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What is Accelerated Amortization?

Accelerated amortization is the recalculation of an amortization schedule, such as mortgage payments, after the borrower pays off some of the debt ahead of schedule. Amortization describes the accounting practice of giving a one-time expense a retirement schedule or payment plan by which it is to be either deducted for tax purposes, repaid, or paid out. Accelerated amortizations allow for more payments or deductions in the early years rather than later years. Continue reading...

What is an Asset-Backed Security?

Asset-backed securities are bonds or notes that come in several forms, but they typically use the cash flows from debt repayment as the asset that backs them. The assets that back the bonds called asset-backed securities (ABS) can be basically anything with a fairly predictable cash flow, but debt repayment cash flows tend to be used the most. These include credit card debt, home equity loans, auto loans, student loans, and so forth. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 13?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is one of the most often used. It is similar to a Chapter 7, but it does not have income limits. It involves liquidating the assets of the debtor and making payment arrangements over a longer period of time than Chapter 7. Chapter 13 allows a debtor to propose a schedule for repaying debts that seems reasonable to the bankruptcy judge. It is for individuals who can prove steady income. Often Chapter 7 is filed by people who are impoverished, while Chapter 13 is the middle-to-upper class equivalent. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 12?

Chapter 12 is a category of bankruptcy filing that can be made by a family farmer. It is otherwise similar in structure to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, where the debtor can prove an income and a trustee serves as intermediary between the debtor and the creditors. A family farmer will still be permitted to operate the farm once he has filed Chapter 12 bankruptcy. Like a Chapter 13 filing, the debtor will be allowed to propose a debt repayment schedule that he or she believes would be successful over the following 3-5 years. Some assets would be liquidated to pay off debts, but most of it would be paid according to the repayment schedule, under the care of a trustee who would serve as the proxy for the debtor in the remainder of the dealings with the creditors. Continue reading...

What is a Bankruptcy Trustee?

A bankruptcy trustee is appointed to oversee the liquidation of a debtor’s estate. A bankruptcy trustee has an obligation to do all he or she can to maximize the amount that a bankrupt entity’s estate can pay to the debtor’s unsecured creditors. The trustee must also challenge the claims of a creditor where appropriate. The estate is constituted of all of the bankrupt entity’s nonexempt assets. The trustee will oversee the “341” meeting, in the case of Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Continue reading...

How Do I Invest Money in My 403(b)?

Investing in a 403(b) is done by making contributions via payroll deductions and selecting investment options from among the available choices with your custodian. Payroll deductions on a pretax basis are routed into your 403(b) account with your consent. This can be done by telling the payroll department what percentage of your compensation you would like to send there, or by telling the plan custodian company, who tells your payroll department. Continue reading...

Which is Better for Me: a Roth or Traditional IRA?

The choice between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA depends on available discretionary income and financial situation. Both IRAs have the same contribution limits. The Traditional IRA goes in pre-tax (generally), grows tax-deferred, and is taxable as income on withdrawal. The Roth goes in after-tax, grows tax-deferred, and is not taxable upon withdrawal. That’s the primary difference. This will allow you to lower your current taxable income by making Traditional IRA contributions, which may seem more appealing in a number of ways. There’s the effect of immediate gratification that leads investors to favor this way, and the fact that you’re technically paying more (by the amount of taxes you paid on the after-tax Roth) to make the same current contribution to a Roth. Continue reading...

How is a Roth 401(k) Different From a Regular 401(k)?

The main difference is that Roth contributions go in after tax and are not taxed on withdrawal. People sometimes don’t realize that Roth 401(k)s only exist as extensions of Traditional 401(k) plans. Some plans have been designed to also permit after-tax contributions, which become that employee’s Roth 401(k) account. This Roth side account has all of the same investment options as the rest of the plan on the traditional side. In fact, an employee can contribute to both the traditional 401(k) and Roth 401(k) with each payroll cycle. Continue reading...

How Do I Prepare a Will?

If your balance sheet is a relatively simple one, and you have very little or no debt, then it may be fine to simply use a trusted online resource. More complicated wills usually require the help of an attorney who can help you and guide you through the process. Be warned though: hiring an attorney will not be cheap, but it may very well be worth the cost in the long run. Do I Need Professional Help to Prepare a Will? How Much Does it Cost to Prepare a Will? Continue reading...

What Is a Promissory Note?

