Thursday, May 14, 2015

Top 10 New Companies To Watch In Right Now

Top 10 New Companies To Watch In Right Now: KiOR Inc (KIOR)

KiOR, Inc. (KiOR), incorporated on July 23, 2007, is development- stage company. KiOR is a renewable fuels company engaged in producing cellulosic gasoline and diesel from abundant non-food biomass. Cellulosic fuel is derived from lignocellulose found in wood, grasses and the non-edible portions of plants. The Company generates hydrocarbons from renewable sources . Its end products are fungible hydrocarbon-based gasolines and diesels that can be used as components in formulating finished gasoline and diesel fuels, rather than alcohols or fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) such as ethanol or biodiesel. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company commenced construction of its initial-scale commercial production facility in Columbus, Mississippi, designed to process 500 bone dry ton per day (BDT) of feedstock per day, As of December 31, 2011, the Company had not generated any revenues.

The Company has developed a process that converts non-food lignocellulos e into gasoline and diesel that can be transported using the existing fuels distribution system for use in vehicles on the road. Its biomass-to-cellulosic fuel technology platform combines catalyst systems with fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) processes that have been used in crude oil refineries to produce gasoline. The biomass fluid catalytic cracking (BFCC) process operates at moderate temperatures and pressures to convert biomass in a matter of seconds into the renewable crude oil that can be processed using standard refining equipment into its cellulosic gasoline and diesel. In its demonstration unit the Company varies its volume output of gasoline from 37% to 61%, diesel from 31% to 55% and fuel oil from 8% to 9% from its renewable crude oil. The Company focuses on its commercialization efforts with respect to its gasoline and diesel. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had 76 pending original patent application families containing over 2,300 pending claims.!

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Nickey Friedman]

    It has not been a good year for biofuel producer KiOR (NASDAQ: KIOR  ) . Aside from the stock being down over 75%, the company has badly missed its guidance targets virtually every time, and its CFO quit without any explanation. Then, to top off the 12 months of disappointment, KiOR ended the year with another resignation and more production shortfalls.

  • [By Maxx Chatsko]

    KiOR (NASDAQ: KIOR  ) Here's a company that often gets associated with industrial biotech companies, but there are very few comparisons. Rather than encouraging microbes to pump out useful chemicals and fuels in biochemical processes, KiOR uses standard thermocatalytic reactions to turn wood chips and waste into drop-in fuels. The company does not produce cellulosic ethanol or biodiesel. The company produces chemically identical cellulosic gasoline and diesel, although current operations churn out fuel blendstocks. KiOR's first facility has an annual capacity of between 11-13 million gallons of fuels, while a larger facility will be three times that size. A modular platform and catalytic improvements will help boost economics and scale for future production.

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:

Top 5 Forestry Stocks To Own Right Now

Top 5 Forestry Stocks To Own Right Now: Epazz Inc (EPAZ)

EPAZZ, Inc., incorporated on March 23, 2000, develops a Web portal infrastructure operating system product called BoxesOS v3.0. The Company offers seven primary product lines. The Epazz BoxesOS v3.0 product is offered through Epazz, Inc., the Desk/Flex Software product is offered through Desk Flex, Inc., the Agent Power product is offered through Professional Resource Management, Inc., the AutoHire software is offered through Epazz, Inc., IntelliSys offers the Integrated Plant Management Control (IPMC) software product, K9 Bytes offers a series of Point of Sale software products for pet care, boarding and retail pet stores. In July 2012, the Company acquired K9 Bytes Software. In August 2012, the Company acquired MS Health Software Corporation (MS Health), a cloud-based solution for behavioral healthcare, mental health and social services providers.

BoxesOS provides a Web portal infrastructure operating system designed to satisfaction of key stakeholders (stud ents, faculty, alumni, employees, and clients). BoxesOS creates sources of revenue for Alumni Associations and Non-Profit organizations through utilizing a Web platform to conduct e-commerce and provides e-commerce tools for small businesses to easily create my accounts for their customers. BoxesOS can also link a college or university's resources with the business community by allowing businesses to better train their employees by utilizing courseware development from higher education institutions.

