Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How Much Was That Partridge?

As we began the week the Dow Jones Industrial Average was still up 7.03% for the year, while the NASDAQ was holding onto a 9.13% gain and the S&P 500 managed to hang on to a 3.5% year to date gain, but concerns about flaggng growth and rising prices extended last week's losses into the final week of trading before the Christmas Holiday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 172.65 points on Monday and all the major indexes lost at least one percent. A speech Sunday night by former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan added to the market's ill humor. Greenspan said "stagflation", when inflation accelerates and the economy weakens, is a growing possibility, given last week's data showing spiking consumer prices. With inflation on the rise, the Fed, which has reduced the target federal funds rate three times since the summer, might feel less inclined to lower rates again.

Meanwhile, PNC Wealth Management released its tongue in cheek Christmas Price Index based on the items in the song "The 12 Days of Christmas". According to PNC, the total cost of the items in the song is now $19,507.00, which takes into account the 3.5% increase in the Consumer Price Index so far this year. The $395 cost of 5 gold rings reflects the 21.5% increase in the price of gold over 2006. Even though the Fed primarily looks at core inflation, which excludes food and energy price increases, the overall CPI rate of 3.5% is well above their target level of a 1% to 2% rate of inflation.

The market reacted to the Feds 25 basis points cut in interest rates with a thud last week, mainly because traders wanted a 1/2 point cut. It seems like the traders might have missed the bigger point, because historically, the third in a series of rate cuts by the Fed is a charm for the market. In the year after three successive rate reductions by the Fed, the DJIA has gained an average 18%. This has happened 14 times since 1921, according to Ned Davis Research. Stocks have risen with striking consistency after three rate cuts, except in 1930, at the onset of the Great Depression, when the Dow fell nearly 40% that year. Let's hope history is on our side in 2008!

There has recently been a great deal of talk about the possibility of a recession, characterized by two or more successive quarters of negative GDP growth. According to an article in Monday's Wall Street Journal, most economists they have polled put the risk of recession at around 38%, while John Lonski, chief economist at Moody's says, "The odds of a recession right now are just under 50-50." Gary Pollack a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank Private Wealth Management says," The economy will skip a recession because the decline in housing will be offset by increases in exports and government spending." As you can see from the various opinions it is almost impossible to know when or if the economy will slip into recession. Recessions are generally confirmed after the fact, so the best thing investors can do is be aware of the possibility of recession and understand the implications for their investments. Markets usually decline during recessions and assets can be bought at lower prices. If you don't NEED to sell anything during a market downturn, think about adding to your investments.

Overall, the comparison of earnings in the coming year to earnings in 2007 could surprise on the upside, because they will be compared to weaker numbers from the preceding year. Whether we can avoid a recession and have another soft landing, similar to the first quarter of 2007 remains to be seen. As a student of history, I like the odds of a market gain for 2008 in the context of three Fed rate reductions, especially when the mainstream media has begun to talk about the possibility of recession. Enjoy the Holidays and let's hope the markets can stabilize and add to the meager gains for the year.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Poised For The Christmas Rally?

Since experiencing the late November 10% market correction, when stocks fell from their October high of 14,164.53 to 12,743.44, investors have been looking for a reason to believe the current bull market was not on its way to extinction. Wednesday's data gave plenty of reasons to believe there is still some upside potential in this market. While the disruptions in the housing and credit markets during the late summer and fall are still very much in the picture, I am sure the Fed has got to feel it has some breathing room, insofar as monetary policy is concerned, going forward.

On Wednesday, the U. S. stock market added 196.23 points for the day after data released in the morning cast a more optimistic light on the U.S. economy, while leaving intact hopes of another interest-rate cut next week. Before the opening bell rang, major stock index futures had extended early gains after ADP reported hiring in the private sector expanded at a faster pace in November, gaining 189,000 jobs after a revised 119,000 jump in October. The latest monthly hike is well above forecasts calling for a rise of 60,000. In another report, the Labor Department said productivity in the nonfarm business sector rose at a 6.3% annual rate in the third quarter, an upward revision from the 4.9% tally a month ago. Also, the government revised unit labor costs down, showing a 2% annual decline compared to a 0.2% drop estimated a month ago, which signals milder inflationary pressure than previously thought. Later in the morning, the Commerce Department said orders for U.S. made factory goods climbed 0.5% in October, its biggest increase in three months. The Institute for Supply Management repoted its nonmanufacturing index declined to 54.1% in November from 55.8% in October, with the drop larger than expected. "The economic news that we got today was quite positive. We saw factory orders go up and we saw the non-manufacturing sector continue to grow," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners.

A great article in the Wall Street Journal recently dicussed some of the lessons that were hopefully learned by investors during this wild year. Dan Fuss, of Loomis, Sayles and Co., stated one of the lessons investors should have learned this year is that "The worst thing you can do is get into frequent asset reallocations. There's a financial cost going from fund A to fund B. The more important cost is that it messes up your thinking about what it is you want to accomplish with these funds". John Bogle of Vanguard Group feels the lesson learned this year is "Don't let your emotions drive your investment program, because you will be thinking of getting in and out. For investors the best rule by and large is to ignore daily moves of the stock market". Jeremy Siegle of the Wharton School of Business opined, "It's very important not to be caught up in the prevaling sentiment, because usually those are not good times to sell when the market is going down. In fact, this is really an illustration of the importance of what we call dollar-cost averaging".

Disciplined, non-emotional investing has been my mantra over the years and is definitely the way to go for investors. Dollar-cost averaging works quite well in volatile markets like we have seen this year, because the chance of buying shares on sale increases when monthly purchases are made in a volatile year. It is fantastic to have such respected business and investment colleagues reinforcing what you've always believed.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Morningstar Stock Investor: Seven Different Investing Perspectives

Recently, Paul Larson, an equities strategist with Morningstar, described seven ways in which his investment strategy differs from the conventional wisdom and academia ("Seven Different Investing Perspectives"). Mr. Larson definitely uses a long term strategy for investing, which is also my approach. Taking into consideration the views and strategies of a variety of advisors and analysts can be very helpful in shaping your investment strategy. A synopsis of Larson’s "seven investing perspectives" is included below for you to review.

Morningstar Stock Investor: Seven Different Investing Perspectives

1. Focus on the next decade, not the next quarter.

Most Wall Street analysts who publish research for public consumption spend a lot of their energy focusing on near-term tax rates, weekly inventory trends, and so on, which really do not matter in the long term.

The army of analysts on Wall Street serve an exploding number of hedge funds, entities whose investors demand performance - and demand it now - given the exorbitant fees usually being paid. Many hedge funds cannot afford to think about the long term, because if they suffer even a little in the short term, they might not be around for the long term.

Luckily, those willing and able to take a long-term perspective can gain an edge in this short-term-focused world, and that's exactly what I and our analysts do here at Morningstar. We spend a lot of our time thinking about where a company is going to be many years from now, because this is what drives intrinsic value. We try to minimize the short-term noise to pick out the secular trends that will really matter.

2. Price volatility does not equal risk.

If you go to business school, you are likely to be taught that risk in the stock market can be defined as the historical volatility in a stock's price. Risk is usually thought of and measured in terms of beta, a statistical measure that represents a stock's past volatility relative to an index. Frankly, I just do not understand the relevance of beta when thinking about ways I might lose money. Not only is it backward-looking, but its connection to intrinsic business value is tenuous at best.

When thinking about a stock's risk rating, Morningstar analysts do not focus on the past stock price movements of a company. Rather, we focus on the fundamental business factors - competition, litigation, financial leverage, and so on - to try to figure out what sort of margin of safety to apply to a company before buying it.

3. Price volatility is a good thing.

Not only do I think stock price volatility is a silly way to measure risk, but I actually like volatility. When stock prices whip around, it creates more opportunities to buy things when they go on sale. Moreover, volatility can fling stocks well above their intrinsic values, creating selling opportunities.

I think two of the more famous Warren Buffett nuggets of wisdom apply here. (Though Buffett is as mainstream now as he has ever been, he is still seen as a heretic in many academic circles.) According to Buffett, one of the cornerstones of his strategy is, "Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful." The other Buffett quote that backs up my favorable opinion of volatility is: "Look at market fluctuations as your friend rather than your enemy; profit from folly rather than participate in it."

4. Concentration has its benefits, overdiversity its downfalls.

It seems that whenever I hear financial advisors speak, they are always preaching the benefits of diversity. While I agree every portfolio should have some level of diversity to prevent any single mistake from causing financial doom, I do not think the downside of diversity gets enough attention. Specifically, the wider you spread your portfolio around, the less you will know about any single investment, and the greater the chance you will miss something that is wrong. Call it the risk of ignorance.

In other words, I agree that it is good advice to not put all your eggs in one basket, but do not forget about the risks of trying to carry too many baskets. Or, to use our "fat pitch" metaphor, don't swing at the marginally decent pitches, because then your swings at the truly fat pitches will be diluted.

