Raymond Merola

Raymond Merola


Ray Merola has over 30 years’ investing experience. He advises investors to find securities selling below fair value and “Get Rich Slow.”

Recent articles

What Every Aflac Investor Needs To Know

Aflac generates three-fourths of its business in Japan. However, this U.S. based company must report earnings in USD. This confuses some investors, as financial results reflect currency exchange, while in reality very little yen are changed to dollars. Here's the lowdown.

Wells Fargo & Co Is About to Reach a Major Milestone

Wells Fargo is knocking on the door to be the largest American bank ever as measured by market capitalization. It's a function of banking management that sticks to the basics: take customer deposits and make smart community loans.

This Paper Laggard Is Worth a Look

International Paper Co stock has marked time for almost a year now. Meanwhile, the corporate storyline has come together. The company is set to dominate the paper and packaging business. A 3% dividend yield pays patient investors to wait.

The Bank That Does Just About Everything Right

Wells Fargo reported earnings last Friday. Management recapped an outstanding quarter, beating analyst expectations, and painted an optimistic picture for the future.

Wells Fargo & Co: Earnings Preview

Wells Fargo is one of the first banks to report 2014 first-quarter earnings. This powerhouse performer has Warren Buffett as its largest investor. Fresh off a green light from the Feds for the recent bank "stress tests" and capital return plan, Wells is riding high into this earnings season.

Annaly Capital Management, Inc.: Dead-Cat Bounce or Something More?

Annaly Capital Management is the biggest and oldest mREIT, sporting the most experienced management team in the business. While the shares have outperformed by a large margin in 2014, is this a dead-cat bounce after a terrible 2013, or the start of something better?

1 Reason You're Wrong to Hate Aflac Incorporated

Some investors worry that Aflac Inc.will experience earnings declines and dividend troubles due to yen/dollar exchange rates. It's not an issue. A strong niche business model, consistent growth, and an outstanding dividend history make this a water-tight stock.

1 Big Bank That's Safe and Cheap

Sometimes, the best stock bargains may have far less risk than investors realize. Wells Fargo common shares may just be one of these cases.

3 Contrarian Stock Picks for 2014

After a huge market run-up in 2013, sifting through beaten-down stocks that didn't participate in the rally may uncover gold nuggets for 2014.

General Mills May Need a Breather

General Mills has a long-standing record of solid shareholder returns. However, the most recent earnings report and related analysis indicate that the stock may be getting a bit ahead of itself. How does the future look for the company, and how does it stack up to competitors Kellogg and Post?

4 Reasons Con Ed Is a Stalwart Utility Stock

Consolidated Edison has reliably provided investors with equity growth and rising dividends. It may be considered a safe "anchor" stock for nearly any portfolio.

Hybrid Bank Stocks Offer Investors Returns With a Twist

Wells Fargo and U.S. Bancorp are U.S.-centered banks showing strong and sustained earnings growth. Investors seeking an alternative to purchasing common shares may find Wells Fargo warrants or U.S. Bancorp Series B preferred shares appealing.

3 Tech-Giant Cash Juggernauts Facing Transitions

Despite huge amounts of balance-sheet cash and a sustainable capability to generate even more, three tech giants are trailing the averages this year. Why? In a word: transitions.

Aflac Climbs the Wall of Worry

Despite long-standing investor jitters, Aflac's management continues to see results, and the stock follows along, logging a 17% gain so far this year, or about a percentage point better than the S&P 500. But shares still appear highly undervalued.

A Safer Way to Invest in mREITs

Savvy investors choosing to wade into mREITS may find preferred shares a great alternative: substituting a bit of yield in exchange for a safer underlying security. We explore options at Annaly Capital Management, American Capital Agency, and Invesco Mortgage Capital.