Epazz BoxesOS v3.0

Epazz BoxesOS v3.0 (Web Infrastructure Operating System) is the Company's flagship product. Epazz BoxesOS integrates with each organization's back-end systems and provides a customizable personal information system for each stakeholder. The Company's Services include Single sign-on, which provides a single-sign-on with security procedure to protect users' information and identity; Course Management System, which manages dista! nce, trad itional courses and Calendar; Enterprise Website Content Management, which manages public sites with multi contributors; Integration Management Services, which integrated into Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Mainframes; E-mail Management, which is an e-mail server and Web client; Instant Messenger Services, which is an instant messaging and alerts; Customer Relationship Management, which includes prospective students and alumni; Calendar/Scheduler Management, which includes event directory, groupware, and personal calendar; Administrative Support Services, which is an online payment services, and Business Services, which includes facility Management and Online Bookstore.

AutoHire Software

The AutoHire system provides a tool to power career centers, post job ads to sites and job boards, and to collect resumes online. One features of the AutoHire system is the interactive question and online screening and ranking system. The interactive questi on system provides a means for the client to maintain their own library of questions and to attach selected questions to job opportunities posted. Responses obtained can be used to screen and rank candidates to permit hiring managers to focus their attention on only the most suitable candidates.

Desk Flex Software

DFI developed the Desk/Flex Software (Desk/Flex) to enhance the value of businesses' real estate investments and modernize their office space. Desk/Flex lets businesses make better use of office space restrictions by enabling employees to instantly access their workstation tools from multiple areas in and outside of the office. Desk/Flex lets employees reserve space in advance or claim space instantly. It adjusts the telephone switch (Private Branch Exchange (PBX)) so that calls ring at the desk du jour, or go directly to voice mail when a worker is not checked in. Key Features of Desk/Flex include Quick and Easy Check-In, Point-and-Click Floor Maps, PBX Interaction, Web Browser and ! Local Kio! sk Access, Advance Reservations and Occupancy Reports. Desk/Flex is responsive to office size and needs, servicing small to large businesses. Desk/Flex can be configured to administer a single site or multiple sites locally or remotely. Desk/Flex has full integration capabilities with both Nortel and Avaya, which combined represent the majority of the telecommunications and inbound automatic call distributor (ACD) market.

Agent Power Software

Agent Power Software (Agent Power) is Professional Resource Management, Inc.s (PRMI's) software line. Agent Power is a suite of six applications. The applications feature workforce management components, which include planning and scheduling; agent adherence; agent performance; automatic call distributor (ACD) group performance; real-time agent status, and info screen. All modules of Agent Power have full integration capabilities with Nortel, Avaya, and ROLM ACDs, and the Planning and Scheduling module works with any modern ACD system.

IntelliSys Software

IntelliSys developed the Integrated Plant Management Control (IPMC) Software, which is a software system design for water and wastewater facility management. IPMC is the technology-based strategy for optimizing operations by automatically collecting, managing, organizing and disseminating information for the operations, management, laboratory, maintenance, and engineering functions.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By James E. Brumley]

    It's probably a pretty safe bet that Epazz Inc. (OTCMKTS:EPAZ) isn't a familiar name to most long-term investors. For that matter, EPAZ isn't even a familiar name to short-term traders. Both groups may want to put the stock on their radar though (for different reasons), as the recent action evident on the chart suggests something is brewing here.

