Archive for January, 2007

Risks with mortgage REITs

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Yahoo Finance has this interesting Morning Star article on the risks of investing in mortgage REITs. It’s somewhat balanced in that they talk about advantages such as good returns over the past 5 years and they help diversify your portfolio because they (REITs in general) don’t follow other stocks.

Escaping credit card debt and finding the best cards

Sunday, January 21st, 2007

I graduated college in 1999, went to work, and started investing in the stock market. As the market went down I kept thinking wow I bought Sun Microsystems for $70/share and now their down to (insert sickeningly low number here) I need to buy more stock. I invested so much money in stocks that I ran up some credit card debt. What saved me was 0% introductory interest rates. Apply for a new card, get the low balance transfer rate, repeat. It’s the same advice I found in this article on paying back credit cards. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than paying 19% a year.

Luckily I’ve recovered from my investing stupidity and am now a responsible adult. However, I still purchase as much as I can on credit. I just make sure I can pay it back immediately. The same Credit cards & loans site that published the article I linked to above has lists of reward cards. To me it just doesn’t make sense to pay cash when you pay the same price for credit and get rewards.

I have a friend who used an auto rewards card for years and when he cashed in got $5,000 more off a new car. Had he used cash, he would basically have spent an extra 5 grand. On the page I’m linking to they have Subaru and various gas reward cards.

They also have my personal favorite, travel rewards cards. In Korea I use a card that gets me miles with Korean Air and I’ve taken several domestic flights with these miles, saving me a few hundred bucks. In America, I use a card that gets me points towards cruises (free or upgraded cabins).

This site also has a section on loans, tools like mortgage calculators, and more good articles. I think it’s worth checking out.

Interesting stocks for 2007

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

I thought this article on ten stocks that might outperform the market in 2007 to be an interesting one. I can’t help but contrast these 10 stocks with Peter Lynch’s advice about going for unknown stocks. Obviously with the companies on this list you’re not looking at ten-baggers. However, I suppose most of us are happy if we outperform the market by a few percentage points so this list is a good starting point for your won research.

One exception is the (until now) little known Universal Forest Products (UFPI) and Ntelos (NTLS). The other companies discussed are ConocoPhillips (COP), Meredith (MDP), SkyWest (SKYW),First Marblehead (FMD), CompuCredit (CCRT), Emcor Group (EME), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Atrion (ATRI), Astronics (ATRO), and Lockheed Martin (LMT).

Hyundai stock: trouble as the company faces a strike just about every year

Sunday, January 14th, 2007

This year is turning out to be no different. Workers are threatening to strike because the company wants to give them a bonus of 100% the worker’s monthly salary. The workers want 150%.

Hyundai is already dealing with a strengthening Korean won and a weakening US dollar. The annual strike might really hurt the company this year. It hasn’t happened yet, but it is looming.