The market was unable to build on yesterday's early morning pop,
and we kind of moved up and down for much of the day.
Companies in the mutual fund space like T. Rowe Price (
) and Franklin Resources (
) moved lower following an analyst downgrade this morning. That
call comes on back of headlines out late yesterday that PIMCO (the
world's largest bond manager) will be launching its Total Return
Fund as an ETF starting Mar. 1, with much lower expenses than the
company's mutual fund version of the product. The fear is that
others will follow suit, meaning ETFs will continue to increase
their asset base rapidly, at the expense of higher-cost mutual
Continuing lower once again were the big credit card winners of
2011, MasterCard (
) and Visa (
). MasterCard is seeing the bulk of the selling following
negative Wall Street commentary
. Soda-makers Coca-Cola (
) and Pepsico (
) were in the red as well, following an
analyst cutting its rating on both names
On the flipside, positive analyst notes had shares of Rockwell
) and General Motors (
) gaining. Investors are wondering if GM will follow in Ford's (
) footsteps and re-initiate a dividend payout. Only time (and
sales) will tell.
Cut Short at the Finish Line
According to the latest data from the Department of Labor, the
average time someone 55 or older was unemployed in December 2011
was 52.2 weeks. In a tough job environment, you can bet that many
of these folks are digging quite a hole for themselves.
Most people are caught completely by surprise when given a
termination notice. Without any preparations in place, people
quickly turn desperate, dipping into their nest eggs to fill
immediate money requirements. This process, of course, is a big
setback to one's long-term financial picture.
If you have to tap your 401(k) or IRA before age 59, you'll
likely face stiff penalties. I suggest sitting down with a
certified financial planner to assess all your options in this
case. Accepting your social security benefits at age 62 is also not
a prudent idea if you can avoid it. Keep in mind that taking
benefits at age 62 locks in payments that are only 75 percent of
what they would be at the retirement age of 66. Delaying benefits
at age 66 will raise them by 8 percent a year until age 70, after
which benefits do not increase with age.
To avoid becoming a statistic, your best path is to stay
educated in your industry and be cognizant of where employment
demand is headed. The more additional skills you can pick up, the
better. If you're employed in a dying industry, why roll the dice
and wait till the last possible minute to change lanes? You may
think your "experience" will transcend in other fields, but in many
cases they will not. Also, understand that corporations may be
hesitant to pay a salary premium to a more experienced worker if
they can find a lower salary fit with someone younger.
Use the time you have in your working years to free up as much
capital as possible to put to work in income-producing assets
(quality dividend-paying stocks) on a consistent basis. That way,
your money will be working for you as you continue your path to
Moves Will Come
As we continue to monitor the markets and look for new
investment ideas, we are content with the names that are remain on
Best Dividend Stocks List
. As much as we would like to recommend more names, making moves
simply for the sake of making moves provides little value to our
I learned in my many years as a day trader that surviving in the
financial markets wasn't about being constantly active, but rather
about picking the best spots when the metrics lined up in my favor.
Playing the cards you're dealt is the only option, and forcing what
isn't there will only cost you in the long run!
2011 Was a Big Year for Dividend Stocks!
It is always great to see the media tip their hat to what has
been a great year for dividend-paying stocks. We've been seeing
several major media outlets publishing articles about how dividends
were a big investing theme in 2011 and likely in 2012.
The truth is that we tend to see solid years more often than not
in the dividend world, but the business media focuses their
attention instead on the high-risk momentum action. Only in times
of extreme duress does the media seem to focus on our dividend
niche. Regardless, we won't be distracted from our job of finding
the best dividend names to put fresh capital into.
I'd like to thank all our
subscribers and newsletter readers for helping spread the word
about our service. It means a lot to us, and telling loved ones
about Dividend.com is the best possible gift you can give to us
this holiday season.
Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks
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Dividend.com! In this digital-only book, we look ahead to 2012 and
the main factors that could affect dividend investors. A $39.95
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Beat The Markets with Dividend Stocks
contains a full economic forecast for 2012, including in-depth
analysis on 65 of the biggest dividend stocks out there. It's a
great way to get prepared for your investing next year! So head
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A Dividend Capture Strategy for Active Investors
We now offer complete U.S. dividend data for all
members, so anyone that focuses on "Dividend Capture" trading
strategies should have plenty of good stuff to research each day.
Just check our enhanced
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Speaking of dividend capture, Dividend.com Premium members can
also access a 9-page report we published on the essential elements
to any successful dividend capture strategy. Be sure to check it
out here on the
Thanks for reading everybody. I'll see you tomorrow!
Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the
Best Dividend Stocks
, as well as a detailed explanation of
our ratings system here