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  Thursday April 17th, 2014    

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COLUMNS : INVESTING RIGHT  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Futures File (02/09/2014)
Oats Roll Higher

Oats prices exploded to an all-time high on Friday, driven by ongoing supply issues in Canada, the second-largest oats grower after Russia. Although our northern neighbors had a siza ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (02/02/2014)
Natural Gas Ballooning Wildly

In the past two weeks, natural gas prices moved higher by nearly $1.30 per million British thermal units, the wildest move since 2009. The market rallied to a four-year  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures file (01/26/2014)
Soybeans pulled lower

South American farmers are preparing to harvest their soybean crop, a factor which is pulling prices around the world lower. Brazil and Argentina produce nearly half of all soyb ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (01/05/2014)
Cocoa and coffee lose steam

Despite the blisteringly cold weather throughout much of the country, two of America’s favorite hot drinks aren’t seeing price increases. Cocoa and coffee prices both fell ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures file (12/29/2013)
New year, new markets

As we prepare to switch the calendar, many futures market participants are already looking ahead, trying to predict the values of commodities for the upcoming year. As farmers p ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures file (12/15/2013)
Cold weather, hot markets

As subzero temperatures spread across much of the United States this week, many people hunkered down, but commodities traders were very active. A wide variety of commodities ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (12/04/2013)
Abundance of Commodities

During the last five years, many commodities hit record high prices as there appeared to be a global shortage looming. These price explosions were primarily driven by rapidl ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (11/24/2013)
Lower Cost Thanksgiving

Americans have a lot to be thankful for, and this year’s bountiful fall harvest is among them. Good growing weather and increasing efficiency allowed farmers to produce a rec ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (11/17/2013)
OJ Market Shines

Orange juice prices blasted upward in response to a recent USDA report predicted that Florida’s orange crop this year would be the smallest since 1990. A combination of dry weather a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (11/10/2013)
FDA Moves to Ban Trans Fats

An announcement this week from the Food & Drug Administration outlined a proposal to ban partially hydrogenated oils, citing health risks due to the presence of trans fa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (11/01/2013)
Spooky selloff in cocoa, sugar

Halloween marks the highest level of candy consumption throughout the year in the United States, but that fact did not help the cocoa or sugar markets this week.

The w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (10/27/2013)
Pork Market Sizzles

Some “little piggies” might not make it to market as a devastating virus continues to spread among hog herds. Known as PEDV, the disease is killing baby pigs in at least 17 state ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures file (10/09/2013)
Corn Collapses

A USDA report released on Monday showed that the US stockpile of corn was higher than expected, causing a sharp selloff. In the aftermath of that report, corn declined to $4.35 per bus ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (09/22/2013)
Fed Keeps Pump Primed

The Federal Reserve surprised markets on Wednesday with an announcement that they were not changing anything.

The Fed reported that they will continue buying $85 billion of bon ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures file (09/18/2013)
Syrian Standstill Sinks Markets

This week, tensions eased between Syria and the United States as it looked like a Russian-brokered deal might lead to peaceful removal of chemical weapons. The potenti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Future Files (08/25/2013)
Drought

Plagues Plains

Large areas of the Great Plains are abnormally dry or experiencing outright drought, hurting the corn and soybeans growing in those states. Although the drought is not as se ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (08/18/2013)
Beans bounce on frost fears

The USDA released a monthly report on Monday showing that the US soybean crop would be notably smaller than expected, though still large by recent standards. The shrinking ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (08/18/2013)
by AL THOMAS

IS YOUR PENSION PLAN HEALTHY?

Good news! Interest rates are going up. I bet your pension plan (if you are lucky enough to have one) has a lot of bonds in it.

When interest rates  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (08/12/2013)
Cattle Stampede Skyward

Cattle prices charged to the highest price in over four months after a major meatpacker announced it would stop buying cattle that had been fed with a broadly used feed addit ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (08/04/2013)
Sugar Pops on Brazilian Freeze Scare

Sugar prices jumped to a one-month high this week on fears that the Brazilian sugarcane crop could be damaged by frost. Estimates that as much as one-fifth of the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (07/21/2013)
Corn crumbles

under $5.00

Corn prices continued grinding lower this week, falling beneath $5.00 per bushel. The crop is entering its crucial pollination period, which affects the number of kernels  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures File (07/17/2013)
Crude Gushes Higher

US crude oil prices rocketed to a sixteen-month high on Thursday, reaching as high as $107.45 per barrel. The price exploded after a US government report showed a sharp drop in US ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/17/2013)
by AL THOMAS

MARKET GENIUS SYNDROME

I have watched my cat play with a bag of catnip. At first he is having fun and slowly he becomes drunk with pleasure and then ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/14/2013)
By Al Thomas -- GETTING AND

KEEPING A JOB

Are you graduating from high school or college or maybe lost your job? What can you do to become employed with a paycheck once again?

Maybe your industry is one that is  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Futures Market (06/23/2013)
Fed’s Words

Melt Metals

The US Federal Reserve continued indicating in an announcement on Wednesday that it was going to end its stimulus program. Although a definite timeline has not been set,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (06/16/2013)
Corn Grinding Lower

Despite the poor weather conditions earlier this spring that delayed planting across much of the Midwest, America’s farmers likely planted a record corn crop, according to USDA e ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (06/09/2013)
by AL THOMAS

Been to any good action movies lately? You know, those with all those car chase scenes. Cars careening along at breakneck speeds ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (06/09/2013)
by Alex Breitinger

Breitinger & Sons

Commodity Futures Brokers

219.707.5332

Oats on a Roll

Oats prices sprouted higher this week, jumping over $4.00 per bushel on Friday morning, nearing a f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (06/02/2013)
Orange Juice Spikes

As hurricane season looms, orange juice prices have risen sharply on speculation that storms could cut into orange production. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric A ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (05/26/2013)
Hogs Hurry Higher

Hog prices surged this week as the market prepared for Memorial Day weekend, typically a period of high demand. Lean hog futures rose over 94.5 cents per pound on Friday, the highe ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/15/2013)
By Al Thomas --

WHAT IS A GUN?

It is a tool.

Strip out the emotional factors. Go to basics.

Hunters rifles are a method of food gathering. Birds, deer, snakes, whatever will fit in the pot. When a person is hung ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/08/2013)
By Al Thomas --

Especially if they don’t come back on in a very short time. If you live in a city of any size you are in big trouble.

If you are lucky enough to be in a car the headlights still work, but the traff ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/05/2013)
By Al Thomas --

My long term readers know I am a great believer in protecting customers’ capital with the use of open stop loss orders.

