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What is Dow Theory?

Dow Theory is perhaps the longest-standing method of market analysis still used in modern finance. It suggests that markets experience primary trends (which last several years), intermediate trends (which last under a year), and minor trends (which last less than a month). Markets are in an upward trend if an average exceeds certain thresholds, followed by a similar movement from another average. Longer, larger trends are considered more predictive than smaller ones, though correctly reading the primary trend in the main goal. Continue reading...

What are market indicators?

Market indicators are quantitative tools for the analysis of market information, which may hint or confirm that a trend or reversal is about to happen (leading indicator) or has begun (lagging indicator). Indicators are technical analysis algorithms which give investors signals that may be used as the guidelines for trading. Indicators might be called oscillators or have various other proper names, since some of them are quite well-known, but there are general conventions or instructions for how to use an indicator, how it can be tweaked to suit the scope of your analysis, and what is considered a trade signal. Continue reading...

How Do You Read Bitcoin Price Charts?

Bitcoin price charts may appear different on different sites, but they are generally not much different from technical charts used in other markets. Charts are tools used to reduce vast amounts of data into characteristic parts, in an attempt to illustrate the trajectory, velocity, or potential future of an asset’s price. A single chart may show you 20 different kinds of descriptive data in one picture, by overlaying certain measurements, rates of change, or comparative data directly on top of a chart or in a windowed fashion around it.  Many online charts will give you the ability to pick and choose what kinds of data you see and how it is displayed. Once you have played around with it for a few minutes and looked up some information about the different tools available for analysis, you may be able to understand some things about bitcoin that may help you get closer to making trading decisions. That’s the beauty of charts, really, in that, they are intended to be somewhat intuitive. Continue reading...

What is divergence analysis?

The analysis of convergence and divergence between indexes and other data seeks to find leading indicators where there is confirmation or non-confirmation of trends. Dow Theory was one of the first examples of such thinking. Charles Dow would watch the movements of Industrials and the Rail and compare the uptrend or downtrend of each. Where trends do not line up (e.g., one is trending downward with lower troughs and the other has “higher lows”) there is “divergence”, and non-confirmation of what was thought to be a trend in one index. Continue reading...

Is there any merit to the “dow theory?”

The Dow Theory may not always be accurate, but it has been part of the foundation of modern market analysis. The Dow Theory was formulated by the famous economist Charles Dow. What is important is that the Dow Theory concerns itself with the movements of very broad markets, rather than individual stocks. In particular, the Dow Theory, which was named post-mortem and summarized the editorials Dow wrote during his life, focuses on the movement of the Industrials (DJIA) relative to the Transportation index (DJTA) and theorizes that if one moves the other should follow, and if there is discord a reversal is probably coming. Continue reading...

What is technical analysis in trading?

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating the worth and probable future direction of security prices using charts and data concerning prices and volume. This is the counterpart to fundamental analysis, which looks at the physical operations of a company and their place in the market to determine value. Those who practice technical analysis are sometimes called “quants” or chartists because they believe that the most important information about a security will be found in the data on the price, volume, and the moving averages and volatility associated with them. Continue reading...

How Can You Buy a Stock?

There are many services online and custodians that that can facilitate stock trades. Anybody can buy shares of a publicly traded company, but it must be done through a brokerage firm or a custodian. Brokers and brokerage firms act as middle men between the buyer and the seller. Some brokerage houses such as E-Trade, Ameritrade, or Charles Schwab offer low-cost services online to anyone with a checking account, and offer no personal advice. Other brokerage firms focus on the human element, offering investment advice and making additional money through long-term client relationships and the commissions and fees that result from portfolio management. Continue reading...

Who Manages ETFs?

Several large and well-known investment banks and companies are major players in the ETF industry. There are several large investment houses which specialize in managing ETFs such as Barclays, ProShares, Vanguard, and Guggenheim Partners, LLC. ETFs are also managed by investment firms such as Schwab, Credit Suisse, and Eaton Vance. Even New York Life’s Mainstay Investments recently acquired Index IQ. The ETF industry has been growing rapidly in the last 10 years, with more investors choosing to use them, more ETFs on the market, and more investment companies choosing to offer them. Continue reading...

What is a leading indicator?

Leading indicators are economic or price data which have some degree of correlation with a movement in the market or a stock price. Leading indicators tend to happen before the market or price movement occurs. Traders and economists use leading indicators frequently to prepare for what’s next; they are based on theory as well as empirical historical evidence but like all indicators, they do not have a 100% accuracy rate – past performance does not guarantee future results. Continue reading...

Top Stock Chart Patterns

Chart patterns are shapes that sometimes appear in the charts of securities prices. Some of them may prove useful to you. Some frequently discussed chart patterns include Head and Shoulders, Double/Triple Bottom/Top, Cups and Saucers, Flags and Pennants, and others. Generally, it can be useful to compare and connect the troughs to each other and the peaks to each other to see if there is a trend confirmation if the breadth is narrowing, or if a reversal might be imminent. Continue reading...

