This Boring REIT Belongs in Your Retirement Portfolio

Too often investors get caught up in the excitement of CNBC and the next potential home-run investment. If you’re young and have your entire wage-earning career ahead of you, by all means, invest aggressively. But if you’re approaching retirement or are already taking distributions from your retirement portfolio, you want boring investments that never make the news and pay you a nice dividend. Read More

Realty Income: Watch For The Boogeyman, And Don’t Be Afraid To Buy The Stock

Yellen BoogeymanAs children we grew up afraid of the Boogeyman. As investors we are afraid of what might happen to our investments when central bank policies have a disproportionate influence on asset prices. As interest rate rises are imminent, there will be a scare or two for the markets – but instead of cowering in fear, it may be a good time to look for good stocks that others were scared away from. One such stock is Realty Income. Read More

Consumer Confidence Rises But Doubts Remain

The good news is that the Conference Board’s confidence gauge rose to 101.5, well above the July reading of 91 and beating the consensus analyst estimates of 93.4. There are two factors that make me cautiously enthusiastic about the latest reading, however. On the one hand, the survey for this month’s reading was completed on August 13th, well before the recent turmoil in the equity markets. I venture to guess after fielding many calls from clients over the last few days and answering the question:

Surprise Housing Starts Data: Time to Reevaluate Your REIT Portfolio

Another data point on housing was released today, and this time there was good news. U.S. Housing starts for July came in at 1.2 million, above what economists had predicted and near an eight-year high. It seems that at times, housing will be the catalyst that drives the economy forward or at the very least help it gain some traction.

But even though today’s data was surprisingly positive, there have recently been other housing metrics that led to a less sanguine view on the sector. U.S. Real Home Prices are rising at a rapid rate, which is a positive indication the economy is moving in the right direction, but can also make homebuying less affordable. And even though banks are easing lending standards, mortgage applications for home purchases remain flat. Finally, wage growth seems to be stagnant or growing very slowly, which raises caution in consumers to make a long-term commitment in the form of a 30-year mortgage.

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System Dynamics and the Effect of Emerging Markets

For years I have been working with international clients so I’ve had exposure to emerging markets both on the equity side and the fixed income side. It was always amazing to me when comparing the portfolios of our US clients with those that were based offshore and how much less exposure the US client had to emerging markets. It wasn’t for lack of trying on our part. If emerging market equities make up 14% of the world equity market capitalization, for example, then 14% allocation should be your base allocation.

This REITs Dividend Grows on Trees

During a month when REITs outperformed the S&P 500 and generally had a solid return, two property sectors were noticeably absent at the party. In a way, it reminds me of my high school days when to my dismay, I would find out Monday morning that all the cool kids were at a party together over the weekend and I wasn’t invited. In the REIT world, the uninvited were Lodging REITs, which have continued their downtrend YTD with another 0.7% decline for the month and is now -10.8% for 2015. Meanwhile, Timber REITs have also struggled so far in 2015 and July was no exception, as they declined another 1.8% for the month.

Despite the decline, however, this REIT has increased its dividend by 94% in just a few short years.

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Google’s Foray Into Mobile is a Smooth Move

Do you remember when the word Google (GOOG) was only used to refer to a search engine? It seems like such a long time ago. Now, we use Google as a verb, which according to Merriam-Webster means:

to use the Google search engine to obtain information about anything

I don’t even think the word is used to refer to a search conducted only on the Google search engine, but rather, on any search engine. Using another search engine like Bing or Yahoo would not technically be Googling, but the word is used to describe the process as if it were. If there are any other search engines that may have existed at some point, they probably got googled!! (yet another definition– to make obsolete)