Recently we were thinking about movies with some kind of financial lesson. The financial side of making films has always intrigued us. Historically the Oscars have always been proof that the biggest budget doesn’t always give the best ROI. In 2010, the lowest grossing Oscar winning film in history – The Hurt Locker – beat out the highest grossing picture in history – Avatar.
Here’s my list of the top 10 movies ever made that have a financial lesson inside of them.
1. Boiler Room (2000) – A college dropout gets a job and enjoys fast success at a brokerage house selling phony stock. However, the job turns out not be as legit as it sounds. This film is mix of Wall Street and Glengarry Glen Ross thrown in. Although there’s no character here that can compare to Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko.
Lesson: Great morality lesson dealing with the desire to get rich quick, regardless of the consequences.
2. Wall Street (1987) – “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good”. This line by ruthless corporate raider, Gordon Gekko, summed up the business ethics of the 1980s, when greed, corruption and the predatory nature of the financial world was at its most conspicuous. The film charts the ascent of a young, ambitious stockbroker who’s taken under Gekko’s wing and struggles with whether it’s better to have money or integrity. Gekko is the embodiment of corporate malfeasance, but also portrayed as a business guru. His glamor and power probably inspired a lot of young men to enter investment banking over the last two decades. As Gekko said, “It’s all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation.”
Lesson: Greed is good. What’s worth doing is worth doing for money. Lunch is for wimps. If you need a friend, buy a dog. So goes the wisdom of Gordon Gekko, ruthless investor, legendary financier – and the star of one of the best movies ever made about money. This film also provides a great backdrop to the landscape that led to the financial crisis of 2008.
3. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) – Times are tough. This is the ultimate real estate high pressure sales environment film where making money is the bottom line. A desperate group of Chicago investment property real estate salesmen suffer in a down market, a sales contest is launched and anyone who fails loses his job.
Now that the property bubble has burst, some real estate offices may soon seem a little bit more “Glengarry”. There’s no room for losers, only ‘closers’ will get the good sales leads. Some regarded this film as a critique of the impact of Reaganomics.
Lesson: Too much pressure to succeed can boil over into tragedy with unforeseen consequences.
With the upcoming premiere of the film “Wall Street – Money Never Sleeps” it got me thinking about movies with some kind of financial lesson. The financial side of making filmshasalways intrigued me. This year’s Oscars were yet again proof that the biggest budget doesn’t always give the best ROI. In 2010, the lowest grossing Oscar winning film in history – The Hurt Locker – beat out the highest grossing picture in history – Avatar.
Here’s my list of the top 10 movies ever made that have a financial lesson inside of them.
4. Maxed Out. Hard times. Easy Credit. The Era of Predatory Lending (2006) – This documentary shows how the modern financial industry really works. It explores America’s love with credit and leveraged debt and tells us why the poor are getting poorer and the rich getting richer. When Hurricane Katrina ravaged America’s coast, it revealed that America was far from the world’s wealthiest nation. It also highlighted America’s crumbling beneath a staggering burden of individual and government debt. Maxed Out shows how predatory lending was out of control, including credit cards pumped to college kids who had no income. This is a great movie. It’ll make you feel different about your money.
Lesson: It delivers a great lesson on how to borrow and shows why you don’t want to live on credit. Credit is the devil. Do you know anyone who got into trouble because they didn’t borrow too much money? Maxed Out paints a picture of a national nightmare which is all too real for most of us – out of control spending and an irrational use of credit.
5. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) – Before Bernie Madoff, there were Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling who ran the Houston energy firm that was going to reinvent how energy was going to be done in America. Enron was highly profitable, had a great amount of cash flow and earnings and the stock price soared. Its executives cashed out options worth millions and told employees their best 401K option was Enron stock. Thousands lost all their retirement savings because they put all their bets on one company. Took Enron 16 yrs to from 10b assets to 65b assets, but it took them 24 days to go bankrupt. It won the Academy Award for best documentary.
Lessons: Have a financial plan, have a discipline. If you have a stock that looks too good to be true and it just keeps going up, up, up, it’s probably too good to be true. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify. Don’t put all your eggs into one basket.
6. Working Girl (1988) – Melanie Griffith plays Tess McGill. Endearing 80s film. Ultimately she takes a job as a secretary but she wants to rise in investment world. Wants to rise to power, combines her business degree from night school w/ her street smart acumen & pulls of a mega-merger. Total fantasy. Prince charming happy ending w/ Harrison Ford. “I have a head for business and a body for sex.”, says Melanie Griffith’s character. Go back to night school, go back & get a degree. Go get educated, you’ll get leverage. No one can take your education away from you.
