Daily Gains Letter

Investment Strategies

Retirement planning is about understanding your retirement goals and the retirement strategies needed to get you there. Conventional retirement wisdom suggests that individuals should hold a well-diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and cash that grows proportionally as one ages.

The old adage for allocating funds between stocks and bonds holds that you should keep a percentage of stocks equal to 100 minus your age. If you are 35, a conventional financial planner would tell you to put 65% in stocks and 35% in bonds. If you are 60, they would tell you to put 40% in stocks and 60% in bonds. Or looked at another way, the allocated bond percentage is equal to your age…the remainder is in stocks.

Younger investors have the luxury of time on their side and can afford to have a larger percentage of their investments in high-risk/high-yield equities. The older you get, the better it is to have an increasingly large percentage of your retirement income in low-risk/low-yield investments.

That said, high-yield investments are not for everyone. Keep in mind, when you are looking for high-yield investments, such as penny stocks, your risk will be much more significant than with conservative investments, such as government bonds. But then again, a basic rule of investing is that high risk translates into high reward.

Where can investors looking to build their retirement nest egg turn to increase their income and decrease risk?

Whether you’re high risk or risk-averse, one of the most common investment strategies is to focus on income-generating investments. This is easy to manage, as investors spend only the income (dividend yields, interest) that a portfolio generates.

If you want to generate additional income from your investment strategies, you may want to streamline your portfolio and increase the bond allocation to higher yield bonds, or change your stocks to higher-dividend equities.

Regardless of age and where you’re at with your retirement savings, there are investment strategies to suite your risk level and long-term needs. Some investors prefer to maximize expected returns by investing in risky assets, others prefer to minimize risk, but most look for a strategy somewhere in between.

That’s why it’s important to look for investment strategies that allow you to take advantage of long-term growth on the stock market; while hedging against downturns with high-yield bonds and equity funds.


Luxury Brand Retail Stocks: All You Need to Know



Luxury Brand Retail StocksStrangely, Americans are getting richer and poorer at the same time, and this is benefiting the luxury brand stocks. While the number of Americans requiring food stamps is at a staggering 48 million or so, at the other end of the spectrum, the rich are increasing their wealth to new record-highs at a rapid pace. This is what will help the luxury brand stocks—a widening income gap that’s seeing the rich rapidly becoming richer. In 2013, there were about 9.63 million households with a net worth of at least $1.0 million, according to Spectrum Group. Given that the S&P 500 has gone up about 200% during this current bull market, it’s not surprising to see the rise of the wealthy. Add in the in ... Read More



China’s Rising: Best Investment Vehicle to Make Money From It



Chinas RisingWhile China is struggling with its gross domestic product (GDP) growth metrics, the country’s main stock market—the Shanghai Composite Index (SCI)—is easily outperforming the S&P 500 and NASDAQ. China may be stalling, but the Chinese economy is still growing at a rate of more than seven percent—far better than the rest of the G8 countries. Now, of course, that’s if you believe the GDP reading that is put forth by the Chinese government; as with most data coming from China, it is up for debate whether it is real or fictitious. But going forward on the premise that the GDP reading is accurate, you can understand that the potential for investment growth is significant. The SCI is up 37% this year, easily outperformi ... Read More



Rounding Out 2014: What to Look For and How to Profit



Investors Should Look for Moving into 2015As we enter the final month of 2014, it’s coming close to the time that you, as an investor, need to start to round out the year and take account of what to look for in the remaining weeks and how you can potentially turn a profit. The stock market bulls continue to be in full control as we move into the final month of the year. Only the small-cap stocks are threatening to finish the year in the red should a “Santa Claus” rally fail to emerge over the next few weeks. With QE3 gone and higher interest rates looming on the horizon in 2015, the stock market is looking for direction from retail sales during the next few weeks and the jobs reading this coming Fri ... Read More



Top Online Retailer Plays for Cyber Monday



Online Retailer Plays for Cyber MondayFor those who love shopping via the Internet on their computers, tablets, or mobile phones, today is the day many are waiting for—Cyber Monday. It’s a day of great bargains while you’re on the go. But even investors may find a good play for Cyber Monday in the online retail sector. While Black Friday tends to be huge for the physical brick-and-mortar sales, retailers understand online sales are rapidly becoming a bigger component of total sales. The increased importance of this is obvious as sales online are at more than $2.0 billion and are rising each year. Plus, with the growing advancement in mobile technology and the desire of retailers to develop a strong online presen ... Read More



Positive Numbers for U.S. Economy Driving Business to Restaurant Stocks



U.S. Economy Driving Business to Restaurant StocksRecently, in the U.S. economy, we have been seeing decent jobs numbers, cheaper gas prices, and appreciating wealth in the housing market. The end result is consumers with more money to spend on things that make them happy, such as dining and travel. And I can see an investment opportunity opening up in some restaurant stocks. When people are confident with their financial situation, they tend to spend more freely. Take a look at the chart of the Dow Jones US Restaurants & Bars Index, which has been edging higher and appears to be breaking out following a sideways channel. I feel there’s a continued investment opportunity in the sector, as lo ... Read More



