The Omni Intelligencer

Sell your house faster for more. auction-style-property-sale
  Monday, August 31, 2015  Home > Money > Finance > Investment > Can you still find good values in this market?
Follow us on Twitter
Every Dollar Helps
Donate using PayPal
Amount:

Can you still find good values in this market?

| More

A lot of investors tell me they're frustrated by all the recent stock market strength. Why? Because they got caught sitting on the sidelines and now feel as though it's too late to buy in.

While I'll be the first person to admit that many companies are no longer the screaming buys they used to be, I do want you to know that there are still plenty of reasonably-priced stocks out there right now. The trick is knowing how to find them.

As I've pointed out in this column many times before, stock screens are one of the quickest and easiest ways to start the process of searching for new buys.

In a minute I'll show you the results of my most recent screen.

First, However, Let's Recap How Stock Screens Work ...

Stock screeners are filtering programs that draw on databases of stored information, allowing you to search for investments based on pre-determined criteria. They're both extremely useful and fun to play with.

In the old days, it took a proprietary system and either lots of tedious labor or a very powerful computer to perform a single stock screen.

Now, things are a lot different. Sure, investment professionals still have access to programs and software that give them more information than most. But the Internet has brought screening to masses, and many of the online tools are as powerful as some of the pro-level stuff.

In fact, plenty of websites now offer advanced tools and rich data sources absolutely free of charge. For example, Yahoo! Finance has an interactive stock screener that encompasses more than 150 different criteria. I think it's very impressive, and worth checking out.

Other sites have quality screeners, too. Zacks Investment Research offers up a custom screener as does Morningstar, which includes the company's analyst rankings as one of the possible criteria. Morningstar also offers a premium screener, which is available by subscription only.

You should also check to see if your broker offers its own proprietary screening tools. Fidelity provides one to its customers, for example.

Okay, But What Criteria Should You Use?
Here's the Most Recent Search I Did ...

In the screen below, I limited my search to shares with dividend yields of 3.5% or higher — a bar that is much higher than the current market average.

Then to ensure that the dividends were reasonably safe I also insisted on a payout ratio of 65% or less. That means, in the worst case, one third of the firm's earnings are still being retained for basic business needs.

Next, I weeded out any stock that was trading at a price-to-earnings ratio in excess of 16. Moreover, I also screened for five-year earnings growth of at least 5%. Together this means the companies below are both reasonably priced and showing healthy business gains.

And to make sure that none of the resulting names were loaded down with debt, I added one final criteria — a long-term debt-to-equity ratio of 50% or less.

As you can see, many of the names are lesser-known regional banks, which makes sense given the combination of characteristics I searched for. However, there are also plenty of non-financials — including Strayer Education, food distributor Sysco, and tobacco company Lorillard.

Now, I'm not saying you should rush out and buy any of these companies — a stock screen is just the first step in the research process.

But I CAN tell you that I recently recommended one of the companies above for my own dad's retirement account. And I'm sure other names in this list are good buys right now, too.

So if you feel like it's too late to put some stocks into your portfolio, I'd humbly suggest you just look a little harder ... and stock screens are a great way to do that.

Source: moneyandmarkets.com


Sell your house faster for more. auction-style-property-sale
| More
 

Current Headlines - Finance

  • Asian shares nervous ahead of China data 31 Aug 2015 | 7:25 pm

    A trader monitors share prices at the Bank Mandiri Sekuritas trading floor in JakartaBy Lisa Twaronite TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares were skittish in early on Tuesday after logging their worst month in three years and the dollar struggled as investors braced for data from China that could raise fresh fears about the health of its economy. Losses on Wall Street also soured sentiment after comments from Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer heightened fears among investors of a potential U.S. interest hike in September. China's official factory sector activity likely shrank at its fasted pace in three years in August, according to a Reuters poll of economists.


  • Supreme Court rules against clerk in gay marriage case 31 Aug 2015 | 6:48 pm

    A protester attempts to lead the crowd in a cheer during a protest on the lawn of the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. Approximately a hundred people gathered to protest Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis failing to issue marriage licenses. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday ruled against the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, and the clerk will arrive at work Tuesday morning to face her moment of truth.


