Archive for 'Investing'

Zacks 3 Top Breakout Stocks

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Investment conditions have improved modestly across all property sectors, while property values remain flat and transaction volumes have decreased. These results were released today by CCIM Institute (www.ccim.com), one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world, following a national third-quarter survey of CCIM members conducted by Real Estate Research Corp. (RERC).

Slow economic growth, high unemployment and anticipated federal tax increases are factors that continue to negatively impact the commercial investment environment, based on the report. The climate remains challenging for commercial real estate investors, who struggle to find viable opportunities in a slow-growth environment. A small silver lining – commercial real estate remains a reasonable and sturdy investment choice for investors seeking realistic returns and minimal volatility, according to CCIM members.

“Returns on investment income from commercial real estate can still be achieved over time for those with patience. There are plenty of investors seeking to avoid the volatility of the stock market, and who require higher yields than those offered by bonds and cash investments,” said Kenneth P. Riggs Jr., CCIM, CRE, MAI, chief real estate economist for the CCIM Institute and chairman and president of Real Estate Research Corp. “Commercial real estate is a good alternative for such investors, particularly those who are looking for income in a slow economy.”

Investment Conditions Improve
Investment condition ratings for all property types – office, industrial, retail, apartments and hotel – improved during third-quarter 2012, with the apartment sector receiving the highest score, at 7.6 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highest. The hotel and industrial sectors’ ratings rose to 5.9 and 5.6, respectively, followed by the 5.4 rating for the retail sector. The office sector investment rating rose to 4.8.

CCIM members said that the best investment strategies in this environment include buying low, keeping cash on hand for future opportunities and investing in foreclosed or distressed properties. Members also suggest looking long term and advise patience when investing.

Return vs. Risk and Value vs. Price Ratings Rise
CCIM members raised the return-versus-risk ratings and value-versus-price ratings for all property types and for commercial real estate overall during third-quarter 2012.

Specifically, the overall return-versus-risk rating for commercial real estate increased to 5.5 during third-quarter 2012, according to CCIM members. Likewise, the return-versus-risk ratings for all of the property types increased. At 7.2, the apartment sector earned the highest rating. The industrial sector rating, at 5.7, pulled away from the hotel sector rating of 5.6. The rating for the retail sector increased to 5.3, while the office sector rating remained the lowest, at 4.9, during third quarter.

CCIM members noted that the value-versus-price for commercial real estate increased during third-quarter 2012, with the overall value-versus-price rating increasing to 5.6. Although the overall value of commercial real estate improved only slightly, the value-versus-price ratings also increased for every property sector. The industrial sector rating increased to 5.6, and retained the highest rating among the property sectors. Similarly, while the retail sector’s rating rose to 5.3, the ratings for the office and apartment sectors each increased to 5.2. At 5.1, the hotel sector rating also increased, although the rating remained the lowest compared to the other property types.

Property Values Remain Flat
While commercial real estate seems to be holding its own with respect to income performance, property values remain flat and transaction volume declined in third-quarter 2012.

On a 12-month basis, transaction volume for all property types decreased with the exception of the industrial sector volume, which increased slightly. More specifically:

  • Hotel sector volume fell 25 percent.
  • Office and retail sectors volume declined approximately 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
  • Apartment sector volume decreased about 5 percent from the previous quarter.

“Get used to it, as this is the ‘new normal’ for the economy and we should expect this investment environment for the foreseeable future. The low-hanging fruit has been picked, and investors are adapting to the challenges we face. Risk-adjusted returns for commercial real estate are down from what we have seen, but fundamentals are steady and even improving slightly,” added Riggs. “With volume and prices for commercial properties flat or down on average (except for apartments) during third quarter, plus assurance from Bernanke that interest rates will be low until mid-2015, opportunities with reasonable prices may be found in increasing numbers of secondary and tertiary locations.”

Property Sector Highlights
Continuing a positive trend, the national vacancy rate for all property types continued to decline during third quarter 2012. Only the retail sector vacancy rate remained unchanged.

