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Table of Contents
Help Center
Introduction
Investment Portfolios
Investment Terminology and Instruments
Technical Analysis and Trading
Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain
Retirement
Retirement Accounts
Personal Finance
Corporate Basics

What Happens to My Annuity After I Die?

Annuities allow you to designate beneficiaries, but the payouts or benefits they receive depend on the wording in the contract, and can vary greatly. Annuities, even if they are designated as Individual IRAs or qualified accounts, can have joint annuitants. This way, if an income stream has been elected that is joint-life, then your beneficiary, whether a spouse or even a younger family member, will continue to receive payments for life. These options can all be elected at purchase. Continue reading...

Can Something Happen to My Defined Benefit Plan?

Can Something Happen to My Defined Benefit Plan?

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation will insure benefits up to a point, but it may not replace the full value of a pension if a plan goes belly-up. While the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insures thousands of Pensions across the country, the entire benefit of your Defined Benefit Plan is in no way guaranteed. Some corporations can “freeze” your pension, meaning they stop the counter on the number of years you’ve worked, and use that as the number to calculate your monthly payments. Many pensions today are struggling after the long period of low interest rates on fixed instruments like government bonds. Continue reading...

What is the NASDAQ?

What is the NASDAQ?

The NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is an electronic marketplace for trading stocks, and is also used to track major Technology stocks. The NASDAQ Composite is an index of over 3,000 publicly traded companies on the NASDAQ stock market, which includes the world's biggest and most relevant technology companies - Apple, Google, Amazon, Intel, Oracle, and so on. Continue reading...

What is the Dividend Payout Ratio?

The Dividend Payout Ratio represents the percentage of a company’s earnings/profits that they pay-out to shareholders in the form of dividends. Companies with higher dividend payout ratios tend to be older, more well-established corporations with long histories of dividend payments. Newer, more growth oriented companies will tend to take earnings and reinvest them in the company, whether via additional fixed investment, inventory expansions, hiring more people, or entering new markets. Continue reading...

What are Energy Sector Stocks?

The Energy Sector contains companies that are in the business of discovering, processing, or selling (or all 3) natural resources like oil, natural gas, coal, solar and wind. Oil companies dominate the sector and are the largest players. Energy stocks are also cyclical, meaning that they tend to perform better when demand for energy is high (economic expansions). Companies in the Energy sector are also very sensitive to changes in the price of the underlying natural resource, like oil. For example, as the price of oil rapidly declined in 2015, falling by 50+%, the earnings for virtually every energy company collapsed. Continue reading...

What is a "spread"?

What is a "spread"?

Spread has several meanings in finance, but the most general usage is to describe the difference between the bid and the ask prices for a security, where a narrower spread would indicate high trading volume and liquidity. It also might refer to a type of options strategy in which an investor purchases two calls or two puts on the same underlying security but with different expiration dates or strike prices. Continue reading...

What is dollar cost averaging?

What is dollar cost averaging?

Dollar cost averaging (DCA) is a method of hedging against the risk of investing a lump sum at high market prices. With DCA, the investor deploys money at set intervals, hoping to get the best average price per share. If you use the same amount of money to buy shares at set intervals, you will acquire more shares when the market is down, and fewer shares when the market is up, so theoretically you would have acquired more of the advantageously-priced shares overall and will be in a better position in the long run. Continue reading...

What Does Debt Mean?

Debt is money owed from one party or parties to another, plain and simple. Whether it’s money borrowed, loaned, credit, or a good sold for which payment has yet to be received, debt lives on just about every company and government’s balance sheet. Debt has a negative connotation generally, but it is not always a bad thing - in fact, having certain type of debt is good! Especially if the corporation or person borrows money at an attractive interest rate in order to invest in an asset that they expect to generate a higher return. In order to maintain a good credit standing, it is imperative that a borrower make interest payments on time and never default on debt. Continue reading...

What does Leverage Mean?

Leverage is the use of borrowed capital or debt to try and increase the potential return of an investment. An individual might leverage an investment account by going on margin to purchase additional securities, whereas the amount of debt used to finance a company’s assets is considered to be that company’s level of leverage. A firm with significantly more debt than equity is considered to be highly leveraged. Continue reading...

What is the commodity channel index (CCI)?

What is the commodity channel index (CCI)?

The Commodity Channel Index is an oscillator introduced in 1980 in Commodities magazine, but it can be used for indexes, ETFs, stocks, and so on. It basically displays the relative daily difference above or below a simple moving average. It can be used to identify overbought and oversold conditions and to confirm trends. The CCI averages out the prices of a commodity (or security) for a day, calling it the Typical Price, and compares it to the simple moving average for a time period (usually 20 days). Continue reading...