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Nigeria’s Bonga Oil Field Shut by Shell(RDS)over Possible Worst Offshore Spill in Decade

Nigeria’s Bonga Oil Field Shut by Shell(RDS)over Possible Worst Offshore Spill in Decade | Stock Picking Strategies |

A possible worst offshore oil spill in a decade at the Bonga field off Nigeria has prompted Royal Dutch Shell Plc (NYSE: RDS), the largest oil company of Europe, to close the 200,000 barrel-a-day oil field. The oil spill was probably caused by an export line from the field’s floating production during the loading of a tanker. Shell said that the leak could be around 40,000 barrels of crude and that the oil flow has been stopped.


The oil spill is probably the worst since January 1998, when an Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) spill led led to the dumping of 40,000 barrels into the sea from its Idoho platform. The slicks from the leak had gone as far west as Lagos. The local people and foreign oil producers in Nigeria have been criticizing Shell, the largest foreign oil producer, for spills of crude from its onshore fields.


Shell has been operating in Nigeria since 1937. It clarified that the main reasons for most of the spills are pipeline sabotage and oil theft. It has set up a website where data on leaks can be accessed. The Anglo-Dutch company produces almost 10 percent of the country’s crude at Bonga, which is Nigeria’s first deep-water discovery and is located 120 kilometers off the coast. Shell was planning to export five cargoes of 1 million barrels each of Bonga crude every month from December to February.

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What factors motivates retirement planning?

What factors motivates retirement planning? | Stock Picking Strategies |

Retirement planning has become extremely popular in the past few years. Not many of our grandparents were as concerned about retirement planning as our generation is now. While this change has happened for the better, it has actually become a necessity.

Anyone failing to plan for retirement is planning to fail on retirement. The reasons are as follows:


• Social Security: The social security system in the US is very close to bankruptcy. With baby boomers retiring, there will be too many claimants to receive money and too few to pay. Depending on the social security for retirement should not be an option anymore.


• Medical Costs: Americans are facing increasing medical costs each year. Many retirees today are not able to afford medication because they failed to plan when they were young. You need to plan to ensure that you stay hale and healthy all your life.


• Leaving For Your Family: Everyone wants to leave a legacy for their family. You are working hard in your life to ensure that your kids do better. Retirement planning allows you to maximize what you can give to your kids.


Benefits of retirement plans:


• Supplements Income at Old Age: Retirement plans are cashed out when you reach retirement age. They are usually exchanged for an annuity with an insurance company who pays you an income for the rest of your life. Its like getting a salary even after you have retired.


• Saves Taxes: All investments that you put in your 401(k) today are not taxed immediately. Therefore, you can earn money on income you would have otherwise paid as tax.


• Periodic Investments: Retirement plans ensure that you do not risk your money all at once. Since your money is used in different asset sand at different points of time, the risk of a loss is minimal.

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New York Times (NYT) Will Sell 16 Regional Newspapers to Halifax for $143M

The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to sell its Regional Media Group, consisting of 16 small, regional newspapers, to Halifax Media Holdings LLC for $143 million.The News Chief in Winter Haven, Fla., the Press Democrat in Santa Rosa, Calif., and The Tuscaloosa News in Tuscaloosa, Ala., are some of the newspapers being sold. Halifax Media owns the Daytona Beach News-Journal and is based in Daytona Beach, Fla.


The group being sold by New York Times had accounted for 11 percent of The Times Co’s $2.4 billion in annual revenue and its sale will help in the company’s objective to transform into a digitally-focused multi-platform media company. The main reason for the company’s change in focus was the shift of advertisers from newspapers to cheaper alternatives on the Internet. The company is planning to charge its readers for unrestricted access to its content on the Web and on mobile devices.


The Times Co. estimates that the net proceeds after taxes from the sale will be about $150 million, which will be used for general corporate purposes. The after-tax gain on the sale will be recorded in the first quarter of 2012. It is expected that the sale will close in a few weeks.


In extended trading after the announcement, its shares added a penny to $7.77 after ending the regular trading session down 3 cents at $7.76.

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The Psychology of Credit Card Usage | Finance Enquiry Stock News

There has been a fairly stable trend amongst credit card users with regards to the way they think and handle their finances. Understanding the fact that you are not the first one feeling or going through the situation makes you aware of the alternatives at hand.