  • White supremacist aiming to kill Jews convicted in three Kansas murders 31 Aug 2015 | 5:14 pm

    Frazier Glenn Cross appears in court on murder charges in Olathe, KansasA man who admitted in court to wanting to kill Jews was found guilty on Monday of murdering three people, including a teenage boy, outside two Jewish centers in Kansas last year. A seven-man, five-woman jury took less than two hours to convict Frazier Glenn Cross, 74, on the three murders as well as on three counts of attempted murder for firing at other people during the same shooting spree in April 2014. Jurors will next decide if Cross should get the death penalty, as prosecutors are seeking.


  • State Department says 150 more Clinton emails have classified information 31 Aug 2015 | 4:22 pm

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a press conference after talking about her strategy for rural America during a campaign stop at the FFA Enrichment Center at the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, IowaAbout 150 more of Hillary Clinton's work emails have recently been designated as containing classified information, the U.S. State Department said on Monday ahead of the public release of the latest batch of emails Clinton handed over last year. The department does not know for sure if any information was classified at the time it was sent or received on the private email server Clinton used for work, department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. "It's not an exact science," Toner said in a media briefing, where he described the 150 emails as being "upgraded." "When we've upgraded, we've always said that that certainly does not speak to whether it was classified at the time it was sent." The latest finding brings the total number of Clinton emails considered to contain classified information to more than 200 when prior batches are included.


  • Wall Street's worst month in three years ends on a sour note 31 Aug 2015 | 4:06 pm

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New YorkWall Street ended lower on Monday and wrapped up its worst month since 2012 after comments from a senior Federal Reserve official heightened fears among investors of a potential U.S. interest hike in September. Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer on Saturday said U.S. inflation would likely rebound as pressure from the dollar fades, allowing the Fed to raise interest rates gradually. Many analysts took Fischer's comments as a sign the Fed would raise rates in September, instead of December.


  • Nerves on edge as Chinese authorities probe market mayhem 31 Aug 2015 | 2:35 pm

    An investor looks at an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in ShanghaiBEIJING/LONDON (Reuters) - The head of hedge fund manager Man Group Plc's China business has been taken into custody to help authorities in a probe into recent market volatility, Bloomberg reported on Monday, while separately a local financial reporter confessed on national TV to having spread false information that caused "panic and disorder". Both are likely to jangle nerves in the financial industry as regulators try to find out who they think was behind China's wild stock market rollercoaster ride in the past three months. Authorities have been investigating possible market manipulation following wild swings in the stock markets, which have plunged around 40 percent since mid-June on concerns of a slowing economy and a surprise devaluation of the yuan currency earlier this month.


  • Investors are fleeing once-popular emerging markets 31 Aug 2015 | 2:30 pm

    FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2015 file photo, a man walks past a bank's electronic board showing the share index around the world at Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Investors have yanked $40 billion from emerging-market stocks this year, a record pace of withdrawals, as a slowdown in China has hammered companies that supply raw materials. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)NEW YORK (AP) — If you think investors in U.S. stocks have had it rough, consider the hapless folks who followed Wall Street's advice to buy emerging-market stocks.


  • China state media announce confessions in stock market investigations 31 Aug 2015 | 2:26 pm

    An investor looks at an electronic board at a brokerage house in BeijingChinese state media announced a slew of confessions on Monday following investigations into dramatic stock market fluctuations, including from a reporter who said he had spread false information that had caused "panic and disorder". An official from China's securities regulator, and four senior executives from China's largest brokerage, CITIC Securities , confessed to insider dealing, the official Xinhua news agency reported. China is trying to restore value to its stock markets, where shares have lost around 40 percent since mid-June on concerns over the slowing economy and a devaluation of the yuan in mid-August.


  • How Trump could turn the presidency into a 'litigation circus' 31 Dec 1969 | 6:00 pm


  • A look at Trump University and a growing immigration crisis 31 Dec 1969 | 6:00 pm

    Yahoo News Live has an investigation into Donald Trump’s one time Trump University. Yahoo News Global Anchor Katie Couric speaks to Yahoo’s Chief Investigative...


The fastest and best way to sell real estate.
auction-style-property-sale