8 Tips to Avoid Being a Victim of the Next Madoff

The public hunger for real-crime television reached an apotheosis of sorts this week, when ABC-TV ran the two-night, four-hour miniseries Madoff, starring Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss as the famous swindler and based on the book, The Madoff Chronicles, by ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross.

The much-ballyhooed TV miniseries brought the Madoff scandal back into the spotlight. (It also should remind investors of the need to avoid certain terrible stocks right now that could wipe out their portfolios.)

Madoff seemed like a guy you could trust — a mensch. An experienced stockbroker, he once served as chairman of NASDAQ. His wealth management company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, boasted of consistent, market-beating gains, enticing an enviable roster of rich and famous clients. He seemed to take pleasure in helping clients, employees and charities.

But the mensch was a monster. As the world now knows, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities was all a Ponzi scheme on a mind-boggling scale. “Uncle Bernie,” as people called him, stole an estimated $50 billion, making it the largest financial fraud in U.S. history.

Once known for a lavish lifestyle, Madoff is now serving a 150-year sentence in the super-max wing of New York City’s Metropolitan Correctional

Toyota’s Scion Flop Points to an Unpredictable Youth Cohort

As a person who has covered the global auto industry for decades, Toyota’s (TM – Get Report) decision to throw in the towel with its Scion “youth” brand after 17 years — and untold hundreds of millions of dollars of investment — comes as little surprise.

Adults only rarely decipher what young people want. In fact, when adults openly declare a soft drink, garment, song or vehicle as a creation for the young — it’s probably already doomed to fail. Young people, by definition, rebel at being told what to like, never mind what to buy.

Marketers have tried to figure out Yuppies. (I was one.) Then Gen-Xers, and on to Y and Z. And, now, millennials. One big trouble with trying to figure out what millennials want to drive is that the premise of the question is wrong: Many don’t want a car at all.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet’s Stocks Under $10 has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential. See them FREE for 14-days.

Which is not to say they don’t want to ride or to drive now and then. Car-sharing services like Zipcar and ride-hailing services like

When It Comes to CEOs, Delta Is Dealt a Good Hand

When it comes to CEOs, Delta (DAL – Get Report) is on a roll.

Jerry Grinstein took over in 2004 and fixed the ailing carrier in bankruptcy. Richard Anderson orchestrated a merger, pushed for excellence and made a 90-year-old airline into a fearless innovator. Now a widely admired veteran with an obvious love for Delta will take over.

The carrier said Wednesday that Anderson will retire as CEO on May 2 and will become executive chairman. Ed Bastian, now president, will become CEO and Glen Hauenstein, an airline visionary who is executive vice president, will become president.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential in the next 12-months. Learn more.



Delta today is considered the leader of the U.S. airline industry, just as American (AAL – Get Report) was in the 1990s and Continental was at the turn of the century. Operational excellence, consumer preference, work force unity and thought leadership distinguish the top carriers.

Must Read: Delta’s New World Order

Airlines are typically staffed by hordes of competent people who love the industry. But leadership comes from

The Many Benefits of Having a Virtual Office

For someone running their own business, the benefits of a virtual office can be great. If you are considering hiring virtual services for your business, here are just a few of the advantages.

It Helps Build Business Prestige

Office Locations from Virtual Velocity have a great range to help you make your business look truly professional.  No matter what business you are running, you want to make sure that it lives up to the high professional standards that you set for yourself. With a virtual office, you have all the benefits of owning a business address without the cost and upkeep. It is important to have a proper business address when it comes to the appearance of your business. You want to be able to properly show your professionalism to your customers.

Having a great call answering service that will answer with your business name really adds a lot to your business. A professional and friendly answering service shows just how well established your company is. Running a business from home can be done easily when you hire a virtual call service. This helps show your clients that your services are legitimate without having

Fortified for Footprints: The Benefit of a Floor Sealant

A floor sealant isn’t often the first thing on someone’s mind, especially when thinking about retail.  The goal of retailers has always been to draw the customer’s eyes to the products on the shelves, not to the floors under their feet. But there may be more benefit than you originally thought to the idea of giving the floors a little treatment every so often.

