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Are Social Security Benefits Taxed?

Are Social Security Benefits Taxed?

Many people do not realize that their Social Security Benefits may be taxed. If you have a taxable income in retirement above a certain threshold, up to 85% of your social security benefits can be taxed. The calculation for the threshold income actually includes half of your social security benefits. Whether or not you trigger taxation on your benefits will depend on your “combined” income, which is a sum of your adjusted gross income (taxable income, which can include taxable sources such as qualified retirement plans), your nontaxable interest (from Muni bonds in particular, Roth IRAs are excludable), and half of your household Social Security benefits. Continue reading...

How Much Will Medigap Cost?

How Much Will Medigap Cost?

There are many Medigap policies offered by many different insurers, so this is hard to answer. Plan F is the most robust coverage, currently, and it will be the most expensive, with premiums that can go up to $10,000 a year. There isn’t a concrete answer. Your costs will depend on how old you are, your health, and which of the 12 plans you choose. Medigap policies come in flavors such as Part F, Part K, and Part L. Continue reading...

What is an Alternative Trading System (ATS)?

An ATS is a platform separate from an exchange where securities are traded. ATSs provide marketplaces for buyers and sellers to transact in securities, much like a stock exchange. However, they are not available to the entire investment public, and they do not necessarily provide public information on the best prices available to traders within their system. They also do not set rules governing the conduct of subscribers and they perform no self-regulation, while exchanges perform all of these functions. Continue reading...

What are some strategies for diversifying a portfolio?

What are some strategies for diversifying a portfolio?

There are many ways to diversify a portfolio, but all of them center around a strategy of owning different types of asset classes. For equity investors, perhaps the best strategy for diversifying a portfolio is to own companies from different sectors in different style categories, maybe even across the globe. The S&P 500 has ten different sectors, and a very broadly diversified portfolio should have exposure to each one in some capacity. Continue reading...

What is a Corporate Bond?

A corporate bond is a debt security issued by a public or private company to raise capital. They are generally issued in multiples of $1,000 or $5,000, and the issuing company must agree to pay a certain interest rate typically determined by their creditworthiness and earning history/potential. Often times the corporation issuing the debt must use their physical assets as collateral, and it is often found that corporations are more likely to issue debt during an environment when interest rates are low, so they can borrow at attractive rates. Corporate debt that matures in less than one year is called ‘commercial paper.’ Continue reading...

What is a Global Depository Receipt (GDR)?

A Global Depository Receipt is a security which represents ownership in shares of a foreign corporation. Investment banks in the United States and elsewhere purchase shares in foreign corporations and sell the equity in the form of a Global Depository Receipt, also called an International Depository Receipt, and formerly known as an American Depository Receipt. They allow foreign companies to find investors in other countries, and vice versa, and the Americans and other foreigners can pay for the GDRs in American currency. They are typically sold in lots such that 1 GDR equals 10 shares of the underlying foreign company, but other ratios can be used. Continue reading...

What is a Student Loan?

Expenses for tuition, room, and board at a secondary education institution can be loaned to a student and paid off over time in the form of a student loan. Tuition and other college expenses have inflated at a much faster rate than the rest of the consumer price index. These institutions can charge more and more as they experience student housing crunches and an ever-growing demand for college education. Continue reading...

What is foreign exchange?

What is foreign exchange?

The Foreign Exchange is abbreviated Forex, and it refers to the global network of 24/7 currency trading which is the largest and most liquid market in the world economy. Several of the largest Foreign Exchange markets are in London, New York, Singapore, and Tokyo, but there are other market centers and over-the-counter transactions which are part of what is known as the Forex. All currency exchanged for another currency is considered a Forex transaction, including currency exchanges by tourists at kiosks, but it gets much larger than that. Continue reading...

What was the Mt. Gox Incident?

What was the Mt. Gox Incident?

There have been many incidents where cryptocurrency has been stolen, but the Mt. Gox incident is the largest to date Mt. Gox was at one time the largest cryptocurrency exchange on the net, facilitating as much as 80% of global bitcoin trades, according to some sources. And then about 850,000 bitcoin suddenly went missing. At the exchange rate in 2014, when the problem came to light, that many bitcoin were worth about $450 USD. At the time of this writing, with Bitcoin at a high in 2017, that man... Continue reading...

What is the Three Falling Peaks (Bearish) Pattern?

The Three Falling Peaks pattern forms when three minor Highs (1, 3, 5) arrange along a downward­-sloping trend line. This pattern often emerges at the end of a rising trend, when a pair slowly rolls over. It potentially indicates sellers moving ­in to replace buyers, which pushes the price lower. If the price breaks out from the bottom pattern boundary, day traders and swing traders should trade with the DOWN trend. Consider selling the pair short or buying a put option at the downward breakout price level. To identify an exit, compute the target price by subtracting the pattern’s height (maximum price minus minimum price within the pattern) from the breakout level ­ the lowest low. When trading, wait for the confirmation move, which is when the price moves below the breakout level. Continue reading...