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What was the “Tulip” Bubble?

Markets have been around for much longer than most people think. The Tulip bubble happened in the 1500's! In the last decade of the 1500’s, Tulips were brought to Holland from Constantinople by botanist Carolus Clusius. Within a few years, the Tulips began to spread through Holland like wildfire, becoming luxury goods. As demand rose to astronomical levels, prices skyrocketed along with it. Eventually, people would gain and lose entire fortunes on the beautiful (but not that beautiful) plants. Of course, the actual value of the tulip bulbs was nowhere near the thousands of dollars (if the amounts were converted into today’s standards) that the traders paid for them. Eventually, people began to sell their invaluable tulip bulbs for real cash, and a domino effect ensued. Continue reading...

Can I Make Early Withdrawals From My 401(k)?

Can I Make Early Withdrawals From My 401(k)?

It depends on the 401(k) plan, but in general the answer would be “yes,” if you’re willing to pay the penalty. It is generally a pretty bad idea to withdraw 401(k) money early. If you withdraw the money before age 59½, the money will be subject to a 10% penalty in addition to regular income taxes. There are exemptions from the penalty, but there fewer exemptions in a 401(k) than an IRA. In an IRA the penalty can be waived for first-time homebuyer’s expenses up to $10,000, or even for educational expenses, but in a 401(k) the 10% penalty will still be levied if withdrawals are made for these reasons — and a plan may not even permit such withdrawals. Continue reading...

What are the Vesting Rules for My Money Purchase/Profit Sharing Plan?

Different plans will have different vesting schedules, within regulatory guidelines. The IRS imposes certain rules on Money Purchase/Profit Sharing Plans, which includes vesting restrictions. Different employers might have totally different vesting schedules, as long as they satisfy the IRS rules. Vesting means that the employer contributions to a plan become the property of the employee, and the employee will be allowed to keep ownership of those assets even if the employee changes jobs before retirement. ‘Graduated vesting’ or ‘cliff vesting’ may be used. Continue reading...

What is a hedge fund?

What is a hedge fund?

Hedge funds are private investment groups that attract high net worth individuals (and in some cases institutions), and use investment strategies that may be riskier than would be suitable for the average investor. While the name "hedge" implies that the fund serves a defensive purpose, today’s hedge funds use wide array strategies, and more often than not the goal is total return. The strategies used are often speculative, contrarian, or alternative compared to most investment options in say mutual funds or traditional long-only asset managers. Continue reading...

How to use the average directional index in trading

How to use the average directional index in trading

Trend traders can use the Average Directional Index (ADX) technical indicator to spot and confirm the strength of a trend in a security, then combine the ADX reading with other indicators to determine whether it makes sense to trade with the trend. Click here to view the current news with the use of other Technical Indicators Technical Indicators are charting tools that appear as lines on charts, or as other kinds of graphical information, and serve as guidelines for buying and selling opportunities. Traders use technical indicators like the ADX to make predictions about future prices. They verify how well a specific indicator works for a particular security, often by calculating the odds of success under similar market conditions to guide their actions. Continue reading...

What is an Active Index Fund?

Most index funds are known for using a completely passive strategy to track an index, but some take a more active approach. Some mutual funds track an index by passively using algorithms to buy the shares necessary to build a portfolio which closely replicates an index. Such a fund will have low turnover, will only rebalance slightly based on the market cap or other criteria set forth in the prospectus, and will basically ride out all of the ups and downs of the index in a blind faith for the efficient market hypothesis. Continue reading...

A/A2 — credit rating

A/A2 — credit rating

A — S&P / Fitch A2 — Moody’s Such ratings are given to bond issues and insurance companies, primarily, and this particular one is in the Upper Medium band of the Investment Grade ratings. Investment grade bonds are considered to have a very low possibility of default. The ratings go up to AAA/Aaa and all the way down to DDD/D, with Investment Grade bonds being in the range of AAA/Aaa to BBB-/Baa3. Continue reading...

What is IRS Publication 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes)?

IRS Link to Publication — Found Here Owning multiple properties and receiving rent or lease income from those which are not personally used is a common way to increase wealth. Some individuals also own a vacation home which they use some of the time and rent out the rest of the year. Both of these sources of income addressed in Publication 527. Publication 527 describes how to report income from residential property, as well as how to depreciate it, what forms are needed for different situations, and categorizes different types of arrangements where individuals might own or rent only part of a property or only for certain times of the year, as well as not-for-profit rental. 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,

What is the Symmetrical Triangle Top (Bearish) Pattern?

The Symmetrical Triangle Top pattern forms when the price of a pair fails to retest a high or low and ultimately forms two narrowing trend lines. The price is expected to move up or down past the triangle depending on which line is broken first. This pattern is commonly associated with directionless markets, since the contraction (narrowing) of the market range signals that neither bulls nor bears are in control. However, there is a distinct possibility that market participants will either pour in or sell out, and the price can move up or down with big volumes (leading up to the breakout). The price movement inside the triangle should fill the shape with some uniformity, without leaving large blank areas. Continue reading...