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What are General Market ETFs?

General market ETFs seek to capture the movements of the market as a whole by tracking major market indices. General Market ETFs track the performance of major market indices such as the S&P 500 (SPY), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), and NASDAQ-100 (QQQQ). Most funds that track indexes do so by purchasing shares of all the publicly traded companies within an index, usually proportionally weighted by the market cap of the company (but there are other popular weighting methods). Continue reading...

What are Industrials Stocks?

Industrials stocks include companies that are in the business of construction and manufacturing. Companies within the sector are those that play a role in infrastructure buildout and development, such as industrial machinery, tools, heavy equipment, engineering, and even aerospace and defense. Industrials companies are cyclicals, meaning they benefit the most during periods of economic expansion and are hurt during recessions. Continue reading...

What are Mortgage-Backed Securities?

Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are products that bundle mortgages together and are traded like securities for sale on the markets. Typically investment banks build these products by bundling mortgages with different interest rates and risk premiums, with the hope of the investor gaining a higher yield than can be found from traditional risk-free products, like U.S. Treasuries. Mortgage-backed securities got an infamous name during the 2008 financial crisis, as many of the packaged loans were subprime in nature. Many MBS products lost incredible value during the crisis, particularly following ruling FAS 157, which required banks to mark their value to market. Continue reading...

What is Systematic Risk?

Systematic risk is the broad risk of fluctuations and downturns in the market as a whole, which it is said cannot be eliminated through diversification. Systematic risk is also known as market risk, which is the exposure of all investors to the broad movements and downturns of the market as a whole. Theoretically it cannot be controlled for through simple diversification, since that would only bring a portfolio closer to the broad market performance, with a Beta closer to 1. Continue reading...

What is Cash Budget?

Budgeting is the act of planning accounts for the future. A cash budget plans out the expected cash flow of a business. Sales and production estimations are used along with historical cash flow data to project where money will come from and where it will be spent in the months ahead. A cash budget tends to be laid out on a monthly basis. Accounting is the documentation of the outlay of all expenses and income from the past, while budgeting is act of building an outlay for the future. A cash budget tries to ensure that there is more cash coming in than going out; any excess cash can be rolled forward into the budget plans for the following months, and this is called a cash roll. Continue reading...

What is an Investment Club?

An investment club can be a term used for a group that organizes itself for the purpose of pooling investment dollars and participating in the market, or for a group that meets for informational and educational purposes. Clubs that actually invest sometimes organize themselves as LLCs and establish a system for how to choose and manage their investments as a group. Even though “investment club” may sound like an informal and relatively unregulated way to invest with pooled assets, they are actually subject to regulation by the SEC. Continue reading...

What Else Should I Know About Stocks?

There are plenty of other things that you should know about stocks, which are hard to categorize. In this sub-topic, you will find a wide array of questions related to stocks. Frankly, we could not categorize every question within this sub-topic, but still feel that these questions are very important and arise with great frequency. Feel free to pursue this collection of useful and interesting articles. Continue reading...

What is a Distributed Ledger?

What is a Distributed Ledger?

A distributed ledger is a records system in which the same information is held redundantly across many nodes in a network, and is essential to blockchain technology. Centralized databases used to be the primary way that important records of transaction histories and so forth were held.  Databases validate the identity of those requesting access to the records by asking for and retaining personally identifying information. If that office building were to lose power, was hacked, or was destroyed, it is possible for all of the information to be lost or given over to hands of bad actors. Even with cloud storage backups, the security and financial risk to any one of these storage depositories remain a problem. Continue reading...

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

The pseudonymous inventor(s) of bitcoin and blockchain technology, Satoshi Nakamoto, likely walks among us today. Satoshi Nakamoto was the pen-name of the author(s) who anonymously gave the world the design and code for bitcoin and blockchain technology. Penning a white-paper entitled “Bitcoin: a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” the author(s) described the need for a decentralized digital currency and proposed blockchain technology as the way to validate digital transactions with a distributed ledger. Continue reading...

What are Multichains and Sidechains?

What are Multichains and Sidechains?

Sidechains are blockchains which handle assets off of the main blockchain and are able to return them to the main blockchain at a future date. As you understand by now, blockchains are comprised of interconnected computers serving as nodes in a decentralized consensus network. Everything that happens to assets on that blockchain is validated and recorded on that blockchain. If assets are taken to another chain, however, where different protocols may apply to suit the needs of the parties using the assets, this may be called a sidechain. Continue reading...