There are more and more great and powerful smartphones coming out all the time, but, according to figures from UBS reported by The Wall Street Journal this week, the rate at which Americans are upgrading is more than slowing down — it’s going backwards.
Last year, 9% fewer people in the U.S. upgraded their handset than did the previous year.
Hence, the new postures on upgrading phones early, first from T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUS ) , and then from AT&T (NYSE: T ) , and soon, according to Droid Life, from Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) .
As one of T-Mobile’s self-described “Boldest Moves Yet,” the carrier unveiled its JUMP! program last week, which allows subscribers to upgrade their phones up to twice a year after the first six months.
“At some point, big wireless companies made a decision for you that you should have to wait two years to get a new phone for a fair price,” said T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere in the company’s press release.
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Petrosonic Energy Inc (PSON)
Petrosonic Energy, Inc, incorporated on June 11, 2008, is a development-stage company. The Company focused on the treatment and upgrading of heavy oil by sonicated solvent de-asphalting. On July 27, 2012, the Company completed the acquisition of 60% ownership in Petrosonic Albania, SHA. from Sonoro.
The Company’s core technology is an industrial scale sonic reactor that transfers sonic energy on an industrial scale to physical, chemical or biological processes. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had not generated any revenue.
- [By Namitha Jagadeesh]
Pearson Plc (PSON) surged 6.2 percent to 1,329 pence, its highest price since 2001. The publisher of the Financial Times newspaper posted first-half sales of 2.76 billion pounds ($4.2 billion), exceeding the 2.69 billion pounds estimated by analysts in a Bloomberg survey.
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Pearson (PSON) jumped 6.2 percent to 1,329 pence, the highest price since May 2001. The media and education company said first-half revenue climbed 7 percent to 2.76 billion pounds ($4.3 billion), surpassing the 2.69 billion-pound average prediction of analysts. Profit fell 26 percent as the company invested in new products.
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: GreenHaven Continuous Commodity Index Master Fund (GCC)
GreenHaven Continuous Commodity Index Fund (the Fund), incorporated on October 27, 2006, is a statutory trust. The investment objective of the Fund and The GreenHaven Continuous Commodity Index Master Fund (the Master Fund) is to reflect the performance of the Index, over time, less the expenses of the operations of the Fund and the Master Fund. The Master Fund is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Fund and the Managing Owner. CSC Trust Company (the Trustee) is the sole trustee of the Fund and the Master Fund.
The Master Fund issues common units of beneficial interest, or Master Fund Units, which represent units of fractional undivided beneficial interest in and ownership of the Master Fund. The Fund invests substantially all of its assets in the Master Fund in a master-feeder structure. The Fund holds no investment assets other than Master Fund Units.
- [By Richard Stavros]
Whereas in the 1970s there were limited ways to hedge against inflation, now there is a cornucopia of currency and international commodities instruments that can not only hedge against inflation but other global shocks, such as market bubbles and even war.
And it is these very scenarios that investors have been worried about. Since the beginning of the year, stocks, bonds and just about any investment you can think of have gyrated wildly at various times amid concerns of war, inflation and the possibility that the U.S. equity market is overvalued and headed for a correction.
In response, some market analysts in Bloomberg news reports have offered any number of wildly unsubstantiated statements for why investors should ignore today’s perils. They dismiss the danger posed by Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region (“Putin will stop short of other countries or war with the West”). They also argue that the Federal Reserve chairwoman misspoke (“Janet Yellen really didn’t mean a rate hike is coming soon. Inflation is under control. It was a rookie mistake”).
For my money, here’s the most outrageous: The Shiller Cyclically adjusted P/E metric which has predicted the 1929, 2000 and 2007 downturns doesn’t apply (“Suggests only a slightly expensive market with low to moderate returns going forward on average”).
With new records being set by the S&P 500 in the last few months, it stands to reason that some investors have not needed much convincing to stay all in and buying. This mindset has prevailed, even as the impact of a Russian war or conflict, runaway inflation or a market correction could be devastating to investor portfolios, taking years to recover.
If you’ve never thought of certain investments as “insurance,” it’s time to start now. Protecting wealth is as important as building wealth. And as previously mentioned, we have found that the Inflation Sur vival Letter’s Thri
- [By Richard Stavros]
GreenHaven Continuous Commodity Index (GCC) is an exchange-traded fund that aims to track the Equal Weight Continuous Commodity Total Return Index (CCI-TR), which provides exposure to diversified commodities. The index is up 4.75% year-to-date, and up 24.63% over the last five years.
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund (DLN)
WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that closely correspond to the price and yield performance of the WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Index (the Index). The Index is a fundamentally weighted index that measures the performance of the large-capitalization segment of the United States dividend-paying market. The Index consists of the 300 largest companies ranked by market capitalization from the WisdomTree Dividend Index.
The Index is dividend weighted annually to reflect the proportionate share of the aggregate cash dividends each component company is projected to pay in the coming year, based on the most recently declared dividend per share. The Fund’s investment advisor is WisdomTree Asset Management, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of WisdomTree Investments, Inc.