Gold Prices: Where They’re Headed and How to Profit



Gold PricesAs far as investment and trading opportunities go, gold is currently the stock market’s poor cousin. No one really craves the yellow ore at this time. The reality is that unless you are looking for jewelry, there’s really no reason to buy the metal right now. Back in September, when I last discussed the prospects for this precious metal, I wrote that “in the absence of further turmoil in Ukraine, gold prices could deteriorate to below $1,200, possibly even $1,180.” The precious metal did bounce to the $1,225 level recently on concerns surrounding ISIS and the economic situations in both Europe and China. Since then, it has also collapsed to below $1, ... Read More



How to Generate Premium Income in a Stalling Stock Market



Premium Income in a Stalling Stock MarketThe S&P 500 recently traded at a record-high, just before tensions in the Ukraine erupted and the global stock market declined as fear of an escalation and war intensified. While the charts continue to show the stock market wanting to move higher after excellent gains in February, I still sense the upside moves will be more difficult to come by compared to what we saw in 2013. Even at this point, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are still negative this year. If the stand-off between the Ukraine and Russia doesn’t escalate, I would expect the stock mar ... Read More



What the World Cup and the Stock Market Have in Common This Year



How to Make Some Premium Income This SummerLast Wednesday, I had fun watching the World Cup game between Argentina and the Netherlands. As strange as it may sound, I actually found that the tension and apprehension throughout the match reminded me of the stock market. Despite the Dow Jones Industrial Average recently trading above 17,000 and the S&P 500 at another record-high, I still sense the stock market is vulnerable to selling. I think this will be especially true if the second-quarter earnings season pans out as expected, devoid of any major growth in earnings or revenues. Alcoa Inc. (NYSE/AA) offered up a nice report, ... Read More



Why These Top Global Stocks Are So Attractive



One Major Factor for a Company's SuccessOne of the most common traits I find in successful companies is that they often have a multinational presence. That’s not to say that domestic-only companies are not successful, but for real growth, many of the top S&P 500 companies are global, based on my stock analysis. Whether it’s in the industrial, technology, financial, aerospace, or healthcare sectors, the commonality is the global exposure that many of the world’s top companies all exhibit. In fact, the failure to capitalize on foreign markets can really limit a company’s growth, according to my stock analysis. There are on ... Read More



How to Prepare for the Stock Market Sell-Off I’ve Been Warning About



Stock MarketWell, that didn’t take long! Just a few weeks ago, I wrote an article stating that investors should begin to worry about the lofty level of the stock market. Since that time, the S&P 500 has dropped by more than five percent in less than two weeks. This market correction won’t be a surprise to my readers, as I have been suggesting investment strategies that can help prepare your portfolio for a large downswing in the market for some time now. When I wrote the article in late January, the S&P 500 was surging, even though the preliminary Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment dropped month-over-mo ... Read More



Another Five Percent Down for the S&P 500, at Minimum?



S&P 500Though making money is important, that’s not the be-all and end-all behind smart investment strategies. Just think about the common phrase “a dollar saved is a dollar earned.” Success in trading and investing means you need to be aware of both the upside and downside risks, such as we are seeing now as the stock market moves lower. In general, investors should hold off on buying for now until we see some solid opportunities. Trading volume is rising on the down days, which confirms the selling pressure. As well, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined for five straight sessions, losing nearly four percent in that time. A look at the chart of the Read More



Three Ways to Prevent Irrationality from Entering Your Portfolio



Three Ways to Prevent IrrationalityThere’s always something investors are worried about. Recently, we heard about the U.S. government reaching the debt limit, shutting down, and inching close to defaulting on its debt. Investors reacted, and the key stock indices started to slide lower due to concern over what could happen. Now, with a deal being struck to extend the debt ceiling and budget deadlines, those worries are over, meaning U.S. creditors will get their interest payments and the government will go on operating as usual. Thi ... Read More



The Basic Principle Smart Investors Shouldn’t Forget



050913_DL_zulfiqarOver the Labor Day weekend, I met up with my old friend, Mr. Speculator. As always, we had a debate about portfolio management. We had a long conversation about what really is the right way to manage your investments—and, for that matter, if there is any. Should investors invest 40% of their portfolio in bonds and 60% in stocks? Should it be the opposite? Or is there another possible combination? He said, “Moe, I am a firm believer in going for the fences every time for now, but do you really think I will continue to have the same approach in the long run?” (Turns out, there’s actually a ratio ... Read More



How to Protect Your Portfolio from Fluctuations and Profit from Rising Oil Prices



Protect Your Portfolio from Fluctuations and Profit from Rising Oil PricesNot too long ago, the per-barrel price of oil was hovering close to $85.00. Now, a few months later, it trades above $107.00; this is an increase of roughly 25% in a fairly short period of time. One may ask why this matters, and what it means for the overall U.S. economy. At the most basic level, the price of oil has a very deep impact on consumer spending, which makes up 70% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the U.S. economy. It impacts consumers in ... Read More