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How are option prices computed?

Option prices are decided by the buyers and sellers in the marketplace, but are tied closely to the amount of risk inherent in the agreed upon expiration date and strike price. Option prices change as the market factors in the relevant information. The main factor is the strike price. The closer an option’s strike price is to the actual market price of a security, the higher it’s price will be. Once it’s in-the-money, it has inherent value that makes it essentially the same price as the market security that underlies it. The expiration date of the contract is also a factor because if the expiration date is closing in, and the strike price is not quite close enough to the market price of the underlying asset, there is little chance that the option will be useful. Continue reading...

What is a time spread?

A ‘Time Spread,’ also called a Calendar Spread or a Horizontal Spread, involves the use of multiple options of the same type (either all calls or all puts), with the same strike price but different expiration dates. Generally traders will sell a near-term option (take a short position) and buy a far-term option (take a long position). The strategy is virtually identical whether calls or puts are used. 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 beta in investing?

Beta is a volatility indicator that denotes how closely an investment follows movements in the market as a whole; when examining mutual funds, it indicates how similarly the funds move to their relevant indexes. It is often referenced with its counterpart, Alpha; a risk ratio which measures gains or losses relative to a benchmark, indicating whether an investor is being compensated with a return greater than the volatility risk being taken. Continue reading...

Stocks and ETFs: AI Real Time Patterns

The best way to make money with pattern trading is to use our premium tool, Real Time Patterns (RTP Stocks, ETFs) You will get real time signals to buy and/or sell stocks or ETFs based on intraday price information. RTP analyzes 39 types of patterns for stocks, penny stocks, and ETFs in real time with the following time-frames: 5min, 15 min, 30 min, 1hour, 4 hours, and 1 day. To access, from the menu bar, simply click the Trading tab, then click on Real Time Patterns. 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...

What is Real Rate of Return?

Real rate of return is a notion that takes factors such as inflation and taxation into account before reporting a realized rate of interest on an investment. Economic theorist Irving Fisher first popularized the idea that there is a difference between a nominal interest rate and a real interest rate. Consider a bond that pays a steady coupon rate of 2% for the next 10 years. If inflation is more than 2%, the real rate of return on that investment is negative. If the investor got taxed on the nominal gains, the real rate of return is pushed further into negative territory. Continue reading...

Is there such a thing as a “presidential election cycle” impact on stocks?

Some analysts have popularized the notion that the 4-year presidential election cycle holds secrets to bear and bull markets. Found in publications such as the Stock Traders Almanac, The Presidential Election Cycle is the theory that different phases of the presidential term are correlated to broad market conditions. As will many such theories, it may not hold up under a lot of scrutiny, but there are some correlations to be found. Continue reading...

What are Common Questions about Stocks?

People tend to focus on the mystery of the ‘get-rich-quick’ stock market when they start asking questions about stocks, but there are also good questions among them. The question most people have is, “Can I get rich just buying low and selling high?” And the answer, of course, is “Yes, absolutely!” The caveat, however, is knowing when the stock price is low and when it will peak. In stock investing it is often said that hindsight is 20/20, so it is infinitely easier in retrospect to identify times when someone should have bought or sold shares and reaped the maximum possible gains from their investment. Continue reading...

What is an asset mix?

An asset mix is the blend of major asset classes in a portfolio, which should be constructed based on the risk tolerance, time horizon, and goals of the investor. A common example of an asset mix is the 70/30 stock-bond mix, where 70% of the assets are invested in stocks and 30% in bonds. “Mix” is one way of describing the asset allocation of a portfolio, but it also describes the practice of diversifying among asset classes. The core asset classes that most people consider are stocks, bonds, cash equivalents, real estate, and commodities. Continue reading...

How Should I Invest Money in My IRA?