- [By Todd Rosenbluth, Senior Director, S&P Capital IQ]
The smallest of the four ETFs is WisdomTree LargeCap Dividend Fund (DLN) which owns the 300 largest US dividend paying companies; their median market capitalization is $20 billion.
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Washington Real Estate Investment Trust(WRE)
Washington Real Estate Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust (REIT). The company engages in the ownership, operation, and development of real properties. The firm invests in real estate markets of the greater Washington D.C. metro region. It focuses on office, medical office, industrial/flex space, retail, and multifamily real estate investments. Washington Real Estate Investment Trust was founded in 1960 and is based in Rockville, Maryland.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Commercial and residential income-producing property REIT Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: WRE ) announced yesterday its third-quarter dividend of $0.30 per share, the same rate it’s paid for the past four quarters.
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Ashmore Group PLC (ASHM)
Ashmore Group plc (Ashmore) is engaged in providing investment management services. The Company is a fund manager across six core investment themes, such as external debt, local currency, corporate debt, blended debt, equities, multi-strategy, alternatives and overlay/liquidity. External debt is a diversified portfolio of emerging market debt assets. Local currency takes advantage of the expanding local currency and local currency denominated debt market. Corporate debt focuses on the developing corporate debt asset class. Blended debt mandates specifically combine external, local currency and corporate debt measured against tailor-made blended indices. Multi-strategy is a dynamic asset allocation across other investment themes. Equities Focuses on liquidity and top down macro country selection in publicly traded. Overlay/liquidity helps to separate and centralize the currency risk of an underlying emerging market asset class. Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
Ashmore Group Plc (ASHM) jumped 5.3 percent to 382.2 pence. The U.K. fund manager that invests in emerging markets reported full-year pretax profit and revenue that exceeded estimates. The London-based company also raised its dividend.
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Guggenheim CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar Trust (FXC)
Guggenheim CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar Trust, formerly CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar Trust, is a grantor trust. The Trust issues shares (the Shares) in blocks of 50,000 (a Basket) in exchange for deposits of Canadian dollars and distributes Canadian dollars in connection with the redemption of Baskets. The investment objective of the Trust is for the Shares to reflect the price of Canadian Dollars. The Bank of New York Mellon serves as the Trustee. The Trust’s sponsor is Rydex Specialized Products LLC, which is doing business as Rydex Investments.
The Shares are focused on offering investors an opportunity to participate in the market for the Canadian Dollar through an investment in securities. The Shares are backed by the assets of the Trust, which does not hold or use derivative products. The Trust’s each outstanding Share represents a proportional interest in the Canadian dollars held by the Trust. The Trust’s assets primarily consist of Canadian dollars on demand deposit in two deposit accounts maintained by JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. (the Depository): a primary deposit account, which may earn interest, and a secondary deposit account that does not earn interest.
- [By Sean Bellamy McNulty]
The Bank of Canada (BOC) interest rate decision Wednesday precipitated much positioning in the USDCAD (FXC) Tuesday. As soon as traders were in from their Memorial Day holiday, they started selling CAD. This resulted in the currency being one of the worst performers against the USD, losing 0.56% by the close.
- [By Dan Caplinger]
One of the primary worries that would-be Bitcoin users have about digital currency is that its existence relies on computer networks beyond their control. By contrast, existing currency and commodity ETFs can in many cases point to actual physical assets. SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEMKT: GLD ) and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEMKT: SLV ) , for instance, publish lists of physical bullion bars to support the underlying value of their shares. Currency ETFs CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar (NYSEMKT: FXC ) and CurrencyShares Japanese Yen (NYSEMKT: FXY ) usually turn to short-term investments denominated in their respective currencies.
- [By Karen Canella]
The best way for direct exposure to a rising Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar is through foreign exchange (forex) trading. If you'd rather keep it simple, the Rydex CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar ETF (NYSE: FXC) will do the job.
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: Equity Residential (EQR)
Equity Residential (EQR) is a real estate investment trust (REIT). The Company is focused on the acquisition, development and management of multi-family residential properties, which includes the generation of rental and other related income through the leasing of apartment units to residents, in United States. ERP Operating Limited Partnership (or Operating Partnership), which is an Illinois limited partnership, conducts the multifamily residential property business of EQR. All of the Company’s property ownership, development and related business operations are conducted through the Operating Partnership. The Operating Partnership holds all of the assets of the Company, including the Company’s ownership interests in its joint ventures. As of December 31, 2011, the Company, directly or indirectly through investments in title holding entities, owned all or a portion of 427 properties located in 15 states and the District of Columbia consisting of 121,974 apartment units. In December 2012, it acquired four multifamily properties totaling 1,134 units.
