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.

A Crisis Less Extraordinary

It is often said that the financial crisis that was unleashed from July 2007 to March 2009 was a once in a century event. Some investors even take comfort in this notion with the belief that any future stock bear markets will almost certainly pale in comparison. In short, if one could survive the financial crisis, one can certainly weather what may come in the future. But upon closer examination, the market shock resulting from the financial crisis was not all that extraordinary. In fact, it was rather modest in many ways when compared to other major historical bear markets. Instead, the only thing that has been truly extraordinary this time around has been the policy response. And this fact alone may be setting investors up for a far more challenging bear market experience the next time around.

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

The Slow And Perilous Death Of Bull Markets

A primary worry among many stock investors today is that the long running bull market may soon come to an end. At the heart of their concern is exactly what lies beyond the bull market peak, as many worry that the subsequent decline into the next bear market could quickly become swift and severe. But history has shown that the transition from a bull market to a bear market is often a gradual and drawn out process filled with rallies and correction that plays out over an extended period of time. In short, bull markets die long slow deaths, and it is this prolonged dying process that causes so many investors to find themselves unwittingly trapped in the next bear market long before they even realize it.

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

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