More Posts by JT

Why Leveraged ETFs Don’t Match Market Performance

No product on Wall Street draws more criticism than leveraged ETFs. Leverage funds are designed to multiply the performance of indexes, but often do so poorly in the long run. The ProShares Ultra S&P500 ETF (SSO) tracks twice the daily return of the S&P500 index every day. If the S&P 500 is up 1%, then […]

How Shark Tank is Making Me a Better Investor

I’m enjoying the new season of Shark Tank, a reality show where entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to venture capitalists who decide whether or not to invest in a business. The show provides some great investment lessons from very successful business leaders, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. Here are just a few reminders that Shark Tank gives […]

Why the Street Hates Utility Stocks

Utilities are the classic defensive investment.  Generally slow growing, but high-yielding and inexpensive relative to earnings, utilities are the traditional dividend value stock. Now Wall Street seems to have turned on the utilities business.  Should you listen?   What Utilities Really Are An understanding of what utilities actually do really helps to explain why Wall […]

Can RetailMeNot Succeed Where Groupon Failed?

I’m one of those cheap freaks who Googles a coupon anytime I buy something online, so you can imagine how excited I was when I realized that RetailMeNot would soon go public. RetailMeNot (SALE) is by-far the leader in the online coupon category. The company lists coupons from tens of thousands of sites and retailers, […]

Lululemon: Does this Trendy Stock Have Legs?

Lululemon (LULU) is a Wall Street darling. It should be. The company earns ridiculous returns on invested capital, operates as a cash cow that can internally fund its own expansion, and has some of the best profit margins around. Oh, and it has a reputation for selling boatloads of merchandise through a single store. Revenue […]

When Book Value is Misleading: BlackBerry’s Blackbox

Robert wrote an article a few weeks ago about whether or not book value mattered when making an investment. He wrote about mREITs, and whether or not a book value was a good indicator of a company’s actual value. Since mortgage REITs are really just a portfolio of leveraged debt investments, book value is everything. […]

Wall Street Axing Founders: Does It Matter?

No one cares more about a business that the person who starts it. Proud founders watch their businesses beat new challenges, hit new revenue targets and, if they’re lucky, make many of the early believers incredibly wealthy. But as great as having a founding member in a C-suite can be, some founders overstay their welcome. […]

The Curious Case of Dot Com Accounting

Much has changed since the days of Enron and Worldcom, two companies that flew under the radar for what was simple accounting fraud in the realm of billions of dollars. Most notably, the United States put forth Sarbanes-Oxley, which made executives personally responsible for the accounting numbers they publish. While Sarbanes-Oxley holds management liable for […]

Why Gold is Out, Especially the Miners

I’m a frequent critic of gold (GLD) in an investment portfolio. Seeing as it doesn’t generate income, doesn’t grow, and costs money to store, it’s a highly-speculative investment. That doesn’t mean it isn’t without its good years – those who bought gold ETFs in 2004 have doubled their money.   Gold is Losing its Luster […]

Fannie and Freddie Shareholders: Hedge Funds vs. Government

The two best performing stocks this year are two names no one would have expected. After peaking at return in excess of 1400% in May, shares of Fannie Mae (FNMA) and Freddie Mac (FMCC) are up over 600% year-to-date.     What’s Behind the Rise of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Fannie Mae and Freddie […]

How to Avoid Financial Loss from Rising Interest Rates

It now seems as though interest rates may soon head higher, if not because there is hardly a chance rates can go lower, but because the economy may have reached an inflection point. Economic data is stronger than at any point in the last few years. Home prices are rising quickly. Home sales are improving, […]

Two Ratios for Top Down Market Valuation

Timing the market isn’t easy. In fact, it’s probably one of the hardest things you can do. There’s no shortage of people who attempt to do it, though. In truth, when the market is expensive, so too are individual stocks. So, naturally, one would like to buy when the market is cheap and sell when […]