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Archive for November, 2009

Cyber Monday Deals For the Frugal Shopper

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Cyber Monday is a much newer shopping day than the typical Black Friday, and as the name would suggest it is a day of deals for online shopping. The term was coined by the National Retail Federation and the NRF also opened a site called CyberMonday.com to promote Cyber Monday deals from online retailers. It isn’t just online retailers that use this day though, as traditional brick and mortar stores have now ventured into the land of Cyber Monday special offers for online shoppers. Over the last few years Cyber Monday has grown in a big way, and this year it is expected that 100 million Americans will shop online for Cyber Monday deals.

Where can you find some great Cyber Monday deals? The aforementioned CyberMonday site is a solid one, as is GottaDeal.com. I really like using Gottadeal because they put all of the deals in a condensed area for you and you can even got on their forums and interact with other consumers who are looking for the best prices on certain items. A whole lot of eyes are on the deals and you can benefit by seeing what others believe are the best deals out there as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the best Cyber Monday Deals this year:

These are just some of the great offers out there. Don’t forget to use online coupon codes for the stores when available as well and maximize your savings on Cyber Monday deals!

More Irresistible Black Friday Deals

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Best buy announced door busters for tomorrow. If you are ready to get in line by 3am in best buy stores, you will have following deals.

HP Laptop for $197

Sony VAIO Laptop for $399

Insignia 10MP Digital Cameras for $49

Sears.com already has Black Friday pricing (10% off). Toys R Us has 3-day Cyber Deals starting today.

If you know of any other good deals, please post it in the comments.

Related Links: Irresistible Black Friday Deals | Black Friday Deals (Yahoo Finance)

Irresistible Black Friday Deals for Laptops, LCD TVs and Others

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

The savings festival is on! All major retailers or competing to give you the best deals online and off-line. Just go on grab them before they’re gone! I found some of the most tempting deals. Let’s look at one by one.

Dell sells 15” laptops for $449 ($259 savings). Best Buy is selling HP Pavillion laptop for $499. Both laptops have all the goodies you need.

If you are a Mac person, Apple Macbook is selling for $999 at bestbuy.com. Apple 21.5” iMac sells for $1068 after $100 coupon in Macmall.

Dell 20” LCD monitor sells for just $99! Acer’s 20” LCD monitor sells for even less, just $79!

I always wanted to buy cheap and better webcam for my laptop. I have 9 year old Intel webcam that can’t be mounted on my laptop screen. Thank god, we got thanksgiving day now. Logitech webcam is selling for $19.99! Free shipping too!

Best buy sells Internet security pro sells for $5. No more excuse to not buying anti-virus!

Target is coming out with some good deals. See http://weeklyad.target.com/target/default.aspx?action=entryflash&ref=sc_iw_r_1_0_3_1

Walmart sells Emerson 32” LCD TV for $248, Sanyo 50” for $598 and Sony Bravia 46” LCD TV for $798. Xbox console with games are going for $199. PS3 console with games go for $299. Philips 7” portable DVD player sells for $49. Sony 10.1 MP Digital camera for just $79. Kodak 12 MP goes for $69.

Walmart sells video game bundles for $20. It sells HP G60-W519WM laptop for $298 with a 2.2 GHz, 1MB cache and 800Hz FSB Intel Celeron 900 processor. It comes loaded with Windows 7 home premium, a 250 GB Hard Drive and 3072MB DDR2 system memory. For $348 you can get an Acer laptop PC with an AMD Athlon 64 dual-core processor plus Windows 7 home premium.

J&R has Nikon Digital SLR for $299 ($100 savings).

Kmart is offering 32” Sony Bravia L Series LCD HDTVs for $380, Nintendo DS bundles with 5 games for $170 and Magellan Roadmate 1220 GPS navigation system for $85 from 6 – 11am.

More to come… Check back later today.

Related Link: Black Friday Deals: They are Worth Your Time

Black Friday Deals: They are Worth Your Time

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

This Friday will be once again be Black Friday, the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season and the day where retailers mark products down to deeply discounted rates to attract more customers. The customers definitely come out in droves for Black Friday, but some people question whether it is really worth it. I know quite a few people who believe Black Friday is too much of a hassle and it simply isn’t worth the time. I truly believe that because of the modern economy and Black Friday online shopping almost everyone can find a way to benefit from the reduced prices on this day each year.