The floors of warehouses, schools, hotels and department stores go through a lot of wear and tear. The large about of foot travel can cause permanent damage without proper maintenance and care.  Cleaning the floor regularly to avoid larger damage over time takes away hours that could be better spent interacting with customers and clients. To avoid this extra work and hassle, as well as preserve the look and quality of the flooring in a high traffic area, some businesses choose to invest in a floor sealant procedure. The floor sealant process is a highly involved, one-time procedure that can protect the flooring in your company locations for many years to come.

How The Process Is Completed

This floor sealing process in completed in a number of steps, all done by

In Order to be Professional, Use an Experienced Printer

When you think of professional printing, what do you think of? For many, the answer would be letterhead or stationery, but printers do much more than that. Printers can design and create a variety of products for both personal and commercial use, and this is especially important in today’s professional climate. Whether you need presentation folders with your company name and logo on them, or basic business cards to hand out to colleagues and potential clients, printers will make sure that every product they offer looks neat, professional and attractive. From downloading a design of your own and using that, or creating something from scratch using their own writers and graphic artists, printers have the expertise to make sure your product both looks good and has the effect you are aiming for. Best of all, they do this at prices that are very reasonable.

Getting Starting with a Printer

Professional printing companies work with you from the very beginning to make sure you get exactly what you want. They can design simple business cards and yard signs, or a complete set of marketing products including folders, business cards, stationery and even promotional items such as pens

Why Banks Love Their iPhone Apps: Half as Irritating, 99% Cheaper

Legend has it that guitarist Brian May’s inspiration for the first hit from Queen’s 1989 album was a catchphrase of a British soap opera star: “I want it all. I want it now.”

Nearly 30 years later, he and the actress, EastEnders star Anita Dobson, are married. And the Billboard Hot 100 hit still lurks in the digital libraries of apps like Spotify and iTunes, its title mirroring listeners’ expectations of what they should be able to do with their mobile devices — particularly in terms of banking.

That attitude, combined with the higher profitability of digital services compared with traditional branches, is prompting banks to upgrade their mobile offerings while letting them close local offices. Bank of America (BAC – Get Report) , Citigroup (C – Get Report) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM – Get Report) all reported reducing the number of branches they operate in 2015, for a combined decline of 10% over three years.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential in the next 12-months. Learn more.

At the same time, their mobile customer base has surged: Users increased 13% to 18.7 million at Bank of America in the

Globant Taking Consumers on a ‘Digital Journey’

Consumers need to be taken on “digital journeys,” and brands that can successfully take them on these trips across the Internet will win in the long run, said Martin Migoya, CEO of Globant (GLOB – Get Report) .

In his new book, The Never-Ending Digital Journey, Migoya defines a digital journey as a “context-aware interaction between an end user and a brand or business, whereby the interaction becomes a conversation in which technology facilitates a powerful experience that builds emotional connections by incorporating three key values: simplification, surprise and anticipation.”

Globant, which provides these so-called digital journeys through its platform as a service technology, went public in July 2014 at $10 per share. The stock has dropped 24% so far in 2016 after more than doubling last year. The company was founded in Buenos Aires, Argentina but is listed in Luxembourg.

Globant saw its revenue rise 29% to $67.1 million when it reported its third quarter. About 84.1% of its sales came from North America, 11.5% from Latin America and 4.4% from Europe.

The company reports its fourth quarter and full-year results on Feb. 17.

As opposed to the traditional Software as a Service (or SaaS) approach, which Migoya calls

Jim Cramer Tableau Data, LinkedIn Are Now Under a Cloud

In one sinister night two of the highest-valued stocks in the land, Tableau Data (DATA – Get Report) and LinkedIn (LNKD – Get Report) disappoint and it’s almost tailor-made for the moment.

I mean, what more evidence do you need to roll into down and out cyclicals than to see faltering themes like analytics, the cloud, the modern want ads. You name it.

Exclusive Look Inside: You see Jim Cramer on TV. Now, see where he invests his money. Check out his multi-million dollar portfolio and discover which stocks he is trading. Click here to see the holdings for 14-days FREE.

Now LinkedIn is one of those episodic stocks where the company periodically just plain out disappoints and there’s a lot of sturm und drang and then everyone “reit buys” — reiterate their buy recommendations — because it is a unique property that everyone uses.