5. Bottom-up is better than top-down.

There are two basic ways to look at stocks. The first way (and what we do here at Morningstar) is to look at an individual company - its competitive positioning, profitability, growth prospects, and so on - to come up with an intrinsic value estimate for the business. We then compare this fair value estimate with the current stock price to come up with our Morningstar Rating for stocks (the star rating).

The other way is to try to pick out macroeconomic trends and generate investment ideas from these trends. Some examples might include ideas regarding the aging population, interest-rate movements, global-warming regulations, changes in consumer-spending patterns, and so forth. Some investors might choose to overweight or underweight their portfolios in certain sectors based upon their views of some of these trends.

The problem I see is that there are often too many logical links between the ideas and the actual stock investments. Even if your idea is correct, you could still select the wrong stock for that idea. Another pitfall of looking top-down is forgetting the importance of valuation and paying too much for a stock.

I also do not try to "fill the box" when managing the [stock portfolio]. What I mean by this is deciding on some sort of asset allocation - either by sector or stock style - and then picking stocks to try to fit my target allocation. To me, this is putting the cart before the horse.

What I do instead is look at each stock on a case-by-case basis, and I then let the cards fall where they may with respect to the sectors and styles of my holdings. Only at the extremes might I get worried (such as having more than half a portfolio invested in a single narrow industry).

6. Increased portfolio activity does not create higher returns.

In the real world, the more activity you have in a given area, the greater the return in that area, in general. For example, the more you exercise, the more weight you lose. The more you play golf, the better your swing will get and the lower your handicap will go, and so on. But when trading stocks, the exact opposite is true. In general, the more you trade, the lower your returns will be.

There are the frictional costs of taxes, trading spreads, and commissions that will eat into your capital every time you trade. Of even greater importance in my mind is the amount of thought that goes into each trading decision. It seems that the greater the thought-per-transaction ratio, the better our results should be, all else equal. I spend hours upon hours considering each transaction in the Tortoise and Hare, but spend mere minutes interacting with our broker doing the mechanical transactions, worrying about nickels and dimes. I get the impression that too many investors have this ratio reversed.

7. Focus on value, not price.

It strikes me that many in the market know the price of everything and the value of nothing. I will admit that there are scores of companies for which I know what the stock price has done, but have no clue about the value of the underlying business. But before I invest in something, there is no way I would put a single penny in without having some idea what the underlying business is worth. Knowing price without knowing value means knowing nothing.

I recently was asked if I had in place any stop-loss orders for positions in the Tortoise and Hare. The answer is a resounding "no." Making decisions based on historical prices makes no sense to me. Moreover, assuming that the intrinsic value of a business is unchanged, when its stock price goes down, that is the time to get more excited and consider buying more, not time to cut bait.

Of course, the key phrase is "assuming the intrinsic value of a business is unchanged." We are continually questioning our theses and projections for the companies we cover, always digging deeper for pieces of confirming or contradictory evidence. These fundamental factors - not stock prices or ideas about future market sentiment - are what drive our fair value estimates.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Friday, November 23, 2007

How Much Should I Save Per Paycheck to Reach My Retirement Goals?

Here is another investment blog I've read recently by Hank, and I thought I'd include it, because he makes some good points about how important compounding is for young investors. The younger you are when you start saving, the larger the nest egg will be when you reach retirement age. Here is Hank's post:

This question is another tricky one because it depends on who is asking it. If you’re 18 and asking this question, well, I’d say you’re starting off right by asking, and if you are putting away 10% - even if you’re only making $20,000 per year, you’re saving $2,000/year and in 50 years you’d be sitting on about $2,500,000 at 10% (yes, that is 2 MILLION off someone that makes $20,000 per year). You’d have put in $100,000 and interest would have accounted for the other $2,400,000 of it. Ridiculous how compoud interest works, eh?

If you bump it to 15%, you’d be investing $150,000 and your egg would be almost 66% larger at $3,800,000! Obviously this is taking some big assumptions, being that you’re going to continue making $20,000 for the next 50 years (which I hope you’d get a raise in there at some point), the return will be 10% (this can go up and down, but it’s a safe figure to estimate by, as another tangent, if your return is 15%, and investing $2,000 per year, you’re looking at almost $16,000,000), and it isn’t taking into account inflation (usually around 3% which would peg that 16MIL down to about 4.5MIL). But that’s all you really CAN do with 50 years to play with, however, that’s the big thing, get in early.

If you’re 40 years old and wondering where to start, you’re going to certainly need some catch up against the 18 year old putting in 10%; to match with the 18 year old investing $2000/year, you’re going to need to put in $17,000 per year to hit that 2.5million plateau. Attainable yes, but preferred, probably not. Even at 40 years old and investing $2000/year you’re still going to be looking at $300,000 by 68, which isn’t bad, and is much better than $0.

A good rule of thumb I’ve read is 10% minimum, and 15-25% preferred of your salary should go to retirement. But that, of course is an estimate and should vary depending on your age - I’d say a better breakdown would be:
18-30 years old - 10-15% of your salary
30-40 years old - 12-18% of your salary
40-50 years old - 18-25% of your salary
50+ - 25% or more of your salary

Again, they’re estimates based on a lot of generalization, but the big key is start stuffing something, even if it’s not much. It’s amazing what time can do to the almighty $.

Author: hank

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Desolate Wilderness and the Fair Land

I usually write the bulk of the material that appears on my blog, but every now and then I feature other authors who have a flair for great writing. This is a piece that is an annual ritual in a national publication that corresponds with the Thanksgiving Holiday season. It does a nice job of reminding the reader of the reasons to be thankful and to whom we owe that gratitude. I hope you enjoy it

The Desolate Wilderness

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620,as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and
therein quieted their spirits. When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with' the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other's heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers. that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tearsthey took their I leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them.

Being now passed the vast ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations,
they had now no friends to welcome, them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto tb seek for succour; and for the season
it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search unknown coasts. Besides, what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wilde beasts and wilde men? and what multitudes of them there were, they then knew not: for which way soever they turned their eyes (save upward to Heaven) they could have but little solace or content in respect of any outward object; for summer being ended, all things stand in appearance with a weatherbeaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hew. If they looked behind them, there was a mighty ocean which they had passed, and was now as a main bar or gulph to separate them from all the civil parts of the world.

And This Fair Land

Anyone whose labors take him into the far reaches of the country, as ours lately have done, is bound to mark how the years have made the land grow fruitful. This is indeed a big country, a rich country, in a way no array of figures can measure and so
in a way past belief of those who have not seen it. Even those who journey through its Northeastern complex, into the Southern lands, across the central plains and to its Western slopes can only glimpse a measure of the bounty of America.

And a traveler cannot but be struck on his journey by the thought that this country, one day, can be even greater. America, though many know it not, is one of the great underdeveloped countries of the world; what it reaches for exceeds by far what it has grasped.

So the visitor returns thankful for much of what he has seen, and, in spite of everything, an optimist about what his country might be. Yet the visitor, if he is to make an honest report, must also note the air of unease that
hangs everywhere.

For the traveler, as travelers have been always, is as much questioned as questioning. And for all the abundance he sees, he finds the questions put to him ask where men may repair for succor from the troubles that beset them.

His countrymen cannot forget the savage face of war. Too often they have been asked to fight in strange and distant places, for no clear purpose they could see and for no accomplishment they can measure. Their spirits are not quieted by the thought that the good and pleasant bounty' that surrounds them can be destroyed in an instant by a single bomb. Yet they find no escape, for their survival and comfort now depend on unpredictable strangers in far off corners of the globe.

How can they turn from melancholy when at home they see young arrayed against old,
black against white, neighbor against neighbor, so that they stand in peril of social discord. Or not despair when they see that the cities and countryside are in need of repair, yet find themselves threatened by scarcities of the resources
that sustain their way of life. Or when, in the face of these challenges, they turn for leadership to men in high places-only to find those men as frail as any others.

So sometimes the traveler is asked whence will come their succor. What is to preserve their abundance, or even their civility? How can they pass on to their children a nation as strong and free as the one they inherited from their forefathers? How is their country to endure these cruel storms that beset it from without and from within?

Of course the stranger cannot quiet their spirits. For it is true that everywhere men turn their eyes today much of the world has a truly wild and savage hue. Noman, if he be truthful, can say that the specter of war is banished. Nor can he say that when men or communities are put upon their own resources they are sure of solace; nor be sure that men of diverse kinds and diverse views can live peaceably together
in a time of troubles.

But we can all remind ourselves that the richness of this country was not born in the resources of the earth, though they be plentiful, but in the men that took its measure. For that reminder is everywhere in the cities, towns, farms, roads,
factories, homes, hospitals, schools that spread everywhere over that wilderness.

We can remind ourselves that for all our socialdiscord we yet remain the longest enduring society of free men governing themselves without benefit of kings or dictators. Being so, we are the marvel and the mystery of the world, for that enduring liberty is no less a blessing than the abundance of the earth.

And we might remind ourselves also, that if those men setting out from Delftshaven had been daunted by the troubles they saw around them, then we could not this autumn be thankful for a fair land.

