-Mar-
10
The Bright Side of Tax Season – Seven Ideas For What to Do With Your 2007 Tax Refund (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

As the deadline for completing 2007 tax returns approaches, more and more people are filing returns each and every day. While many people are filing the old fashion way through the mail, others are taking advantage of the free IRS efile method online. Once the headaches of making sure all your information is accurate and all your paperwork has been submitted, you should know in advance if you can expect a tax refund this year.

As with any income, it’s a good idea to think about what you’re going to do in advance and make a plan for how you will use it. We always quote the saying that “no plan is a plan to fail,” and it seems true that many of the worst financial decisions are those made compulsively. Since tax refunds are getting turned around more quickly than ever these days, take the time in between when you file and when you receive your refund to really think about what you’ll do with the money you get back.

-Feb-
26
6 Essential Tips for Tax Season – Advice For The Best Ways To Get Through Tax Season Safely (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

As I’m sure the readers of 22Dollars are aware, tax season is in full swing. By now, we all should have received the necessary paperwork from our employers, banks and other investment institutions and can get to work on our tax returns if we haven’t already.

It seems like each year there are more and more options for individuals looking to prepare their tax returns, and it can be difficult to know who to trust. Lately the news has been filled with stories about tax-related scams to watch out for and everywhere you look there are advertisements offering “worry free” solutions.

So with the April 15 deadline looming, here are a few simple tips to keep in mind as you’re preparing your taxes:

-Dec-
03
Want to Know How to Turn $12,000 into $2 Million? Timothy Sykes Demonstrates (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

If you’re a fan of Wall Street Warriors or stay on top of the financial publishing scene, you’ve probably seen and heard Timothy Sykes’ name pretty frequently these days. Timothy’s recently released book, An American Hedge Fund: How I Made $2 Million as a Stock Operator and Created a Hedge Fund, details the true story of how he turned the $12,415 he received for his Bar Mitzvah into $1.65 million in just three years and all before he turned 26. Timothy sent 22Dollars.com a copy of his book (check out the fourth page to see our review!) and recently provided us with a behind-the-scenes look at the man, the myth and the market. Make sure to check out Timothy’s responses below and grab a copy of his book if you haven’t already!

-Oct-
18
The Sensex at 19000! Where are emerging markets headed? (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Everyone nowadays is gung-ho about emerging markets. And why not? Emerging markets are currently the world's fastest growing economies. Hence, it is of not much surprise that more and more money has been finding its way into these markets. The largest markets for FII inflows are India and China. India for one has been a recipient of huge inflows owing to the fact that the Indian economy is one of the fastest growing economies of the world clocking a 9.3% GDP growth rate in 2006-2007. This growth has been witnessed since 1991, when the Indian Government decided to liberalize the economy.

-Sep-
19
Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) Restructures Core Business Model to Improve Profit Margins (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Back in July we talked about an opportunity in Eastman Kodak (NYSE:EK) and today we are still bullish on the stock. Since our previous post, the stock continues to trade sideways but not with out direction. Some of you may have noticed the resistance around $28.50 - $29.00 but also take the series of higher lows over the past couple weeks. Despite the technical setup here and bullish nature of the stock over the last year, we see reason for concern fundamentally.

-Jun-
07
Morgan Stanley's Jim Merkley Welcomes 22Dollars to Oak Hill Country Club (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting and sharing a round of golf with Jim Merkley from Morgan Stanley. Mr. Merkley comes from an impressive background that includes being named one of Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 for 2005! What is even more impressive is the time and effort Jim puts back into the community. Like Jim, the team here at 22Dollars believes in the importance of giving back to help out those in need. It was because of our recent donation to the Arc of Monroe Foundation that we came in contact with Jim and he was kind enough to offer a round of golf at the home of the 85th PGA Championship - Oak Hill Country Club (East course). A course that has been continually recognized as one of America’s top 20 golf courses.

-May-
17
Investing in Real Estate: Is it Worth the Green it Takes to Go Green? (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Typically the articles on this site address investing through stocks, bonds and mutual funds. However many people have made their fortunes, or at least a comfortable living, by investing in real estate. Whether we turn out to be real estate moguls like Donald Trump, or just need a roof over our heads, we all need to make real estate decisions at some point in our lives.

There are many choices that need to be made when you’re building, buying or remodeling a home. Certainly style is one of them – you want your home to look nice and serve as a representation of your personality. Comfort is another one high on most peoples’ lists – you want your home to be a place you can relax and unwind. Now what about the financially driven decisions you make with respect to your home?