Must Read: LinkedIn (LNKD) Stock Plunges in After-Hours Trading on Weak Q1 Earnings, Revenue Guidance

The problem is that it is highly valued and it has a $25 billion market cap so it isn’t like another company is going to buy it. Oops, make that $20 billion. Tableau, on the other hand

GoPro Plunges Even Further Into the Abyss — What Wall Street’s Saying

After slashing fourth-quarter estimates in January, GoPro still managed to miss Wall Street expectations, while also giving guidance that shows a turnaround isn’t happening any time soon.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential in the next 12-months. Learn more.

San Mateo, Calif.-based GoPro lost 8 cents a share on $436.6 million in sales, down 31% year over year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the company to lose a penny a share on $435.1 million in revenue. By comparison, the maker of the Hero line of action cameras earned 99 cents on $637 million in the year-ago quarter.

Must Read: What the Hell Happened to GoPro?

Making matters worse, the company said it expects first-quarter sales to be between $160 million and $180 million, well below the Thomson Reuters estimate of $291 million. For the full year, GoPro expects sales between $1.35 billion and $1.5 billion, compared to the $1.609 billion analysts were expecting.

Shares were plummeting in premarket trading, down 14.6% to $9.15; by Thursday afternoon the stock had rebounded somewhat but was still down 8.7%.

The company also announced management changes, saying former Qualcomm (QCOM – Get Report)

Top LBMA Forecaster Sees Gold Trading in $980-$1,222 Range in 2016

NEW YORK (Kitco News) – The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) releases an annual survey with the industry’s top analysts’ precious metals forecasts for the year. The newly released 2016 survey shows that more and more analysts are bullish on gold.

One forecaster, William Adams, head of research for U.K.-based, FastMarkets, says he is expecting gold to work in a range of $980-$1,222 in 2016, with an average of $1,132 an ounce.

‘We have had a strong run-up and the market was caught off-guard; we have seen strength come in and some investors who missed the initial [gold] rally are chasing prices higher now,’ he said in an interview with Kitco News. Adams added, ‘we probably will start running into some resistance soon.’

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet’s Stocks Under $10 has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential. See them FREE for 14-days.

Gold prices ended higher and hit a 3.5-month high on Thursday with April Comex gold last up $16 at $1,157.30 an ounce.

‘Safe haven demand will likely be the swing factor for gold, since equity markets look weak after extremely powerful  bull markets, we would not be surprised if money rotates out of equities and into safer havens,’ Adams said.

Add

Love Hurts: What You’ll Pay For Valentine’s Day

Aurora Gregory has an interesting way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Gregory, a senior communications counsel at Aurora Gregory Consulting in Monrovia, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles, uses a strict spending cap on the most romantic day of the year.

“When my husband, Ken, and I were first married, we established The Great Valentine’s Day Challenge,” Gregory says. “It works like this – each person can do whatever he or she would like for the other person, but can spend no more than $20, including the cost of a card.”

Gregory says the goal in establishing a spending cap was to keep celebrating Valentine’s Day light and fun, while still acknowledging the holiday.

“Over the years, we’ve each bought gifts, made gifts, some silly and some serious and romantic,” she adds. “One year, we spent the money on tickets to the Valentine’s dinner event put on by our church – tickets were only $20 a person.”

Merging a budget cap with creativity, helps, too. “My favorite Valentine gift was when my husband was in the grocery store and walked past the floral department,” Gregory says. “He took a picture of a single rose in a vase and texted it to me wishing me a happy

Dunkin’ Donuts Might Launch a New Dollar Menu

Americans didn’t run as much to Dunkin’ Donuts for their coffee and breakfast sandwiches over the holidays.

Dunkin’ Donuts U.S., a division of Dunkin’ Brands Inc. (DNKN – Get Report) , surprisingly saw sales decline 0.8% in the fourth quarter, while traffic to its restaurants fell 1% year over year. The result marked the second straight disappointing quarter in the U.S. for the donut and coffee chain, whose tagline is “America Runs on Dunkin.”

“Competition is fierce, and getting fiercer,” said Dunkin’ Brands chairman and CEO Nigel Travis on a call with analysts Thursday morning. Travis highlighted “revitalized burger players” and convenience stores as some of the fierce competition that is driving sales from Dunkin’ Donuts in the U.S.

