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What is the Law of Demand?

The Law of Demand states that as prices increase, demand will decrease, and vice versa. That is to say, price and quantity are inversely related. There are some things which have an inelastic demand, meaning the quantity demanded will remain constant no matter the price. Medicine is a good example. Vices to which people are addicted are as well, so some degree, and tobacco stocks are considered fairly safe and defensive in bad economic times. Continue reading...

What is Demand?

Demand is a measure of consumer’s desire to purchase goods and services. High demand for a product typically puts upward pressure on price, and vice versa. Demand is a key metric in reading price trends and a company’s ability to set price point. Weaker demand on a global macro level implies that countries are investing less, developing less, and therefore focused less on growth. Sustained downtrends in demand will generally lead to recessionary conditions. Often times, central banks will try to step-in and stoke demand by lowering the cost of money (interest rates). Continue reading...

What is the Law of Supply?

All other things being equal, if the price of a good increases, the supply of that good will increase, and this is known as the Law of Supply. The Supply Curve is plotted on a graph with a y-axis being price and an x-axis being quantity. The relationship is positive and the line will climb up to the right. The is the opposite direction of the Demand Curve, and the place where the two intersect is considered to be the point of market equilibrium. The curves can be shifted by variables not present on the graph, such as changes in levels of income and other factors, but the slopes will remain the same, theoretically. Continue reading...

What is a Yield Curve?

A yield curve is an illustration of the current duration-to-yield relationship for bonds of the same credit rating but different durations. As a general rule, the longer the duration of the loan, the more risk you take on (since you don't know what might happen with that corporation in the future), and therefore, you demand a higher reward (i.e., higher coupon). The yield curve for any bond (not just the US Treasury Bonds) changes daily based on many economic and market factors. Continue reading...

What is market equilibrium?

Market Equilibrium occurs when fluctuations between supply and demand balance out, keeping prices relatively stable. This trend appears relatively horizontal or sideways when charted. Both price equilibrium and quantity equilibrium should meet at the same point where the supply and demand curves meet on a chart. According to the Law of Supply, with all factors being equal, if the price of a good or service increases, the supply of that good or service will increase. If demand doesn't meet it, the price of that good or service must come down; this increases demand but might cause a shortage in supply, which might drive prices back up, and so on. Continue reading...

Is There Anything Else I Need to Know About Bonds?

There will always be more to learn in the investment world: innovation is always happening and the products will change along with market conditions. Bonds are no exception. The bond market is huge — actually larger than the stock market, if you can believe that — and there are literally hundreds of economic, market, and tax-related factors which influence the decisions of which bonds to buy. You must look at the yield curve, duration, rating of the issuer, your own cash flow needs, expected changes in the interest rate environment, changes in the overall health of the economy, tax implications, account in which you're buying bonds, and so forth. Therefore, structuring fixed income accounts is a task which is perhaps better left to professional advisors. Continue reading...

What is standard deviation?

Standard Deviation is a measurement of how far from the average (mean) the majority of a data set lies. Standard Deviation is a measure of variability, and it is on a different scale for each data set being measured; there is no “standard” standard deviation. It is possible to normalize it for comparison to other data sets using measurements like r-squared and the sharpe ratio. The number arrived at when computing standard deviation is going to reveal the distance, in terms of one of the quantifiable variables being observed, from the average, in either a positive or negative direction, within which 68% of the data set falls. Continue reading...

What is market disequilibrium?

Market Disequilibrium occurs when market and external forces combine to unbalance a market, creating inefficiency in the market in the process. A disequilibrium produces what’s called a “deadweight loss,” “welfare loss,” “excess burden,” or “allocative inefficiency.” As described by efficient market theory, the price fluctuations we see in market behavior are the market trying to find its truly efficient price and quantity – the theoretical point of equilibrium. Investors attempt to locate it using moving averages and other means of technical analysis. Continue reading...

Should I pay for financial planning services?

Any professional that you work with for financial planning is going to be compensated for the work they do, but there are different ways they earn their pay. Whether it’s worth it to you is another question. If you have enough knowledge and time on your hands, and your investment portfolio is not very complicated, you may be able to manage it on your own. This can save you some money on financial advisor fees. Continue reading...

What is Publication 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here Publication 503 covers tax deductions and filing guides for individuals who pay for childcare. It does not address the employer side of things, for those who provide childcare as a fringe benefit, which is covered in IRS 15-b. Tax deductions are available for parents who have to pay for child-care so that they can work at a job and earn income. Publication 503 describes the circumstances under which this type of deduction is allowed and the filing requirements for it. Continue reading...