These editorials have appeared annually in the Wall Street Journal since 1961.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Friday, November 16, 2007

Black Friday Looms Large

As we head into the final weekend before Thanksgiving, poised for Black Friday and all of its ramifications, a bewildering array of terms are bombarding investors from various sources on a daily basis. Cutting through all of the clutter can be a daunting task as we try to ascertain the direction of the US economy. Terms like recession, credit crunch, housing debacle, inflation and that scourge of the 1970's know as stagflation are on the lips of many journalists, commentators and economists as this very mature expansion plods along midway through the 4th quarter of 2007.

Meanwhile, the race for the White House is in high gear, while Congress drags its feet searching for a solution to fix the Alternate Minimum Tax trap before it ensnares too many middle class voters this year. Gold is at an all time high, home values are imploding, food prices are soaring, the dollar is getting pummelled and oil prices are significantly higher now than in January, although at just under $94 a barrel, the surge toward $100 a barrel oil seems to have abated somewhat. Whether this is a peak in a commodity bubble, or a plateau before another another leg up is anyone's guess at this point. Suffice it to say there are enough things to worry about and that has been evidenced by the volatility of the major indices recently.

At this juncture it is difficult to say with any certainty whether or not the economy will weather the current circumstances and keep growing, so it is probably better to try to keep an eye on the big picture, rather than focus on the day to day sound bites. According to Peter Coy of Business Week, the big picture consists of several indicators which should help us keep a pulse on the direction of the economy through 2008. First of all if unemployment remains under 5%, consumers should be able to continue spending. If inflation stays benign, the Federal reserve will be able to make further rate cuts, if not on December 11, then at some future time if economic growth stalls. The holiday shoppping season is extremely important, and big retailers are already discounting prices. Once again, the consumer is a large player in the retail story and the impact of falling home values could put a damper on spending plans. However, if lower housing prices entice buyers back into the market, then that would be a good thing.

Another indicator to watch is the willingness of banks to continue lending. Already standards have been tightened, but if banks cut back further on small and midsized businesses, economic growth could be negatively impacted. Finally, Wall Street's reaction to all of the economic uncertainty will be the focus of quite a bit of attention, because a large drop in the stock market preceded the 2001 recession by a year. At the present time there has been no such drop, but there has been more than one 300 plus swoon lately. Of course 300 points up or down based on a 13,000 point Dow Jones Industrial Average is only 2.3%, just to keep things in perspective!

So my advice for the immediate future is to enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey, focus on the big picture and continue to dollar cost average into your accounts. The volatility provides buying opportunities for those of us who remember that a drop in the stock market is like buying retail items on sale. While painful, recessions are not the end of the world and I certainly do not believe we are by any means teetering on a precipace ready to plunge into the abyss. With the election year politics in full swing, all of the candidates have their own recipe for the salvation of this great land. Thankfully, the founding fathers created a union that has endured much folly by politicians and I think we will survive our current set of circumstances. Maybe this time the bankers will get it right!

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Free Ways to Advertise Your Business

For many companies and individuals, advertising a new business is a
challenge. Budgeting funds to cover advertising costs can drain away
capital needed for operating expenses, but without advertising many times nobody will know your business exists. If your business has a website, there are several methods you can use to get free advertising.

First of all, create a directory of web sites on a specific topic.
Give people the option of adding the directory to their web site by
linking to it. Put your business advertisement at the top of the
directory's home page. This technique will get lots of people to link
to your web site and give you free advertising.

Secondly, you can use bonus advertising. Do you have a product or service that doesn't sell very well? Offer it as a free bonus for someone else's product or service. Get free advertising by placing your web site or business ad on the product or in the product package.

Another method of free advertising involves your autoresponder. Trade autoresponder ads with other businesses. If both of you send out information with autoresponders just exchange a small classified ad to put at the bottom or top of each other's autoresponder message.

Starting a free tip line can also generate free advertising. Offer a free daily, weekly, or monthly tip recorded on your voice mail or embedded in your email. The tips should be related to your business. Include your ad for your web site or business at the beginning or end of your message.

Finally, you can use content swap as a way to generate free advertising. Exchange content with other web sites and ezines. You could trade articles, top ten lists, etc. Both parties could include a resource box at the end of the content.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Balancing Upside And Downside Risks

"The Committee judges that, after this, the upside risks to inflation roughly balance the downside risks to growth". With that statement, the Federal Reserve summed up the decision to lower the Federal Funds rate by 1/4 point to 4.50% at the October Federal Open Market Committee Meeting. The Fed figures that rising commodity prices, especially oil, pose as great a risk of igniting inflation as the risk of lower growth of the economy created by the credit crunch and struggling housing market.

The continued downward trend of the dollar, a result of lower interest rates, added to the tension the Fed's decision has created as it walked the tightrope of maintaining employment and growth without increasing the likelihood of a new round of inflation. Data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicated the economy was growing at a higher that expected annual rate of 3.9% in the third quarter, but the purchasing manager's survey showed weak manufacturing data for the month of October. Initially, the market took the Feds move with a bullish move on Wednesday climbing 137 points, but as the reality of the severity of the economic situation became evident, the market subsequently sold off 362 points on Thursday.

A report from the Commerce Department indicated consumers scaled back their spending in September as worries mounted about a worsening housing market and further credit market turmoil. A trade group reported that manufacturing in the U.S. grew in October at the weakest pace since March. This combination of factors led investors to pull back sharply from Wednesday's rally, after the Fed said the economy had weathered the summer's credit crisis.

With the market's growing pessimism about the economy, the Labor Department's report on October jobs creation, scheduled to be released Friday morning, will be taking on even more importance than usual. The combination of no more rate reductions, rising oil prices, continued credit concerns and slower economic growth indicates a need for investors to be cautious in their risk assessment going forward. While I don't see definite indications of recession, caution is always prudent during times of market duress.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tech's Resurgence

It seems as though investors are realizing a great rotation has been underway over the last year, as money continues to move out of the real estate and financial services sectors and into the health care and technology sectors. Due to the collapse of the mortgage and housing markets, financial services companies replete with CDO's & CMO's are writing down these assets with regularity. As a result, investors looking for returns are rotating their money into tech stocks with a fervor.

Commodities, which have enjoyed a boom along with real estate in recent years are still flying high, but oil prices seem to be getting ahead of themselves and may be headed for a bust. Even though oil has rocketed to $90.00 a barrel recently, the price of gasoline at the pump has barely budged since Labor Day. This leads me to believe there is a great deal of speculation in the oil futures markets and some of these high bidders may be left holding some very expensive contracts, especially if there is a milder than usual winter.

While the resurgence of technology has lifted the NASDAQ 100 by roughly 25% year to date, it is important to point out some research by Doug Kass of Seabreeze Partners, which was featured in Alan Abelson's Up & Down Wall Street Article today. Kass reminds us that 50% of the gain in the NASDAQ 100 was provided by three stocks. These stocks were Apple, Research In Motion and Google. His point in the article was that this is a very narrow bull market in tech and may not be sustainable.

While money will undoubtedly continue to pour into technology over the next year, I feel it is extremely important to point out that much of the advance in technology has already happened. That is why I continue to advise my clients to be diversified in various sectors of the economy. If you have a diversified portfolio, you would already have investments in the tech sector and would have enjoyed the full gains to date and not be trying to play catch up.

Of course there are those who feel there is quite a bit of room for the technology sector to continue to boom going forward, as consumers continue to snap up computer game consoles, flat screen TV's, notebook computers, MP3 players, cell phones and digital HD recorders. Corporations are also trying to harness advances in technology, such as blogging, instant messaging and e-commerce and use them to improve communication and productivity. This will require continued IT spending into 2008.

Paul Wick, manager of the Seligman Communications and Information Fund, when commenting on technology returns topping the broad market's performance said, "This might be the start of a trend". It has been six years, but it seems as though the bitter memory of the dot com bust is finally fading. I just hope the lessons of chasing returns and diversification of assets are not forgotten.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Housing Market Continues To Struggle

As we begin the fourth quarter of 2007, the housing market continues to cast a troubling shadow over the economic outlook. Even though builders have been giving huge discounts, sales of new homes in August fell to their lowest level in seven years. New home sales dropped 8.3% in August from July, and year over year from August 2006 to August 2007, new home sales dropped a staggering 45% from 11,000 sold in August 2006 to 6,000 sold in August 2007. To see how this is affecting builders, KB Home, a Los Angeles builder, reported a loss of $35.6 million for the quarter ending August 31, 2007 as compared to a $153.2 million net profit a year earlier. Jeffrey Mezger, KB’s president said “We see no signs that the housing market is stabilizing and believe it will be some time before a recovery begins”.

Another troubling sign with the housing market is the declining value of homes, which will be sure to affect consumer spending. Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price index, which measures home prices in 20 major cities, showed prices down 3.9% in July from a year ago, which was faster than June’s 3.4% drop. Just as sales of new homes were down in August, sales of existing homes were down 4.3% from July, and the time needed to sell houses on the market has increased to 10 months, which is the highest in 20 years.

