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What should I look for in a good Investment Performance Evaluation calculator?

A good investment performance calculator will give you the ability to input various cash flow scenarios and compute weighted returns, among other options. A really useful investment performance calculator will allow you to input various cash flow scenarios and to see weighted returns based on these. Dollar-and-time-weighted performance, dividend cash flows, deposits and withdrawals, as well as fees paid for various transactions, will all be incorporated in a good calculator. Continue reading...

What are Simple and Exponential Moving Averages?

What are Simple and Exponential Moving Averages?

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...

What is the Series 63?

In order to solicit orders for any type of security, a broker or representative must pass the Series 63 examination, in addition to the Series 6 or Series 7. These tests are administered by FINRA, the financial services industry self-regulatory organization (SRO), and serve as licensing requirements for financial services representatives and management in the field. The 6 and 7 deal with product and industry knowledge and theory, while the 63 covers state-specific laws and rules, along with an understanding of ethical and fiduciary responsibility. The Series 63 takes only 75 minutes, with 65 multiple choice questions. Continue reading...

What is a price-weighted index?

What is a price-weighted index?

When creating an index, it must be decided what criteria will affect the value of the index, and in the case of a price-weighted index, the only consideration is the price of shares. A price-weighted index is created by adding up the individual price per share of the companies included in the index and dividing by the number of companies. Essentially what you've done is arrived at the average price per share of the companies included in the index. Continue reading...

What is a Margin Account?

A margin account is one in which an investor uses borrowed money to purchase additional securities. An investor is almost always required to use the securities in the account as collateral for the borrowed money. The objective of a margin account is for the investor to magnify gains, but the opposite can also be true, and losses may lead the investor to have to sell securities in the account to cover the loan balance. There’s more upside in a margin account, but there’s more downside too. Continue reading...

What is a Merger?

What is a Merger?

A merger is the voluntary melding of two companies into one, when the owners believe the change is mutually beneficial. A merger could happen between two companies that were competitors, called a horizontal merger, or between companies who are part of the same supply chain, called a vertical merger. A merger between two companies who are based in the same industry but serve different markets could also be called a market extension. Continue reading...

What is a Global Depository Receipt (GDR)?

A Global Depository Receipt is a security which represents ownership in shares of a foreign corporation. Investment banks in the United States and elsewhere purchase shares in foreign corporations and sell the equity in the form of a Global Depository Receipt, also called an International Depository Receipt, and formerly known as an American Depository Receipt. They allow foreign companies to find investors in other countries, and vice versa, and the Americans and other foreigners can pay for the GDRs in American currency. They are typically sold in lots such that 1 GDR equals 10 shares of the underlying foreign company, but other ratios can be used. Continue reading...

What is GDP?

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measures the production of all industries within a country, to get a picture of how the national economy is doing. GDP is one of the most important number to economists, and it is calculated every quarter. Growth for the current quarter compared to the previous quarter is a good sign. Two consecutive quarters of decline in GDP are an indication of a recession, but it is not the only metric used to make that call. Continue reading...

What is an Income Trust?

Income trusts are a type of company that has been structured to pass through all earnings to shareholders. A trust is a legal entity, that seeks to use assets in the best interest of beneficiaries. Some pooled investments are categorized as trusts, and they pass all income (and the tax implications) on to investors. Examples include a real estate investment trust (REIT), a royalty trust, a utility trust, or a business investment trust (also known as a master limited partnership, or MLP). Mutual funds can also fall into this category, but they are not necessarily designed just for income. Continue reading...

What is the Descending Triangle (Bullish) Pattern?

The Descending Triangle pattern is formed when the price of a pair establishes a support level (1, 3, 5) and bounces off that level to a declining resistance level, creating a down-­sloping top line (2, 4). The breakout can either be up or down, depending if the resistance or highest support level is broken first. 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. Continue reading...