Markets

Market Wrap-Up for Mar.4 (FDX, UPS, WMT, TD, GS, MS, JPM, more)

It was another day of soaring commodity prices with gold and oil prices ramping up. Silver prices continued to shoot higher as well. All this comes on a better-than-expected monthly jobs report. Most pundits were expecting a better reaction from the equities markets than we have seen so far.

We are watching the data closely and have actually added a new name to our recommended list. Be sure to check out the post if you did not read the e-mail alert we sent out earlier. Transport stocks pulled back, with FedEx ( FDX ) and United Parcel Service ( UPS ) leading the push lower. Financial names were lower as well. Goldman Sachs ( GS ) dropped following a downgrade this morning. Morgan Stanley ( MS ) and J.P. Morgan ( JPM ) also saw shares dip. Toronto-Dominion Bank ( TD ), a name we like, traded flat after a big pop yesterday following the company's quarterly results and dividend increase announcement. Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT ) ended flat following news the retail giant raised their dividend payout 21%.

Smart Money had a good piece out recently talking about the huge difference in social security payments depending on when one applies. The average pre-retiree typically underestimates the impact of taking benefits early. For example, a top-earner retiring at 62 would get $1,803 a month. By waiting until 66, he or she would increase that amount to $2,442, and delaying until 70 would bump the monthly payment to $3,256. Another way to look at it: someone who delays taking Social Security until 66 rather 62 will collect more money over time if they live until at least age 77. Again, at Dividend.com we are urging the working class to set up other income sources to get off the social security lifeline. Keep in mind the data above is for top-earners and that will not represent the majority of people set to retire soon. The average monthly Social Security benefit for retired workers in December 2010 was $1,175.50. That would produce an income of $14,106 per year. The maximum possible Social Security benefit a worker who retires at age 66 in 2011 could get is $28,392 annually.

I ran into a friend I haven't seen in years just the other day. He was a mechanic for a foreign car dealership the last time I saw him. He is looking to do something to create passive income these days, but yet is still looking for the capital that is needed to create other income opportunities. He would tell me the horror stories of how dealers would mark up service calls and it would drive him crazy. He was asking me for my advice. I told him he has a skill at fixing foreign cars that many don't have. Get some money together and build your own service shop or partner with another mechanic if you need capital to get started. He went back to talking about passive income. I said to him that he needs to get the cash-flow back in proper order first, before thinking the other stuff will follow. It's amazing sometimes when you get a fresh pair of eyes to look at your situation to jolt you back into reality. I said to him he has a purpose to help people from not getting ripped off when servicing their car and he should consider going around to the many used car places to see if he can start getting some work from them. Before he knows it, he may be rocking and rolling and doing what he is extremely good at.

Point being, don't shy away from your strengths in life. Embrace what you are good at and good things are soon to follow. Too often people love starting projects/ventures, but never finish. Successful people make it a habit of finishing. Winning teams know how to finish. Think about this and how it applies to your money and financial well-being. Are you following through on what you originally wanted to do when you signed up for our service or another investment research service? For some, the hardest part is starting, but for many the hardest part is finishing. Where do you fall in?

Dividend investing does not require a special talent, education level, years of experience, luck, or much money either. It requires a commitment from you as an investor that you will keep putting money to work each month in the best ideas available (that would be from our Best Dividend Stocks List ). That's all investing is everybody! The material you find on our Dividend.com site (and some great stuff you will read in my Be a Dividend Millionaire Book ) will help you get to where you want to be financially.

Be sure to catch up with our latest watchlist updates this weekend on Dividend.com Premium , including reports on earnings/story stocks, analyst upgrades/downgrades, dividend ETFs, and more. And as always, you can view our current recommendations on our industry-leading Best Dividend Stocks List .

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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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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