There are hundreds of sites that have great Black Friday coverage, but a couple of the best are GottaDeal and BfAds. These sites scour the Internet and the local areas to find any and all of the Black Friday information they can get their hands on and then relay that to consumers. On these sites you’ll find things like Black Friday ad scans of the actual advertisements before you’ll receive them in the mail, and you can also find out which stores are offering which products online.

I completely understand the consumer who is not willing to fight the crowds to be in line at 3 am at your local electronics retailer, but I do believe that with the increasing amount of Black Friday online deals it makes the whole process a lot easier for those who want to shop from the comfort of their home. Remember that saving money is very important in the grand scheme of controlling your finances. Whether you are one who enjoys the early morning out at the local store or one who would rather shop in your pajamas and get the same great deals; the deals are out there if you simply take a little time to find them.

Investing in gold goes mainstream. What should you do?

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

In the past gold was often seen as an investment for those wackos on the fringe of investing that really liked to push some kind of commodity. Today those who have recommended and are recommending gold as an investment option for the mainstream public have become seen as much more “normal” by most in the investment community and even on Main Street. That tends to happen when gold prices hit all-time highs at levels such as $1,170 an ounce as they have in recent days. Gold has gone up by almost 400% in the last 10 years, so obviously buying gold in the last decade has been a good call.

Now we are seeing so many commercials about gold prices being at all-time highs and how you should sell your gold jewelry or gold coins to investors or stores. No doubt gold has become a hugely popular investment as the dollar loses value and gold is seen as the safe play for most investors. Gold tends to do well in times of economic trouble, and the last few years have definitely brought that. In addition, gold has benefited greatly from having such a weak dollar in the United States.

What should you do about investing in gold? Gold is a good solid investment option, but you always must remember that price definitely does matter. Remember if you are buying into gold now that you are buying at all-time highs. Investors need to be careful to make sure they don’t go jumping into crowded trades and get burned. One could argue that the gold trade is becoming quite crowded since it seems everyone is calling for investors to buy gold now. Always consider gold as a small portion of your portfolio to diversify yourself, but also make sure you don’t go too heavily into a market that could end up being driven by speculators and hurting a lot of everyday investors!

Dell Earnings Results Drag Down Tech Stocks

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Expectations were high for last night’s report from Dell and the results simply weren’t good enough to please investors. Dell reported that their earnings fell 54% from a year ago and Wall Street slaughtered the stock today, with the stock down about 10% in afternoon trading. Dell earned 17 cents per share on revenue of $12.9 billion. The earnings number was lower due to one-time items, but the revenue being so light really concerned the street. Expectations were that Dell would likely beat estimates of $13.2 billion, but rather they missed the number quite badly.

The entire tech sector has been taking a hit today because of these worst than expected earnings from a tech bellwether. Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and others have all dropped today in sympathy. Dell saw its gross margins take a major hit, falling to 17.3% from 18.8%. Dell’s personal computer business saw revenues drop more than expected, with desktops falling 26% and notebooks by about 14%. Many on the street are saying there are a couple reasons for the poor personal computer numbers from Dell; the first being that Dell is too heavily levered to the corporate side of business which has been slow to recover, and the second is the company is losing PC market share to its competitors. Dell did say it says IT spending increasing in the coming months, but investors shrugged off that news.

It is too soon to tell whether this report really means a whole lot to the market and the economy as a whole in the long run. This report could mean that the economy isn’t as good as some think, or it could just mean that Dell is being beaten by its rivals. The 10% decline in Dell’s shares as well as the overall decline in the NASDAQ do show that investors have very little tolerance for lighter than expected sales figures in this environment.

The holiday sales for technology companies are going to be vital to the economy recovery. Let’s hope that things can get turned around for good, but be prepared to make wise investment moves in case they don’t as well!

Housing Data Trip Up Stock Market

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Just when you think you are out of the woods, one more stats will come out of the blue and strike you. This is how the stock market works! We heard about improvements in U.S. real estate market for the last weeks. Today, Commerce Department reported unexpected drops in home construction and building permits in October. The data showed housing starts decreased 10.6% to a seasonally adjusted 529,000 annual rate compared to the prior month. Economists expected 1.7% increase. The 10.6% fall carried construction to the lowest point in six months.

