“Shouldn’t the market bounce here?”

“How oversold can we get?”

“Are stocks going to zero?”

These are the kinds of questions I fielded this week from clients. My answers: (more…)

Next year investors will be given a once-in-a-life-time chance to convert their traditional individual retirement accounts into Roth IRAs regardless of how much you earn. Most savers’ knee-jerk reaction is to convert, pay the taxman now and forevermore be free of giving the government a cut of their tax-deferred retirement money. When I dig beneath the surface of this transaction, however, I’ve discovered a few things you should consider. (more…)

Taxpayers now own a 36% stake in Citibank. The deal was announced before the markets opened Friday. Investors expressed their unhappiness and promptly sold the averages down. The Dow and the S&P500 fell to new lows in the morning with the NASDAQ not far behind. Still, Citibank is one of those blessed with the “Too big to fail” sign above its marquee so given the choice between the “N” word and bankruptcy it was a foregone conclusion what course the government would take. (more…)

The daily machinations of the stock markets permeate our lives. Via the radio, the internet, television and print we are bombarded with the market’s daily ups and downs from the opening bell to the close. No matter how hard we try to ignore it, over time it begins to influence how we think about the economy. With markets making new lows, many forecasters are predicting that where the markets go so goes the economy. Don’t fall into that trap. (more…)

Bear market corrections usually end with a bottom. If you have been in the markets long enough you know what to expect. It is a grand finale of sorts where panic roars through the trading floor, grown men cry and fortunes are won or lost in seconds. Volume explodes, stocks markets make new lows, and you feel like you are free falling off the Grand Canyon without a bungee cord. We are not there yet. (more…)

You would think that the largest stimulus package in American history might have provided a wee bit of cheer to the stock market this week. Instead, the markets moved lower with the Dow and S&P500 down over 5% while the NADAQ was off 3%. The Dow, in particular, is less than 300 points from its November, 2008 low.

Cynics argue it was simply a classic “buy on the rumor, sell on the news” event. I’m not so sure. (more…)

Don’t be surprised by the tepid response to the Obama Administration’s $789 billion Stimulus Bill. Most of us, I suspect, were hoping for more (or less) from the government depending upon one’s political philosophy and affiliation. (more…)

This Monday investors are betting that the new U.S. Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, will announce a once-and-for-all solution to the nation’s on-going banking crisis. In addition, there are high hopes that the Obama stimulus package will pass the Senate. Rather than wait, the markets have decided to get a jump on the news. (more…)

The cap on compensation paid to top executives at companies that receive significant taxpayer money was passed this week. I suspect it will be greeted by a resounding round of applause from Main Street. Hopefully, it marks the end of an era that has brought shame, if not repentance, to Wall Street. (more…)

From time to time, a really interesting fund will come to my attention. One such fund, the ETF Market Opportunity Fund (ETFOX), has chalked up some impressive returns over the last several years and appears ready to offer investors a rewarding and safe ride out of this recession. Better yet, the manager, Paul Frank, is a local boy living with his family in Old Chatham, New York. (more…)