Jim Probasco

Contributing Author

Jim is a veteran business writer with more than 30 years’ experience including online, print, radio and television.

He has written business and finance related content for a variety of online and print outlets in areas that include personal finance, the stock market and profiles of industry leaders.

Jim was head writer for a series of Public Broadcasting Service television specials and a staff comedy writer for the Marconi Award winning Gary Burbank Show on WLW radio.

He continues to write radio short form comedy airing on more than 200 stations nationwide. When not writing, Jim enjoys hiking, fishing, reading, playing his trombone and traveling with his wife.

Blog posts

News and Articles
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  • Recent talk about increasing oil prices and a rising dollar has led to concern that the combination could be a double whammy for U.S. equities. As oil prices go up, business expenses go up. Rising expenses squeeze margins, lowering profits. A rising dollar makes U.S. exports more expensive, leading to declining revenue.

  • Should You Prepare For A Bear?
    Nov. 17, 2017, 11:08 a.m. by

    To be clear, nobody knows for sure when the current bull market will be replaced by a bear market. All anyone knows is that it will happen. There are signs that the final stages of the 8 ½ year bull run may be getting closer.

  • The latest IntraLinks Deal Flow Predictor, released Nov. 16, forecasts that worldwide M&A announced deals in Q1 2018 will increase by 2% compared to Q1 2017. Deals in North America, however, are expected to drop 11%.

  • How To Handle General Electric
    Nov. 14, 2017, 10:58 a.m. by

    Following the recent announcement by General Electric Co. (NYSE:GE C) that it would cut dividends by 50% and restructure to focus on aviation, health care and power, analysts and investors began to weigh in with proposed strategies to deal with the shake-up of this historical conglomerate.

  • The National Debt And Investing
    Nov. 13, 2017, 9:18 a.m. by

    We hear a lot about our growing national debt along with debate about whether it is really bad or just part of the landscape in government. There are arguments about the effect of our national debt but when it comes to investors and investing, there are several things worth considering.

  • Invest Better And Smarter
    Nov. 10, 2017, 11:38 a.m. by

    Becoming a more successful investor, unless you’re counting on luck to pull you through, involves becoming a smarter investor. Of course, there’s no best answer or even best way to become successful at investing. There are things you can do and know that can help.

  • Stocks To Watch In 2018
    Nov. 9, 2017, 11:10 a.m. by

    Investors looking ahead to next year seek companies that show growth potential. For some investors, the hunt concentrates mostly on low-priced stocks. Others are sector hunters in areas like tech. Most are interested in well-known names, priced right and ready to grow over the next 12 months.

  • There is a general belief among investors that passive index investing is smart, safe and more importantly, widespread. A recent BlackRock study challenges the last part of that belief by noting that passive investing occupies just 7.4% or just over $5 trillion of the $68 trillion invested in the market.

  • Let The Chips Fall
    Nov. 9, 2017, 11:06 a.m. by

    Broadcom Ltd. (NSDQ:AVGO C) just made a $105 billion takeover bid for Qualcomm Inc. (NSDQ:QCOM C), an unsolicited move that marks the chip industry’s biggest potential takeover ever. The bid comes at a time when the world is becoming more and more populated with chip-driven devices.

  • Why M&A Deals Fail
    Nov. 6, 2017, 10:47 a.m. by

    The highest proportion of failed acquisitions since the start of the financial crisis took place in 2016, according to a long-term study by IntraLinks and Cass Business School. More than 7% of M&A deals failed to go through last year.

  • Sector Investing
    Nov. 3, 2017, 5:46 p.m. by

    Investors who engage in sector investing usually do so in one of two ways. Either they buy mutual funds or ETFs that concentrate on a certain sector or they pick stocks in a favored sector as a way of concentrating on an area thy believe is going to do well.

  • Dollar Cost Averaging
    Nov. 3, 2017, 5:45 p.m. by

    Most people know that dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is an investment technique that involves investing a fixed dollar amount on a regular schedule without regard to the share price. Dollar-cost averaging, in other words, doesn’t care about the old investing axiom – buy low, sell high. Or does it?

  • Halloween strategy is based on a theory that stocks tend to decline during the month of October. Statistics largely go against this line of thinking. Historically, there have been significant negative events in October including Black Monday, Black Tuesday and Black Thursday, all followed by the Great Depression. The crash of 1987 happened Oct. 19, so there’s that.

  • What You Should Know About SEO
    Oct. 27, 2017, 4:30 p.m. by

    Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of getting as much traffic as possible to a website by pushing it to the top of results in a search. Businesses and individuals use SEO to get the highest visibility to grow the business.

  • Digging a little deeper into strategies for choosing a stock in which you want to invest involves focusing on your individual goals and willingness to take on risk. As mentioned in Part 1, buying and selling individual stocks is riskier than investing in a Mutual Fund or ETF that attempts to match the performance of a whole “basket” of stocks.

  • Buying a single stock is risky. You are, in effect, investing in a company and betting your money that the company will be profitable and that your investment will pay off in the form of dividends or an increase in the share price that you take advantage of by selling the stock at some point.

  • How To Use Corporate Guidance
    Oct. 24, 2017, 10:04 a.m. by

    Corporate guidance or as it is more commonly known, earnings guidance, is nothing more than information from a company regarding the company’s financial future, including projected earnings and other data.

  • Wal-Mart’s Online Mall And More
    Oct. 23, 2017, 8:14 a.m. by

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT C) is positioning itself as an online #2 to Amazon.com Inc.’s (NSDQ:AMZN C) #1. If things go as planned, Wal-Mart hopes eventually to move into the #1 slot. To accomplish this the big bog discounter has quite a few irons in the fire.

  • Wow Dow!
    Oct. 20, 2017, 12:13 p.m. by

    After getting close and even creeping above the mark Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 23000 Wednesday on the strength of shares of International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM C).

  • Taking On The Machines
    Oct. 20, 2017, 12:12 p.m. by

    It’s called High Frequency Trading (HFT) and a few years ago it was seen as the end of Wall Street as we know it by some. Today the use of computers to make trades is commonplace with roughly 40% of investment-grade corporate bond trading executed through computers up to about 90% of futures contracts computer-based.

  • Buying On The Dip
    Oct. 18, 2017, 11:44 a.m. by

    Based on age old Wall Street theory – buy low, sell high – buy the dip covers the first part. In other words, following a significant drop in the price of a security or index, investors should increase positions to capitalize on what is expected to be an eventual upswing.

  • Not all insurers will be harmed and not all will be helped under President Trump’s executive order on health care signed last Thursday. It will likely take months for the full impact of the order to reveal itself but in the meantime some guidance can be gleaned.

  • Equities Vs. Fixed Income
    Oct. 17, 2017, 9:51 a.m. by

    The continuum goes something like this: You make money. Some of it is used to pay bills and buy groceries. Some you spend for entertainment and some is saved to be invested. The whole point of investing is to use invested money to earn more money for some future purchase or (more likely) to live on in retirement.

  • Equity indexes have been hitting new highs. This, of course, inspires talk of stretched valuations. How long can the ride last? When will it end? If investors knew the answer for sure, they would all be millionaires.