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Do I Need an Advisor on a Permanent Basis?

Short-term advisor relationships do not tend to be very productive, and can sometimes be counter-productive, but advisors may still be useful for one-time consultations when an investor just wants an opinion on a specific issue. A long-term relationship with one advisor is preferable to many short-term relationships. Meeting with a new advisor will usually be part of a transition period where an investor is looking to try something new. The advisor may start out with some preliminary planning but the investor may jump to the next advisor before the former advisor could really shape the plan he or she was seeking to build. Continue reading...

Where can I get information about private placements?

Where can I get information about private placements?

The short answer is, you can’t. Private placements have no reporting or registration requirements with the SEC or other entities. Sometimes this can be good for investors who enjoy the discretion. But it can also be a shield for unethical business people who prefer to avoid regulatory oversight. There is no source for detailed information about private placements unless you personally know a general partner who can describe to you his project, or who comes highly recommended with a lot of references. If an offering seeks to raise over $2 million in the capital in a year’s time, they are obligated under Regulation D to provide audited financial statements to the investors. Continue reading...

What Kinds of Social Security Benefits Exist?

What Kinds of Social Security Benefits Exist?

Social Security benefits are streams of income available for retired workers, their spouses, children and dependents, and survivors. It provides insurance against longevity, disability, and, to some extent, the death of the primary contributor. Social Security benefits are available to a worker and their dependents if the worker has triggered eligibility, which usually calculated as earning over $5,040 for 10 years, but is modified if the worker dies or is disabled at a young age. Benefits can be paid to multiple people within a household (and an ex-spouse) based on one worker’s contributions to the system, up to a Maximum Family Limit, which is somewhere between 150-180% of a worker’s full benefit amount. Continue reading...

How is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Calculated?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is calculated using prices of sample goods from predetermined urban areas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the CPI is a product of a series of interrelated samples. First, using data from the 1990 Census of Population, BLS selected the urban areas from which data on prices were collected and chose the housing units within each area that were eligible for use in the shelter component of the CPI. The Census of Population also provided data on the number of consumers represented by each area selected as a CPI price collection area. Continue reading...

What is a long position in options trading?

What is a long position in options trading?

To be “long” means to own a security, and to essentially be bullish on it. A long position is to own a security and to expect it to appreciate. When people buy stocks, they are “long” those stocks. Listening to fund managers giving market commentary, you may hear them say they are “long” on China or Industrials or Apple Inc., and this means that even though they may have hedged their position with some “short” sales, their outlook for those markets is optimistic and their bullish bets outweigh their bearish ones. Continue reading...

What is Mortgage Refinancing?

Refinancing a mortgage means to get a new mortgage agreement with a different interest rate. If the prevailing interest rate environment has changed, or if a person’s credit history has strengthened since signing the original mortgage agreement, a homeowner might benefit from refinancing their mortgage with a new arrangement. The bank or lending institution would effectively pay off the first mortgage with the new one, and give the client a different interest rate or mortgage term (length) or monthly payment amount. Continue reading...

What is Return on Net Assets?

Return on Net Assets is a calculation used to determine how well a company performs, relative to its resources. Return on Net Assets gives investors an idea of how well a company uses its resources to generate profits. Net assets includes not only fixed, tangible assets, but also the net working capital of a business. Working capital is defined as Current Assets minus the Current Liabilities of the business. The net profits for a period are divided by the net assets to arrive at the Return on Net Assets. Continue reading...

What is a Home Debtor?

In contrast to the term “home owner,” home debtor is reserved for those who will seemingly never be able to pay off the mortgage(s) on their home, or who have already defaulted. Most Americans live in homes that they pay on, but are still primarily owned by the bank that loaned them money. Banks have insurance to protect them against mortgage defaults. Home mortgage loans are the primary way that Americans by homes today. Continue reading...

What is a Mortgage Short Sale?

A mortgage short sale occurs when a borrower and a lender settle for less than is owed on a mortgage because changes to the housing market or financial status has made it impossible to continue the arrangement. Lenders would rather take what they can get, while they still can, in this sort of situation. An example of a short sale would be an older couple reaching retirement age with a house that is bigger than they need in a neighborhood that has seen the property values decrease, and due to pension cuts they will have hard time affording the house in retirement. The lender would settle short to avoid having to go through a foreclosure and all that it implies. Continue reading...

What is the Rectangle Top (Bullish) Pattern?

The Rectangle Top pattern forms when the price of a pair is stuck in a range bound motion. Two horizontal lines (top: 1, 3, 5) and (bottom: 2, 4) form the pattern as the pair bounces up and down between support and resistance levels. Depending on who gives up first ­ buyers or sellers ­ the price can breakout in either direction. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets. Usually the pattern performs better when there is a strong uptrend leading into the formation. Continue reading...