135th Edition – The Festival of Stocks

Welcome to the April 6th, 2009 edition of the Festival of Stocks, hosted this week by the Enlightened American site.  You can find more information on the Festival of Stocks here. Below, you’ll find a selection of posts covering a wide array of topics in investing and personal finance.  There were many more submissions this week than for previous festivals I’ve hosted and it was hard to narrow it down to a manageble number.


My contribution to the festival is a discussion on turning Warren Buffett’s circle of competence concept on its head. Perhaps knowing your circle of incompetence is a more useful way to approach the problem.

Stocks

China ETFs at The Sun’s Financial Diary
* Editor’s Choice *
Investing in China is always a hot topic and Sun offers 4 ways to play it.
Stocks: TAO, HAO, FCHI, GXC

VWO – Fund for Foreign Emerging Market Exposure at Dividend Tree
* Editor’s Choice *
An nice, detailed comparison of some emerging market ETFs.
Stocks: VWO, EEM, DEM, BKF, BIK

General Dynamics Corp. (GD) Stock Analysis at Dividends Value
* Editor’s Choice *
D4L gives a nice analysis of General Dynamics (GD). As the name implies, there’s a strong emphasis on dividends.
Stocks: GD

Investing

Free Cash Flow, The Right Way at MagicDiligence
* Editor’s Choice *
Steve Alexander gives an in-depth lesson on calculating free cash flow.
Stocks: HD

How to Build a Simple and Effective All-ETF Portfolio at ETFdb
Verna Morris gives a basic treament of portfolio/asset allocation. While I disagree with some of the assumptions embedded in this piece, it’s probably beneficial for investors to be aware of different methodologies and make their own choices.

Asset Allocation – Investing By The Numbers at Australian Stock Market Blog
Aussie Investor (we don’t discriminate here!) wonders if asset allocation deserves more consideration in light of the recent bear market.

Recession Stocks and Investing Strategy for Coming Period of High Inflation at Personal Dividends
Arohan shares his take on our current economic situation and some investment strategies to deal with them.

Just Buy Index Funds Directly at Stock Index Mutual Funds
For the passive investor in all of us, Frank Vertin gives sound advice on purchasing low-cost mutual funds.

Most Individual Investors Are Poor Personal Portfolio Managers at Personal Investment Management
Larry Russell discusses a study that found poor investment behavior in thousands of discount brokerage accounts. However, while probably true, it may be a stretch to reach the conclusion suggested by his title based on this study.

Personal finance

Health Savings Accounts explained at Everything Finance
* Editor’s Choice *
Tushar Mathur gives an overview of HSAs, yet another subtle attack upon the American employee. Likened to the health insurance equivalent of the 401(k) (how’d that turn out for folks?), HSAs are becoming more prevalent and may be suitable for some people. But consumers are taking on more risk without being adequately compensated for it. A good rule of thumb: any “innovation” introduced by the FIRE industries (finance, insurance, real estate) were created to benefit the sellers, not the consumers.

Best High Interest Savings Accounts at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity
Jim ranks his top 5 high-yielding online banks. He doesn’t talk about why #1 is better than #2-5, which is unfortunate as #1’s yield is lower than some of the others. Shouldn’t it be ranked by rates offered or total return over a period of time? But if you’ve pulled cash from the markets, at least earn a little interest on it.

How to Profit from Employee Stock Options Regardless of Share Performance at Darwin’s Finance
Dan discusses selling call options against employee stock benefits. While the article leaves out some serious considerations (i.e. the dangers of selling naked calls), I found the idea interesting and novel, if a bit impractical.

5 Ways To Take Charge Of Our Finances at KCLau’s Money Tips
KCLau is based in Malaysia so some of the specifics may not apply but the general principles are sound enough to be of use to anyone looking to get their accounts in order.

10 Tips to Declutter Your Finances at The Dough Roller
DR gives some tips on how to manage our finances more efficiently. It may seem basic but if people didn’t need to be told the basics, how do you explain Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey? Besides, the first part of the article about how mental and physical clutter affect us is great.

Tools

Day Trader Tweets: StockTwits vs. Twiticker at Bankling
Diego Cervantes takes a look at some new technology looking to hop on the Twitter bandwagon.

4 Responses to “135th Edition – The Festival of Stocks”

  1. Sun Says:

    Thanks for including my article and making it Editor’s Choice!

  2. Darwin's Finance Says:

    Thanks for hosting and including my article on selling calls against company stock option grants. I agree, there are risks to selling naked calls. In this case, I don’t consider them fully “naked” if you have the proper expiry and underlying options (perhaps you don’t start the cycle until you already have x vested, etc.) and I did include some warnings/considerations in the article, but you rightly point out that it’s not a strategy to be taken lightly. But, who knows, after the biggest 4 week bull market 25% run-up since 1933, perhaps now’s a good time to lock in some decent premiums because there’s no assurance that this party’s going to continue at its current rate.

  3. Best Personal Finance and Investing Articles in April 2009 | Darwin's Finance Says:

    [...] Festival of Stocks [...]

  4. Weekly Links: April 12, 2009 | Dividends Value Says:

    [...] Festival of Stocks published: General Dynamics Corp. (GD) Stock Analysis [...]

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