Dipping a Toe in the Market

 
Tour de France

Good Questions Outrank Easy Answers

Stock Market Video

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I wasn't in the Cabot office for nearly three weeks at the end of August and beginning of September and I'll bet you didn't even know it. That's because we all work together to keep things running smoothly when someone takes a vacation.

You're probably wondering where I went ...

Well, I was getting married and then taking a lovely honeymoon to France! It was a fantastic time and I feel refreshed and rejuvenated ... and ready to get back to work. But first, let me re-cap my adventures ...

The wedding itself, held on the shores of beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, was perfect. Friends and family came in from around the U.S. and the world (even all the way from the Virgin Islands!) and we were able to enjoy the lake all weekend, as Hurricane Irene didn't storm in until Sunday when the festivities were nearly over. (Side note: My grandmother's middle name was Irene.)

It's difficult to sum the wedding up, so I'll just say that it was perfect (even though things went wrong, as they always do) and while I'm happy the planning part is over, I'm a little wistful that the event itself has passed. It was truly the best and happiest day of my life, an incredibly special time that is unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.

As to France. First we headed south, to Nice, which sits right on the Mediterranean near the fancier locations of St. Tropez and Cannes, where celebrities seem to always be jetting off to for luxurious vacations and film festivals. Nice is a bit rougher around the edges, though it's still incredibly beautiful, it just has more of a real-town feel. The water was absolutely stunning--I have never seen so many shades of blue--and the people were incredibly friendly.

And don't even get me started on the food! Cheese, bread, pastries, olives, wine ... all delicious.

While in Nice, we took a day trip to Monaco, which I found quite interesting. Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world (only the Vatican is smaller)--it's less than a square mile! It's also bordered on three sides by France (no border checks though, so you can leave your passport at home), is the most densely populated country in the world and boasts the world's highest life expectancy at 90 years, the world's lowest unemployment rate and the world's highest GDP per capita. This last point is evidenced by the mega-yachts dotting Monaco's gorgeous port.

Monaco is a principality and has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297. The current head of state is Price Albert II (who had his own royal wedding this summer). We visited the palace (shown below), perched way up high above the harbor, and it was very nice. After visiting Versailles (which we did later in the trip), it seemed positively modest!

Monaco

After a few days in Nice, we took a train north to Paris where we hit all the big sites. The Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre Dame were very crowded, as was the aforementioned Versailles, but definitely worth a visit. I much preferred the D'Orsay Museum, though the Orangerie, with its Claude Monet panorama, was my favorite. And at Versailles, our favorite things were the extensive gardens and tiny farm we found at one edge of the property. The farm, built by Marie Antoinette so that she could be a pretend peasant, stood in stark contrast to the opulent palace we had just visited.

Back in Paris, we went to Montmartre to see the Sacre Coeur church perched way up on a hill and then meandered through the neighborhood's tiny streets for hours. It was quite a change from grand Paris, with its wide sidewalks and multi-laned roads.

We also walked the Champs-Elysee (I was pleased to see my name everywhere) and went up the Arc de Triomphe at night, a true highlight of the trip. The views were stunning and watching the Eiffel Tower all lit up was beautiful (shown below).

Arc de Triomphe view of the Eiffel Tower

We had a great time exploring another country, eating lots of great food and just getting away from it all for a few days. Thanks for reading my travelogue, I hope you enjoyed it. I'll be back with your regularly scheduled programming next week!

Good questions outrank easy answersNow for this week's Contrary Opinion Button. Remember, you can always view all of the buttons by clicking here.

Good Questions Outrank Easy Answers

Attributed to Paul A. Samuelson, the first American to win a Nobel Prize in economics.

In my mind, the big questions for investors include these:
What's the major market trend?
What's the state of investor sentiment?
What's the weakest stock in my portfolio, and what should I do about it?

Even if you can't answer these questions definitively, it's important to ask them ... more important than answering the easy questions. And when you can answer these questions correctly, and act wisely as a result, you'll be a better investor.

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In this week's Stock Market Video, Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report Editor Paul Goodwin says that after weeks of mostly bad news, we finally have something good to report. Positive action in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq has led to a new buy signal for Cabot's proprietary market timing indicators. It's time to do a little buying, but don't go overboard ... let the market pull you back in. Stocks discussed: China Unicom (CHU), Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Las Vegas Sands (LVS) and New Oriental Education (EDU). Click below to watch!

Stock market video


In case you didn't get a chance to read all the issues of Cabot Wealth Advisory this week and want to catch up on any investing and stock tips you might have missed, there are links below to each issue.

Cabot Wealth Advisory 9/12/11 - Straight Talk on Cabot ETF Investing System

On Monday, Cabot Publisher and Cabot Stock of the Month Editor Tim Lutts explained Cabot's newest investment advisory in an effort to answer any questions you might have about it. Tim also discussed a recent initial public offering in the online real estate business: Zillow and why he thinks Walt Disney is attractive based on valuation. Featured stocks: Zillow (Z) and Walt Disney (DIS).

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Cabot Wealth Advisory 9/13/11 - Three Defensive Blue Chips

On Tuesday, Dick Davis Digests Editor Chloe Lutts discussed three stocks that were recently featured in the Dick Davis Dividend Digest that have a lot in common: big dividends, exposure to the emerging markets and the investor perception that they are defensive and conservative. Featured stocks: Coca-Cola (KO), AmBev (ABV) and PepsiCo (PEP).

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Cabot Wealth Advisory 9/15/11 - Shades of Gray in the Stock Market

On Tuesday, Cabot Market Letter Editor Mike Cintolo discussed why you should always stay flexible and be willing to adjust to the evidence that comes at you in the stock market ... especially in times like these. Mike also discussed how you should plan to deal with losses and why MAKO Surgical reminds of Yahoo back in 1998. Featured stock: MAKO Surgical (MAKO).

Until next time,

Elyse Andrews
Editor of Cabot Wealth Advisory

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