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap stocks IN Media Corp (OTCMKTS: IMDC), Epazz Inc (OTCMKTS: EPAZ) and Polaris International Holdings (OTCMKTS:! PIHN) ha! ve been busy developing new devices/products or making acquisitions. Moreover, at least two of these small cap stocks have been the subject of paid promotions or investor relations types of activities. Keeping that in mind, will new devices/products or acquisitions help these small caps along with their investors or traders? Here is a closer look:

  • [By Peter Graham]

    Small cap tech stocks Epazz Inc (OTCMKTS: EPAZ) and Pulse Network Inc (OTCBB: TPNI) have been getting some attention lately in various investment newsletters. Thats due in part to a few paid for promotions on behalf of both of these stocks. Of course, there is nothing wrong with properly disclosed promotions, but investors with a long term time horizon need to be more cautious as promotions tend to help traders. With that said, do these two small cap tech stocks have what it takes to succeed? Here is a quick reality check:

  • source from Top Penny Stocks For 2015:

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Top Dividend Companies For 2015

Argument against investing in Gold is not invalid. It produces nothing, pays no dividends, it's inherently subject to theft and incurs negative carrying costs, but that is the price you pay for tranquility.

In a world of undercapitalized banks, over leveraged sovereigns and political ineptitude wherever you look, it is prudent to allocate a portion of one's  capital to an asset that is not someone else's liability An ounce of Gold is an ounce of Gold has to go up in relation to paper money . To what price depends on the pace of inflation and we all know that inflation will continue.

While the short term trend for international Gold prices stays bearish a weaker rupee will prevent domestic prices from crashing.

The main way to tap into investing in Gold stays the traditional method of buying physical bullion / coins from your jeweler. Not as convenient as investing in an ETF or a Gold Fund but definitely safer. For the more sophisticated investor there is always the futures and option market.

Top 5 Managed Healthcare Stocks To Buy Right Now: Regal Beloit Corporation(RBC)

Regal Beloit Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells electric motors and controls, electric generators and controls, and mechanical motion control products primarily in the United States and Asia. The company operates in two segments, Electrical and Mechanical. The Electrical segment manufactures and markets AC and DC commercial, industrial, and commercial refrigeration electric motors and blowers, as well as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) electric motors and blowers. It also provides precision servo motors, electric generators, automatic transfer switches and paralleling switchgear, and control electric power generation equipment; AC and DC variable speed drives and controllers, and other accessories for industrial and commercial applications; and capacitors for use in HVAC systems, high intensity lighting, and other applications. The Mechanical segment manufactures and markets a range of mechanical motion control products, i ncluding worm gears, bevel gears, helical gears, and concentric shaft gearboxes; marine transmissions; after-market automotive transmissions, and ring and pinions; custom gearing; gearmotors; electrical connecting devices; and manual valve actuators, which are used in oil and gas, water distribution and treatment, and chemical processing applications. The company sells its products to original equipment manufacturers, distributors, and end users through its direct sales people and manufacturer?s representative organizations. Regal Beloit Corporation was founded in 1955 and is based in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Bank of America's (NYSE: BAC  ) Merrill Lynch division and Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RBC  ) have provided HBC with fully committed credit facilities, which, together with the equity commitment provided by the pension plan, is sufficient to close the transaction.

  • [By Lisa Levin]

    This industry moved down 1.34% by 11:30 am, with Regal Beloit (NYSE: RBC) moving down 9.1%. Regal Beloit reported Q2 earnings of $1.27 per share on revenue of $850.40 million.

  • [By Seth Jayson]

    Calling all cash flows
    When you are trying to buy the market's best stocks, it's worth checking up on your companies' free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That's what we do with this series. Today, we're checking in on Regal Beloit (NYSE: RBC  ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of electric motor manufacturer Regal Beloit (NYSE: RBC  ) plummeted 19% today after its quarterly results and guidance missed Wall Street expectations.

