The magnitude of a leader is given by the depth of his convictions the extent of their ambitions the angle of vision and the extent of his love

Smart Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisers On the other hand, if your marginal tax rate is low, investing in tax-exempt municipal bonds doesn't really make sense for you. If your marginal tax rate is 31 percent, earning 5 percent interest tax-free is like earning 7.25 percent in a taxable investment. If your marginal rate is only 15 percent, a tax-free 5 percent is worth only as much to you as 5.88 percent in a taxable investment. You might earn more in Treasuries, which are free of state and local taxes-and safer than municipal bonds. Smart Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisers Smart Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisers What's my marginal tax rate?




Smart Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisers Smart Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisers

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After three years of underestimating the economy's strength, in 1998 investors stopped gambling on a slow-growth scenario. Instead of purchasing shares of companies with steady and dependable profits, many investors turned to fast-growth companies in the technology and retail sectors, groups that generally do well in a fast-growing economy. What's so special about a company that peddles cookies and aspirin? Regardless of whether the economy is booming, busting, or doing something in between, people get hungry and have headaches. At Walgreen stores, the product keeps moving off the shelves. Businesses that sell things people desire or need no matter how the economy is faring are known as stable-growth companies because they're able to deliver steady profit increases year after year. Although examples exist within many areas of commerce, Wall Street has traditionally defined stable-growth companies as those producing beverages, food, pharmaceuticals, and tobacco-staples that consumers keep buying in good times and bad. And here's another Wall Street tradition: Once a maker of one of these products starts showing dependable earnings growth, its stock often richly rewards investors who hold on for the long term. During the last six years, about 8.4 million persons have come of employable age every year, but less than three million have found jobs of any kind, anywhere. None, repeat none have found jobs in the organised sector of the economy. Here the total employment has been falling steadily since 1999 and if the latest estimates are anything to go by the rat of decline may be accelerating as industry downsizes in the face of competition. This is a tragedy on an epic scale, and on which if not prevented will soon end whatever little law and order is left and plunge the country into a bloodbath of insurgencies. The reason why there are no jobs is that there is no industrial growth. What makes this group of stocks so interesting at this point in time is that they perform especially well when the economy is slowing. An economic downturn was precisely what many investors were betting on from 1995 through 1997. Consequently, Kim's portfolio of stable-growth companies rose 44 percent in 1995, 26 percent in 1996, and 42 percent in 1997, outpacing the S&P 500 in all three years. Or if you want to stay invested for income, you might consider a tax-exempt municipal bond fund instead of a taxable corporate bond fund.

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Or if you want to stay invested for income, you might consider a tax-exempt municipal bond fund instead of a taxable corporate bond fund. Smart Questions to Ask Your Financial Advisers

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After three years of underestimating the economy's strength, in 1998 investors stopped gambling on a slow-growth scenario. Instead of purchasing shares of companies with steady and dependable profits, many investors turned to fast-growth companies in the technology and retail sectors, groups that generally do well in a fast-growing economy. The 98-year-old retailer has seen its earnings increase in each of the past 24 years. In the past five years, the company's earnings per share have nearly doubled. No wonder investors have flocked to Walgreen, sending its stock up 88 percent last year; during the past decade, shareholders have earned about 30 percent annually. Walgreen's stock traded at 56 times earnings in early February, a multiple 66 percent higher than the average Standard & Poor's 500 stock, which itself carries near-record price-to-earnings ratios. For superior long-term performance, shop the market for food, drug, and beverage stocks

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