The Fabulous Fourth

 The Fabulous Fourth

Yosemite the Great

Tracking the Wily Melanoma

The national holidays celebrated in the United States–and I’m thinking here of the 10 days designated as official public holidays for which Federal employees get a day off work-are a diverse group. Three celebrate birthdays (Presidents’ Birthday, celebrating Washington’s and Lincoln’s; the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Christmas Day); two commemorate veterans of the armed forces, both living and dead (Memorial Day and Veterans Day), one honors the discovery of our country (Columbus Day, and no, I don’t want to argue about what actually got discovered or when or by whom); one is a harvest festival (Thanksgiving Day); one honors workers (Labor Day); one is a national day of enduring hangovers and college football (New Year’s Day); and the one I want to talk about today commemorates the independence of the United States from Great Britain.

The Fourth of July is a great holiday. Patriots love it. Military people love it. Devotees of fireworks and parades love it. It’s loud and joyful and it’s the only holiday that comes in the summer.

Personally, my three favorite Fourths have been 1) the one in 1969, which I celebrated on Okinawa with my blushing bride 40 years ago, 2) 2002, when my wife and I sang with the chorus backing the Boston Pops for the Pops Goes the Fourth celebration at the Hatch Shell (btw, I was sitting about 15 feet away from the 105mm howitzers during the 1812 Overture-loudest noise EVER!) and 3) the one last year when four of us finally made the trip to Jaffrey, New Hampshire to take in their legendary fireworks show. Actually that was in August, when the Atlas Fireworks Company puts on a pyrotechnic extravaganza that draws thousands of people, so it’s not the actual Fourth of July. But it feels like it. Definitely worth the trip.

There isn’t much investment juice to be squeezed out of the Fabulous Fourth, although there is evidence that stock markets generally do pretty well before and after holidays. It’s also interesting that July 1 is about when stock market trading volume hits the bottom of its summer trough, but not really useful.

If you were interested in buying stock in a Chinese fireworks company (and were able to buy on the Shanghai Stock Exchange), you could snap up some Panda Fireworks Group (600599 is the issue number) or you might like to take a position in Hunan Huasheng Fireworks, which will be available on the Toronto Stock Exchange starting July 1.

But probably the best use to make of July 4th is just to get a little patriotic buzz on (whether from sun, music, fireworks or beer is, of course, up to you) and marvel that this great country continues to give so many people so many chances to follow their hopes and dreams.

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As I see it, America’s founders were rebelling against being told what to do by people who lived very far away and who wanted to manage the colonies for their own benefit. It’s a popular management style, and we still have to rebel against it every once in a while, whether the managers are in Washington, D.C. or in corporate boardrooms and back offices.

Global equity markets have shown remarkable resilience in bouncing back from their evisceration of last year, and many people have begun to rebuild their financial lives. I hope I don’t sound like a complete corporate flack if I say that I’m proud that Cabot is helping.

Taking control of your financial life can be very rewarding, if you’re willing to take the responsibility for your own investments. You can make great strides, and at the very least you won’t be just another passenger on a boat that’s being steered toward the falls by a captain you don’t even know. So, resolve to pay the investment charges and management fees to yourself and steer your own course.

If you decide to do this, it takes time and effort. You need to do your homework, and it’s good to have an ally in the process.

Cabot has an upcoming event that will help you. Mike Cintolo will be holding another educational Internet Seminar called How to Get the Most from This Bull Market. It will go live on July 9 (that’s a Thursday) at Noon Eastern Time. Mike is one of the best technicians I know, and his thoughts on growth stocks, charts and market timing will give a real boost to your portfolio. Unlike lots of Webinars, this is not a thinly disguised sales pitch. It’s a value-packed hour of insights, advice and answering questions. Here’s a link to the signup.  

Here’s wishing you and your family and friends a wonderful Fourth of July weekend. For me-if everything goes according to plan-that will include at least one hot dog and one beer, at least one movie (probably Anvil), and at least one gigantic fireworks show that I’m close enough to that my chest compresses when the big shells go off. Baseball is in there, too. Have a great one!

My wife and I just came back from a trip to Yosemite National Park, and whoever called the National Park system “America’s Best Idea” hit it right on the head. Yosemite is a big, glacier-widened valley that’s bordered by enormous granite cliffs and domes that were tough enough to force the glaciers to flow around them.

The result is features like El Capitan, an enormous sheer granite cliff that rises straight up about 3,000 feet, and Half Dome, a rounded granite half-pillar that towers over the east end of the valley. There are also lots of waterfalls as the little rivers that always joined up with the Merced River now have to plunge to the valley floor to do the meeting up.

Beyond the scenic grandeur and the amazing job the National Park Service does of protecting the Park from the hordes of tourists and vice versa, I have just three quick observations.

1) Of all the feelings that El Capitan raised in me, I can truthfully say that the idea that it would be fun to climb it was not one of them. I spent at least an hour in a meadow in front of El Cap watching people making their way up the cliff face, probably about midway through their three- to four-day ascent. People now do speed ascents that take fewer than three hours. I’m glad they enjoy it. 2) No matter how many times you tell people not to feed the squirrels, bears, birds or any other wildlife, some of them just can’t resist. 3) Other people have said this before, but the view from Glacier Point overlooking Yosemite Valley may be the single most breathtaking scenic panorama I’ve ever seen. In the days before digital cameras, when Kodachrome film was still being made, it probably put more money into Kodak’s pocket than any other landmark.

The takeaway here is that if Yosemite isn’t on your Bucket List, it needs to be.

My stock suggestion today is in the spirit of adventure. It’s a medical technology company that doesn’t really have revenues, much less earnings, and it doesn’t have a product approved for sale. What it has is a great idea for a hand-held device that will enable dermatologists to scan skin lesions to determine whether they are melanomas.

The company is Electro-Optical Sciences (MELA), and the device-called the MelaFind-uses light at various wave-lengths to scan the suspicious lesion. It then uses its database of melanoma images to calculate a diagnosis.

With a huge age cohort of sun-worshipping Baby Boomers now approaching the danger years, the diagnosis of melanoma, the leading cause of death from skin cancer, is a big deal. The MelaFind is non-invasive, quick, and reportedly has a 95% accuracy rate.

Electro-Optical has submitted a Pre-Market Approval form to the FDA for MelaFind. The FDA has put the decision on a fast track, and the estimated decision date is some time this December.

This is a low-priced, speculative stock, but the potential payoff is huge. If you’re the kind of investor who likes to spin the roulette wheel every once in a while, this may be for you.

If, on the other hand, you like the idea of high potential emerging market stocks, you should consider the Cabot China & Emerging Markets Report that I write. Emerging markets can be a wild ride, but they have beaten the developed markets all hollow this year. You can get a no-risk trial subscription by clicking on the link.

Paul Goodwin

For Cabot Wealth Advisory


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