Market Wrap-Up for Mar.28 (CALM, HON, WLT, BTU, MAR, OPEN, more)


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The good start we had faded by the close as sellers tiptoed back in. The volume was fairly light as we get set to end the first quarter this Thursday.

Cal-Maine Foods ( CALM ) gained some investor support today following the company's earnings report and dividend increase. The stock remains quite volatile as does the dividend payout. Early Wall Street upgrades this morning provided a boost for shares of Honeywell ( HON ) and Walter Energy ( WLT ). On the flipside, valuation worries from analysts pushed down shares of Marriott International ( MAR ) and Peabody Energy ( BTU ). Speaking of valuations, I feel bad for short-sellers that are getting spanked in shares of restaurant reservation stock Open Table ( OPEN ), trading at all-time highs and nearly 100 times 2011 estimates. Short-selling is all about timing and some traders have been getting trounced trying to call the top in online restaurant reservations company OpenTable. Ah, the dangers of trading and short-selling!

As we all strive to build wealth and financial independence, let's take a look at some of the variables needed to keep us on the track to getting there. Choosing the occupation that you can showcase your talents and your passion in is a great foundation for getting your career track lined up. Now this can take a while for some people, but eventually one should be able to maneuver themselves in the right situation where one can be properly compensated for their efforts. Entrepreneurs are always motivated by compensation as well as the freedom to work under their own set of rules. At the same time, one has the ability to move up the corporate ladder and be compensated well also.

It gets a bit trickier in that you need competent management that will recognize anyone who is showcasing an amazing ability and is a vital cog in the company's success. Networking and schmoozing is a part that can't be overlooked as well. Often times, co-workers can accuse someone of "kissing butt" to gain recognition, but the workplace landscape is a competitive place and one needs to put blinders on to the negative overtones that could exist in the work circle. I was never a fan of being in an industry where your pay goes up with everyone else's at the same time. Back in my part-time post office gig, often times the mail carrier that was the slowest could get a bit more money because they were technically taking longer to complete their routes. Even as a teenager, I recognized a system that made no sense. Not sure if much has changed since my brief tenure at the Post Office back in the late 80′s.

Picking the right spouse is also a huge key to one's ability to succeed. Troubles at home often leads to distractions on the job or in one's own business. Throw in the financial fallout of a potential divorce and you can see the importance of picking Mr. or Mrs. Right! Remaining single is an option for some who prefer to seek success in their profession first. Both male and females today get married a bit older than previous generations. I would imagine this trend will continue as a weak jobs market can often slow down a couple's desire to walk down the altar and have kids as well. Financially-fit people also tend to point their energies in areas that usually go well with their financial goals. There is no hesitancy to examine one's budget and spend some time each month looking at how their portfolio holdings are faring. Automating what happens to their money each month with expenses and investments is a given. Money doesn't usually cause much grief for individuals that have a good grip on their spending habits. They tend to not let money control them. One other thing when it comes to family, we often see parents who tend to give more money to their daughters/sons with poor financial skills than ones with disciplined financial skills. As my Italian relatives/parents would often say, the tree needs to be shaped from when it first starts to grow (they said it in Italian, so hopefully my translation is fairly accurate!). Bailing your kids out can be the right thing to do sometimes, but more often than not, lessons need to learned. I hope to maintain my firm parental discipline as money becomes a much larger focus for my kids as they continue through their stages in life. These are just some of the traits everyone needs to adopt from what tends to be a reliable indicator of financial success now and in the future.

I hope everyone has had a chance to check out our Premium members-only weekend articles, including the new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, in regards to analyst upgrades, downgrades, as well as earnings/story stocks. We also had a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs performed on the week. Our expanded dividend data, along with new dividend names, is making its way through the site and you will certainly be noticing more changes in the days that follow.

The early reviews are starting to come in and the one central theme is how easy my "Be a Dividend Millionaire" is to understand! This is what I was hoping it would be for the masses. Too often books start off with the right message, but then get loaded with tons of filler and become boring. Stock market pundits tend to go over the top with lingo that just darts over a readers' head. The book assumes little as far as investor expertise goes. I hope everyone gets a copy or even a few to pass along to friends and family. I am always thrilled to have the opportunity to write this newsletter as often as I could. It feels like a new mini-book every time I gather my thoughts to write.

Thanks again for reading! Please pass this on to anyone you think we can get inspired and educated about building wealth and using common sense to do so.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing Stocks
Referenced Stocks: BTU , CALM , HON , MAR , OPEN

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