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Patrick McKeough is one of Canada’s top safe-money advisors. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and The Hulbert Financial Digest have all recognized his ability to find stocks with hidden value. He is editor and publisher of The Successful Investor, Stock Pickers Digest, Wall Street Stock Forecaster and Canadian Wealth Advisor; inventor of the Quick Profit/Value System and the ValuVesting System™. A best-selling Canadian author, he wrote Riding the Bull, the book that predicted the 1990s stock-market boom.

Investment Advice

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From time to time, companies set up one or more of their divisions or subsidiaries as an independent company, then hand out shares in that company to their own shareholders, as a special dividend or “spinoff”.

Many investors seem to view spinoffs as a nuisance, because they leave you with a tiny holding in a stock you didn’t choose and …read more »

Trading online through a discount broker, rather than with a full-service broker, is now the preferred option for many investors.

The main advantage of switching to a discount stock broker is lower commissions. Commission rates can be even cheaper if you trade stocks with your discount broker online, as opposed to placing orders over the telephone.

Although lower commissions are a …read more »

Pat McKeough responds to many personal questions about stock investing and other investment topics from the members of his Inner Circle. Every week, his comments and recommendations on the most intriguing questions of the past week go out to all Inner Circle members. And each week, we offer you one of the highlights from these Q&A sessions. While we reserveread more »

MCDONALD’S CORP. $87 (New York symbol MCD; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares outstanding: 1.0 billion; Market cap: $87.0 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 3.2; Dividend yield: 3.5%; TSINetwork Rating: Above Average; www.mcdonalds.com) is seeing stronger competition from other fast-food chains. The higher U.S. dollar is also undermining the value of its overseas profits.

In the three months ended September 30, 2012, …read more »

These two leading banks have recovered strongly from the 2008/2009 financial crisis. Their healthier balance sheets and tighter lending policies have also lowered the risk of future writedowns. We feel J.P. Morgan is the better choice right now.

WELLS FARGO & CO. $34 (New York symbol WFC; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Finance sector; Shares outstanding: 5.3 billion; Market cap: $180.2 billion;read more »

PHILIPS ELECTRONICS N.V. ADRs $25 (New York symbol PHG; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; ADRs outstanding: 1.0 billion; Market cap: $25.0 billion; Priceto- sales ratio: 0.8; Dividend yield: 3.7%; TSINetwork Rating: Average; www.philips.com) continues to make progress with a major restructuring plan that includes cutting 4% of its workforce. This should save it 1.1 billion euros annually by …read more »

FEDEX CORP. $91 (New York symbol FDX; Aggressive Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares outstanding: 314.1 million; Market cap: $28.6 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 0.7; Dividend yield: 0.6%; TSI Network Rating: Average; www.fedex.com) is seeing lower demand for its overnight international air delivery services. That’s because the uncertain economy is prompting shippers to use lower but cheaper forms of transportation, such …read more »

NVIDIA CORP. $12 (Nasdaq symbol NVDA; Aggressive Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; Shares outstanding: 619.5 million; Market cap: $7.4 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 1.9; No dividends paid; TSINetwork Rating: Average; www.nvidia.com) is down 5% in the past three months, mainly due to concerns that slowing sales of new computers will hurt demand for its graphic chips.

However, the company continues to …read more »

MCGRAW-HILL COMPANIES INC. $55 (New York symbol MHP; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares outstanding: 280.2 million; Market cap: $15.4 billion; Price-to-sales ratio: 2.4; Dividend yield: 1.9%; TSINetwork Rating: Average; www.mcgraw-hill.com) will soon split into two separate, publicly traded companies.

One of these new firms, McGraw-Hill Financial, will sell financial-information products. This business will include Standard & Poor’s, which provides …read more »

“Theme investing” can pay off from time to time. Recent investment themes have included renewable energy and emerging markets such as China and India. Today’s most popular investment themes include social media.

However, theme investing can turn out badly for investors, especially those who get in late or forget about investment quality.

The reason why is straightforward. When you indulge in …read more »

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