Even though employment in the construction, real estate, mortgage and financial services industries is taking a hit due to the housing downturn, overall unemployment has actually shown a drop in claims. Despite an anticipated wave of layoffs expected in the mortgage sector alone, initial claims for unemployment fell 15,000 in the latest report by the Labor Department, the second weekly decline in a row and the lowest level since May. According to David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities, “The jobless report helps bolster forecasts that the housing slump may brake growth, but the economy will not degenerate into a full-fledged recession”.

The government also reported in the last week of September that the nation’s gross domestic product expanded by 3.8% in the April to June quarter, and this was a bit less than the estimated 4% economists had expected. With the difficulties the economy faced in August and September, many economists expect the GDP to have slowed to 2% in the third quarter. With growth slowing, hopefully the Fed has bought some time to alleviate the credit crunch with its half a point rate reduction, which may allow for an orderly decline in housing prices and sales, as opposed to a free fall. Even though housing prices are expected to continue to fall by some estimates through 2008, and possibly until 2010, an easing as opposed to a rout is always less troubling.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Newsletter Fall 2007


The third quarter provided a bit of excitement for investors, and generated a heightened concern for both the state of the economy and the direction of the markets going forward. As the quarter opened, the Fed was on hold with interest rates, the Dow Jones Industrial Average catapulted from 13,408.62 to 14,000.41 by July 19 and leverage was fashionable. Within six days, The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 had given up 5% of their value, as fears concerning the economy began to rock the market. As foreclosures throughout the country continued to mount and mortgage lenders began to succumb to a lack of liquidity in the system, the Fed held the federal funds rate at 5.25% in early August, but by mid month it was quite evident the credit markets were under severe stress and the Fed lowered the discount rate, the rate banks can borrow from the Federal Reserve, to 5.75%.

The Dow crossed the 10% correction threshold in intraday trading on Thursday, August 16th, but managed to close in somewhat better shape and rallied on Friday after the Fed decision to lower the discount rate. While the S&P 500 was down as much as 12% from its July peak intraday on August 16th, it also managed to recover late in the day and rose back to 1,445 by the close on Friday, August 17. The equity markets settled somewhat through late August and over the Labor Day Holiday, but the credit markets were still in flux and the lack of liquidity was evident worldwide as central banks continued to pump billions of dollars into money market funds.

In a move that surprised nearly everyone, the Fed lowered the federal funds rate to 4.75% and the discount rate to 5.25% at the FOMC meeting in late September. These actions by the Fed were an attempt to give confidence to the credit markets and boost their willingness to provide liquidity. While the effects of the rate decrease will take time to make any real difference in the growth of the economy, the psychological results have been quite visible in the stock market, which has posted significant gains following the rate cuts. While the 50 basis point cut in rates has had a euphoric effect on the markets in the short term, it doesn’t necessarily bode well for the market in the long term. When the Fed cut rates 50 basis points in January 2001, the DJIA rose 2.8% and the NASDAQ had its best day ever, rising 14.2%, but by September 10, a day before the terrorist attacks, the indices were well below their January levels.

But for now, all we can do is look at where we have been and try to ascertain, as best we can, where things are heading. The Dow closed the quarter at 13,895.63 and is up 11.49% year to date. The S&P 500 finished at 1,526.75, which is a 7.65% gain for the year and the NASDAQ sits at 2,701.50 at quarter’s end, posting a year to date gain of 11.85%. For such a volatile year, these gains would be quite acceptable as a year end result.

On September 26th, I had the opportunity to hear an Economic Update from Jerry Webman, the Chief Economist with Oppenheimer Funds. His opinion was one of optimism for the economy and its ability to avoid a recession. He felt the moves by Bernanke were bold enough to relieve the credit crunch and shouldn’t be inflationary, due to subdued employment numbers and lower economic growth. While oil prices over $80 a barrel and rising gold prices are unsettling, the Fed’s willingness to raise rates if inflation increases is calming.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Reflection On Fed's Rate Reduction

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee at 10:00 AM today in regard to the mortgage and credit markets. After the surprise half-point cut in both the Federal Funds Rate to 4.75% and the Discount Rate to 5.25% at the FOMC meeting, the testimony will be focused on the actions by the Fed as an attempt to give confidence to the credit markets and boost their willingness to provide liquidity. While the effects of the rate decrease will take time to make any real difference in the growth of the economy, the psychological results have been quite visible in the stock market, which has posted significant gains the last two days.

As the actions by the Fed are digested going forward, questions will surface regarding just how bad the economic situation is that it warranted a 50 basis point decrease in rates. Also, if the inflation data is stronger in the next few months, as the rally in gold and oil seem to be indicating, will the Fed be willing to raise rates to maintain price stability, which is their directive. The polar evils of declining growth and increasing inflation are constantly being analyzed by the Fed as they make their policy decisions. With somewhat benign producer and consumer inflation reports in August, it seems Mr. Bernacke chose to make a dramatic move to boost confidence and increase economic growth in the short term. I just hope it doesn't serve to reignite speculative excesses in another asset class.

Meanwhile, more delinquencies and foreclosures can be expected in the subprime, adjustable-rate mortgage market as borrowers face interest-rate resets, according to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's prepared testimony to the House Financial Services Committee today. Bernanke also said that the market for those mortgages has "adjusted sharply," and that markets "do tend to self-correct." He outlined steps the Fed is taking to help reduce the risk of foreclosure and stressed the need to beef up underwriting practices. The Fed chief said he's opposed to raising the conforming loan limit for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and said that the central bank stands ready to foster price stability and sustainable economic growth.

The dollar was higher against most major currencies from previous lows, trading at 115.98 yen, down from 116.07 yen in late trading Tuesday. The euro was at $1.3962, down from $1.3977. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, oil remained near $82 a barrel, close to the prior day's intraday record of $82.38. In more recent trading, crude futures were up 54 cents at $82.05, ahead of Tuesday's record close of $81.51. In other commodities trading at the NYME, December gold gained $5.80 to close at $729.50 an ounce. Weakness in the dollar is cited as the catalyst for gold's strength.

US Treasury Bonds and Notes continued their slide, which resulted in higher yields, as inflation fears continued in the wake of the Fed's interest rate cut. The benchmark 10-year note was down 14/31 at 101 25/32, and its yield has risen to 4.526%. As we begin the trading day on Thursday, the DJIA starts off at 13,815.56, while the S&P 500 begins trading at 1529.03, and the NASDAQ opens at 2666.48. After two positive days following the Fed rate reduction, today could result in some profit taking.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Investors Waiting on the Fed

All eyes are on the Federal Reserve as investors await the Federal Open Market Committee meeting next week. Many investors are anticipating a decrease in the Federal Funds Rate, which has been on hold at 5.25% for over a year now. With crude oil closing above $80.00 a barrel, a slowing economy, weak job creation, subprime mortgage woes and a credit crunch, the Fed has been analyzing much data in order to make it's decision on interest rates. The stock market has been experiencing a great deal of volatility recently, as investors try to determine whether the next major move is going to be positive or negative.

Investors, who have been nervous about the impact of sinking housing and credit markets on the economy, were relieved to hear Countrywide secured $12 billion in credit. The additional financing alleviated concerns the nation's largest mortgage lender might collapse because of spiking defaults. The news from Countrywide boosted investor sentiment, as this makes it appear the credit crunch may not be quite as bad as some people had anticipted.

Economic news lifted investor sentiment as well. The Labor Department reported claims for unemployment benefits rose by 4,000 last week to 319,000 which is the sixth increase in seven weeks, but less than the 325,000 claims analysts expected. Low unemployment, at 4.6%, has been one of the economy's strengths. The rise in jobless claims follows last week's reading on August payrolls, which declined for the first time in four years and sent stocks plummeting amid worries that credit tightness and market turmoil had hit the labor market. However, Thursday's report appeared to assuage some concerns.

"Whereas U.S. growth may be dented and it may skate near or into a recession it's not going to have a major impact on world growth," said John Merrill, chief investment officer of Tanglewood Capital Management in Houston. He said investors are gravitating toward larger capitalization stocks because of stock specific news from GM and McDonald's, but also because of the health of overseas economies where big companies do much of their business. At this juncture, with the word recession creeping back into the vocabulary, investors appetite for risk has abated and there is a flight to quality, which favors larger diversified stocks.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Managing Your Real Assets

You have probably already attended various seminars that teach you about strategies on how to manage your financial assets wisely. But have you ever wondered what your real asset really is? Sometimes, you may become so caught up in earning more profits and making more money that you might have lost sight of the things that really matter in your life. These things include your health, your family, your contentment, and your happiness.

Sadly, you will notice that a lot of seemingly successful businesspeople do not enjoy the real assets in life. They may drive the best cars that money can buy or live in posh houses, but what good are all these assets if they are suffering from poor health. They might be experiencing severe stomach or chest pain for which all money in the world is no compensation.