-May-
14
Cove Atlantis All-Suite Resort Grand Opening - Nassau, Paradise Island Bahamas (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

As an entrepreneur myself (BlueEye Design Co.), I am always interested in hearing other success stories and business venture ideas that have been made into reality. The team at 22Dollars recently returned from a week long trip to Nassau, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. We wanted to take a moment to talk about our experience and the grand opening of The Cove Atlantis - the newest branch of the Atlantis megaplex resort that caters to the ultra wealthy. After all, what is the point of investing if you can not have fun with the money you make right? So this was our chance to get away from the north country and see the once in a lifetime event.

For those of you not familiar with the Atlantis resort, it is a legendary and lavish property on Paradise Island, near Nassau in the Bahamas and just a hop from Florida. The property dominates the island’s real estate and is a major contributor to the island’s economy, employing some 6,000 residents. Sol Kerzner (Kerzner International Chairman) built the celebrity magnet that boasts a Royal Tower bridge suite that will run you a cool $25,000 a night. Even if you do have the cash however, you will have to wait till the year 2011 when the next free available week for the suite is open.

-May-
02
Private Equity Funds - The Coadjutant Capital Rich Investors Shape the Way (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Globally it is becoming increasingly discommodious to raise capital through public fund raising (IPO's). The costs of going public are escalating year on year. Costs relating to meeting SEC requirements and of getting timely and proprietary research coverage is rising. The demand of IPO's has been volatile in 2006, with the backlog of IPO filings rising. High disclosure norms and postulations from public, government, and press is leading to high correlation of company results with markets, companies are impelled to amenably meet or beat quarterly revenue and earnings estimates. Furthermore, increasing scrutiny surrounding public companies and corporate governance is corroborating the cause of companies to stay private.

-Apr-
23
Please Welcome the Newest Writer to 22Dollars - Chandni Kripalani - Private Equity Specialist (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

It is our pleasure to introduce all our readers to our newest writer, Chandni Kripalani.

Chandni brings extensive experience in the private equity space. She hails from a background of mutual fund advisory, investment advisory and private equity transaction research. She has worked with asset management companies the likes of DSP Merrill Lynch Fund Managers and as a wealth manager at Citibank where she provided investment advisory to high net worth clients on mutual funds and life insurance.

We are very happy and excited to have her on board and look forward to learning from her expertise and experience in the field.

-Mar-
20
Why Are You Not Rich Yet? The Poor, Middle & Upper Class Definition of the word "Asset" (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

I recently received an email from an individual (who will remain nameless) that wanted to know why it was they felt like they would never get ahead financially. A feeling of being stuck in the rat race of life, struggling to never get ahead in the end. My answer to his question was simple and it paralleled the ideologies expressed by Robert T. Kiyosaki in the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. The answer is one that is not readily taught in our school systems. Before I give you the answer to why you aren’t rich yet, let me first ask you a couple questions and see if you can’t figure it out yourself.

-Mar-
12
Class Characteristics – Could You Survive in a Different Economic Class? (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

One of our recent posts discussed a researcher’s view on the differences between economic classes. The researcher stated that the upper, lower and middle classes live their lives based on the past, present and future, respectively. What this researcher was getting at is that there are a number of differences in classes aside from the job titles and bank statements typical of the group’s members.

We typically consider nationality, religious views and geographic location to be the main factors which determine a person’s culture. We consider ourselves to be “Americans” so we celebrate the traditional holidays and eat the customary foods. But what role does economic class play in our culture?

-Mar-
08
Book Review: Freakonomics – Unexpected Comparisons Make Readers Think Twice (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?
– Freakonomics

These questions and more are posed in Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s “Freakonomics” a book which uses seemingly unthinkable comparisons to examine the economics which make up our everyday lives. It was these questions that interested me in the book, and caused me to check it out recently to find out exactly what conclusions the writers could draw based on such questions.

-Dec-
30
New Year's Resolutions - The Rest of Your Financial Life Starts Now (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

�Tis the Season for making New Year�s resolutions! As we approach 2007, it is likely that many people are making lists and checking them twice, preparing for a fresh start in the new year and setting goals for the things they�d like to accomplish.

Typically it seems that the most common resolutions include pledges to work out more often, watch what we eat, get involved in volunteer work, take up a new hobby and spend more time with our families. Also high on many peoples� lists are financial goals for the coming year. After the extra spending of the holiday season, many of us may be looking for ways to make better decisions regarding our money.

-Dec-
17
The Rich Dad, Poor Dad Year End Christmas Holiday Giveway. Thank You 22Readers! (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

As 2006 comes to a close, we here at 22Dollars.com want to take this opportunity to thank all our readers for making the site what it is today. We have received countless emails from readers scattered near and far expressing their kind words with respect to the site. We hope you enjoy the site and continue to read and find different ways to save and make money in 2007.

