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Should I buy IPOs for my portfolio?

Should I buy IPOs for my portfolio?

You may find it difficult to find IPO shares to buy if you are not already a very active and wealthy investor, but if that is the case then you may be a good candidate for IPO shares. For investors who are less affluent and less experienced, you can still pick up a mutual fund or ETF that gives you IPO exposure, if it fits in with your portfolio. In the 1990s, there was a mad rush to buy IPOs: an IPO could be traded at $10 at the beginning of the day and at $100 at the end – you could be instantly rich if you were able to get your hands on an IPO for some of the many tech firms that sprouted up before the turn of the millennium. Continue reading...

How volatile are commodities?

How volatile are commodities?

Commodities are more volatile than most assets. The supply-demand dynamics of commodities are continuously changing, and sometimes very rapidly. Different commodities will have different levels of volatility, of course. Some commodities are extremely volatile. For example, natural gas has had a volatility of almost 45% in some periods, and gold has experienced movements of 20-30% per year lately. Crude oil prices fell some 50% in 2015, as a global supply glut was met with weakening demand, particularly from China. Gold is actually on the less-volatile side of the spectrum for commodities. Silver, Nickel, and crude oil tend to be on the upper end of the spectrum along with exotic metals such as platinum and palladium. Continue reading...

What is the Dividend Discount Model?

The Dividend Discount Model (DDM) is a method for valuing a stock, that looks at expected future dividend payouts and adjusts to present value. If the calculated value is less than the current trading price, the security is thought to be undervalued. The DDM is helpful as a tool but should not solely be used in valuation calculations. Perhaps its biggest flaw is that future dividends have to be projected and assumed, which is a far-from-certain practice. Continue reading...

What are Materials Stocks?

Companies in the Materials sector have business interests in raw materials, such as steel, aluminum, and iron ore. The companies are generally involved in the discovery, processing, or sale of these raw materials. Materials companies rely on economic growth and infrastructure build-outs to thrive, so tend to perform better early in economic expansion cycles. Materials companies are categorically ‘cyclical’ stocks. Continue reading...

What is 'buying on margin' and margin trading?

What is 'buying on margin' and margin trading?

A margin trade is one where the trader uses other securities or cash as collateral, for a transaction in which he or she has not purchased the security outright. The broker acts as a lender. If your broker approves you for a margin account, you have the ability to purchase new securities “on margin” by using your current holdings as collateral, or by depositing 50% (or more depending on the broker) of the market price of the security into the margin account. Continue reading...

What is a Home Inspection?

A home inspection is performed by a certified home inspector to determine the condition of a property and to find out if there any safety of compliance issues that the home or property may have. Home inspectors are typically hired by real estate professionals and homebuyers when a home is on the market. It is not required except for FHA loan termite inspection requirements, but it is always advisable for a potential home buyer. A home inspection is not to be confused with a home appraisal. Continue reading...

How does Bitcoin Mining Work?

How does Bitcoin Mining Work?

Anyone with a computer connected to the internet can potentially be a bitcoin miner. Bitcoin’s blockchain technology requires that a large network of computers, running the same client software, be used to randomly succeed at validating blocks of encrypted transactions every 10 minutes or so. That’s where bitcoin mining comes in. Mining is the act of letting one’s computer run what’s known as the “hash function” over and over and over in an attempt to crack the codes on the blocks that need validation. The codes that need cracking are all similar and are only difficult enough to require an average of 10 minutes for a random mining computer to get the right answer. The code and the answers are only significant in that they take time to complete, and that they allow the transactions to be validated and added to the ledger of all bitcoin transactions. Continue reading...

What is the Inverted Cup-and-Handle (Bearish) Pattern?

The Inverted Cup­-and-­Handle (sometimes called Inverted Cup­-and-­Holder) pattern forms when prices rise then decline to create an upside-­down “U”­like shape (1, 2, 3, also known as the Cup), followed by a shorter relatively straight price increase that bounces from the right lip (from 3 to 4, creating the Handle). The rising handle forms as a result of mounting buying pressure created when the pair retests a low at the right lip of the cup. Once the buyers give up, sellers take over and the pair has the potential to decline rapidly. Continue reading...

What is the Size of our National Debt?

The total United States national debt is $19.3 trillion as of fiscal year (FY) 2016. Total debt is near what the U.S. produces in annual GDP, and a majority of our national debt is public debt — money owed to those who have Treasury obligations. The U.S. also owes a large amount of money to foreign countries (foreign debt), but a majority of U.S. debt is held domestically. As of June 2012, the three countries who hold the most of our national debt are: Continue reading...

How should my strategy change with age?

How should my strategy change with age?

The more time you have to invest, the more room you have to make mistakes, wait-out downturns, and to experience the power of compounding interest. As you get older and need to draw income from investments, things change. The answer is relatively simple: you can afford to be very aggressive when you’re young, and gradually become more and more conservative with your investments as you grow older. Generally speaking, stocks are considered risky investments, while bonds are considered less risky, so a person’s portfolio mix from age 40 to age 80 might go from 80 stocks/ 20 bonds to 50/50 or even 20 stock/ 80 bonds depending on his or her preferences and the market conditions. Continue reading...