So if you are a businessperson who is constantly on the move tying to find better business opportunities and better investment mediums, you might want to determine if you are compromising your health in order to achieve these goals. One way to do this is to realize several things. The first is the fact that only you can manage your well-being because you are in control of your actions and your feelings. The second is that you need to let go of past failures that continue to haunt you because it will only make you suffer needlessly. Finally, you should remember is that it is possible for you to lose interest in life if you place too much emphasis on items that really don’t matter.

Through it all, it is most important to know who you really are because this will enable you to examine yourself properly so that you will know what can truly make you satisfied and happy. All these facts are pointed out not to tell you that money doesn’t matter because it does. But the real question is to what extent are you willing to sacrifice to have more money?

Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself. The first is whether you would allow stress from work to hinder you from having joy in your life because it is possible to become so caught up with the problems involving work that you might not notice that you are continually making your body suffer from stress and neglect. The next question is whether you will still continue to give time to activities that will not provide a significant improvement on your quality of life. You usually hear about time management skills and its importance but are you really allocating your time wisely to fruitful pursuits?

The answers to these questions can help you to determine if you are really living a life that is worth living.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Summer Close Out Sale

As we prepare for the last two weeks of August and the Labor Day Holiday, traditionally a time of vacation, low volume and low volatility on Wall Street, there are many folks who hope the Fed move on Thursday was the right prescription for the credit markets. By dusting off a little used weapon in the monetary policy arsenal, Mr Bernanke has attempted to encourage banks to loan to the credit worthy, without bailing out those who have been irresponsible in the use of leverage. By lowering the discount rate by half a percentage point to 5.75%, the Fed lowered the rate it charges banks when they borrow from the Federal Reserve. While borrowing from the Fed is viewed by banks as the creditor of last resort, this should help companies such as Countrywide, which has a banking operation and is able to borrow from the Fed. It also encourages banks to continue to make credit available to other businesses, who are not necessarily affected by the subprime mortgage mess, but have had a difficult time lately selling commercial paper and other short term financing facilities because banks have been reluctant to make any loans, due to the fallout from the mortgage mess.

The markets reacted positively to the Fed move on Friday, and after reading numerous articles over the weekend, my conclusion is that this was a very good move by the Fed. While it may not stop a further slide in the markets in the short term, it doesn't reinflate the mortgage bubble, because the Federal Funds rate, the rate banks charge each other, hasn't changed. While there is a minority calling for a lowering of the Federal Funds rate, and you can be sure these are the people who are being toasted by their use of leverage, most responsible voices seem to be indicating the system can handle the losses from the subprime mortgage sector and lowering the Federal Funds rate could lead to further speculative excess.

The Dow crossed the 10% correction threshold on Thursday, but managed to close in somewhat better shape and rallied on Friday. While the S&P 500 was down as much as 12% from its July peak intraday on Thursday, it also managed to recover late in the day and rose back to 1,445 by the close on Friday. Where the markets go in the next two weeks is really only an issue, if you have a need for short term cash. If you are invested for the long haul, you ride out the volatility and continue to add to your holdings, for when the markets are down, shrewd investors view it as a sale!

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Welcome to the "Credit Crunch"

In just a few short but grueling weeks, we have gone from an environment where liquidity was king to a "credit crunch", the antithesis of liquidity. Volatility has replaced predictability in the markets and the European Central Bank, their counterparts in other parts of the world, as well as the Fed pumped billions of dollars into money market funds last week to calm nervous markets and provide short term funds. Futures markets are even betting on the Fed to lower interest rates in the near future, to increase liquidity and bail out some of the bad bets on derivative investments, which have been magnified by the use of over the top leverage. Let' hope the Fed doesn't cave.

With interest rates at 5.25%, oil and gasoline prices in decline and the rest of the economy still growing, the interests of the overall economy would be best served by allowing for the liquidation of some of these bad investments and the subsequest pain being felt by the very individuals and institutions who initiated this newest bubble. There is credit available for other sectors of the economy, besides the private equity and subprime mortgage crowds, and while confidence may be shaken somewhat, by an end to easy credit, it is important for those who make bad bets with leverage and create asset bubbles to learn the Fed will not bail them out. Lowering interest rates at this juncture would only reinforce the over leveraged hedge funds and private equity managers to continue their risky ventures and to overpay for assets.

Look for continued volatility in the markets this week as investors try to ascertain whether the subprime debacle has been contained. It is entirely possible the Dow could slip below 13,000 as the market searches for a bottom. Thankfuly, this is also vacation time on Wall Street, so there should be a slowdown in volume after this week as we head into the last two weeks of August and the Labor Day Holiday. This is traditionally the time of the year with the slimmest volume in the markets and many hope that by September, the extent of this latest crisis will be better understood. My hope is that the Fed stays firm with interest rates and uses monetary policy prudently over the next few weeks.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Keeping an Eye on Long Term Trends

As anticipated on Tuesday, the Federal Reserve left interest rates alone, didn't change their outlook on inflation being their primary concern and predicted moderate economic growth going forward. After the gains of Monday and Tuesday this week the Dow is halfway to 14,000 again. A little volatility now and then never hurts, and it keeps the speculators at bay.

Corporate earnings have been mixed, but overall positive, which continues to draw money into stocks. It is hard to sit in cash when the markets provide so much drama and a usually higher return to boot. For the long term investor, the daily business news reports take on an air of entertainment, as they put so much emphasis information with little or no long term significance. Sifting through this fodder for useful long term trends is my major goal.

One of those long term trends, which I have been warning about since early 2006 is housing and subsequently the credit markets. As the credit markets tighten, due to the mess created by lax lending standards during the specuative housing boom, there is a great deal of pain being felt. Containing the damage is critical, which is why the Fed is holding rates steady and not lowering them. Lower rates now would only create more liquidity, which in turn would provide reinforcement for exactly the kind of behaviors the Fed is trying to curb.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

Two Steps Back

After a lackluster four days of up and down trading, the subprime woes and a weak jobs report hammered the market on Friday. With hedge funds, builders and mortgage companies melting down, the concern is the housing mess will spill over into other areas of the economy. Hence, the uptick of the unemployment rate to 4.6% gave traders one more reason to unwind their positions.

On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve meets and investors will be looking for any references to the problems in the credit markets or a change in the Fed's position on inflation. There is no indication there will be any change in the Fed's target interest rate of 5.25%, which has held steady for over a year now. Lehman Brothers anticipates the Fed's outlook on growth and inflation will remain unchanged and only a minor acknowledgement of market developments will be mentioned.

The biggest concern I have is how over leveraged the financial system is. Treasury Secretary Paulson has stated the subprime credit fiasco is contained, but others aren't so sure. Alan Abelson, of Barrons, cites concerns by Jeremy Grantham, who runs GMO, an insitutional money manager. Grantham feels we are "watching a very slow train wreck", and that in five years, because of over leverage, at least one major bank will have failed, half of the hedge funds and a substantial percentage of the private-equity companies "will have ceased to exist". One of the great equalizers of our markets is the fact that eventually unsound investments unravel and leave unwise investors holding a worthless bag. The question is how far down do these unsound investments drag the rest of us. Containment becomes a very important issue.

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Give Back Time

After barely breaching the 14,000 point, within six trading sessions the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to bring traders to their knees and have the press discussing the carnage on Wall Street. For the week, the DJIA managed to give back 734.94 points and closed at 13,265.47, which is a 5.24% decline. Of course the DJIA was not alone in its pain, as the Standard and Poor's 500 surrendered 79.33 points to close at 1,473.17 and cough up 5.1% of its value, and the NASDAQ relinquished 5.5% or 150 points, to end the week at 2,562.24. All and all, not a very good week for the indices, as the bears surely trashed the recent party.

Earlier in the week, we spoke of the possibility of more selling, which would not necessarily be a bad thing. This market has not seen a 10% decline, which is considered a correction and generally thought to be a positive occurrence, since this bull run began. Of course no decline in the market comes without some pain for investors, but as the saying goes, "no pain, no gain". Should this be the beginning of a correction, the DJIA would have to fall to 12,600, the S&P 500 to 1,397 and the NASDAQ to 2,441 to register a 10% decline. If this were to occur, it would be painful, but only the S&P 500 would actually be down for the year, as the DJIA and NASDAQ would still be slightly above their January 2007 levels.

What makes this drop particularly intriguing is the fact that we are at a point in the economic cycle, where most economists are expecting about 2.5% GDP growth, which would indicate this is just a bump in the road. However, as we discussed here before, the average economic cycle since 1945 has lasted 67 months, which we have surpassed now in this cycle. With housing and the mortgage debacle weighing on economy, the possibility exists this current economic cycle could be closer to the average, and not like the last two economic cycles we've experienced. So, what do you do about the uncertainty? Swings in the prices of your investments are only paper gains or losses until you sell and lock in the gain or loss. My suggestion is to continue to diversify your holdings, and hope this cycle is another record!

