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What is the “Period Income” Option on Annuities?

The Period Income option or Guaranteed Period option on Annuities means that the entire balance, plus some interest, will be paid out to you in equal amounts over the course of a set number of years. This option may fulfill a specific need for income in a certain time of life. It used to be slightly more attractive to investors when interest rates were higher, but, today, the low interest rate environment does not give insurers enough time to generate interest for these sorts of payouts. Continue reading...

What’s So Special about an IRA?

When compared to other methods of investing, there are benefits to using an IRA. An IRA provides tax deferred growth of your assets, and the result of such growth, over the years, can be quite remarkable in comparison with a regular savings account. Using an advanced calculator online – or asking an advisor or a CPA to run some calculations for you – can be an eye-opening experience. For most investors, mutual funds will be their best option for cost-efficient diversification. Holding mutual funds outside of an IRA or 401(k) means that the investor will have some taxes, whether long term gains or short term gains, passed on to him or her from the mutual fund company every year that the fund experiences gains. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 12?

Chapter 12 is a category of bankruptcy filing that can be made by a family farmer. It is otherwise similar in structure to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where the debtor can prove an income and a trustee serves as intermediary between the debtor and the creditors. A family farmer will still be permitted to operate the farm once he has filed Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Like a Chapter 13 filing, the debtor will be allowed to propose a debt repayment schedule that he or she believes would be successful over the following 3-5 years. Some assets would be liquidated to pay off debts, but most of it would be paid according to the repayment schedule, under the care of a trustee who would serve as the proxy for the debtor in the remainder of the dealings with the creditors. Continue reading...

What is a protective put?

What is a protective put?

A protective put is an option contract that hedges against losses in a long stock position, by allowing the investor to sell the underlying security at a specific price. Sometime investors will seek to limit possible losses in a stock that they hold by purchasing a put option at a price below the current market price. This allows the investor to sell their stock at a set price if it takes a dive for any reason. Let’s assume that you have 100 shares of company ABC, which is trading at $100/share. Continue reading...

What Payout Options Do I Have?

Payout options in the realm of annuities tend to be guaranteed by the insurance company providing the annuity, and may come in many forms depending on the investor’s preference. Annuities can pay income to the annuitant in a few ways. One of the ways is to turn the entire balance of the annuity into a pension-like income stream for life, or jointly on two lives. The payout tends to be higher than the safe withdrawal rate than investors can use in an investment account, and it provide guarantees and surety where it wouldn’t exist otherwise. You can also elect to have these payments start off slightly lower, and then to increase at a guaranteed rate, to keep up with the cost of living. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 11?

Chapter 11 is a type of bankruptcy filing a company can make to give itself time to reorganize and hopefully continue business. There are different types of bankruptcy filings a person or business can make, depending on how overwhelming their debt load is. Chapter 11 is a kind of bankruptcy filing that allows the corporate leadership to stay in control of a company while trading freezes on their stock and the company and its debts are reorganized. This is called “debtor in possession.” Continue reading...

What is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was originally created to encourage market competition and to protect consumers by breaking up monopolies and monitoring mergers and acquisition activity. It has now branched out into more areas in the pursuit of consumer protection and fair markets. The FTC is now comprised of three bureaus: Consumer Protection, Competition, and Economics. They protect consumers from fraudulent business activity and monopolistic business practices. Continue reading...

What is Total Enterprise Value?

Enterprise value is an amount that would have to be paid for a company to acquire all of its equity and debt. It is notable that cash and cash equivalents are left out of this equation since that amount is netted out of a cash purchase. The basic formula for enterprise value is market capitalization + debt obligations and any minority interests or preferred shares. This regularly appears in the numerator position in the EV/EBITDA ratio. Often investors can just look at the market capitalization of a company to get an estimation of the size of the company. Continue reading...

What is Abandonment Value?

The Abandonment Value is the salvage value left if a capital project is stopped short at an unknown time. Authors Robichek and Van Horne (1967) offered a very concise argument for the importance of including an Abandonment Value in the calculations leading to a company decision to undertake a long-term capital project. The calculation is useful for risk assessment, and tries to find the value at which project assets could be liquidated if the project could not be continued for some reason. Continue reading...

What is Bankruptcy?

When a person or company is no longer able to pay the amount of debt they owe, they can file bankruptcy and be given options for relief. There are different types of bankruptcy filings available (found here — debt would have to have accumulated to a point where there is no mathematically feasible way to repay it all. There may be a way to repay some of it, however. It may mean that a business is able to continue to keep its doors open, with payment plans to service some of the outstanding debt, but this is likely after some assets have been liquidated to settle some of the creditors' claims. Continue reading...

