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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 is the role of asset allocation in my investments?

What is the role of asset allocation in my investments?

The single best control mechanism over the performance of your investments is the maintenance of an asset allocation strategy. When testing various methods of predicting and controlling returns in a portfolio, researchers found that having and maintaining an asset allocation strategy was the method that reaped the most predictable returns – with 80-90% accuracy. Asset allocation is the distribution of various asset classes and investments into a portfolio mix in a deliberate way to gain specific amounts of exposure to each investment. It is a practice used to diversify and manage risk. Asset Allocation is a dynamic process; it’s not something you do once and forget about. Continue reading...

What is a bull call spread?

What is a bull call spread?

A bull call spread is a vertical spread that buys and sells calls in a way that benefits from upward price movement but limits the risk of the short position. Using calls options of the same expiration date but different prices, a bull call spread seeks to maximize profits for moderate price movements upward. A long position is taken in a call contract (meaning it is bought and held) that has a strike price near the current market price of the security or is at least lower than the other call contract used in this strategy. Continue reading...

What is “contango?”

What is “contango?”

Contango is when the price of a futures contract is higher than the current spot price of a commodity, and the expected future spot price. Some contango falls within the normal range, but too much is generally unfavorable. Contango means that the price of a futures contract has become inflated beyond the expected price range of a commodity. Backwardation is the word for the opposite of contango, in which futures contracts are being sold for less than the current spot price and below the probable future spot price. Some backwardation and contango is part of life and considered normal, but contango markets can have a particularly negative impact on some ETFs. Continue reading...

How Much Does (and Will) Social Security Pay?

How Much Does (and Will) Social Security Pay?

Social Security uses a formula that applies a factor to your average monthly income from the 35 years in which you earned the most. The benefit will be calculated for your Normal Retirement Age (67 for most people today), and you should receive statements in the mail keeping you updated on your projected or actual Social Security Retirement Benefits. Every year, you should get a statement from the Social Security Administration that provides you with exact numbers. The amount depends on the age at which you retire, and the contributions you made to Social Security over the years. The formula uses the 35 years in which you earned the most, and divides it by the total number of months in 35 years, which is 420, which leads to your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME). Continue reading...

What Does M&A Mean?

What Does M&A Mean?

M&A stands for Mergers and Acquisitions, and refers to the consolidation of companies or assets for strategic purposes. It does not necessarily have to imply that one company wholly takes over another — there are a number of different transactions that can fall under the M&A umbrella, which can include purchase of key assets or management acquisitions. In nearly all cases, however, there are two companies involved - the buyer of capital and the seller. Continue reading...

What is a Long Squeeze?

A long squeeze is when shareholders feel the pressure of falling prices and themselves sell, causing the price to fall even further. Investors encounter long squeezes fairly rarely, and it usually occurs in more illiquid stocks where a panicked investor will fear riding a stock all the way down, and not finding a buyer at a desired price. On the contrary, long squeezes are more rare in high volume, larger cap names because opportunistic investors will tend to enter names when prices are falling, as a form of bargain hunting. Continue reading...

What is an Equity REIT?

Equity REITs are the more traditional version of Real Estate Investment Trusts, which invest solely in income-producing properties and operate similar to a mutual fund. When investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) investors have a choice between equity REITs, mortgage REITs, and hybrid REITs. Equity REITs invest in income-producing properties, and have a hand in building and renovating such properties. Continue reading...

What is the commodity market?

What is the commodity market?

The commodity market is an international network of exchanges which trade commodity spot contracts, futures contracts, and derivatives. The largest commodities exchange in the world is the CME Group in Chicago. Futures are a large part of commodities trading, and the commodities futures market includes currency futures and swaps, index futures and single-stock futures, and other derivatives based on futures contracts. Continue reading...

What are Consolidated Financial Statements?

Consolidated financial statements are required when one company owns a controlling interest in another company. They must adhere to the same accounting principals as a the financial statements for a single company. Some detail tends to be lost if the parent company and subsidiaries have very different operations. If a company owns more than 50% of another company, their financial statements will be consolidated into one, according to GAAP. Up to that point, the interest in another company can be accounted for using cost-method or equity-method accounting. Continue reading...

What is the Profit Rate for the Ascending Triangle (Bullish) Pattern?

What is the Profit Rate for the Ascending Triangle (Bullish) Pattern?

The Ascending Triangle pattern forms when the price of a security tests a resistance level and creates a horizontal top line (1, 3, 5), with an upward­-sloping bottom line (2, 4) formed by a rising support level. The breakout can either be up or down, and it will determine whether the target price is higher or lower. 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. When the price of a security consolidates around a certain level, it may indicate growing investor confidence for a significant uptrend. Continue reading...