The Investment Grade Value Stock Index is a barometer of a small but elite sector of the stock market. Some Investment Grade Value Stocks are included in all averages and indices, but even the Dow Jones Industrial Average includes several issues that are below Investment Grade and very few boast an A+ S & P rating.

The IGVSI tracks a portfolio of approximately 400 stocks— and less than half of them are likely to be found in the S & P 500 average. This new market index was developed in late 2007 to provide a benchmark for the equity portion of investment portfolios managed without open-end mutual funds, index funds, or any of the other popular speculations and hedges that are included in most professionally managed portfolios.

Two related indices (the WCMSI and WCMSM) track portfolios of closed-end income funds. Between the three, they serve as an excellent performance expectation development tool for investment portfolios managed according to the disciplines of the Working Capital Model (WCM). Through July 31 2009, these indices soared approximately 24%—- about five times the growth of the S & P 500 and twelve times that of the DJIA.

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weddingWould you marry a bachelor with a million dollars? My friends used to raise the same question when we were kids. What usually sparked a debate was the ensuing query: What if that man or woman is ugly and cruel? Obviously, we were totally clueless about romance and marriage back then.

Now, friends still raise the issue from time to time, but discussions have taken a different twist. “Would you marry for love or money?” They now ask.

I just found a report that attempts to answer the million-dollar question. According to “Marriage for love of money” at Wall Street Journal, two-thirds of women and half the men said they would marry for money.

When asked about their “price” to see them walk down the aisle, the singles said it would have to be over $1 million to $2 million in net worth.

But isn’t love the end-all and be-all of happiness? Doesn’t almost every chick-flick end with a blushing bride marrying the “man with a good heart” and they live happily ever after? Not necessarily. It’s the marriage that comes in bundles of money that lasts.

That’s at least according to Daniela Drake, a former McKinsey consultant, who recently raised the issue in her piece in Reuters. Are women better off marrying for money?

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wall-street-signBefore Wall Street and the media combined to make investors think of calendar quarters as “short-term” and single years as “long-term”, market cycles were used as true tests of investment strategies over the long haul. Bor-ing.

There were four types of standard analysis used by most financial institutions, Peak-to-Peak, and Peak-to-Trough being the most common found in annual reports. There were also basic differences in purpose and perspective in the old days, and a focus on results vs. reasonable expectations for actual portfolios.

Even more boring, and not nearly as profitable for “the wizards” as today’s super Trifecta, instant gratification, speculative, mentality.

Portfolio performance analysis was intended to be a test of management style and overall methodology, not a calendar year horse race with one of the popular averages. The DJIA was (I believe) originally conceived as an economic indicator, not as a market-performance measuring device.

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golfI think it was the immortal Ben Hogan who quipped: I can put “left” on the ball and I can put “right” on the ball— “straight” is essentially an accident. Most amateur golfers would make a slightly different observation. We can hit the ball left or right with no problem; we just have no idea when either will occur.

As to straight, most of us refer to that phenomenon as “the dreaded straight ball”— and it’s this lack of straight that makes it so critical for us to master the art of working the ball. We need to understand how to move the ball left or right, consistently, on the golf course, under pressure, but without ever aiming out-of-bounds or into a lateral.

Yeah, sure, just like that.

It is doable though, and Ehow.com is a great place to start. There, at “work-golf-ball” is a simple five-step tutorial that anyone should be able to master with countless hours of range work. Of course it’s more difficult on an actual golf course, with those red and white stakes, trees, bodies of water, marsh grasses, and back yard barbequers.

To become a lower handicapper, work the ball we must— unless your name is Moe Norman. Making the shot go higher or lower than normal is another of those ball working skills that you need to master to save strokes. Mother Nature really appreciates it when you maneuver the ball below Live Oak branches and over environmentally protected “no search” zones.

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Investment markets got you down, Bunkie? Been blown away by derivative stun guns? When will portfolio market values move back to 2007 levels— and then what will you do about it?