Other property sector highlights gleaned from the survey of CCIM members include:

  • The apartment sector remained the safest and best investment compared to the other property types during third-quarter 2012.
  • Compared to other property types, distressed and foreclosed office properties sold the best during third-quarter 2012.
  • Industrial properties are currently underpriced. Members suggest that investors should buy low, lease at market value and hold. There is not much demand for industrial properties in the East region due to oversupply.

The complete survey findings can be found at http://www.ccim.com/resources/itq-fourth-quarter-2012-rercccim-investment-trends-quarterly

About the Survey Methodology
The analysis provided in the RERC/CCIM Investment Trends Quarterly is conducted by Real Estate Research Corp. (RERC). The information is gathered in raw form from surveys sent to CCIM designees and candidates, and from sales transactions collected from various sources, including CCIM members, various key commercial information exchange organizations (CIEs), the media, assessors’ offices, RERC contacts in the marketplace, and other reliable public and private resources. All sales transactions are aggregated, analyzed, and reported on by RERC. The RERC/CCIM Investment Trends Quarterly report provides timely insight into transaction volume, pricing, and capitalization rates for the core income-producing properties.

About the CCIM Institute
Since 1969, the Chicago-based CCIM Institute has conferred the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation to commercial real estate and allied professionals through an extensive curriculum of 200 classroom hours and professional experiential requirements. The core curriculum addresses financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis, investment analysis, and negotiation—the cornerstones of commercial investment real estate.

An affiliate of the National Association of Realtors®, the CCIM Institute also offers powerful technology tools such as the Site To Do Business, an online site analysis and demographics resource, and CCIMREDEX, a single-entry listing and data exchange. Currently, there are nearly 10,000 CCIMs in 1,000 markets in the U.S. and 31 additional countries, with another 6,000 practitioners pursuing the designation, making the institute the governing body of one of the largest commercial real estate networks in the world. Visit www.ccim.com, www.stdbonline.com, and www.ccimredex.com for more information.

CONTACT: Amie DeLuca, +1-630-315-2962, amie@hensonconsulting.com

Financial Advisor Prefers Modesty for Retirees

After the financial pummeling investors have endured over the last decade, there is a palpable loss of confidence in the stock market – and a loss of patience. In response to the demand from increasingly conservative consumers, safer financial strategies are slowly evolving, even as riskier propositions are dying out. Financial advisors have not always sought to protect client portfolios from market risk, preferring a “wait and hope” approach to investing that relies in the market to bounce back up when it dips. But now, an entire generation of investors is looking for a safety net for their capital in retirement – and that’s exactly what today’s savvy financial advisors, like John Convery, aim to provide.

As founder and CEO of The Educated Wealth Center, LLC in West Palm Beach Florida, John describes himself as an advocate and educator for retirees. “You shouldn’t have to lose sleep at night wondering if you’ll have enough to live comfortably. There are proven strategies that align your resources properly to ensure you will always have enough,” he says. One of those proven strategies lies in knowing how to use annuities to ensure a constant flow of income – a pitch that isn’t always popular.

Annuities have developed a bad reputation, and some of it is deserved. Once you’ve heard one horror story, it’s hard not to treat every one of the dozens of different types of annuities as suspect. You’ve probably heard the story of the retiree died before pulling his money out of his annuities – and the insurance company kept the money. It’s the black sheep in the Annuity family that everyone talks about. But annuities deserve a second look. When it comes to protecting capital while still maintaining steady cash flow, fixed indexed annuities especially can be a central component of a solid portfolio.

When advising his clients, John Convery lists the safest types of investments: certificates and deposits with certain banks, US Treasury Notes, Fixed and Indexed Annuities. The problem with all of those investments, he says, is that interest rates are so low that “You die a death of a thousand cuts.” Indexed annuities are the notable exception.

“We like to see clients using indexing so they can benefit from the gains of the market without risking the losses. Over time, indexing should allow them to keep their incomes in pace with inflation.” However, he warns, “It’s not going to allow you to make a fortune in the market. But over time, it should allow you to outperform inflation. If you can accomplish that, then you’re going to be all right. Modest goals for a modest time, but in a market this volatile, feeling financially secure is worth a fortune.”