As a token of our appreciation, we wanted to give something back to our readers. What we settled on this year for the 22Dollars Holiday Bonus gift was one of the most inspiring and influential books I have ever read on the differences in the way each social-economic class approaches business, money and life. The book is titled Rich Dad, Poor Dad written by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. A book about what the rich teach their kids about money that the poor and middle class do not. A BRAND NEW copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad will be given away to one lucky reader of 22Dollars to be drawn at random this coming Friday (Dec. 22nd).

-Dec-
06
The Cost of Christmas Goes Up - Investors Understand Finances on their Own Terms (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

I saw an interesting article last week relating to the costs associated with the holiday season. We all know the traditional twelve days of Christmas song. Well each year, economists calculate just how much all the items discussed in that song would cost if you were to buy them, to serve as a sort of measuring stick to compare one year to another.

And just how much would the twelve days of Christmas cost this year? Economists calculated that all the items would cost $18,920.59, up 3.1% from 2005. Here is the full list of results from the last two years:

-Nov-
21
Black Friday is Almost Here - Consumers Get Ready for the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

That's right friends, the official start of the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. For years the day after Thanksgiving has been known as a day when retailers offer the best deals of the year and shoppers flood into malls across the country to take advantage of the low prices.

While shoppers are bound to leave stores this Friday feeling satisfied with the fact that they took advantage of the great sales, one has to wonder who benefits more stores or shoppers. The fact that these sales start at 6 a.m. (or earlier), last for a very limited time (usually just a few hours), involve large crowds and limited quantities as well as an abundance of holiday decorations, Black Friday serves to create an atmosphere that thrives on impulse buys. Sure shoppers are paying less for the newest electronic goods and latest fashions, but this savings is offset by the high pressure environment that inevitably accompanies Black Friday.

-Nov-
14
INVESTools Inc. (OTCBB:INVS): Stock Market Education Leader Upgrades Investor Toolbox (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

INVESTools Inc. (OTCBB:INVS), my tool of choice for stock research and analysis, recently announced the relaunch of its Investor Toolbox Web site. As a long-time user of Investools, it was nice to see that they finally decided to redesign the Investor Toolbox from top to bottom. The new toolbox is supposed to be much more powerful, convenient and customizable. The transition will take approximately 45 days for all users to experience the new area.

-Nov-
06
What Everybody Ought to Know About the True Benefits of a College Degree (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

The benefits of a college degree today mean much more than some spare change in your pocket when you do finally land a job. According to a recent article over at Yahoo, this little piece of paper equates to extra spending power to the tune of $23,000/year.

How much is a bachelor's degree worth? About $23,000 a year, the government said in a report released Thursday.

That is the average gap in earnings between adults with bachelor's degrees and those with high school diplomas, according to data from the Census Bureau.

College graduates made an average of $51,554 in 2004, the most recent figures available, compared with $28,645 for adults with a high school diploma. High school dropouts earned an average of $19,169 and those with advanced college degrees made an average of $78,093.

I would agree these numbers are probably fairly accurate, but do not demonstrate the fact that the true value of a college degree spans much farther than $23,000/year. Here is what I think.

-Nov-
01
Welcome Friends to the New 22Dollars.com - Your Feedback is Encouraged. (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Welcome friends to the new 22. I just wanted to thank you for your patience while we have been very busy upgrading the entire site (as you can clearly see). As you will notice at the top, there are now tabs to provide easy navigation to the three new areas of the site. The new areas of the site include the credo, Club22 and the contact page.

CREDO: Our mission statement. Created because of the enormous feedback I received asking and I quote "What is 22Dollars and how do I join". I wanted it to be more than just a simple "about us" page - I wanted to capture why this site was created and why it is a great resource for our visitors to use daily now. It also serves as a reminder to our commitment to always be improving on the site and providing our readers with the best possible experience.

-Oct-
18
22Changes to Serve Growing Reader Base of Savvy Investors - The New 22 is Coming! (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Over the past couple days the team at 22Dollars.com has been very busy working and we apologize for the lack of recent posts. What have we been working on you ask? Well not financial analysis, but rather a total site-wide face-lift. Here are just some of the changes you can look forward to:

1.) Total site optimization with respect to coding, images, scripts and all other files to improve download times by over 400%!

2.) Transfer of the site over to the secure and extra speedy hosting of Media Temple's new (gs) Grid-Server platform.

3.) New tabbed browsing for navigation.

