Loading
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Investing

Sep 27, 2019 When you own a business, it's important to ensure your assets are protected. Being sued or carrying large amounts of debt could pose a threat to both your business and to your own personal finances. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to safeguard your assets against these kinds of dangers. Creating an asset protection plan that covers both your business and your personal assets can be an essential part of your overall financial planning strategy. Read More...

Sep 27, 2019 Whether you’re a new or veteran investor, you probably want a lot of different things from an investment. But, deciding which investments will help you achieve your financial goals may be a bit of a challenge. So, rather than putting together a portfolio of investments from scratch, many financial advisors will assign you to a pre-built model portfolio. Here's what to expect from a model portfolio and what to consider when selecting one. Read More...

Sep 26, 2019 A company's board of directors represents shareholders and supervises a company. As a result, directors are of particular importance to investors in individual stocks. It's why all publicly traded companies have boards of directors. Meanwhile, many non-profits and non-public companies have a board of directors as well. Here's how a typical board of directors works, what it does, and how board members earn their seats. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 A forward contract is an agreement between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a specified price at a fixed date in the future. This  investing strategy is a bit more complex and may not be used by the everyday investor. Forward contracts are not the same as futures contracts. Here's a breakdown of what they are and some pros and cons to consider. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Credit default swaps are a portfolio management tool that gained notoriety during the peak of the 2008 financial crisis. These derivative investments are bit more complex than stocks, mutual funds or bonds, but they can be an effective way to manage market risk. Here are the most important things to know about how a credit default swap works, the players involved and what it's used for. Read More...

Sep 18, 2019 Earnings per share (EPS) is a financial measurement that tells investors if a company is profitable. Savvy investors consider a company’s earnings per share when determining investment decisions. Understanding the calculation of earnings per share and how it plays a role in selecting a stock can help investors make smart money moves. Read More...

Sep 18, 2019 You might assume that once the closing bell rings, stock market trading is done for the day. In reality, after-market trading can continue on into the late afternoon and evening. Not every brokerage allows for after-market or after-hours trades, though. But if yours does, it's important to understand the rules, pros and cons before venturing in. A financial advisor can help you get into the after-market trading game if you aren't sure where to start. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 You may be well-versed in the differences between stocks and bonds or how exchange-traded funds (ETFs) work, but a rights offering is one investing term you may not be as familiar with. A rights offering allows a company's shareholders the right to buy additional shares or sell those rights to another investor on the open market. Also referred to as a rights issue, this scenario isn't one you may encounter often. But if you do, it's important to understand how it works. Read More...

Sep 16, 2019 A pooled investment vehicle is one way to put your money into the stock market alongside other investors. There are several ways to pool money to invest if you're looking for an alternative to trading individual stocks. Some are better known than others and they each have their advantages and disadvantages. As you shape your portfolio and pursue your investment goals, consider what pooled investments could do for you. Read More...

Sep 16, 2019 Small cap stocks are one type of stock investment you can hold in your portfolio. These stocks differ from large cap and mid cap stocks in several key ways. There are several advantages associated with investing in smaller companies, along with a few drawbacks to keep in mind. If you're contemplating adding small cap stocks to your investment strategy, here's a breakdown of what they are and how they work. Read More...

Sep 16, 2019 When it comes to investing, the higher the risk the better the reward. But what if you don’t know what your risk level is? Your risk tolerance is the level of risk you’re willing to take with your investments. You can determine your risk tolerance by evaluating your comfort level in certain investments. Before you get started with investing, learn how to choose securities that suit your risk tolerance. Read More...

Sep 14, 2019 Your net worth may be a good way to determine how much value you hold, but investable assets might be a better measure. And if you're considering working with a financial advisor, it's smart to know what your investable assets are and how much you should have. Read on to learn more so you can find the right investment strategy for you. Read More...