It’s time to overthrow the evil Masters of the Universe and deactivate their weapons of financial destruction. Let’s outlaw the brainwashing that has changed how average investors look at and value their investment portfolios.

It’s time to exorcize the Wall Street demons and return to stocks and bonds— and to QDI, “the Force” for long-term investment portfolio security.

Speculating is complicated, even for financial rocket scientists. What most of us want (or would certainly settle for) is simplicity, stability, and reasonable growth in our productive working capital.

A return to plain vanilla investing strategies with operating procedures that minimize risk and encourage understanding of the financial markets needs to become part of our financial force field.

As bad as things have been since this black hole appeared, investment models true to fundamental concepts, simple strategies, and disciplined operating rules have probably bettered the market numbers in at least six important ways:

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A phenomenon that had had been declining is making a comeback. The seedy dangerous world of the loan shark is experiencing a new surge of popularity as progressively greater numbers of people are refused credit by the major and sub-prime lenders.

‘Loan sharks’ is the term used to describe money lenders who operate illegally. These lenders are not licensed by the financial services and so are completely unregulated. The Office of Fail Trading (OFT) issues guidelines to first and second line lenders. These guidelines must be adhered to or the lender will lose its licence. They concern a raft of items, however they specifically lay down a set of rules that are designed to protect the interests, livelihood and privacy of the borrower; for instance licensed lenders are prohibited from using unethical tactics to pursue debt arrears and are not permitted to charge unethical interest rates.

On the other hand the loan sharks operate with a completely free rein. Examples of this are interest rates and repayment terms. Loan sharks will often charge enormous rates of interest and offer loans on extremely bad terms for the borrower. Should the borrower fail to make scheduled repayments on the loan, the loan shark will often use extremely unethical tactics in order to get their money back. Often they will make further loans in order to enable the borrower to repay the first one. Gradually the borrower will become entrapped in a debt mountain with which they are unable to cope.

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The mantra of the times is cost cutting. The axe of cost cutting invariably falls on the employees. It is either through wage reduction, reduced bonuses, reduction of other benefits, reduced work hours or in a worst case scenario in the form job losses.

In most countries unemployment rates are hitting close to double digits, the worst case scenario might soon become a reality for anybody including you. In such a situation, it is imperative that you should have a plan B ready.

Instead of waiting for a surprise and acting re actively, it is important for you do a realistic assessment of your current situation.

Each and every one of you must have an understanding of your employer’s financial situation and strategy, your own function/department current state and whether there is any danger of retrenchment at your level. Once you access the macro and micro level picture, you need to play your next steps accordingly.

You may not have a choice but to look out for alternate employment if you feel that you may be in the firing line. It may not be easy in the current situation. However the current economic situation gives you an excellent opportunity to do what you always wanted to do.

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His girlfriend’s house was surrounded by Federal agents in black SUV’s this afternoon, they told him to walk out and introduce himself. So he did, and he asked them, ‘If you’ve got a warrant, take me into custody. If you don’t, I’m going to Houston.’ And they did, so they arrested him.

Chairman of the troubled Stanford Financial Group, R. Allen Stanford surrendered to FBI agents in Virginia Thursday afternoon, his attorney said. Law enforcement officials said Stanford is in custody after surrendering in Stafford, Va. Authorities plan to unseal an indictment charging Stanford on Friday, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.

Stanford Financial Group has been under investigation by a grand jury in Houston. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges earlier this year accusing Stanford and his top executives of conducting an $8 billion fraud by advising clients to buy certificates of deposit from the Antigua-based Stanford International Bank.

The SEC’s lawsuit charged that the bank advertised its CDs in a brochure touting a conservative investment philosophy. But instead the bank’s portfolio was “misappropriated by Defendant Allen Stanford and used by him to acquire private equity investments and real estate,” the suit says.
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