Archive for April, 2006

Environmental Power Corp. EPG stock

Sunday, April 30th, 2006

Environmental Power Corp. (ticker symbol EPG) is in the business of generating
electricity from farm wastes. EPG has first-mover advantage in developing market for large-scale biogas production through renewable resources such as cattle manure. That’s according to Merriman Curhan Ford & Co. who set a “buy” on 8/18/2005.

I checked S&P and Market Edge, but neither follows this stock. I suppose it’s hard to find research on a stock when the company has a market cap of 86.29 million. Anyway, I like the industry but have little information on the company. I’m not invested in this company but am looking for more info on it.

Interesting personal finance site

Friday, April 28th, 2006

I’ve been reading through some articles on a great personal finance site that covers everything from stocks to real estate to insurance.

The Stock Investing information has some information on investing in mutual funds and recommends Sharebuilder for online trading. I must admit that the 4.00/trade is very atractive.

Another section of the site I checked out was the information on 401K Plans where there’s an article on retiring early. The idea is to maximize 401k contributions, even is some of your contribution goes unmatched. Then comes a ROTH IRA, and then taxable investments (like stocks).

The newest investing blog I’ve found

Thursday, April 27th, 2006

I’ve never found a stock blog when it was as new as Investing Blog is right now. I think the first entry was 2006 Gold Rush on April 18, 2006. The author recommends goldmoney.com, a “gold bank” I’ve never heard of. I use CEF to invest directly in gold and silver.

The most recent article is about the US dollar. Interestingly, I was just reading an article on traveling to Europe last night and they said that Americans can feel a little bit better about spending money in Europe since the dollar is not as weak as it has been. In my eyes, the dollar is still very weak. If you compare the exchange rates now and when the Euro was first introduced, you’ll see what I mean.

Another article talks about US automakers and the use of alternative fuels in Brazil. Some interesting comments include “Brazil has become a oil independent country” and, regarding US auto stocks, “don

TD Ameritrade changes

Wednesday, April 26th, 2006

Change #1: Lower commissions: $9.99 commissions on Internet stock and options trades ($0.75 options contract fees apply).

Change #2: No more maintenance fees, no matter your balance.

This is probably a good move for Ameritrade. It seemed that with their low commissions, they were targeting smaller investors. The maintenance fees probably kept some away.

Nickel and Copper prices too high to resist

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Apparently thieves are starting to target nickel and cooper because “nickel has jumped from 5,000 dollars per tonne in 2000 to highs of 19,000 dollars, while copper surged by 50 percent last year, driven partly by high demand from China.”

Thieves aren’t just ripping copper pipes out of vacation homes anymore. Gangs in France are taking hostages and carjacking trucks full of nickel. It sounds extreme, but one group of thieves filled up two trucks with copper scrap and got away with about 200,000 Euros worth of copper.

MLS: down but not out

Saturday, April 22nd, 2006

Back when MLS was around 51.00 I wrote that I was considering selling. I didn’t, and now MLS has fallen on hard times.

Recently some good news pushed the stock over 31.00/share so you can see I’ve endured quite a beating. The good news is that Farallon (a hedge fund) has bought a 5.6% stake in MLS. Of course that was after lots of bad news (including an SEC investigation) cause the stock price to tumble.

Oil prices and record profits

Thursday, April 20th, 2006

It’s probably impossible for you to ahve missed this “news” but it’s equally impossible for me not to comment on it. Oil prices are over 72.00/barrel. I’m quite surprised and have no idea how long it will last. For now, though, companies like Exxon are making more money than ever before (as are their former executives). A few related articles from this blog:

Invest in oil or water?
Value over growth although oil companies seem to be growing at a pretty good clip these days!
Was there really a buying opportunity in February?
Investing in airlines – I’ll never do it in today’s oil climate.
How long have oil prices been rising? I blogged about how hard it is to find reasonably priced oil companies in 2004!

Invest in oil or water?

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Here’s an intersting article on how water may be more valuable than oil in 2025 that suggests investors take a look at a few companies:

Air Products and Chemicals, which does water treatment; Nitto Denko, a producer of separation membranes for refining and condensing water; Guangdong Investment Limited, a water utility; Pall Corp., which designs and manufactures filtration products.

Lee R. Raymond

Sunday, April 16th, 2006

Exxon Mobil shareholders are unhappy about the 98 million being paid to their ex-CEO. The rest of America is unhappy that Exxon Mobile set a record for profitability as gas prices rise.

The argument makes sense. Lee R. Raymond took over a healthy company and didn’t have to do anything extraordinary so why does her get an extraordinary amount of money?

Sure, he’s been with the company 43 years but are we really talking about company loyalty? I imagine that lots of Americans end up working for a company for a long time and still need to worry about their pension when they retire…

I see why the stockholders are upset as well. That money could go toward a higher dividend or share buybacks but in the end I don’t think this will have a real lasting impact on Exxon Mobil stock.

Retirement savings advice

Saturday, April 15th, 2006

Here’s an interesting article from the Washington Post about how important it is to save enough for retirement. One big issue is learning how to invest:

If you have $50,000 in savings, and you earn 5 percent a year on that money, you’ll run out of money in 14 years if you withdraw $400 a month. If you can earn 10 percent a year on that money, you can withdraw $400 a month forever.

Another suggestion is to have a source of income ready for retirement, like a business. If you own a home you can factor in using your home equity in retirement. You can either sell your house (and get a cheaper place) or get a reverse mortgage.

Anyway, it’s an interesting article and worth the read.