The revitalized burger player referenced by Travis is likely none other than burger behemoth McDonald’s (MCD – Get Report) .

The Golden Arches reported recently that fourth-quarter same-store sales in the U.S. surged 5.7%, significantly better than Dunkin’ Donuts. The results in the U.S. marked the second consecutive quarterly increase for McDonald’s, and the quarter was given a jolt by the October launch of its all-day breakfast platform. The ability to buy Egg

Is PayPal Really That Effective at Enabling Mobile Shopping?

One of the common challenges that retailers point to on mobile is the “fat fingers problem.” On such a small screen, consumers find it frustrating to type in their credit card numbers with their so-called “fat fingers,” and they abandon their cart.

PayPal (PYPL) would seem to have the solution. With Express Checkout, customers can click on a PayPal icon during checkout and just log in to their PayPal account to pay, instead of having to type in the many numbers of a credit card. And with the newer One Touch solution, which PayPal began rolling out in 2014, users can checkout with just one click.

“Any option at checkout that eliminates data entry and removes friction will serve to bolster conversion rates,” said 451 Research analyst Jordan McKee. “This is especially the case with mobile, and is a key reason why PayPal is investing so heavily in this channel.”

Ever since eBay (EBAY) announced it was spinning off PayPal, PayPal management has been emphasizing the importance of mobile. “You’re going to see a fundamental change over next three, five, 10 years, more of it to

Apple Pay Is Now Available in 2 Million Locations

As the mobile payments battle continues to heat up, Apple (AAPL – Get Report) today announced that its mobile wallet is now accepted at 2 million retail locations around the world.

Since launching Apple Pay in 2014, Apple has been pushing the service into new markets and new locations as it tries to take over the mobile payment space, so the news marks some important progress for the company. Apple is also emphasizing its services more now that iPhone sales growth is starting to slow.

Some of the companies that will be adding Apple Pay compatibility in their stores include Crate & Barrel, Chick-fil-A, and Au Bon Pain.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Google’s (GOOGL – Get Report) Android Pay is available at over one million stores across the U.S., according to the company, although since it relies on the same near-field communications (NFC) technology as Apple Pay, it can be accepted anywhere that Apple Pay is. Samsungs (SSNLF) mobile wallet option, Samsung Pay, uses a different technology and can be

Jim Cramer Says Beware the Hedge Fund Rush That’s Buoying Freeport

Hell hath no fury like a hedge fund manager out of position. That’s what you are seeing today as portfolio managers recognize they don’t have enough cyclical exposure, especially if the dollar has peaked.

That’s how you can get companies with disappointing earnings, like Caterpillar (CAT – Get Report) or Cummins (CMI – Get Report) or Eaton (ETN – Get Report) or even Freeport McMoRan (FCX – Get Report) to roll higher. That’s how you can get the stock of Alcoa (AA – Get Report) , which has been an unmitigated disaster, to start going higher. It should have been happening for ages, because Alcoa is splitting into two companies: one that is pretty much the commodity of aluminum and its accoutrements and the other, which is all about the proprietary use of aluminum in trucks, autos and, of course, aerospace.

Alcoa is a metaphor for the moment. You have a very undervalued company that is caught up in the tide of the hatred of commodities. Then you have a switch, where portfolio managers find

7 Stocks Under $10 to Trade for Big Breakouts

As part of your daily routine as an active trader or investor, it’s important to track the stocks in the market that are making the biggest percentage gains and the biggest percentage losses.

Stocks that are making large moves to the upside are favorites among short-term traders who want to capture some of that massive volatility. Stocks that are making big-percentage moves are usually in play because their sector is becoming attractive or they have a major fundamental catalyst such as a recent earnings release. Sometimes stocks making big moves have been hit with an analyst upgrade or an analyst downgrade.

Regardless of the reason behind it, when a stock makes a large-percentage move, it is often just the start of a new major trend — a trend that can lead to huge profits. If you time your trade correctly, combining with fundamental trends, discipline and sound money management, you will be well on your way to investment success.

