We witnessed solid follow-through in today's session after
yesterday's bullish close. Markets overseas were strong overnight,
helping set the stage for a rise in U.S. futures. Couple that move
with some positive earnings surprises, and the early bias for the
averages was certainly higher.
Speaking of earnings, investors were cheering earnings results
from companies such as Mattel (
), State Street (
), and Johnson & Johnson (
). On the flip side, investors were selling the headline earnings
results from W.W. Grainger (
) and PNC Financial (
). Elsewhere, positive Wall Street commentary has stocks like
) and Newmont Mining (
) gaining ground. We have seen the pattern of higher stock prices
early in the earnings reporting season before, so the gains are not
too surprising thus far.
As always, you can check out all our latest coverage of earnings
reports, analyst moves, and much more over at
The Dividend Daily
Two Sides of the Track
Each day I drive into work, I usually come upon a point in my
trip where I end up behind a school bus waiting for kids to pile
on. One particular bus stop has intrigued me for a long time.
This bus stop appears on a main road where two side streets
reside directly across from each other. These side streets are
technically one road that continues and intersects with the main
street. However, the streets have two different names. Why? Well,
on one side of the main drag, the homes are priced in the
$200-$250K range, while on the other side, homes have sold from
anywhere between $750K and $2 million.
The school bus stops each day at this intersection. On one side
are average families with average homes. On the other are some of
the wealthiest families in the area. I watch kids from both streets
climb onto the bus, and in the back of my mind, I think about their
Most people would assume the kids from the wealthy side of the
road have a huge advantage over the kids from the proverbial "other
side of the tracks." After all, families with lots of money can
probably offer greater opportunities to their children, right?
Well, I think of things a bit differently. I believe that as soon
as those kids get on the bus and get to school, the playing field
levels dramatically. Their relative success or failure really boils
down to who applies themselves more. Regardless of their
backgrounds, kids who work hard and dedicate themselves to learning
early on are far more likely to succeed down the line than those
I'm sure we're all familiar with tales of privileged kids who
wind up squandering their supposed head start in life. We're
probably equally familiar with plenty of "rags to riches"
When you think about investing success in the markets, scores of
individuals have built big nest eggs simply by being smart with
their money/approach. These folks didn't start with large sums of
money. They simply invested wisely over long periods of time. The
idea of needing big money to succeed on Wall Street is one of the
biggest myths in the financial arena. People who believe this
misnomer just don't understand the investing process.
Each day the market is open, we all have the power to buy or
sell essentially anything we want. Just like those kids on the
school bus, the investing playing field is level - regardless of
how much money you're starting with. Just do your homework and seek
the right sources for guidance. That's really all it takes to enjoy
a lifetime of success - in or outside of the markets.
So while some others may have had a bit of a head start, the
game of life is a long journey. There's plenty of time to close the
gap and eventually take your place near the top if you have the
ambition to do so.
Social Security Update
The federal government announced today that Social Security
recipients will see a 1.7 percent rise in their 2013 benefits. The
increase is slightly less than half the increase beneficiaries got
this year (3.6%) and is among lowest hikes since the U.S.
government started making annual adjustments in 1975. As a
follow-up to yesterday's preview, individuals who are sitting in
cash (instead of investing their money) will continue to see
inflation chip away at their savings.
Does that mean retirees need to start rolling the dice on risky
investments? Certainly not, but it definitely does mean that folks
needs to seek out other retirement income sources beyond social
Income, Income, Income
At Dividend.com, we maintain our focus on the best
income-producing investments the markets have to offer during time
of heightened volatility. We want to make sure we have only the
most pullback-resistant names on our
Best Dividend Stocks List
. 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
member alerts along the way. Don't count on the government or your
employer to set you up for a remarkable retirement. Take control,
do your own research, and achieve your goals yourself!
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