The Independent Investor

Will pot stocks go up in smoke?

Today, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, while recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states, plus the District of Columbia. Although there has been progress, little of the recent enthusiasm and hype over pot stocks will come to anything unless the federal government does a major about-face and legalizes the substance. What are the chances of that?

The apple of our eyes

Go into just about any supermarket right now and what do you see? Bins and bins of gorgeous red, green and golden apples. The harvest is overwhelming, but some apples are worth more than others.

If you are like me, an average consumer, it takes about 23 minutes to do your grocery shopping, according to Proctor and Gamble. During that space of time, I buy an average of 18 items out of maybe 40,000 choices.  I have little time to browse and, most of the time, I don’t even check the prices, which brings me back to the apple cart.

Nothing sheepish about the price of wool

We humans have been using wool for thousands of years. It was the primary clothing material of the Middle Ages. But even today, new uses for wool are cropping up, driving prices to record highs.

The primary use for wool continues to be in clothing production. The newest demand for this natural material is coming from sports’ companies such as Nike, Puma and Adidas that are weaving it into sneakers. It appears that a new generation of consumers prefer natural over synthetic fibers. They want to know where their products come from and where they are going. 

All hail the rise of the smoothie

The global market for smoothies is one that is growing and profitable. Driven by a new health-consciousness among consumers, today’s on-the-go convenience of gulping down your vitamins and minerals is appealing to more and more of us. Expect that trend to continue.

Same-sex marriage is good for business

The Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage at the federal level was greeted with a sigh of relief by most large companies. It makes my job a lot easier as well. Here’s why.

How to run for president and make a fortune in the process

Almost every day in the past few weeks, it seems, we received an announcement of yet another contender for the 2016 presidency, or an announcement that an announcement would be forthcoming. The reason for so many candidates, however, may have nothing to do with winning the presidency.

The financial challenges facing single parents

Over 13 million Americans struggle each day to be the best single parent they can. It can be a thankless job and one that requires an entire set of financial tools that couples rarely face. This column is dedicated to helping the single parent cope.

How to make the most out of Social Security

Yes, it’s complicated. Social Security benefits have been around since 1935 and, like taxes, have become increasingly complex through time. Most people are losing out because they don’t understand the fine print. Starting today, you will, so read on.

The business of guns under fire

The firearm industry has a lot going for it. It is responsible for a piece of this country’s economic recovery including job growth as well as providing a hefty contribution to the tax base. It also sold the weapons that recently cut down 26 people, including 20 children, in a Connecticut elementary school. The shooter also killed his mother and himself.

When to start saving for retirement? Now

The Independent Investor

What are the best avenues to save for retirement?

Today savers are offered a plethora of tax-deferred retirement plans. For those of you who are just starting out the choices can seem overwhelming but it is not as hard as you think.

Back in the day, before the advent of government-sponsored savings plans, defined benefit pension plans and the odd annuity were the only investment vehicles available to me.