Should You Submit Your Blog to

Howard Lindzon “smells a rat” at

I called Brice (owner of TheMoneyBlgs), who picked up his own phone and asked him some questions. I immediately smelled a rat. Trading Markets will take my content and brand it in moneyblog design and keep all the advertising dollars from the aggregated data.

I love blogging and don’t mind doing it for free, but this is just plain sneaky.

If you run an investing, personal finance, business, or “money” blog, you’ve probably gotten an email from Brice Wightman of InvestorGeeks got one, and we initially signed up since we’re proud of the relationship we have with a similar service But once we found that TheMoneyBlogs would not include a link back to our site the original article, we immediately removed ourselves from their network.

So how can you make these aggregators work for you? Find out how some people are trying to make TheMoneyBlogs work them. More importantly, I’ll go through some questions you can ask yourself to determine up front if a blog aggregator is really offering a win-win situation.

Detecting Market Bottoms with Jim Cramer

Chapter 8 on “Spotting Bottoms in Stocks” is one of the best sections of Jim Cramer’s Real Money. The chapter is filled with the type of insights you would expect to get from someone with 25 years of experience in the market.

The chapter does discuss spotting bottoms in individual stocks, but Jim spends most of his time on indicators he uses to spot market bottoms. These indicators (collected into three categories) have been shared by all four of the last big market bottoms (1987, 1990, 1998, and the “double bottom” in 2002-2003).

TD Ameritrade Has Most Mutual Funds Available

I was recently disappointed because I couldn’t purchase the Mairs & Power Growth Fund (MPGFX) or Artisan International Fund (ARTIX) through my T. Rowe Price Roth IRA. After doing some sleuthing on Morningstar I discovered I could purchase both of these funds through TD Ameritrade, from whom I have a standard brokerage account.

I was ready to transfer all my assets over from TRP to TD Ameritrade and it turned out that transferring a Roth IRA was extremely bothersome. So instead of jumping into anything I thought I had better check to see if there was another discount broker that offered more funds, because I didn’t want to have to do this again. I spent some time at it, and put together a screen using the Morningstar Premium Fund Screener (more info) that would show the number of funds each major discount broker had available, and which funds were covered by all of them. The results were fascinating.

Cramer’s “Cyclical Investing and Trading” Chart

By far the most useful single page in Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World is the “Cyclical Investing and Trading” chart on page 115.

Visually the chart looks like a W. It follows the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate through an economic cycle. The chart also depicts the Federal Reserve’s standard response of either raising (tightening) or lowering (easing) interest rates based on GDP growth. The chart has no explicit relation to time, but these cycles typically take about 7 years or so.

The meat of the chart is Cramer’s suggestions for which types of stocks (or sectors) to buy based on where we are on the chart. So where are we right now?

First Impressions of SocialPicks and StockTickr and are two new websites that are trying to get on that short-list of sites you use to research and comment on stocks. I’ve signed up for both sites this weekend and played around a bit. Here are my first impressions of the alpha version of SocialPicks and the free version of StockTickr.

Book Review: Jim Cramer’s Real Money

You can’t deny the popularity of investing guru Jim Cramer. He’s become an icon. But should you read his book Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World? I think you should.

First off, fans of Jim Cramer should read this book no questions asked. I mean who wouldn’t enjoy a book that starts off with “I want you to be rich. Really rich.”? If you’re a fan of the TV or radio show, you’ll get more of that same old Jim you love.

Besides being a quick and entertaining read, Real Money can be a useful part of your investing education. I believe that investors of all levels can benefit from this book. For new investors, Real Money does a great job of explaining the basics. For intermediate investors, Jim’s anecdotes and rules can help you stay disciplined. Advanced investors will at least have a chance to better understanding a man who has a noticeable effect on the market and holds a lot of sway with many of today’s small investors.

Read on for the full review.

Book Review: Phil Town’s Rule #1

Phil Town’s upcoming book Rule #1 is sure to become an investment classic. I had the pleasure of reading the book after receiving an advanced copy from Crown Publishers, the distributor of the book which is scheduled to be released in March. What I found was a practical, no-nonsense approach to stocks that will do for investing what David Bach’s The Automatic Millionaire did for personal finance. While Town himself admits that the techniques he describes have been used for years, his true genius lies in his ability to translate classic investing principles into a straight-forward approach that can achieve at least 15% returns a year with little risk.

Book Review: Rich Dad’s Cashflow Quadrant

Robert Kiyosaki’s book, Cashflow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom, is an inspirational and compelling guide to breaking free from the earnings “rat race”, by moving from the “left side of the quadrant” where most people work to the “right side” and ultimately financial freedom. Kiyosaki outlines how those of us locked into jobs or self-employment can get ahead by becoming financially literate and consistently building financial assets that generate income; freeing ourselves to spend time doing the things we truly enjoy.

Stocks 2.0

Here are two interesting new websites, in the Web 2.0 spirit, focused on stocks. Predict Wall Street – This site allows you to make daily predictions on the move of a stock or index. As with a lot of Web 2.0 offerings, it gets better with each additional user. If more people start using this (more…)

Using the Morningstar Prem. Fund Screener, Part II

In Part 1 of this article, we looked at how to use the Morningstar Premium Fund Screener, and I showed you two screens I use to select top funds for my portfolio. This article will move on from the screening phase of the stock screening process to the analysis phase, where we actually choose the candidates for possible investment. The key to successful analysis is understanding how to read the results views provided by the screener. In addition to the basic views provided by Morningstar, the premium screener also allows you to create up to two additional views. By creating custom views that package your most important statistics together, decision making can be more rapid and accurate.