Lessons: Your education, your smarts can’t be wiped out in a recession. Your earning power is rooted in your skills, in your education. Provides an entertaining reminder that if you have something to offer your co. & they don’t seem too interested, then take your skills elsewhere. If you are a super powerful earner at one job, you can make yourself a super powerful earner anywhere.
7. Treasure of the Sierra Madre. 1948. Classic western cautionary tale about how not to launch a venture. If you took everything that Howard Dobbs & Kutan did in this movie: “Get rich quickly without a credible business plan.” “Badges, we don’t need no stinking badges.” Don’t swing blindly, don’t come up w/ a get rich quick scheme, don’t do a pyramid scheme, don’t sell products from your house to your friends or recruit your friends.
Lesson: In life, as in baseball, you’re gonna strike out. You don’t want to strike out blindly while your pursuing a huge home run. You gotta know your business, know your partners, know where you are in all of this.
8. Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House (1948) – Was remade into The Money Pit, starring Tom Hanks & Shelly Long. Owning a home ain’t cheap. It can turn into a massively expensive ordeal. Home is really a money pit. Owning a home comes w/ a lot of responsibility, gotta have credit, gotta have a down payment, pay your bills, maintain the home, gotta know the risks up front. It’s expensive. You gotta know the worse case scenarios, all the risks, the downside.
Lesson: Shows how the American dream of owning a home can go terribly wrong. Home ownership is not for everybody and shouldn’t be promoted as such by the government.
9. Confessions Of A Shopaholic (2009) – About a chic who’s struggling with a debilitating obsession with shopping and has 12 maxed out credit cards. She unintentionally lands a job as a financial journalist and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur. Don’t buy a $400 watch because it quickly depreciates to nothing. I will buy a $4,000 Rolex – nothing less than a Rolex — because it can still be sold 10 yrs after you buy it for what you paid for it. You use credit to buy things of value: an education, a car to get you to work, (I prefer to buy 2-yr old used cars because it loses half its value up front when you drive it off the lot, but you can still get 50-60,000 miles out of it.)
Lesson: Only use credit for things that have value. Pay cash for everything else.
10. Brewster’s Millions (1985) – The ultimate spending spree is something that most of us have daydreamt about at some time. A minor league baseball player, Montgomery Brewster, (Richard Pryor) has to waste $30m in 30s days in order to inherit $300m; however, he’s not allowed to tell anyone about the $300m deal.
Lesson: How corruptible too much money can be and how difficult it can be to use it responsibly.
As a keen investor, you will know that the stock market is constantly changing. In 2008, it was estimated that the size of the world stock market was $36.6 trillion. It is ever growing and expanding, but also dipping and rising in value all the time.
These days you can invest in almost anything, from gold and silver on Bullion Vault to Real Estate. If you’ve invested in stocks and shares then you are going to want to check the stock market on a regular basis. We have found just a couple of the best stock apps about so you can track and manage your stocks right from your iPad.
This app by Value Prime, is a powerful stock analysis app which provides thorough analysis for a huge variety of stocks. In addition, it also helps you to judge stocks by providing statistics based upon risk, valuation and financial strength. The app has an archive of 6,700 stocks, and for each stock you are given a detailed overview of its state. The app is able to tell you everything about the stock, from its valuation rating and financial strength to its risk score and its sharpe ratio. It has a user-friendly interface which is loaded with tons of features.
Produced by Toughturtle LLC, StockWatch allows you to easily track your stocks from your iPad. It differs from StockGuru because this app is purely designed to help you track stocks you already own, rather than helping you make decisions on other stocks. The app was noted in Apple’s iTunes Rewind as one of the best apps of 2010. You can create portfolios and even make watch-lists so you never miss a thing. In addition, there is a news feed integrated in the app so you will always be in the know.
The market these days is in a very unstable state. The problem is the not only the market in unstable but also the economy. The every day Joe who has some cash in the market after he heard how “uncle tom” from Texas made millions in the market sees in this recession how the money invested is slowly evaporating. Combine that with a deteriorating income and you get the decision to take the money out of your investment. this is the common mistake made by anyone without the proper market knowledge and experience.
Like anything else in life the stock market is a cycle, sometimes it’s in its peak and other times it hits rock bottom. The right and smart thing to do is to buy when it is in it’s low and to sell in it’s peak. Easier said than done. One thing is for sure if you bought a share of a good company with rising income and revenues then in the long run that stock will rise!! those very market sharks buy those good companies when the market hits its lows, when everyone panics from the news and sell their precious stocks losing 20%-30% from their initial investment and then a year later buy back the very stock they sold when they here how the market rebounded.
So if you have money invested in a company in the stock market that by all parameters you think the company is good don’t take your money out. Leave the money invested in the company no matter what any analyst says about the market. I would go even further by saying don’t sell but start collecting more of the stock. in the long run when the market and the economy fully rebound it’s you who will be that “uncle tom” from Texas that makes high profits from the market.
