Money Matters - Simplified


Sin Stocks Revisited

"Socially responsible investing" has always been a frustratingly hazy term. While SRI finally received long-overdue respect in 2010, its definition hasn't gotten any less uncertain. But in 2010, the criteria for "socially responsible" investments -- and their opposite number, "sin stocks" -- began to expand in intriguing and unexpected ways.

4-Star Stocks Poised to Pop: Aegean Marine Petroleum


The Popular Investment No One Understands

There have been a lot of financial losers in recent years -- underwater homeowners, debt-strapped municipalities, and even actively managed mutual funds. Investors who expected their managers to protect them during the financial crisis were sorely surprised, as the majority of active managers were caught flatfooted by the market decline. As equity funds dropped in value, many investors headed for the exits.



Is Medtronic Going to Burn You?

There's no foolproof way to know the future for Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) or any other company. However, certain clues may help you see potential stumbles before they happen -- and before your stock craters as a result. Rest assured: Even if you're not monitoring these metrics, short-sellers are.

Don't Get Too Worked Up Over Kellogg's Earnings

Although business headlines still tout earnings numbers, many investors have moved past net earnings as a measure of a company's economic output. That's because earnings are very often less trustworthy than cash flow, since earnings are more open to manipulation based on dubious judgment calls.

High-Priced Stocks Worth Every Penny

Penny stocks are one way to double your money, though they tend to be fraught with risk. But there are equally shiny opportunities trading at the other end of the price spectrum, too. I call 'em "three-digit stocks," yet if they're anything like Berkshire Hathaway, they can trade in the four-, five-, and six-digit range, too.

Is It Time to Sell This Sector?

Running a 24-hour live chat for charity last week was fun and helped a good cause. It also provided a good snippet of what is on the minds of investors in The Motley Fool community.

Don't Buy This Buffett Pick

Odds are that if you heard about a Warren Buffett pick trading near its 52-week low that had "amazed" Bill Gates, you'd be pretty interested in picking up shares for yourself. You might even rush out to do so once you got wind of the rumor that Buffett was looking to increase the size of his investment in the company. Tack onto that the fact that it's a fast-growing company in China, and this could be a stock you'd hold and profit from for the next decade or more.

How Much of a Bargain Is Aflac's Stock by the Numbers?

Numbers can lie -- but they're the best first step in determining whether a stock is a buy. In this series, we use some carefully chosen metrics to size up a stock's true value based on the following clues:

Is Capella Education Earning Enough for You?

Margins matter. The more Capella Education (Nasdaq: CPLA) keeps of each buck it earns in revenue, the more money it has to invest in growth, fund new strategic plans, or (gasp!) distribute to shareholders. Healthy margins often separate pretenders from the best stocks in the market. That's why I check on my holdings' margins at least once a quarter. I'm looking for the absolute numbers, comparisons to sector peers and competitors, and any trend that may tell me how strong Capella Education's competitive position could be.