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What is a Home Lien?

A lien is a legal filing through which a third party lays claim to certain assets, such as a person’s home, until an amount owed to them is paid. There are mechanic’s liens, judgment liens, and tax liens, any of which could be applied to a person’s home. A lien is a document serving as notice that a significant amount of money is owed to a third party and that certain assets of the debtor may be used to cover the obligation, becoming the property of the lien-holder if the debt is not paid in time. Continue reading...

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 is a support line?

A support line represents an estimation of where a price is likely to stop moving downwards, based on recent data and analysis methods. It is arrived at with different formulas for different indicator methods, but it is generally a line derived from moving averages and standard deviation which represents a lower level at which traders would expect a price to rebound back upwards. Several methods of technical and fundamental analysis plot a support line or two as part of a graphical representation of trends. Theoretically, a price will only deviate so far from its moving average before bouncing back toward the middle. Continue reading...

What is a resistance line?

A resistance line is the inverse of a support line and represents the glass ceiling through which a security price has difficulty breaking through. Resistance lines are calculated as part of analysis methods which use moving averages and standard deviation, or similar calculations, to put a range of probability on the expected movement of a security price, with the resistance line representing the top of that range. Continue reading...

What is the Capital Market Line?

The Capital Market Line is a complex concept, but put simply, it is a calculation meant to give the investor/analyst a range of potential returns for a portfolio, based on the risk free rate and the standard deviation of the portfolio. The Capital Market Line is a part of the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) that solves for expected return at various levels of risk. It takes into consideration a portfolio’s risk assets and the risk-free rate. Continue reading...

What is the security market line?

The Security Market Line (SML) is a visualization of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) and shows the theoretical relationship between risk and return between securities and the entire market. The SML is plotted on a graph bound by an x-axis, which represents Beta (volatility above or below the market average), and a y-axis, which represents the rate of return. Beta is a volatility indicator that measures how many changes in price, and by how much, a security experiences over an amount of time. It describes whether the risk associated with a particular security is above or below the average of the market (or a more specific index), where 1 is a correlation with the market, and numbers above or below describe increased or decreased volatility, respectively. Continue reading...

What are Resistance and Support Levels?

In technical analysis, a level of resistance is an imaginary barrier that keeps the price of a security from rising beyond a certain level. Conversely, a level of support is an imaginary barrier that keeps the price of a security from falling beyond a certain level. A resistance line can be thought of as the theoretical glass ceiling that a security price has difficulty breaking through. Resistance lines (along with moving averages, standard deviation, and similar calculations) are used to put a range of probability on the expected movement of a security price, with the resistance line representing the top of that range. Continue reading...

What are foreign currency effects?

Companies with significant operations or sales abroad will be affected by changes in foreign currency exchange rates. If the dollar strengthens relative to a foreign currency, the price paid for the goods in the country will not be worth as much domestically when the company converts their profits back to dollars. Some foreign currencies fluctuate much more than the US dollar does, but even the dollar can behave unpredictably. This can have a tremendous effect on the bottom line of companies engaged in significant amounts of business abroad. Continue reading...

What is Publication 515, Withholding of Tax on Nonresident Aliens and Foreign Entities?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here Publication 515 serves as a guide for employers with regards to the tax withholding requirements for nonresident alien employees. It also addresses income being paid to foreign corporations and partnerships, foreign trusts and estates, and foreign governments and international organizations. Income paid by companies to employees who are not US residents will have to follow regulations including withholding and filing requirements outlines in this Publication and the referenced forms. Continue reading...

What is IRS Publication 54, Tax Guide for US Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here Publication 54 is a guide for those earning income in a foreign country. There are several tax deductions which might be available and several forms and filing practices that one will need to be familiar with when taking employment elsewhere. US Citizens and long term resident green card holders will need to let the IRS know how much they are making even if they are employed in a foreign country. Continue reading...

What is a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)?

Much like a Reverse Mortgage or Second Mortgage, a HELOC gives homeowners the ability to convert their home equity into cash. A HELOC is a line of credit secured by the equity in your home. Homeowners can choose when to use the funds, and there are repayments due according to a schedule in the contract. It functions as a revolving line of credit, similar to a credit card with large limits. Some people find themselves interested in a HELOC if they have a large balloon payment due on a loan, perhaps even their home mortgage loan. They are also sometimes used as a debt consolidation tool to pay off credit cards and other outstanding debts (but, for this, fixed-rate home equity loans are more popular). Continue reading...

