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Bernanke: Every Breath You Take

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July 5, 2006 | Others | Author Asif

I think that the Ben bashing has gone far enough but I could not stop laughing when I saw this today.

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Announcing the Launch of MustFeed.com…

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July 3, 2006 | Others | Author Asif

… and my return to active blogging. About three months ago we started toying with the idea of creating a website that would aggregate the latest financial headlines from both blogs and traditional media across various categories like Stock Investing, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Emerging Markets, Real Estate and Personal Finance. This idea has finally been realized and we are now ready to launch the beta version of MustFeed.

Please take it for a test drive, check out categories like Stocks and send us your thoughts. We plan to go live with MustFeed in August 2006 to coincide with the first year anniversary of SINLetter and would appreciate your feedback.

If you are a blog author, please feel free to submit your blog for consideration through the Submit Blog link on MustFeed.

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If You Are A SINLetter Subscriber…

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July 3, 2006 | Others | Author Asif

… and did not receive the July 2006 investment newsletter,

  • please let me know by using our contact form and I will send it to you
  • please add the email address asif at sinletter dot com to your trusted list
  • you may not have confirmed your subscription by clicking on the link in the confirmation email
  • you may have subscribed after June 30.

I want to thank all the existing subscribers who have helped us grow by word of mouth and want to welcome all the new subscribers who have signed up over the last few months.

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Cash is King

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June 13, 2006 | Others | Author Asif

Most of my spare time over the last couple of weeks has been consumed with getting an exciting new website ready for launch next week, leading to a brief hiatus from blogging. While I cannot get into the details of this new website right now, it will hopefully become your first destination for financial information.

The markets have continued their downward march over the last two weeks with the Dow Jones Industrial Average joining the Nasdaq in wiping out all of its 2006 gains. This comes in the wake of a dismal loss of 0.6% in 2005. The global markets have fared even worse with India and Russia falling almost 30% since their peaks on May 10th. Have precious metals and commodities done better in the face of this global decline in stock markets? No such luck. Gold (GLD) fell another $44.50 to close at $566.90 an ounce today, down 24% from its peak in mid May. Copper companies that I have been following like EuroZinc (EZM) and the bigger (safer?) Phelps Dodge (PD) have also been feeling the pain. In a rising interest environment, bonds have also dropped in value though not quite as precipitously as stocks and commodities.

So what is driving so many disparate asset classes down? Could it be that interest rates have risen to a point where the risk premium associated with stocks no longer makes them attractive? With many online banks like ING Direct offering interest rates of 4.25% on savings accounts and Certificate of Deposits (CDs) offering even higher rates, it makes sense that investors may want to lock in some of their stock gains and move into cash.

I am currently comfortable with my asset allocation as I liquidated some stock positions in May. I may consider reinvesting some of those proceeds into stocks that are beginning to look attractive after the recent sell off. I did start a position in Logitech (LOGI) after the June SINLetter was sent out to subscribers and also started a small position in Intel (INTC). Other stocks that are on my radar and that I may consider buying (or adding to current positions) include Infosys (INFY), Sify (SIFY), ICICI Bank (IBN), EuroZinc (EZM), Intel (INTC) and RCM Technologies (RCMT). As you can see, I am still bullish on Indian stocks for the long-term. However with blood running on dalal street, it may be prudent to wait for signs of stability before initiating new positions in Indian stocks. Gold is also beginning to look attractive at these levels if you were to buy into the argument of Gold bulls that it should be at $1,000 an ounce.

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Can You Afford To Retire?

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May 29, 2006 | Others | Author Asif

While fiddling with my new HDTV tuner the other night, I came across a Frontline program on PBS discussing the journey of the 401(k) program from “an arcane sub-paragraph in the U.S. tax code” to the retirement tool of choice. Most folks who work in the IT industry already have a 401(k) plan and after the announcement by Verizon Communications that it plans to switch from a guaranteed pension plan to a 401(k) plan, it appears that the defined pension benefit plan is going the way of the dodo bird. The program was absolutely rivetting and if you want to check it out, it is available for online viewing here.

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