4.) Cleaner fonts for easier reading onscreen (I was a usability/human-computer interaction major in college so this kind of stuff is important to me!)

5.) The addition of 3 new pages: Contact, Credo and Club22...

6.) A new design that reflects the color you might think of when talking about making money... care to take a guess?

All in all, we are extremely excited and pleased with the how the transition is going thus far. We hope to launch the new site within the next month depending on several factors still up in the air. We hope that everyone will enjoy the new site and we look forward to hearing your feedback on it pending the official launch. Take care.

-Sep-
21
16 Must-Read Financial Blog Sites by Kiplinger’s Magazine & 22Dollars Top 10 Financial Blogs (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Today I returned home from a much needed vacation. I was lucky enough to get away to a place called "The Homestead". Founded in 1766 (10-years before our country was even founded and slightly before my time), the Homestead sits deep in the mountains of Hot Springs, Virginia. It is a breath-taking 5 star estate that offers an amazing array of activities, food and history. The trip was just fabulous and I got a chance to play the 48th ranked golf course in the world called "The Cascades", which is owned by the Homestead. It was just under $250/person to step out onto the course and an extra $40 for the caddie but worth every penny. Anyways, it was a great time and I am glad to be back. Now that I am back, I wanted to write a post about other financial webstops that both Kiplinger's magazine and myself find very helpful.

-Aug-
24
Buyer Beware: Unsolicited E-mails Sent Out by Spammers Pump Penny Stocks to Record Profits (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

I personally prefer not to trade penny stocks for a couple reasons. First, my stomach does not handle that type of volatility very well. Second, these stocks are much easier to manipulate maliciously than higher priced stocks. Here is the most recent example of my point in an article written by Tyler Hamilton titled "Spammers Make a Sound Investment in Stocks - Unsolicited e-mail that touts penny stocks is on the rise and getting results".

A new study reveals that spam messages promoting stocks can make you money -- if you're the spammer.

"Hot Energy! Oil Stock!" shouts the typical message. "Ready To Run!! Big Winner!!! Huge Advertising Campaign This Week!" Such come-on messages often refer to a company with a listing on the Pink Sheets, an over-the-counter stock quotation system. They're designed to entice novice traders to buy stocks that are normally overlooked.

-Jul-
26
Technical vs. Fundamental Analysis and the Perfect Combination of Both to Maximize Your Profits (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

You are up all night doing your fundamental research on a stock. You love the company, you love their products and they are fundamentally sound from top to bottom. Thus you decide to pull the trigger and purchase their stock. 6 months later, the stock has tumbled and you are left scratching your head as to why people are selling such a sound company.

The truth is, had you looked at the chart, the answer was right there all along. All you had to do was recognize and read the signals the chart was giving you. The price pierced the 200Day SMA on high volume, the relative strength index signaled an overbought situation, a head-and-shoulders top formed. In short, there were numerous technical indicators screaming that a buy now would cost you that summer vacation or maybe force you to make a car payment with your savings money. All because you never saw the signs staring you right in the face.

-Jul-
15
Wal-Mart Embraces New 5-Finger Discount Policy. Thief’s OK as Long as They Are Not Greedy? (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Last time I checked my pocket reference guide to ethics, stealing, regardless of the denomination, was not all right and, if caught, would lead to some sort of penalty. Well I guess the higher-ups at Wal-Mart do not agree. The nation's largest employer is moving away from what it called a zero-tolerance policy on prosecuting shoplifters. They will now only prosecute thief’s caught taking merchandise worth $25 or more. In other words, as long as these thief’s are not too greedy, then it's almost worth taking the risk? Do I understand this right? You can find the original report here. On top of this, Wal-Mart has also set an age limit. Only those between the ages of 18 and 64 who steal at least $25 worth of goods will be prosecuted.

The original policy went after anyone, regardless of age, who took at least $3 dollars worth of goods. If I was a person of mis-guided values, I would be licking my chops at this new policy and pushing my luck knowing the worst that can happen if I get caught stealing that nice $24 china set is NOTHING! Does Wal-Mart even have security in their stores? The last I checked the only person guarding the door was a nice lady in a wheel chair pushing 70 years of age. I just can't seem to grasp this new concept but I am sure Wal-Mart must have some logical explanation for it. Please inform me if you know what it is.