Read more: http://www.educatedwealthcenter.com/john-convery-west-palm-beach-fl.php

CONTACT: Matt Collins, 800-980-1626, matt@celebritybrandingagency.com

Web Site: http://www.educatedwealthcenter.com

City Index Group

FX Solutions LLC, a leading retail foreign exchange (forex) dealer and part of the City Index group of companies, today announced the launch of capped variable pricing for its U.S. customers.*

The new pricing is available on the MetaTrader4 (MT4) and GTS trading platforms across 28 forex pairs.  Customers can trade on spreads as low as 0.8 pips on EUR/USD and 1 pip on GBP/USD, USD/JPY and AUD/USD.

The pricing aims to move in sync with the underlying market, potentially providing tighter spreads as liquidity improves.  A ‘cap’ or ‘limit’ is placed on the spread with the intent of restricting it from widening more than the listed cap level.

In the opinion of FX Solutions, the ‘cap’ provides advantages over other variable spread providers, whose spreads, without a ‘cap’, can widen excessively around economic events.  Using Capped Variable Pricing, FX Solutions customers can trade more efficiently with potentially lower spreads.

Capped Variable Pricing is the latest addition to FX Solutions’ U.S. offering and follows the expansion of its market analysis and forex education capabilities with the recent appointment of Chief Technical Strategist, James Chen.

To find out more about FX Solutions, please visit www.fxsolutions.com.

About FX Solutions

FX Solutions is a leading foreign exchange broker with a focus on advanced trading technologies, transparency of trading and customer service. To learn more about FX Solutions, please visit www.fxsolutions.com.

Forex trading involves a substantial risk of loss and may not be suitable for all investors.  FX Solutions is compensated through a portion of the bid/ask spread.

* While we strive to offer capped pricing (spreads) at all times, there may be occasions where a significant market or world event may force us to widen spreads beyond the caps without prior notice. The last time spreads were widened beyond set levels was February 2009. NZD/USD widened from 5 to 7 pips. Spreads vary based on market conditions, including volatility, liquidity and other factors. The minimum spreads referenced herein are intended to occur periodically in normal market conditions on select currency pairs. The spreads you experience throughout a day will differ.

CONTACT: Michelle Welk, +1-609-750-9114, mwelk@sspr.com

Web Site: http://www.fxsolutions.com

Some Simple Ideas to Make Stock Investing Profitable

Anti-bank feeling has resulted in the public looking to take more responsibility for investing their own money.

A new website has come up with a simple but novel way to help the regular Joe invest his own money and avoid the advisory services of financial institutions that are perceived to have let the public down.

Shared Sense is based on the theory of famed investor and mentor to the man on the street: Peter Lynch. The site takes his ideas of  “invest in what you know and that the best stock tip is in front of you in the mall” and goes a step further.  It allows people to share these observations on a worldwide basis and so helping people gather market research through group thinking.

It uses the wisdom of the crowd to get people’s views on what is selling or not.  Put simply, people can give an opinion on what brands are hot or not in their area. The information is gathered worldwide and the site gives back the total view on what people see as popular or not.

As increasing or decreasing sales is generally the most important investment criteria, members can use the information as part of their investment decisions.

The site editors take this information and add their experience to it. They analyze the other important factors including financials, margins and outlook and give full stock tips to members.

The site is not another stock price prediction site but focuses on identifying brand popularity to give regular investors an edge. The themes of the site are honesty and humor – the idea being to strip stock picking of all the overly fancy jargon and replace it with raw honesty. The top predictors are invited to join to the site as full authors.

