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Diversification is a word that investors hear every day in the markets. It's an important concept – “don't put all your eggs in one basket.” To most, it simply means choosing a mixture of stocks and bonds and ensuring that the stocks you hold are from various sectors of the economy and come in varying sizes from large cap to small cap. But these changes are only superficial, there's still one more layer that tends to be overlooked – investing overseas. Domestic market risk is what happens when a portfolio consists only of US-stocks. That means any event specific to US markets like an unexpected drop in GDP or political event will impact US stocks far more than those situated outside of the US. For investors to be diversified against regional-specific risks, there needs to be an inclusion of international holdings. Ways to invest internationally Picking an international investment can be a daunting task. It's hard to perform due diligence on a company you have never heard of with limited information to go on. Unless you have unique knowledge of… Read more

Bear markets are the bane of every investor's portfolio. They can strike quickly without much warning and turn a profitable year into a disaster. Panic sets in fast and the markets become a mad scramble to sell stocks before everyone else to avoid taking on even more losses. There are few things in the markets scarier than watching the indexes drop more than a percent day after day. Bear markets bring with it large swings in volatility which can be disconcerting to even the staunchest investor. But with volatility comes profitable opportunities for those that have the ability to think differently. In many cases, not only are bear markets not something to be afraid of, but something to look forward to. Combining offense and defense Whether it's a bull market or a bear market, each sector of the economy and its associated industries don't all perform the same way at the same time. In other words, not every industry will be undergoing a bullish upswing or bearish reversal at any given moment. That means even in the midst of a… Read more

The markets have become a volatile place of late triggered by a host of catalysts like rising interest rates and high stock valuations. Adding fuel to the fire is Trump's newest policy of tariffs aimed at combating the United States' trade deficit and retaliating against China. The result is heightened fears of escalating tit-for-tat maneuvers that could end in an all-out trade war. A trade war is a bit of a mixed bag for markets. Certain industries will obviously be impacted while others may escape relatively unharmed. A trade war will certainly impact markets in a broad way, though, and many unrelated industries could see increased volatility as a result. You can be sure it will impact your portfolio, but there are steps you can take to minimize its impact and even benefit from upcoming changes. Your war portfolio If a trade war does break out, there are a number of things you can do to protect your portfolio and even benefit from the increased volatility. As with any major market-moving event, staying focused and avoiding panicked decisions is the… Read more

You don't have to look far to find advertisements claiming 1000% returns or higher trading penny stocks. They sell for just pennies, as the name implies, giving investors the impression that they are cheap and therefore have more possible upside movement. It can seem tempting to buy thousands of shares of a company's stock that sells for just $0.01 a share and imagine that it's not really that risky because you're not spending much. And because it doesn't take much, these stocks can easily rise in value creating huge gains for investors. But far more often these stocks lose value or even go bankrupt. Investors should take extreme caution when considering a penny stock for their portfolio. What penny stocks are Stocks like General Electric or Amazon trade on exchanges such as the NYSE or the NASDAQ. These exchanges have certain requirements and regulations in place to ensure that stocks trading on them meet guidelines like financial accounting standards and proper reporting to protect investors from fraudulent activity. Penny stocks, however, trade over-the-counter on what's commonly called the pink sheets.… Read more

There's a common philosophy in real estate – buy the worst house in the best neighborhood. The opportunities for profit are highest when you purchase something that needs a lot of work, but because it's in a good location, the resultant gains are relatively easy to obtain. The stock market works in a similar fashion, only instead of neighborhoods and houses, you have industries and individual stocks. And like real estate, values are often strengthened by the neighborhood, or industry, that they're located in. A good stock in a poorly performing sector doesn't have room for growth and lacks positive catalysts to move higher. In order to maximize profits and minimize losses, you'll need to be selective with your stock picks. That means buying only the best companies for the role they'll play in your portfolio. Creating a playlist There are roughly 630,000 companies that are publicly traded in the world. Trying to narrow down that list to find the best of the best may seem like a daunting, if not altogether insurmountable task. Luckily, there is a way to… Read more