Stock Trading Tips and Tools

Investing in Infrastructure

Posted on July 5, 2012 by L.C. Boris | Comments Off

Since the time that Harvard’s Michael Porter wrote his groundbreaking work on competitive advantage to James F. Moore’s take on business strategy with his coining the term and concept of business ecosystems, the intellectual pursuit for a clear definition and understanding of economics through analogy has taken many evolutionary turns. Economics can be understood from both the perspectives of physics and biology, and one such topic that can be found in both intellectual bodies is the concept of infrastructure.

What is Infrastructure?

When prompted, most people would say that Thomas Edison’s greatest work was the creation and mass production of the light bulb. Albeit his most famous work, few consider that the more economically impactful act of Edison was not the mass production of light bulbs but Read more

The Booming Business of Robots

Posted on June 18, 2012 by | Comments Off

The United States is slowing drawing down the number of troops in Afghanistan. However, the nation is also investing heavily in new technology to change the battlefield.

Companies such as iRobot are creating robots with artificial intelligence that could replace human soldiers in the future.

Artificial intelligence, also known as A.I., is advancing in incredible ways. Their activities may have not advanced to the point where they can think like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has funded the creation of androids and robots that can operate astounding tasks.

Take the newest creation from the Minnesota-based robotics company, iRobot. Its newest unmanned ground vehicle is a vehicle that can identify a man walking in a crowd. Just upload the person’s mugshot into the robot and the briefcase-sized droid can locate and follow that person.

This isn’t the only brilliant use of advanced robotics. One of the most fascinating new machines is known as a throwable reconnaissance robot. The latest robot from iRobot, the FirstLook, is a small device that was designed so that soldiers could throw them through windows or over walls.

These types of machines may seem more like hand grenades based on this description. They are actually Read more

SpaceX Takes Giant Leap in Space Travel Business

Posted on May 31, 2012 by | Comments Off

Privatized space travel seemed impossible years ago. Now a company called SpaceX is showing that private businesses can launch into outer space.

Although the cost of space flight was once expensive, small companies are now finding valuable new business plans in the galaxy.

This type of launch would have never lifted off decades ago. In the 1960s and the 1970s, space travel was tightly controlled by the government. The aircraft contracts were only designated to aerospace giants, such as Boeing. Sending an aircraft into space was only possible for the world’s wealthiest and most technologically advanced nations, such as the United States and Russia.

SpaceX, a company headquartered in Southern California, managed to pull it off. On May 21, 2012, the small corporation’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida. NASA has already signed a $1.6 billion contract with SpaceX and has provided $400 million in seed money. As one can imagine, there is plenty of booming business to be made within the new aerospace industry.

The 10-year-old company also uses less money and fewer resources. According to an interview with NASA, the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon capsule is much smaller than a space shuttle and it carries less cargo. It was designed in this way, because NASA doesn’t need as many resources to transport Read more

Activision’s Future Looks Somewhat Shaky – Diablo 3 Complaints

Posted on May 31, 2012 by | Comments Off

The video game wars are heating up this summer, now that Blizzard released the new Diablo 3. However, investors may want to stay wary of Activision Blizzard (ATVI).

Activision’s financial performance is top-notch, but its upcoming lineup is not looking too promising either.

To tell the truth, Activision has always had a reputation for running its franchises into the ground. For instance, the big company flooded the game industry with too many music games after Guitar Hero became a hot property. It published a load of hasty Tony Hawk Pro Skater sequels that were sub-par improvements at best.

The company has had an extraordinary amount of luck and success. Its Call of Duty franchise is still one of the most popular first-person shooters of all time. The corporation’s merger with Blizzard added even more revenue to the software entertainment giant. The franchises are starting to grow top-heavy with yearly sequels, though.

Unfortunately, the games published by Activision are also declining in overall quality. Although Diablo 3 is the hottest selling game of all time, its customers are not too satisfied with the final product. The biggest complaint involves the digital rights management software included with the game. It requires gamers to keep Read more

Southwest Airlines Survives Rising Oil Prices

Posted on May 24, 2012 by | Comments Off

Not too many airline services give top-notch service like Southwest Airlines (LUV) and despite oil prices reaching their highest prices in history , Southwest still doesn’t sacrifice service to increase their profit margin.

Rising oil prices have affected nearly every company in the transportation sector. Southwest Airlines’ stock price especially suffered a decline of more than roughly 27% from their 52 week high of $12.04.

However, there are many reasons to stick with Southwest Airlines as a successful business. First, Southwest is adding larger, more fuel efficient, planes. This means that more travelers will be able to board each plane than they could on older models while still spending the same amount of fuel for each trip. The airline also will not have to buy as much fuel for Read more

Get Off the Facebook Bandwagon

Posted on May 24, 2012 by | Comments Off

Facebook (FB) may look like one of the top new stocks on sale on the NASDAQ but, as history has shown, the IPO’s of technology companies often start at inflated prices that are nowhere close to their actual value.