-Jul-
05
Enron Scandle Memories Reborn as Ken Lay is Laid to Rest (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

If you were thinking what I was thinking this morning when CNBC first announced the news of Kenneth Lay's death, the autopsy later today showed that the Enron founder did in fact die of heart disease. Ken was 64 years of age and passed this morning a broken man. His recent guilty conviction could have led to decades of prison time - essentially a life sentence for someone a year away from qualifying for Medicare. Lay told jurors during his trial that he had lived out the American dream along with the American nightmare. Today I had a chance to ask some of my friends a question that I couldn't answer myself. I asked them would they rather be in Ken Lay's shoes today or the Ken Lay's shoes of yesterday? Alive or living out the American nightmare? It's a sad story no matter how you look at it and my heart still goes out to all those people who saw their life saving go down the drain because of the greed of someone already worth over $200 million dollars. Let's hope this serves as a reminder to those in higher power that what goes around comes around eventually. If you are still confused, then please refer back to my last article about donating to charity and helping out those less fortunate, those not worth $200 million dollars and those trying to make ends meet to support their family and children.

-Jun-
16
Google (Goog) Continues to Launch New Services as the Stock Looks Set to Search for Higher Prices (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

I have recently taken a position in Google (Goog) because of the leader's recent pullback, followed by the firming of the stock price demonstrated by the pattern of higher lows over the last couple weeks. This potential triangle pattern could resolve into a bullish signal should the stock price break out to the upside in coming weeks. There has been plenty of talk about the next big service/product the company will release. Two recent Google service/product announcements included the testing of their Web buying system that they claim to be unlike PayPal's and the new government search site. Anyone who follows Google knows that they announce new and exciting services/products on a regular basis making it very tough for Microsoft and Yahoo to keep up and grow at such an astounding rate.

On top of this, the Technology/Computer Services sector is starting to see a steady flow of institutional money begin to pour back into it. Despite already having taken a position in Google, I would suggest waiting to see how the triangle pattern resolves before pulling the trigger.

-May-
15
Some Words of Winning from Jack Welch - Former CEO of General Electric (GE) (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Jack Welch is the former CEO of General Electric (GE). His book, titled "Winning" has been a very popular read amongst top corporate execs and other high level business people. I have only recently had a chance to browse through some of Jack’s book and wanted to share a piece that I was particularly fond of and couldn't agree more with. The piece deals with the characteristics of employees’ top employees and the vibe they give off. Jack says he always looked for individuals who could exude positive energy while pushing and probing with a curiosity that borders on skepticism. This type of attitude is what really helps propel a business forward in a positive way.

Getting into further details, Jack often would look for Integrity, Intelligence, and Maturity in individuals. One of the most important things to understand here is that Jack was NOT talking about age. Individuals can be mature at any age and immature at any age. Do not stereotype young or old people regarding their maturity because of their age. Look for the 4 Es in a person, which are:

(1) ENERGY
(2) Ability to ENERGIZE others
(3) EDGE (courage)
(4) EXECUTE (accomplish goals)

and also one P, which is PASSION.

These are going to be your best employees. Real life examples of this include individuals like Katherine Binsack from Text100 Corp, Mike Rundle from 9Rules Network, Adam Chojnacki from McNeil Pharmaceuticals, and Joe Dolan of Nalod Associates. All of these individuals embody the above characteristics with a special emphasis on Passion. They love what they do and are driven to not only do more, but get others around them excited about what they do. Their creative minds give them the edge and courage needed to continue to excel in their fields while their past experiences and higher education give them the knowledge and realization needed to execute and accomplish their goals.

-May-
10
Energy Conversion Devices Ovonics, Inc. (ENER) - Alternative Energy Play Includes Solar and Hydrogen (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

The newest stock in my portfolio is Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) aka ECD Ovonics. ENER describes itself as the leader in the synthesis of new materials and the development of advanced production technology and innovative products. It has invented, pioneered and developed its proprietary, enabling technologies in the fields of energy and information leading to new products and production processes based on amorphous, disordered and related materials.

"The new reality of higher oil prices continues to bring increased attention and a sense of urgency to the alternative energy sector where ECD Ovonics has been a major international player. This has translated into record sales at United Solar Ovonic and the award of a contract to Cobasys by General Motors' Saturn VUE for Cobasys' advanced Ovonic NiMH battery solutions." Stanford R. Ovshinsky; President, Chief Scientist and Technologist of ECD Ovonics.

The Company's portfolio of alternative energy solutions includes Ovonic thin-film amorphous solar cells, modules, panels and systems for generating solar electric power; Ovonic NiMH batteries; Ovonic hydride storage materials capable of storing hydrogen in the solid state for use as a feedstock for fuel cells or internal combustion engines or as an enhancement or replacement for any type of hydrocarbon fuel; and Ovonic fuel cell technology. ECD Ovonics' proprietary advanced information technologies include Ovonic phase-change electrical memory, Ovonic phase-change optical memory and the Ovonic Threshold Switch. ECD Ovonics designs and builds manufacturing machinery that incorporates its proprietary production processes, maintains ongoing research and development programs to continually improve its products and develops new applications for its technologies.