I continue to believe in them, but there have been changes in the overall mar ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/28/2013)
By Al Thomas -- Protecting Your Capital

Every Wall Street analyst, financial planner and broker will tell you that the right way to pick a mutual fund is find a good money manager of a fund that has a long ti ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/24/2013)
By Al Thomas -- Best investment

Every week I write something about the stock market - how to, when to and where to put your money and how to protect it from loss if you do. This week I want to say something very  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (04/21/2013)
Cold & Rain Slows Planting of Grain

Cool, wet weather across much of the Midwest is plaguing farmers who are unable to plant their corn crop into soggy, cold soil. Some weather watchers fear that unf ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (04/14/2013)
Gold Gouged

On Friday, gold collapsed to the lowest level since 2011, pressured lower by expectations that Cyprus may be forced into selling a portion of its gold holdings. Although Cyprus received e ... 

FULL STORY >>


Income taxes (04/10/2013)
Intellectual, spiritual, and patriotic exercise

by Richard Schneider, Professor Emeritus, CPA inactive

There are two things that are certain in life; death and _____. You guessed it, taxes. Mo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (03/06/2013)
Cattle weights clipped by storms

Severe winter storms continued this week across the Great Plains, with cold weather expected to slash animal weights. Severe weather can stress cattle, causing them t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (02/13/2013)
USDA Crop Report Confirms Tight Supplies

The USDA released its monthly estimate of grain supply and demand on Friday at 11 AM CST. The report confirmed fears that the United States could run dangero ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (02/06/2013)

Corn Pops under Argentine Heat

On Friday, corn reached the highest price since early December, climbing to over $7.46 per bushel. Prices rallied as the market grew more concerned about hot and dr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Weekly commodities (01/27/2013)
Gasoline Explodes Skyward

Unleaded gasoline futures leapt higher this week, reaching a three-month high on Thursday. Prices for wholesale gasoline, which excludes taxes and other expenses, reached as ... 

FULL STORY >>


2012 Tax Planning (07/11/2012)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

Yes 2012 is half over, and it’s time to evaluate our income tax planning for 2012, that we had done earlier this yea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Minnesota raises taxes on married taxpayers using standard deduction (02/08/2012)
By Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

WSU

Minnesota is raising the amount of tax for couples using the standard deduction. Now the Minnesota Department of Revenue does not refer ... 

FULL STORY >>


Some income is special (02/01/2012)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting - WSU

With the release of Willard (Mitt) and Ann Romney’s tax return for 2010 and projected tax return for 2011, a number of qu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Money Money (08/28/2011)

by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting, WSU

This is the theme song for Trump’s show. For some money is the American dream, and others the root of all evil. No matter where you ... 

FULL STORY >>


Supply vs Demand (07/24/2011)

by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

This argument between Supply Side and Demand Side economics, dominates the political positions of the two parties. ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/24/2011)
By Al Thomas --

TRADING VOLATILE UNCERTAIN MARKETS

Google shares are up 6% today. I don’t care. Apple earnings are not that good. I don’t care Proctor & Gamble have a good dividend. I don’t care.

Almost all t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax Reform 2011 (05/29/2011)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

Will there be tax reform in 2011, not so much. Reform would require compromise and with both parties preparing for t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The end is near (04/13/2011)
by Richard Schneider, CPA (inactive)

Professor Emeritus

Winona State University

No, not the end of the world, I hope, but the end of the tax season. Just a couple of days to file, Monday, April  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Reporting disaster losses (03/30/2011)
by Richard Schneider, CPA (inactive)

Professor Emeritus, WSU

Last September saw significant amounts of flooding along and near highway 52, including the cities of Pine Island, Oronoco, Hammond, a ... 

FULL STORY >>


New Republican tax directions (03/27/2011)
by Richard Schneider

CPA (inactive)

Professor Emeritus, WSU

Maybe not so new, but with the recently elected Republicans representing the more conservative rather than moderate segments of the pa ... 

FULL STORY >>


One foot in tax year 2010 and one in 2011 (01/19/2011)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

This is the time of the year we are busy gathering our 2010 information to file that year’s tax return, but we are a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Why investors buy at the top and sell at the bottom (01/19/2011)
By Al Thomas -- It is a matter of psychology and has little to do with stock valuations.

Whatever you have as an occupation or something else you do for a hobby you probably do well. At least well enough to keep yo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/12/2011)
By Al Thomas --

INVESTING IN 2011

Everyone, just about everyone, is predicting 2011 is going to be

a good year. The economy is coming back. No one and I mean every one of thos ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/05/2011)
By Al Thomas --

BUYING AN INVESTMENT HOUSE

The basic rule of thumb that is quoted by most real estate people is you must buy the house for 70% of the retail value.

It is my r ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax Bill of December 2010 (12/22/2010)
By Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance, Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010; this is a very long title giving a brief description of th ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/22/2010)
By Al Thomas --

WHY TECHNICAL ANALYSIS

There are two schools of thought regarding investment in equities on the stock exchange – technical and fundamental.

Few brokers are taught technical analysis. All are ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/12/2010)
By Al Thomas --

LONG TERM INVESTORS ALWAYS KNOW MARKET DIRECTION

Really? Then why do more than 90% of equity mutual funds lose money in a down market?

If an investor who really cares about his money takes the t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/08/2010)
By Al Thomas --

LEARNING TO TRADE WITH TECHNICAL ANALYSIS

There are two basic methods of trading: Fundamental Analysis and Technical Analysis.

Almost every fundamental analyst also uses some techni ... 

FULL STORY >>


Year end tax planning (12/08/2010)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Well here it is December and just a few weeks remaining to do some things to lessen the income tax for 2010, or 2010 and 2011 combined. At t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/03/2010)
By Al Thomas --

I HOPE, I HOPE, I HOPE I CAN RETIRE

I can’t tell you how much money you are going to need when you retire. If the amount is not enough it is not ‘when’, but ‘if’. You may have to keep working and ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax breaks for small businesses (10/10/2010)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Well the logjam loosened up a little, with the passage and signing into law of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. President Obama signed t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax reform again (09/22/2010)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Tax reform has been a chant for as long as I can remember. We get tax law change and increased complexity, but not real reform. With a new  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax laws in Congress (09/12/2010)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus professor of accounting

My tax service, Kiplinger, continues to report a logjam especially in the Senate. Each side trying to score political points for the upcomin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Some tax deductions we may miss (09/01/2010)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

It’s never too early to think about your taxes for 2010. We like to estimate our tax liability about a year in advance. For 2010 we did an  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/04/2010)
By Al Thomas -- LATEST INVESTMENT ADVICE

Wall Street is at it again. Helping investors with their money. But helping them do what with their money? That’s easy – make more money – for themselves.