John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No Housing Bottom In Sight

Market Update

On Tuesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 226.47 points, primarily on earnings news from mortgage lenders, and in particular Countrywide Financial Corp. The company said it doesn't expect the mortgage business to recover until 2009, and that gave traders reason enough to dump shares. While my expectation is traders will jump back into the market today, we also have to remember there has not been a major correction in this market yet, so anything is possible. The biggest fear is the deflating of the housing market will chill the consumer's willingness to spend, due to a perception of less personal wealth caused by lower equity in their homes. If the consumer pulls back on spending, profits at corporations take a hit and that is not good for the market.

Email Aesthetics

It`s an old, old saying, but it`s true: you only have one
chance to make a good first impression. And in email, the
first impression is always visual -- a consumer LOOKS/SEES
before he/she READS.

Imagine walking by a grotesquely garish storefront with all
kinds of things hanging off the front porch, every floor
painted a different color, and odd music playing through
loudspeakers. Would you want to walk in the front door? No
way! You`d assume that the owner is a kook, at best, or a
deranged axe murderer, at worst.

Did you ever have an ugly looking email land in your
mailbox? You know what I`m talking about: an orange
background and yellow borders, multi-colored text in all
sizes from gigantic to microscopic, a message that looks like
it was created by a crazed six-year-old? If you did, I bet
you didn`t feel the urge to read it. You probably just
wanted to delete it as quickly as possible.

You want your email message to be friendly and inviting, not
bizarre and scary. The suggestions below -- and they`re
just suggestions, not hard and fast rules -- will go a long
way towards making recipients` eyes say "come on in!" to
your message.


-DON`T use COLOR fonts in your message. (Leave that to
junior high girls who want to write about Britney and

"speaking" in black-and-white, people will give their full
attention to your message without being distracted by your
color scheme.)

-DON`T use UNCOMMON FONTS. (If someone`s system doesn`t
recognize the font you`ve selected, they could see gibberish
instead of your brilliant message).

-DO use the email marketers` FAVORITE FONTS: Arial, Times
New Roman, and Courier New

And please.

-DON`T use flashing buttons or banners in your email! (Your
prospects have undoubtedly gotten their fill of "bells and
whistles" when they`ve surfed the Internet. They don`t need
more from you.)


An "email hyperlink" is just techno-talk for a link in your
email to a website, or email address. Sounds simple enough,
and it is -- unless you try to contact a prospect on AOL who
may not be able to receive "clickable" links.

Don`t worry. There`s a "fix" for this: simply type mailto:
in front of your email address (no space in between, and
include the : )

For a link to a web page, you need to write your link this
way: href=http://www.anycompany.com>http://www.anycompany.com
. (And tell your recipient they can copy and paste this
link into their browser if it`s not highlighted.)


Today, it`s common practice on the Internet to tell people
about your product or service with a SIGNATURE TAG, which is
3-6 lines of text (usually) that is automatically added to
every message you send.

If you`d like to add a tag to your messages, simply open
your email program. Find the SIGNATURES TAB (located in the
TOOLS/OPTIONS menu in Outlook Express). Follow the (simple)
instructions for creating a sig file. Easy as pie...and the
results will amaze you.

That`s it for now, but get your "net" ready. Next lesson
we`re going to hunt down and CAPTURE EMAILS.


John Kaighn

Jersey Benefits Advisors

Plug in Profit Site

Internet Home Business Ideas and Opportunities

Monday, July 23, 2007

Market Update

After a quick perusal of the Wall Street Journal this morning, I counted no less than four articles relating to the subprime mortgage mess. When you consider the damage done to the two Bear Stearn's hedge funds, by leveraging their purchases of securities consisting of subprime mortgage debt, you can understand why the media is all over this one. According to an article by Alan Abelson in Barrons, the combined total of the losses in these two funds is approximatey $20 billion. What is even more eye popping is the amount of leverage used. As of March 2007, the two funds had a total of $1.5 billion in investor money, and with those funds were able to purchase assets, some long and some short, which were valued at $20 billion. By June 30, 2007, after a bail out by Bear Stearns, the less leveraged High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Fund had about $1.6 billion in value left, while its sibling, the High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund was wiped out.

On a brighter note, the Dow Jones Industrial Average cracked the 14,000 level by .41 of a point on Thursday, only to give back 149.3 points on Friday as investors fretted about corporate earnings. The Standard and Poor's 500 also closed in record territory on Thursday at 1,553.08, but also retrenched 18.98 points on Friday. At just past mid year, the Dow is up 11.14% and the S&P 500 is up 8.16% year to date. The NASDAQ is also up 11.27% so far this year, and many bulls feel the indices still have some strength left as speculation, evidenced by small investor trading, is practically nonexistent.

While economic growth has accelerated recently, core inflation in the CPI has been muted. The Federal Reserve is still somewhat uncertain about the direction of inflation, as demonstrated by the statement, "sustained moderation hasn't been convincingly demonstrated". Recently, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics issued new research, which suggests a slowdown in home ownership costs, in particular owner equvalent rent (OER), which is a measure how much a homeowner would receive for renting his home. OER makes up approximately 24% of the CPI, and the slowdown in housing has resulted in more homes being rented, which restrains the rate of increase in rents. If this new research holds up, then we could conceivable see more benign inflation statistics going forward. Now, if we could only find a way to restrain the rate of increase of the non-core components: FOOD and ENERGY!

John Kaighn is a Registered Investment Advisor with Jersey Benefits Advisors and writes articles on various business and investment information, ideas and opportunities. For more information about this and other topics you can visit Jersey Benefits Advisors and Internet Home Business Ideas and Opportunities

Friday, July 13, 2007

Dow Sets New Record

As I mentioned on Monday, earnings season is upon us, as public companies release their quarterly earnings reports and guidance for the upcoming quarter. So far, investors seem to like the guidance they are receiving, because the Dow Jones Industrial Average rocketed to a new high of 13,861.73, gaining 283.86 points on the day. This was the best one day gain for the index in four years. Mergers and acquisition activity, as well as solid retail sales and lower crude oil prices helped fuel the buying. The Standard and Poor's 500 also posted a record close of 1,547.70 gaining 29 points, while the NASDAQ added 49 points to close at 2,701.73.

The Bush Administration released its midsession budget review on Wednesday, and the estimates are that the budget deficit should be $205 billion for for 2007, which is better that 50% less than the deficit in 2004, which was $413 billion. While those numbers may seem astronomical, it is important to note that they represent 1.5% of the total share of the economy. This is well below the 40 year average budget deficit of 2.4%. The Congressional Budget Office says tax collections are so strong, that the deficit could actually be under $200 billion by years end.

One reason for this strength in tax revenue is due to the tax cuts in 2003 on investment. While tax cuts take some time to work their way into the economy, the main reason the deficit is shrinking is due to increased tax revenues. Federal tax receipts have increased nearly $700 billion since 2004, which is the largest ever tax revenue gain over a similar period of time. Going forward, the biggest risk to continued deficit reduction is not the war on terror, but rather the potential economic slowdown due to protectionist policies on trade.

John Kaighn is a Registered Investment Advisor with Jersey Benefits Advisors and writes articles on various business and investment information, ideas and opportunities. For more information about this and other topics you can visit Jersey Benefits Advisors and Internet Home Business Ideas and Opportunities

Monday, July 9, 2007

It's Earnings Season, Again!

Investors will be eyeing second quarter earnings reports over the next few weeks to get a feel for the health of corporate profits, which will set the tone for the direction of the stock market. Last week's employment numbers were better than expected, which shows the economy is still humming along. The unemployment rate held steady at 4.5%, nonfarm payrolls rose by 132,000 in June, while the April and May numbers were revised upward by a combined 75,000 jobs.

During the holiday shortened week, the the market stayed in a tight trading range, as crude oil moved above $76 a barrel. Even with oil prices moving upward, gasoline prices have been holding steady, due to the fact that inventories have been higher than expected. Treasury yields also inched up to 5.19%, but the increase didn't seem to spook the market. For the market to resume its upward trend, earnings are going to have to meet or exceed forcasts, and the guidance by companies will be scrutinized extensively.

John Kaighn is a Registered Investment Advisor with Jersey Benefits Advisors and writes articles on various business and investment information, ideas and opportunities. For more information about this and other topics you can visit Internet Home Business Ideas and Opportunities and Jersey Benefits Advisors

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Reciprocal Review Carousel

Reciprocal Review Carousel
Category: Blogging

Do you want to get some extra visitors to your blog and increase your link popularity at the same time? I am sure the answer to this question is probably a resounding Yes!. Read on to find out how you can quickly and easily use this viral technique...

Bill Shultz, a fellow Internet Marketer and Plug-In Profit site owner told me about this technique, which Jack Humphrey calls linking on steroids! It's an effective way to post quality content to your blog and get lots of links back at the same time.

All you need to do to join in is follow the instructions below:

---copy and paste the Reciprocal Review Carousel and instructions below this line ---

The Reciprocal Review Carousel idea is based on a few simple yet effective link-building and blogging techniques I have learned:

Build value of the blog by creating a helpful link from within content.

