The market proved once again it is inclined to rally on almost
every rumor that centers around the word "bailout". The slope could
get tricky if we see the momentum continue and the money that is
supposedly on the sidelines come in and chase prices higher
regardless of valuation.
In one of the biggest moves of the day, shares of Darden
) got hit hard after
the company guided earnings estimates lower
this morning. 3M (
) investors fared better after company executives
affirmed their profit estimates
in a note today.
A couple of Wall Street analyst upgrades helped shares of
General Electric (
read the report on GE here
) and Ace Limited (
) tack on gains during today's session. However
for shares of Union Pacific (
) did not have the same effect, as the rail play ended the day
If You're Selling Something, Make Sure You Know Your
I got a call just last night from a friend of mine who likes to
try his hand at some entrepreneurial ideas every so often. His
latest focus is on a particular line of nutritional wellness
As I always do, I asked him a few hard-hitting questions right
off the bat. He had mentioned a particular NBA team had been users
of the product. When I asked him which players in particular, he
couldn't name one. Knowing I'm a big sports fan, he mentioned a
well-known NFL player was also endorsing the product. He knew the
player's name and former team, but didn't know this particular
player was suspended at one point in his career for using
Lastly, I asked him how well the product was working for him,
and how his weight was these days. He conceded that he hasn't lost
much weight at all, and is presently about 35 pounds heavier than
myself (we're the same height). Obviously, his answers to these
questions did little to convince me of the effectiveness of the
products he was trying to sell me.
As much as I admire his efforts to make more money, it goes
without saying he needs to dig into the product a lot more.
Additionally, his pitch would be far more effective if he got into
better shape and could illustrate the effects of the product on his
Given the current economic climate, plenty of people out there
are hustling to bring in extra income. Unfortunately in many cases
these folks aren't asking the right questions up front about what
they're selling. The hook with many of these programs (many of
which are fads that simply come and go) is that the products are
not only good for you to use and sell, but also that you'll be able
to recruit your customers to be salespeople themselves. Supposedly,
you then get a piece of their commissions, and so on. Soon enough,
the pitch becomes more about finding people to sell the particular
products rather than the importance and usefulness of what you are
selling in the first place!
Another popular tactic is to put a product in a situation it
would never encounter in real life, supposedly to demonstrate its
durability or effectiveness. One popular example I remember had an
actor smashing a plastic container with a hammer (it didn't break).
Another showed a pair of scissors cutting a soup can in half (like
a hot knife through butter!). Clearly, the art of distraction is at
work in these situations, but they must work somehow, since sellers
keep using those "wow factor" tactics.
To sum my point up, if you are going to try and start a side
business or venture, do your homework and spend your time wisely
researching exactly the product you will be selling. Having the
passion for what you are selling is more important to hearing about
how much money you stand to make. Selling is difficult - especially
when the focus is mostly on the concept and not the results.
The investments we make in ourselves each day by learning all we
can about relevant topics will pay an enormous dividend not only in
our own lives, but the lives in our own family's future
generations. The lessons to be learned are all around us. I'll be
sure to share as many as I have learned and continue to learn
Income, Income, Income
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income-producing investments the markets have to offer during time
of heightened volatility. We want to make sure we have only the
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. Also, if we see the market putting in what looks like a decent
bottom, we will be prepared to scale up the list of stocks we like.
Stay tuned and be sure to look for
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