Top Dividend Companies For 2015: Windstream Corporation(WIN)

Windstream Corporation provides communications and technology solutions in the United States. The company offers various solutions, including IP-based voice and data services, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) networking, data center and managed services, hosting services, and communications systems to businesses and government agencies. It also provides high-speed Internet, voice, and digital television services to residential customers primarily located in rural areas. The company?s data services include data center and managed hosting, MPLS networking, and dedicated access, as well as high-speed Internet to business customers; integrated solutions consist of multiple voice and data services delivered over an IP connection; voice services comprise local and long distance, call waiting, caller identification, and voicemail; and special access services include point-to-point switching arrangements for voice and data traffic. In addition, it provides wholesale services, which primarily include voice and data services on a wholesale basis to other carriers; usage sensitive services to long distance companies; and other local exchange carriers for access to the network in connection with the completion of long-distance calls, as well as reciprocal compensation received from wireless and other local connecting carriers for the use of its facilities. As of June 30, 2011, the company served approximately 3.3 million access lines, 1.3 million high-speed Internet customers, and operated approximately 60,000 fiber route miles. Windstream Corporation is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Rick Munarriz]

    It was a busy week for regional telcos as CenturyLink joined Windstream (NASDAQ: WIN  ) and Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR  ) in reporting financials. All three companies posted slightly lower revenue as rural landline customers continue to disconnect. Windstream and Frontier also missed on the bottom line. However, after CenturyLink slashed its dividend earlier this year and Frontier cut its rate last year, there were no payout whacks this time around. None of the three stocks lost ground on the week, and that's good news.

Top Dividend Companies For 2015: Pitney Bowes Inc(PBI)

Pitney Bowes Inc. provides mail processing equipment and integrated mail solutions worldwide. It offers a suite of equipment, supplies, software, services, and solutions for managing and integrating physical and digital communication channels. The company?s Small & Medium Business Solutions group engages in the sale, rental, and financing of mail finishing, mail creation, and shipping equipment and software; provision of supply, support, and other professional services; and provision of payment solutions. Its Enterprise Business Solutions group sells, supports, and offers other professional services for high-speed production mail systems, and sorting and production print equipment; and sells and provides support services for non-equipment-based mailing, customer relationship and communication, and location intelligence software. This group also offers facilities management services; secure mail services; reprographic document management services; and litigation support and eDiscovery services, as well as provides presort mail services and cross-border mail services; and direct marketing services. Pitney Bowes Inc. markets its products and services through its sales force, direct mailings, outbound telemarketing, and independent distributors and dealers to various business, governmental, institutional, and other organizations. The company, formerly known as Pitney Bowes Postage Meter Company, was founded in 1920 and headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of Pitney Bowes (NYSE: PBI  ) dropped 15% today after the company released earnings.

    So what: First-quarter revenues dropped 4.4% to $1.17 billion, below the $1.21 billion estimate. Earnings per share came in a $0.42, which was also below the bar Wall Street had set at $0.46 per share. �

Top Dividend Companies For 2015: Becton Dickinson and Company(BDX)

Becton, Dickinson and Company, a medical technology company, develops, manufactures, and sells medical devices, instrument systems, and reagents worldwide. The company?s BD Medical segment produces medical devices that are used in various healthcare settings. This segment?s products include needles, syringes, and intravenous catheters for medication delivery; prefilled IV flush syringes; syringes, pen needles, and other drugs to treat diabetes; prefillable drug delivery systems; anesthesia needles and trays; sharps disposal containers; and closed-system transfer devices. Its BD Diagnostics segment provides products for the safe collection and transport of diagnostics specimens, as well as instrument systems and reagents to detect various infectious diseases, healthcare-associated infections, and cancers. This segment?s products consist of integrated systems for specimen collection; safety-engineered blood collection products and systems; automated blood culturing systems; molecular testing systems; microorganism identification and drug susceptibility systems; liquid-based cytology systems for cervical cancer screening; rapid diagnostic assays; and plated media. The company?s BD Biosciences segment produces research and clinical tools that facilitate the study of cells and their components. This segment?s products comprise fluorescence-activated cell sorters and analyzers; monoclonal antibodies and kits for performing cell analysis; reagent systems for life science research; cell imaging systems; laboratory products for tissue culture and fluid handling; diagnostic assays; and cell culture media supplements for biopharmaceutical manufacturing. It markets its products through independent distribution channels and independent sales representatives to healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry, and the general public. The company was founded in 1897 and is headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Becton Dickinson (BDX) has gained 1.2% to $101.97 this morning after�Piper Jaffray�raised the stock to Overweight from Neutral. Analysts�William Quirk and�David Clair�explain why they’re optimistic about the medical technology company:

