David Mercer

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  • Should You Put Telecom Stocks on Hold?

    By David Mercer - July 18, 2013 | Tickers: T, S, VZ

    How should you "call" telecom stocks? Should investors answer or hang up? Clearly, each company has advantages and disadvantages. By analyzing them you'll be become cognizant of the risks / rewards of telecom investing. In particular, the sector is interesting to income investors seeking tax-advantaged alternatives to bonds. However, the challenge with utilities is they're highly regulated and thus their profits capped. This constraint limits upside, which hampers your more »

  • Fat Dividends for Lean Times

    By David Mercer - June 26, 2013 | Tickers: PM, RDS-B, RIG

    Amidst tough economic times it's critical that investors produce significant passive income. In this post we'll examine several dividend stocks that meet specific income-producing criteria, expand upon current market opportunities, and offer growth potential to investors. By doing so, investors will be better able to analyze potential investment opportunities, as well as acquire knowledge of key stock metrics.

    The first of these, Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-B), offers more »

  • Betting on Keystone

    By David Mercer - June 25, 2013 | Tickers: COP, ENB, TRP

    Today, the Keystone XL Pipeline is the million dollar question. Without getting into the politics surrounding it, let's examine what approval of the pipeline might mean for investors. In this post we'll examine three companies that stand to benefit from the pipeline should it get approved. The first of these, Enbridge (NYSE: ENB), is a Canadian pipeline operator that I've covered before. The company is one of more »

  • Can You "Bank" on MLPs?

    By David Mercer - May 30, 2013 | Tickers: ETP, EPD, LINE

    Recently, with the stock market soaring, investors are hungry for yield. This trend led many investors to consider master limited partnerships (MLPs) as their preferred investment vehicle, but are they right for you? To answer this question, we'll take a brief survey of few of the prominent MLPs and examine the merits of each.

    Linn Energy (NASDAQ: LINE) is a favorite of mine. Most energy sector MLPs are based more »

  • Growth Opportunities in a Flat Economy

    By David Mercer - April 29, 2013 | Tickers: COST, NE, PM

    In today's market, it's difficult to find good growth-stock opportunities. Today we'll examine a few stocks which may be suitable additions to your portfolio. In addition, each of these stocks offers significant (potential) upside because of their aggressive growth qualities. This aspect of each of them is critical in a market of surging prices and declining buy-side opportunities for the long-term value investor. So, let's look more »

  • Are Video Games the Next Consumer Staple?

    By David Mercer - March 27, 2013 | Tickers: ATVI, EA, TTWO

    As you may know, people of all ages, but in particular 20- and sometimes 30-somethings, sometimes spend an inordinate amount of time playing video games. While I personally stopped playing this form of entertainment over 20 years ago, many still find these activities both pleasurable and arguably addicting. Obviously there's a market for this form on entertainment, and as you might suspect corporations have been meeting the needs of more »

  • Internet Killed the Newspaper Star

    By David Mercer - March 26, 2013 | Tickers: CSCO, IBM, VRSN | Editor's Choice

    As most of us know, newspapers are dying. The Internet quickly supplanted "old media" and relegated most newspaper companies to life support. Although this was a gradual process, it seems all but a foregone conclusion (paper) newspapers will go the way the dodo.

    This view places me squarely against traditional value investors such as Warren Buffett. Buffett always favored companies with large economic moats. Historically, one prime example was newspapers more »

  • Office Supply: That Wasn't Easy

    By David Mercer - March 26, 2013 | Tickers: ODP, OMX, SPLS

    As an overall sector, retail is intensely competitive. In recent years, margins decreased for even the largest behemoths, such as Wal-Mart, Costco, and Target. Unfortunately, these losses were even more widespread in the office supply sub-sector. In light of these (recent) developments, analysts predict sector consolidation. Recently, Office Depot (NYSE: ODP) and OfficeMax (NYSE: OMX) announced their merger intentions. To be blunt, office supply struggled since the beginning of the more »

  • Achieving Investing Efficiencies

    By David Mercer - February 8, 2013 | Tickers: ERIC, VTI

    In today's increasingly complex financial arena, it's important to stress certain fundamental investing principles. Among these, first and foremost simplicity is often best. Moreover, we'll examine some strategies that support this concept and are suitable for comfortable, worry-free long-term investing. In brief, there are specific axioms which each successful investor should utilize, sometimes with some variation, to excel in often turbulent markets.