If you listen  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The home office and the tax bite (06/27/2010)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Well we have sold our home and home ownership tax deductions to a wonderful young family. We are now renting a home for a year. The home i ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (06/20/2010)
By Al Thomas --

BRITISH PETROLEUM—A GREAT LESSON FOR INVESTORS

On April 15 BP stock was selling for more than $60 per share. This past week on June 9 it was below $30. The chance of its ever recov ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (06/09/2010)
By Al Thomas -- NEW REGULATORY FINANCIAL BILL WON’T FIX ANYTHING

No, I haven’t read it and I doubt if any of Congress has either. There are more laws and regulations on the books now than anyone can follow. If the ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/05/2010)
By Al Thomas -- DOW 14,000

Can the Dow Jones Industrial Average go back to 14,000, then 20,000, 30,000?

It can do anything it wants. The question is will the investors be buying during the updraft? The next even mo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Is your tax season over? NO!! (04/25/2010)

by Richard Schneider

Emeritus professor of accounting

April 15th has come and gone. When I had my tax practice it meant the end of work days starting at 4am and ending at 10pm. For those tax ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/18/2010)
By Al Thomas -- PENSION PLANS

Do you have one? Is it funded?

Many people have the same attitude as this school teacher who is going to retire very soon. “We’ve never saved a dollar. Not One dollar. Why would we? ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/11/2010)
By Al Thomas --

NEVER LOSE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET

I’m sure you haven’t lost money in the market, but you might

want to pass this article along to a friend.

Way back in 1984 anyone could buy ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/04/2010)
By Al Thomas -- PONZI EXPOSED = SOCIAL SECURITY

A few months ago I wrote how Mr. Madoff, now in jail, was caught with what was called the biggest Ponzi scheme ever uncovered. Chicken feed. It seems ole Charlie P ... 

FULL STORY >>


Haiti Help? Quick Tax Benefit (02/07/2010)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

On January 22nd, the president signed into law a provision allowing donors to the Haitian relief effort to deduct the ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (02/07/2010)
By Al Thomas --

I WANT YOUR JOB

Are you graduating from high school or college or maybe lost

your job? What can you do to become employed with a paycheck once again? Maybe your industry is one that is  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Save energy, get a tax credit (02/03/2010)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

For the tax years 2009 and 2010 you can get up to a $1,500 ‘Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit’, for saving energy by installing energy effi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (02/03/2010)
By Al Thomas --

CHINA vs US WAR

Don’t worry. No one is going to shoot at you.

This is a different kind of war. And they are winning.

Remember back about 20 years ago when Japan was buying up

everything th ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/16/2009)
By Al Thomas -- BELLY BUTTONS

Everyone has one. They are of no use. Some folks do talk about theirs. Opinions. Everyone has one. Some folks talk a lot about theirs. I write about the stock market and I have an o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Homebuyer credit - corrected information (11/24/2009)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

On November 6th the President signed into law an extension of the first time home buyer’s tax credit. The credit is  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Take advantage of Medicare Part D before it’s too late (11/18/2009)
by Peter Pitts

President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest

From November 15 until the end of the year, seniors can sign up for Medicare Part D -- the prescription drug benefit for senior ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/18/2009)
By Al Thomas --

GET PAID FOR PERFORMANCE

When you work your boss pays you to produce. If you don’t you will be paid less or possibly get fired. Sales people who work  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/11/2009)
By Al Thomas --

BARTERING

We haven’t come to the point – yet – where the dollar is so weak

and worthless that people will not accept them. That day is coming, but, bartering is about to take off in this country ... 

FULL STORY >>


MUTUAL FUNDS ARE DEAD – BUT THEY DON’T KNOW IT (11/01/2009)
By Al Thomas --

If you own any domestic or foreign mutual funds it is time to jump ship.

When the cover of the most prestigious financial publication in the world – Barron’s – publishes a bullish article about fu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Congress has some tax work to do!! (10/18/2009)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

Here are a few things we expect congress to do prior to year end. Estate Taxes: Currently the first $3,500,000 is ... 

FULL STORY >>


Minimum Required Distributions (MRD) for 2009 (09/16/2009)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

In 2008 President Bush signed the ‘Worker, Retiree, and Employee Recovery Act of 2008’. The act provides temporary r ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (09/09/2009)
By Al Thomas -- One question to ask your broker

by Al Thomas

I don’t know how most people choose a broker, but it seems they do it very badly. How can I come to that conclusion when I know so few of them? They  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax changes for 2009 (08/19/2009)
by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

The first half of 2009 has again seen a number of tax law changes. Below are a few of the changes that affect 2009,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Cash for Clunkers (07/01/2009)
By Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

The ‘Cash for Clunkers’ provisions are part of Supplement Appropriations Act of 2009, H. R. 2346, passed by the Sen ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (06/10/2009)
By Al Thomas -- by AL THOMAS

TEDDY vs BARACK

Teddy Roosevelt vs Barack Obama. Any similarities? Let’s look. One of the great lines TR was known for and is repeated today is, “Speak softly and carry a big  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (06/03/2009)
By Al Thomas --

WHAT CAN A LAID OFF WORKER EXPECT

In today’s society almost everyone believes he is entitled. Entitled to everything whether he is working or not.

Let’s take a realistic look at compensation. At ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/31/2009)
By Al Thomas --

by Al Thomas

Why Global Warming Cannot Be Stopped

Let us first understand that global warming has not been proven and the cause of is not known.

There are hundreds of scientists worldwid ... 

FULL STORY >>


You have money coming!!!! (05/17/2009)

(Part II)

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

by Richard Schneider

Emeritus Professor of Accounting

Winona State University

Last time we covered the ‘Making Work Pay’ tax stimulu ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/15/2009)
By Al Thomas --

RISK vs REWARD

The average trader when buying a stock or option is figuring how much money he is going to make.

The truly successful trader when entering a new position figures imme ... 

FULL STORY >>


BEST INVESTMENT (04/08/2009)
By Al Thomas -- Every week I write something about the stock market - how to, when to and where to put your money and how to protect it from loss if you do. This week I want to say something very important to the you ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/05/2009)
By Al Thomas -- FREE CHECKING IN DUBAI

Just kidding – for now.

If the Washington mavens are going to limit salaries and bonuses of bank executives how long will the banking center of the world remain in New York ... 

FULL STORY >>


Answer to all the economic problems (04/01/2009)
By Al Thomas -- Washington, in its great wisdom knows all the answers to everything. Go back in history and you will see that 99% of the time the solution is almost always the same:

SPEND TAXPAYERS MONEY.

Does that ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (03/25/2009)
By Al Thomas -- HOW LONG CAN THIS MESS LAST?

There seem to be quite a few who think they know the answer.

Economist are quoted daily using pages of Greek formulas. They are predicting anywhere from 6 months to 6  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (03/18/2009)
By Al Thomas --

BUY BLUE CHIPS AND GO BROKE

What is a Blue Chip? It is supposed to be a stock that is “good”.

