Stock Motifs That Are Up Over 20%

If you have never checked out a stock motif, maybe it’s time you did. A motif is similar to an exchange traded fund or ETF that is created by an individual investor. The motif may contain five stocks or fifty stocks or any number of stocks, and are usually concentrated around a particular industry  or investment idea.

These motifs can be bought and sold, just like any other ETF, with a commission of only $9.95. Several of these motifs have significantly outperformed the S&P 500.

For example, I created a motif called Horse Race Stocks. This is a motif that contains stocks involved in the hope racing arena. It is interesting to note that this motif is up over 50% since its inception, which was less than a year ago. I created the motif on July 21, 2016 and as of today, the motif has increased by 52.5%. Not a bad return for less than ten months.

Horse Race Stocks

My Cuba Stocks motif which holds stocks of companies that should benefit from the opening of relations with Cuba is up 24.2% since the end of July last year.

Cuba Stocks

The Marijuana Cannabis Stocks motif is my most popular. The stocks in the portfolio are self-explanatory, and with legalization of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, what motif has spiked by 25% in less than a year.

Marijuana Stocks

Even a couple other motifs that haven’t performed as well, still have double digit returns, such as Drone Stocks, with a boost of 14%, and Virtual & Augmented Reality Stocks, up 17.9%.

All of the stocks in all of the above motifs sell for at least $5 a share. Also, if dividends are paid by any of the stocks, your account is credited with the payments.


Stocks Going Ex Dividend the First Week of January

Here is our latest update on the stock trading technique called ‘Buying Dividends,’ also commonly referred to as ‘Dividend Capture.’ This is the process of buying stocks before the ex dividend date and selling the stock shortly after the ex date at about the same price, yet still being entitled to the dividend. This technique generally works only in bull markets, and can work in flat or choppy markets, but you need to avoid the technique during bear markets.

In order to be entitled to the dividend, you have to buy the stock before the ex-dividend date, and you can’t sell the stock until after the ex date. The actual dividend may not be paid for another few weeks. has compiled a downloadable and sortable list of the stocks going ex dividend in the near future. The list contains many dividend paying companies, lots with market caps over $500 million, and yields over 2%. Here are a few examples showing the stock symbol, the ex-dividend date, the dividend amount, and yield.

American Express Company (AXP) 1/4/2017 0.32 1.6%
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS) 1/4/2017 0.15 5.0%
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) 1/4/2017 0.39 2.6%
Celadon Group, Inc. (CGI) 1/4/2017 0.02 1.1%
J P Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) 1/4/2017 0.48 2.1%
Monsanto Company (MON) 1/4/2017 0.54 2.1%
Morningstar, Inc. (MORN) 1/4/2017 0.23 1.2%

The additional ex-dividend stocks can be found here at (If you have been to the website before, and the latest link doesn’t show up, you may have to empty your cache.) If you like dividend stocks, you should check out some of the other high yield stock lists at or Most of the lists are free.

Dividend definitions:

Declaration date: the day that the company declares that there is going to be an upcoming dividend.

Ex-dividend date: the day on which if you buy the stock, you would not be entitled to that particular dividend; or the first day on which a shareholder can sell the shares and still be entitled to the dividend.

Monthly Dividend Stock List

Record date: the day when you must be on the company’s books as a shareholder to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is normally set for stocks at two business days before the record date.

Payment date: the day on which the dividend payment is actually made, which can be as long at two months after the ex date.

Book now available: Buying Dividends Revised and Expanded

Book now available: Stock Market Trivia Makes a Great Gift!
Don’t forget to reconfirm the ex-dividend date with the company before implementing this technique.

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.

Corporate Stock Earnings Reports for Week 4 of November

Looking for some interesting moves in some stocks this upcoming week? Check out the companies that will be reporting earnings this week.

If earnings exceed analysts’ expectations, the stocks can shoot up. If the numbers underperform, the stock can tank. Then again, occasionally, stocks don’t move the way you would have expected.

