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

Learn Options Trading

Options are contracts used by investors to take a speculative position – or a hedge – based on expected future price movements of the underlying securities. An option is a contract which can be exercised if the price of an underlying security moves favorably. An option will be written or sold short by one investor and bought by another. It will name the strike price at which the security can be bought or sold before the expiration of the contract. Continue reading...

Can I Withdraw Money From My Cash-Balance Plan?

It’s not likely that a cash-balance plan will allow for early withdrawals. Generally speaking, you can’t withdraw money from a Cash-Balance Plan before you retire unless it is to roll over assets to a new employer’s plan or a personal IRA. Once the money is in another account, you could potentially have full access to it, minus the 10% IRS penalty if you’re under 59 ½. Loans from a cash balance plan may be permitted if they abide by the same rules as 401(k) loans — and if the IRS and the DOL will allow you to consider your vested amount in your hypothetical account as adequate collateral. Continue reading...

Should I Notarize my Will?

Should I Notarize my Will?

In general, a will must be signed in the presence of two witnesses, each of whom must also sign your will. Whether or not a notarized will is accepted by the court depends on the rules of the state in which you live. You should cross-reference the rules of your state and comply to them, or simply consult an estate planning attorney for the best approach. How is a Will Implemented After my Death? Do I Need Professional Help to Prepare a Will? What is Probate? Continue reading...

What does 'Outstanding Shares' mean?

Outstanding shares refers to all of the shares of company held in total, which includes all ownership - retail investors, institutional, the company’s officers, insiders, and so on. Outstanding shares are listed on the balance sheet under “Capital Stock,” and are used in calculating market capitalization, earnings per share, and other critical per share calculations. The amount of outstanding shares can fluctuate over time on the basis of corporate actions, such as share buybacks (reduces overall count) or new share issuance (increases overall count). Continue reading...

What is the Debt to Capital Ratio?

The debt-to-capital ratio is a measure of a company’s leverage that looks at total debt compared to total capital (shareholder equity + debt). This measure of leverage is not a globally accepted accounting practice, therefore it is important for analysts to learn exactly what is being included by the company as their debt and equity in calculating the ratio. Generally speaking, a higher debt to capital ratio indicates that the company is financing more of its operations and needs through the debt markets versus with equity. Comparing debt-to-capital ratios amongst companies within the same sector or industry can be a useful exercise. Continue reading...

What is Receivables Turnover Ratio?

Receivables Turnover Ratio gives a snapshot of how well a company does by extending credit. The ratio is computed by putting the number of credit sales over the total amount of outstanding receivables. If a company is not able to efficiently collect on credit that it has extended to its customers or debtors, it will have a low Receivables Turnover Ratio. The top number is the amount of new receivable accounts opened during a period, and the lower number is the total number of outstanding receivable accounts. A much larger bottom number suggests that they are not able to efficiently collect on and close their receivables. Continue reading...

What is market discipline?

What is market discipline?

Market discipline is a term which describes the restraint implicitly required of financial services companies in order to remain solvent and financially strong in the face of market pressure instead of regulatory pressure. The markets can sometimes make a ruling on which companies were conducting their business according to prudent and ethical guidelines, without the need of an SEC audit or the intervention of any other regulatory agency. The companies that weren’t will lose their customers and go bankrupt, in no particular order. Continue reading...

What is a Life Annuity?

What is a Life Annuity?

Annuities are primarily designed to pay a substantially similar sum at regular intervals until the annuitant dies. Life insurance companies write these contracts since they are designed as a kind of longevity insurance. A lifetime income annuity, sometimes called a life annuity, is a stream of guaranteed payments for the duration of the annuitant’s life, based on the sum used to purchase the lifetime income and the age of the annuitant at the time of purchase. Life annuities can also be joint-life, meaning the contract will pay an amount to either of two people as long as one is alive. Continue reading...

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Top pattern forms when the price of a security fails to retest a high or low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. 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. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). The price movement inside the triangle should fill the shape with some uniformity, without leaving large blank areas. Continue reading...

Will Ripple Make a Superior Payment System?

Will Ripple Make a Superior Payment System?

Ripple is already making waves in the banking world and may be poised to become the #1 option for cross-border settlements between banks worldwide. Ripple is described as giving cross-border payments a protocol as universal as Http does for the web. The current default system for communicating cross-border payments, SWIFT, has been around since the 1970s, but transactions can take nearly a week to settle. This is because SWIFT only provides secure messaging services for the requests from different institutions, but each transaction still requires several intermediaries who each might take a day to negotiate or complete their part in the deal. Ripple offers a revolutionary way to complete transactions in a matter of seconds, by directly linking banks around the world and cutting out the middlemen wherever possible. Continue reading...