Briefly Noted

    Scam Avoidance: A New Guide From the NFA

    The National Futures Association (NFA) has published an investor education booklet entitled “Scams and Swindles: An Educational Guide to Avoiding Investment Fraud.”

    The guide describes common characteristics of investment scams and outlines steps individuals can take to avoid them. These characteristics include:

    • A demand for an immediate decision: Swindlers often insist that you should or must make your decision “right now” before the opportunity for fast profits disappears. In reality, the only thing that will disappear is your money.
    • A request for a credit card number other than to make a purchase: A fraudster may ask you for your credit card number “for identification” or some other plausible reason. Whatever the ploy, once a swindler has your card number, you will likely see unauthorized charges appear on your statement.
    • An investment that is “without risk”: Except for obligations of the U.S. government, all investments have a degree of risk.

    Single copies of “Scams and Swindles” are offered free of charge. Individuals may order a copy of the publication by calling NFA’s Information Center toll-free at 800-621-3570 or by E-mailing NFA You also have the option of viewing and printing the publication by downloading it from the Investor Learning Center of NFA’s Web site (

    Keeping Your Feet on the Ground as the Stock Market Soars

    Dean Junkans, CFA and chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Private Bank, warns investors not to get too giddy over current market heights. “Although there are a number of positive economic indicators at play right now, investors need to keep their optimism in check to ensure they’re armed with the right investment strategies for long-term success in the current and future market environment.”

    Junkans notes several areas of concern, including the possibility that second-quarter earnings may not reach the heights of the first quarter, job numbers may weaken, and worries over consumer spending due to high gas prices, a declining housing market and mortgage equity withdrawals.

    What should investors do?

    Junkans offers five tips on how to reap the rewards of the current environment while ensuring portfolios are appropriately managing market risk:

    • Trim domestic equities and consider a tactical 5% move to cash
    • Take gains on small caps, overweight large-cap multinationals
    • Underweight domestic bonds, especially high yield
    • Overweight international equities
    • Reallocate public REIT exposure—trim domestic, add to global

    Seeing Green: The Top 20 Eco-Stocks for 2007 has announced its 2007 list of “Top Sustainable Stocks”—the 20 most innovative companies, large and small, that are having an important impact on creating an environmentally sustainable society. The list is designed to showcase public companies that, over the past year, have made substantial progress in either greening their internal operations or growing a business based on an important green technology. provides global news and networking services to help green businesses grow.

    The list includes:

    Energy Efficiency
    Comverge (NASDAQ: COMV) U.S.
    Fuel Tech (NASDAQ: FTEK) U.S.
    Novozymes (Copenhagen: NZYM.CO) Denmark
    Royal Philips Electronics NV (NYSE: PHG) Netherlands

    Renewable Energy
    First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) U.S.
    Ormat Technologies (NYSE: ORA) U.S.
    Renewable Energy Corp. - REC (Oslo: REC.OL) Norway
    Schmack Biogas AG (Germany: SB1B.DE) Germany
    Vestas (Copenhagen: VWS.CO) Denmark

    Natural Resources: Water, Forests
    Best Water Technology (Vienna: BWT.VI) Austria
    Precious Woods (Geneva: SWX: PRWN) Switzerland

    Green Building
    Herman Miller (NASDAQ: MLHR) U.S.
    Interface (NASDAQ: IFSIA) U.S.
    Land Securities (London: Land.L) Britain

    Consumer Products
    Canon (NYSE: CAJ) Japan
    NIKE, Inc. (NYSE: NKE) U.S.

    Natural Foods/Natural Products
    Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) U.S.
    Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR) U.S.
    Groupe Danone (DANO.PA) Netherlands
    Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFMI) U.S.

    Source: Progressive Investor newsletter,