Good by any definition means it is to the benefit of the owner or user. When it refers to a stock i ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (03/15/2009)
By Al Thomas --

BYE, BYE, BABY; NOT BUY, BUY, BABY

Been listening to the investment analysts, brokers, financial planners and cheerleaders on CNBC-TV?

All the financial publications are listing their “favorit ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (03/01/2009)
By Al Thomas --

JOBS VS MAKE WORK

Our new president has promised America 3,000,000 jobs. There is a big difference in hiring folks to work for a while and providing a new job.

In the 1930’s President Roose ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (02/18/2009)
By Al Thomas -- The Alchemist

WHO CAUSED THIS MESS?

Everyone wants to know who caused this mess. The housing debacle, the credit crunch, auto companies on the edge of bankruptcy and unemployment skyrocketi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (02/11/2009)
By Al Thomas --

HOW TO KNOW MARKET DIRECTION

One of the most important things you must know before buying any stock is the direction of the general market. 90% of all stocks go UP in a general bull market and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/28/2009)
By Al Thomas --

ANNUAL PREDICTIONS

Every year in the last issue of Forbes, Fortune, Money, Kiplinger and countless other publications the magazine mavens predict the best performers f ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/11/2009)
By Al Thomas -- TIME TO BUY – YES

A year ago I wrote in this column, “I don’t know what mysteries 2008 will bring, but I will predict that anyone without an exit strategy is going to have a bad year.”

Those who ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/28/2008)
By Al Thomas --

MADOFF AND SOCIAL SECURITY:TWO PONZI SCHEMES

The buzz all the week of 12/15 has been the multibillion dollar scam of Bernie Madoff. It has been labeled the biggest Ponzi schem ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/21/2008)
By Al Thomas --

THE ELEPHANT

(column from 1998)

There were four blind men who were taken to the zoo. During their journey in the zoo they came upon an e ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax changes for 2009 (12/17/2008)
by Richard Schneider

Retired professor of accounting

First I need to correct an item from my last article. Taxpayers 70 1/2 and older may transfer up to $100,000 from their IRA to a qualified cha ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/17/2008)
By Al Thomas -- WHAT DIVERSIFICATION REALLY MEANS

The market is in the tank. Your account is going down the toilet. Better call your broker or financial planner and find out what is going on.

He will have the ans ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/26/2008)
By Al Thomas --

WALL STREET’S 10 BIGGEST LIES

You surely have heard every one of these from your broker or financial planner. They have been good students, but poorly taught.

And they will break you unless you  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Medicare prescription drug plan open season (11/19/2008)
by Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

The next open season for enrollment in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program is here. Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries, and c ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/19/2008)
By Al Thomas -- FALLACY OF DIVIDENDS

The most recent craze for brokers, fund managers and financial planners is to buy stocks that have been paying dividends for many years.

Then the investor is told to rei ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bail out bill tax provisions – pork? (11/12/2008)
by Richard Schneider, CPA -inactive

Professor of accounting - retired

The bail out bill, H.R. 1424, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, signed into law on October 3rd, 2008, had a nu ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/12/2008)
By Al Thomas --

FINDING A WINNING STOCK

….. or Mutual Fund or Exchange Traded Fund in a major bear market.

You don’t believe this is a major bear. Well, you are in for an expensive lesson. All the “experts ... 

FULL STORY >>


Social Security benefits America (11/09/2008)
by Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

With the election behind us and the end of the year fast approaching, many people are already making plans for the new year — and beyond.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/09/2008)
By Al Thomas --

THE TIDE HAS CHANGED

We are all familiar with the oceanic tides. The water rises and retreats twice a day affected by the moon as the Earth rotates.

It is one of the many cycles that occur reg ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (10/22/2008)
By Al Thomas --

TIME TO BUY – NOT

Been listening to CNBC-TV or Bloomberg Network TV or any of the financial experts on the radio? Don’t miss this “opportunity” to buy at these great “values”.

I think I am goi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (10/19/2008)
By Al Thomas --

VALUE INVESTING EQUALS NONSENSE

No one needs talk about the condition of the stock market

today. In a word it stinks. So many people have been watchin ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (10/15/2008)
By Al Thomas --

HOW STOP LOSS ORDERS MAKE MONEY

You probably know what a stop loss order is, but I better explain because your broker does not want you to use this technique t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (10/01/2008)
By Al Thomas --

STAMPEDE

Secretary (His Majesty) Paulson is stampeding Congress into spending taxpayers’ money to bail out Wall Street and other bankers.

If you and I had bought these bad mortgages or ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (09/24/2008)
By Al Thomas --

NEW CADILLAC

I need a new Cadillac. It won’t cost much because I own the company. General Motors. That is. Oh yes, I own it. Or will shortly. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representative ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (09/17/2008)
By Al Thomas --

BREATHE DEEPLY – BUT HOLD YOUR NOSE

I have been hearing from Washington how wonderful the new cap and trade bill is and how it is going to solve the world greenhouse gas poll ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (09/10/2008)
By Al Thomas --

HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE BEAR MARKET IS OVER

For the past 6 months and longer everyone has been denying we are in a bear market. Mr. Market has not been paying attention to the nay sayers and has  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (08/27/2008)
By Al Thomas --

HOW TO BUY AND SELL

If you have any interest in investing you have been taught to do research on any company stock, mutual fund, bond or exchange tra ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (08/06/2008)
By Al Thomas --

DON’T BUY ANYTHING

Screaming! Hollering! Gyrations!

BUY! BUY! BUY! Is this the bottom? What are you buying now?

That’s all you hear on CNBC-TV, from brokers and so-called financial planners. T ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (08/03/2008)
By Al Thomas --

LAST PLACE FOR FINANCIAL ADVICE

Every day investors are bombarded with financial news on TV, newspapers and various other publications. Let’s not mention the unsolicited junk mail on the Interne ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/23/2008)
By Al Thomas --

CHECK YOUR PANTRY

Three little pigs went to the market to stock up for the future.

The first little pig liked chips so he went to the DOW market. He was told by everyone you could always r ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/09/2008)
By Al Thomas --

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR 401K NOW

Do you remember that happened 2000 to 2003?

I don't like reminding you of the unpleasant experience you had for that 3 year period, but yo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/09/2008)
By Al Thomas -- Cash is a position

You will never hear that from any broker. Even the discount brokers won't utter it.

Almost every investor I speak with tells me his account has lost value over the past several  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/06/2008)
By Al Thomas --

WHEN YOUR STOCK IS TAKEN OVER

The M&As (Merger and Acquisition) are always most active at market tops. Note the activity during the past two years.

