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It's Actually Pretty Easy Being Green

Our modern world is built on plastic. Plastics have made our lives healthier, more comfortable and more convenient. Unfortunately, they’ve also damaged the planet horribly.

Right now there’s a patch of plastic waste the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean. Oil-based plastics can take decades to break down, centuries even. Some may never fully disintegrate.

We can recycle plastic, true. But most of it ends up in landfills or the ocean, poisoning our land and water with harmful chemicals. But there is a solution. And believe it or not, we’ve known about it for centuries…

Hemp.

This wonder crop has dozens of …read more […]

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There’s Nothing Crude About This Investment

Fun fact: The U.S. ended 2018 as the world’s top crude oil producer, shipping 11.99 million barrels per day (bpd) to surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia.

But this production growth hasn’t come without environmental costs. There were two major oil spills in the U.S. last year. And who can forget the 2017 Keystone XL pipeline fiasco in South Dakota?

Now one of the world’s largest tech companies is helping the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company “clean up” its act, spelling good news for shareholders.

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) announced a groundbreaking pact recently. Microsoft …read more […]

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America's Retirement Crisis (and How We Can Help)

Let’s be honest. The U.S. has a serious retirement problem…

The Club’s Bond Strategist Steve McDonald writes extensively about this issue.

About 42% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.

Even most of those with retirement accounts don’t have enough to last a long retirement. The median account balance for Americans nearing retirement is $15,000.

And that money is supposed to last them the rest of their lives!

Don’t look to the government for help. Social Security’s reserve funds will be depleted by 2034. Medicare will most likely become insolvent by 2026. The country is in massive debt… and so are many Americans.

The …read more […]

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Africa’s Astonishing Growth and Unstoppable Bull Market

Mention developing economies… and China and India likely come to mind. It’s true both countries are growing fast. But China is nearly a developed nation, and India isn’t too far behind.

To find the fastest-growing economies, you’d have to travel to Africa.

More than a dozen of the fastest-growing economies in the world are located in Africa. Chief among them is Ethiopia. The East African nation has seen an incredible 10% average annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the past decade.

It’s not just Ethiopia that’s booming either…

Senegal’s GDP is growing at 7%, the Ivory Coast’s is growing at 8% and the …read more […]

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What China’s Slowing Economy Means for You

Since 1990, China’s economic engine has been an impressive machine.

Since 2010, however, it seems to have blown a cylinder.

While a 6.6% growth rate is something most countries would kill for, China’s growth has been declining year after year.

So what’s happening?

In short, the “Middle Kingdom” (Mandarin translation for the country’s name) is shifting from developing to developed. Meteoric growth is common in poor countries where labor is cheap and plentiful.

That’s how China used to be. But its economy is a fundamentally different animal now…

China has a burgeoning middle class that’s larger than America’s entire population. It’s outsourcing its cheap labor to …read more […]

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How to Profit From the Cyborg Revolution

What if I told you we may not be too far off from The Six Million Dollar Man? The truth is we aren’t, and you can profit from this cyborg revolution.

Robotics is an exploding industry. It’s expected more than $66 billion will be spent in the robotics sector by 2025. The medical industry in particular will change completely thanks to robotics.

The future is now, and here’s why…

Take bionic prosthetics for example. Imagine robotic limbs that can be controlled with your brain. Well, you don’t have to. That technology is already here…

The most advanced robotic limb known to the public is …read more […]

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It's Elementary

Thanks to Elon Musk, most people think battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs) are the future of transportation. Tesla’s (Nasdaq: TSLA) lithium-ion battery technology is impressive to be sure.

But BEVs haven’t won just yet. They have a serious competitor, and it’s all around us.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) refuel as fast as gas-powered cars. They also have greater range than their battery-powered counterparts…

Hyundai’s Nexo can do 380 miles on one tank of hydrogen. That’s about what most modern cars gets on one tank of gas… and it’s 40% farther than the Tesla Model X can go in between charges.

The main issue with …read more […]

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Is IBM a “Buy”? This Chart Says Yes...

The stock rally is back. And so is investor optimism.

According to CNN’s Fear & Greed Index, market sentiment has now reached “Greed” levels after several months in the “Extreme Fear” range.

It’s another sign that it’s time to take a serious look at the opportunities that lie in the market today.

