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IntroductionMarket AbbreviationsStock Market StatisticsThinking about Your Financial FutureSearch for AdvisorsFinancial CalculatorsFinancial MediaFederal Agencies and Programs

Investment PortfoliosModern Portfolio TheoriesInvestment StrategyPractical Portfolio Management InfoDiversificationRatingsActivities AbroadTrading Markets

Investment Terminology and InstrumentsBasicsInvestment TerminologyTrading 1 on 1BondsMutual FundsExchange Traded Funds (ETF)StocksAnnuities

Technical Analysis and TradingAnalysis BasicsTechnical IndicatorsTrading ModelsPatternsTrading OptionsTrading ForexTrading CommoditiesSpeculative Investments

RetirementSocial Security BenefitsLong-Term Care InsuranceGeneral Retirement InfoHealth InsuranceMedicare and MedicaidLife InsuranceWills and Trusts

Retirement Accounts401(k) and 403(b) PlansIndividual Retirement Accounts (IRA)SEP and SIMPLE IRAsKeogh PlansMoney Purchase/Profit Sharing PlansSelf-Employed 401(k)s and 457sPension Plan RulesCash-Balance PlansThrift Savings Plans and 529 Plans and ESA

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...

The Time Value of Money is a theme for discourse and calculations related to the effect of interest on money over time, and the interrelation between Present Value and Future Value. The Time in the equation of Rate of Return x Time x Present Value = Future Value has a value and an effect on the Future Value (or the Present Value depending on what you're solving for). The Time Value of Money is, at it's simplest, something which nearly everyone has seen but hasn't heard called by that name: turn this amount of money into that amount of money by letting it grow in the market for a length of time. Continue reading...

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...

The price in today's dollars for an asset which will appreciate or depreciate to an amount which may be known at a specific date in the future. One simple example of Present Value is the amount that needs to be invested in order to grow to a specific amount later, if the rate of return and length of time are known. So if someone wanted to have $50,000 to buy a boat in 5 years, and they could get 5% on a guaranteed investment, they would need a lump sum investment of about $39,000 to get them there. Continue reading...

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...

If you're like most people, you would choose to receive the $10,000 now. After all, three years is a long time to wait. Why would any rational person defer payment into the future when they could have the same amount of money now? For most of us, taking the money in the present is just plain instinctive. So at the most basic level, the time value of money demonstrates that all things being equal, it seems better to have money now rather than later. Continue reading...

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...

A put time spread is an options strategy that has the investor implementing a short put and a long put at the same strike price, but with different expirations. Time spreads can also be called calendar spreads or horizontal spreads. A put time spread will use two put contracts on the same underlying security but with different expiration dates. One of the puts will be sold short, and one will be held long (this is the nature of spreads). Continue reading...

A time spread using call options is a strategy that buys and sells the same number of options with the same strike prices, but different expirations. Time spreads are sometimes called calendar spreads or horizontal spreads. They make money based on the time decay of the options being shorted. Two calls are used: one is shorted and one is purchased, and both have the same strike price and same underlying security. Continue reading...

Based purely on statistics, the “best” performing stock ever between 1957 and 2007 was Phillip Morris (cigarette maker). If you had invested $1,000 into the company in 1957, your investment would be worth a little under $6 million today. Of course, during those 50 years, you would have had to survive the sudden dips and jumps involved without making any rash decisions, something very few investors have the stomach for. Continue reading...

Intrinsic Value is the value of a security which is “built into it.” Both options and stocks have it, but it is different for each. Options and stocks have intrinsic value. For options, the intrinsic value is easy to compute, if the option is in-the-money. It is the difference between the strike price of the option and the market price of the underlying security. If an option is out-of-the-money it has no intrinsic value. Continue reading...

The Abandonment Value is the salvage value left if a capital project is stopped short at an unknown time. Authors Robichek and Van Horne (1967) offered a very concise argument for the importance of including an Abandonment Value in the calculations leading to a company decision to undertake a long-term capital project. The calculation is useful for risk assessment, and tries to find the value at which project assets could be liquidated if the project could not be continued for some reason. Continue reading...

Value Stock is a stock whose price has been deemed a value buy because of underlying fundamentals, book value, and projected earnings. Prices for stocks can temporarily be pushed around by sentiment, index tracking fund purchases, news and political effects, et cetera, and often the prices on very good and well positioned companies become undervalued as part of larger movements that overlook their inherent value. Continue reading...

Enterprise Value is the total cost to acquire a company. The Enterprise Value of a company is the amount that would have to be paid for full ownership of it, which would include market capitalization (price per share x shares outstanding) + net debt (all liabilities - cash and equivalents). Market cap alone is technically just shareholders equity, and not capital from debt, so Enterprise Value adds that in for consideration. Enterprise value is the numerator in EV/E (Enterprise Value over EBITDA), a very common valuation ratio. Continue reading...

Par value is the nominal value of a security (such as a stock or a bond) that is typically indicated on the certificate of ownership. Par value is most often associated with bonds, and refers to the amount that will be returned to the investor at the bond’s maturity. Par value of bonds is generally $100 or $1,000. Bonds traded on the open market are not generally bought and sold at par value, as they typically trade at a premium or a discount to par. Bond prices are influenced by interest rates, and have an inverse relationship with them. Continue reading...

The "end" value at a specified date in the future of an investment or cash flow. Terminal value is a term used in value calculations looking forward toward the future value of an asset or cash flow, and also in calculations which start with the Terminal Value and depreciate the asset over the intervening years until one arrives at the Present Value. Can be used in calculations regarding a business, an index, a cash flow, or an asset. Horizon Value is a synonym, and is perhaps better suited to describe the way the calculation chooses a time horizon of a specific number of years, but otherwise uses the same numbers in an equation that will estimate the value if the business or index went on growing at the same rate into perpetuity. Continue reading...

Face Value is the nominal value of a security or currency as written/stated by the issuer. It may vary from market price, since for securities like stocks the price is heavily influenced by supply and demand. In the case of bonds, interest is usually calculated as a percentage of face value. Also for bonds, the face value is generally equal to the par value (principal), usually the $1,000 paid to the holder at maturity. Continue reading...

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...

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...

Growth stocks tend to be younger companies focused on using capital to fuel more growth, whereas Value stocks have perceived safety through consistent earnings, cash on balance sheets, and dividends. Neither growth nor value stocks are the best performers for all time, and the reality is that over long stretches of time, performance tends to revert to the mean. Categorically, growth stocks tend to be younger companies that focus capital on investing in expanding operations - hiring new personnel, hiring more employees, entering new markets. Continue reading...

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