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The Independent Investor: The Apple of Our Eyes
By Bill Schmick,
12:44PM / Friday, November 16, 2018
Go into just about any supermarket right now and what do you see? Bins and bins of gorgeous red, green, and golden apples. The harvest is overwhelming, but some apples are worth more than others.   If you are like me, an average consumer, it takes about 23 minutes to do my grocery shopping, according to Proctor and Gamble. During that spate of time, I buy an average of 18 items out of maybe 30,000 to 40,000 choices. I have little time to browse and, most of the time, I don't even check the prices, which brings me back to the apple cart.   You see, I value my fruits and vegetables. The more local, the better, because to me, the taste is everything. Until

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@theMarket: Stocks Take a Breather
By Bill Schmick,
06:23PM / Friday, November 09, 2018
Stocks are in the process of consolidating after the big gains over the last week or so. So far, the October sell-off has led to a recovery of about half of what was lost. In the two months ahead, we should see even further gains.   No matter how much we would like it to, the stock market rarely goes straight up. It is one reason why I constantly advise clients not to check their portfolios on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. And never check them in down markets. Why put yourself through that emotional turmoil — especially when you have no intention of using the money anytime soon.   As we now know, the Democrats regained the House this week. As I,

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The Independent Investor: Mid-Term Results Take Investor Focus Off Washington
By Bill Schmick,
04:33PM / Thursday, November 08, 2018
True to form, the opposition party regained control of the House, while the ruling party, in this case the GOP, retained control of the Senate. If history is any guide, this means that little in the way of legislation will be coming out of Congress for the next two years.   In the past, investors and the stock market alike did better than you might expect under this kind of political paralysis. That's because financial markets abhor the unknown. Given the unpredictability of politics and legislation, investors are far more content with inaction than action, unless of course, those actions are favorable to the markets or the economy.   Take for example, the

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The Independent Investor: Time to Check Your Risk Tolerance
By Bill Schmick,
06:47PM / Thursday, November 01, 2018
It is a good time to take a reality check on how aggressively you are invested. The 6.9 percent decline in the S&P 500 Index over October was gut-wrenching. But entirely within the realm of probability given the historical data. Here are some questions to ask.   Did you find yourself checking your investment portfolios every day? How about every hour? Did you have trouble focusing on other, possibly more important, things like your job, or your family and friends? Was it more difficult to sleep at night, or did you lay awake worrying about the markets?   How much time did you spend checking the averages and listening to the talking heads on television or in

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@theMarket: October Lives Up to Its Name
By Bill Schmick,
03:42PM / Saturday, October 27, 2018
It happened like clockwork. Earlier in the week, all three main U.S. averages re-tested their lows and then proceeded to bounce back, only to give it all back. That's what happens during corrections, but it is not over yet.  After all, it is October.   Readers will recall that last week I wrote that nine out of 10 times markets will re-test their recent lows. Naturally, this is more of an art than a science, so prices can bottom somewhat above or below those lows. In this case, the Dow hit its lowest level in four months. The S&P 500 Index slipped below its recent lows while NASDAQ got hit the worst, wracking up a total 10percent decline from its

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