No one truly knows the answer to that question and opinions are cheap (including mine) so you should always be skeptical of everything you read. That being said, I will tell you what I think might happen.

I have been very cautious in 2013 and it has hurt my investments because I haven't had as much money in the market as I could have. I have been anticipating a correction that never came. If I had been more willing to buy stocks, I would have made more money but there is nothing I can do about that now.

The Federal Reserve Announcement In December

Last week the Federal Reserve came out with news the stock market loved as it gave a good indication of things going forward. Investors were relieved to hear the the Fed will NOT make any drastic changes in the immediate future and relieving this uncertainty is good for the market. Two very important things the Fed said they are going to were:

1) Keep short term interest rates low (as long as the unemployment rate stays above 6.5%)

Interest rates are VERY important to investors because simple interest is a popular way to invest when rates are high. When you can get 5% or so by just putting money in a bank or a Treasury bill, people will often choose that instead of buying stocks. Interest is, after all, FDIC insured and risk free while the stock market holds lots of risk, especially short term. 

But with very low interest rates like we have had for the last handful of years, there is little incentive to invest that way. Simple interest right now just doesn't give you a big enough return. 

The stock market has become, for the most part, the only place for investors to put their money and hope to make money and that is one of the main reasons it has gone up since 2009. The Federal Reserve's announcement that they will not be upping interest rates anytime soon is good news for stock investors and good news for the market into 2014.

2) Reduce the quantitative easing by $10 billion a month 

For years $85 billion dollars a month have been pumped into the system in an effort to stimulate the economy. This has undoubtedly been good for the stock market but investors have become increasingly worried about what would happen when that ends. Also, how will it end: a little at a time or decreasing the easing in chunks?

Last week's news that "only" $10 billion a month would be the reduction means that the Fed is going to take things slowly. That means for buyers and sellers of stocks, they can go into 2014 knowing that nothing from the Federal Reserve is going to upset the apple cart at least for awhile. A lot of other things can happen to the economy but at least there is some certainty and clarity that investors can rely on from Washington. 

Will Stocks Go Up In 2014?

So, back to the real question of whether the stock market will have another good year in 2014? Based on this good news from the Federal Reserve, those two things remain in place for a continuation of rising stock prices. While there are hundreds of variables associated with the direction of market, at least those two big ones should NOT be a problem for awhile. 

Again, there are many other things that could make investors nervous and lead the market lower so even though we just had this good news, nothing is guaranteed. The stock market ebbs and flows at the whim of investors and their sentiment can change on a dime.


The Dow has had a record breaking year and is higher than ever before at 16,000. Anyone, who has a 401K or any money in stocks is surely VERY happy right now.

Too Many People Have Nothing To Invest

The problem is that so many people in America are in debt and have zero savings to invest. All those folks haven't made a dime in the market and whether the market goes up or down has no interest to them. Its a real shame and a real problem.

The stock market has, in recent years, gotten the bad rap that it is only for the rich. Nothing could be further from the truth as it is for everyone who has money to invest. But unemployment is high, debt is higher, and people across the country are struggling just to put food on the table. Many people obviously have nothing to put in the stock market and to them, anyone who has any savings at all may seem to be "rich".

Politics aside, the United States is in big trouble. Some 40+ percent don't even make enough to pay any income taxes. That is NOT a good thing. Earning your own money and making enough to save and invest empowers people to pull away from government dependency. Who wants to be dependent on the government for things if you can provide for yourself and make your own decisions?

Start Saving And Get Started Buying Stocks

Saving and investing should start when you are young, preferably when you are in your 20's. Start saving BEFORE you get married and have kids. Get into the habit of saving at least 10% of every paycheck and cut back on things you don't need if that is the only way to do it. Then put some of that money in the stock market. You don't have to put all your savings into stocks but the important thing is to get started. Put something in and get your feet wet. Just getting started is the hardest part.

Once you open your first online discount broker account and buy a stock or two, you will become more familiar and comfortable with the process. All the fear will evaporate and you will learn as the years go by. Most importantly, the next time the market reaches a new milestone high, you will have had money in stocks and have profited along the way.


Apple stock is one of the craziest stocks I have ever seen. First of all, no other stock gets near as much daily coverage as Apple does: you can read dozens of opinions each and every day about almost any aspect of the company and their business. The amount of news that is pumped out daily about this company is astounding and unmatched. (So, I might as well add to it.)

Because of this wide coverage from every conceivable news source, there is never a shortage of opinions about Apple's products or the stock. It seems you can often find a generous supply of recommendations on both sides fervently detailing why investors should buy or sell the stock. Because of the high quantity of articles published, it is sometimes hard to tell the qualified professional opinions from those that come from less qualified sources.

