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What is 'Pro Forma'?

Pro Forma is a term used frequently in the context of a company’s financial statement, and refers to the manner in which figures are presented. In Latin the term “Pro Forma” means “as a matter of form,” and in the case of a financial statement refers to how figures are presented either in present form or as projections. For publicly traded corporations, statements prepared with the pro forma method are generally made ready ahead of a planned transaction such as an acquisition, merger, or some change in corporate structure based on new investment or capital changes. Continue reading...

What are the main Accounting Methods?

There are two main kinds of accounting methods: accrual accounting and cash accounting. Depending on who is speaking, accounting “methods” may also extend to the GAAP vs pro-forma distinction. For the most part, accounting methods can be defined based on the year in which the revenues and expenses are put on the books. In cash accounting, only the revenues and expenses which are collected and paid in the current year or period are documented. Continue reading...

What is an Accounting Convention?

An accounting convention is an established an agreed-upon method of documenting specific items on a company’s books. The most widely-used accounting conventions are part of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principals (GAAP), which is the only accounting methodology accepted for quarterly 10-Q filings with the SEC in the United States, and has also become the basis for regulatory accounting practices in other countries. Continue reading...

What are Accounting Earnings?

Earnings that are reported in a given year may differ for the same company if different accounting methods were used. Earnings are the revenues of the company minus the cost of good sold, expenses, and investment losses. If that seems like something that’s pretty cut-and-dried, and will look the same no matter who is doing the accounting… well, that’s not entirely correct. Earnings can be made to look different if different non-GAAP or pro-forma methods are used. If non-recurring expenses are ignored or amortized in a pro-forma accounting method, then earnings will not match up to the GAAP-based books. Continue reading...

What are Adjusted Earnings?

Adjusted Earnings are also known as pro forma, non-GAAP earnings, and are usually met with some cynicism. Non-GAAP methods of accounting for earnings are something that is not allowed to be used to mislead investors, according to SEC rules. GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, and they represent the standards and SEC rulebook for a publicly-traded company’s accounting. There are times when it makes sense to use adjusted earnings instead of GAAP earnings because adjusted earnings will ignore non-recurring one-time expenses so that analysts can compare company performance in other areas without being distracted by a large one-time expense. Continue reading...

What is Form 8891?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Form 8891 was previously used by individuals with retirement plans held in Canada when they were living in America, each time they took distributions. The process proved to be cumbersome for many good-natured Canadians, and caused the IRS a lot of trouble as well. This form has been retired in favor of an acknowledgement on the IRS Form 1040. Form 8891 is no longer used, which came as a relief to many Canadian-Americans who had retirement plans from work they did in Canada. Certain filing requirements still exist, such as a new form replacing the FBAR, for foreign bank accounts, now called the FinCEN Form 114. Continue reading...

What is Medicare Part C?

Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is offered in a few variations by several third-party carriers. These plans are approved by Medicare and a person must still pay their Part B premiums to get them, but the Medicare Advantage plans are designed to be more appealing with their deductibles and copays than original Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare Part C, is a private plan that is mandated to be at least equal in coverage to Part A and Part B. Continue reading...

What is Form 1045: Application for a Tentative Refund?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Form 1045 can be used to apply for a refund that might carry-back of up to 5 years, if an individual or trust has overpaid on their taxes, finds Net Operating Losses (NOL), or has section 1256 losses to carry-back. The 1045 is meant to be the quickest way to get a carry-back refund. Net Operating Losses from a pass-through entity or business can be carried back up to 5 years now, according to updates to IRC 172(h). Section 1256, which applies to futures contract investing, will allow a carry-back of losses in a 3-year time frame. For such carry-backs, the standard filing is IRS Form 1045. Continue reading...

What is Times Interest Earned (TIE)?

Times Interest Earned (TIE) is also known as the interest coverage ratio, is a cash-flow analysis that compares the pre-tax earnings of a company to the total amount of interest payable on their debt obligations. A healthy ratio indicates that a company will probably not default on loan repayments. To compute this ratio, divide a company’s annual income before taxes by their annual interest payments on debt obligations. This ratio is not concerned with the actual principal due on loans since the principal amount is already pegged to some of the assets on the books of the company, and other fundamental equations will already factor that in. Continue reading...

What is Federal Income Tax?

The Federal Government has established several ways to generate the revenue needed to pay for the operations of government agencies and capital improvements benefiting society. The primary source of these funds is through income taxes, which are assessed based on the earnings of an individual. Federal income taxes are paid by individuals in proportion to their earnings, after reducing the considered earnings by the allowable tax deductions. Continue reading...