-May-
08
Imagine the Entire World Powered by the Most Abundant Resource on the Planet - Water! (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

If this were a stock, I would surely own a lot of it. I still cannot believe this is real. It seems like this is the ultimate solution to the gas crisis and I look forward to seeing how this technology progresses over the next 20 years. Do you think that in the future, filling up our tanks of gas will consist of merely turning on the faucet to get the 4 ounces of water needed to travel 100 miles? Again I ask, can this be real?

-Apr-
04
Technical Analysis - Chart Pattern Recognition Series (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

I have had many requests from virtually all my colleagues to further explain what I look for in a stock in terms of technical fundamentals and chart patterns. I am far from an expert in this subject but I do not like seeing many of my friends fail to maximize profits (or worse, lose money) because they don't recognize proper stock injection points, the only time I will buy a stock.

I have thus decided to start a stock chart pattern recognition series. In this series I will show you basic stock patterns and how they certain patterns tend to resolve bullish while other patterns will resolve bearishly. Recognizing these before they happen can make you a considerable amount of money.

I will talk about chart patterns such as Double Top/Bottom, Head and Shoulders, Falling/Rising Wedge Triple Top/Bottom, Flag Pennant, Symmetrical, Ascending & Descending Triangles and Price Channels. Oh and did I mention my personal favorite - The Cup and Handle.

-Mar-
27
Sex and Investing : The Difference Between Male and Female Investment Strategies (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Does the sex of someone really play that crucial of a role in the way they invest? A recent study conducted by Merrill Lynch polled over 1,000 U.S. investors (500 men and 500 women) get a better understanding of their investment thought process, including their mistakes, attitudes, beliefs and knowledge levels. Is sex something you should really take into consideration before choosing a financial advisor?

The results of the study might surprise you. It turns out there is a significant difference in each of the categories listed above when it came to how women investors thought about the problem as compared to how male investors thought about the problem.

-Mar-
21
Google Finance Launches - Hopes to Compete with Yahoo Fiance, MSN Money, AOL Money, Finance & TheStreet.com (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

In typical Google fashion, today the Internet giant launched its beta version of Google Finance. Google Finance primarily provides financial news, stock quotes, charts and data. In its trial form, the site is far less comprehensive than established financial sites such as Yahoo Finance, MSN Money Central, America Online's Money and TheStreet.com. It differs from the above competition in that it will not be creating any of its own news and/or stock information, including charts. It will use the popular AJAX technology to power many different aspects of the beta site.

My personal take on the new site is positive. I believe there is a lot of room for improvement on the homepage (speaking from a usability perspective). The individual stock information page has some very nice AJAX features and a very clean layout. My favorite feature being the ability to scroll back in time and check the news for that day on a specific stock. Overall I like the beta look and feel despite the limited functionality compared to the other well established finance sites such as Yahoo and TheStreet.com. For the record, my favorite and the one that is set as my homepage is Yahoo! Finance.

-Mar-
08
Shaky Market Ahead - Protect Your Nest Egg and Remember These Two Rules! (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

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With all the hype of interest rates possibly tightening a few more times, the market has been treading on very shaky grounds lately. With the number of stocks declining far outweighing the advances this week, I think it is time to reiterate some of the most important investment rules. Here are two friendly reminders that will save you money in shaky times.

Rule 1: You can not control the market.
Thus you should not try. Instead focus your attention on going with the market flow. Take what the market is giving you, instead of trying to give a stock to the market. Do not be stubborn, especially in a market like this. Trying to force a loser stock to go back up by continuing holding it will get you in more trouble here.

Rule 2: Investing is more than just making money. Investing also includes not losing money.
You have to know when to take your profits. Nothing hurts more then watching your portfolio get crushed by a single stock that you still believe in and are trying to force the market to like. Take your profits and cut your loses when the economic indicators tell you too!

Remember, investing is half making money and half not losing it!

-Mar-
02
The Eye In The Sky Is Your Path To Cash - NovAtel (NGPS) and Garmin (GRMN) (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

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Are you lost in the market? Need some more good investing ideas but can't seem to find them? What you really need is a GPS Satellite system to help you navigate your way to the best opportunities. Ok, so maybe they don't make a GPS navigation system for the market, but they GPS satellite market is booming and setting up to grow even more.

