You're not alone: American consumer debt shot up in late 2013 by the most in more than six years, according to a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As of late last year total U.S. outstanding consumer debt stood at almost $3.1 trillion, with baby boomers and members of Generation X (born between the mid-1960s and 1980) reporting individual debt averaging more than $100,000.
Here are ways to help get your financial life back on track and put you in control of your financial future.
Stop spending. Get spending under control so you don't add to your debt going forward. If possible, stop unnecessary spending.
What's unnecessary? Learn to tell your needs from your wants ��your phone bill now two months in arrears versus that cutting-edge cool smartphone, for example. Many people hit financial trouble by spending to reward themselves with items they really don't need.
Hot Airline Stocks To Own For 2015: Fox Chase Bancorp Inc. (FXCB)
Fox Chase Bancorp, Inc. operates as the holding company for Fox Chase Bank that provides financial services to consumers and businesses in Philadelphia and New Jersey. Its deposit products include non-interest-bearing demand accounts, such as checking accounts; interest-bearing accounts, including negotiable order of withdrawal and money market accounts; savings and club accounts; brokered deposits; and certificates of deposit. The company�s loan products portfolio comprises multi-family and commercial real estate loans; one-to four-family residential real estate loans that enable borrowers to purchase or refinance existing homes; commercial and industrial loans offered to professionals, sole proprietorships, and small and mid-size businesses; construction loans comprising adjustable-rate and fixed-rate loans offered to individuals, builders, and developers to finance the construction of residential dwellings, as well as loans offered for commercial development projects, including apartment buildings, restaurants, shopping centers, schools, and other owner-occupied properties used for businesses; and consumer loans, which include home equity loans and lines of credit, loans to individuals to purchase insurance policies, loans secured by certificate of deposits, and unsecured overdraft lines of credit. It also offers cash management services. In addition, the company manages and holds investment securities; and secures, manages, and holds foreclosed real estate. It operates through 11 branches in Philadelphia, Richboro, Willow Grove, Warminster, Lahaska, Hatboro, Media, and West Chester, Pennsylvania; and Ocean City, Marmora, and Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. The company is headquartered in Hatboro, Pennsylvania.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Tim Melvin]
To start, Seidman disclosed a position in Fox Chase Bancorp (FXCB), located in Hatboro, Pa. The bank is trading right around book value and has been a holding of mine for some time now. Me. Seidman owns a little over 5% of the bank.
Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: ProShares Short QQQ (PSQ)ProShares Short QQQ is focused on daily investment results that correspond to the inverse (opposite) of the daily performance of the NASDAQ-100 Index. The NASDAQ-100 Index represents non-financial domestic and international issues listed on The NASDAQ Stock Market. The Fund takes positions in financial instruments (including derivatives) that in combination should have similar daily return characteristics as the inverse of the NASDAQ-100 Index. ProShares Short QQQ will not directly sell short the equity securities of issuers contained in the NASDAQ-100 Index. The Fund will concentrates its investments in a particular industry or group of industries to approximately the same extent as the Index is so concentrated. ProShare Advisors LLC serves as the investment advisor to the Fund. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By MONEYMORNING.COM]
It's the ProShares Short QQQ (NYSE: PSQ). The good thing about this type of inverse ETF is that it pays you when the Nasdaq drops roughly on a 1-to-1 basis. For every percentage point the index goes down, PSQ rises by that amount.
Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Omega Healthcare Investors Inc.(OHI)
Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) in the United States. The company invests in healthcare facilities, principally long-term healthcare facilities in the United States. It provides lease or mortgage financing to qualified operators of skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), as well as to assisted living facilities (ALFs), independent living facilities (ILFs), and rehabilitation and acute care facilities. As of March 31, 2011, the company?s portfolio of real estate investments consisted of 400 healthcare facilities, including 370 SNFs, 10 ALFs, 5 specialty facilities, fixed rate mortgages on 13 SNFs, and 2 SNFs that are held-for-sale located in 35 states. Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. has been qualified as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. As a REIT, it would not be subject to federal corporate income taxes if it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. The company was founded in 1992 and is bas ed in Hunt Valley, Maryland.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Brad Thomas]
REITs mentioned: (VTR), (OHI), (O), (DLR), (HCP), (HTA), (KIM), (FRT), (SPG), and (SKT).
Note: This article is intended to provide information to interested parties. As I have no knowledge of individual investor circumstances, goals, and/or portfolio concentration or diversification, readers are expected to complete their own due diligence before purchasing any stocks mentioned or recommended.
Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: TCW Strategic Income Fund Inc (TSI)
TCW Strategic Income Fund, Inc. (the Fund), formerly TCW Convertible Securities Fund, Inc., incorporated on January 13, 1987, is a diversified closed-end investment management company. The Fund's investment objective is to seek a total return consisting of current income and capital appreciation by investing in convertible securities, marketable equity securities, investment-grade debt securities, high-yield debt securities, options, and securities issued or guaranteed by the United States Government, its agencies and instrumentalities (U.S. Government Securities). The Fund also invests in repurchase agreements, mortgage-related securities, asset-backed securities, money market securities and other securities.