You can then choose the best path to avoid more trouble:


Feeling of Infallibility: Research has shown that every new credit cardholder has some idea about the risks involved. They might have been exposed to the debt trap by watching someone in friends and family fall into it or through the mass media.


However, most will still continue to pursue the path. There is the feeling of infallibility.


Credit card users feel confident that they can resist urges and manage their finances.

The First Few Months: The first few months are characterized by controlled spending. Analysis of credit cards records show that an average credit card user will pay the first six month bills in full. However, the same analysis also shows a steady rise in the bill amount most probably the result of splurging.


The Seemingly “Urgent” Need: One big purchase that a credit card user makes gets his/her finances off track. This purchase is usually influenced by seemingly urgent social needs. This purchase gets the finances in disarray and the cardholder then starts making part payments.


The Failure To Pay And Debt Trap: Soon the bills keep rising because of the high compound interest involved. The credit card holder finds himself in a precarious position. Many cut back on their spending, but most continue the pattern until they find themselves in a debt trap.


Knowledge of this pattern should tell you that you are not infallible. Also, it should tell you to reconsider your seemingly urgent social needs if you want to live a healthy financial life.

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Thinking of Your Retirement Plan | Finance Enquiry Stock News

Thinking of Your Retirement Plan | Finance Enquiry Stock News | Stock Picking Strategies |

Retirement planning can begin at any age. Since everyone wish for a comfortable retirement it would not be possible without a right plan. A person should start planning his retirement as soon as he gets financially independent.


The major concern for anyone’s retirement is financial security, which requires financial planning, commitment and money. A comprehensive retirement plan includes long-term growth oriented investment-linked insurance products, keeping rising cost of living in mind.It is believed that one should not delay planning for retirement and the earlier the better.


The more one suspends his retirement planning the more one needs to cut down the investment horizon. For instance, if you start saving at 25, then you will need 35 years of investment horizon if you aim to retire by 60. In order to diversify your investment portfolio and to reduce the risks, it is advisable to invest in debt instruments such as Provident Funds, fixed deposits and bonds that are issued by government or reputed financial institutions. Based on individual’s risk appetite, investment horizon and desired returns, one should be on a constant search for new and better opportunities for investment. With evolving financial markets, new instruments and investment opportunities are coming up that one can choose that would match one’s retirement plan. Gold has gained the confidence and trust of investors for a long time, and investing in gold has proved to be a safe haven for many. Considering the recent upside and further scope for higher returns, it would make sense to invest in gold ETF’s than in physical gold keeping retirement as your goal.


Another crucial aspect of your retirement planning is healthcare; when you are healthy, it is advisable to look for long-term care insurance. There are plenty of policies and schemes available in the market but it is recommended to take professional consultation before you enter in any contract. Finally, buying a house of your own may serve in two ways, mental satisfaction of asset creation and will serve as source for cash flow when you have no other source of income. This is called as 'reverse mortgage’. Thus, retirement plan can liberate from post-retirement worries and will provide you and your loved ones a peaceful life.

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How to identify the most active stocks

Quality and quantity are two major decisive aspects while determining most active stocks. At times, investors eye for shares of a moderate company with a good value instead of a share from a good company with moderate value. Actually, it is prudent to invest in a good company offering moderate price. The prospect of its stock becoming active is quite real. So, qualitative selection is essential when the hunt for most active stocks is on. Bigger corporations with high brand value are worthy as these companies work with high contingency plans. Moreover, they work with better economic will to prevail within the competitive market.


It can be presumed that the process of analyzing the most active stocks differ from the way we pick and choose the penny stocks of lesser value. Good brands and popular names dominate the market and its trends. Still, it is worth mentioning that the stock market cannot be predicted and it is essential to track the index. Ups and downs of the most active stocks are usually reflected through the business news channels, online portals and newsletters. For this, the risk is lesser with the popular stocks from leading corporations.