Genworth Financial

  • Thursday’s Range: $2.45-$2.75
  • 52-Week Range: $2.20-$9.19
  • Thursday’s Volume: 5.2 million
  • Three-Month Average Volume: 9.36 million

Genworth Financial (GNW – Get Report)  provides insurance, retirement and homeownership solutions in the U.S. and internationally. This stock is trading up 9.2% to $2.71 in Thursday’s trading

6 Gold Stocks You Can Buy to Protect Yourself From a Market Crash

Gold prices may be far from the record highs of $1,900 an ounce they touched in 2011 in the aftermath of the Great Recession, but they likely are headed that way again.

Crashing global prices of crude oil, anemic growth in China, loose central bank policies in developed economies like Japan and Europe, and uncertainty on interest rate action by the Federal Reserve is causing investors to rush for cover to perceived safe haven investments such as gold. It’s almost like déjà vu.

While the rest of the equity markets have witnessed a bloodbath since the start of the year, stocks of gold-mining companies are benefiting from the renewed interest in gold. These gold stocks are among the most promising investments available in this crazy market.

Exclusive Look Inside: You see Jim Cramer on TV. Now, see where he invests his money. Check out his multi-million dollar portfolio and discover which stocks he is trading. Click here to see the holdings for 14-days FREE.

One factor supporting gold is a lesser supply of the yellow metal in the market. As gold prices have slid over the past three years, production was not exactly viable for miners, with many producers holding production steady or scaling

More Reasons Tesla Is the Worst Stock in the World

In what could be the most important election of 2016, TheStreet is looking for the Worst Stock in the World and we need your help. In these times of market turbulence, it’s our job to watch out for the worst investments that can sink your portfolio. Our search is not merely limited to the worst stock in the Dow or S&P. We are going global and accepting nominations from our readers for the absolute worst stock in the world. This article is part of an ongoing series talking about these stocks and why they’re the worst. If you have an idea as to what the worst stock in the world is, email us at worststock@thestreet.com.

When thinking of the Worst Stock in the World for 2016, my mind instantly jumped to one of the worst for 2015: Twitter. What the market finally realized about Twitter in 2015 was that user growth had stalled to basically zero. So, Twitter’s valuation at $50 per share was utterly and completely misguided based on fundamentals.

Tesla Motors (TSLA – Get Report) has started to undergo a similar fundamental revaluation, in my opinion, in the midst of the stock’s 20%-plus plunge thus far in

Pundits Believe Hillary Clinton Is Human After All, But Will She Convince Voters?

There was a lot of mom talk at the Democratic town hall in New Hampshire on Wednesday, but can it help Hillary Clinton finally prove to daughters and granddaughters that they belong in her corner? She convinced at least one pundit, who wrote Thursday, that Clinton “succeeded” in her quest to “appear human.”

The former first lady has long struggled with a likability problem, and this election season is no exception. On the campaign trail, the issue has become perhaps especially problematic when it comes to attracting young voters who seem to like Bernie Sanders’ cool-grandpa vibe. In Iowa, the Vermont senator got 84% of the under-30 crowd’s caucus support — among men and women.

She made efforts to remedy that Wednesday, showing a softer, more human side of herself and highlighting her gender and role as a daughter, mother, grandmother and glass-ceiling breaker.

When asked by an audience member how to get her five daughters, all Sanders supporters, to switch to Clinton, the former secretary of state touted her accomplishments — her work on the Children’s Defense Fund, in health care and as a lawyer — and posited herself as a realist candidate. “It’s hard to see how any of his proposals could

Why Freeport-McMoRan Is the Worst Stock in the World

In what could be the most important election of 2016, TheStreet is looking for the Worst Stock in the World and we need your help. In these times of market turbulence, it’s our job to watch out for the worst investments that can sink your portfolio. Our search is not merely limited to the worst stock in the Dow or S&P. We are going global and accepting nominations from our readers for the absolute worst stock in the world. This article is part of an ongoing series talking about these stocks and why they’re the worst. If you have an idea as to what the worst stock in the world is, email us at worststock@thestreet.com.

The normally staid Economist magazine made a rather bold call in its July 21, 2015, issue when it said we were entering into a “great bear market” in commodities. And as most commodities traders know, copper is considered a bellwether for the state of the commodities markets in general. That’s why copper is known as “Dr. Copper.”

So, it is only logical that one of the world’s largest producers of copper and other base metals — Freeport-McMoRan (FCX – Get Report)