Ned Goodwin, Shared Sense founder says: “Why can’t stock picking and investment be based on a co-operative system where people help each other by sharing information on buying trends? This is a practical way of occupying Wall Street — taking the power of investment decision back to the people. People helping themselves to get an investment edge.  As Peter Lynch said, if you’re buying the product it might be worthwhile buying the stock. We’re saying if you know we’re all buying the product it’s definitely worthwhile buying the stock.”

http://www.Sharedsense.com

CONTACT: Eddie Goodwin, +1-617-331-6999, Eddie@sharedsense.com

Web Site: http://www.sharedsense.com

Penny Stock Picker Consistent with Record Gains

Penny Stock Picker Consistent with Record Gains

Penny Stock Picker Consistent with Record Gains-Image via Wikipedia

Our track record for picking profitable stocks is beyond reproach, and our customers continually record large gains, even in tough markets. Our analysts follow everything from small to large-cap stocks on a minute-to-minute basis to ensure you are receiving the most current and useful information. We know most of our subscribers have neither the time nor the resources to conduct proper due diligence, which is the backbone of successful investing. Credibility is the name of this game, and the overwhelming majority of our new customers are referred to us by existing customers. Whether you are a seasoned or novice investor, blue or white collar worker, budding entrepreneur or power broker, we have an investment for you.

Find out why thousands will sign up today – www.Pennystockcrew.com

We look at stocks that are absent or mere blips on the major firms’ collective radars. We do this because we know small cap investments provide big gains, and only our alert subscribers are privy to this in-depth knowledge. A striking irony: many of our clients come to us from these same major firms! Our alerts are not arbitrary, we will not clog your inbox with useless information, and we will only send you alerts when a company is ready to explode. Our team’s only objective is to provide our valued subscribers the tools needed to strike while the iron is hot. Granted, it is impossible to be correct 100% of the time, but our approach is successful time and time again

Action to take, click here: www.PennyStockCrew.com

Disclosure: Penny Stock Crew is not a registered investment advisor and nothing contained in any materials should be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell securities. Investors should always conduct their own due diligence with any potential investment. Penny Stock Crew is a wholly owned entity of a financial public relations firm. Please read our report and visit our website, for complete risks and disclosures.

CONTACT: Wes Smith of Penny Stock Crew, +1-561-372-8342, wdesouza@jdventuregroup.com

Web Site: http://www.PennyStockCrew.com

Life Insurance Guide Short Course

Life Quotes, Inc. has compiled a list of the top 5 scariest things about life insurance, calling attention to the importance of going over your life insurance policy with a trusted insurance agent no less than once a year to make sure that the policy you own is keeping up with the changes in your life. If you should die, the only way to truly protect your loved ones from financial peril is with life insurance. But before you sign the dotted line, or pay another renewal bill, make sure you have a thorough understanding of how your policy works.

The following is a short list of some of the most frightening and often overlooked features of a life insurance policy:

TERM LIFE (TL)
Term life insurance doesn’t age gracefully

Term life may be the least expensive life insurance policy you can purchase, but it is only in-force for a designated term, typically 10, 15, 20 or 25 years. And if you have to renew a term life policy under the guaranteed renewal clause—look out!  The cost of built-in, no-exam renewal feature can often be five or ten times the cost of the premium you have been paying.  And then, most renew on an annual basis in which the premiums rapidly escalate even further into the stratosphere each year thereafter. To avoid this problem, consider buying a longer initial rate guarantee at the outset.  Many companies now offer 30-year term, level term to age 65 and even level term for life, in which you’d never be subject to a price increase.

WHOLE LIFE (WL)
Creeping death of your cash value

“If you are only looking at immediate, short-term goals, you don’t want to invest in a whole life insurance policy because the surrender charges in the early years would dramatically reduce the cash value and you may find that you paid far more for the policy in premiums than what it’s worth,” said Michelle Matlock, editor of Life Quotes, Inc.

Consider buying whole life only if you want coverage for the very long haul and have no intentions of canceling in the early years.