Interesting take on the psychology of a market cycle and how an investor reacts. Many of you should be able to relate with the way the stock market is trading today.
Bank stocks soar on financial regulation agreement
NEW YORK — Bank stocks shot higher Friday after an agreement on a financial regulation bill reassured investors that new rules won’t devastate financial companies’ profits.
Banks outdistanced the rest of the market after congressional negotiators agreed on a bill that increases the regulation of financial companies, but that doesn’t include some of the harshest provisions that the government originally proposed. the legislation imposes new rules on the complex investments known as derivates, but the rules aren’t as strict as investors feared.
It also includes a far milder version of what’s been called the Volcker rule. That rule, named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, would have banned commercial banks from trading simply to increase their profits, a practice known as proprietary trading.
Analysts said the deal removes a huge cloud that has hovered over the financial industry for much of this year. Investors have feared that intense regulation would devastate bank profits. Now, the market seems to believe that financial companies would do well even with the new limits on their business.
“They come out of this big-time winners,” Bob Froehlich, senior managing director at Hartford Financial Services, said of financial companies. “Two years later, people will look back and say ‘My gosh, nothing really changed.’”
Banks were the market’s big performers on a day when the Dow Jones industrial average fell almost 9 points and the other major indexes had only slim gains.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. rose 3.5 percent, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. gained 3.7 percent. Bank of America rose 2.7 percent and Citigroup Inc. rose 4.2 percent.
Regional banks also scored big gains. Suntrust Banks Inc. rose 4.7 percent and Synovus Financial Corp. gained 5.3 percent.
Investors had feared that the financial regulation bill would sharply curtail bank profits by limiting financial companies’ ability to trade in derivatives. Companies and investors often use derivatives to hedge against losses. But some derivatives are purely speculative investments, and some of these derivatives have been blamed for contributing heavily to the collapse of the housing market and the 2008 financial crisis.
The legislation calls for most derivatives to be traded on regulated exchanges. But provisions of the bill that were investors’ worst-case scenario, for example, an outright ban on banks’ trading derivatives, were not included in the final agreement. Banks can still trade derivatives related to interest rates, foreign exchanges, gold and silver, investments that have contributed to their big profits. They would have to use subsidiaries with their own funds in order to trade in riskier derivatives. But the parent bank could still keep the profits from those trades.
“The bill could have been a lot worse,” said Alan Valdes, vice president at Hilliard Lyons in New York. “It’s a bill we can live with.”
The legislation also allows banks to invest only up to 3 percent of their capital in private equity and hedge funds. That is a remnant of the original Volcker rule.
The agreement also alleviated another investor concern. A plan that would have had banks paying for the costs of unwinding mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was not included in the bill that will now go to the House and Senate for final approval.
One reason why investors seem happy with the agreement is that they know banks will continue to lobby in Washington for looser regulations. In other words: the market doesn’t believe that the bill, when it becomes law, will be in stone.
Froehlich also suggested that banks, now having a greater understanding of the regulatory environment, might be more willing to lend. That would help the economic recovery pick up more momentum, he said.
“It was the biggest uncertainty that’s out there,” Froehlich said. “Now that we know what financial reform is all about I really do believe that they are going to start lending again.”
The stock market’s overall gains were limited by the government’s final report on the gross domestic product for the first quarter. the Commerce Department said the GDP, the broadest measure of the economy’s health, rose at a 2.7 percent annual pace rather than the 3 percent previously estimated. the report follows a string of weaker-than-expected economic numbers in the past week and raised investors concerns about the recovery.
The Dow fell 8.99, or 0.1 percent, to 10,143.81. the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 3.07, or 0.3 percent, to 1,076.76, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 6.06, or 0.3 percent, to 2,223.48.
For the week, the Dow is down 2.9 percent, while the S&P 500 is down 3.6 percent and the Nasdaq is off 3.7 percent. the market fell sharply Wednesday and Thursday in response to the disappointing economic reports.
The indexes fluctuated for much of the day, in part because of the annual reshuffling of stocks in the Russell indexes. That forces investors to buy and sell certain stocks if they have portfolios that follow the indexes.
The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 11.94, or 1.9 percent, to 645.11.
Treasury prices rose, driving down interest rates. the 10-year Treasury note’s yield fell to 3.11 percent from 3.14 percent late Thursday.
Goldman Sachs rose $4.68, or 3.5 percent, to $139.66, while JPMorgan Chase rose $1.41, or 3.7 percent, to $39.44. Bank of America rose 40 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $15.42, and Citigroup Inc. rose 16 cents, or 4.2 percent, to $3.94.