Why Should I Have a 401(k)?

There are many potential benefits to using a 401(k) for retirement savings. You can break down the primary benefits of a 401(k) to 3 things: 1) Tax-Deferred Growth: This is probably the most advantageous aspect of a 401(k). Not only is the money contributed to the account pre-tax, which lowers your current taxable income, but the money also grows without being taxed within the account. The effect produced by the tax-deferred growth is much more powerful than most imagine. Continue reading...

What is Form 8282: Donee Information Return?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here Non-cash contributions to a charity which are valued at over $5,000 must be reported on a Form 8282 by the organization receiving the donation. The organization does not have to include publicly traded securities on this form, or items used in the course of the organization’s mission, such as medical supplies. Non-profit organizations must report non-cash contributions that they receive from donors if the value of the item is over $5,000. These items will also need to be reported by the donor or form 8283, Section B. Continue reading...

What are the IRS Guidelines for Filing a Form 4868 Tax Return Extension?

IRS Link to Form — Found Here An individual can automatically have their tax return due date extended by 6 months by filing a Form 4868. Tax returns are generally due by April 15, so this gives a person until October 15 to have the 1040 return submitted. This also goes for other tax return forms such as 1040-A and 1040-EZ. Please note that the IRS expects your taxes to be paid by April 18th, using your best-guess at what you owe, in order to avoid additional charges. People often do not have their tax returns completed by April 15, for various reasons. Continue reading...

How Can I Establish a Money Purchase/Profit Sharing Plan?

Like other qualified plans, these need a written plan document and investments to fund. A written plan document must be established and distributed to all employees notifying them of the plan and of all pertinent details, in language they can understand. Plans must be established by December 31 of the year for which contributions will be made, and, since the contributions come from the employer for both of these, the employer has at least 8 months of the following year to meet funding requirements. Continue reading...

What is series 63 Examination?

In order to solicit orders for any type of security, a broker or representative must pass the Series 63 examination, in addition to the Series 6 or Series 7. These tests are administered by FINRA, the financial services industry self-regulatory organization (SRO), and serve as licensing requirements for financial services representatives and management in the field. The 6 and 7 deal with product and industry knowledge and theory, while the 63 covers state-specific laws and rules, along with an understanding of ethical and fiduciary responsibility. The Series 63 takes only 75 minutes, with 65 multiple choice questions. Continue reading...

What is IRS Publication 1244, Employee’s Daily Record of Tips and Report to Employer?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here This publication contains both Form 4070A – Employee’s Daily Record of Tips, and Form 4070 – Employee’s report of Tips to Employer. It also gives detailed instructions for how to report tips, which generally includes any cash or credit card tips over $20 in a month. Publication 531 gives additional details about reporting tip income. Employees who earn tips over $20 a month must report them on Form 4070. At the end of the year, all tips, even those not reported due to being under $20, are to be reported on the individual’s 1040 for income tax. Continue reading...

What is IRS Publication 529 on Miscellaneous Deductions?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here Publication 529 describes the possible deductions which can be taken in an itemized way on an individual’s tax return. Miscellaneous deductions can be filed using Schedule A of Form 1040. Someone should only take the time to fill out this form if they believe their total deductions will exceed the standard deduction amount, which is nearly $13,000 for a married couple filing jointly. Continue reading...

What is IRS Publication 521 on Moving Expenses?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here Publication 521 details the methods and requirements for tax deductions related to moving expenses, where the move is necessary to start a new job or maintain a job that requires relocation. The IRS requires that the situation passes tests regarding the distance of the residence to the new job and the time spent at the new job. If an individual moves in order to take a new employment opportunity, he or she may re Moving expenses include travel expenses as well as storage, transportation, and labor costs connected with moving furniture and whatnot. Continue reading...

What is a Private Placement?

Investing in a private placement opportunity is done off-exchange, and usually involves a small number of investors who are either institutions or accredited private investors. There are many possibilities when it comes to the types of private placement investments that can be made, but the nature of the offering is that it is not public, it is made to a small number of institutional level or individual accredited investors (see Regulation D, Rule 505 and 506), and the offering is not registered with the SEC. Continue reading...

What is a Federally Covered Advisor?

The Investment Advisers Supervision Coordination Act of 1996 sought to delegate the responsibility of monitoring investment advisors between the states and the federal government. It amended the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, which required all advisors to register with the SEC. The Dodd-Frank Act further amended the IAA, such that only advisors with assets under management exceeding $100 million had to register with the SEC. The IASC was part of the NSMIA legislation passed in 1996. Up until that point, all advisors were regulated and monitored by the SEC. Continue reading...