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How To Invest

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How to Defer or Discharge Student Loan Debt

Under special circumstances, you can receive a deferment on the repayment of your federal student loans. You may even get your entire student loan debt forgiven [more…]

Taxing Your Income from Day Trading

Income seems like a straightforward concept, but little about taxation is straightforward. To the IRS, the money you make as a day trader falls into different categories, with different tax rates, different [more…]

Examining Four Key Types of Investment Ratios

To research possible investments, you read financial reports, prospectuses, and all manner of number- and jargon-filled analyses. Investors use different ratios to boil that information down into usable [more…]

Trading or Investing: Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is the study of how securities prices behave and how to exploit that information to make money while avoiding losses. The technical style of trading is opportunistic. Your immediate [more…]

Profitability Ratios for Investment Analysis

Profitability ratios form a core set of bottom-line ratios crucial to all investment analysis. Profitability ratios are typically based on net earnings, but variations will occasionally use cash flow or [more…]

Computing Simple Interest and Annual Rates of Yields

Calculating interest can seem complex, especially when the terms "rate" and "yield" are involved. Right next to the annual percentage rate (APR) you often find the annual percentage yield [more…]

Requirements for Using Savings Bonds for College Expenses

To save for college tax-free using either Series EE or Series I savings bonds, the owner needs to be at least 24 years old on the first day of the month when the bond is issued. There are no exceptions [more…]

Covering Top Ways to Invest in Commodities

Because the commodities markets are so wide and deep, you have a number of investment vehicles to access these markets. A common misconception among investors is that you can only trade commodities by [more…]

Treasury Bill Investments Backed by U.S. Government

For short-term investing, Treasury bills (called T-bills) are the nation’s most marketable security. T-bills are issued with 3-, 6- or 12-month maturities. When you purchase a T-bill, you pay less than [more…]

Asset Productivity Ratios for Investment Analysis

Asset productivity ratios describe how effectively business assets are deployed. These ratios typically look at sales dollars generated per unit of resource. Resources can include accounts receivable, [more…]

Investing in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Properties

One of the ways the federal government promotes homeownership is by providing financing through Fannie Mae (FNMA or Federal National Mortgage Association), Ginnie Mae [more…]

Dealing with Retirement Taxes

Everyone hates to pay taxes. Unfortunately, you do still have to pay them in retirement. Both your pensions and some of your retirement savings are taxed by the government, but exactly when, how, and if [more…]

Savings Bond Options: Patriot Bonds, Series HH, and Series I

Savings bonds are issued by the U.S. government. In the past, the United States Treasury Department offered three types of bonds. The Series HH bonds were discontinued in August 2004. Following the events [more…]

Value versus Growth Stocks in an Uncertain Economy

Value stocks and growth stocks react differently in an uncertain economy, and so it’s important to know the difference between them. Here’s how value and growth investors look at the value of stocks: [more…]

Focusing on Broad Financial Markets

You may think the foundation of the United States economy resides inside Fort Knox where the country holds its billions of dollars in gold, or possibly that it resides in our political center, Washington [more…]

Investing in Global Bonds

When most investment professionals look at the world of global fixed income, they see two large categories of international bonds: developed-world bonds and [more…]

Buying and Redeeming Savings Bonds

Savings bonds are quite easy to buy through a variety of means, and they require a lot less paperwork than Section 529 plans or Coverdell accounts. And, after you actually buy a bond, you don’t need to [more…]

Understanding Compounding Interest on Your Investments

Over time, a modest-but-steady rate of compound interest can build into a sizable nest egg. The most powerful investments have stable, compounded returns. Regardless of what’s happening in the economy [more…]

Higher Education Expenses That Qualify for 529 College Savings Plans

Parents (and other relatives) who fund Section 529 plans need to be very conscious of what constitutes a qualified higher education expense and what doesn't. The following table lists qualifying higher [more…]

Buying Treasury Securities in an Uncertain Economy

In a down economy, Treasury securities offer a safe place to put your money. Most of Uncle Sam’s debt is made up of marketable (tradable) securities: Treasury bills, Treasury notes, Treasury bonds, and [more…]

How to Borrow from Your 401(k)

You can borrow from your 401(k) only if your plan document allows you to borrow for the specific reason you have in mind. Some 401(k) plans permit borrowing for any reason, but most permit loans only for [more…]

Investing in EE (Patriot) Bonds

EEs and Patriot bonds are one and the same. The word Patriot was added to some, but not all, EE bonds in 2001. According to the Treasury, "Patriot Bonds offer Americans one more way to express their support [more…]

How to Manage Risks to Your Portfolio in an Uncertain Economy

In addition to volatility of individual securities, you also face risks related to your life span, market changes, and more. The following table explains how to minimize risks. [more…]

Knowing What Matters Most in Choosing a Bond Fund

The first rule to follow when choosing a bond fund is to find one appropriate to your particular portfolio needs, which means finding a bond fund made of the right material. [more…]

How to Protect Yourself from Real Estate Bubbles and Crashes

Bubbles aren’t limited to just the stock market. The housing bubble started in 2001 as speculators fled the stock market and set their sights on real estate, sending home values up. When housing prices [more…]

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