Another Banner Year for Stocks

The good times kept rolling on Wall Street in 2014.
Stocks continued their unrelenting march further into record territory. The S&P 500 was up more than 12%, topping 2,000 points for the first time in history. The NASDAQ performed even better, advancing more than 14%, threatening to top 5,000 points as we enter 2015.
Meanwhile, 275 companies went public on U.S. exchanges, the most IPOs since the dot-com boom era. Unemployment dipped to a six-year low, consumer confidence hit a seven-year high, and the Fed finally decided the U.S. economy was well enough to pull the plug on quantitative easing.
Even in the face of ISIS, an Ebola outbreak and continued European debt woes, those factors were enough to extend the post-recession bull rally on Wall Street to a sixth year. It has now been three and a half years since the last pullback of 10% or more.
Can the rally extend to a seventh year in 2015? To bet against it, at this point, would be foolish. The bears and the talking heads on CNBC have gotten it wrong for months – years even – in saying that a major correction is imminent. Eventually, one will come. Stocks have never risen in a straight line forever, and they won’t this  time. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will occur in the next 12 months.
If 2015 is even close to as fruitful as 2014 was, we should all be very happy.
But before we look forward, let’s close the books on another record-setting year for the markets. Here is a sampling of our year-end coverage over these past two holiday-abbreviated weeks.
Five Best Dividend Stocks for 2015With 2014 nearly in the books, it is time to start thinking about 2015. Here’s why you should focus on dividends for next year, and some top choices to consider.
How to Utilize the Small Dogs of the Dow Strategy– Heard of the “Dogs of the Dow” investment strategy? This one’s even easier – and more effective.
Resolving to Boost – and Balance – Your Retirement Savings– Looking for a New Year’s resolution? Try improving your retirement savings.
Keys to a Long Life: Diet, Exercise … And Investing– New Year’s resolutions are on the way. Here’s a novel reason why becoming a better investor should be one of them. 
A Reason Investing Should Believe in the Santa Claus Rally– Even if you don’t believe in Santa Claus, the numbers say you should believe in the Santa Claus Rally.
Have You Heard of “Dividend Al Capones”?– Like old Scarface himself, these American businesses control vast empires that generate extreme amounts of cash. And we’ve found three companies that are so profitable… so rich… they’re paying huge dividends. The Wall Street Journal calls them “mega-dividend payers.”
Year in Review: Time to Check in with Your Retirement Portfolio– The end of the year is often an ideal time to reflect and assess. And that’s especially true when it comes to your retirement portfolio.
One Shot, One Killer Dividend with this ActionWhile it is impossible to time the stock market, or any asset class for that matter, a reliable sniper’s tactic can be used to assemble a high-dividend-yield portfolio of solid oil and natural gas companies.
Three Stocks with Strong Economic Moats to Own in 2015Economic moats are no secret, but they remain an underrated angle for long-term investing. Here are three best bets for 2015.
A Biotech Trend You Haven’t Heard OfIncreasingly, biotech is being applied in industry to develop industrially useful chemicals, foods, textiles and biofuels. This fascinating movement, best described as industrial biotechnology, is under the radar of most investors. Here’s how to play it.
Top Five Buyback Stocks Worth OwningStock buybacks get a bad rap, but for some businesses they can be a shareholder’s best friend.
As always, thanks for spending the weekend with us. We hope to continue helping you meet – or exceed – your financial goals as we enter a New Year.
Good investing – and Happy New Year!

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