It used to be in the millions of doll ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (06/18/2008)
By Al Thomas --

GREATEST PYRAMID SCHEME - SOCIAL SECURITY

Does anyone remember Charles Ponzi? He had investors knocking down his door trying to give him money promising a return of 50% in 45 days. He could show  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (06/04/2008)
By Al Thomas --

RISK IS THE REASON TO BUY

When your broker calls you or a friend gives you a great tip on a stock they always talk about how much it will go up and the huge profits you can expect. Yes, and pi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/28/2008)
By Al Thomas --

$200 OIL IS GOOD

Let's all thank the environmental whackos for their diligence in preventing drilling for oil in Alaska, Colorado, Utah, offshore of California, New Jersey and Florida.

Th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (05/25/2008)

How to avoid scams when searching for scholarships

Tuition and fees can add up to well over $30,000 at some universities. Many parents hope their children can secure a scholarship so that they ca ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/25/2008)
By Al Thomas --

BEST TRADING SYSTEM

I have been trading for more than 40 years and I am going to let you in on the secret of successful trading and show you a method that will beat the market over time.

Alm ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/14/2008)
By Al Thomas --

BEST INVESTMENT

Every week I write something about the stock market - how to, when to and where to put your money and how to protect it from loss if you do. This ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (05/11/2008)
Protecting your child against identity theft

Is someone using your childĆ­s Social Security number or other personal information to commit fraud? Unfortunately, the number of cases of identity thef ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/04/2008)
By Al Thomas -- WHEN YOU TAKE A RISK

You take a risk every time you get out of bed in the morning, but today let's limit risk-taking to finances and especially the stock market.

Whether it is stocks, exchange tr ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/20/2008)
By Al Thomas -- SOLVING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS

Without giving much thought to it you know that every time the government has decided to "help"¯ us little guys they have made the problem worse. Their solution in almost ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (04/16/2008)
Five signs your finances are in trouble

The loss of a job, a sudden illness or another crisis can spell financial trouble for any family. Sometimes, however, people make small mistakes that add up ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/16/2008)
By Al Thomas -- CONTRARIAN LOVE FEST

Every day I am bombarded with advertising telling they have the "secret"¯ of the market - and for a price will impart that "secret"¯ to me. And pigs can fly.

Before I tell yo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (04/02/2008)
By Al Thomas -- THE 10% SOLUTION

Many of the pension and profit sharing plans forecast a 9% profit for the long term. Very few have made it.

Some trading methods advertised claim 20% and more. What is more impo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Is the bull back? (03/30/2008)
By Al Thomas --

This past week we have seen a tremendous up move in all the major indexes: DOW, S&P and NASDAQ.

The talking heads and cheerleaders on CNBC-TV have been

excited proclaiming the bottom is in and the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (03/30/2008)
Tips for first-time home buyers

Many first-time buyers may be wondering if this is a good time to enter the market. Purchasing a home can be an excellent investment, according to the Minnesota Soc ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (03/26/2008)
Top ten tax tips to know before filing taxes

Your sanity is a terrible thing to waste, which is why the Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants (MNCPA) offers a list of ten tax time tips  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (03/26/2008)
Answers to frequently asked tax time questions

When you think about filing your tax return, do you have more questions than answers? The entire process can be confusing and frustrating, but a litt ... 

FULL STORY >>


Need to replace your Social Security card? (03/26/2008)
by Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

A Social Security card and number are almost essentials for life in 21st century America. That is why Social Security wants to make sure t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (03/26/2008)
By Al Thomas -- HUMPTY DUMPTY MARKET"¦.and all the King's men could not put him back together again.

Our king is supposed to be Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Did you have the opportunity to listen to his testimony  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (03/19/2008)
by AL THOMAS

CASH IS A POSITION

Have you been to any of those Money Shows? They have them all over the country. Orlando, Las Vegas, New York.

Just about every type of investment vehic ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (03/09/2008)
By Al Thomas --

THE BULL IS DEAD - LONG LIVE THE BEAR

Friday the bull was not only slaughtered, but it is now going to be cut into many parts.

If you are one of those folks "in for the long haul"¯ I hope you  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (03/05/2008)
By Al Thomas --

MUNICIPAL BONDS EXPLAINED

Several weeks ago I wrote a column stating to sell municipal

bonds. Several readers wrote asking which kind of bonds as there are several basic types of munis.

Some sh ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (02/20/2008)
By Al Thomas --

IS YOUR 401k SAFE?

Anyone with a 401K or any other managed retirement portfolio has seen its value drop significantly in the past few weeks.

Calls to the manager almost always have the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (02/13/2008)
How to maximize your health care costs

The average employee contribution for health insurance has soared over 143 percent since 2000. Typical out-of-pocket expenses that consumers pay for deductib ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (02/13/2008)
By Al Thomas --

IS YOUR BANK SAVINGS ACCOUNT SAFE?

Do you know what FDIC stands for? Most people don't. You are

not alone.

It is important because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the one that guar ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (02/10/2008)
By Al Thomas --

BEARS FEED ON DISAPPOINTMENT

It seems the bad news never stops. The market responds by going lower and lower.

This has crept into the souls and pocketbooks of investors who are confused. Three h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (01/30/2008)
Tax-deductions: What you need to know

Americans donated an estimated $295 billion to different charities in 2006, a new record, according to Giving USA 2007,Ć® a report from the Giving USA Foundatio ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/30/2008)
By Al Thomas --

IN FOR THE LONG HAUL - GO BROKE

You and many thousands like you have been on the phone this week calling your broker or so-called financial planner asking, "What is going on?" ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/23/2008)
By Al Thomas --

PITFALLS OF REVERSE MORTGAGES

The radio and TV commercials are full with wonderful sounding pitches for reverse mortgages. It almost makes any home owner want to buy one.

In case you are not fa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (01/20/2008)
Sure-fire steps to achieve your financial goals

What are your financial aspirations for the coming year? Would you like to pay off some high-interest debt? Step up your retirement savings? Set aside ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/16/2008)
By Al Thomas -- SELL MUNICIPAL BONDS NOW

I know. I know. They are a "safe"¯ investment and there is no income tax due on them, BUT"¦. Pay attention or you could lose your retirement cash. The broker will not tell  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/09/2008)
By Al Thomas -- BRAINWASHING VERSUS COMMON SENSE

Wall Street brainwashing says you need a broker to help with investment decisions. Doctors tell us you need them to help treat with serious diseases like cancer. An ... 

FULL STORY >>


What you may not know about Medicare (01/09/2008)
What you may not know about Medicare

by: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

Almost everyone knows that Medicare is a medical insurance program for retired and disabled peopl ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (01/02/2008)
By Al Thomas --

BEST BUYS FOR 2008

Everyone seems to want to put his neck on the block to predict what stocks to buy for the coming year. I rarely do this, but this year this chicken will take a chance too.

I ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/26/2007)
By Al Thomas -- Listen to the market, not your broker.

During any 10-year period there will be one major break in the stock market. It may be only 20%, but many times it will run to 40% or more. During those times a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Getting ready for tax season (12/19/2007)
by: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

The tax filing season is just around the corner and now is the time that many taxpayers start gathering records and documentation for fili ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/12/2007)
By Al Thomas -- HAIRBRAINED OR HAREBRAINED

I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.

Gosh, that makes me feel good. I know they will solve all the problems. That housing thing is a doozy. Let's see. The S ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (12/09/2007)
When buying presents at this time of year, people often spend a lot of money without being sure that theyĆ­ve really found the right gift. While it is surely the thought that counts, itĆ­s also great  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/09/2007)
By Al Thomas -- WHAT IS VALUATION?

Since August we have had a roller coaster market that has caused many to lose their cookies during the precipitous down slides yet"¦"¦.the "experts"¯ come on CNBC-TV and are tell ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (12/05/2007)
Don't let thieves and con artists ruin your holidays

Unfortunately, not everyone is filled with the spirit of peace and good will at this time of year. The holidays are peak season for criminals.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (12/05/2007)
By Al Thomas --

BUY A GOOD STOCK AND PUT IT AWAY - NOT

During market downturns you might call your broker and ask him, "What is happening to my account? It is losing so much money."¯ The standard Wall Street ans ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (11/28/2007)
Give Your Business an IT Check-up

To be successful in business you don't need to be a technology whiz - but you should have a plan in place for making the most of your company's data. According to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/28/2007)
By Al Thomas --

THE HOPEFUL AND THE SKEPTICAL

When a person puts on a new position in his portfolio he is both hopeful and skeptical.

Mostly he is hopeful because he has done everything that the Wall Street mav ... 

FULL STORY >>


One million successful retirees can’t be wrong (11/21/2007)
by: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

More than one million people have applied for Social Security retirement benefits online at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Dewey Bales of West C ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/21/2007)
By Al Thomas --

IGNORANCE ISN'T BLISS

IT'S POVERTY

The old saying, 'Ignorance is bliss', does not apply to any successful venture or adventure. It especially does not apply to investing in the stock market.

M ... 

FULL STORY >>


Disability starter kit (11/18/2007)
By: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

If you or someone you know recently became disabled and have been thinking about applying for Social Security disability benefits, there's ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (11/14/2007)
Avoid overspending during the holidays

Buying gifts for loved ones and traveling to see family can be expensive. As the holidays draw near, there are many simple spending habits that can help yo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (11/07/2007)
Don't Let Mischief Strike Your Company: Five Steps to Prevent Fraud in your Business

Every year, businesses all over the country lose billions of dollars to employee fraud. And while the big compan ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (11/07/2007)
By Al Thomas --

THE GOOD SIX MONTHS AND THE BAD SIX MONTHS

There is a seasonal trading method known as "The Good Six Months and the Bad Six Months. It works - most of the time. There is no seasonal trading me ... 

FULL STORY >>


Reminder for working retirees (10/31/2007)
by: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

A growing number of retirees are including work "” either full or part-time "” in their retirement lifestyle. Some of these retirees work ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (10/31/2007)
By Al Thomas --

FRIDAY WAKEUP CALL

The bugle blew. The cymbals clashed. The voice of the Market was heard loud and clear throughout the world. Sell everything.

This was as clear a signal as has been given i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (10/24/2007)
Donating Property Can Provide Tax Relief

Cash isn't the only way you can help your favorite charity. Many organizations accept gifts of used clothing, household items, and cars, as well as stocks,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Social Security announces 2.3 percent benefit increase for 2008 (10/24/2007)

by: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits for more than 54 million Americans will increase 2.3 percent in 2008, ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (10/24/2007)
By Al Thomas --

Dividends are Dying

Back in Dinosaur Days, well maybe not that long ago, but before 9/11 and before the 1987 crash and even before that a good stock was considered one that was selling for 6 or 1 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Whatever your job, social security can help (10/24/2007)
by: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

When you think of Social Security, who do you think of? Older Americans who receive monthly benefit payments? Younger people with ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (10/21/2007)
Financial Planning

for Single Parents

Managing a family and a household while holding down a job is enough to keep any single parent busy. When you are running your children to day care, driving t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Reminder for working retirees (10/14/2007)

by: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

A growing number of retirees are including work "” either full or part-time "” in their retirement lifestyle. Some of these retirees wo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (10/03/2007)

The ins and outs of 529 plans

Whether your children are toddlers or teenagers, 529 college savings plans are an option worth investigating, according to the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA). All ... 

FULL STORY >>


Thinking about retiring in 2008? (10/03/2007)
by Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

Record numbers of new retirees will apply for Social Security benefits in the coming years. Why? This January the first wave of the 77 mi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (08/15/2007)
What you need to do before you sell your business

Before you cash in on the successful company you've built and retire to a tropical paradise, take time to adequately prepare for this important go ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (08/15/2007)
By Al Thomas --

A bridge too far

There was a war movie called "A Bridge Too Far"¯ about a desperate operation during World War II to prevent the Germans from blowing up a bridge the Allies wanted to save so t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (08/08/2007)
By Al Thomas -- CAUSE OF THE

NEXT DEPRESSION

Want to know what and who is the cause of the next Depression?

YOU are!

Huh!

Because you are not paying attention to what those ignoramuses in Washington are doing  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (08/01/2007)
Eight Retirement savings mistakes to avoid

Effective retirement planning is often equated with making good decisions, but avoiding common mistakes can be equally important, reports the Minnesota So ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (08/01/2007)
By Al Thomas -- ADDING NEW POSITIONS

When opening a brokerage account with a broker or receiving advice from a financial planner they look at the amount of money available to invest.

After a while it is recommend ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/18/2007)
By Al Thomas --

The magic bullet to retirement

Everyone is looking for that "magic bullet"¯ that will allow them to retire rich or at least comfortable. They want to be able to do what the TV ads show - vacatio ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (07/11/2007)
By Al Thomas --

Why brokers can't tell you the truth

Your broker is not a crook. He works for a company that will not allow him to do a good and honest job for you. Furthermore, if he tries to learn how to do it ... 

FULL STORY >>


Traveling abroad? (07/04/2007)
by: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

Take Social Security along with you! If you receive Social Security benefits and you're planning to travel abroad this summer, there are s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Declare your independence (06/27/2007)
By Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

This July fourth, you may find yourself inspired to declare your own independence by doing things yourself instead of depending on  ... 