    So, let's examine a more »

  • A Poor Man's Arbitrage

    By David Mercer - February 1, 2013 | Tickers: MRO, PBA, TD

    In discount Direct Stock Purchase Plan (DSPP) investing, one advanced technique investors can utilize to achieve profits, is investing in a DSPP with optional purchase discounts in order to exploit the difference in share price between the purchase discount and the current market price. For example, Pembina Pipeline (NYSE: PBA), an energy transfer company operating in Canada, with a mediocre margin of 7.17%, but a manageable beta of 0 more »

  • DRIP'ing Your Way to Wealth

    By David Mercer - January 14, 2013 | Tickers: BP, KO, XOM, FL, PEP

    Anyone who followed my earlier blog posts, knows dividend reinvestment plans or DRIP investing is my passion. In brief, the beauty of DRIP'ing is the small "buy" and "hold" investor can start with a very small amount of money and through minimal fees and zero capital gains taxes grow it over time it into a large sum . By keeping expenses low and fees to a minimum, long-term investors can more »

  • Are These Stocks Worth "Howling" Over?

    By David Mercer - January 9, 2013 | Tickers: MWIV, PETS, WOOF | Editor's Choice

    Anyone that knows me personally knows I love animals and everything four-legged. In recent years, a number of pet-focused companies became prominent in the financial markets, we'll examine three (3) of them. The first is PetMed Express (NASDAQ: PETS). As its name suggests, PETS or 1-800 Pet Meds, as advertised on television, caters to pet owners, more specifically as a mail order pet pharmacy. This includes pet medications as more »

  • Are These Companies "Good as Gold"?

    By David Mercer - January 3, 2013 | Tickers: AEM, FCX, GG

    Today, we'll examine three mining stocks which specialize in gold. The first of these, Aginco-Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM), a Canadian mining company, currently has excellent growth prospects, solid financial health, but currently lacks meaningful earnings, with no measurable P/E. However, much like so many stocks I've chosen to cover, my love of DRIP's caught my eye when it came to the company. As in the case more »

  • Betting on the Death of the Post Office

    By David Mercer - January 3, 2013 | Tickers: FDX, GOOG, MSFT, UPS, VZ

    For a long time I'm been thinking about, what would happen if the U.S. post office shut its doors for good? Today, I think that may be a real possibility given new rounds of federal buyouts, postage price hikes, and talks of reduced residential mail delivery. So, which companies would be the primary beneficiaries of such a move? Well, the first stocks which come to mind are UPS more »

  • "Master" Your Limited Partnership

    By David Mercer - December 28, 2012 | Tickers: ETP, EPD, LNCO, LINE

    Currently, Master Limited Partnerships (MLP's) are all the rage--and for good reason. Arguably, a sound alternative to bonds, MLP's provide steady income with potential for significant and meaningful capital gains. However, MLP's are not without risk and they're certainly not for every investor. That being said, several companies offering monster dividends certainly got my attention and should probably get yours. So let's take a look more »

  • Inflation and the Dollar: Strategic Hedging in a Down Economy

    By David Mercer - December 28, 2012 | Tickers: RDS-B, TD, UBS | Editor's Choice

    Due in part to quantitative easing (QE), recent actions by the Federal Reserve, and other negative externalities, the U.S. dollar could be headed for some trouble. One way to sidestep the oncoming currency crisis and current/future inflation is to hedge into foreign currency. Currently, a lot of investors are fleeing to the safety of gold and other commodities that produce no passive income; there's a better way more »

  • Premium Dividends: The Market's Best Kept Secret

    By David Mercer - December 21, 2012 | Tickers: WTR, ENB, ERF

    By now, most of you are probably familiar with dividend reinvestment plans (DRIP's), but did you know the deal gets even better? Yes, it's true. So, what am I talking about? DRIP's with premium dividends. You may be asking, "What's a premium dividend?" It's simply a bonus on the declared dividend, which companies provide to long-term "buy and "hold" investors. Trust me, it's a more »