Market Stocks

Investors know that oil prices and terrorism, two things that really cannot be controlled, have a large influence on the stock market. Many investors avoid airline stocks for this reason. They cannot control one of their biggest expenses (fuel) and an act of terrorism can seriously damage the industry.

Why are cruise stocks any better? Rising fuel costs and Hurricane Katrina led to lower stock prices for companies like Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. These two cruise lines account for about 75 percent of the cruise industry, worldwide.

When George Allen Smith IV, from Connecticut, vanished while on a Royal Caribbean cruise, the industry received a lot of negative publicity.

Certainly, there are many negatives for cruise stocks, but some investors are bullish. First, there is no direct indication that the vanishing honeymooner from Connecticut has hurt ticket prices. Valuations on these stocks also look good.

Carnival Corp. trades at 16 times estimated 2006 earnings; its historic range is 10 to 30 times earnings. Royal Caribbean trades at 14 times estimated 2006 earnings; its historic range is 5 to 24 times earnings. Growth potential is strong as only 4 percent of Americans have ever taken a cruise.

When considering cruise stocks, remember the risks. A sharp rise in fuel prices or another terrorist attack would likely have a negative impact on cruise stocks. In my opinion the risk outweighs the possible reward as I don’t expect cruise lines to significantly outperform the broader market.

A Quick review on how Warren Buffett pick and review stocks he buys. This is great…………..

Understanding Financial Statements

Financial statements (or financial reports) are a record of a business’ financial flows and levels.
The big four statements are:

1. Balance sheet which describes a company’s assets and liabilities.
2. Income statement which describes a company’s income and expenses.
3. Statement of Cash Flows which describes how corporate operating, investment, and financing activities have affected the company’s cash position.
4. Statement of Retained Earnings which describes changes to shareholders equity (for example a payment of dividend).
Because these statements are generally complex an extensive set of Notes to the Financial Statements and management discussion and analysis is usually included. The notes will generally describe each item on the Balance Sheet and Income statement in further detail. In many cases the notes are much longer than the financial statement they are elucidating.
If a company has extraordinary things that affect the balance sheet or the shareholders equity position it will usually include a Other Comprehensive Income Statement, which describes the adjustments to made. Examples of Other Comprehensive Income include revaluation of corporate assets away from their stated cost, as well as accruals for liabilities.
Income Statement: An income statement, otherwise known as a profit and loss statement, is a summary of a company’s profit or loss during any one given period of time, such as a month, three months, or one year. The income statement records all revenues for a business during this given period, as well as the operating expenses for the business. It is very important to format an income statement so that it is appropriate to the business being conducted. Income statements, along with balance sheets, are the most basic elements required by potential lenders, such as banks, investors, and vendors. They will use the financial reporting contained therein to determine credit limits.

Statement of Changes in Financial Position: A statement of changes in financial position (also referred to as the Cash flow Statement) reports the amount of cash coming in (cash receipts) and the amount of cash going out (cash payments or disbursements) during a specified period. Business activities result in either a net cash inflow (receipts greater than payments) or a net cash outflow (payments greater than receipts) during a period. The cash flow statement shows the net increase or decrease in cash during the period and the cash balance at the end of the period. It explains the causes for the changes in the cash balance. The cash flow statement covers a span of time.

Financial Solutions

A debt management company has the prhyme purpose to help debt laden individuals or business find their way out of debt. Rather than just extend more credit to the consumer; however, the company instead offers services that enables the consumer to consolidate all outstanding debts into a single, more comfortable payment amount that can be easily managed in installments.

Debt management and consolidation opportunities are well suited options for businesses that find themselves on the verge of filing bankruptcy. A common ratio that is seen as the warning point is when more than 40% of the after-tax income is being used to repay debts. Anything above the 40% mark is often seen as unmanageable.

Professional debt management companies have experienced counselors who are trained to take a good, hard look at your income, your expenses, and your spending habits and advise you as to what needs to be done. They are also able to negotiate with your creditors in order to arrange for additional items on your behalf such as lower interest rates, longer repayment periods, etc. Your credit counselor will even talk go the unpleasant and often rude representatives of any collection agents that may have been hassling you. This, in and of itself, is a blessing.

When selecting a debt management company, keep in mind that there are several different types. Some are for-profit and others are not-for-profit. The for-profit organizations charge a somewhat heft fee but almost always provide excellent, high quality services. Not-for-profit agencies often are paid through government funding and grants and therefore may be overworked and backlogged. Selecting a firm of either type should be a major decision for you and you should do any research to find the best possible alternative to assist you in your situation. One thing to look at when selecting an agency is how often they pay the creditors on your behalf. If they pay weekly or frequently you will get lower interest rates and no late fees. If they don’t pay out regularly, there may be any financial instability or a lack of reserve funds. These are big warning signs to you as a consumer and you should probably put your trust and monies elsewhere.

Beyond hiring an agency, however, there are any simple do it yourself debt management solutions you can try. Here are any suggestions:

- First of all find a way to manage credit card debt. For example, replace your credit card with a debit card. By limiting your spending to money you have in hand (or bank) you alleviate the interest rate which equates to money in your pocket. Most consumer debt is acquired through the use of credit cards. If you are uncertain about a debit card, trade the credit card in for the old fashioned and very hard earned cash. If you don’t see yourself losing the credit card or gaining the debit card, you should, at the very least, find the lowest interest rate card you can and transfer your balances over.

- Additionally, if you own a home, consider taking out a home equity loan to pay off the debts. Generally any interest rate a home equity loan would have would be much less than the interest rate on a credit card and thus it is again, a way to ultimately save money. Keep in mind, however, that if you continue with the wreckless spending habits, the home is now collateral on the loan and you could wind up losing it if you default on the loan.

- Consider whether or not you should consolidate debt. Taking out a debt consolidation loan to move all your debts into one loan and minimize your exposure and payments. The interest will be less on the consolidation loan than the cumulative amount it would be between the other debts which would result in a significant savings to you over time.

- Consider selling items you no longer use or need. Extra income generated through any types of sales could be placed toward your outstanding debts.

Any of these debt management solutions will help make a difference in a personal or small business financial plan and will assist in making you debt free and worry free before you know it.

Call Now: (213) 388-8400 3255 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1600 Los Angeles, California 90010 Ed@mofradfinancial. Com.