Generally, you should choose an allocation that makes sense for your situation. There are many ways you can choose to invest, but there is no definite answer. General rules focus on diversification of assets and strategies that change with age. Many brokerage companies will have questionnaires and model portfolios that can point you in the right direction. The principles you use to invest your IRA assets are no different from principles you use for any other investments: time horizon, risk tolerance, and your intentional use of the money will all help you arrive at strategies that will be appropriate for you. Continue reading...

Is there any truth to saying “sell on Rosh Hashanah, buy on Yom Kippur?”

Since September is historically a lackluster month in the stock market, it can make sense to follow this modern proverb. There is an old saying on Wall Street, which stipulates that you should sell your positions on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year, which comes usually in September or October), and establish a new position on Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement), which usually comes a week later. 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...

Is there such a thing as the “January effect?”

The January Effect is a hypothesis which states that stocks will see their biggest monthly gains in January. The January Effect states that the stock market usually increases during the first few days in January, or that the largest monthly gains of the year will be realized in January, therefore January will set the pace. There are many explanations for this effect, such as tax-loss selling in December, fresh starts after the New Year, and many others. Continue reading...

Is there such a thing as the “NFL effect?”

The “NFL Effect” suggests that the outcome of the Super Bowl can foretell market behavior. Some market statisticians have analyzed the correlation between the behavior of the stock market and the winner of the Super Bowl, and suggest that the DJIA will go up or down depending on whether the winner was from the AFC conference or the NFC conference. While the Super Bowl indicator has been right 33 times out of 41, to serious investors, this correlation does not imply causality. You can find lots of other time-series which are also strongly correlated to the stock market performance, such as the number of sunny days in the previous year. Continue reading...

Is there such a thing as the “pre-holiday effect?”

Pre-Holiday price fluctuations have been observed in many instances, but there a difference of opinion as to whether the markets are higher or lower just before holiday. Pre-Holiday Seasonality is the idea that prices will rise or fall before a holiday weekend in which the market will be closed for a day. When researching this phenomenon you may find colloquial wisdom stating that prices always rise before a holiday, but in actuality most of the evidence points the opposite direction: prices are most likely to close lower the day or two before a holiday weekend, and may remain low the day after the holiday, but this provides a possible opportunity to ride the upswing. Continue reading...

Can I choose good investments?

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to choose investments that are suitable and beneficial for you, without a personal investment advisor, if you’re willing to learn. There is an abundance of information out there, and if you have some discernment you are likely to be able to find investments which will serve their intended purposes for you. You may have heard that there are different investment objectives: preservation of capital (avoiding the risk of losing money - especially which keeps up with inflation), growth, income, and mixtures of these. Continue reading...

What is the Hindenburg omen and is there any merit to it?

The Hindenburg Omen is technical indicator meant to predict bear markets, sell-offs, and declines. It is named after the famous tragedy of the Hindenburg Zeppelin in Germany on May 6th, 1937. The “Omen” identifies several very complex technical patterns in the behavior of the NYSE, such as the number of new highs, new lows, and some other indicators. It claims to predict market crashes within a very short period of time (about 40 days). Continue reading...

What should I look for in a good Investment Performance Evaluation calculator?

A good investment performance calculator will give you the ability to input various cash flow scenarios and compute weighted returns, among other options. A really useful investment performance calculator will allow you to input various cash flow scenarios and to see weighted returns based on these. Dollar-and-time-weighted performance, dividend cash flows, deposits and withdrawals, as well as fees paid for various transactions, will all be incorporated in a good calculator. Continue reading...

What is Future Value?

Future Value is the hypothetical value of an investment at a specific date in the future. The future value (FV) of an investment or business is a calculation used in several types of planning and accounting. In a Time Value of Money (TVM) calculation, the Future Value is often the starting point, and the interest rate that will be earned in the meantime is called Discount Rate, and is discounted by the number of years of periods back to the present time. This allows investors to see the Present Value (PV), which is a lesser, discounted amount from the future value, and gives us the premise for the Time Value of Money, which is that “a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow.” Continue reading...

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