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Corporate BasicsBasicsCorporate StructureCorporate FundamentalsCorporate DebtRisksEconomicsCorporate AccountingDividendsEarnings

What is Account Activity?

Account activity is any credit or debit activity in a checking or savings account, or investments, withdrawals, dividends or fees in an investment account. Account activity is the transactional history that will appear in ledger statements from a checking, savings, money market, investment, or other kind of financial account. This usually refers to transactions that were originated by the account owner, such as buying and selling securities or withdrawing and depositing in bank accounts, but could also include activity such as dividends, interest, fees, and other sorts of automated activity generated by the custodial institution. Continue reading...

Can You Sell a Bond for Less Than the Price You Paid For It?

Yes, if you sell the bond before its maturity, it’s possible that you would have to sell it at a discount. If you bought a $1,000  bond with a 5% coupon, and a year later, the  company issued new $1,000 bonds with a 6% coupon, you would not be able to sell your bond to someone else for $1,000 (obviously, because they would rather purchase the new bonds for $1,000 which pay more annual interest than your old one). Continue reading...

Should I Rely on Analyst Upgrades or Downgrades of the Positions in my Investment Portfolio?

Upgrades and downgrades can be useful but they may not be the most current form of trading information. The problem with upgrades or downgrades is that they rely on the events which already happened; in most cases, the information is already built into the price of the stock. Very often, after a company reports bad results, analysts will downgrade that company — how smart they are! Of course, we all wish that they would do it before the results had been reported. Still, if a majority of analysts downgrade the stock, it might be prudent to seriously consider selling it. Continue reading...

Who are Chartists?

Chartists are technical traders, theorists, and experts in charting, with the goal of better representing data and using charts to the greatest effect in trading. They attempt to find parameters and algorithms that can offer efficient trading signals and profits, using only the information present on charts – a type of technical analysis. Technical analysis is a discipline that involves identifying price ranges, trend momentum, and points of possible reversals via graphical representations of the math behind price movements, examining information to the second or third derivative, and using trial-and-error with formulas. Geometry, calculus, physics, and finance all play a part in this methodology. Continue reading...

What are trading models?

Trading models are emotionless systems for decision-making in trading that can be automated or just used for reference. They tend to have logical parameters, such as “if x, then y” which can use popular trading indicators to implement a strategy that might only be used in certain conditions. Trading models are strategies employed with a specific design. Different trading models will use different technical indicators or types of charts to define and search for certain conditions in which a strategy can be used. Once the conditions are met, the model provides the decision-making logic that is intended to carry out a profitable trade without guesswork or emotion. Continue reading...

Is there such a thing as the “pre-holiday effect?”

Pre-Holiday price fluctuations have been observed in many instances, but there a difference of opinion as to whether the markets are higher or lower just before holiday. Pre-Holiday Seasonality is the idea that prices will rise or fall before a holiday weekend in which the market will be closed for a day. When researching this phenomenon you may find colloquial wisdom stating that prices always rise before a holiday, but in actuality most of the evidence points the opposite direction: prices are most likely to close lower the day or two before a holiday weekend, and may remain low the day after the holiday, but this provides a possible opportunity to ride the upswing. Continue reading...

Can You Pay More Than Nominal Value for a Bond?

Yes, and this is part of what’s called the interest rate risk of bonds. If someone purchased a $1,000 bond with a 5% coupon, and a year  later, the company issued new $1,000 bonds with a 4% coupon, in order to buy the 5% coupon bond from the owner, you would  obviously need to pay more than $1,000 (since the new bonds issued by the company have a 4% coupon). What does Nominal Value mean? What Happens to the Price of a Bond After I Buy It? Can You Sell a Bond for Less Than the Price You Paid For It? Continue reading...

Should I Trust the Opinions Expressed by Various Financial Analysts?

Studies suggest that it is not wise to put too much faith in any market analyst or commentator – but it may be wise to listen to as many of them as possible. There have been many studies surrounding the predictions of financial analysts who seek to foretell the direction of the economy, particular sectors, or even individual stocks. The studies reveal that it isn’t wise to rely on the forecasts of any one commentator or analyst. Continue reading...

What is accommodation trading?

Accommodation Trading is when two traders enter into a non-competitive trade agreement which disregards the current market price for the securities being traded. The primary reason to engage in accommodation trading is for an investor to avoid taxes by harvesting more losses than actually occurred. One investor will buy shares from another investor for a price significantly below the market value so that the selling investor can report more losses. The partners will typically agree to allow the selling party to buy the shares back later at the same price. Continue reading...

What is active management?

