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What was the "Flash Crash"?

On May 6, 2010, investors around the world were shocked when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 1,000 points in a matter of minutes. The market recovered just as quickly, finishing the day down a much lesser 348 points. The so-termed "flash crash" was caused by a trader's technical errors in entering order amounts, which caused a few stocks to post erroneous numbers (notably Procter & Gamble, which showed a 37% loss, before recovering to a 2% loss on the day). Continue reading...

Should I Rely on Analyst Upgrades or Downgrades of the Positions in my Investment Portfolio?

Upgrades and downgrades can be useful but they may not be the most current form of trading information. The problem with upgrades or downgrades is that they rely on the events which already happened; in most cases, the information is already built into the price of the stock. Very often, after a company reports bad results, analysts will downgrade that company — how smart they are! Of course, we all wish that they would do it before the results had been reported. Still, if a majority of analysts downgrade the stock, it might be prudent to seriously consider selling it. Continue reading...

What are Mid Cap Mutual Funds?

Mid cap mutual funds invest in medium-size companies. A middle capitalization mutual fund invests mostly in medium-size companies. While the definition of “medium-size company” varies, most professionals define it as a company with a market capitalization from $2 billion to $10 billion. Companies you may have heard of within this size range are Eaton Vance, Guess, and others. In general, mid cap companies are more volatile than large cap companies, and the choice of the right fund managers becomes more important. Continue reading...

What are Other Mutual Fund Classifications?

Let’s look at some of the classifications for mutual funds that are determined using criteria other than market cap and P/E ratios. What is Mutual Fund Classification According to the Price to Earnings Ratio? What is Mutual Fund Classification According to Market Capitalization? Besides the main classifications for equity mutual funds which are derived from market cap and price-to-earnings ratio, many other categories for mutual funds exist. These criteria may be based on how much exposure a fund has to a specific industry, sectors or geographical regions, as well as the types of management strategies that the fund uses and which kinds of assets are held. Continue reading...

What is a naked put?

What is a naked put?

A naked put is when a put option contract writer or short-seller does not have the resources (shares of the security) on hand to cover the position if the option is exercised. Put options are contracts between two people who have been put together with the help of an options exchange or clearinghouse.One of them will be the “writer” who sells the put on a certain underlying stock with a certain strike price and expiration date. Continue reading...

What is Weighted Average Market Capitalization?

What is Weighted Average Market Capitalization?

Indexes track markets in different ways, and Weighted Average Market Capitalization is a method which gives market cap, or the cumulative value of outstanding shares for a company, greater weight. Market Capitalization is the sum total value of all outstanding shares and is one way to judge the size of a company or at least its size in the market. Indexes such as the S&P 500 are Cap-Weighted indexes, which means they give greater emphasis the to the largest companies, and the dramatic price movements of only a few of the largest companies would mean that the index would swing disproportionately for large-cap companies. Continue reading...

What is a Liquidity Ratio?

A liquidity ratio is also known as a current ratio, and it generally measures the amount of cash or readily available cash relative to current liabilities. Liquidity ratios are important measures to test a company’s solvency, in addition to its potential ability to handle economic shocks. Continue reading...

What is an Account Balance?

An account balance is the amount either credited to or owed on a ledger assigned to a particular entity or line-item. The balance of an account is the net debit or credit assigned to it after all transactions have been documented for a current period. Transactions might be deposits, withdrawals, interest credited, fees, or other activity. The account in question could be a personal savings or checking account, or a ledger account at a business or institution, or another form of account, such as the macroeconomic concept of current national account. Accounts are said to be “in the red” when there is a net debit (negative) amount, and “in the black” when there is a net positive balance (net credit). Continue reading...

What is Earnings Season?

What is Earnings Season?

Earnings season describes not one, but four times in a year, when corporations release their quarterly earnings reports. Investors look forward to this time because they are able to get an update about how the year is going, compared to projections. After each fiscal quarter ends, there are a few weeks in which companies file their quarterly reports with the SEC and announce their current earnings and sales numbers. Each of these periods is known as earnings season. Continue reading...

What is a Living Will?

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a document that dictates your wishes in the event you become incapable of making decisions, whether because of illness or injury. The directives in a living will are almost always related to person's desires regarding their medical treatment in those circumstances of incapacitation, in which they are no longer able to express informed consent. What is Probate? Should I Notarize my Will? Continue reading...