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What are “Dark Pools” of Money?

Large institutional investors sometimes trade on “Electronic Trading Crossing Networks," which allow them to conduct trades without publicly exposing them. They are used by financial institutions to move large blocks of shares without public investors even knowing about such transactions. Such examples of networks are “Liquidnet,” “Pipeline,” “SIGMA X,” and many others. It might be difficult to fathom the size of the transactions conducted over these networks, but the ownership of dark pools involves almost every institutional trading house. This is a huge business and regulators are carefully looking into their activities. Continue reading...

How do I Buy an ETF?

ETFs are widely available through brokers and online trading services. ETFs can be purchased in the same way that you might purchase stocks. ETFs are priced continuously during the day, and reflect the underlying basket of stocks comprising this ETF. The fees and commissions investors pay for purchasing ETFs are exactly the same as those for stocks. The market for ETFs is highly liquid, with substantial trading volume every day. As such, ETFs are readily available and easy to acquire, but it is important to remember that they are not quite as simple as individual stocks. Continue reading...

What is a naked put?

What is a naked put?

A naked put is when a put option contract writer or short-seller does not have the resources (shares of the security) on hand to cover the position if the option is exercised. Put options are contracts between two people who have been put together with the help of an options exchange or clearinghouse.One of them will be the “writer” who sells the put on a certain underlying stock with a certain strike price and expiration date. Continue reading...

Real Estate Investment Trust: What is a REIT?

Real Estate Investment Trust: What is a REIT?

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) is a pooled investment with a high dividend yield that invests in real estate. REITs give investors an opportunity for participation and diversification in real estate investments, while also offering much higher degrees of liquidity and lower buy-in amounts than can be found in other real estate investments. A REIT operates much like a mutual fund, and would technically be taxable as a corporation if it weren't for its REIT status. Continue reading...

What does open interest mean?

What does open interest mean?

Open interest is a measurement of the outstanding open positions in a derivative security. Strong open interest means the derivative will have high liquidity. Open Interest is not the same thing as Trading Volume, but it does give an indication of liquidity and activity in a derivative. Open Interest is the number of open positions for a derivative, like an option. The Options Clearing Corporation tallies up the ‘open interest’ numbers, but they are not posted until the morning following the count. Open Interest isn't necessarily indicative of a bullish or bearish forecast for the underlying security, but it does generally mean that the option will have high liquidity and that a seller will be able to find a buyer. Continue reading...

What is a Non-Current Asset?

A non-current asset is an asset on the balance sheet that is not expected to convert into unrestricted cash within a year’s time. Non-current assets may include such things as intellectual property and production/operations equipment - meaning they likely do not have a need to convert to cash. From a balance sheet standpoint, non-current assets are capitalized rather than expensed - meaning the company can allocate the asset’s cost of the asset over the number of years for which the asset will be used, instead of allocating it all in the year it was purchased. Continue reading...

What is Account Settlement?

Settling an account is laying all outstanding business on an account to rest. Account settlement is an idea that can take a few forms. Settlement is when acceptable “consideration” (compensation or pay) has been provided and both parties agree that the matter is settled, resolved, and no further debts or obligations exist for that item of business. Many people have heard the term “settlement” with regards to legal matters, in which the defendant pays off the plaintiff before an actual trial and usually can avoid officially admitting guilt. Continue reading...

What is Earnings Before Interest, Taxes ,and Depreciation (EBITD)?

Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, and Depreciation (EBITD) is one method of viewing the earnings of a company with some of the typical expenses added back into it. It is not to be confused with its close cousin EBITDA, which also adds amortization back in. Amortization is essentially the same thing as depreciation, but amortization applies to intangibles such as debt principal amounts and intellectual property. Continue reading...

What are the Basics of Life Insurance?

Life insurance guarantees that a death benefit is paid if an insured person dies while the policy is in effect. Various kinds of life insurance exist, and people buy various amounts of coverage for different purposes, most often to provide for the insured’s dependents if the insured dies prematurely. Life insurance represents a contractual obligation by a company to pay a death benefit to an insured person’s designated beneficiaries if the person dies while the policy is in force. Continue reading...

What is the Rising Pennant (Bullish) Pattern?

What is the Rising Pennant (Bullish) Pattern?

The Rising Pennant (or Bullish Pennant) pattern looks like a pennant with a mast. It forms when rising prices experience a consolidation period, and the price moves within a narrow range defined by the converging lines through points (2, ­4) and (3, ­5). After the consolidation, the previous trend resumes. This type of formation happens when anticipation of an uptrend is high, and when the price of a security consolidates within a range. It indicates growing investor interest in a potentially explosive uptrend. Continue reading...