    Associated Press

    Observations from multiple diagnostic conferences all suggest significant interest in�microbiology investment. This interest spans track systems (Kiestra), new identification�technologies (Maldi/BioTyper) and Molecular (gram +/- assays). When considering�AST (antimicrobial susceptibility testing) recall from Siemens, we believe BD’s�microbiology business is poised to accelerate its performance over the next several years.�Combined with a delayed JNJ/Ypsomed pen needle launch and incremental European�safety adoption, we believe numbers for BD will continue to climb…

    They also raised their price target to $117 from $91.

    While Becton has gained today,�Johnson & Johnson�(JNJ) has dropped 0.6% to $88.50,�Medtronic�(MDT) has fallen 1%to $53.43,�Boston Scientific�(BSX) has declined 0.9% to $11.79 and Edwards Lifesciences (EW) is off 1.2% at $70.90.

  • [By Victor Selva]

    The company has a very attractive current ratio of 33.03% which is higher than its comps: Becton Dickinson & Co (BDX), Cardinal Health Inc (CAH), Cooper Companies (COO) and Luxottica Group S.p.A. (LUX).

  • [By ovenerio]

    Over the past days hedge funds have been filing their form 13-F, which is a quarterly report of equity holdings by filed institutional investment managers with at least $100 million in equity assets under management, as required by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In this article, let麓s concentrate in one particular hedge fund and try to see the principal holdings in its portfolio. I will look into America First Investment Advisor.Recently the fund reported its equity portfolio, as at the end of June. The total value of the portfolio amounted to $222.9 million, up from $203.2 million disclosed at the end of the previous quarter. Consequently, the fund's total return was 9.7% in the last quarter. The filing revealed that at the end of June, the fund added 14 new positions to its equity portfolio, and sold out of 24 other companies. The top ten portfolio holdings as of the end of the quarter represented 41.8%. The largest changes from previous 13-F麓s fillings are in the tech and energy sectors.In this article, we have selected three companies, in which the fund holds the largest stakes, in terms of market value.The first on the list is The Clorox Company (CLX), in which the fund disclosed a $10.53 million stake with over 115,150 shares. The company is a diversified producer of household cleaning, grocery and specialty food products is also a leading producer of natural personal care products.Long-Term VisionIn October 2013, Clorox introduced its 2020 Strategy. The 2020 Strategy focuses on delivering long-term, profitable growth through the year 2020. The key elements of its strategy to grow sales and earnings over the long term are: category, channel and geographic expansion, increased brand investment, and cost reductions.The company's long-term financial goals include:Growing net sales 3-5 percent annuallyExpanding EBIT margin 25-50 basis points annuallyGenerating free cash flow of 10% to 12% of sales annuallyIt has improved earnings

Top Dividend Companies For 2015: Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund(CFP)

Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund is a closed-ended equity fund of fund launched and managed by Cornerstone Advisors, Inc. The fund invests funds investing in the public equity markets of the United States. It invests in stocks of companies operating across diversified sectors. Cornerstone Progressive Return Fund was formed on April 26, 2007 and is domiciled in the United States.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    But you can see in several places the consequences of the stampede toward high yield. Here are just a few:

