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What is the Size of our National Debt?

The total United States national debt is $19.3 trillion as of fiscal year (FY) 2016. Total debt is near what the U.S. produces in annual GDP, and a majority of our national debt is public debt — money owed to those who have Treasury obligations. The U.S. also owes a large amount of money to foreign countries (foreign debt), but a majority of U.S. debt is held domestically. As of June 2012, the three countries who hold the most of our national debt are: Continue reading...

Do I Need a Financial Advisor?

The answer to this question will depend on the preferences and circumstances of each individual. As your assets grow and your financial picture becomes more complex (with unclear tax implications, and interdependent asset classes), then the answer is more likely to be yes. For those investors with a more modest-size portfolio, it may not be necessary. Financial modeling tools and market research publications are widely available, and while they are not one-size-fits-all answers, they can serve investors quite well when used wisely. Investors who choose not to consult an advisor must be willing to educate themselves. Continue reading...

How fast should my portfolio grow?

How fast should my portfolio grow?

The assumed rate of return on an investment is an important consideration, especially since assuming a rate of return that is too high might cause the individual to under-invest. You should understand the difference between an assumed rate of return that is optimal and one that is going to give you the highest probability of reaching your goals. In a perfect world, your portfolio would average 15-20% per year, forever, but this is really not feasible. Continue reading...

What is MSCI?

MSCI Inc. is a company that is best known for its global indices. MSCI also provides research and pricing capabilities to institutional investors. MSCI was formerly a branch of Morgan Stanley, but grew to be so big that they spun off and formed the independent company, MSCI Inc. Perhaps its best known and used index is the MSCI EAFE, which tracks broad performance of Europe, Asia, and the Far East. Continue reading...

What is naked shorting?

What is naked shorting?

In a regular short sale transaction, the seller would locate and borrow the security being sold before the sale. Naked shorting means that the seller has not located or secured the security being short sold, and is in many cases illegal. Naked shorting is illegal because it accompanies an extreme likelihood that the security sold short will be FTD (Fail to Deliver) within the settlement period. Naked shorting is selling something that you do not have, without confirming that you can get the security to deliver, or even that the security exists. Naked short selling has a long history. 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...

What is a Homeowners Association (HOA)?

A homeowner’s association (HOA) will exist in many planned communities and subdivisions, and the association will usually expect dues to be paid from all residents in a community. They will have a board of directors, usually, who make it their business to help maintain the quality of the neighborhood by making sure common areas are taken care of and that residents are complying with the community rules. A HOA may have rules in place that make a place unpleasant to live in for some people. Continue reading...

What is Mortgage Insurance?

Mortgage insurance may refer to a few kinds of insurance that protects the lender in a mortgage loan. It might be mortgage life insurance, mortgage title insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), or another form of protection. Usually the borrower will pay the premiums for such insurances. Mortgage insurance protects the bank or lending institution from various risks that might prevent them from being repaid for their loan. This might include the risk that a borrower will default on payments or that the borrower might die. Continue reading...

What is a Life Annuity?

What is a Life Annuity?

Annuities are primarily designed to pay a substantially similar sum at regular intervals until the annuitant dies. Life insurance companies write these contracts since they are designed as a kind of longevity insurance. A lifetime income annuity, sometimes called a life annuity, is a stream of guaranteed payments for the duration of the annuitant’s life, based on the sum used to purchase the lifetime income and the age of the annuitant at the time of purchase. Life annuities can also be joint-life, meaning the contract will pay an amount to either of two people as long as one is alive. Continue reading...

What is the Cup-and-Handle (Bullish) Pattern?

Pattern trading in the security market isn’t new. For years — decades even— traders have been scouring charts on a daily basis in search of pattern formations. The thinking has been that if you found a pattern early in its formation, maybe you could capitalize on a trade by predicting where the security was headed. The Cup-and-Handle pattern is a great example of how this works. Here is an image of the geometric pattern formation: Continue reading...

Keywords: potential profit,