Provide value to community by doing a review on a blog you personally like.

Link to YOUR blog has exact anchor text you want and helps you boost Google Rankings.

No more than 30 outbound links from any page to prevent penalties for link farming.

Viral effect of the link as more bloggers participate, link to your blog with YOUR anchor text, coming from quality content post will spread.

Here is How to participate:

Copy the entire text between the specified lines.

Create a post on your site and put at least one paragraph explaining how you joined the Reciprocal Review Carousel.

Paste the text you copied into your post.

Remove the Bottom Review and At the Top add your own review with a link to a site reviewed, at least 2 sentences about the site and a note Reviewed by: Your Anchor Text.

Link your anchor text to your site. Here is an example:

WordPress Web 2.0 Guide is a blog providing very useful information on building your very own Web 2.0 portal based on WordPress. Detailed instructions and howto guides make it possible for anyone to create a sparkling and engaging blog and join the community of like-minded individuals. Reviewed by: WordPress Web 2.0 Spot-er

Sites Reviewed:

Bill Shultz's Blog, PipelineIncomes.com is a regularly updated blog which strives to give information about internet home business opportunities to people interested in developing a home business. It is informative and provides links to many business opportunities on the internet. Nice job of incorporating the blog into your site, Bill. Reviewed by John Kaighn for the Jersey Benefits Blog and The Kaighn Report which provide information for entrepreneurs in the areas of investments, finance and Education.

Carl Hendricks Home Based Business Prosperity is a well-established blog where you can find multitude of information on Internet Marketing and blogging. Carl's blog is jam packed with helpful tips and ideas to help you with your online business. Reviewed by: Bill Shultz for his Pipeline Incomes blog.

Gamy Rachel has a blog - Make A Living Honestly that provides readers with methods of being profitable online while mainitaining the highetst levels of integrity. You will find helpful advice on article marketing, working from home and quality affiliate programs. You will find ways to develop a robust home based business Reviewed by: Carl Hendricks Home Based Business Prosperity.

Wolney H Filho's Work at Home Online blog provides lots of tips and advice for people who want to start a work at home business. Wolney has over 10 years of networking experience and regularly updates his blog to give you the latest ideas on how to work at home online and how to promote your website. Reviewed by Suzanne Morrison for her Internet Business Ideas blog.

Dean's Home Business Reporter is a WordPress blog of an associate whom helped I setup another blog for just a short time ago. Yet in this short time Dean has learned the power of blogging and has installed a new blog on his own that is shaping up to be a great resource for those looking for work at home business opportunities. Reviewed by Jeff Houdyschell @ Work At Home BusinessBlog

Jeff Houdyschell's Work At Home Business Blog is loaded with all the information you might need to know about the work at home business industry. It is designed to be easy to find what you are looking for and what he has to offer. Jeff also offers a very unique personalized WordPress Installation Service at a very affordable cost. I have used this service. I will highly recommend Jeff to any one that wants a blog installed on their own domain. Check him out you won't be sorry.Reviewed by: Dean@Dean's Home Business Reporter

Suzanne Morrison's Internet Home Business Ideas Blog is an excellent Blog. She can help you to make a full time income from the internet. She is part of the Plug-In Profit Site team and her blog is frequently updated with Internet home business ideas, product reviews and suggestions for and promoting your website. Reviewed by Wolney H Filho, the work at home online blog.

Mal Keenan's Internet Marketing Blog is a frequently updated blog on everything pertaining to the world of internet marketing and home business. He includes plenty of internet marketing tips and techniques in his blog and also reviews the latest internet marketing products. Unlike some marketers who recommend every product under the sun, Mal has a very honest approach to his reviews and only recommends products that have actually worked for him. Reviewed by Suzanne Morrison for her Internet Business Ideas blog

Jeff Schuman's make money blog is one of those blogs that I visit often. Jeff has become an expert in achieiving top search engine rankings for some of the most competitive ‘making money online’ keyword phrases. Reviewed by Mal Keenan's Internet Marketing blog.

Jeff Casmer's Work At Home Blog is an excellent blog that ties in well with his top rated work at home directory. He works hard at helping people and his blog is updated reguarly with information that is timely to help you work from home and earn money. Reviewed by: Jeff Schuman for his make money blog to help people make more money and get more traffic.

Jack Humphrey's blog The Friday Traffic Report is just another in a long line of things I read when it is done by Jack. Of course his Power Linking and Authority Black Book are just two examples of the tremendous information he provides. He blogs now about Web 2.0 and social marketing and if you are looking for tips to get more traffic you should check it out and subscribe to his feed. Reviewed by: Jeff Schuman for his make money blog to help people make more money and get more traffic.

Peter Lenkefi writes about Web 2.0 marketing strategies at Web2Center.com. He has some killer videos over there you should check out along with a ton of good information on blog marketing and various “new media” promotion tactics. Reviewed by: Link Building Maniac, Jack Humphrey, for the Friday Traffic Report

--- copy and paste the Reciprocal Review Carousel and instructions above this line ---

To summarize, you just need to copy everything between the two lines and then remove the review at the bottom and add your review of someone else's blog at the top!

Hopefully this will bring you some top quality links and traffic.

John Kaighn

Home Business Ideas and Opportunities

Jersey Benefits Advisors

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Jersey Benefits Advisors Newsletter - Summer 2007


Market Watch

The Federal Reserve ended its June Federal Open Market Committee meeting on June 28th, and the only change indicated for the foreseeable future is that the Fed sees core inflation as somewhat less of a risk, while overall inflation is still a concern. Interest rates remained on hold at 5.25%, where they have been for a year now, and investors hoping for a rate cut have capitulated. This surrender by bond investors has provided a slightly positive slope to the yield curve, as long term rates are modestly higher than short term rates.

This leads me to believe there may be another way to view the inversion of the yield curve, which happened last year. While many view an inversion of the yield curve as a precursor to recession, historically we have not had a recession every time the yield curve inverts. This last inversion did precede the first quarter economic slowdown of 2007, so perhaps the inversion of the yield curve in 2006 was indicating the mid cycle slowdown which occurred earlier this year. The US economy has been expanding since November of 2001, so based on the length of the last two economic cycles, the first quarter slowdown of 2007 occurred right in the middle of the cycle. However, it should also be noted that the last two US economic cycles have been records, stretching from November 1982 to March 1991 and March 1991 to November 2001, when analyzed from the bottom of one cycle to the bottom of the next cycle, or trough to trough. There were 10 economic cycles from 1945-2001, and the average duration from trough to trough was 67 months. Nobody can really say, with any certainty, how long the current cycle will last, but given all of the shocks incurred over the last five years, the economy has been quite resilient.

Of course, as long as the economy is growing, the stock market will react in a favorable manner. Although the indices are off their peaks set in the second quarter, as the books were closed on the first half of 2007, the DJIA stood at 13,408.62 which is a gain of 7.6% year to date. The NASDAQ closed at 2,603.23 for a gain of 7.8% thus far for 2007. The S&P 500 finished at 1,503.35 which is an increase of 6.0% for 2007. While the S&P 500 is off its record close of 1,539.18, the fact that it finally surpassed the old record of 1,527.46 set back in 2000 is a significant technical feat which bodes well for a continuation of the current bull market.

The consensus of economic forecasts for the second half of 2007 predict GDP growth of between 2%-3%, which is what should be expected for a mature expansion. How much strength remains in the economy depends on a number of factors. Maintaining healthy growth without increased inflation is paramount. While core inflation seems to be under control, the increases in the prices of food and energy are being felt by everyone. There is also a great deal of concern regarding the subprime mortgage market and the collateralized debt obligations and collateralized mortgage obligations on which many hedge funds feed. With mortgage foreclosures in the subprime market increasing, which lowers the value of CDO’s and CMO’s, there is a fear many hedge funds could incur significant losses, like those at Bear Stearns, as the value of their portfolios are rebalanced at the end of the quarter. As with most aggressive investment bets, when fundamentals change, things can go south in a hurry. In my mind this is just one more reason for diversifying your assets and not chasing returns.

Hype, Hope and the 4th of July Holiday

The Blackstone IPO and Apple iPhone’s debut were two very hyped events which took place in June. While Blackstone’s stock initially surged, it is now below the original offering price as private equity houses begin to reassess the cost of doing ever larger deals as the cost of debt increases. Apple’s faithful lined up in front of stores for days, prior to the release of the iPhone, and even with a cost of $599, sales are expected to be brisk. One can’t help but wonder how many people really want to watch video on their cell phone, especially with all of the huge plasma and LCD screens available for only a few hundred dollars more. Then again, after the 4th of July fireworks, it might be nice to relive the experience again and again while sitting in traffic on the way home.


