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Coca Cola Company Splits Stock For 11th Time -- Charles Schwab Offers New Global Trading Account
Coca Cola Company Splits its Stock

08/17/2012

Some subscribers were worried this week when it appeared that Coca Cola's (KO) stock price fell sharply. Rest assured that the price change was due to the company splitting its stock 2-for-1. This is the 11th time the company has split its stock since it began trading in 1919.

Since being recommended for our High-Dividend Blue Chip Stock Portfolio, Coca Cola's stock has provided a total return of 77.9%, assuming reinvestment of dividends.

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Charles Schwab Offers Global Trading Account

For investors looking to buy stocks directly on foreign exchanges, Charles Schwab has introduced a global account which offers trading in 12 of the top-traded foreign markets in their local currencies. Investors can trade online commission-free through March 2013. Check here for our list of recommended discount brokers.

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Hungry For Dividends? PepsiCo Boosts Dividend Payout. McDonald's Declares Latest
PepsiCo Raises Dividend. 40th Consecutive Annual Dividend Increase       McDonald's Dividend Has Grown 11.9% Annually

07/20/2012

Today, PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP) announced its latest quarterly dividend. The company has increased its quarterly dividend to $0.5375 per share, equivalent to an annual rate of $2.15. Based on today's closing price of $69.96, that gives the company a 3.07% dividend yield. The company has raised its dividend 40 consecutive years. Over the least 8 years, the company's dividend has grown at a compound annual rate of 15.6%. The beverage company has paid a quarterly dividend each year since 1965. The dividend is payable September 28, 2012, to stockholders of record on September 7, 2012.

PepsiCo is part of our High-Dividend Blue Chip Stock Portfolio which has provided a total return of 245.5% (14.5% annually) since its inception in May of 2003. Equal investments in the S&P 500 would have returned 46.9% (4.3% annually).

Another member of the portfolio, McDonald's Corp. (MCD), also announced a dividend this week. McDonald's latest quarterly dividend ($0.70 per share) will be payable on September 18, to stockholders of record on September 4, 2012. Over the last 9 years, the company's dividend has grown at a compound annual rate of 11.9%. Since being recommended for our High-Dividend Blue Chip Stock Portfolio, McDonald's stock has provided a total return of 120.3%. The company's current dividend yield is 3.05% based on today's closing price of $91.58.

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Encouraging Sign for Stocks: Consumer Finances Have Largest Quarterly Improvement in 13 Years

07/15/2012

Just how important is consumer spending to our economy? Extremely important, as it make up 70% of the U.S. economy. And the more cash that is available for consumers to spend, the better the outlook for the economy.

One measure of consumer finances is the ratio of bank deposits, stock accounts, and other assets to debt. In the fourth quarter of last year, consumers had 1.99 times more in these types of assets than debt. In the first quarter of 2012, that number jumped to 2.11 times, the largest quarterly increase in 13 years according to Joseph LaVorgna, an economist at Deutsche Bank.

With consumers in good shape to spend, the stock market could have a great second half that matches or exceeds the 8.3% gain that the S&P 500 delivered in the first half.

-Rex M. Jacobsen
Sr. Editor

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