Active management is the practice of attempting to outperform the market with selection and timing. Active management is a thoughtful and time-consuming approach to investing and is the opposite of Passive management. Active managers seek to outperform the benchmarks for their portfolio by researching and selecting stocks and other assets based on strategies and analysis methods thought to be superior. Continue reading...

What is active trading?

Active trading is the pursuit of returns in excess of market benchmarks. Investors are advised to have a diverse portfolio, to hedge against the risk of seeing future financial plans devastated due to significant losses in one holding. When attempting to diversify, investors will hear from the increasingly popular camp which believes that the best strategy is to use only passive index funds, which follow indexes using computer algorithms and have low expense ratios. Continue reading...

What are Articles of Partnership?

Articles of Partnership lay out the nature of the agreement entered into by partners in business entity. Also called a ‘partnership agreement,’ articles of partnership plainly describe the nature of the partnership, which partners are General Partners and which are Limited Partners, and other important details. Partnerships can take the form of Limited Liability Partnerships, General Partnerships, and even S Corporations (but those file articles of incorporation instead). Continue reading...

Why Do You Want to Own the Shares of a Publicly Traded Corporation?

The idea is that a shareholder’s interest in a growing publicly traded company will become more valuable over time. The simplest answer is: to make money! Owning shares of a company’s stock is known as taking a long position, and this is done in the belief that the company is going to increase its earnings and profit margin into the future, or will at least remain steady. There are three ways to make money on stocks: Continue reading...

What is active money management?

Active management is when an investor or money manager attempts to outperform an index or benchmark, using tactical strategies. Many economists and financial professionals believe that the markets are efficient. This means that all available financial information has already been built into the prices of securities, and that you cannot outperform the market by making specific selections of stocks, timing the market, reallocating your assets regularly, following the advice of market pundits, or finding the best portfolio managers. Continue reading...

What is an Active Index Fund?

Most index funds are known for using a completely passive strategy to track an index, but some take a more active approach. Some mutual funds track an index by passively using algorithms to buy the shares necessary to build a portfolio which closely replicates an index. Such a fund will have low turnover, will only rebalance slightly based on the market cap or other criteria set forth in the prospectus, and will basically ride out all of the ups and downs of the index in a blind faith for the efficient market hypothesis. Continue reading...

What is short selling?

If you expect that a security will depreciate, you can sell it on the market without owning it, and, if your expectations prove to be right, you can buy it for less before “covering” your position – keeping the difference in profit. Short selling is done with the help of a brokerage/custodian, who will lend you the security so that you can sell it, and they will charge interest on the loaned amount until you actually purchase the security to “cover” your loan. Continue reading...

What is Dividend Selling?

If a person buys a stock that pays a dividend on or after the ex-dividend date, where we understand “ex” to mean “after,” it means that the buyer would be buying the shares for the amount that still has a dividend (or some of it) priced-in, but the seller, not the buyer, will get to have the dividend, and the share price will go down immediately after the dividend is paid. Stock prices will tend to go up in anticipation of a dividend, and more so after the declaration date, which might be anywhere from two months to two weeks before the actual dividend is paid, when the company announces when a dividend is to be paid and how much it will be. Continue reading...

What is adaptive selling?

Adaptive selling is a sales and marketing principal where the product or services offered are framed or actually modified based on the preferences or demographics of the audience or client. Adaptive selling requires the ability to customize a shopper’s experience as they interface with the real or virtual storefront. The sales system leaves room to learn about the customer and to adopt the language and products offered based on changing interpretations of the customer. This may require a well-trained sales representative or a well-designed computer algorithm, as has been implemented on some e-commerce sites. Continue reading...

What does “Buying on Weakness” Mean?

Instead of waiting for confirmation of reversal, “buying on weakness” means to go ahead and buy a long position (or cover a short position) while a stock is in the middle of a downtrend, in the hopes that it will reverse soon and the preemptive move will allow you to capture the entire upside. Upswings can happen very quickly, and failure to prepare for them can cost investors a lot of money. Buying on weakness is intended to put the investor in a position for maximum gains, as well as preventing losses on a short position. This is one part of the “buy on weakness / sell on strength” mantra, which is essentially the same thing as “buy low / sell high”. Continue reading...

What is buying power?

With regards to Margin Trading, ‘Buying Power’ is a term used to describe how much additional leverage you have given the excess equity in your account. When your broker or custodian authorizes buying on margin, the purchasing power of your assets can become substantial. Instead of just owning $10,000 worth of stock, you might be able to leverage that to buy $10,000 more, therefore having $20,000 of long exposure even though you only have $10,000. Continue reading...