What Kinds of Overlays are Used in Chart Patterns?

Overlays are technical supplements which help to interpret the data of a normal price chart. Often a chart program will allow the user to pick a few different overlays at a time, to help him or her get a better idea of what is going on with the price. Some common overlays include moving average lines, Bollinger Bands, Ichimoku clouds, and channel lines. An overlay or series of overlays will appear as additional lines, shading, or other graphics on a price chart. An overlay helps a trader or analyst interpret the price data in the context of other data, by putting the other data right on top of it. Continue reading...

What is the Dow Jones Industrial Average?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is an index comprised of 30 'significant' U.S. stocks, typically the biggest and most frequently traded. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was created in 1896 by Charles Dow, as a way to track the general trend of U.S. stocks. The index is price-weighted versus cap-weighted, meaning that if a company splits 2 for 1 its contribution to the index will drop by half (even though the company's value did not change). Continue reading...

How to use the Detrended Price Oscillator in trading

The Detrended Price Oscillator (DPO) is a relatively uncomplicated tool of analysis that can be used to simplify a chart and identify conditions ripe for buying or selling. It turns the moving average line of a price chart into a flat horizontal axis, with prices plotted according to their distance from the moving average. Moving averages are important components of many technical indicators. A simple moving average determines the average of a range of closing prices for a security or index for a specific period of time. An exponential moving average is a moving average that gives more weight to the most recent data. Simple moving averages are not weighted for time the way that exponential moving averages are, which has the effect of snapping the chart to the most current information, while simple moving averages have lag. Continue reading...

How to use the average directional index in trading?

Trend traders can use the Average Directional Index (ADX) technical indicator to spot and confirm the strength of a trend in a security, then combine the ADX reading with other indicators to determine whether it makes sense to trade with the trend. Click here to view the current news with the use of other Technical Indicators Technical Indicators are charting tools that appear as lines on charts, or as other kinds of graphical information, and serve as guidelines for buying and selling opportunities. Traders use technical indicators like the ADX to make predictions about future prices. They verify how well a specific indicator works for a particular security, often by calculating the odds of success under similar market conditions to guide their actions. Continue reading...

What is the Profit Rate for the Head-and-Shoulders Bottom (Bullish) Pattern?

The bullish head and shoulders is the opposite image of a bearish head and shoulders. It has all the same parts—two shoulders, a neckline, and the head. Only instead of the shoulders and head being formed at high points for the stock, they are formed at low points. The investor psychology is the opposite of the bearish pattern. The stock is falling and hits a temporary low to form the left shoulder before a bounce occurs and forms the left side of the neck. The upward momentum is temporary and the next down leg takes the stock lower than the left shoulder and forms the head. Continue reading...

What is a foreign transaction fee?

Credit card companies and banks generally charge an additional percentage for all purchases made with a card in a foreign country. If you’re traveling abroad, you may want to find another way to pay. Most credit card companies and bank debit cards will charge an additional percentage on transactions made abroad, to help them pay the cost of clearing the transaction with international institutions. This is sometimes called a currency conversion fee. Continue reading...

What is a Billing Cycle?

A billing cycle is the frequency with which a company creates and sends invoices for the goods or services rendered during a time period. A billing cycle is usually a month long, and may begin at the first day of the month and end on the last day. This varies depending on the structure of the business and the systems they have in place to regulate their cash cycle. A bill or invoice will be sent out to customers or debtors from whom the business can expect payment for goods or services rendered during a specific time period. Continue reading...

How to use the Broadening Bottom (Bullish) Pattern

A broadening bottom can be characterized as a bullish reversal pattern. It consists of two divergent lines that form a triangle. The movements between the two triangle sides increase as the pattern continues. Each side must be touched at least twice to be validated. The Broadening Bottom pattern is formed when the price of a security progressively makes higher highs (2, 4) and lower lows (1, 3, 5) following two widening trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the pattern depending on which line is broken first. What distinguishes a Broadening Bottom from a Broadening Top is that the price of the security is declining prior to entering the pattern formation. Continue reading...

How to use the Broadening Top (Bullish) Pattern in trading

Once the price breaks out from the top pattern boundary, day traders and swing traders should trade with an UP trend. Consider buying a security or a call option at the upward breakout price/entry point. To identify an exit, compute the target price by adding the pattern height (H on the chart) to the breakout price. The pattern height is the difference between the pattern’s highest high and its lowest low. Continue reading...

What is a Variable Annuity?

Variable annuities generally provide investors with downside protection for a fee (the insurance guarantee), while also providing market exposure that may give the investor upside potential. A variable annuity is characterized by offering market exposure, and the risk and upside potential that comes with it, in the form of “separate accounts” which are institutional-level mirrors of retail mutual funds. Typically a variable annuity will not deplete the amount of your initial investment with sales charges, and may even credit your annuity with an initial bonus amount of several percent. Continue reading...