For much of 2012, Apple stock went up and up fast. Probable too fast. But once the stock hit it's high of $700 a share in late 2012, something happened. It was like a dam that suddenly spouted a small hole where water could come through. Over the following weeks and months, that hole became bigger and bigger as the stock continued to sell off. Finally, the hole broke open and water gushed out. Apple stock plummeted to under $400 a share which was really quite a shocking pullback from the $700 level.

Most of this year while Apple was selling off, the negativity from analysts, pundits, writers, and who ever else wanted to throw their hat into the ring was relentless. Relentless in their bashing, the media ran over the stock and pushed it down. It really was a group effort and quite like that of a herd of wild buffalo running over the stock.

Any investor who wanted to find a reason to buy Apple stock during those months had to look far and wide to find anyone who was saying positive things about Apple. The collective mindset was that Apple had no more tricks up their sleeve and they would die a slow death - stay away from the stock. Everyone was saying the same thing. I really mean almost everyone because I own Apple stock and it was hard to take all the negativity and hold on.

In July 2013 something changed again. A positive write up here, an encouraging news story over there, and a another upgrade or recommendation from someone else. Little by little, the herd began changing direction. Where it once was hard to find something positive to read about Apple, your chance of finding optimism was getting better every day. Oh, there were still the bashers but slowly they were (and still are) being overwhelmed.

Apple stock now is going back up and it is doing this with a steady influx of buyers. Even on days you think the stock might go down big (like the October event were no new product was introduced), the stock only shows smallish losses. The herd has turned, there is no doubt about it.


I've just started a new blog and I think you will be very interested in seeing what I'm up to.

I opened up a brand new account with TD Ameritrade and put $150,000 in it. That is a REAL account and REAL money.

My Facebook page for the blog is here - $150,000 Portfolio. Please take a look and make sure to "Like" my Facebook page so you don't miss any of my updates. I greatly appreciate all the "likes" I can get!

I'm going to be showing you everything I know about investing in the stock market and you can watch as I buy and sell real stocks. If you are new to investing, following along and watching what I do will be a big help as you get started.

I have made my first stock purchase on 9/9/2013 so you can find out what it is by checking my page.


Last week the Dow went over the 15,000 mark for the first time in its history. Just 4 years ago, we were staring at a number in the mid 6,000's and now it has more than doubled. That is truly incredible, especially considering how poor the economy has been and how much debt we all are in.

I know lots of people cashed out of stocks in 2008 and 2009 when the market was crashing. At some point they just couldn't take the pain and felt they had to get out with something.

What a mistake they made.

We should all learn from what has happened and in my mind the primary lesson is this: before you start buying stocks, make sure you can invest for the long term or you probably shouldn't be investing at all.

If you know you will need the money you want to put in stocks in under 5 years, put it someplace else and leave the stock market alone. History has repeatedly shown that the market eventually makes a rebound no matter how bad things appear to be, but you have to have time and the stomach to wait things out.

People invest money in stocks to make money and understandably, they HATE losing it. When the market as a whole goes through a protracted period of downward movement, a person's resolve is constantly tested. In 2008 and 2009, it didn't matter much what stocks you held because everything was going down. Everyone was losing and if you were one of the people who was going to retire soon and had all your retirement money in stocks, what could you do? Sell and get out with something or stay in and possibly lose more of the money you absolutely would soon need?

Either way, you were screwed at that point.

That is why the older and the closer you get to retirement, the more you should reduce your exposure to stocks. If you don't have a long time horizon to wait these bear markets out, you need to make sure to protect yourself by not having everything in them.

As it turns out, everyone who didn't panic in 2009 has now been rewarded. The market has come all the way back and more for those who had the ability to wait things out. But for those people who had to sell because they were investing with short term dollars, they lost out and probably never got back in for the ride back up.


It has been a long time since we have had any significant pullback in the stock market. In fact, the last down turn of any significance ended in mid November 2012 so it has been a good 4+ months of steady gains since then. The Dow seems to challenge all time highs on a regular basis now.

Yet, the economy is still in the tank, unemployment is remains high at around 8%, the US debt is through the roof and still climbing, we have massive economic failures in Europe, North Korea is threatening to do something stupid, and there is no end in sight to any of it.

But the stock market keeps going up. What gives?

It is called the Wall of Worry and boy are investors ever climbing it with zeal.

One thing you need to understand as a beginning investor is that stocks and the stock market in general do not always follow a logical path. This is one of those times.

