What is Capital Appreciation?

Capital appreciation is an increase in the value of an owned stock. Capital Appreciation occurs when the market price of a stock you own increases. For more information on stock prices, see "Why Does the Price of a Stock Change?" Until you decide to sell the shares, you have what is called Unrealized Gains on Capital Appreciation. Something to be wary of: having unrealized gains can be summed up with the old English proverb, "don't count your chickens before they hatch." Continue reading...

How Often Can I Change the Allocation in My 401(k)?

By law, your plan administrator (employer) must allow you to change your allocation at least quarterly, but most plans allow for more frequent changes. Generally speaking, you can change your allocations as often as you need to with no commissions or fees; that is, up to a point. Many plans start to impose fees after about the 10th reallocation, and partially this is meant to discourage over-trading. Continue reading...

What are the contribution limits for my Roth 401(k)?

Roth 401(k) contributions have the same limits as regular 401(k) contributions. The contribution limits for your Roth 401(k) are the same as the contribution limits for a traditional 401(k), which, in 2016, is $18,000, but these limits are adjusted upwards to account for inflation. If you’re over 50, you can add a catch-up contribution of $6,000 on top of the $18,000 for a total contribution of $24,000. Continue reading...

Who Pays for Medicare?

Who Pays for Medicare?

Taxes pay for the entirety of Medicare part A. For the optional or supplemental policies which fall under the Medicare moniker, a regular premium may be due, but it’s still better than what premiums would look like if there were no Medicare. The Social Security Administration (website—here), which is funded by taxes deducted from your paycheck under FICA, or as part of the “self-employment tax,” administers both Social Security and Medicare. Continue reading...

What are some examples of Investment Instruments I can use?

There is a wide variety of investments available for every kind of investor: Stocks, bonds, Mutual Funds, ETFs, Annuities, real estate, private equity, hedge funds, and so on. The vehicles for these investments also vary widely – you can buy stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs, for instance, in a brokerage account at a major custodian, or an IRA or 401(k) offered through a retirement plan. Annuities and other insurance products are often sold directly from the insurance companies, and often times banks offer vehicles and accounts you can use to invest. Continue reading...

What is Form 1099-Q?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Distributions from qualified educational accounts such as 529s will be reported on a 1099-Q. This will be submitted by the institution serving as the custodian of the account. Qualified tuition programs (QTPs) might include Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) or 529 plans, and distributions from these plans are not taxable when used for qualified educational expenses, such as college tuition. Continue reading...

What is the Falling Wedge (Bearish) Pattern?

The Falling Wedge pattern forms when prices appear to spiral downward, with lower lows (1, 3, 5) and lower highs (2, 4) creating two down­-sloping trend lines that intersect to form a triangle. Unlike Descending Triangle patterns, however, both lines need to have a distinct downward slope, with the top line having a steeper decline. 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. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...

What is Market Value?

Market Value refers to the amount an asset can be sold for on the open market, at any given time. If you hold 100 shares of stock ABC that you can sell on the market for $50 apiece, your holdings have a market value of $5,000. Market value does not necessarily refer only to stocks. It can be any asset that can be bought or sold on the open market. Stocks tend to have greater levels of liquidity and broad-based market participation, so it is easier to disseminate a stocks market value at any point in time. Illiquid assets can be more difficult to value, such as real estate or works of art. Continue reading...

How to use the average directional index in trading

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 should I look for in a good “Lease or Buy a Car” calculator?

What should I look for in a good “Lease or Buy a Car” calculator?

Calculators are available to help you decide whether to lease or buy a car. Despite the advice of our older family members, many financial decisions will benefit from the use of math and technology, instead of just “rules of thumb,” and they will depend on the circumstances present at the time of the decision. Despite the fact that you may have purchased a vehicle or two in the past, you might benefit from using an online calculator that can help you compare whether it might be in your best interest to lease the vehicle this time or buy it. Continue reading...