Monitoring Global Market Hot Zones

The world is not without risk as we enter 2015. While the solvency of the global financial system is generally in better shape than it was just a few years ago, a growing number of countries are increasingly grappling with debt problems that have the potential to eventually lead to default. Although probabilities associated to any such future incidents remain generally low, it is worthwhile to monitor developments within these at risk countries in order to help protect against not only direct exposure but also potential negative spillover effects across broader global capital markets in the event that conditions begin to deteriorate in a disruptive way.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

This Is How A Bear Market Starts

We are now in the sixth year of what is the third longest U.S. stock bull market in history. At this advanced bull market stage, some investors are understandably concerned about how much higher stocks can go from here. This leads to the following natural question – how will I know when the bull market has finally ended and a new bear market has gotten underway? Fortunately for those that are interested, today’s stock market is providing a live and active case study right now that is demonstrating exactly what it looks like when a bear market is just getting started.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Stocks And Seasonality: Caveat Emptor

It is the most wonderful time of the year for stock investors. Over the last 70 years, the months of November and December have ranked among the best for stocks both in generating positive performance and achieving solid total returns. And it is has been the prospects of this seasonality that has helped assuage investor concerns following the recent correction. But while historical stock performance during the months of November and December is indeed impressive, it is not without risks that are worth considering as we move into the final two months of 2014.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

Finding The Bull Market Peak

The stock market has suddenly encountered an identity crisis. Over the three trading day stretch, stocks posted what is now the seventh worst trading day of the year on Tuesday followed by the best trading day of the year on Wednesday followed by the fourth worst trading day of the year on Thursday. Such violent swings have frayed the nerves of many investors that had become accustomed to a market that existed for so long with little volatility. But standing back from the daily trading noise and looking at the market from a broader view can be helpful in keeping today’s correction in perspective. And recent history can also offer some clues as to what a bull market peak actually looks like and whether we are currently in the midst of one today.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

2 Key Tests For The True Dividend Growth Investor

It is one of the most popular and time-tested stock market investment strategies. It is dividend growth investing, or DGI, which is a strategy that focuses on companies that consistently increase their dividend payouts each year, supported by the predictable long-term growth of earnings per share. The recent success of this strategy, coupled with the yield-starved zero interest rate environment over the last several years has attracted scores of new dividend growth investors, both young and old. But with so many newcomers to the strategy, it raises an important question. While you may have fully bought into the approach over the last few years, are you a true dividend growth investor? And are you truly ready to not only withstand, but capitalize on the potential risks that may lie ahead.

Please click on the link to read more of my article on Seeking Alpha.

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