What are Tax Benefits of Annuities?

Annuities are unique products in that they provide the owner with tax-deferred growth, much like an IRA or a Roth IRA. Annuities can provide the owner with some tax benefits, in that the growth of the principle grows tax-deferred. Once you are ready to withdraw the money, your earnings will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate, though the amount you contributed to the annuity will not be taxed. Continue reading...

What is the Difference Between a Blockchain and a Database?

What is the Difference Between a Blockchain and a Database?

Blockchains use distributed ledgers, which are decentralized and do not rely on centralized databases. Databases are the traditional way to store information and to keep it secure. When companies store information about their customers, or about the business itself, it is usually kept in a database connected to servers that handle requests for the information. The design for such a system tends to look like a wagon wheel:  a central hub with numerous spokes connecting it to the outer wheel.  Layers of security are heaped onto centralized servers and permit access to various levels of information is given to specific users. Continue reading...

What is the Falling Flag (Bearish) Pattern?

The Falling Flag (or Bearish Flag) pattern looks like a flag with the mast turned upside down (the mast points up). The pattern forms when falling prices experience a consolidation period, and the price moves within a narrow range defined by the parallel lines through points 2-4 and 3-5. After the consolidation, the previous trend resumes. This type of formation happens when anticipation of a downtrend is high, and when a pair’s price consolidates during a broader decline. It may indicate growing investor concern of an impending downtrend. Continue reading...

What is the High-Low Index?

What is the High-Low Index?

Often referred to in the media as “New Highs and New Lows,” the High-Low Index is an observation of the number of stocks which hit 52-week highs or lows in the current day. The High-Low Index is usually expressed as a simple moving average (10-day or longer) of the Record High Percent. A Simple Moving Average (SMA) is a technical indicator that can help traders determine whether a bull or bear trend will continue or reverse course. It typically adds up closing prices for a given time period, then divides that figure by the number of time periods used for the average. Simple moving averages are effective in their simplicity, but their efficacy is most closely tied to how they are used. By giving equal weight to each data point, SMAs can limit bias towards any specific point in a specific time period. 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 an Abandonment Option?

An Abandonment Option can be worked into a contract for a capital project at a business, for example, or between an investment advisor and his or her clients. An abandonment option outlines the terms by which either party in an agreement can choose to cease their involvement in the project or a working relationship without penalty. This may be worked into the contract on a business partnership agreement, a capital project, or even something as simple as the relationship between a financial planner and his or her clients. Continue reading...

What is Cash Flow After Taxes?

Cash flow after taxes (CFAT) is nearly the same thing as EBITDA, but with taxes left in. One way to arrive at Cash Flow After Taxes is to take the net income of the business and add in interest, amortization, depreciation and other non-cash expenses. This is one item away from the formula for EBITDA, which also adds tax back in to arrive at the Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. Continue reading...

How to use the Aroon Indicators in trading

How to use the Aroon Indicators in trading

The Aroon Indicators are a pair of momentum indicators – the Aroon Up value and Aroon Down value – named after the Sanskrit word for the first light of day. Each indicator represents a standardized value for the strength of the upward or downward pressure on a stock, which analysts can compare to determine if there is a trend emerging. Aroon looks at the latency between highs for certain rolling time periods, with 25 days being the standard time frame. Continue reading...

What is commodity-product spread?

What is commodity-product spread?

The commodity-product spread is the difference between the price of a commodity and the price of the products at the next level of consumption which is made from the commodity. In the oil industry, this is known as the crack spread, in the soybean industry, it is known as the crush spread. Some pre-packaged long/short futures strategies that trade on this spread are offered on futures exchanges. The commodity-products spread is the difference in prices between a raw material and a product made from it, such as raw crude and gasoline. This difference gives a rough estimate of production costs and profit margin. Continue reading...

What is a Quote?

Quotes are current pricing information about individual securities on an exchange. A potential investor will refer to a current quote to see what price a security traded at most recently. A quote will also show the bid and ask prices, which indicates the price other buyers are attempting to buy the security for (bid), and the price sellers are trying to sell it for (ask). If you are selling, you're going to get the bid price, and if you're buying, you're going to pay the ask price. The difference between the two is called the spread, and will basically be pocketed by the broker or specialist that handles the transaction. A security with a spread of zero indicates high liquidity and is referred to as a frictionless asset or trade. Continue reading...