The two stocks that are on my radar screen in this sector (Electronics/electronic equipment Widx .EEE) are NovAtel (NGPS) and Garmin (GRMN). Both of these companies are leaders in their sector and both of these companies have set up very well for another strong breakout.

-Feb-
23
Checking Out the Brazilian Markets First Hand in Cancun, Mexico (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Cancun Mexico - 22Dollars Style

By the time you read this message I will have already left for my nice weeklong getaway to Cancun, Mexico. A great opportunity for me to relax and reflect on what is really important things in life - spending quality time with those you care most about. One of my favorite sayings comes from a professional investor and friend of mine, David. He quotes:

I discovered (finally!) that, despite the ephemeral fame and fortune success can usher in, making money is not the eschaton I had believed it to be. Life is about more than the amount of money we can amass; it is rather the quality and quantity of our relationships we share.

These words very much ring true to me and I believe this very strongly, but nonetheless I am going to be just north of one of the hottest markets in the world, Brazil. My favorite stock from this market comes in the form of the countries largest bank.

-Feb-
18
Digging for Olympic Size Gold and Silver Opportunities (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

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This week the markets held their gains as we descend into the extended weekend (markets closed Monday). Oil and energy stocks rebounded after sliding a bit in previous weeks. Oil now sits at $60 per barrel. This was not however the sector that I went digging for opportunities in. Who wants to dig for oil, when you can dig for gold and silver?

For a while now the Gold and Silver markets have been hot and after a recent pull back, I think that these two markets could be set for another nice up-tick and I am going to share with you my two favorite stocks of this industry.

-Feb-
15
Restaurant Industry Seeing Strong Earnings - Growth Potential - PF Chang (PFCB), Wendy's (WEN) (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Many restaurant chains are scheduled to report earnings this week and the ones that have reported already have been promising. I particularly think that P.F. Changs (PFCB) and Wendy's (WEN) have set up well here.

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P.F. Changs, for those of you have never been or heard of, owns and operates two restaurant concepts in the Asian niche. P.F. Chang's China Bistro features a blend of high-quality, traditional Chinese cuisine and American hospitality in a sophisticated, contemporary bistro setting. Pei Wei Asian Diner offers a modest menu of freshly prepared Asian cuisine in a relaxed, warm environment offering attentive counter service and take-out flexibility. The company currently owns and operates 131 P.F. Chang's and 77 Pei Wei Asian Diner restaurants.

-Feb-
12
Corning, Inc. (GLW) Pullback Sets Opportunity For Future Breakout (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

I wrote an article a while back about Corning Glassworks (GLW). At the time the stock had set up nicely to make a good breakout from $19.50 to $25 and change. The stock has since pulled back nicely. I have not yet decided to jump back into this one but I do have it on my watch list again.

As LCD TV's continue to post strong sales in record numbers, Corning is well positioned to take advantage of this market. As one of the leading providers and developers of the glass used for the screens of these LCD TV's, the growth opportunity here is very strong and the stock is setting up again for a nice up tick.

-Feb-
04
Sensible Investment Strategies: Age and Life Cycle (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

We all have our own personal investing strategy. One's investing strategy is usually reflection of their comfort level with the market and a reflection on their experience level. Professional investors may feel more comfortable trading different naked put and call options than those first entering the market. On the flip side, many basic investors like to fall back and rely on the "buy and hold" strategy. Experience aside, the question here is should age hold any bearing on investment strategy?

22Dollars Investing Timeline

A while back, I got the wonderful opportunity to talk live on the air with the hosts of the E*Trade Radio station about this very issue. After a very detailed and interesting talk about the life cycle of investing, we all agreed that age should play a roll in one's investment strategy inorder to attain higher total returns early in life and conserve your accumulated assets late in life. Before I go any further, I want to also point out that we all also agreed that no matter what the age, making wise investment decisions was far more important. The key idea here is that age-based portfolios adjust the relative risk of the investments to the beneficiary’s time horizon, giving the investor a better idea of how to adjust his positions based on his or her current position in life.

-Jan-
24
International Diversification – Protecting Your Nest Egg Using International Leverage. (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

How do you define diversification? Many investors would argue that in order to be considered diversified, you need to hold a minimum of five different stocks or two mutual funds in separate market sectors. Some would also argue that you need even more five stocks or funds to be truly diversified. About.com defines diversification as:

Diversification is the calculated spreading of your investments over a number of different asset classes. This cushions your portfolio if one part is down, since different asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash, etc.) seldom move in the same direction. In mutual funds, you achieve diversification by the fund owning 50 stocks, instead of a few.