A promissory note is a financial instrument that contains a written promise by one party (the note's issuer or maker) to pay another party (the note's payee) a definite sum of money, either on demand or at a specified future date. In this article, we'll delve into what a promissory note is, how it works, its types, and the advantages and disadvantages of using one. Promissory notes can be thought of as a financial intermediary between the informality of an IOU (I Owe You) and the strict structure of a loan contract. An IOU simply acknowledges a debt, while a promissory note includes a promise to pay on demand or at a set date, along with details on the repayment process. Continue reading...

What is a 529 Plan?

529 plans are accounts designed to help families save for the future college expenses of young family members. A 529 Plan is designed to help you save money now to pay your child’s college expenses later. Investment companies who design a plan, which looks similar to a retail mutual fund account or IRA, will partner with state governments to offer the state’s official 529 plan. Families can invest in a 529 and gain access to an array of mutual funds. Continue reading...

How Much Does it Cost to Prepare a Will?

A simple will can be created for free if a person uses an online template from a trusted source and/or creates the document themselves. Having an attorney create a will may cost a few hundred dollars, depending on the complexity of the estate. If you opt for an online will, the cost will be extremely cheap compared to hiring a professional (possibly a few hundred dollars or even significantly less). Continue reading...

What is the structure of Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs)?

Unlock the secrets of Collateralized Loan Obligations (CLOs)! Dive into their diverse tranches, creation process, benefits (diversification, higher yields), and risks (credit, liquidity). Make informed CLO investments with our comprehensive guide. 💼📊 #Investing #CLOs #Finance Continue reading...

How Much Does it Cost to Prepare a Trust?

The cost of setting up a trust varies depending on the type of trust and its complexity, but generally speaking a trust will cost between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Basic trusts can typically be setup using online tools and guides from trusted sources, whereas complex trusts often require the help of an estate planning attorney and a tax attorney. There is also the matter of paying the trustees an annual fee for oversight of the trust, and there may be annual expenses associated with keeping the trust up to date with changes to the law and/or your estate plan. Continue reading...

Do I Need Professional Help to Prepare a Will?

Whether you need professional help depends on the size of your estate and the complexity of your wishes for how to distribute your assets. Generally speaking, however, it makes sense to hire legal help to create your last will and any related trusts, as often times the cost to doing so is less than the cost of probate court and duress to your heirs in settling the estate themselves. What is a Living Will? What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust? How Much Does it Cost to Prepare a Will? Continue reading...

Do I Need Professional Help to Prepare a Trust?

In most cases, you should consult a tax professional and/or an estate planning attorney for help in setting up a trust. If you’re setting up a trust in the first place, it is likely because you have estate planning needs – which also means you have a level of assets that requires estate planning. Preparing a trust on your own runs the risk of setting it up incorrectly, which can lend itself to legal risks such as challenges from heirs and/or creditors. Continue reading...

What is Credit Debt?

Credit debt or credit card debt is a type of consumer debt that is incurred through a short-term revolving loan facility. The most common of course is a credit card company issuing a card to a client to make purchases, with the client being responsible for minimum payments plus whatever interest rate applicable. Removing credit card debt from one’s balance sheet is often an effective way of improving your financial life. Continue reading...

What is Chapter 10?

Chapter 10 is a bankruptcy filing available to smaller corporations where they agree to have their management replaced to oversee a restructuring, and they also agree to have their debts repaid within three years. If a company does not have more than $2.5 million in debt, they may be able to file Chapter 10 bankruptcy. The company and its attorney will put together a plan for reorganization and explain how the plan will ensure that the company meet its obligations in the future. Continue reading...

What Is a Title Loan?

In the realm of personal finance, the term "title loan" has become increasingly prevalent. But what exactly is a title loan, and why have they gained popularity in recent years? In this article, we will delve into the world of title loans, their mechanics, key takeaways, and most importantly, why they are often considered a financially risky choice. Title Loan Definition and Mechanics A title loan is a financial arrangement in which a borrower uses an asset, such as a car, as collateral to secure a loan. The most common form of a title loan is the car title loan, where the borrower owns the car outright and transfers the title to an auto loan title company. In return, the borrower can receive a loan amounting to up to 25% of the car's total value. Continue reading...

What is Form 5405: Repayment of First-Time Homebuyer Credit?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here If a person moves from his first-purchased home, or it is destroyed, and he took the first-time homebuyer credit at purchase, he may have to repay the credited amount if the home was sold or destroyed within 36 months. He must file a 5405 and begin making payments in the form of additional taxes going forward. Form 5405 is the filing for those who sell their home or see it destroyed within 36 months of receiving the first-time homebuyer tax credit. The First Time Homebuyer Look-Up Tool is an IRS database allowing consumers to see all relevant information about when they took the FTHBC and how much they might owe back if they no longer used it as a primary residence within 36 months. Continue reading...