High Court marshals on Tuesday afternoon moved to levy on assets of the New Building Society (NBS) as lawyers for former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maurice Arjoon sought to enforce the $59 million court decision.The $59 million was awarded to Arjoon in a judgement against NBS for his wrongful dismissal from the financial institution.More details in January 24 edition of the Guyana Times.
That leaves stocks. According to Kleintop, earnings per share for companies listed in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index have risen 46 percent since 2001 and dividends per share are up 39 percent. Yet a stock’s value, measured by comparing its price to potential earnings, has declined. In 2001, stocks were priced about 22.2 times forward earnings, compared to 13.8 times forward earnings today, Kleintop said. In other words, while a given stock may have risen or fallen over the past five years, stock investors could get more for their dollar overall on Wall Street. There’s evidence that investors are already moving back to stocks. Mutual fund companies reported strong inflows through the second half of 2005. And in the first two weeks of 2006, E-Trade Financial Corp. said it has seen a 50 percent increase in walk-in traffic at its New York financial center. On Monday, when the Dow first topped 11,000, E-Trade’s trading traffic saw a two-year high. “I definitely think you’re seeing more investor confidence in the marketplace,” said Michael Curcio, executive vice president for retail at E-Trade. “But it’s also a different kind of investor than we saw during the dot-com bubble.” In the 1990s, investors jumped on anything in the tech sector, regardless of whether the companies even planned to turn a profit in the near future. That exuberance, which was all but destroyed when the tech-focused Nasdaq dropped 78 percent in just 2 years, has been replaced by a new appreciation of well-established, profitable, dividend-paying companies. “It’s not a sector play. There’s no real huge leader like tech was in the `90s,” Kleintop said. “It’s about finding the right company with a compelling story.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000-01, the housing market has taken off. The number of home sales climbed steadily since 2001, the last time the Dow was at 11,000. And while the Dow eventually fell to 7,286.27 on Oct. 9, 2002 – the nadir of the bear market – home prices have doubled or even tripled in some areas, such as New York, San Francisco and southern California. Yet recent evidence suggests the housing market is slowing. Existing home sales are expected to fall 4.4 percent in 2006 after years of record sales, while new construction is expected to drop 6.6 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors. And the median price of a home, forecast to rise 12.9 percent for 2005, is expected to climb just 5.1 percent this year – a solid increase, but small compared to the ones real estate investors have enjoyed over the past few years. “Baby boomers are turning 60, and they’re working to build up those nest eggs for retirement. For some that are running behind, that means putting at least some of that nest egg into more aggressive investments,” said David Kelly, senior economic adviser at Putnam Investments in Boston. “For a while, that was real estate or high-yield bonds. Not anymore.” Investor confidence in high-yield bonds has been shaken over the last year as the at-risk companies that issue them have struggled – just look at General Motors Corp.’s bonds, which tumbled in value, or those of Refco Inc., the one-time financial services darling that plummeted into bankruptcy after its chief executive allegedly hid $430 million in bad debts off the books. Even government bonds have been volatile, with the yield curve inverting in the last week of 2005. Normally, long-term bonds like the 10- or 30-year yield more than a two-year or shorter-term note, because the government is borrowing the principal longer. But when the curve inverted, the two-year had better returns than the 10-year and increased investors frustrations. NEW YORK – Bruce McMeiken has had a good run investing in real estate near his Orange County, Calif., home. Now, however, he thinks there’s a better place for his money: the stock market. “I don’t think we’re all the way back yet in stocks, but I believe there’s some good bargains out there,” said McMeiken, a one-time dot-com executive. “Real estate’s been good, and I don’t think you’re going to see that bubble completely burst, but I think it’s time to look at stocks again.” Like other investors in the first half of the decade, McMeiken had success investing in real estate. But with sales slowing and home prices flat, there’s a concern that the real estate market is cooling. And with bonds experiencing worrisome trends and increased volatility, and the Dow Jones industrial average topping 11,000 this past week, investors have increasingly focused on stocks. “We’ve already seen individual investors showing some signs of interest in the fourth quarter, and something like Dow 11,000 just increases that interest,” said Jeff Kleintop, chief investment strategist for PNC Financial Services Group in Philadelphia. “This week could be the shot in the arm people need to really get back in again.”