Some Great Books to Help Investors Understand the Modern Economy

If you want to understand the origins of the retail apocalypse; and the rise of Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), read this book. Does a good job of explaining who Jeff Bezos is and exposing his thought processes.

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United Health Group – The Value in Health Insurance

Beyond the existential reasons, UnitedHealth is just a good basic stock. It gave investors a dividend yield of 1.51% and a return on equity of 18.71% on September 30. In contrast, Amazon paid no dividend and offered investors a return on equity of 2.92% on a stock that was trading at $657.02 a share on November 10, 2015.

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Some Modern-Day Widows and Orphans Stocks

The bottom line is that widows and orphans stocks still exist. You just have to know where to look for them.

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Target and Best Buy Could Get Desperate with Free Shipping Deals

The 2016 holidays and the free shipping offers may prove whether Target and Best Buy are going to be major players in the world of online retail or not. One just hopes that management teams are not betting the company on such offers. If they are, the death spiral could be closer than we think, especially for Target.

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Could Google Start Underwriting Insurance Policies?

What this means is that Alphabet could quickly become a major player in the insurance business, much as it is a major power in advertising and directories. It also means that your insurance agency could go the way of the telephone directory, and your insurance agent could end up delivering pizza for a living.

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Do Canadian Railroads Make Money?

Are railroads actually a value investment, or is it just certain companies such as the Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP), or UP? The Canadian transcontinental lines do have some interesting characteristics; after all, they do provide a direct transportation link between the West Coast and the Midwest that bypasses the U.S. West Coast ports and their labor troubles. Unlike some U.S. transcontinental lines, the Canadian railways also provide direct connections to the East Coast. These railroads are also well positioned to take advantage of the oil boom in the central continent, particularly Alberta’s oil sands.

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Cisco Systems a Company with a Lot of Cash

Cisco Systems is a value investment for a very simple reason. It is an infrastructure company: one of those great businesses that you do not see but is all around you, much like the pipeline and supply chain companies that Warren Buffett owns.

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Sysco: A Value Investment You Have Never Heard Of

If you are looking for a classic Warren Buffett-style value play, Sysco is certainly worth a look. It has many of the attributes Uncle Warren loves: It is not sexy, but it has a steady, widespread business that generates a lot of cash, and that business is growing.

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Housing Bubble in Canada

One reason why housing is not on the U.S. national agenda is that for most Americans, there is no housing shortage. A quick look at Zillow indicates that prices are actually falling in many markets, including regions in Colorado that are a little over a hundred miles from the red-hot Denver market.

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Do Auto Insurance Companies Make Money?

Buffett’s classic theory is that insurance companies can generate a lot of float from the premiums. The idea is that large numbers of people send in premiums every month, so as long as the amount of payments taken in exceeds the claims paid out, the insurer has a big pile of extra cash it can tap.

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