FULL STORY >>


What every parent should know (06/24/2007)
by Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

Most people think of Social Security as a part of their retirement plan, but Social Security is also a family protection plan with b ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tax shock for first time workers (06/17/2007)
by Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

There are at least a couple of million teenagers out there who will be starting their first real jobs this summer. If you know one  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money Management (05/30/2007)
Money

Management

What working retirees need to know about taxes

It's becoming a well-established trend: more and more retirees are working and, according to the media, many soon-to-retire baby ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/23/2007)
By Al Thomas -- When the market talks - listen

Every investor wants to know which way the market is moving - up or down.

No on really knows what tomorrow will bring much less those who are guessing at next month or ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/16/2007)
By Al Thomas -- Jim Cramer, pickpocket

I love Jim Cramer.

Here is a man who knows his business and how to use the tools of his trade. He made his fortune (and my guess he has been smart enough to keep it) using t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/13/2007)
By Al Thomas --

New Dow Highs

Not only the Dow Jones Industrial Average is making new contract highs, but also the Transportation Index and the Standard and Poor's 500 Index.

What does this mean?

History is a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Direct deposit and change of address (05/06/2007)
By: Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

Even when change is necessary, making changes can be difficult.

Here, then, is some useful advice for any Social Security beneficiary w ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (05/06/2007)
By Al Thomas -- Should I buy that house now?

Everyone wants to own his own home. That is very understandable.

At this moment let's assume you don't have a house.

We all know that at this moment in time the housi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - This is not 1929 (03/21/2007)
By Al Thomas -- I have heard some of the doom and gloomers compare today's stock market with 1929. None of us are old enough to remember the crash, but we have read and heard about it since we were kids.

From 1925 t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist: The mysterious 2007 (01/03/2007)
By Al Thomas -- "Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau. I do not feel there will be soon if ever a 50 or 60 point break from present levels, such as (bears) have predicted. I expect to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Don’t let those golden years be tarnished (12/20/2006)
By Al Thomas -- The golden years are fast approaching for the boomers - those born between 1946 and 1964. They are looking forward to retiring to Florida or Arizona or traveling the world as is shown on the TV commer ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist: When to sell a fund (11/29/2006)
By Al Thomas -- Very few brokers will ever call to tell an investor it is time to sell a mutual fund or Exchange Traded Fund. One of the basic reasons is he told his client it was a great fund and now that it is doin ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - My Broker Doesn’t Know (08/16/2006)
By Al Thomas -- The market has been slowly (well, not so slowly in my case) coming down so I called my broker to find out what to do. And I thought I was confused. He did have some suggestions such as this is a good  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - Gold is where you find it (08/09/2006)
By Al Thomas -- There are many ways to own gold, many forms: jewelry, bullion, coins, mutual funds, gold mining stocks (indirectly) and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). The latter are similar to mini mutual funds, but  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - Your broker isn’t a crook, he is ignorant (08/06/2006)
By Al Thomas -- Why does Wall Street hate me? Because I tell the truth and truth is something they can't abide. The little guy (that's someone with less than a 7-figure account) gets no real help. Every small invest ... 

FULL STORY >>


Compound your money (06/25/2006)
By Al Thomas -- Don't be fooled by fake dividends. The latest Wall Street investment advice is to buy a stock that pays a good dividend and reinvest it. Your money will compound. Another Wall Street lie. If you h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sell in May and go away (04/09/2006)
By Al Thomas -- This is an old saying that is true yet few brokers will act upon it to save their clients' money. They will say it is an old wife's tale and not to believe it, but they have not taken the time to do r ... 

FULL STORY >>


For brokers only (03/29/2006)
By Al Thomas -- Would you like to have more time for golf, fishing, the wife and kids? Just doing what you want with no pressure from a know-nothing boss? Well, if you keep following what Wall Street teaches you are  ... 

FULL STORY >>


What to buy and how much (03/22/2006)
By Al Thomas -- "Hello, Mr. Mushroom, this is your friendly broker calling and have I got a tip for you. It is one of those once in a lifetime stocks and I

even bought some for my own account."¯ Sound kinda familiar ... 

FULL STORY >>


(02/12/2006)
By Al Thomas -- by Al Thomas

If you are under 50 years of age and have not lost money in the stock market I don't think you will find this article interesting. Why? Because you still think you can make a killing i ... 

FULL STORY >>


True value (01/25/2006)
By Al Thomas -- When buying a stock, mutual fund or Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) investors want to know they are

receiving a good value for the money. It seems there are many methods of judging value. Most of them are ... 

FULL STORY >>


Market is flat (01/22/2006)
By Al Thomas -- No it isn't!

When you are driving down the highway looking ahead the road seems very flat yet when you stop to look at the surface of that smooth concrete you see many tiny ridges. The  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Reverse profit (01/18/2006)
By Al Thomas -- How can anything "reverse"¯ be a profit? I go to the Money Show every year to visit with

friends who have booths and are speakers. Then when folks are filing out of lectures I listen

to their commen ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gold is money (12/14/2005)
By Al Thomas -- Gold always has been and always will be wealth, but using it as money has been a problem. Today there are articles in the financial press that certain countries (usually small ones) are going to go on ... 

FULL STORY >>


Investment speed bumps (10/12/2005)
By Al Thomas -- Maybe you have done the same thing as I have. Been driving down an unfamiliar street at night a good clip and suddenly been thrown into the air as the car hit a speed bump. You immediately slow down o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Being wrong is OK (01/19/2005)
By Al Thomas -- Being wrong is OK, but let's not carry it to extremes. That applies to everything, but let's limit our discussion here to the stock market.

I have been trading for several decades and was an exchange ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist (09/08/2004)
By Al Thomas -- DIVIDENDS

When is a dividend not a dividend?

The latest thing "conservative"¯ brokers are preaching these days is to buy stocks that pay dividends. Everyone likes dividends. I know I do, but when  ... 

FULL STORY >>


My Stock - right or wrong (08/22/2004)
By Al Thomas -- We all know the expression, "My country, right or wrong"¯, but have you ever thought about the stocks or mutual fund you own and said to yourself, "My stock - right or wrong"¯ and held on to your posi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Moving averages (08/11/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Every day on CNBC-TV they show a 200-day moving average line superimposed on the stock price history. It seems they give great credence to this manufactured line as it represents 10 months of price ac ... 

FULL STORY >>


NASDAQ 800? (07/28/2004)
By Al Thomas -- In November of 2000 when the NASDAQ was trading at 3000 I wrote in this column that the NASDAQ Index would fall to 1500 and I got lots of heat for saying it. Microsoft had fallen from $129 to $60 per  ... 

FULL STORY >>


More window dressing (07/21/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Two weeks ago I wrote about what the Securities and Exchange Commission was doing to regulate the mutual fund industry to help the small investor, the "poor folks"¯. It really added up to zero.