    Closed-end funds Cornerstone Progressive (NYSEMKT: CFP  ) and Pimco High Income (NYSE: PHK  ) both make fixed payments back to fund shareholders on a monthly basis, and their distribution yields are truly extraordinary, at about 17% and 12%, respectively. Those dividends have enticed shareholders to pay $1.30 to $1.40 or more for each $1 of assets in the funds. Yet during most months, a substantial portion of those distribution payments has simply been a return of investor capital rather than true income from the funds' investments. A recent study discussed in The Wall Street Journal found that returns on a portfolio with a combined value and dividend-income strategy outperformed a strategy focused more exclusively on maximizing dividends by an average of 1.7 percentage points per year, a huge edge in long-run returns. In the dividend ETF arena, most funds tend to focus on maximizing yield. Although the popular Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (NYSEMKT: VIG  ) ETF bucks the trend by screening first for consistent dividend growth and only then looking at yield as a factor, many rival ETFs start with high-yielding stocks as their baseline and only then consider other desirable traits. Others focus solely on high-dividend niches of the market, such as iShares FTSE NAREIT Mortgage-Plus (NYSEMKT: REM  ) and its concentration on high-yield mortgage REITs.

    When dividend stocks get too popular, their prices get out of line with both their dividend income and the fundamentals of the businesses that underlie those stocks. In simpler terms, when dividend stocks become bad values, it's time to consider looking elsewhere for a margin of safety.

Top 5 Casino Stocks To Invest In Right Now

Top 5 Casin o Stocks To Invest In Right Now: Boyd Gaming Corporation(BYD)

Boyd Gaming Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a multi-jurisdictional gaming company in the United States. As of December 31, 2011, the company owned and operated 1,042,787 square feet of casino space, containing approximately 25,973 slot machines, 655 table games, and 11,418 hotel rooms. It also owned and operated 16 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, and New Jersey. In addition, the company owns and operates a pari-mutuel jai-alai facility located in Dania Beach, Florida, as well as a travel agency in Hawaii. Further, it holds a 50% controlling interest in the limited liability company that operates Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Boyd Gaming Corporation was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Advisors' Opinion:
  • [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(".socialByline .popC"); ]

    Among the companies with shares expected to actively trade in Tuesday’s session are American Eagle Outfitters Inc.(AEO), Boyd Gaming Corp.(BYD) and Dick's Sporting Goods Inc.(DKS)

  • [By Wallace Witkowski]

    Shares of Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD)  rose 8% to $12.75 on moderate volume after hedge fund Elliot Associates L.P. disclosed in a regulatory filing it had acquired a 4.99% stake in the casino operator.

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD) reported an adjusted Q4 loss of $0.24 per share on revenue of $681.5 million. However, analysts were projecting a loss of $0.24 per share on revenue of $683.2 million. Boyd shares declined 3.96% to $11.15 in the after-hours trading session.

  • [By Travis Hoium]

    What: Shares of Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD  ) jumped 10% today after the company got an analyst upgrade.

    So what: Morgan Stanley upgraded shares to overweight today, and gave the stock a $12 price target. The analyst cited the potential for online gaming as the driver of the stock, potentially bringing as much revenue to the industry as Las Vegas and Atlantic City combined.  

  • source from Top Stocks For 2015:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

4 New Online Money Management Tools Worth A Try

I may have found some new ways to get you out of a personal finance funk.

This is the gnawing feeling many of us have that we're not managing our money well and are paying too much for 401(k)s, mutual funds, brokers and financial planners.

But four nascent websites and apps unveiled this week at the annual Finovate Fall 2013 conference in New York City could offer what you need to grow your wealth, reach your financial goals and save some money. I'd even call one of them fun. (I wrote about four others after last year's Finovate: Credit Sesame,, PayTap and My Virtual StrongBox; I'm glad to say these are all still around and expanding.)

My Gripes With Personal Financial Management Tools

Bear in mind that I approach this subject as someone who hasn't been a huge fan of these electronic helpers because, as I wrote in "Personal Financial Management Tools Flunk," many require a lot of effort and offer little payoff.