The Fund may invest in repurchase agreements secured by U.S. Government Securities. The Fund invests in sectors, such as financial services, aerospace and defense, airlines, automobiles, banking, commercial services, electric utilities, insurance, media, utilities, biotechnology and chemicals. The Fund�� investment advisor is TCW Investment Management Company.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Dividends4Life]
According to a Gabelli Funds report, managed distribution policies offer several advantages, including:1. Lower difference between the fund�� market price and its NAV per share.2. Provides support during periods when the stock market is in a decline.3. Provides a measurable performance target for the investment adviser.Below are several high-yield funds from CEFA that have a managed distribution policy (yields as of December 16):Aberdeen Australia Eqty (IAF)- Distribution Yield: 10.4%- Income Yield: 3.46%Bexil Advisers LLC� (DNI)- Distribution Yield: 11.1%- Income Yield: 3.56%BlackRock En Capital&Inc (CII)- Distribution Yield: 8.78%- Income Yield: 2.34%Cornerstone Strat Value (CLM)- Distribution Yield: 18.77%- Income Yield: 1.83%Cornerstone Total Return (CRF)- Distribution Yield: 19.10%- Income Yield: 0.85%Delaware Inv Div & Inc (DDF)- Distribution Yield: 6.70%- Income Yield: 5.26%Gabelli Equity Trust (GAB)- Distribution Yield: 7.58%- Income Yield: 1.54%Gabelli Utility Trust (GUT)- Distribution Yield: 9.45%- Income Yield: 2.84%MFS Special Value Trust (MFV)- Distribution Yield: 9.60%- Income Yield: 5.73%Nuveen Tx-Adv TR Strat (JTA)- Distribution Yield: 6.70%- Income Yield: 3.12%TCW Strategic Income (TSI)- Distribution Yield: 10.54%- Income Yield: 7.88%Zweig Total Return (ZTR)- Distribution Yield: 7.27%- Income Yield: 1.95%As noted in the Gabelli report, a managed distribution policy may create confusion regarding the true current yield since the reported yield includes the return of capital portion. You can see the disparity above between the income yield and the distribution (reported) yield.If you are looking for a sustainable and growing dividend, you may want to consider some blue-chip dividend stocks such as these with a Free Cash Flow Payout less than 50%, 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases and a 2%+ yield:3M Co. (MMM) is a diversified global company provides enhanced product functionality in electronics, health care, industrial, consumer
Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Texas Pacific Land Trust(TPL)
Texas Pacific Land Trust engages in the sale, lease, and management of land in the United States. It also retains oil and gas royalties, and involves in temporary cash investments. The company leases land to the ranching industry for grazing purposes. As of March 31, 2011, it owned surface rights in 949,355 acres of land in 20 counties in Texas; and 318 town lots in Loraine. The company also owned a 1/128 nonparticipating perpetual oil and gas royalty interest under 85,414 acres of land; and a 1/16 nonparticipating perpetual oil and gas royalty interest under 386,988 acres of land in the western part of Texas. Texas Pacific Land Trust was founded in 1888 and is based in Dallas, Texas.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By John Udovich]
Texas has just set another record for job creation���meaning it might be worth it for investors to take a closer look at Texas based stocks like El Paso Electric Company (NYSE: EE), Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE: TPL) and Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE: ATO) that have good exposure to the booming Texas economy. I should mention that I wrote about�these stocks before back in late 2012�(see: Do These Texas Stocks offer Texas Sized Returns? EE, ATO & TPL),�but the Texas Workforce Commission has reported that the Texas economy added 36,400 jobs in September while over the past 12 months, employers added 413,700 jobs ��the most ever recorded by the state. In addition, several companies surveyed by the Dallas Fed responded that they are seeing labor market tightness plus companies are saying they are experiencing upward wage pressures while�staffing�firms�note that�candidates are often receiving multiple offers. Given that Texas is a deep ��ed state���ith a business friendly climate where taxes and regulations are much lighter than in any ��lue state,��there is no reason to believe the boom won�� continue.
Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Barratt Developments PLC (BDEV)Barratt Developments PLC is a holding company. The Company�� principal activities consists of acquiring and developing land, planning, designing and constructing residential property developments and selling the homes it builds. The Company operates in two segments: housebuilding and commercial developments. The Company operates across a spectrum of the market from flats to family homes and urban regeneration schemes. The Company also has a focused commercial developments business. The Company builds a range of homes ranging from those for first-time buyers, to family homes, to high-rise flats and affordable housing. The Company�� housebuilding business trades under the Barratt Homes, David Wilson Homes and Ward Homes brands. The Company�� subsidiaries include BDW Trading Limited, BDW North Scotland Limited, David Wilson Homes Limited and Wilson Bowden Developments Limited. Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Inyoung Hwang]
U.K. homebuilders declined as increasing bond yields spurred concern rising interest rates may hinder the housing recovery. Barratt Developments Plc (BDEV) sank 7.4 percent, Persimmon Plc fell 3.6 percent and Taylor Wimpey Plc lost 3.7 percent.
Hot Financial Companies To Watch For 2014: Urstadt Biddle Properties Inc. (UBA)
Urstadt Biddle Properties, Inc., a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the acquisition, ownership, and management of commercial real estate properties in the United States. Its properties primarily consist of neighborhood and community shopping centers, office buildings, and industrial properties in Fairfield County, Connecticut; Westchester and Putnam Counties, New York; and Bergen County, New Jersey. As of October 31, 2007, the company owned or had an equity interest in 39 properties containing approximately 3.7 million square feet of gross leasable area. As a REIT, it is not subject to federal income tax to the extent that it distributes at least 90% of its REIT taxable income to its stockholders. The company was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Fairfield County, Connecticut.Advisors' Opinion:
- [By Rich Smith]
Urstadt Biddle Properties (NYSE: UBP ) (NYSE: UBA ) -- the real estate investment trust with two tickers -- now has two separate executives at the top of its corporate structure, as well.