Suntrust Banks rose $1.14, or 4.7 percent, to $25.51. Synovus gained 14 cents, or 5.3 percent, and closed at $2.80
Almost four stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where consolidated volume came to a heavy 6.28 billion shares, up from 4.94 billion on Thursday. the big volume was the result of the buying and selling in Russell index component stocks.
The FTSE-100 index in London fell 1 percent, while Paris’ CAC-40 index fell 1 percent and Frankfurt’s DAX index lost 0.7 percent. Earlier, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo closed down nearly 2 percent.
Copyright © 2010 the associated Press. all rights reserved.
SOURCE: Wall Street News Alert
Jun 23, 2010 08:38 ET
WESTON, FL–(Marketwire – June 23, 2010) – Wall Street News Alert’s “stocks to watch” this morning are: Fidelis Energy inc. (PINKSHEETS: FDEI), Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), Apple inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC).
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Yesterday after the markets closed Fidelis Energy inc. (PINKSHEETS: FDEI) issued a press release announcing that it has entered into a long-term solar module supply agreement with Lagofrio Energy Solutions (LES), a wholly-owned subsidiary of TinSol Energy (pty) Ltd. (TSEL), Johannesburg, South Africa.
The press release stated that under the terms of the contract, Fidelis Energy will supply 93 megawatts (MW) of PV Solar modules to TSEL for use in the development and build-out of several solar parks in Africa. Fidelis will begin shipments against this contract during the first quarter of 2011. Product will ship from the Fidelis module plant in China, scheduled to come online during the fourth quarter of 2010.
Mr. Wes L. Volker, Managing Director of TSEL, commented: “We selected Fidelis as our partner for these large installations due to the benefits of the Solar Cell technology owned by Fidelis, particularly its very competitive cost and excellent performance. We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship with Fidelis as we grow our energy business in Africa.”
“We are very pleased to have secured another large capacity contract for Fidelis Energy,” stated Mr. James Poole, CEO of Fidelis Energy. “This second deal with TSEL validates our ever improving position in the international solar market. Along with the substantial investment commitment we secured in February, additional large megawatt capacity agreements are under negotiation that will facilitate Fidelis to command a leadership position in the high growth solar market. We are extremely pleased to be working closely with TinSol Energy (pty) Ltd. to accelerate our growth in Africa.” Mr. Poole added, “The environmental benefits of solar energy are critical to addressing the global warming challenge facing all of us. the electricity generated as a result of the deployment and use of the PV modules we will sell to TSEL will avoid the annual emission of nearly 600,000 metric tons of CO2 that would result if the electricity were generated by coal-fired power plants.” Fidelis Energy announced up to $80 million of new financing in February 2010, for the purpose of expanding its photovoltaic manufacturing capacity. the Company plans to expand its annual manufacturing capacity by approximately 150 MW in each of the next several years.
The stock closed yesterday at around a Penny a share.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) down 1.6% on 6.7 Million shares traded. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company and one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplying and delivering energy to approximately 4 million U.S. customers.
Apple inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) up 3% on 25.6 million shares traded. Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications.
Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) down 1.3% on 108 million shares traded. Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services.
Market Commentary: the National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes fell 2.2 percent in may. the report surprised analysts who thought sales would get a lift from a homebuyer tax credit. Sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.66 million from a revised 5.79 million in April.
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The Stock Market Today is not what you used to be, as a result you need to know some basic things to watch out for. I have listed and highlighted them below.
Don’t Do Nothing – Obviously nothing in life is a guarantee. There is no guarantee that you will make money investing in the market in your first month or year. However overtime you will as you can see through the charts above. One thing you can guarantee though is if you do nothing you will not be able to retire comfortably.
Don’t Start Late – Besides not investing at all this would be your second worse decision. The numbers don’t lie and the graphs above prove my points.
Don’t Invest for the short term – The market is not a guarantee so don’t use it as a short fix to pay off bills or debts. The key to investing is by having a long-term perspective. Traders are different as they manipulate the markets to turn a profit. Beware though it takes only the very skilled as 90% of traders lose money.
Don’t Take it Easy – If you’re young, most of your investing dollars should be in the stock market. Over time you will be able to weather the dips in the markets and benefit from the rewards of long-term gains.
Don’t Risk it All – Never pour all your money into something that could lose it all. Diversify, Diversify, Diversify!
I hope these tips give you a brief overview on what to watch out for in the stock market today. Honestly we are going through turbulent times now a day and if you want to succeed you need to be able to both assume risk and also protect yourself from too much risk. The stock market today is not the same place it was fifty or so years ago that. Technology has revamped it as we saw during the flash crash. Ultimately if you want to succeed in the stock market today you need to protect yourself and always take profits as they come. Good Luck!