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LyondellBasell Is Set for a Strong Second Quarter

The following is an excerpt from Best Stocks for 2019: LyondellBasell Is Set for a Strong Second Quarter

As we near the end of the first quarter, the competition is fierce in InvestorPlace’s Best Stocks for 2019 contest. Cannabis product maker Charlotte’s Web Holdings (CWBHF) is leading the pack, up 67% at time of writing, but onshore oil and gas producer Viper Energy Partners (VNOM) isn’t far behind at 29%.

Against this competition, LyondellBasell Industries (LYB) and its modest 4% would seem to be getting left in the dust.

But it’s still early, and we still have a lot of 2019 left to go. And I’m expecting LyondellBasell to make it a competitive race, come what may in the market.

LYB Stock Valuation

I’ll start with valuation.

A cheap price is no guarantee of investment success, at least over short time horizons. But it certainly creates the conditions to make outsized gains possible. LyondellBasell trades for 7.2 times trailing earnings and just 0.83 times sales.

To put this in perspective, LyondellBasell’s P/E ratio was over 16 in late 2012; by this metric LYB stock is trading at less than half its valuation of seven years ago despite price/earnings multiples expanding prodigiously across most of the stock market over that same period.

Likewise, LYB’s price/sales ratio has been bouncing around in a range of 1 to 1.4 since 2013. Today’s 0.9 takes the stock’s valuation back to early 2013 levels.

Again, a cheap stock price doesn’t guarantee a hefty stock return, at least not over any specific time horizon. But it certainly creates the conditions that make outsized returns possible.

To read the full article, see Best Stocks for 2019: LyondellBasell Is Set for a Strong Second Quarter

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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What to Do Now If You’re Losing Sleep Over the Stock Market

The following is an excerpt from What to Do Now If You’re Losing Sleep Over the Stock Market, originally published by Kiplinger’s.

As discussed ad nauseam in the financial press and in mutual fund literature, stocks “always” rise over the long-term.

This may very well continue to be true. But you also should remember that you have limited amounts of capital, and your cash might be better invested elsewhere.

Stocks are not the only game in town.

Even after the recent selloff, the S&P 500 still trades at a cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (“CAPE,” which measures the average of 10 years’ worth of earnings) of 27, meaning that this is still one of the most expensive markets in history. (Other metrics, such as the price-to-sales ratio, tell a similar story.)

This doesn’t mean that we “have” to have a major bear market, and stock returns may be soundly positive in the coming years. But it’s not realistic to expect the returns over the next five to 10 years to be anywhere near as high as the returns of the previous five to 10 years, if we’re starting from today’s valuations. History suggests they’ll be flattish at best.

It’s not hard to find five-year CDs these days that pay 3.5% or better. That’s not a home run by any stretch, but it is well above the rate of inflation and it’s FDIC-insured against loss.

High-quality corporate and municipal bonds also sport healthy yields these days.

And beyond traditional stocks, bonds and CDs, you should consider diversifying your portfolio with alternative investments or strategies. Options strategies or commodities futures strategies might make sense for you. Or if you want to get really fancy, perhaps factored accounts receivable, life settlements or other alternative fixed-income strategies have a place in your portfolio. The possibilities are limitless.

Obviously, alternatives have risks of their own, and in fact might be riskier than mainstream investments like stocks or mutual funds. So you should always be prudent and never invest too much of your net worth into any single alternative strategy.

Just keep in mind that “investing” doesn’t have to mean “stocks.” And if you see solid opportunities outside of the market, don’t be afraid to pursue them.

To read the rest, please see What to Do Now If You’re Losing Sleep Over the Stock Market

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in 2019

The following is an excerpt from The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in 2019

Everyone is looking forward to 2019 if only because 2018 has been so ugly. But investors will have to mentally sturdy themselves: Before we can talk about the best investments to make in 2019, we have to quickly explore what has gone wrong in 2018.

The year started with a bang. The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index returned nearly 6% that month following an epic 2017 that saw the index pop by 22%. But after that, it got rocky. Stocks stumbled in the first quarter, rallied for most of the second and third quarters, then rolled over and died again in October. It hasn’t gotten better since, and investors have had plenty to digest the whole way.

Much of the massive gain in 2017 was likely powered by investors looking forward to the profit windfall following the corporate tax cuts at the end of last year. But that’s a year in the past. Going forward, we’ll be comparing post-tax-cut profits to post-tax-cut profits as opposed to higher post-cut to lower pre-cut. Meanwhile, stock prices are still priced for perfection. At 2 times sales, the S&P 500’s price-to-sales ratio is sitting near all-time highs, and the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, or “CAPE,” of 29.6 is priced at a level consistent with market tops.

Fortunately, the new year provides an opportunity to wipe the slate clean. So what might we expect in the new year? Today, we’ll cover five of the best investments you can make in 2019, come what may in the stock market.

Consider Alternatives

It’s difficult to beat the stock market as a long-term wealth generator. At roughly 7% annualized returns after inflation, the market has historically doubled your inflation-adjusted wealth every 10 years. No other major asset class has come close.

Still, you shouldn’t put all of your money in the stock market.

To start, there is no guarantee that the future will look like the past. The stock market as an investment destination for the masses is a relatively new concept that really only goes back to the 1950s, or perhaps the 1920s if you want to be generous. You can’t credibly say that the market “always” rises with time because, frankly, we’re writing history as we go.

Bonds have a longer track record, but bonds are also priced to deliver very modest returns in the years ahead. Adjusted for inflation, the 3% yield on the 10-year Treasury looks a lot more like a 1% yield.