Sep 12, 2019 Most investors are familiar with mutual funds and retirement savings vehicles like 401(k)s. But a collective investment trust (CIT) combines some of the characteristics of both. While CITs are similar to mutual funds, they're generally only available to participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans. Learn more about CITs, from their benefits and drawbacks to how they differ from mutual funds, and who they make the most sense for financially. Read More...

Sep 11, 2019 When you begin building your investment portfolio, you may start with a mix of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and other investments. But once your nest egg grows, you may be looking for a more personalized approach. A separately managed account (SMA) not only allows your portfolio to be more personalized, but it also gives you more control over your investments. If you work with a financial advisor who manages your investments, you might have a SMA. Here's what that means and how it works. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Large cap stocks are just one type of stock to add to your portfolio. They are the stocks of vary large companies and are often considered safer investments. Like other investments, though, they have both advantages and drawbacks. If you're not familiar with the ins and outs of large cap stocks, keep reading to learn what they are, how they work and how they compare to other types of securities. Read More...

Sep 10, 2019 Government securities refer to a variety of investment vehicles issued by a government. You may be familiar with treasury bills, bonds or notes, but you may not be aware that other countries issue debt to investors as well. Read on to learn more about what government securities are and the different types that exist. Read More...

Feb 04, 2020 Choosing a financial advisor isn’t easy. You’ll need to determine if you need an in-person financial advisor or a robo-advisor. Then you’ll choose a firm. It may be one close to home or with a certain area of expertise. Once you pick, check their credentials. If an advisory firm says it's CEFEX-certified, it's certified by the Centre for Fiduciary Excellence and is subject to audits. Here's what that means for you and your investments. CEFEX Certification Explained The Centre for Fiduciary Excellence is an independent organization that assesses, audits, and certified financial companies, advisors, and managers. The organization is based in Pittsburgh, Pa., but they adhere to global… Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 There is always risk associated with investing. Sure, you can diversify your portfolio or hedge against risk by purchasing low-risk securities such as bonds, money market funds, or certificates of deposit. You can also predict your portfolio’s growth based on the market’s average rate of return. However, the future value (FV) of an investment can indicate what an investment will be worth based on its rate of return. Here's how it works. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 Closed-end funds may not be something you've heard mentioned often. Your investment portfolio is more likely to include open-end funds, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) instead. However, closed-end funds can offer some advantages for investors. This guide explains what they are, how they work and how to invest in them. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Securities that trade "over-the-counter," or OTC, are not traded on a formal exchange. While the biggest publicly traded companies trade on stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or NASDAQ, over-the-counter securities trade outside of them, through a network of broker-dealers. These stocks can come in non-standardized variations, and they often have higher trading fees than their formal exchange counterparts. Read More...

Sep 10, 2019 Mutual funds can be a good way to invest if you want to diversify your portfolio without buying individual stocks or bonds. Aside from knowing which share class you're investing in, you also need to know whether you're buying an open-end or closed-end fund. This primer can help you understand the difference when deciding which mutual funds to buy. Read More...

Sep 06, 2019 Bonds can help the federal government or other agencies raise money for specific projects. They're like loans that investors make to government agencies or corporations. A bond's face value will give an investor some idea of what it's worth. However, the bond's current yield shows the interest rate that the bond delivers. Here's why that's an important number for investors.   Bond Basics  An investor purchases a bond from the federal government, federal agency, or even a corporation. Bonds typically have a face value, coupon rate, and maturity date. The predetermined date on which the bond’s principal balance and interest will… Read More...

Sep 06, 2019 Asset-backed securities, or ABS, are securities backed by a pool of fundamental assets. Typically, the pool of assets is a small group of loans or debt obligations that cannot be sold to individual investors. Packaging these assets as a single financial instrument allows them to be sold to investors. Since the underlying assets are diversified, there is less risk exposure for those who invest. Read on to learn more about ABS and if they are a suitable investment for your asset mix. Read More...