The Company is structured as an umbrella partnership REIT (UPREIT). EQR is the general partner of, and, as of December 31, 2011, owned an approximate 95.7% ownership interest in ERPOP. The remaining 4.3% interest is owned by limited partners. As of December 31, 2012, the Company’s wholly owned properties included 404 properties and 113,157 apartment units. Its consolidated partially owned properties include 21 properties and 3,916 apartment units. The Company’s military housing includes two properties and 4,901 apartment units. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s properties had an average occupancy of approximately 94.2% (94.7% on a same store basis).
During the year ended December 31, 2011, EQR acquired apartment properties consisting of 20 consolidated properties and 6,103 apartment units and acquired five land parcels; acquired one vacant land parcel in New Yor k City in a joint venture with Toll Brothers, and acquired o! ne unoccupied property in the San Francisco Bay Area consisting of 95 apartment units. During 2011, it also acquired a 97,000-square foot commercial building adjacent to its Harbor Steps apartment property in downtown Seattle, and sold consolidated apartment properties consisting of 47 properties and 14,345 apartment units. Subsequent to 2011, the Company acquired two land parcels, and sold one property consisting of 704 apartment units.
- [By gurujx]
Equity Residential (EQR) Reached the 3-year Low of $50.83
The prices of Equity Residential (EQR) shares have declined to close to the 3-year low of $50.83, which is 26.3% off the 3-year high of $65.72.
- [By Sean Williams]
To get a better idea of how RealPage is doing, it’s always best to look at occupancy rates for some of the nation’s biggest residential-REITs. In AvalonBay Communities’ (NYSE: AVB ) most recent quarter, the company reported a 5% increase in revenue attributable to a 4.7% boost in prices in established communities, and a 0.3% uptick in occupancy. For Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR ) it was much of the same, with revenue rising 5.4% in the fourth-quarter as occupancy rates rose 40 basis points to 95.4% from the year-ago period. Finally, Essex Property Trust (NYSE: ESS ) delivered some of the strongest occupancy results of all, with 96.9% of its units occupied as of the end of January. The point is that with occupancy rates at their lowest levels in more than a decade, these residential REITs are driving growth by boosting prices because of rent scarcity.
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: iShares 3-7 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEI)
iShares Lehman 3-7 Year Treasury Bond Fund (the Fund) seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the intermediate-term sector of the United States Treasury market as defined by the Lehman Brothers 3-7 Year U.S. Treasury Index (the Index). The Index includes all publicly issued the United States Treasury securities that have a remaining maturity of greater than or equal to three years and less than seven years, and have $250 million or more of outstanding face value. In addition, the securities must be denominated in United States dollars, and must be fixed-rate and non-convertible securities. Excluded from the Index are certain special issues, such as flower bonds, targeted investor notes, and state and local government series bonds, and coupon issues that have been stripped from assets that are already included in the Index.
The Index is a market capitalization-weighted index. The Fund invests in a representative sample of the securities in the Index, which has a similar investment profile as the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisor.
- [By Donald van Deventer]
Shorter-duration Treasury Exchange-Traded Funds: (SHY), (SHV), (IEI), (BIL), (TUZ), (FIVZ), (DTUL), (VGSH), (DTUS), (DFVS), (DFVL), (SST), (ISTB), (TBZ).
Best Financial Companies To Watch In Right Now: iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM)
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (the Fund) seeks to provide investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index (the Index). The Index is designed to measure equity market performance in the global emerging markets. The Index was developed by Morgan Stanley Capital International Inc. as an equity benchmark for emerging market stock performance. The Index is a capitalization-weighted index that aims to capture 85% of the (publicly available) total market capitalization. Component companies are adjusted for available float and must meet objective criteria for inclusion in the Index. The Index is reviewed quarterly.
The Fund invests in a representative sample of securities included in the Index that collectively has an investment profile similar to the Index. The Fund’s investment advisor is Barclays Global Fund Advisors.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
And what about those emerging markets? Well, this week they’ve been rising–a lot. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) has gained 5% this week as of 1:56 p.m. today, while the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) is down 0.3%. How extreme has the turn in emerging markets been? Consider this chart:
- [By Charles Sizemore]
Yet an interesting thing happened. While the news stories have gone from bad to worse, most emerging markets have been quietly enjoying a rally since early February. The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) is up about 7%, and the iShares MSCI South Africa ETF (EZA) is up fully 17%.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Fears–and hopes–for rising rates were apparent everywhere. Charles Schwab (SCHW), a beneficiary of higher rates, rose 3.2% to $27.58. Newmont Mining (NEM) dropped 3.1% to $24.50 because who needs gold when rates are heading higher? The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) fell 2.1% to $38.57 because we all know higher rates in the US are bad news for emerging markets. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 2.77% and the CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) declined 1.1% to $95.22.
- [By Barbara Kollmeyer]
As for U.S. investor exposure, the pain was there for all to see as the week wound down. Among exchange-traded funds, the iShares MSCI Russia ETF (ERUS) and the SPDR S&P Russia ETF (RBL) each fell more than 6% for the week, contrasting with a 0.1% gain for the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) .