Investors should consider alternative strategies as a way to diversify while not sacrificing returns.

“Alternative” can mean different things to different investors, but for our purposes here we’re taking it to mean something other than traditional stocks and bonds. Alternatives could include commodities, precious metals and even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. But more than exotic assets, an alternative strategy can simply use existing, standard assets in a different way.

“The vast majority of options contracts expire worthless,” explains Mario Randholm, founder of Randholm & Company, a firm specializing in quantitative strategies. “So, a conservative strategy of selling out-of-the-money put and call options and profiting from the natural “theta,” or time decay, of options is a proven long-term strategy. You have to be prudent and have risk management in place, as the strategy can be risky. But if done conservatively, it is a consistent strategy with low correlation to the stock market.”

That’s a more advanced way to skin the cat. But the key is to keep your eyes open for alternatives with stock-like returns that don’t necessarily move with the stock market.

To continue reading the remaining four investments, see The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in 2019

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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What if Santa Doesn’t Come This Year?

The following was originally published on Kiplinger’s as Don’t Wish for a Santa Claus Rally. Prepare Instead.

Perhaps we should all give thanks that the market is closed for Thanksgiving. It’ll give us a chance to recover from quite a beating – and for some, time to wish for a “Santa Claus rally” to rescue stocks.

It’s rough out there. The November-to-April period seasonally has been the best time of the year to be invested. It looked like that might be the case this time around, too. After a devastating October that saw the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index drop almost 7%, November started strong.

Alas, it didn’t last.

Stocks started sliding again in the second week of November, and by the week of Thanksgiving they had already taken out the October bottom. As of this writing, the S&P 500 was about 2% away from hitting new 52-week lows.

Is a Santa Claus rally still in the cards? December is a historically strong month, after all. The final month of the year has been positive more often than any other, finishing higher 66 out of the past 90 years. And the market indeed is ready for a reprieve in December following two lousy months in a row.

But don’t hang your hat on Santa Claus coming to town.

Why the Grinch Could Steal Christmas

We’ll start with stock valuations, which never seem to matter … right until they do.

Expensive markets can continue to get even more expensive, sometimes for years. Consider that Alan Greenspan first complained about “irrational exuberance” in the markets as early as 1996. It would be well over three years until the market finally rolled over. Yet when the bubble finally burst in the first quarter of 2000, it got ugly. The market was down 15% by year end and proceeded to lose nearly half its value before it finally hit bottom.

There’s no guarantee the market will follow a similar path this time around. But it’s worth noting that when the S&P 500 peaked in late September, it was actually more expensive than at the top of the 2000 tech bubble, at least as measured by the price-to-sales ratio.

To continue reading, please see Don’t Wish for a Santa Claus Rally. Prepare Instead.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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Growth Stocks That Pay You Cash Too

The following first appeared on Kiplinger’s as 7 Growth Stocks That Will Pay You Cash Too

Investors seeking out growth stocks often discard dividends as unimportant, but they really shouldn’t. After all, there’s no greater sign of a company’s health than the regular, consistent payment of dividends. When the board of directors approves the payment of the quarterly dividend, it sends the unmistakable message that more cash is expected down the road.

Thus, a focus on dividends can help you improve the quality of your growth portfolio.

“We consider a reliable and growing dividend to be a major sign of a company’s health,” says Chase Robertson, principal of Houston-based RIA Robertson Wealth Management. “Limiting your pool of available stocks to dividend payers immediately improves the quality of the portfolio.”
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Today, we will look at seven solid dividend-paying growth stocks. It’s not unusual for growth stocks to return 20% or more per year when they’re on a good run, so the dividends paid will be a small part of the total return. It’s exceptionally rare for a true growth stock to sport a high dividend yield.

Still, it’s nice getting paid something in cold, hard cash. If anything, the dividend allows you to realize a small portion of your gains along the way without having to sell your shares.

Let’s look at an example. While ubiquitous coffee chain Starbucks (SBUX) isn’t quite the growth monster it was 15 years ago, it’s still expanding like a weed. Revenues were up 11% last quarter and earnings were up 23%.

It sometimes seems like there is quite literally a Starbucks on every street corner, at least in urban and suburban areas. But the company still is finding plenty of fertile ground for new growth. Last year, the company reported it was opening a new store in China literally every 15 hours. Stop and fathom that.

Few investors buy SBUX primarily for its dividend. They buy the stock for its explosive growth and for the power of its brand, which isn’t far behind the McDonald’s (MCD) golden arches, the Coca-Cola (KO) logo or Mickey Mouse in terms of recognition.

Yet Starbucks is no slouch as a dividend payer. It currently yields 2.6%, well above the yield of the S&P 500. And the company has raised its dividend for seven years running.

At some point, Starbucks really will have reached the point of global market saturation. The company won’t be able to open a new location without seriously cannibalizing sales at existing locations. But that day is likely years away. In the meantime, shareholders get to enjoy a market-beating dividend yield.

To continue reading, please see 7 Growth Stocks That Will Pay You Cash Too

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only, as of the date hereof, and is subject to change without notice. This material may not be suitable for all investors and is not intended to be an offer, or the solicitation of any offer, to buy or sell any securities nor is it intended to be investment advice. You should speak to a financial advisor before attempting to implement any of the strategies discussed in this material. There is risk in any investment in traded securities, and all investment strategies discussed in this material have the possibility of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The author of the material or a related party will often have an interest in the securities discussed. Please see Full Disclaimer for a full disclaimer.

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