Now  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inertia Syndrome (07/14/2004)
By Al Thomas -- When it comes to buying a stock or mutual fund most people act pretty quickly. There are some who will take the time to get a report from Morningstar (it is worthless) or get reports from their broker ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fool’s gold (07/07/2004)
By Al Thomas -- The stock market has been in an up trend for more than a year. Almost everyone is feeling good and many believe we are back in the old bull market with the previous high of the Dow Jones Industrial Av ... 

FULL STORY >>


Good news? (06/30/2004)
By Al Thomas -- As the man said, "I've got some good news and I've got some bad news. What do you want to hear first?"¯ It was replied, "Tell me the good news first"¯. "The good news is that they are going to ma ... 

FULL STORY >>


Perfect storm (06/23/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Having lived aboard a sailboat for 2 years I was stricken when I saw the movie "PERFECT STORM"¯. I know these are things you want to avoid at all costs. Even little storms can play havoc with your lif ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fake money (06/16/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Reach in your pocket and take out that big roll of bills. Depending on how many of them you have you feel pretty good. BUT did you know they are not worth the paper they are printed on? Huh? Let me ex ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hedge funds (06/02/2004)
By Al Thomas -- You read and hear a lot about hedge funds. Unfortunately, most of what you hear is negative because it comes from the major media th`at has an interest in reporting negatives about them because the ma ... 

FULL STORY >>


Eternal sunshine (05/26/2004)
By Al Thomas -- There is a current movie entitled "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"¯. It is about a man who has had a painful love affair and will do anything to rid his mind of those pain thoughts of a former  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Complacency indicator (05/19/2004)
By Al Thomas -- If you haven't heard of the technical indicator with the stock market symbol VIX it is now time to pay some attention to it. When the number is running low, as it is now, around 15 to 18 it means ever ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where are we going? (05/12/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Talk about confusing. The stock market was going up nicely during 2003 and it looked like investors were going to get back some of their losses. Now it has started down again and they need to know - i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Any road (05/05/2004)
By Al Thomas -- by Al Thomas

If you don't know where you are going any road will get there. After you get there you might not like where you ended up. You must plan ahead for your trip.

Do you know where you are g ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hold ‘em and fold ‘em (04/28/2004)
By Al Thomas -- When most analysts, financial planners, fund specialists and investors try to decide whether to buy a particular stock they immediately go to the financial statements to determine the growth potential ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rubik’s cube P/E (04/21/2004)
By Al Thomas -- I am sure that almost everyone is familiar with one of the great puzzles of all time - the Rubik's Cube. I don't know whether I could ever solve it, but one of my friends could hold it behind his back ... 

FULL STORY >>


Best investment (04/18/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Every week I write something about the stock market - how to, when to and where to put your money and how to protect it from loss if you do. This week I want to say something very important to the you ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fire (04/18/2004)
By Al Thomas -- I will make a bet with you. I'll bet that if you own your own home you have fire insurance and even "extended coverage"¯. I win.

Now I want to know if you or any of your friends have ever collected  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Trend following (04/14/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Trend following also called momentum trading is the simplest and safest method of stock market investing. It puts you in stocks and mutual funds that are going up and gets you out when they start down ... 

FULL STORY >>


Trend following (04/07/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Trend following also called momentum trading is the simplest and safest method of stock market investing. It puts you in stocks and mutual funds that are going up and gets you out when they start down ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gurgle gurgle (03/31/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Caught in a whirlpool and being sucked under. No life vest or other device to save you. Gurgle, gurgle. Down you go.

This last couple of weeks in the stock market kinda feels like that whirlpool whe ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where and why of jobs (03/24/2004)
By Al Thomas -- We have read about the unemployment rate being high. Really anything around six percent is pretty good and it is less than that now according to the statistics, but some politicians say it is terrible ... 

FULL STORY >>


You won’t like this (03/17/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Why? Because I am going to shatter your conventional wisdom as I have many times in previous columns about the lies that Wall Street continues to tell you. This time we are going to go deeper into the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Your job (03/10/2004)
By Al Thomas -- There are so many kinds of work that needs to be done and you are doing one of those jobs right now - unless you are one of those two and a half million that have been laid off during the past 3 years ... 

FULL STORY >>


Paddle your canoe (03/03/2004)
By Al Thomas -- At some time in your life you have been on a river in a canoe and hopefully you had a paddle. You know about being up the creek without one.

You quickly learned that paddling up stream is much harde ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s better (02/18/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Question: How does it get better when it gets worse?

Last week we had a jobs report from Washington that there were fewer jobs created than they had anticipated, but the stock market took that as go ... 

FULL STORY >>


Big bad bear (02/11/2004)
By Al Thomas -- by Al Thomas

The big bad bear is stirring again. So far he has stretched, yawned and peaked out of his cave. After his almost year-long nap he is hungry. A nice big steak would hit the spot.

That s ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Alchemist - Mutual funds vs. CEFs and ETFs (01/28/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Now that many mutual funds are adding more and larger redemption fees it is time to look elsewhere to invest your money.

We all know what mutual funds are, but what is a CEF or ETF? Basically a Clos ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bull or bear? (01/14/2004)
By Al Thomas -- Cat or dog? Maybe Zebra. Shucks, I don't know, but my broker keeps telling me it is a bull and to buy this and that. It looks like he is right - for a change. I remember he said the same thing in 1999 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Market success (01/07/2004)
By Al Thomas -- by Al Thomas

Who are the successful investors?

There are those who follow the advice of their brokers and financial planners or those who choose to use their own good judgment? If you care to compa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Which way the market? (12/31/2003)
By Al Thomas -- I am hearing predictions by brokers, financial planners, talk show hosts and the talking heads on TV that the market is going back to its old highs - DOW 11,700 and NASDAQ 5000 here we come.

It seem ... 

FULL STORY >>


Expense ratios (12/24/2003)
by Al Thomas

Mutual funds and brokers are always preaching not to buy any fund with a high expense ratio. That is the annual costs of the fund to pay for trading of stocks within their portfolio, sal ... 

FULL STORY >>


What are you waiting for? (12/17/2003)
by Al Thomas

Do you own any mutual funds? In an IRA or 401K or wherever. Privately or at work.

Have you called your fund manager to find out what is going on with your fund? Are they under investig ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sunrises and sunsets (09/14/2003)
By Tom Hirsch -- A colorful sunrise or sunset renews our appreciation of the beauty of nature. A sunrise also signifies a beginning. It's the bridge between the darkness of night and the brightness of the coming day.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The trusty tripod, Part 1 (08/27/2003)
By Tom Hirsch -- Tripods are the backbones of photography. A tripod will provide for maximum camera stability, and make it easier to get greater precision in composition. Every advanced photographer has a tripod as st ... 

FULL STORY >>


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