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What is active money management?

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 are Load Mutual Funds?

“Load” mutual funds are those which have a fee structure that includes a front-end or back-end sales charge. All funds have expenses, but not all funds have loads. Loads are sales charges that are part of the fee structure of a mutual fund. Each mutual fund will typically offer a few types of shares classes to its investors, and the main difference between the share classes are their fee structures. There are front-end loads, which come out of your initial investment and can be up to 5%. Continue reading...

Can I Take a Lump-Sum Distribution From my Cash-Balance Plan?

Absolutely – this is what separates them from traditional pension plans. Yes. Cash balance plans maintain a hypothetical account balance for the participant, and the ending balance is known and guaranteed from the time the contributions occur. Many participants opt to take this lump sum balance and move it into their own IRA, or just to pay the taxes on it and be done with the plan. The other option is to have the balance paid out in the form of a life annuity, with equal payments for the rest of your life like a traditional pension. This option can be more risky simply because it is forfeiting the safety and security of monthly payments for life, in favor of a one-time distribution. Continue reading...

What if I Want to Retire Abroad?

What if I Want to Retire Abroad?

Retiring abroad requires additional planning to account for visa requirements and currency exchange factors, but like any financial goal it can be reached with proper planning. Retiring in the U.S. is difficult on its own, given rapidly rising cost of health care and the fact that most Americans under-save. Retiring abroad, while possible, makes matters even more difficult. Amongst other factors to consider, a retiree needs to plan for a myriad of additional costs such as tax implications, currency fluctuations, visa requirements, and health care. Continue reading...

How Much Does it Cost to Prepare a Will?

How Much Does it Cost to Prepare a Will?

A simple will can be created for free if a person uses an online template from a trusted source and/or creates the document themselves. Having an attorney create a will may cost a few hundred dollars, depending on the complexity of the estate. If you opt for an online will, the cost will be extremely cheap compared to hiring a professional (possibly a few hundred dollars or even significantly less). Continue reading...

What is the Hang Seng Index?

What is the Hang Seng Index?

The Hang Seng Index (HSI) is comprised of the 50 biggest stocks traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The Hong Kong stock market is much different than that of China, in that foreign investors are allowed access and the index is calculated on a free floating cap-weighted basis. It tracks the 50 biggest companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and is a better barometer for measuring overall performance of companies from the region. Continue reading...

What is Book Value?

Book value is based on an accounting method that only considers certain factors, generally the more tangible or easily quantifiable ones, and excludes the more ethereal factors such as ‘goodwill.’ Book value can apply to an individual asset, a security, or a company, and tends to be pretty straightforward. Whatever value an asset is given on a balance sheet is its book value. For a tangible asset, this is calculated as the cost of the asset minus accumulated depreciation. Continue reading...

What is Operating Income?

Operating income is essentially another term for EBIT, or earnings before interest and taxes. It is a company’s profits (revenue - COGS) minus operating expenses and depreciation. Operating income is different from net income in that it does not account for expenses such as taxes, interest from debt payments, or outside business activities. It offers a pure look at how a company effectively generates cash from internal operations. Continue reading...

What are Accounting Controls?

Internal control systems and procedures can ensure the accuracy and reliability of financial accounts at a business. Accounting controls are meant to ensure that the numbers being put onto the books are accurate. Internal controls are the practices that employees are trained to do, and may be audited on, which general involve some oversight or double-checking to filter out mistakes. This not only prevents mistakes, but also malfeasance, embezzlement and fraud. Accounting done wrong can result in criminal penalties, bankruptcy, and tax problems. Continue reading...

What is the Rising Wedge (Bearish) Pattern?

What is the Rising Wedge (Bearish) Pattern?

The Rising Wedge pattern forms when prices appear to spiral upward, with higher highs (1, 3, 5) and higher lows (2,4) creating two up­-sloping trend lines that intersect to form a triangle. Unlike Ascending Triangle patterns, both lines need to have a distinct upward slope, with the bottom line having a steeper slope. 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. There is a distinct possibility that market participants will sell out, and the price can move down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). Continue reading...