Building permits in October fell 4.0% to a 552,000 annual rate. Economists had expected permits to rise by 0.9% to a rate of 580,000. Building permits are a sign of future construction and it appears that future is not that bright for real estate market.

Related Link: Choppy Trading Continues

A Quick Guide to Investing in Alternative Energy Stocks

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

Let’s face it, looking for alternative means of energy is a trend that is here to stay. As an investor you should always look for trends that will allow you to profit and certainly alternative energy is one where the wise investor can make some cash. At the same time not all alternative energy methods are going to be successful and not all alternative energy companies are created equal. That is where the decision making process becomes vitally important.

When you start investing in alternative energy companies you must understand that it is extremely important to invest in a company where the long-term business model is one that is sustainable and one that you believe strongly in. So many of the renewable energy companies that are out there right now are seen as the next hot thing, but they have no concrete plan for how they will end up making money in the long run. At the end of the day it is definitely about the income statement and the bottom line profits, so make sure the company is on track, or already has shown profits.

Another choice you must personally make is which methods of energy you believe will be the most most used methods of renewable energy throughout the world in the coming years. There are those who think wind energy is the main one, some who think solar energy is the key, others who believe clean coal is the best way to go, and so on all the way down the list. Which method do you think makes the most sense and will be affordable and sustainable in the long run?

Finally, you need to decide whether investing in individual green companies is the best move for you or whether you should look to something like a socially responsible mutual fund or ETF that focuses directly on alternative energy. These types of mutual funds offer a nice investment option for those who wish to get a diversified quickly and not try to find the next new hot stock themselves.

Investing in alternative energy is definitely a good idea, but don’t do so without doing your homework first. Be wise with your money and make investment decisions that are based on fundamentals and not just hype.

S&P 500 and Dow Hit New Yearly Highs

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Today brought a broad based rally in the stock market with the Dow and the S&P 500 hitting a new 52 week high. 91% of stocks in the S&P 500 finished higher for the day, so clearly the rally wasn’t just a few select names, rather it was a great showing from many different industries and sectors. The key news that started the rally today was the report showing retail sales up 1.4% in October from a year ago, buoyed mainly due to strengthening auto sales versus this same time a year ago. Analysts had expected retail sales to grow by 0.9%, so the 1.4% figure was definitely a welcome number.

Later in the day today Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke and his words also helped continue the stock market’s rally on the day. Bernanke reaffirmed the notion that continued economic growth through the next year is likely to continue, but it will do so at a slow pace because of headwinds. He also said that the Fed fully expects to keep rates low for a substantial period of time to try to help with the overall economic recovery. Maybe the biggest news maker for the market was Bernanke’s comment that he sees no obvious asset bubbles in the United States right now, even with the massive stock market rally of the last few months.

The stock market has climbed of late in part because of the clear signal from Bernanke and the Federal Reserve that rates will stay low for the foreseeable future, which in theory should drive economic growth. Over time the key will be the employment market and whether it is able to turn around, since Americans are unlikely to feel too confident about the economy if they are worrying about the status of their job or trying unsuccessfully to find a new job.

For now the stock market is on cloud nine, but in the near future we will need some more hard data to keep this rally going.

How to Follow Smart Mutual Fund Management’s Money

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Many investors use a wide variety of strategies to try to help them get insight from the best minds on Wall Street, but often they overlook a fairly simple way of following some of the brightest minds out there. Look for the top mutual fund performers, through a venue such as Yahoo’s Mutual Fund Search and try starting out your search there.

For example, if you are looking for large cap growth stocks go to the large cap growth section of top performers and look at the top performers for different time periods. If you are a long-term investor it is usually best to take the closest look at mutual funds that have done very well over the 3 and 5 year period rather than something as short as a 3 month period. After arriving at the list click on the desired mutual fund and then look at their top 10 holdings. Yahoo shows you these as a % of the overall mutual fund portfolio, which is helpful because it helps you know just how much of a stake the mutual fund has in that particular stock. Look at some of the top mutual fund holdings and write them down or keep them in a word document and do further research on these names yourself.

By using this kind of a method what you are doing is you are getting a great starting point and free advice from some of the best pros out there. There aren’t many other ways on Wall Street that you can get advice from the best without paying a huge amount. Keep in mind that these holdings aren’t released immediately so this is definitely a method for long-term investors and not traders to use.

Start incorporating the research from top mutual fund managers into your investment decisions and get yourself ahead of the game.

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