Archives for Money
I talk a lot about business and entrepreneurship, but sometimes you just need a job. And finding a good one in a “layoff economy” is not always an easy thing. You need strategies that work and you need them now.
To start, you want to keep some essential facts about job hunting and the hiring process in mind:
- 90% of jobs are not advertised. This is huge, and it means newspaper classifieds, Craigslist, and the big career websites are only telling you about 10% of the jobs out there.
- There are 3 gateways to get through. The first is getting your resume looked at, the second is getting an interview, and the third is getting hired. You have to get through all 3 gateways to get the job.
- Companies want solutions to problems. A lot of times, a company will advertise a position but end up not hiring. They end up finding another solution because they don’t just want a warm body; they want a solution to a specific problem.
Just understanding these key points is critical to your job hunting strategy. It tells you where to look for a job, and how to present yourself for maximum results. So put these 5 strategies to work and let me know how your job hunt goes …
For a lot of people right now, the economy sucks. But for some, it’s a time of great opportunity. And which side of that fence you’re on depends a lot on how you understand the fundamentals.
Let’s get all metaphoric and try to sort it out …
The Lion vs. The Gazelle
So we take a lion and a gazelle and put them in a big fenced-in park. And we wait. One of two things will happen … either the lion eats the gazelle or the lion starves to death.
Most people think about trading as simply buying a stock and profiting when the stock goes up. Well, it’s time to change your thinking because that’s only half the game. That’s only 4 1/2 innings of a 9 inning game.
You ever play half a game and win it?
Thanks to the rising price of oil and the mortgage meltdown the stock market has been what the British would call “dodgy”. There’s a lack of confidence in the ability for companies to perform and earn, and that’s driving the markets down.
But it’s not all bad news. Bear markets can bring good investing opportunities and there are numerous strategies you can employ to minimize the erosion of your portfolio and even make some money …
1. Don’t invest. A lot of investment funds are holding a larger than normal cash position right now. This is simple cash preservation and the idea is to wait out the bear; when the markets are going up, it’s because stocks in general are going up, and your chances of picking the winners are much better.
2. Go short. Shorting a stock is betting the stock will go down. You can place your bet by buying put options which is the option to sell a stock at a price in the future that you think will be higher than it will cost to buy. You can aso write call options. By writing a call, you’re giving someone else an opportunity to buy your stocks at a specific price and if the stock goes lower, the option is useless and you keep the premium (the price of the option) when it expires.
There’s been a lot of chatter about Facebook going public. A lot of people don’t think it’s possible. And I tend to agree … or at least, I used to.
Social media sites like MySpace and YouTube usually end up getting purchased by bigger companies for one simple reason: they can’t financially stand on their own. It’s really difficult for a social media site to earn big returns because users are there to do other things. They don’t click on ads.
Cracking the Web 2.0 Code
Someone’s going to do it. Sooner or later. And of course there are many much smaller websites that are profitable. Just not IPO worthy.
There are a few reasons I like Facebook as an IPO opportunity …
When it comes to picking stocks, or picking a winner in anything, everybody’s got a system. A magic calculation that can tell the future.
Well, here’s mine …
Above, you can see a historical stock graph and 3 spiral swirls. But not just any kind of spirals … golden spirals. The golden spiral is based on the golden ratio. Otherwise known as Phi.
Phi is a mathematical pattern that we see everywhere in nature, from the shape of seashells to the very structure of our galaxy. It’s everywhere. The Golden ratio which is 1 to 1.618 is often viewed as the measure of perfection. It’s amazingly aesthetically pleasing to the eye and it’s used in graphic design a lot (called the rule of thirds).
Phi is so ingrained into everything around us that many scientists believe it holds the key to unlocking the greatest prize that physics has to offer; the grand unified theory. I tend to agree.
The mechanics of successful investing is pretty simple. Buy low and sell high. The less simple part has to do with what to buy and when to buy it. In other words, selection and timing.
Stock selection and timing are really closely related. The key is recognizing both current value and potential value. If the current value is less than the potential future value, you’ve got a winner. And of course if the opposite is true you could still have a winner by shorting the stock (betting it will go down).
Finding Stock Opportunities
There are literally thousands upon thousands of stocks out there. So first, you need to find them, and find out a little about them …
If you park your money in the same place for 20 years, you can do well. But a lot of times you’ll just keep up with inflation. And sometimes, the only gains you make come from steadily pouring money into your parking spot over many years; it’s just a savings plan. Not an investment plan.
Great returns come from catching the waves. Good waves can last anywhere from 2 to 5 years. You hop on, ride high, and then hop off and look for the next one.
The dot com bubble was a nice wave. And over the last few years property has been a good wave. The real question though, is … where’s the next big wave?
The answer has 2 parts. First, the sectors or industries should be experiencing strong growth. And second, where individual companies are concerned, they should have strong growth potential.
And by strong growth potential I’m not asking myself “are they cool” or “are they in the hot industry of the moment”. The question I’m asking is “can they sell it”?
Big Wave Candidates
Here’s a list of strong sectors to keep your eye on and maybe get involved with. In each of them there are a whole host of companies.
I won’t list specific companies because you should do your own research. And no matter how hot an industry is, some companies will bring stellar performance and others will completely bomb.
I get a fair amount of traffic to my post on Visa Stock. And it’s clear by the search terms that a lot of people are wondering ‘Should I buy Visa’?
If you got in on the IPO at $44, you’re a pretty happy camper. Even if you got in on opening day at around $60 it’s still a pretty sweet deal. But what about now? As the price continues to rise?
Hindsight is Not 20/20
You know how people buy lottery tickets and they’re just one number out from winning a couple grand. “Ohhh, I had 42 instead of 43″.
Well, you could have had 10 or 7 or 22 and you’re just as far away from 43 as you are with the number 42. A different ball came down the chute. Period.
Always remember: Smart people make money when times are good. Rich people make money when times are bad.
It’s pretty much all people have been talking about; Bear Stearns, the fifth largest investment bank in the U.S., whose stock was up at $160 last year, got blown out in a firesale deal to JP Morgan for $2 a share.
Playing the Patience Game
A lot of people that get into trading stocks jump in, buy a bunch of stocks, and then sit and watch the ticker hoping for the best. Or, they get into the game because they’re girlfriends’ second cousin’s husband is a trader and gave them a (not so) hot tip.
The smart way to play is to follow some basic “market truths” and exercise the patience you need to jump on the smart opportunities. Here’s a quick list of what to look for: