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  • Not So Fast: The Backlash Against Private Equity [View article]
    I was disturbed to hear on CNBC this morning that there's a push to increase the tax rate on Private Equity firms. Any time a sector starts performing well (can you say windfall tax for energy, trying to regulate Pharma) and the government starts meddling in free market forces, I get frustrated. They pretty much destroy whatever they touch and free market principles/entrepreneu... are what made this country great and continue to drive innovation and job creation. Hopefully it's just talk. Don't even get me started on gas price regulation.

    Dan at everydayfinance
    Jun 6 12:32 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Look At U.S. Home Price Performance in 20 Markets [View article]
    Not a pretty picture. I was pleased to see you mentioned the Merc futures/options on housing indices. I did a piece on other futures sites that trade world events like US striking Iran's facilities, bird flu reaching US, etc. Nice ways to diversify a portfolio, especially if hedging with stocks/options that stand to gain from these events should they happen. Dan at everydayfinance.
    Jun 4 10:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Do-It-Yourself Market-Neutral Portfolio [View article]
    Nice article; great variety of options (no pun intended) out there for the build-it-yourself portfolio. A few additional considerations and options out there:

    Some of the instruments listed, especially in the energy sector are additionally favorable in that they provide significant dividend yields; there are several CANROYs, commodity ETF and international REITs that yield between say, 7 and 10% annually. I've performed some analysis on these and own a couple myself. Not only does the high yield help differentiate the correlation of the total return, but it moves the return in a favorable direction, regardless of the major market indices. I bought into a few that started off yielding around 10% and have since increased in share price signficantly as well (of course, now the yield has dropped into the high single digits, but I'm still earning 10%+ on my initial investment).

    Additionally, a great way to get some additional non-correlated performance in the 9-12%/yr range is through lending on Prosper.com. When diversifying your loans, you can asymptotically approach the returns of the overall performance measures as lists on the site for "all loans" in particular credit categories. This can be achieved simply through "average" performance. If you're good at researching and choosing your loans, you can exceed these returns, inclusive of defaults. To date, I have over 20 loans out with an average of 13.4% returns. I've also included top lender groups, strategies and learnings on my everydayfinance blog. Feel free to visit, review and leave comments by clicking on my name for this post.

    Dan
    Jun 4 04:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Anatomy of a Chinese Bubble: A Checklist For Spotting Bubble Tops [View article]
    I too am concerned about the rapid uptake in interest in the market, especially from the Chinese populous. It's evident is that there's an international bubble brewing in several regions including Eastern Europe, Mexico, Columbia (yes that's right; check out last week's businessweek) and the usual BRIC countries. However, I'm no market timer and I think there's some valuable upside to be obtained prior to the correction, especially from some individual diverse high quality companies. I now have positions in some double digit yielding real estate funds, utilities and then some more speculative plays. I'm planning on taking some off the table in a few months, but for now, enjoying the ride. For instance, Friday, WBD was up over 11% on no news a couple days after I bought it. I can't sit on the sidelines during the Nasdaq 5000 of the this time period though. I've posted research and analysis at:

    everydayfinance.blogsp...

    Feel free to visit and comment.

    Dan at everydayfinance.
    Jun 3 10:34 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How and When To Achieve Foreign Exposure with Individual Stocks [View article]
    In addition to balderdash, it's poppycock and obstreperous! Just kidding. Owning 3 or four international stocks from different regions is a nice diversification strategy, especially if they're in different sectors, high yield vs. growth, etc. Recently, I've purchased a Mexican homebuilder, an Australian high yield ETF, I've owned a Chinese ad agency for a while, and finally, a Russian beverage distributor. They've all performed spectacularly and I like them more than their requisite regional ETF. I've listed research and analysis on each of these and welcome comments at my blog. Dan
    May 31 10:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • International Dividend ETFs [View article]
    Yes, I covered the wisdom trees in addition to several not listed here in various posts recently. Check out the section for top posts and you'll see other high yielding ADRs, ETFs, CANROYs and REITs (enough acronyms already!). But many exceed 10%/annum.
    May 30 02:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Boosting Returns Through Measured Emerging Market Exposure [View article]
    A nice way to temper some of this risk is through high-yielding international ETFs, ADRs and international REITs. Even with some volatility in the underlying equity price, by picking some vehicles with steady payouts, it's like owning a real high yield bond; some of these exceed 10% annually. I'd recommend at least 5% of any portfolio for most people under 40; for those around 30, perhaps 10-15% in international. For picks and pans, feel free to visit and contribute at:
    everydayfinance.blogsp...
    May 30 02:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A Painful Lesson on Inaction: How Could I Let aQuantive Get Away? [View article]
    If interested in similar investment strategies and calls, feel free to visit my blog at:
    everydayfinance.blogsp....