Channel Up (Bullish)

A Channel Up pattern shows a clearly defined uptrend and describes the behavior of the price contained between upward sloping parallel lines. Higher highs and higher lows characterize this price pattern. This pattern is created via a lower trendline connecting the swing lows (1, 3, 5), and an upper channel line that joins the swing highs (2, 4, 6). A breakout above a Channel Up’s resistance line points to a continuation of the growth momentum, while a breakdown below the pattern’s support line can demonstrate a possible trend change. Continue reading...

What is Endpoint Moving Average (EPMA)?

Moving averages are important components of many technical indicators. The Endpoint Moving Average (EPMA) is a popular method of plotting a line that uses linear regression instead of averages, which reduces the noise of market price activity and can reveal or follow trends. Compared to a simple moving average, this method hews more closely to data and lags less. A moving average line averages prices in a given time period (such as the 30 days leading up to each day), and plots that point on a chart; when connected, the collection of points becomes the moving average line. Continue reading...

What is a Moving Average Ribbon?

A moving average ribbon is created by plotting many incremental moving average lines on top of the same price chart. The visual relationship of the moving averages can help reveal crossover points, which traders can use as trade signals. As with other crossover indicators, the shorter-term moving average lines will tend to move more than the longer-term ones, and the degree of momentum that the crossovers imply increases for moving average lines of lengthier look-back periods. Continue reading...

What are Fibonacci Fans?

Fibonacci Fans are a charting technique that combines traditional Fibonacci lines and Fibonacci channels. They use the Fibonacci levels in a radial way, drawing trendlines from a point of primary importance, such as a low or peak, to identify future points of retracement or extension. Some investors believe that, like many naturally occurring systems in nature, market behavior will exhibit some fractal-like forms that can be measured with Fibonacci sequence numbers and the Golden Ratio. Modern computing power has uncovered plentiful examples of the Golden Ratio in nature, from Nautilus shells to musical harmonics, as well as mathematical fractal patterns. Fibonacci numbers are related to the study of chaos theory, which seeks to find order in complex systems. Since the markets have so many variables, but no lack of data, they are an excellent place to search for Fibonacci patterns. Continue reading...

What Kinds of Overlays are Used in Chart Patterns?

Overlays are technical supplements which help to interpret the data of a normal price chart. Often a chart program will allow the user to pick a few different overlays at a time, to help him or her get a better idea of what is going on with the price. Some common overlays include moving average lines, Bollinger Bands, Ichimoku clouds, and channel lines. An overlay or series of overlays will appear as additional lines, shading, or other graphics on a price chart. An overlay helps a trader or analyst interpret the price data in the context of other data, by putting the other data right on top of it. Continue reading...

How to use the MACD in trading?

Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) is a frequently used momentum indicator composed of several moving average lines. A MACD line is plotted by using the exponential moving average (EMA) over 12-day periods and subtracting the EMA of 26-day periods. A “signal line” – the 9-day EMA – is then plotted on top of the MACD line. A histogram is also usually included to indicate the divergence between the signal line and the MACD. When the MACD and the signal line cross paths, these points of convergence are widely used as trading indicators that trends are starting or ending. Continue reading...

Channel Down (Bearish)

A Channel Down pattern shows a clearly defined downtrend and describes the behavior of the price contained between downward sloping parallel lines. Lower lows and lower highs characterize this price pattern. This pattern is created via a lower trendline connecting the swing lows (1, 3, 5), and an upper channel line that joins the swing highs (2, 4, 6). A breakdown below a descending channel’s resistance line points to a continuation of the decline momentum, while a break out above the channel’s resistance line can show a possible trend change. Continue reading...

What are Fibonacci Channels?

Price movement often occurs in a range-bound way, even when an uptrend or downtrend is in effect. Fibonacci channels estimate support and resistance numbers using Fibonacci numbers, which are found throughout the natural world, in order to define possible places where reversals will occur. Fibonacci numbers are related to the study of chaos theory, which seeks to find order in complex systems. Since the markets have so many variables, but no lack of data, they are an excellent place to search for Fibonacci patterns. Continue reading...

What is the Profit Rate for the Ascending Triangle (Bullish) Pattern?

The Ascending Triangle pattern forms when the price of a security tests a resistance level and creates a horizontal top line (1, 3, 5), with an upward­-sloping bottom line (2, 4) formed by a rising support level. The breakout can either be up or down, and it will determine whether the target price is higher or lower. 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. When the price of a security consolidates around a certain level, it may indicate growing investor confidence for a significant uptrend. Continue reading...