The stock market mostly moves on people's perceptions, feelings, emotions, and greed. Take a look at Apples stock as an example: it went up and up and up all the way to $700 over a period of years and then suddenly, overnight it seemed, investors decided they no longer wanted anything to do with the stock. There wasn't any real change in anything that started the reversal, at least not right away.

I'm scared right now that the stock market is too high and I don't understand why it keeps going up. That is the wall of worry. Why do investors keep putting more money into the market when things seem so bad? Its not like our politicians are doing or going to do anything to make the economy better.

This seems like a situation where a small spark, any small spark, can light a fire and burn away a couple thousand points on the Dow. It seems like a tipping point where some seemingly innocuous bit of bad news may start an avalanche of sellers. And once the selling ball starts rolling, people will be clamoring for the exits in an effort to protect as much of their gains as possible.

I hope I am wrong and if I am, I'm missing out on a good market and some nice gains. But my senses tell me that caution is a good thing right now so I am not putting any more money in at this time.


Yesterday (2/26/2013), Apple stock was doing its usual thing (going down) and then all of a sudden a rumor circulated that the company might announce a stock split at their shareholder meeting today. You can see the chart below that almost instantly, the stock rose and continued going up the rest of the day.

There has not been much good news for Apple lately so investors are quick to latch on to anything that seems positive. But is a stock split really a good thing and if so, why?

Technically, a stock split is meaningless. If you have 100 shares at a stock costing $500, after a 2 for one split you will have 200 shares costing $250. Your shares are still worth the same $50,000 even though you now have double the numbers of shares. Occasionally stocks split 3 for 1 or some other ratio but the principle is the same: you have more shares but at a lesser value all equalling the same total holdings.

But many investors think stock splits are a good thing for two major reasons:

1) When a stock splits the price per share goes down and makes the stock more affordable for a greater number of investors. In Apple's case, that would mean more people would be able to afford a $230 stock than a $460 stock. More people being able to afford the stock = more people buying it = the stock has a greater chance of going up from that point.

2) A stock split is considered a vote of confidence by the company that splits. That is because they are lowering the price of each share with no worry that the price will go down from there. The management of a company that has an uncertain future will never split its stock because they want to keep the stock as high as possible and they know it may go down on its own if good earnings aren't achieved. Therefore, a company that splits its stock must have a positive future outlook by management.

While both of these reasons may be valid, there is really no concrete proof that either is real. I am not aware of any study or research that has proven that a stock that splits has a better chance of doing well than if it hadn't split. I don't know how you could really prove it anyway.

Mostly it is believed to be true and I concur that in my mind, a stock splitting 2 for 1 is good news. I think it generally means positive things for a stock and I am happy when any stock I own splits.

Conversely, a reverse stock split (where the exact opposite happens and you have less stock at a higher value) usually only happens when a company is encountering tough times and needs to raise the price of their stock to make it more presentable. Stocks that drift into single digits are usually the best candidates to do a reverse stock split if management wants to get the stock price higher and back into double digits. Again it technically means nothing but a $16 dollar stock usually looks better in the mind of investors than an $8 stock so it is for appearances only that a stock will reverse split.


Business news 2/15/2013: Just months ago Apple was the most valuable company on the planet and now they are going bankrupt. People are in an absolute frenzy as they can't sell their shares fast enough.

How did this happen? I'm not sure because reports have been that Apple had a blowout Christmas as the iPhone and iPad mini flew off the shelves. I know in my city I couldn't get my hands on a Mini as all the stores were sold out. I had to buy online and wait a week for delivery.

Apparently its a good thing I did because Apple may not be around much longer.

That was a month ago and now apparently Apple is on it's way to becoming a worthless company. There was a news report from some guy in Asia who cited unknown sources that Apple cut their orders of some iPhone 5 components by 50%. The Wall Street Journal ran with the story and now it is all anyone can talk about. Can it be true?

Analysts are falling all over themselves to get their 2 cents in about how Apple is going down the drain. EVERYONE want to be on record saying that Apple is a company of the past. Google and Samsung are the future. Sell Apple NOW while you can still get some money back!

Apple will be announcing their earnings in a week and then they will have to tell the truth: that they are sinking fast and no one is buying their products anymore. They have nothing new to bring to the table and all they have left is different sizes of old products.

The stock market can sometimes be like sitting in a theater when someone yells "FIRE". Everyone panics and heads toward the door. I think this is pretty much what is happening with Apple right now. Yes, there may be more legitimate competition than ever before but I'm holding on to my Apple shares and I am NOT going to sell just because everyone else is panicking. This sell off is just way overdone. Sometimes you need a strong stomach to be in this game.