I agree with everything here but feel that many investors commonly overlook one very important point when it comes to diversification. A point that could be providing them with a false sense of security and cost them a lot of money.

-Jan-
15
Nobody Cares About Your Money... More Than You! (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Who should be running your 401K? If nobody cares about your money more than you, then why are people so quick to hand it off to someone else to manage? I personally think that a lot of it has to do with our school systems and the lack of financial education offered. Of course I was taught how to knit a scarf, cut open a frog and memorize many obscure poems to be recited to the class, but only a nickel's worth of education when it came to portfolio and financial management. In fact, unless you were a finance major in college or come from a family with experience in finances then you may find yourself in a similar position as myself, having to take the time to teach yourself this essential information. So is it even worth it or should you just hand it off to a professional?

-Jan-
12
Johnson & Johnson, Guidant and Boston Scientific Bid It Out - But JNJ Can't Lose. (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

As a former employee of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) for nearly seven years, I have seen the company go through numerous acquisitions. This is common with a business of Johnson & Johnson's size as it servers as the quickest way for them to continue expanding. Currently Johnson & Johnson is in a bidding war with Boston Scientific (BSX) over the highly sought after, cardiovascular device business of Guidant (GDT) - but is this a war that Johnson & Johnson can't lose?

-Jan-
06
How Much Is A Stock Really Worth? (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

I talk virtually every day to many different novice investors and one of the biggest misconceptions that I hear day in and day out is that a stock is priced too high to buy. These investors seem to be more concerned with how many shares they can pick up, rather then focusing their attention on what really matters - a stocks price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio. People often forget that a stocks price is not "real"; a stock's price is simply a ratio created by the companies through stock splits and share adjustments. Don't let the stock price fool you!

-Jan-
03
Google vs. Yahoo - Who Will Dominate Online Advertising? (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

I recently picked up a bunch of Yahoo (YHOO) shares to get some exposure to the very hyped tech sector. A sector that is currently being dominated by the Google (GOOG) machine. Now either one of these stocks I would recommend right here as Google just got a new record high price target. Piper Jaffray analyst Safa Rashtchy lifted the firm's price target for 2006 to $600 from $445. So why did I decide to go with Yahoo?

UPDATE: A rumor has surfaced on the street suggesting that Microsoft (MSFT) might make a bid for Yahoo (YHOO). Yahoo was also upgraded by Goldman Sachs (GS) and this has sent the stock up nicely this morning. Please keep in mind that the MSFT/YHOO takeover is just a rumor and I will keep you posted as I learn more.

-Jan-
01
Give Us A Flat Tax and Empower Our Economy (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Every once and a while you hear a politician or even the President mutter the phrase “flat tax”. If you’re like me, that phrase makes your heart jumps into your throat. Then a few days go by and that magical phrase is never mentioned again. It just comes and goes like a mid summer’s night love affair. For those of you who are a product of our fine public school system, a flat tax is a standard percentage on all wages that are earned and nothing else. Simple. Right. For some unknown reason we are taught either as kids, or though the left wing media, that people wealthy and successful are born with some special gene that products their success. Due to this unfair power they possess over us, they should be punished and forced to pay crazy high tax rates so their wealth can be re-distributed to the “less fortunate”.

-Dec-
26
Another Mistake for New York State (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

Starting Jan 1st the great state of New York is going to raise its minimum wage. The wage hike is part of a three year increase finally settling at $7.15 an hour. Starting January first the new law will hike the rate up to $6.75 per hour as compared to the federal minimum wage law of $5.15 per hour. Now you may think this hike would be great for our economy and great for its workers, but it has a very negative effect on both.

-Dec-
24
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

From all of us here at the Lapa family - we wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season. Now is a good time to trade out those losers and under-performers of the year (like General Motors (GM) if you own it) and get ready for the New Year. A new year that will consist of a new economic chairman, Ben Bernake, to replace the legendary Greenspan. Bernake is well-qualified candidate with a more flexible attitude when it comes to controlling inflation rates. I would expect the markets to grow at a quicker pace for the duration of his term in office as oppose to the Greenspan era.

-Dec-
21
NYC Transit Strike and the Economic Impact (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comment

For the second day in a row now the NYC Transit Union has left millions of angry New Yorkers without an effective way to commute about the city. The worlds largest transit system, carrying an estimated 7 million passengers (round trip ticket sales) per day, has shut it doors for measly 6% increase in pay request. Of course the 1 million dollar a day fine is quickly wiping out this 6% increase fine for going on strike. What really worries me here is the ever-looming possibility of a terrorist attack. Should these transit systems need to be up and read to go incase of an emergency - they of course will not be ready.

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