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Introduction
Investment Portfolios
Investment Terminology and Instruments
Technical Analysis and Trading
Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain
Retirement
Retirement Accounts
Personal Finance
Corporate Basics

What were the Biggest Insider Trading Scandals?

In 2007, Qwest Communications CEO Joseph Nacchio was convicted of making over $50 million dollars through illegal trades. Essentially, Nacchio knew that the company wasn’t doing well, while telling the public that it was on track to pursue highly exaggerated revenue gains. He capitalized on the inflated stock, and was, of course, caught and found guilty. He’s currently serving a six year prison sentence. Continue reading...

What are the Tax Implications for Taking Money Out of a Roth IRA?

Distributions taken from a Roth during retirement are not subject any income taxes. Interestingly, the “cost basis” or contributions made to a Roth can be taken out at any time, including before age 59 ½, without tax or penalty. Contributions are recorded on IRS form 5498 and a copy is mailed to you, but you need to keep up with your contributions if you might want to tap into your Roth early. The earnings that accumulate must satisfy the 59 ½ requirement and the five year rule, or be used for first-time homebuyers expense, to avoid the 10% penalty and taxation. The five year rule says that the earnings in a Roth may be taxable if the Roth account is under 5 years old. Continue reading...

What are some strategies for diversifying a portfolio?

What are some strategies for diversifying a portfolio?

There are many ways to diversify a portfolio, but all of them center around a strategy of owning different types of asset classes. For equity investors, perhaps the best strategy for diversifying a portfolio is to own companies from different sectors in different style categories, maybe even across the globe. The S&P 500 has ten different sectors, and a very broadly diversified portfolio should have exposure to each one in some capacity. Continue reading...

What is the Dividend Payout Ratio?

The Dividend Payout Ratio represents the percentage of a company’s earnings/profits that they pay-out to shareholders in the form of dividends. Companies with higher dividend payout ratios tend to be older, more well-established corporations with long histories of dividend payments. Newer, more growth oriented companies will tend to take earnings and reinvest them in the company, whether via additional fixed investment, inventory expansions, hiring more people, or entering new markets. Continue reading...

What does it mean to Accept Risk?

The notion of who bears risk for various sorts of failures, circumstances, or losses is a prevalent one in the financial world, and many institutions make all of their money accepting risks. To accept a risk is to bear the burden of loss or replacement if an event occurs that causes an asset to lose value or disappear. There is a bright side to this, however. There is a real and theoretical “risk premium” due to those who accept a risk. Continue reading...

Best Day Trading Guide

Best Day Trading Guide

Day traders, by definition, trade on a very short-term time frame, seeking to generate profits by opening and closing positions hour-by-hour and having the majority of their positions closed by the end of the day. Short-term profits and income are the goals with most day-traders, and the term is used more and more for “amateur” traders who trade from home and treat it as their primary occupation without being part of a brokerage firm. Day trading has become more and more prevalent for independent, non-affiliated investors who trade from their computers at home for hours a day. Continue reading...

What is currency depreciation?

What is currency depreciation?

The value of a currency can depreciate in relation to the value of other currencies or to another benchmark. Currencies can have their value determined by the cost of a basket of consumer goods from one period to another, but this is really just a measure of inflation. Inflation (or “deflation”) is a subset of the appreciation/depreciation metric, but changes in the exchange rates between currencies are typically seen as the most relevant measure of a currency’s value. Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Bottom pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or a low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. Points 1­ 5 form the triangle patterns. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

How to use Momentum Indicators in trading

How to use Momentum Indicators in trading

A momentum indicator allows for a quick comparison of a security’s current price relative to its past prices using a flexible time period, allowing traders to decide the parameters. The formula to calculate momentum is M = V – Vx (where V is the current price and Vx is the closing price from x number of days ago). A current price in excess of past price is a positive momentum indicator; a lower current price represents negative momentum. Continue reading...

Be Smart about Planning for Retirement

Be Smart about Planning for Retirement

The key difference between Portfolio Wizards and 401(k) Portfolios is that the latter contains reports. These reports are detailed descriptions of the performance of the existing portfolio. 401(k) Portfolios allow you to purchase existing portfolios, while the former can be used to create new portfolios or add existing ones to your files. The reports are crucial to the understanding of the way that the portfolios are chosen and ranked because they contain a page with a layout of the Diversification Analysis. Continue reading...