What's more, with so many of these products vying for your attention, it's easy to be overwhelmed by all the alternatives.

(MORE: The Key to Making Smart Money Decisions)

Says Ron Shevlin, a senior analyst at the financial services consultancy, the Aite Group: "I found six screens for apps to manage your financial life just beginning with the letter 'A' in the app store."

Here's my quick guide to four promising sites and apps from Finovate, along with my caveats:

Day-to-Day Money Management

I was intrigued by two free sites for consumers: FlexScore and Guide Financial.

(Two other helpful new tools, Yodlee's Tandem and MoneyDesktop's Guide Me, will be offered by financial institutions to their customers. Tandem is a collaborative money-management program that could be useful for people with financial responsibilities for their adult kids and their elderly parents. Guide Me provides a snazzy visual representation of your financial goals in bubbles whose size is based on how much money they'll require.)

FlexScore, my Finovite favorite, is fun to use and free. The site calculates a personal finance score for you based on how well you're managing your money (it takes about 15 minutes for you to enter your information). Then it shows you how to raise the number, with the goal of reaching a perfect 1,000.

Lower your mortgage rate through refinancing and you might raise your FlexScore 24 points; update your life insurance and it could go up 16 points.

Your score will drop if you make a dumb money move, such as taking the money you save from refinancing and putting it all into one stock. "You'll get dinged for a lack of diversification," says Jeff Burrow, FlexScore's president and co-founder, who is also a financial adviser.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Don Trone: Dodd-Frank, SEC Are a ‘Disaster’

Professor Arthur Laby might have gone back 80 years in his discussion of fiduciary at TD Ameritrade’s Fiduciary Leadership Summit in Palm Beach, Fla., but Don Trone was having none of it.

“I’m going to start with the 4th century B.C. and Aristotle’s notion of ethos,” Trone began during his portion of the afternoon presentation. “It involves leadership, stewardship and governance. I just described something without naming it. What could it be?”

When Trone, president of the Leadership Center for Investment Stewards, heard fiduciary shouted from the audience, he noted the definition of fiduciary he frequently hears.

“It’s often defined as doing what’s in the best interest of the client,” he explained. “Every time I hear it I do this sort of Popeye face. I think, ‘really?’ I’ve never gotten behind that definition because for a true fiduciary, it doesn’t have to be talked about; it’s just understood.”

 Referring to his time as a Coast Guard search and rescue pilot, Trone noted he never once had to say he would jeopardize his life to save others; it was just understood.

“Through the eyes of your clients, you have to be viewed as a leader. If you’re not, you’ll never be able to take them through a financial crisis.”

Trone claimed that everything elite advisors are doing evolved from “fiduciary requirements for ethical discernment.”

“Three major events occurred as fiduciary was developing,” Trone said. “The rise of the personal computer allowed for tools like asset allocation software, reporting features and others. Then there was the rise of no-load products and lastly there were investment advisory custodial platforms. Had the confluence of these events not happened at the same time as fiduciary, we would not have the industry we do today.”

Trone didn’t disappoint in making frank and controversial statements, something for which the retired military man is known.

“The SEC RFI is a disaster,” he said. “You cannot compare suitability and fiduciary. It’s like comparing was and peace, which are asymmetrical concepts. I can tell you what war costs, but there is no way to quantify peace. You can calculate suitability, but how do you quantify fiduciary?”

Likewise, he called Dodd-Frank a disaster. Referring to the previous days keynote speaker, former Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Trone said none of the objectives of the law that Frank described would be achieved through more rules and regulations.

“Aristotle noted that rules do not improve the behavior of a society," he said. "More importantly, more rules in modern society promote a dangerous ‘checkmark’ mentality.”


Check out 80 Years of Fiduciary in 15 Minutes: TDAI Fiduciary Summit on AdvisorOne.

Read more about Trone and other advisors in the military in Honoring Advisors Who Serve(d): Memorial Day, 2013.