    Dan
    May 30 08:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Five Ways to Take Advantage of a Market Correction [View article]
    Greetings, good thoughts; I too like to have puts on overpriced stocks in an overheated market and then cash in when the high beta stocks tumble. I own HMX as well, I just left Mexico and the development is running rampant. Quality of life and cost of living are increasing; I expect home ownership and business capital expenditures to increase their rapid pace.

    In addition to your recommendations, I'd advise diversifying with more than just standard long/short stock positions. I've listed several alternative investment strategies for regular investors including hedge mutual funds, futures sites tied to your local real estate market, high yield stocks and lending through Prosper.com. These days, even the international markets are highly correlated with the U.S. market as evidenced by the Feb 27 Asian meltdown. Even commodities tumbled (usually only about a .4 correlation coefficient with major indices). Hope these strategies provide for some additional diversification. Enjoy.

    everydayfinance.blogsp...
    May 29 04:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Online Ad Bubble: aQuantive Deal Makes No Financial Sense For Microsoft [View article]
    I could kick myself. I actually called this the Thursday of the deal and recommended buying July 40s for .40 each. Now they're worth 24 each. a 60 fold return on investment. I will post on the one that got away and why I didn't pull the trigger. This deal was highly telegraphed though, I should have known better. Anyway, more takeover targets listed at my site. Happy hunting!
    everydayfinance.blogsp...
    May 20 04:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rising Gas and Falling Corn: Good for Ethanol Producers [View article]
    This ethanol frenzy is a complete scam by the politicians and those in the industry. They all know it's a net loss when considering the increased cost of food worldwide, the cost to produce/transport it, etc. And to top it off, a gas boycott yesterday. Ludicrous. For this and more, visit

    everydayfinance.blogsp...
    May 17 11:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Five High Yield Small Cap Stocks [View article]
    Greetings, unfortunately, NEWC was crushed since this article, but there are lots of other good ones out there yielding double digits, including international REITs and the like. I've listed several at my site, feel free to drop in and share your thoughts.
    Dan
    everydayfinance.blogsp...
    specific to high yield:
    everydayfinance.blogsp...
    May 16 04:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • What's Driving The M&A Frenzy? [View article]
    I expect the frenzy to continue and perhaps increase. There is a ton of cash sitting on the sidelines. As hedge fund returns asymptotically approach those of the major market indices, cash is flowing to the next best thing, which is private equity (not quite public M&A per se, but still seeing 30%+ premiums when deals announced taking companies private). The Bush administration is pro-business and will likely sit on the sidelines for the through 2008. Expect these deals to increase at a nice pace leading up to the election uncertainty which kills market momentum each cycle. Plenty of likely takeovers out there still. For these thoughts and more, feel free to check out my site at:
    www.everydayfinance.bl...
    May 8 04:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Strong Earnings Season (So Far) Has Pushed Markets Higher [View article]
    The market has been firing on all cylinders. On the positive side, unemployment continues to be ridiculously low at 4.5%, the housing slump hasn't killed payrolls and consumer spending as predicted, and earnings are pretty good. With an S&P all time record approaching, we'll probably breach that psychological barrier soon, but be careful moving forward. The market and the economy are currently priced for perfection. Any more kidnapping of oil workers in Nigeria, terrorist attacks on the West, anything to insert uncertainty or worry into the market and it's time for a correction. On earnings, don't forget, a lot of companies up their estimates mid-quarter, then meet those increased expectations. In my mind, that's beating the analyst expectations, but it doesn't hit the numbers. In short, to round out that volatility and risk, there are several investment vehicles which can meet or exceed market returns and carry less volatility or are only slightly correlated with the market. For some of these strategies, feel free to visit and comment at:

    www.everydayfinance.bl...
    May 6 10:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Are Hedge Funds a Risk to the System? The Proof is in the Provenge [View article]
    Of interest to some readers of more meager means (don't meet the 2MM net worth, 200M/yr income), there are mutual funds out there that employ hedging strategies that are available to regular investors. They both beat the long run averages of the major indices and they have reasonable fees similar to other actively managed funds; not 20% on profits like some hedge funds (which admittedly, have even higher returns in some cases). For reviews, research and comments, feel free to check out at:

    www.everydayfinance.bl...
    May 5 04:07 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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