How is a 403(b) Different From a 401(k)?

403(b)s are essentially the same as 401(k)s but there are a few notable differences. A 403(b) is extremely similar to a 401(k); the main difference is the type of employer than can offer each. 403(b)s are offered by public educational institutions, non-profit hospitals, non-profit organizations, religious groups and some government organizations. Due to the negotiating powers of many of those institutions, and their non-profit status, the administrative fees are smaller and they are not subject to some of the administrative oversight imposed on 401(k)s. Most 403(b)s are not subject to ERISA, which means they don’t have to satisfy as many auditing and reporting requirements. Continue reading...

Can I Withdraw Money From My Defined Benefit Plan?

Most pensions will not allow in-service withdrawals but some will allow loans. While you are working for your employer, you typically may not withdraw money from your Defined Benefit Plan. The IRS permits plan loans if the plan administrator permits it. In-service withdrawals are possible after age 62, meaning money can get taken out before separation from service. If you leave your employer before retirement, the funds are usually kept in a Trust until you reach retirement age (or until a specified age at which you can start to receive the benefits). Continue reading...

What is an Earnings Multiplier?

The earnings multiplier is more commonly known as the P/E ratio (price/earnings ratio). By putting the price of a stock over the earnings per share, you have a proportion that can be compared across various securities with different price points. It may be common for a company in one industry to have a different-size P/E than another, but comparing a company to its peers will prove helpful. Analysts use the P/E ratio to determine whether a stock is overpriced or underpriced, and the same goes for the market as a whole. When the average P/E for all of the stocks in an index is found and compared to historical levels, investors can get clues about whether the current price can be supported for long by fundamentals. Continue reading...

How Can I Keep My Health Costs Down in Retirement?

How Can I Keep My Health Costs Down in Retirement?

You can keep your health costs down in retirement by frequently using preventative care, and working hard to stay healthy. You can also tame the costs by saving diligently in your retirement years, so that you have funds set aside for medical expenses. There is also the ability to purchase long-term care insurance, which can kick-in later in life when you have daily care needs. The insurance is often designed to pay out a certain dollar amount each day to pay for your care. Continue reading...

How to use the Broadening Wedge Ascending (Bullish) Pattern in trading

How to use the Broadening Wedge Ascending (Bullish) Pattern in trading

Once the price breaks out from the top pattern boundary, day traders and swing traders should trade with an UP trend. Consider buying a security or a call option at the upward breakout price/entry point. To identify an exit, compute the target price for this formation by adding the height of the pattern to the upward breakout level. Pattern height is the difference between the breakout price (the highest high within the pattern) and the highest low. Continue reading...

What is the 'Fixed Assets to Net Worth' Ratio?

The fixed assets to net worth ratio is a calculation intended to measure the solvency of a company. It generally tells the analyst what percentage of a company’s assets are cash vs. fixed assets. To calculate the ratio, you divide net fixed assets into net worth. A fixed assets to net worth ratio greater than 0.75, generally, means that a company has too much of their net worth tied up in assets like equipment, machinery, land, and so on. 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...

Should I Listen to Commentators on Financial News Programs?

Should I Listen to Commentators on Financial News Programs?

It’s easy to become drawn in by the financial media, but it’s important not to let them do your thinking for you. Commentators on the most reputable financial channels will always be sharp-looking, smooth-talking, and quoting a barrage of statistics that makes it seem like you didn’t know anything before you tuned in. Is this an indication of being camera-friendly? Without a doubt. Is it an indication of sound financial advice? Absolutely not. Continue reading...

What is the Ladder Strategy for Structuring My Bond Portfolio?

The ladder provides the bondholder with a degree of freedom and some liquidity to take part in possibly improved interest rates in the future. The ladder strategy distributes your funds uniformly among bonds with various durations. For example, if you have $10,000, you buy one bond with a duration of one year, one bond with a duration of two years, etc. If the interest rates go up when the shorter-duration bonds expire, you will be able to reinvest this money with a higher coupon rate (of course, keep in mind that your longer-duration bonds would have fallen in price). Continue reading...

What is the adaptive market hypothesis?

What is the adaptive market hypothesis?

The Adaptive Market Hypothesis uses theories of behavioral economics to update the aging Efficient Market Hypothesis. There have been many debates surrounding the Efficient Market Hypothesis and its validity, and a lot of research over the last 15 years or so has been done which suggests that behavioral finance holds many of the keys to an accurate “universal theory” of the markets. A marriage between the two schools of thought has given birth to the Adaptive Market Hypothesis, coined in 2004 by Andrew Lo of MIT. Behavioral and evolutionary principals come into play when theorizing about the large-scale behavior and adaptation of humans in a system. Continue reading...