VARIABLE (VL), UNIVERSAL (UL), and VARIABLE UNIVERSAL LIFE (VUL)
These policies assume investment risks that can murder your overall value

If you are being pitched on a variable or universal life insurance policy that is being sold as “self-sustaining,” watch out because long-term, non-guaranteed projections with life insurance can be very misleading. Not only might it take 10 or more years to build up enough cash value to cover future premiums, but also inherent in those projections is an assumed interest rate that can be wildly off over a long period of time. When interest rates are projected to be high, the cash value grows at an alluring, faster rate, but when interest rates are low, cash values grow very slowly. To avoid trouble, always ask the selling agent to show you and explain the “guaranteed” values columns in the illustration, as they will show a true, worst-case scenario.  

A variable universal life insurance policy is far more risky. The policy is dependent on how well the investments tied to the cash value perform in the stock market. If the stock market goes south along with your investments, this will greatly impact your cash value and the security of your death benefit. There are several upfront charges on a VUL that make it very pricey coming out of the gate. In addition to this, these policies can have astronomically high surrender charges if you decide to partially or fully surrender the policy in the first 10 years.

For a full list of “Top 5 Scariest Things About Life Insurance” go to http://www.lifequotes.com/articles/lifeinsurance/the-top-5-scariest-things-about-life-insurance/

About Life Quotes, Inc.

Originally founded in 1984, Life Quotes, Inc. owns and operates a comprehensive consumer information service and companion insurance brokerage service that caters to the needs of self-directed insurance shoppers.  Visitors to the Company’s website, www.lifequotes.com, are able to obtain instant car, life, health, home and business insurance quotes, and have the freedom to buy online or by phone from any company shown.  Life Quotes, Inc. generates revenues from receipt of industry-standard commissions, including back-end bonus commissions and volume-based contingent bonus commissions that are paid by participating insurance companies. We also generate revenues from the sale of website traffic and insurance leads to various third parties.

CONTACT: Michelle Matlock, Editor, +1-630-515-0170, ext. 335, editor@lifequotes.com

Web Site: http://www.lifequotes.com

Altair Advisers was named one of the Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors in the U.S., as ranked and published in Barron’s August 29, 2011 issue. This is the fifth consecutive year it has received this honor – every year since the list began in 2007. Again, Altair is the highest ranking Independent Financial Advisor in Illinois.

“We are honored to receive this award. It’s a reflection of the efforts of the Altair Team, made possible by the support and confidence of our clients,” said Steven B. Weinstein, President and Chief Investment Officer of Altair Advisers.

The Barron’s List of Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors is an exclusive award given to firms that meet stringent criteria, including the quality of the advisors’ practices and the volume of assets overseen.

Source: Barron’s “Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors,” August 29, 2011. Barron’s is a registered trademark of Dow Jones & Company, L.P. All rights reserved.  For more information on ranking methodology, go to http://online.barrons.com/report/top-financial-advisors/independent. Neither Altair Advisers nor any of its employees pays a fee to Barron’s in exchange for this rating.

About Altair Advisers

Altair Advisers provides the highest level of Independent Investment Counsel for wealthy individuals, families and foundations.  Altair and its principals are consistently recognized as Top Independent Wealth Managers by Barron’s, Worth, Financial Advisor, Wealth Manager and Chicago magazines.  Like the bright star for which it is named, Altair helps its clients navigate through a complex financial world. For more information please visit www.altairadvisers.com.

CONTACT: Richard Black of Altair Advisers, +1-312-429-3000

Web Site: http://www.altairadvisers.com

General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP) (“GGP”) today announced the refinancing of four shopping malls representing $966 million of new mortgages. These four new fixed-rate mortgages have a weighted average term of 9.1 years and a weighted average interest rate of 4.63%, as compared to the 5.66% rate on the prior maturing loans. After adjusting for GGP’s ownership interest, the Company’s pro-rata share of the new four non-recourse mortgages totals $483 million.

