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What were the Biggest Single Day Market Moves?

Since the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s creation in 1896, there have been several crashes and several days of huge gains. The biggest moves can be defined in two ways: either by percentage change or by change in points. In terms of gains, the largest single-day point gain occurred on October 13, 2008, when the Dow rose 936 points (11%) – the sudden leap occurred during a time of wild upside and downside volatility, and was in response to unexpected positive global economic news. Continue reading...

Is there such a thing as the “January effect?”

Is there such a thing as the “January effect?”

The January Effect is a hypothesis which states that stocks will see their biggest monthly gains in January. The January Effect states that the stock market usually increases during the first few days in January, or that the largest monthly gains of the year will be realized in January, therefore January will set the pace. There are many explanations for this effect, such as tax-loss selling in December, fresh starts after the New Year, and many others. Continue reading...

What are realistic expectations for my portfolio performance?

What are realistic expectations for my portfolio performance?

Realistically, you should not plan on getting more than about 10% average per year over the long term for a portfolio of diversified equity exposure and you should really plan on getting less than that to be on the safe side. Everybody wants to have a portfolio that outperforms the market when the markets are rising and does not lose money when the markets are falling. We have a secret for you – it’s not possible. Continue reading...

What are the basics of options?

What are the basics of options?

Options are contracts used by investors to take a speculative position – or a hedge – based on expected future price movements of the underlying securities. Many investors are scared when they heard the word "option" and perceive it as a risky, speculative investment. Options certainly can be risky, but they don’t have to be. In fact, certain options strategies are far more conservative than many available investments in the marketplace. Continue reading...

Can I Leave My 401(k) With My Former Employer?

Generally a plan will allow you to leave your assets in there indefinitely, but this is probably not ideal for you. Most custodians will be happy to hold onto your account dollars as long as you’re willing to leave them there. They don’t have to spend any time servicing your account since you can’t make contributions and probably aren’t even able to reallocate your assets, and they will continue to make money on your account with the built-in fees. You may be charged inactive account fees or small account fees as well. Continue reading...

What is Common Stock?

A common stock is the one you’re most familiar with - having a share of ownership in a company. Owning common stock in a company is a vote of confidence that an investor thinks the company will perform well, and grow. Owning common stock also entitles an investor to equity ownership in a corporation, voting rights, and shared participation in a company’s success through dividends and/or capital appreciation. Continue reading...

What is a Mortgage?

A mortgage is a debt instrument typically used as a finance mechanism to purchase real estate. When purchasing a piece of property or a home, new owners typically do not purchase the entire piece of real estate up front. As a mechanism to make a claim on the property while agreement to a set arrangements of payments to purchase it, a mortgage can be initiated. Over a period of several years, the borrower repays the loan, plus interest, until he/she eventually owns the property free and clear. Continue reading...

What is Return on Net Assets?

Return on Net Assets is a calculation used to determine how well a company performs, relative to its resources. Return on Net Assets gives investors an idea of how well a company uses its resources to generate profits. Net assets includes not only fixed, tangible assets, but also the net working capital of a business. Working capital is defined as Current Assets minus the Current Liabilities of the business. The net profits for a period are divided by the net assets to arrive at the Return on Net Assets. Continue reading...

What is the Investment Advisor Registration Depository (IARD)?

The IARD system is maintained by FINRA, and keeps track of all adviser registrations, which states they are licensed to work in, all licenses they hold, and any customer complaints. It simplified the registration requirements of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) was established in 2001 to streamline the registration requirements of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. The act required that all advisers register with the SEC and the states in which they practice. Continue reading...

How to use Open Interest in trading

How to use Open Interest in trading

Open interest, or OI, can be a very important number for futures, options, and other derivative markets, but it can also be important to traders in the traditional stock market. Open interest in derivatives of stocks indicates that there is a deep market for the stock itself, since many of the positions may eventually require the purchase of the stock. Increases and decreases in open interest may help a trader understand if there's significant action in a security's price movements, which can determine liquidity needs as well as whether the price movements are rooted in actual supply and demand characteristics. Continue reading...