Investing Column

SKARBECK: Short sellers maligned, but play a useful roleRestricted Content

October 2, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
True professional short sellers are typically intelligent, above-board investors who often alert the markets and investors to overvalued securities and, in some cases, to fraud.
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SKARBECK: Expect more battles over public pensions

September 18, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
This year, 15 states have enacted legislation to reduce future public pension obligations.
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HICKS: Most majors pay off, but some a lot more than othersRestricted Content

August 28, 2010
Mike Hicks
There is clearly something important about the totality of what is learned in college, but, if you want to apply all those upper-level classes in your major, you'd better study hard or pick the right field.
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SKARBECK: Investors may miss mark by switching to bonds

August 21, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
It seems more likely that bond investors today are making the same mistake stock investors made back at the peak of the stock-market bubble.
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SKARBECK: U.S. will someday have to deal with debt

August 7, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
After years of easy borrowing that helped boost economic growth, governments around the globe are dealing with evil twinsâ??high levels of debt and shrinking revenue to repay.
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SKARBECK: Financial overhaul law leaves much uncertaintyRestricted Content

July 24, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
The public, to no surprise, is skeptical that the new regulations will succeed. A Bloomberg poll shows nearly four out of five Americans have little confidence the measures will prevent a crisis.
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SKARBECK: Short-term sizzle can't beat consistencyRestricted Content

July 10, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
To achieve outsized returns, whether in mutual funds or individual stocks, investors must avoid the hype and reliance on past outperformance.
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SKARBECK: Even investment stars have losing periodsRestricted Content

June 26, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
Most investors have heard the cautionary statement “past performance is not indicative of future results.” This oft-repeated caveat reveals its truth time and again in the investment industry.
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SKARBECK: Municipal bond defaults might be next crisisRestricted Content

June 12, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
for decades, politicians have regularly boosted public pension benefits to score election gains, while neglecting the long-term costs to municipal budgets. Now the bills are coming due.
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SKARBECK: Why do Fannie, Freddie deserve a free pass?Restricted Content

May 29, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
One crisis that continues to simmer under the public radar is the endless taxpayer support needed to prop up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
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SKARBECK: Exchanges' proposed fix for glitch is ludicrousRestricted Content

May 15, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
Is investing becoming a technology-rigged game for computerized gamblers who rent stocks for seconds or minutes and whose objective is to repeatedly skim small profits?
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SKARBECK: Finding one last lesson in Grace's amazing taleRestricted Content

April 17, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
Grace held her investment through many ups and downs in the stock market. But most important to her was that Abbott as a business continued to thrive, despite the swings in its stock price.
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SKARBECK: How Grace stayed patient under pressure to sellRestricted Content

April 3, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
When we left, we were trying to imagine a few of the many obstacles Grace might have encountered as her initial investment grew into $7 million over 74 years.
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SKARBECK: Amazing patience paid off for GraceRestricted Content

March 20, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
Back in 1935, she invested $180 in Abbott Laboratories stock and never sold it. This one decision became the entire investment career of Grace Groner.
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SKARBECK: Financial reform should start with derivativesRestricted Content

March 6, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
At the very least, regulators need to get control of derivative trading—transactions need to be more transparent and carried out on an exchange.
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SKARBECK: Economic Greek tragedy could play out globallyRestricted Content

February 20, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
Fears that Greece may default on its government debt have kept global markets on edge.
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SKARBECK: Biglari's ambitious, but he's no BuffettRestricted Content

February 6, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
While Sardar Biglari's effort to duplicate Warren Buffett is clear, some of the Steak n Shake chief's moves have been superficial.
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SKARBECK: Stocks that pay dividends can provide yield, safetyRestricted Content

January 23, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
These are challenging times for savers who demand a high level of safety from their investments.
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SKARBECK: Looking at stocks, 10 years at a timeRestricted Content

January 9, 2010
Ken Skarbeck
During this century's first decade, investors had to cope with the uncertainties surrounding 9/11; huge corporate failures including Enron, Worldcom, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Lehman Brothers; and volatility wrought by both the tech and housing bubbles.
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SKARBECK: What we need is a tax on stock transactions

December 26, 2009
Ken Skarbeck
The word “tax” tends to immediately raise the blood pressure of most Americans. And while the purpose of most taxes is to raise revenue for the assessing government body, taxes can also be targeted toward changing individual and corporate behavior.
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HICKS: Short-term thinking won't yield long-term payoffsRestricted Content

December 12, 2009
Ken Skarbeck
Macroeconomic forecasting is a tough â??science.â?? One may have the economy completely right, but that doesnâ??t mean it will make you any money as an investor.
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SKARBECK: Even more investigations increase market cynicismRestricted Content

November 28, 2009
Ken Skarbeck
As if Wall Street needs another black eye, an expanding probe into insider trading threatens to elevate public cynicism over whether there’s a level playing field in public markets and raise skepticism about the ability of regulators to police them.
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SKARBECK: Getting a good price hinges on stock's valueRestricted Content

November 14, 2009
Ken Skarbeck
Making investment decisions based on where a stock price has been in the past or betting on where it may go in the future is futile and foolish unless the investor has determined the value of the stock.
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SKARBECK: Lenders still not serious about serious reformRestricted Content

October 31, 2009
Ken Skarbeck
The early signs point to meek efforts by the Obama administration to address gaping regulatory issues.
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SKARBECK: Market a bright spot amid worrisome economyRestricted Content

October 17, 2009
Ken Skarbeck
The financial media have the corks ready to pop as the Dow Jones industrial average re-crosses what pundits claim is the â??psychologically importantâ?? 10,000 level.
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