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How do Market “Bubbles” Burst?

Bubbles, while both intriguing and puzzling occurrences, have always been a part of market and economic cycles. In short, a bubble forms when investors start bidding up the price of an asset well beyond its intrinsic value, based on speculation and euphoria surrounding potential gains. Eventually demand will dry up when valuations are too high, as investors start shunning the risk premium associated with investing. Investors will then race to be the first out of the position, and it ultimately brings all the sellers to the table at once. The bubble then pops. Continue reading...

What is the “Life Only” Option on Annuities?

Choosing the “Life Only” option will turn your annuity balance into income that will be paid only to you, and will last only as long as you live. Annuities can be turned into income streams that are guaranteed to either remain the same or to increase based on an inflation-adjustment rider. The payout rate will be determined based on the length of the annuitant’s life expectancy, the amount being converted to income, whether annual increases are part of the contract, and what provisions are made for beneficiaries or joint annuitants. Continue reading...

How Do I Invest Money in My 457 Plan?

How Do I Invest Money in My 457 Plan?

Investments are funded through payroll deductions and go into investment options chosen by the sponsoring employer. 457 Plan investments work similarly to 401(k) or 403(b) investments: you are limited to a selection of Mutual Funds and other investment instruments, and it’s up to you to decide how to allocate the money, at least if you work for a government entity. Plans at non-profits may have to remain under the control and subject to the creditors of the business. Some such plans allow participants to direct the investments for a portion of their account, but sometimes they do not. Continue reading...

What is Medicare Part D?

What is Medicare Part D?

Part D is prescription drug coverage to supplement the coverage of Medicare Part A and Part B. It can be a standalone policy, or it can be included in a package with Part C. Medicare Part D is purchased through private insurers. While the premiums vary, they tend to range from $15- $150 a month. There was a maximum deductible of $360 for these plans in 2016, after which the insurer would trigger 75/25 coinsurance or something in that range. Continue reading...

What is a Corporate Bond?

A corporate bond is a debt security issued by a public or private company to raise capital. They are generally issued in multiples of $1,000 or $5,000, and the issuing company must agree to pay a certain interest rate typically determined by their creditworthiness and earning history/potential. Often times the corporation issuing the debt must use their physical assets as collateral, and it is often found that corporations are more likely to issue debt during an environment when interest rates are low, so they can borrow at attractive rates. Corporate debt that matures in less than one year is called ‘commercial paper.’ Continue reading...

What is an "Ex-Dividend"?

Ex-Dividend is a classification on a stock that indicates the dividend payable is to the seller of the stock, not the buyer. If a stock is sold on the ex-date or after, the seller will receive the dividend payment. More articles about Dividends — Found Here Continue reading...

What are Federal Reserve Regulations?

The Fed has been commissioned with upholding the directive of the Federal Reserve Act. The Fed is technically an independent institution from the US Government, even though it works hand-in-hand with the Treasury Department on monetary policy issues. It functions partially as a self-regulatory organization for the banking industry, and the Regulations, which are named with letters of the alphabet, are meant to protect consumers, member banks, and the economy as a whole. The leadership of the Fed is comprised of both government appointees and private sector banking leaders. Continue reading...

What is the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant?

The Federal Government will give college students who have filled out a FAFSA and are found to be in dire financial need a grant of up to $4,000 a year. The grant does not have to be repaid. The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant provides funding for educational expenses to students with expected family contributions (EFCs). The maximum annual amount that can be received in a SEOG is $4,000 per student. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

What is the Rectangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Bottom pattern forms when the price of a security is stuck in a range­bound motion, bouncing between support and resistance levels. Two horizontal lines (1, 3, 5) and (2, 4) form the pattern. Depending on who gives up first ­ buyers or sellers ­ the price can Breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong downtrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...

What is the Head-and-Shoulders Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Head-­and-­Shoulders Top pattern forms when a pair is testing new highs on an uptrend, but fails to retest its highest high and break upward. Mounting selling pressure takes over each time a pair approaches its high. The pattern forms with a center peak (the Head, labeled 3) and left and right Shoulders (1, 5). Eventually the pair stops testing highs and reverses trend into a decline. Consider selling the pair short before it declines or buying a put option to benefit from the price decline. To improve success chances, wait for a confirmation move: allow the price to break below the Neckline level (2, 4), which is calculated as the average of the two lows between the Head and the Shoulders. To estimate an exit, calculate the pattern height by taking the price difference between the Head (3) and the Neckline price (4), and subtract that from the Neckline price level/breakout price level. Continue reading...