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Help Center
Introduction
Investment Portfolios
Investment Terminology and Instruments
Technical Analysis and Trading
Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain
Retirement
Retirement Accounts
Personal Finance
Corporate Basics

What’s a Defined Benefit Plan?

Defined Benefit plans guarantee a certain amount of retirement income to an employee based on the employee’s current salary, years at the employer, and other factors. A Defined Benefit Plan involves a promise made to you by your employer to pay you a certain monthly “benefit” for the rest of your life, or for a certain number of years after retirement. The amount of the payment is pre-calculated using a formula which typically involves your age, your salary, the number of years you’ve worked for your employer, along with other factors. Continue reading...

What is a Hybrid REIT?

A Hybrid REIT blends the two major classes of REITs (Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs) to give the investor increased diversification with one investment. A Hybrid REIT is a marketable security much like a mutual fund, invested in both Equity and Mortgage real estate investments. The equity part includes income-producing properties, in which the REIT company owns equity in the property. The mortgage portion consists of mortgages or mortgage-backed securities, in which the REIT earns revenue from debt interest payments. REITs must distribute 90% of their revenue each year to their shareholders (in the form of dividends), and this makes them a high-yield income investment. Continue reading...

What is a Stop Limit Order?

A Stop-Limit Order basically automates the preferences of an investor or trader, to reduce exposure to price uncertainty even after a trade ticket is entered, by stipulating a price at which the search for a bid/ask price is to begin, but limiting the range of prices at which an order can actually be entered or executed. A Stop-Limit Order has two parts: the Stop Price and the Limit Price. The stop price is like an amendment or contract rider on a security that is held which stipulates that if the price of the security crosses the Stop price, the search for an agreeable price begins. Continue reading...

What is Accelerated Amortization?

Accelerated amortization is the recalculation of an amortization schedule, such as mortgage payments, after the borrower pays off some of the debt ahead of schedule. Amortization describes the accounting practice of giving a one-time expense a retirement schedule or payment plan by which it is to be either deducted for tax purposes, repaid, or paid out. Accelerated amortizations allow for more payments or deductions in the early years rather than later years. Continue reading...

What is the foreign earned income exclusion?

What is the foreign earned income exclusion?

Americans working abroad must report their earnings to the IRS, but they are allowed to avoid paying federal income taxes on an amount adjusted for inflation, which is just over $100,000 as of 2016. Americans working abroad often enjoy a few tax advantages. One of which is the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. The reasoning is that they are probably paying some form of tax in the county in which they are working, even though this is sometimes not the case. Continue reading...

What is a market-on-open order?

What is a market-on-open order?

Traders can enter time-specific trade orders in the form of opening or closing orders, which are only to be executed as close to the opening or closing price as possible. Market-on-open orders are looking to buy or sell immediately after the market opens, at the opening price. Market-on-open orders are instructions for a broker or floor trader (even though we don’t see those much anymore these days) to buy or sell shares at opening price of the stock being traded. Continue reading...

What are Solvency Ratios?

Solvency ratios come in several flavors, but they all seek to shed light on a company’s ability to pay its long-term debt obligations. There are several types of what is known as solvency ratios. Some examples of solvency ratios include debt-to-equity, debt-to-assets, interest-coverage ratio, the quick ratio, the current ratio, and so forth. These are meant to be metrics for a company’s ability to meet its debt obligations through various market conditions. The quick ratio, for instance, can reveal whether the current-year liabilities (payables) of a company are covered by the current year cash and receivables, or whether the company will depend on other sources such as inventory liquidation to meet this need. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

What is the Rectangle Bottom (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Bottom pattern forms when the price of a security is stuck in a range­bound motion, bouncing between support and resistance levels. Two horizontal lines (1, 3, 5) and (2, 4) form the pattern. Depending on who gives up first ­ buyers or sellers ­ the price can Breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong downtrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...

What is Ripple?

What is Ripple?

Ripple is a protocol for cryptocurrency transactions primarily focused on offering solutions to the financial sector for implementing blockchain technology. Banks and other financial institutions have been experimenting with ways to implement blockchain technology for years. Many of these have gravitated toward Ethereum, with its platform distributed applications and smart contracts, but the San Francisco-based startup Ripple has been gaining traction in this space recently. Continue reading...

What Was the DAO?

What Was the DAO?

The DAO was somewhat of an experiment in corporate governance and structure built on the open-source Ethereum platform, and the ripples of its fall are still felt in the Ethereum world. DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and it was a crowdfunded business or venture capital fund that raised $150 million in a month-- in fact, it was the single-largest crowdfunding campaign ever. It was so big that about 14% of the total Ether in existence at that point was invested in the project, and it was listed on all the major cryptocurrency exchanges. Continue reading...