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What are Balanced Funds?

Balanced funds offer a well-diversified investment that includes relatively equal exposure to stocks and bonds. Balanced funds combine stocks, bonds, and money market instruments to give investors some upside potential along with a goal of capital preservation. While they are considered to be safer, they also have more modest returns in most market environments, because of course lower risk investments have lower potential returns. Continue reading...

What is a Thrift Savings Plan?

What is a Thrift Savings Plan?

A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a 401(k)-style plan for Federal employees. A Thrift Savings Plan functions the same way a 401(k) does – you can elect to contribute a portion of your salary, known as an employee deferral or employee contribution, and the money will be allowed to grow in the account tax-deferred. The TSP is only available to Federal Employees and United States military personnel. There is a flat contribution of 1% from the employer, and, depending on the type of Federal job, employees may be eligible for a matching contribution from the employer. Continue reading...

What are some examples of Investment Instruments I can use?

There is a wide variety of investments available for every kind of investor: Stocks, bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Annuities, real estate, private equity, hedge funds, and so on. The vehicles for these investments also vary widely – you can buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs, for instance, in a brokerage account at a major custodian, or an IRA or 401(k) offered through a retirement plan. Annuities and other insurance products are often sold directly from the insurance companies, and often times banks offer vehicles and accounts you can use to invest. Continue reading...

What is a Value Stock?

What is a Value Stock?

Value Stock is a stock whose price has been deemed a value buy because of underlying fundamentals, book value, and projected earnings. Prices for stocks can temporarily be pushed around by sentiment, index tracking fund purchases, news and political effects, et cetera, and often the prices on very good and well positioned companies become undervalued as part of larger movements that overlook their inherent value. Continue reading...

What Does Debt Financing Mean?

Debt financing occurs when a company borrows money or secures financing through loans, with the obligation to repay the money (typically with interest). Generally, a corporation will engage in debt financing by selling bonds in the marketplace or to private investors, or with promissory notes or commercial paper. Generally the terms of the bond or the loan will have the company commit as collateral assets of the business, such as real estate, cash on hand, or fixed assets. Continue reading...

What is an Accounting Standard?

Accounting standards are the practices which make financial information uniform and normalized between various businesses and accounting firms. Accounting standards constitute what is known as GAAP: Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. These may apply to how revenue is recognized, how assets are classified, acceptable methods of depreciating assets, and so on. Some of these are based on IRS opinions and the jurisprudence of the law, some are just industry best-practices that are widely used. Continue reading...

What is Dividend Adjusted Return?

An accurate historical return calculation for an investment should be done with the dividends in mind, such as assuming all dividends were reinvested, which is the most common way they are used. Accurate historical information concerning prices and return should take the stock splits, dividends, and so-on into account. In a lesser-known context, dividend adjustment means a payment of accrued but yet-unpaid dividend amounts to the bearer of convertible preferred stock at the time that he or she converts them to shares of common stock. Continue reading...

What is Income Per Capita?

Income for an area or country it totaled up and divided by the total population of the area to give us the Income Per Capita statistic. Per capita is Latin for “by head,” and income per capita takes every man, woman, and child into account. Income per capita is a statistic that divides the total amount of income reported in an area by the total population of the area. This shows us how much income, as a resource, is available on average to each person in the area. Continue reading...

What is Form 8891?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Form 8891 was previously used by individuals with retirement plans held in Canada when they were living in America, each time they took distributions. The process proved to be cumbersome for many good-natured Canadians, and caused the IRS a lot of trouble as well. This form has been retired in favor of an acknowledgement on the IRS Form 1040. Form 8891 is no longer used, which came as a relief to many Canadian-Americans who had retirement plans from work they did in Canada. Certain filing requirements still exist, such as a new form replacing the FBAR, for foreign bank accounts, now called the FinCEN Form 114. Continue reading...

What is the Rising Wedge (Bullish) Pattern?

The Rising Wedge pattern forms when prices seem to be spiraling upward, and two upward sloping trend lines are created with the price hitting higher highs (1, 3, 5) and higher lows (2,4). The two pattern lines intersect to form an upward sloping triangle. Unlike Ascending Triangle patterns, however, both lines need to have a distinct upward slope, with the bottom line having a steeper slope. 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...