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Understanding Investing

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How to Calculate Return on Your Investments

When you make investments, you have the potential to make money (called a return). Money in a bank account pays interest, which is your return. You earn that small amount of interest for allowing the bank [more…]

How to Take Advantage of the Turmoil in a Down Market

You can’t control what happens in the markets, but you can turn market turbulence into opportunities. Consider actions like these during market declines: [more…]

Stick to Investment Basics in a Down Market

Market turmoil causes investors to question their own judgment and seek different approaches, but the only thing investors really need to do is follow some fundamental principles. Consider the following [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 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…]

How to Avoid Market Volatility in an Uncertain Economy

Volatility is a measure of how much a security rises or falls within a short period of time. Low volatility is best because the greater the volatility, the more difficult it is to achieve your goals. [more…]

How to Keep Cool in a Down Market

Seeing the value of your investments go down can often be emotional, but it’s important that you don’t panic, and stay calm and cool. The markets have produced consistent increases in value over very long [more…]

The Dangers of Short-Selling in an Uncertain Economy

Before you start short selling your way to untold fortunes, you should know that short selling is a speculative strategy with significant risks and may not be appropriate for most investors. [more…]

The Dangers of Growth Manias

Wall Street’s mantra is “anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” and growth versus value is no exception. In the uncertain times of the last 40 years, growth-stock investing has twice been taken to extremes [more…]

How to Find the Right Balance and Avoid Manias

Should you invest in growth funds or value funds in uncertain times? Fortunately, you don’t have to choose one over the other. Managing your portfolio can be a matter of shifting the emphasis as you participate [more…]

The Dangers of Value Manias

Value stocks aren’t immune to manias. The value sector contains a large percentage of bank and financial services stocks. The inflation of the 1970s generated a lot of real estate lending by banks and [more…]

How to Use the SEC as an Investing Resource

Long before you invest your first dollar, get to know the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC exists primarily to protect investors from fraud and other unlawful activity designed to fleece [more…]

How Do Indexes Measure the Stock Market?

An index is a statistical measure that represents the value of a batch of stocks. Investors use this measure like a barometer to track the overall progress of the market [more…]

How the New York Stock Exchange Works

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How the American Stock Exchange Works

The American Stock Exchange (Amex) lists roughly 1,350 securities and has a daily trading volume of about 83 million shares. Amex lists stocks that are smaller in size than those on the NYSE yet still [more…]

How the Nasdaq Works

The Nasdaq, which lists over 3,200 securities and trades about 2 billion shares a day, is a uniquely electronic exchange and the fastest growing stock market today. [more…]

How Regional Stock Exchanges Work

Stock exchanges that focus on listing stocks of corporations from specific geographic regions of the country are called regional exchanges. In the United States, the four major regional exchanges are Boston [more…]

How Do Electronic Communications Networks Relate to Stock Trading?

Electronic communications network (ECN) is a developing system of electronic stock trading. The SEC reports that about 30 percent of the total share volume in NASDAQ-listed securities and 40 percent of [more…]

Investing in Stocks with Basic Knowledge of Economics

Stocks represent ownership in companies, and stock markets are the places where stocks are bought and sold. Those places may be made of bricks and mortar, like the New York Stock Exchange, or they may [more…]

How to Read a Stock Table

You can use stock tables to select promising investment opportunities and to monitor your stocks’ performance. The stock tables in major business publications, such as [more…]

Why a Company’s Bond Rating Is Important

A company’s bond rating offers insight into the organization’s financial strength. Bonds get rated for quality for the same reasons that consumer agencies rate products such as cars or toasters — to gauge [more…]

What Are Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities All About?

Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) receive both interest and a twice-yearly increase in principal for inflation. As with interest on other Treasury securities, interest on TIPS is free from [more…]

How Do Futures and Options Compare?

Although they are similar, futures and options have some important differences. Futures markets are the hub of capitalism. They provide the bases for prices at wholesale and eventually retail markets for [more…]

Characteristics of Futures Trading

Futures contracts are by design meant to limit the amount of time and risk exposure experienced by speculators and hedgers. As a result, futures contracts have several key characteristics that enable traders [more…]

How to Speak the Language of Futures Trading

If you’re going to trade futures, you have to know trader talk. Here are some key terms that will help you find your way around the market: [more…]

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