What are Fully Diluted Shares?

Fully Diluted Shares are a calculation used to show how much the existing shares of common stock could potentially be diluted if all the convertible securities and employee stock options, were exercised. Fully Diluted Shares is a calculation used to show the potential number of shares that could hypothetically be called into existence instantaneously by the holders of convertible securities, warrants, employee stock options and so forth. Continue reading...

What is commodity-product spread?

The commodity-product spread is the difference between the price of a commodity and the price of the products at the next level of consumption which is made from the commodity. In the oil industry, this is known as the crack spread, in the soybean industry, it is known as the crush spread. Some pre-packaged long/short futures strategies that trade on this spread are offered on futures exchanges. The commodity-products spread is the difference in prices between a raw material and a product made from it, such as raw crude and gasoline. This difference gives a rough estimate of production costs and profit margin. Continue reading...

What is Required Rate of Return?

Required Rate of Return is the return that investors will expect to earn on their money, given the risk and costs involved. Required Rate of Return is determined by the market for a particular security or asset at a given time. Issuers of fixed or variable coupon bonds must look at the rates offered by their peer institutions with similar credit ratings. Investors will require a certain rate of return if they are going to invest their money, and this is where the RRR gets its name. The calculations which help an issuer to arrive at the RRR will include the current risk-free rate (10 year treasury bond rate), liquidity, inflation, and so on. Continue reading...

What is Economies of Scale?

Economies of Scale is an economic concept that says the efficiency of production rises as the quantity of goods produced increases. With scale, the costs associated with production should decrease thereby allowing a company to increase profitability with more goods produced. However, in many cases the upside potential is not necessarily unlimited. A company may experience diminishing marginal returns to producing more goods. Continue reading...

Keywords: profits, supply, demand,

What is Market Value?

Market Value refers to the amount an asset can be sold for on the open market, at any given time. If you hold 100 shares of stock ABC that you can sell on the market for $50 apiece, your holdings have a market value of $5,000. Market value does not necessarily refer only to stocks. It can be any asset that can be bought or sold on the open market. Stocks tend to have greater levels of liquidity and broad-based market participation, so it is easier to disseminate a stocks market value at any point in time. Illiquid assets can be more difficult to value, such as real estate or works of art. Continue reading...

What is a Monopoly?

A monopoly is an unhealthy situation in the market in which a single company is the only option in a specific sector or area, which undermines the principals of a free market. In a free market, there is competition which keeps the prices and the quality of products as good as they can be for the consumer. The consumer will therefore receive the most value, and society will be in its best possible position, when the needs and demands of consumers are being addressed by several companies attempting to outdo each other to earn the consumer’s business. Continue reading...

What is a Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT)?

A Charitable Remainder Unitrust (CRUT) is an irrevocable trust created for the purpose of donating a fixed percentage of a trust to a charitable organization each year. The fixed percentage must be at least 5% per year but no more than 50%, under current law. At a specified time (usually at the death of the person that established the trust), the remaining assets are distributed to charity. A Charitable Remainder Unitrust is a mechanism that allows you to create tax-advantaged income in your lifetime with the ultimate end of donating a large portion of the principle to charity. Continue reading...

What is the random walk hypothesis?

The Random Walk Hypothesis states that in an efficient market, prices will correlate around the intrinsic value of securities, but there will always be a randomization and unpredictability to it. The Random Walk Hypothesis suggests that technical analysis and the efforts of chartists cannot beat the market over time, because the market will move randomly and unpredictably, and past results cannot predict future returns. Continue reading...

What Is a Bell Curve?

A bell curve, often referred to as a normal distribution, is a fundamental concept in statistics that plays a crucial role in various fields, including finance. This graphical representation of data is characterized by its symmetrical, bell-shaped curve. In this article, we'll delve into what a bell curve is, how it's used in finance, and its limitations. Continue reading...

How are Social Security Benefits Computed?

Social Security retirement benefits are computed by finding the average monthly income of a worker during the highest-earning 35 years of employment, and then it plugs that amount into a formula for to determine their full benefit at Normal Retirement Age (NRA). A person may then choose to take benefits before or after NRA, with applicable reductions or additions. There are different equations for spousal benefits, survivor’s benefits, and maximum family benefits. Continue reading...

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