Morningstar’s Ultimate Stock Picker

• There’s been no change in the list of top 10 holdings of Morningstar’s Ultimate Stock Pickers so far this year, but one wonders about the fate of Microsoft (MSFT) after its much criticized purchase of Nokia’s main handset business; it had been the top high-conviction holding in the group.

• The top 10 holdings: MSFT, GOOG, WFC, JNJ, BRK.B, AIG, PG, WMT, PEP, UPS.

• Among purchases during the most recent period, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) topped the top 10 list of high-conviction buys, followed by WFC, GM, SLB, INTC, AAPL, XOM, APA, CHRW, EMC.

S&P 500 Big Cap Trading at Single-Digit Multiples

With the major averages edging towards pricey territory, Andrew Bary of Barron’s screens the S&P 500 for big cap stocks trading at single-digit multiples, then narrows the list to those whose prospects can be argued to be good.

The names are all familiar ones, but their presence on the list may surprise:
VLO, MPC, HPQ, FCX, ESV, PSX, GM, MET, WDC, PRU, APA, JPM, C, DE, AAPL.

The Truth About Fear

By Toni Turner

“Begin difficult things while they are easy, do great things while they are small. The difficult things of the world must once have been easy; the great things must once have been small…a thousand mile journey begins with one step.” – Lao – Tse

We are all acquainted with fear and the way it makes us feel. Regarded in the proper context, however, it’s really a positive emotion. It warns us of impending danger so we can take steps to safety.

Unfortunately, we tend to hold onto fear that it’s outlived its usefulness as a warning device. Then fear twists into all kinds of related detrimental emotions from low self-esteem, to stress, to panic. When fear digs its claws in deep enough, it takes a conscious effort to release it. Here are some thoughts that may help.

First, when you feel fear, acknowledge it. Notice how it feels and where it’s located in your body. Many of us feel it in our solar plexus. Sit quietly; let your-self feel it in a nonjudgmental way. What thoughts come up around it? What message does it have for you?

Treat your fear as though it were a small child. If a four-year-old came up to you and cried she was afraid of the bogeyman, what would you do? You’d hug her and ask her to explain her fears. When she finished, you’d assure her that the bogeyman isn’t real and soothe her with positive, affirmative thoughts. That’s exactly how we need to treat that part of us that lives in fear, with love and positive emotions. After all, fear is not the truth. Fear is nothing, trying to be something. It has only the power we give to it.

Go back in your memories to a time when you felt supremely safe, secure and loved. Draw upon the feeling that memory holds for you. Gently replace your negative feelings with the positive, loving feelings of those memories. Since love and fear are polar opposites, love drives away fear. Similarly, light is the reality, and darkness is the absence of that light. When you let light in, darkness disappears; it is not real.

Reality is this: Our lives unfold toward our best and highest good. We are guided and supported, and everything we need available to us, right now, for the asking.

Knowing this, we recognize fear as the warning tool that it is. We acknowledge it, learn from it, and step another rung up the ladder to happiness and success.