The four newly refinanced malls have the following terms:

Natick Mall (Natick, MA—Boston): $450 million at 4.60% due 2019
Galleria at Tyler (Riverside, CA—Los Angeles): $200 million at 5.05% due 2023
First Colony Mall (Sugar Land, TX—Houston): $185 million at 4.50% due 2019
Northbrook Court (Northbrook, IL—Chicago): $131 million at 4.25% due 2021

Year-to-date, GGP has completed nearly $3.9 billion ($3.1 billion at GGP’s pro-rata share) of new property level non-recourse financings with a weighted average term of 9.9 years and an interest rate of 5.1%. These mortgages successfully conclude GGP’s 2011 financing plan and replace $3.2 billion ($2.5 billion at GGP’s pro-rata share) that had a weighted average term of 2.4 years and an interest rate of 5.81%.

“At the start of 2011, one of GGP’s stated goals was to strengthen the Company’s balance sheet and liquidity while also reducing interest rates and extending the average debt maturity profile,” said Sandeep Mathrani, chief executive officer of General Growth Properties. “We have accomplished our 2011 goals and are now focused on 2012 financing opportunities.”

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results suggested by these forward-looking statements, for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, our ability to refinance, extend, restructure or repay our remaining debt (including that of our Unconsolidated Real Estate Affiliates) with maturities in the short to intermediate term, our ability to raise capital through equity issuances, asset sales or the incurrence of new debt, retail and credit market conditions, impairments, our liquidity demands and retail and economic conditions. Readers are referred to the documents filed by General Growth Properties, Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which further identify the important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this release. The Company disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.

ABOUT GGP

General Growth Properties has ownership and management interest in 166 regional and super regional shopping malls in 43 states. The Company portfolio totals 169 million square feet of space.  A publicly-traded real estate investment trust (REIT), GGP is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol GGP.

CONTACT: David Keating, vice president of corporate communications, +1-312-960-6325, david.keating@ggp.com

Debt Relief Can Improve Your Overall Health

Debt is a burden that millions of Americans carry on a daily basis. In fact, the average family spends 20 percent of their household income paying down debt. But the scary fact about debt is that it doesn’t just impact your finances.

No one knows the far-reaching impact of debt more than Sharon, a former client of the nonprofit organization, Money Management International (MMI). Sharon struggled for years to stay current on more than $40,000 of debt, but eventually found a solution for overcoming the financial burden that she had faced for so long. Sharon, as well as others in similar situations, share their experiences and their journey throughout the debt repayment process through MMI’s new podcast series.

“I’m just a normal everyday mom who goes to work and tries to raise my kids,” Sharon said. “At the end of the program I paid off $40,000 in debt. Paying off my debt felt unbelievable; I was as happy as I was the day my kids were born.”

The financial experts at MMI have found that stress caused by financial worries can be detrimental to your health. Your emotional and mental stability, as well as your personal and professional relationships, are all at risk when finances feel out of control.

“You have a job to do at work, but you still have to come home and perform there as well. Receiving the collection calls is embarrassing. Dealing with debt was a major distraction,” Sharon said. “I felt inadequate. I felt like I was failing.”

According to an MMI personal finance survey, 24 percent of Americans blame financial hardships for health-related issues such as depression, anxiety, and problems sleeping. Financial stress can also be linked to failed relationships. Twenty-seven percent of Americans feel their marriage is impacted the most by financial worries.

With such far-reaching impacts, tackling debt can feel like an overwhelming process, which Sharon described as “trying to dig out of a hole that I was never going to get out of.”

This is why MMI wants to make the process as easy as possible by offering consumers free debt and budget counseling. As the largest nonprofit credit counseling agency in the nation, MMI has helped consumers pay back more than $740 million in debt in 2010 alone. Because we know that getting out of debt does more than improve finances – – it improves lives.

“My outlook on life has really changed,” Sharon said. “My confidence is through the roof. I feel like I can do anything. I’m not bound by credit and debt.”

About Money Management International
Money Management International (MMI) is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and debt management assistance to consumers since 1958. MMI helps consumers trim their expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available by appointment in branch offices and 24/7 by telephone and Internet. Services are available in English or Spanish. To learn more, call 800.432.7310 or visit www.MoneyManagement.org.

Let’s keep in touch!

Visit us on the Web at MoneyManagement.org

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