What are Common Questions about Stocks?

People tend to focus on the mystery of the ‘get-rich-quick’ stock market when they start asking questions about stocks, but there are also good questions among them. The question most people have is, “Can I get rich just buying low and selling high?” And the answer, of course, is “Yes, absolutely!” The caveat, however, is knowing when the stock price is low and when it will peak. In stock investing it is often said that hindsight is 20/20, so it is infinitely easier in retrospect to identify times when someone should have bought or sold shares and reaped the maximum possible gains from their investment. Continue reading...

Should I Hold an Annuity Within My IRA?

An IRA already provides the investor with tax-deferred growth, so an annuity will not provide any additional tax benefits. The investor may be interested, however, in the insurance guarantees provided by the annuity for a cost. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t. One of the biggest benefits of an Annuity is its tax-advantaged status; namely that the earnings on your investment grow tax-free until withdrawal. An IRA, of course, has the same tax treatment. Therefore, having an Annuity within your IRA will not provide you with any additional tax benefits. Continue reading...

What is the Bid-Ask Spread?

The Bid-Ask Spread is the difference between an offer made on a security and the price a seller is willing to accept. The Bid-Ask Spread is the amount by which the ask price exceeds the bid. For example, if the bid price is $50 and the ask price is $51 then the "bid-ask spread" is $1. The larger the bid-ask spread, the less liquid the market for that particular security - buyers and sellers are too far apart for trades to occur easily. When trading, investors have to pay attention to the bid-ask spread, because it is ultimately an additional cost to investing in or trading stocks. Continue reading...

What is a Housing Bubble?

Bubbles form in markets when there is such a large amount of demand that it drives prices up to levels where it is no longer supported by inherent value. Bubbles have effects on an interconnected web of economic forces and institutions. It was postulated before 2008 that the housing market could not form a bubble in the same way the stock market could, but the subprime meltdown proved those theorists wrong. Bubbles are when a market suffers from unnatural price inflation due to speculation, bandwagon investing, and, to some extent, misinformation. Continue reading...

What is a No-Cost Mortgage?

No-Cost Mortgages waive the initial closing costs by making a repayment structure for those costs into the interest payments on a mortgage loan. Closing costs can range from 2%-5% of the total cost of the home, and include attorney fees, underwriting fees, application fees, and so on. These costs are deferred and are paid in the form of additional interest on the loan. Closing costs are separate from down-payments of equity, and are a miscellaneous hodgepodge of a wide range of fees associated with closing a mortgage deal. These costs are sometimes covered by the seller, but most often they are paid by the buyer. Continue reading...

What is IRS Publication 530, Tax Information for Homeowners?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here There are many tax questions when it comes to home ownership, mortgages, equity, federal loan programs, selling a home, and so forth. Publication 530 seeks to address all relevant tax information for this large and important financial asset, which is often the largest purchase they will ever make. Homeowners incur expenses for home equity, mortgage interest, private mortgage insurance, improvements and maintenance, and taxes. Much of this can be deducted. Continue reading...

What is Abandoned Property?

Most people think of an abandoned car or even a house when abandoned property is mentioned, but it also applies to investment accounts. If physical property such as a car is left for a long enough time in a public space or privately owned space such as a storage building, the property can be deemed abandoned and the person who discovers it can become the new owner. Through a process called escheatment, investment accounts, savings accounts, bank CDs, and employee 401(k) accounts can all become assets of the state if they are determined to be abandoned. Continue reading...

What is a Secondary Offering?

A secondary offering is the sale of a large block of previously-issued, privately-held stock, which actually requires registration with the SEC, but does not raise capital for the company which issued the shares originally. A secondary offering is a non-dilutive sale of existing shares which were previously held by one, or a few, investors. The proceeds of the sale go to the sellers of the shares and not to the company which issued the shares. Continue reading...

What is a short position?

What is a short position?

A short position is a sale made by an investor for a security which he or she will deliver to the buyer in the near future, but which he or she is hoping will go down in price in the near future so that a profit can be retained from the price collected in the short sale. A short position is a bearish play on a security which an investor believes will decrease in price in the near future. The investor offers shares for sale, and collects the current market price for the shares from the buyer. Continue reading...

Who are Some of the More Well-Known Investment Managers?

There have been many notable investors who have withstood the test of time. Of those that are still living, Warren Buffett definitely stands out of the crowd. If you had invested $1,000 with him in 1965, the investment would be worth over $6 million today. Some of those who could be considered in the realm of "founding fathers" of sound investment strategy would include J.P. Morgan, Benjamin Graham (author of the famous "The Intelligent Investor"), and John Templeton. Continue reading...