averted, I left a comment on the article thread letting people know that if they had used the strategy they should unwind it ASAP.

Another View of the BLS Employmnent Report”  garnered both criticism and praise for looking deeper into the numbers than the headline articles tended to do. The comment thread is quite an interesting read.

Getting back into my “normal” realm of rising dividend companies,  I wrote about Greif (NYSE:GEF), another packaging and container company, adding to the category that I discussed last week. The GEF article concludes my analysis of that industry for the time being. I don’t expect short-term gains to come too easily from any of my favorites, but each has positioned itself well for future growth over the longer-term.

My last article is more of what for which I am best known, “Updated Enahnced Income Strategy for Union Pacific, Lowe's and Walgreen”, covering (NYSE:UNP, NYSE:LOW, NYSE:WAG).  This article is a continuation of my series highlighted in the paragraph below that I intend to continue at least through the end of September 2013.

Finally, I want to make readers aware of my ongoing series entitled, “My Long-Term, Enhanced Investing-for-Income Strategy.”  It begins with a detailed explanation of using puts and calls for managing your portfolio.  Think of selling a put as a means of placing a limit order and getting paid for placing it.  I think that you will agree that creating a return of 8% - 10% on your cash while you wait patiently to buy at bargain prices is preferable to placing orders below the market in hopes of getting a bargain and earning nothing on your cash while you wait.  That is just one aspect of the strategy and you can find the original article at this link.  If you are wondering how the strategy is working so far, you can find the results in the latest summary arcticle.

Thanks for reading and I wish all of my followers a prosperous investing future!

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