Yet, Facebook’s IPO is too hard to judge because we simply don’t know enough about how the company makes money.

Facebook certainly may look like the big dog of the NASDAQ. In its first day, the stock’s initial public offering started at a high price of about $38 per share. However, the price almost remained flat by the end of the day. Facebook may possibly increase in value over the next few months, but the price could just as easily bottom out at a much lower price.

This is only the company’s first day of trading. The price may start to rise steadily as investors assess the full value of the company and its profits. Investors should just stay on their toes and analyze Read more

Massive Trading Loss Tarnishes J.P. Morgan Chase

Posted on May 14, 2012 by | 1 Comment

With the recent trading loss by J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), more bank investors are losing their trust in banks. They have good reason to show concern.

J.P. Morgan Chase lost $2 billion from high-risk, derivative trades in only six weeks.

The C.E.O. of J.P. Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, said that the bank could suffer an additional $1 billion in losses. In a conference call with analysts on May 10, Dimon said that “egregious errors” were made. However, he refused to concede that the company needed a stronger regulatory framework.

The mark-to-market losses came from the bank’s chief investment offices. This trading unit of the bank was set up to hedge J.P. Morgan’s loan portfolio and to invest excess deposits. The office drew heated controversy in April based on reports that a J.P. Morgan Chase trader in London was making big bets in credit derivatives.

People within the firm have said that top traders for J.P. Morgan, such as Ina Drew, campaigned vigorously to keep this trade going. According to former executives for the company, Drew told traders at the bank’s chief investment office to execute trades that were meant to shield the bank from the turmoil in Europe. She believed that these bets could protect the bank from losses and that they could even earn a tidy profit.

When the credit market took a turbulent turn in April and Read more

What are Options in Stock Trading?

Posted on February 24, 2012 by L.C. Boris | Comments Off

Several nights ago I was grocery shopping. After gathering everything I needed from my list I started approaching the front of the store so I could check out and pay for my groceries. Arriving at the front of the store there were two cashiers and lines available to be checked out from that were seemingly of equal length as far as a head-count goes. Just like any shopper approaching the same situation, you do your best and try to factor in any and all relevant information you can pick up on that will help you determine which line you should invest yourself into that would let you exit the store and get your groceries home faster.

Although both lines had the same amount of people, one line had a fast cashier and a high grocery-to-person ratio (each person had a lot of items), and the other line had a slow cashier and a low grocery-to-person ratio. During the milliseconds that this analysis was taking place I noticed someone approaching rapidly to get into a line and I therefore had to make my decision quickly despite the uncertainty of which line would be faster. I took the slow cashier and low grocery-to-person ratio line, and my competitor was forced into the fast cashier high grocery-to-person ratio line. Unfortunately my competitor was checked out several minutes before me and in situations like these it makes me very happy to know that you can protect yourself from this when stock trading by learning how to use a simple financial instrument known as the option. Read more

How Much Should I Save For Retirement?

Posted on February 17, 2012 by Susan Porter | 2 Comments

I have a friend who knows what she is going to have for dinner a month from now. My friend has each meal mapped out on a calendar so there are no surprises along the way, and makes grocery shopping a breeze for her because she knows exactly what she needs long before she walks through any grocery store doors. The irony of my overly zealous consumption-conscious friend is that when I asked her how much of her income she was saving and investing for retirement, she didn’t have an answer like you would expect after viewing her meal calendar. My friend is an amazing example of how tough it is to think that far out into the future despite the tenacity many of us put toward planning. With bestselling books like “Getting Things Done,” and “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” it’s intriguing to me that many of us don’t put forth much income toward one of the most important milestones in our lives: Retirement.

The fact is that we aren’t going to be generating an income once we reach retirement, and you can ask just about any acquaintance over the age of 65 how difficult life becomes after you Read more

What are Commodities in Stock Trading?

Posted on February 13, 2012 by L.C. Boris | Comments Off

The English language is a very complex tool that can confuse many of those who are learning it as a second language. Nuances such as the difference between “minute” as in time, and “minute” as in small will easily confuse even native English speakers. The fact that there are multiple definitions for the same word as well as different pronunciations can lead many people astray, and one particular word in stock trading that has no very important meanings is the term “commodity.”

What is a commodity?

When we hear the term “commodity” many of us think of gold prices, corn prices, pork belly prices, coffee prices, oil prices, and other physical properties that are used as raw materials. Commodities in economics have a much broader meaning that Read more

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