Market volume on this Columbus Day holiday was fairly subdued,
but the session did take on a bit of a negative bias, as global
economic concerns remain front and center.
Some folks on Wall Street actually made it in to the offices
today, and we were watching some notable analyst calls affecting
share prices. Walt Disney (
), Eastman Chemical (
), and Parker-Hannifin (
) ended lower as all three companies were the subject of cautious
analyst commentary. Elsewhere, we saw a bit of red on the screen
for the likes of Sherwin-Williams (
) and Wynn Resorts (
). Not all the investor moves were negative however, as we did see
interest in retail names like PetSmart (
) and Abercrombie & Fitch (
After the Fact is Too Late
Have you ever thought about doing your own "state of the union"
report, as it relates to your current financial situation? This
report doesn't have to just include actual earnings and
investments, but also could include opportunities over the past 6
or 12 months you failed to capitalize on.
The idea of evaluating missed opportunities was triggered by a
recent interview I heard with New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson. Mr.
Alderson was catching up with the media at seasons' end to talk
about the year that was, and what the future outlook may be. As a
Mets' fan, I wish I could say I was satisfied with Mr. Alderson's
assessment of how things went for the team. In particular, I feel
the team's fortunes could have been positively impacted by making
some moves at the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
The hardest thing to hear was Alderson's flip-flopping on
exactly which team he believes makes up the current roster - the
one that played surprisingly competitively in the first half, or
the one that was among the very worst in baseball in the second
half. Failing to make any trades to help the team, which was in the
thick of the pennant race in early July, was where I felt ownership
let the fans down.
This point got me thinking about how we view our own financial
situations, and how honest we are with our own performance
assessments. It could be a case of being too aggressive with our
investments and letting our discipline slip with stocks that don't
fit the risk profile of what we are trying to achieve. One easy
example was the Facebook (
) euphoria that pulled in investors of all types, including
income-oriented investors. On the other hand, you may be truly
satisfied with not letting the media shake you out of quality
stocks that have produced steady gains, as well as consistently
higher dividend payouts.
A personal "state of the union" should be balanced between the
good and the not-so-good. It should also include a deeper look at
how your career contributes to where you are, and more importantly,
where you're likely to head. I bring the subject of career up often
because it is the foundation of where our investment dollars come
from. Despite the reported jobs numbers getting better, I believe
there are wholesale changes happening in today's workforce. I see
job opportunities to make big money dwindling for the masses,
unless you acquire and develop a special skill set that is needed
in today's world.
With declining education-based scores in the U.S., many of our
young generation may be on the outside looking in when it comes to
global opportunities if there is not enough emphasis placed on
schoolwork and education. This needs to come from the home front as
much as from anywhere else.
After all, if we are to ask the hard questions of ourselves to
improve our personal/professional/financial standing, we owe it to
those closest to our hearts to pass on those same virtues.
I hope everyone had a chance to check out our
members-only weekend articles , including new features that
highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that
was, such as analyst upgrades/downgrades and earnings/story stocks.
These articles are a great way to catch up on the week that was in
the markets. We also have a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs
performed on the week.
Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the
Best Dividend Stocks
, as well as a detailed explanation of
our ratings system here