Keywords: bankruptcy, debt, creditors,

What are Federal Reserve Regulations?

The Fed has been commissioned with upholding the directive of the Federal Reserve Act. The Fed is technically an independent institution from the US Government, even though it works hand-in-hand with the Treasury Department on monetary policy issues. It functions partially as a self-regulatory organization for the banking industry, and the Regulations, which are named with letters of the alphabet, are meant to protect consumers, member banks, and the economy as a whole. The leadership of the Fed is comprised of both government appointees and private sector banking leaders. Continue reading...

What is the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation (FSLIC)?

Created about the same time as the FDIC, the FSLIC, which insured up to $100,000 in deposits at savings and loan institutions, also known as “thrifts.” In the 1980s, the “savings and loan crisis” caused the FSLIC to become insolvent. In 1989 it was disbanded by the FIRREA Act and replaced by the Resolution Trust Company (RTC) which was merged with the FDIC a few years later. During the 1980s, a huge number of savings and loan companies (“thrifts”) went bankrupt. Continue reading...

Can I settle my debts for less than I owe?

It is possible to get a settlement arrangement that allows you to settle your debts for less than you owe, but there are consequences. An individual can personally seek a settlement with the credit card company or other creditor that they may owe, or they can enlist the help of a debt settlement company. People should only seek to settle when they have no other option, because their credit score will be badly damaged for many years. Continue reading...

What is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission?

What is the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission?

The FERC oversees the interstate commerce surrounding oil, energy, and natural gas. This regulation and oversight might deal with pipelines and storage facilities, permits for future exploration sites, environmental and safety concerns with projects, as well as the sale and transfer of these commodities. FERC deals with the companies engaged in the extraction, transfer, storage, and sale of energy and energy-related resources. Continue reading...

What is Pari-Passu?

“Pari-passu” is a Latin phrase meaning “equal footing,” typically in reference to treatment of creditors or beneficiaries when assets are distributed. Some examples of pari-passu in practice would be bankruptcy proceedings when credits are given ‘equal access’ to assets of the company, or in a probate hearing when assets are divided equally amongst beneficiaries. Continue reading...

What is Bad Debt?

Lending companies or other companies with Receivables may characterize certain unpaid accounts as Bad Debt and write off the losses. Bad debt is debt that is on the books and is in default, meaning payment has not been made on it in a long while. Creditors, banks, and companies may periodically get bad debt off of their accounting books by moving it out of Receivables. Most companies have attempted to calculate their exposure to default risk and bad debt, and have allocated amounts into accounts such as Allowance for Doubtful Accounts (ADA). It can be passed off to debt collection agencies, but most of the debt will never be recouped. Continue reading...

What is a Dividend?

A dividend is an income-like payment to an investor who holds stock. Dividends tend to be paid by companies who are well established and are not retaining their earnings for capital projects. There are several kinds of dividends, but the most common is the cash dividend. You are not likely to see dividends paid by companies whose stocks are categorized as Growth stocks. Growing companies are going to be ploughing money back into their company for years. Well-established companies tend to distribute some of their profits as dividends because it allows them to retain loyal shareholders and keep the price of the stock fairly steady. Continue reading...

Who Created Ethereum?

Who Created Ethereum?

Who would have thought that a 19-year-old from Toronto could write a whitepaper nearly as influential as Satoshi Nakamoto’s (Bitcoin founder)? A few years after Bitcoin’s launch, a young programmer and student of blockchain technology named Vitalik Buterin wrote a whitepaper imagining the Ethereum platform. While Bitcoin’s blockchain was primarily designed to handle transaction information, Ethereum is designed to offer a blockchain protocol for anything that can be programmed, which includes wh... Continue reading...

What is a Variable Cost?

When budgeting for companies, some expenses are fixed overhead and some are variable, which depend on the amount of work being done. The direct cost of materials and labor are a good example of variable costs that will fluctuate with production levels. There may be an equation that the company can use to reliably predict these variable costs, but they are not fixed costs. From an accounting perspective, of course, these costs would be in separate sections. Fixed costs include warehousing, depreciation, insurances, rent, taxes, salaries, and so forth. These can be put into the budget before anything else happens or any orders have been taken for the year. The variable costs must be taken into account on the fly. Continue reading...

Who is a Bill Collector?

Who is a Bill Collector?

Collections companies are known as Bill Collectors, and their jobs are to extract as much payment from those who are past-due on payment obligations as they can to settle an account or to bring it current. When people do not pay their credit card companies back within about 150 days, the card company will pass the debt off to a collections company. Other businesses who do their own billing will also sometimes find it necessary to pass off the obligation to the collections company. Continue reading...