Anyway, many traders use earnings plays for trading strategies. Also, option traders look for high implied volatility of stocks for for option selling strategies.

Here are many of the enormous number of stocks reporting earnings this week:


  • BRCD
  • CUB
  • IGT
  • JACK
  • PANW
  • TSN
  • YY
  • ADI
  • BURL
  • CPB
  • DLTR
  • EV
  • GME
  • HPE
  • HRL
  • HPQ
  • MDT
  • URBN
  • DE
  • ICL
  • SQM
  • na
  • na

If you like interesting stock lists like this, be sure to check out many of the free stock lists here at

Four Failure Points that Undermine Biz Success: #1 is Dont Follow Your Passion

by Ed McLaughlin

Veteran entrepreneur and former Fortune 100 executive, Ed McLaughlin comments below about the reality that Americans can see failure as a stepping stone to success, “It’s difficult to celebrate failure as a stepping stone to startup success if entrepreneurs can’t pay their bills, provide for their families, meet payroll or realize their business visions.” Ed’s own research tells us that 75% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Ed continues with this challenge for small business owners and entrepreneurs in some of the big ‘innovation-driven’ cities, “What if we could turn the tables on the startup failure rate by introducing a new set of business principles that increases the probability of startup success?” He also offers the four failure points things that undermine the success of a small business below, excerpted from his book, using his own company as an example. Ed has also highlighted the framework for sustainability and profitability in his new book, The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, by focusing entrepreneurs on these principles, including: Distinctive Competence, Dynamic Planning, and the Ten Commandments of Startup Profit. 

Only nine months after starting USI, I launched a second business called Sigma Communications Inc., or Sigma for short. Starting Sigma had been the culmination of a long-term vision to create a vehicle that would more efficiently connect buyers and sellers of commercial real estate. After three years of bleeding red ink, I was forced to shut down Sigma.

Here are the 4 failure points that undermined the success of Sigma Communications.  

             Failure Point #1: Starting a business based on passion alone, rather than building a business based on distinctive competence.  

When I started Sigma, I believed that my passion for publishing the magazine would trump everything else. That proved to be a costly assumption. The hardest lesson I learned from the Sigma experience is that a venture filled with passion is not enough. You will substantially increase your probability of startup success if you build a business based on your distinctive competence.

Failure Point #2: Starting up without preorders to validate your business model. 

I made the fateful decision to launch the magazine without selling advertising and securing paying customers first. In the end analysis, I took a huge gamble on a concept business with an untested business model. Sigma spent millions before I shuttered the business in failure. Securing preorders is the single most important point of validation for a startup.

Failure Point #3: Launching your business without adequate time and funding to reach profitability. 

Unfortunately, I had not properly factored the size and scale of Sigma, nor how long it would take to ramp-up to profitability. Since I had never manufactured and shipped a product before, I underestimated the continuous cash drain from ongoing production and distribution. Rather than bootstrapping the business with the profits from USI, I should have lined-up outside funding with a more reasonable timeline to breakeven. Make sure to allocate the time and the funding needed to achieve profitability. 

Failure Point #4: Closing your ears to the advice of industry experts. 

Rather than listening to my advisors, I convinced myself that I could beat the normal ramp-up to profitability in the publishing industry. My unbridled passion for becoming a publisher, combined with my lack of distinctive competence put blinders on me. Cultivate relationships and heed the advice of industry experts.

Ed McLaughlin is the founder & CEO of Blue Sunsets LLC, a real estate and angel investment firm based in Darien, CT. Previously, McLaughlin founded and served as chairman & CEO of United Systems Integrators (USI) Corporation, a corporate real estate outsourcing firm, sold to Johnson Controls (JCI) in 2005. In 2001, he earned Entrepreneur of the Year honors from Ernst & Young, and USI was named to the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing companies. His book,  The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, is available on Amazon.

Excerpt reprinted with permission from Ed McLaughlin’s PR firm.