Pioneer Natural Resources (Ticker: PXD) shocked oil investors when it released their second quarter earnings last week. Shares of the shale driller went from $163 a share to under $130,and other s hale oil names fell as much as 10%.

The company reported $233 million in net income, a 4% rise in production and lower operating costs. So why did Wall Street sell off the sector? They saw this graph:

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What are CEOs saying to their shareholders as the first half of 2017 is in the books? Here are some excerpts from industry leaders like 3M, Facebook, Boeing and more.

 

Some common themes this week: [click to continue…]

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What does it take to reach a retirement account of $1 million? Here we take a look at how much you would have to save each month, depending on your age, to reach the $1 million milestone. [click to continue…]

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This week marks the anniversary of, at the time, the largest bankruptcy in American history and the conclusion of the largest case of accounting fraud in history. *

WorldCom declared bankruptcy July 21st, 2002 with $107 billion in assets.

How did this fraud develop? How was the WorldCom scandal discovered? How did WorldCom investors fare? [click to continue…]

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I don’t think there is any better teacher than history. So when you can get one of the classics for less than $3 used on Amazon, I don’t hesitate.

‘Bull! A History of the Boom and Bust’  by Maggie Mahar covers the beginning of the bull market in 1982 through the tech bubble bust and beginning of the recovery through 2004… [click to continue…]

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Over time, the largest share of the expenses you pay while investing will be a result of paying ETF or mutual fund expense ratio fees.

How do you find out how much your funds are charging you? How much will those fees affect your savings over the course of your investing life? We take a look… [click to continue…]

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Emerging market stocks have had a rough decade. 3 year annual returns are flat and even long term 10 year annual returns are barely over 1.5%. But there is new life appearing in the emerging markets. This year the FTSE Emerging Market Index is up 18%, breaking a long term downtrend:

Emerging Market ETFs

Are emerging markets turning the corner?

What’s the best way to invest in emerging markets? We take a look at a few options:

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Here are some stories that caught my eye this week: [click to continue…]

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This Week in Earnings Transcripts

 We are in the middle of earnings season. What are corporate executives seeing in the world economy? Take a look:

 

Lots of bullish words on Europe:

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Today marks a notorious day in stock market history. On this day 1932 the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 41.22.

 

What’s so special about that? [click to continue…]

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Another quarter has come and gone on Wall Street.  That means it is time to run our Ben Graham Value Screens again and see what companies have made the cut this quarter! [click to continue…]

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Continuing an annual tradition here on Begin To Invest, I added Buffett’s 2016 letter to the compilation of quotes from each year of his letters.

My selection includes some words of wisdom, stories of success and even a joke or two. In the end just these selected quotes make up over 5000 words!  It is amazing to watch history unfold from year to year and just think of what he has seen over the last 50 years….wars, inflation, stock market crashes etc. And yet, his first letter in 1977 could easily be mistaken for something you heard him say on the TV today. [click to continue…]

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Analyze InventoryThe basic operation of a business is centered around 2 steps:

  • Build a Product
  • Sell that product

 

And I would argue that step #2 is the most important. Of course quality of your product is important, but if your product isn’t selling – the business is not making money. Period.

 

Today we are going to look at a few ways to analyze the inventory on a company’s balance sheet to help us measure how well the company is doing selling its product.

 

Inventory is usually the largest current asset on a company’s balance sheet, and is therefore the company’s primary use of cash. We have all seen the new companies on Shark Tank who desperately need money for inventory (Or who have used up all their capital buying inventory). So learning a few basics on what a company’s inventory is telling you is very important.

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It’s a new year, and a new quarter! That means it is time to run our Ben Graham Value Screens again and see what companies have made the cut. [click to continue…]

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Welcome 2017! A new year, which means among many other things, a new year to invest in your IRA, ROTH IRA and/or 401(k). Here are the limits for contributions to IRAs, ROTH IRAs and 401(k)s, and how much you need to be saving each month or each bi-weekly paycheck to reach those limits:

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Confused? (It’s the IRS tax laws – of course you are!) Here it is in text and some of the fine print: [click to continue…]

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Analyze A Common Size Balance Sheet, Income Statement and Other Financial Statements – Common Size Analysis  (Now Updated) thumbnail

What is the Difference Between a Common Size Balance Sheet and a Regular Balance Sheet?

 

Common Size Analysis of Financial Statements involves looking at the numbers on the financial statement as a percentage of a total rather than their absolute value. Typically investors will look at a company’s common size balance sheet and common size income statement.

This is helpful when not only looking at a single company’s financial statements, but also comparing multiple business of different sizes at one time. Let’s take a look at an example of a normal balance sheet and a common size balance sheet for several companies:

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This letter was originally our “Read of the Day” for today’s (November 30th) This Day in Stock Market History, but it was too good not to post here as well.

I did not know just how fast of growth Pixar had under Jobs. Just look at this timeline: [click to continue…]

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This was a study conducted by Standard and Poors about a year ago. A little dated, but our previous post (“86 Percent of Americans can not answer all of these questions – can you?“) from 2012 is a post that still brings in a lot of traffic years later. So I wanted to continue the financial literacy theme with a newer study and newer questions. This study questioned 150,000 people across 140 countries.

 

How many could get 3 of the following questions correct? World wide? Just 33% could answer. Americans were slightly better, but still a dismal 57% pass rate. Here are the questions, along with a detailed explanation of the answers. How well did you do? Miss a few? No worries, at the end we explain the answers in detail to ensure you understand the topic. [click to continue…]

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It’s earnings season again, which means you are probably staring at a company or two in your portfolio that have seen their share price take a dive after reporting “disappointing” earnings.

 

You are not alone.

 

Here was the news the other morning after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported earnings:

 

brk_earnings

 

Sounds bad right? Profit (Net Income) is down by a sizeable margin year over year for Berkshire.

 

Does this mean it is time to say goodbye to the all-star investor?

 

From those headlines it may seem so. But there is a lot more to a company’s financials than that headline earnings number. (Read to the end and find out how Buffett really measures the success of his businesses.) [click to continue…]

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Buffett sat down with David Rubenstein the other day for a great interview: [click to continue…]

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