A question might arise in the mind of investors “what are the most active stocks?” Well, it is not a one line solution. Today’s most active stock might not be tomorrow. So, by benchmarking performance of the popular stocks, it is possible to draw a conclusion. There are several market conditions that influence performance of stocks. Some investors make huge fortunes with shares while many others lose their belongings. It is constant study and monitoring of the reputed web portals that makes the difference. Many investors consider stocks with lower prices, especially when the major stocks fare poorly, and their prices go down drastically. It is the ideal time to buy them as possibilities of potential growth remains high.


Presently few of the most active stocks are as follows:


BAC Bank Of America Corporation

GE General Electric Co

C Citigroup Inc

F Ford Motor Co

PFE Pfizer Inc

CIM Chimera Investment Corp

RF Regions Financial Corp

MS Morgan Stanley

MGM Mgm Resorts International

WFC Wells Fargo & Co

JPM JPMorgan Chase & Co

BSX Boston Scientific Corp

MRK Merck & Co Inc New

NOK Nokia Corp

S Sprint Nextel Corp

ALU Alcatel-Lucent


It is impossible to provide definite status and stature of the most active stocks under the volatile market conditions. The position and value of stocks keep changing rapidly, and only with the suggestion of the financial experts can the target price be analyzed.


To know more about the most active stocks it is advisable to subscribe to the popular stock newsletters. Online stock trading is in vogue, to get information of the active stocks, self research and comparative analysis of the reputable news portals are very important.

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IPad Production Temporarily Hit Due Explosion at Apple Supplier Factory | Finance Enquiry Stock News

An explosion on Sunday at a plant belonging to Pegatron Corp subsidiary, Riteng Computer Accessory Co, in Shanghai could temporarily affect the production of the iPad as the yet-to-be-opened factory in China had been set up to supply essential components. The explosion injured 61 people and 23 workers had to be hospitalized. There was some damage to the machinery as well.


Pegatron officials told Reuters that operations had not yet started at the factory although pre-operation inspection and trial production were going on. China’s Yi Cai Daily said that back panels for the iPad 2 were scheduled to be produced at the factory and the explosion would affect production of current and future models of Apple’s tablet.


An inside source revealed that components for use in products sold by Apple and other vendors were planned to be supplied by the factory. Production at the factory can only start if a city government investigation is done and an approval is given.


With the present explosion, Apple’s supply chain is being disturbed for a second time this year. There was an explosion in May at a Foxconn factory that reportedly was making iPads. At least two people were killed and 16 were injured.

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Financial planning and its importance

Financial planning and its importance | Stock Picking Strategies |

Financial planning is basically the practise of budgeting, management of your investments and long term plans for your assets. As an investor, you have to plan the proper utilisation of your finances. Saving your money or capital is important while you initiate financial planning. You can have plans for daily savings, short term savings and long term savings. To ensure a better and financially secured future, financial planning is important.


Considering your future financial requirements, you make plans to achieve financial goals. There are several elements associated to financial planning. Like individuals, corporations do have their financial plans to achieve business goals. Investment, asset allocation and risk management are three major basics of financial planning. Still it is worth mentioning that different individuals consider financial planning in different ways.


Many of the investors want to initiate better financial planning to maximise their money. Again, there are many of us who just want to save money for our post retirement phase. Similarly, many individuals want to save money to buy property. To achieve all these goals, better money management or financial management is necessary. Today “financial management” is supported with its own set of hypothesis and definitions.


Corporate financial planning

There are many experienced financial planners who assist in financial management. Each company or corporation needs to manage their income and expenditure effectively. A company with a positive balance sheet attracts more investors. A profit making company always gains the confidence of investors. So, a business plan and proper budgeting are important for every company. In any business, financial planning is determined by the following:


Cash flow statementBalance sheetIncome statement

When people delay in making a proper financial plan, it could become a stumbling block in the process of remaining financially afloat in the post retirement phase. There are many online articles which help can help you know more about money management. It is best to go through them to have clear insight about the steps to be taken to ensure a better future.


Keeping the perfect balance between income and expenditure is most important. Instead of making huge goals it is advisable to set smaller milestones at the beginning. Effective debt management is indeed important as you are in your way to asset creation. In every financial planning, there must be room for emergency funding. It is best to note all the plans as a detailed approach is much better and effective. There are several certified professionals and in case of any doubts, it is best to seek assistance from them.

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