Among the strongest stocks to rebound have been technology stocks, which were some of the biggest victims of the recent correction after years of above-average performance.

But that’s no surprise…

High volatility cuts both ways. Stocks with great momentum moving up often have harsher pullbacks on the way down.

That’s why I’m closely monitoring …read more […]

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I, Robot. You, Profit.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the future. While AI hasn’t reached futuristic science fiction levels yet, huge sums of money have flowed into developing these marvelous machines.

Despite hiccups, like Microsoft’s memorable Tay (the millennial AI bot) and Google and Stanford’s bot that cheated to complete its task, these machines could revolutionize, well, everything. And while AI might be gaining traction slowly, research firm Gartner believes it could be worth almost $4 trillion by 2022.

As you’d expect, tech giants, like Google’s parent company, Alphabet (Nasdaq: GOOGL), and IBM (NYSE: IBM) are the biggest names in AI. But there are also some companies …read more […]

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Take These 6 Urgent Steps to Avoid “Negative Wealth Shock”

Most of us take practical steps to maintain good health.

We promise to eat less sugar, fewer refined carbs, and more leafy greens and antioxidant-filled fruits.

We resist binge-watching that new Netflix series to spend time outside or in the gym.

We try to stop smoking, use alcohol in moderation (or not at all) and put on sunscreen before we head to the beach.

But if you truly want to protect your health, there’s something else you need to do: Turn down the risk in your portfolio.

According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), losing a significant percentage of …read more […]

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Investing in American Longevity

The U.S. is facing a very modern crisis: an aging population and a low birth rate. Unlike other developed countries, however, we’re at the ready.

The chart above shows that by 2060, the number of Americans aged 65 and over will be close to 90 million. Nearly half of those will be over 75.

These numbers are nearly three times what they were in 1990.

Baby boomers are the generation of Americans born between 1946 and 1964. Boomers retire at a rate of around 10,000 per day. They represent nearly 23% of the total U.S. population and are driving the growth in the …read more […]

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The Most Important Thing to Do Before New Year’s Day

“But it’s the holidays…”

We’ve all heard it before…

It’s our go-to excuse for neglecting diets, exercise regimens and social engagements.

But most concerning, we hear it from investors as an excuse to slack off on their finances.

“But it’s the holidays…” is not an excuse for neglecting your portfolio. In fact, it could be costing you money.

Now’s the time when you should be giving your portfolio some added attention. It will ensure you enter 2019 with a boost of momentum.

And here’s why it’s so important…

Asset allocation is responsible for as much as 90% of your long-term investment returns. That’s right. It’s not stock …read more […]

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Santa Claus Is Coming to Wall Street

It’s the most wonderful time of year again. The markets may have you feeling otherwise, but this should restore some of your holiday cheer…

The upward trend of holiday retail sales since 2014 continues this year. Experts are expecting this to be the first $1 trillion Christmas. The best part is you can get a slice of that trillion dollars and have a little fun with your investments at the same time.

Last week, I showed you there are some strange ETFs out there. Today, I’m really going to prove it.

I found two more examples that demonstrate there really and truly is …read more […]

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Of ETFs and Oddballs

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are one of the fastest-growing investment opportunities out there today. If current trends continue, they’ll even overtake mutual funds in terms of market share and assets under management.

As of 2017, there were more than 2,000 U.S.-based ETFs and more than 4,000 globally.

In any group that large, there are bound to be a few oddballs. There’s an ETF related to gambling, one dealing with livestock and even a MAGA ETF that invests in companies that back Republicans.

As you can see, ETFs aren’t your dad’s fund investments. They’re more personalized, diverse and flexible than mutual funds.

I’ve found two to …read more […]

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Altria Pays a Big Dividend… but is it Safe?

Altria Group (NYSE: MO) shares have dropped 25% this year due to disappointing sales growth, regulation, and management changes. As a result, the Altria dividend yield has climbed back towards its 10-year average. Altria now pays about a 6% yield but the important question, is the dividend safe? To answer this, let’s look at the business and dividend trends…
Altria Dividend Supported by a Big Business
Altria Group is a $102 billion business that operates out of Richmond, Virginia. Altria employs 8,300 people and makes about $2.3 million per employee in sales. That works out to $19 billion in total sales.

Altria is …read more […]