At Jersey Benefits Advisors and Jersey Benefits Group, Inc. protecting your privacy is very important to us. We want you to understand what information we collect and how we use it. We collect and use information from you on applications and other forms as well as information about financial transactions with us and from non-affiliated third parties. This “nonpublic personal information” is obtained in connection with providing a financial product or service to you.
We do not disclose any nonpublic personal information about you without your express consent, except as permitted by law. We may disclose the nonpublic personal information we collect to persons or companies that perform services on our behalf.
We restrict access to your nonpublic personal information and only allow disclosures to persons and companies as permitted by law to assist in providing products or services to you.
We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your nonpublic personal information at all times.


Many people have 401k or 403b accounts from jobs they’ve left for various reasons. One of the problems with this is the duplication of objectives within each account. Having a lot of funds, in several accounts, does not always provide the diversification you aim to achieve.
If you or a family member are in this situation, and would like to consolidate assets into one diversified IRA and receive just one statement, please give me a call to analyze the accounts, make recommendations and assist with the paperwork involved. As long as you have terminated employment with the employer, or the particular plan has been terminated, you are eligible to roll the funds over into an IRA. You do not have to be of retirement age.
If you have retired, or are considering retirement, you have the option to move assets out of your employer plan and into an account, which can provide a lifetime income, when you retire. The whole idea is to work with someone you trust and is available to you, when you wish to discuss your account. Every employer plan is different, and every individual is different, so personal preference is very important, and there is no “one plan fits all”.
Depending on your appetite for risk, IRA accounts can be in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or ETF’s with one or more companies. If you’re somewhat risk averse, variable annuities offer participation in the market with downside protection and guaranteed growth for an additional fee. Feel free to give me a call to discuss your options.


Investment Advisory services offered through:
Jersey Benefits Advisors
P.O. Box 1406
Ocean City, N.J. 08226
Phone: 609 827 0194
Fax: 609 861 9257
Email: kaighn@jerseybenefits.com

Securities offered through:
Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
A registered Broker/Dealer
1150 S. Olive St. Suite T-25
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Member NASD & SIPC

Third Party Administration and Insurance Services offered through:
Jersey Benefits Group, Inc
P.O. Box 1406
Ocean City, N.J. 08226
Phone: 609 827 0194
Fax: 609 861 9257
Email: jerseybenefits@yahoo.com

All opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of John Kaighn & Jersey Benefits Advisors, formerly known as Kaighn Financial Services.
Visit our website at http://johnkaighn.com

Monday, June 25, 2007

Winds of War

Normally, I write my entire blog, but on ocassion an article comes to my attention which I think needs to be shared. Such is the case of this editorial by Joshua Muravchik, which appeared in the Wall Street Journal this morning. We live in dangerous times, and I believe there are many people in this country who have not fully assessed the dangers posed by radical Islam and in particular, Iran. This article serves as a bit of a current events and history lesson as well as a warning of a future Middle Eastern regional conflict, which could draw us in, should we continue to run up the white flag in Iraq.


By Joshua Muravchik

Several conflicts of various intensities are raging in the Middle East. But a bigger war, involving more states-Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, the Palestinian Authority and perhaps the United States and others is growing more likely everyday, beckoned by the sense that America and Israel are in retreat and that radical Islam is ascending.

Consider the pell-mell events of recent weeks. Iran imprisons four Americans on absurd charges only weeks after seizing 15 British sailors on the high seas. Iran's Revolutionary Guard is caught delivering weapons to the Taliban and explosives to Iraqi terrorists. A car bomb in Lebanon is used to assassinate parliament member Walid Eido, killing nine others and wounding 11 more. At the same time, Fatah al-Islam, a shady group linked to Syria, launches an attack on the Lebanese army from within a Palestinian refugee area, beheading several soldiers. Tehran trumpets further progress on nuclear enrichment as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeats his call for annihilating Israel, crowing that "the countdown to the destruction of this regime has begun."Hamas seizes control militarily in Gaza. Katyusha rockets are
launched from Lebanon into northern Israel for the first time since the end of last summer's Israel-Hezbollah war.

Two important inferences can be distilled from this list. One is that the Tehran regime takes its slogan, "death to America,"quite seriously,even if we do not. It is arming the Taliban, with which it was at sword's point when the Taliban were in power.

start wars
by underestimating
democracies. Events
in the Middle East
suggest Iran is
making that mistake.

It seems to be supplying explosives not only to Shiite, but also Sunni terrorists in Iraq. It reportedly is sheltering high-level al Qaeda figures despite the Sunni-Shiite divide. All of these surprising actions are for the sake of bleeding the U.S.
However hateful this behavior may be to us, it has a certain strategic logic: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." What is even more worrisome about the events enumerated above is that most of them are devoid of any such strategic logic. For example,the Hamas "putsch" in Gaza-as Marwan Barghouti, the hero of the Palestinian
intifada, labeled it from his prison cell-was an enormous blunder.

Hamas already mostly controlled Gaza. It is hard to imagine what gains it can reap from its "victory." But it is easy to see the losses. Fatah, and the government of its leader Mahmoud Abbas, will be able to restore their strength in the West Bank with the eager assistance of virtually the whole outside world, while Gaza will be shut off and denied outside aid far more strictly than during the past year. Israel
will retaliate against shelling with a freer hand. Egypt will tighten its border.
And Hamas has in one swoop negated its own supreme achievement, namely winning a majority in Palestine's 2006 parliamentary elections. Until now,Hamas had a powerful argument: how can the West demand democracy and then boycott the winners?
But now it is Hamas itself that has destroyed Palestinian democracy by staging an armed coup. Its democratic credentials have gone up in the smoke of its own arson.

Syria's actions in Lebanon scarcely make moresense. The murder of parliamentarian
Eido will solidify and energize the majority that opposes Syria. Some suppose that, having now bumped off two Lebanese MPs (Pierre Gemayel was the other one), Syria
plans to shave away the anti-Syrian majority in Lebanon's parliament by committing
another five murders. But if so, this is a crazy gambit. Such a campaign would invite international intervention. It might well fracture the pro-Syrian forces: More Shiites will abandon Hezbollah and more Maronites will turn against Hezbollah's cat's-paw, Michel Aoun. And the murders might be for naught anyway: By-elections are
already being planned that are likely to replace the martyred legislators with
others of the same mind.As for the attack on the Lebanese army, Fatah aI-Islam is on the brink of being crushed, leaving behind only more hatred of Syria and a better-armed, more confident Lebanese army.

As for Iran's actions, while arming the Taliban and Iraqi terrorists may make sense, what is the point of seizing British sailors or locking up the four Iranian-Americans, including the beloved 67 year-old scholar, Haleh Esfandieri, none of whom are involved even in political activity, much less in the exercise of hard power?

The apparent meaning of all of this pointless provocation and bullying is that the ails of radicals-Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah-is feeling its oats. In part its aim is to intimidate the rest of us, in part it is merely enjoying flexing its muscles. It believes that its side has defeated America in Iraq, and Israel in Gaza and Lebanon. Mr. Ahmadinejad recently claimed that the West has already begun to "surrender," and he gloated that "final victory. . . is near." It is this bravado that bodes war.

A large portion of modern wars erupted because aggressive tyrannies believed that their democratic opponents were soft and weak. Often democracies have fed such beliefs by their own flaccid behavior. Hitler's contempt for America, stoked by
the policy of appeasement, is a familiar story. But there are many others. North Korea invaded South Korea after Secretary of State Dean Acheson declared that Korea lay beyond our "defense perimeter." Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait after our ambassador assured him that America does not intervene in quarrels among Arabs. Imperial Germany launched World War I, encouraged by Great Britain's open reluctance
to get involved. Nasser brought on the 1967 Six Day War, thinking that he could extort some concessions from Israel by rattling his sword.

Democracies, it is now well established, do not go to war with each other. But they often get into wars with non-democracies. Overwhelmingly the non-democracy starts the war; nonetheless, in the vast majority of cases, it is the democratic side that wins. In other words, dictators consistently underestimate the strength of democracies, and democracies provoke war through their love of peace, which the
dictators mistake for weakness.

Today, this same dynamic is creating a moment of great danger. The radicals
are becoming reckless, asserting themselves for little reason beyond the
conviction that they can. They are very likely to overreach. It is not hard to
imagine scenarios in which a single match-say a terrible terror attack from Gaza-could ignite a chain reaction. Israel could handle Hamas, Hezbollab
and Syria, albeit with painful losses all around, but if Iran intervened rather
than see its regional assets eliminated, could the U.S. stay out?

With the Bush administration's policies having failed to pacify Iraq, it is
natural that the public has lost patience and that the opposition party is
hurling brickbats. But the demands of congressional Democrats that we throw in the towel in Iraq, their attempts to, constrain the president's freedom to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons program, the proposal of the Baker-Hamilton commission that we
appeal to Iran to help extricate us from Iraq-all of these may be read by the
radicals as signs of our imminent collapse. In the name of peace, they are
hastening the advent of the next war.

Mr. Muravchik is a resident scholar
at the American Enterprise Institute.

John Kaighn is a Registered Investment Advisor with Jersey Benefits Advisors and writes articles on various business and investment information, ideas and opportunities. For more information about this and other topics you can visit http://www.johnkaighn.com and http://www.jerseybenefits.com