Sep 06, 2019 Technical analysis is one way to evaluate a stock to decide if it's a good investment for you. If you're a DIY stock trader, then understanding how this approach works can be helpful in shaping your portfolio. Here's an overview of what technical analysis is and how you can use it to assess a stock's potential. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Stocks are a great option for diversifying your investment portfolio. However, choosing the right ones isn't always a simple process. Different investment tools and strategies, such as fundamental analysis, can help you decide which securities are worth your time and money. If you're not sure what fundamental analysis is or how to use it to your advantage when investing in stocks, this guide may be able to help. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 When it comes to investing, there are generally two different approaches you can take if you're looking to grow your wealth. You can practice either active investing or passive investing. Both styles allow for financial return, but just in different ways. Whether you're new to the stock market, or you're an experienced shareholder, it's important to note the differences between the two. Below, we take a closer look at the pros and cons of each investing style. And if you want more hands-on guidance in devising the right investing strategy for you, consider finding a trusted financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Sep 03, 2019 Advisory shares are a type of stock option given to company advisors rather than employees. They may be issued to startup company advisors in lieu of cash compensation. Advisors are usually granted options to buy shares rather than given the actual shares.  Advisory shares can help ensure confidentiality while preventing conflicts of interest. However, they can also prove costly for a young company. Read More...

Aug 30, 2019 The internal rate of return (IRR) measures the return of a potential investment while excluding external factors. IRR helps investors estimate how profitable an investment is likely to be. All else equal, an investment with a higher IRR is preferable to an investment with a lower IRR. The following answers what is IRR, how it could influence your investments and what IRR limitations investors should consider. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 If you know what you're doing, trading stocks after hours is both a legal and useful technique for savvy investors. The stock market’s regular operating hours for buying and selling stocks and other securities are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. However, you can technically trade many stocks after the hours set by the exchanges. Extended hours trading can offer convenience and other potential advantages. but it has special rules, restrictions and risks. Have a plan in place before you invest your money. Speak with a financial advisor today. Read More...

Aug 30, 2019 Before jumping headfirst into the world of investing, it may be smart to educate yourself on where your money will be invested. This is where asset classes come in. Simply put, asset classes are groups of similar investments, like commodities or stocks. And a well-diversified portfolio may have a variety of asset classes that offers you different levels of risk and return. But what does that mean? Here's a breakdown of the variety of asset classes you can invest in. Read More...

Jan 27, 2020 Opportunity Zone Funds are investment vehicles that provide tax incentives for investors. Partnerships or corporations can establish Opportunity Zone Funds and then invest in a property located within a Qualified Opportunity Zone. These investment vehicles are designed to increase economic development and job creation in distressed communities, as well as offer tax benefits to investors. Read on to discover what investors should know about Opportunity Zone Funds and if this investment selection is right for you. Read More...

Jan 10, 2020 Looking for a low-risk means of diversifying your investment portfolio? Then you may want to consider investing in commercial paper. No, we’re not talking about buying stock in a paper company (though Dunder Mifflin would be our first choice). This type of investment is used by corporations to finance short-term debt obligations. Here's how to invest in it, and the pros and cons. Read More...

Aug 27, 2019 Day trading involves a degree of risk. Day traders are buying then selling or selling then buying the same security on the same day. The high-risk, high-frequency traders known as pattern day traders warrant regulatory scrutiny all their own. A pattern day trader makes four or more day trades during five business days. Here's what a pattern day trader is, how they operate, and what kind cash they need to keep trading. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 If you can't afford to buy a share of a pricey stock, fractional share investing is worth considering. Investors can purchase a fraction of a security (such as a mutual fund, stock or exchange-traded fund) with the hope to increase their holdings over time. Purchasing fractional shares makes investing accessible, especially to those beginning their investment journey. Read on to discover if fractional investing is right for you and how to do it. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 If you're betting on the rise and fall of securities, you may be a speculator, not an investor. Investors and speculators both put money into assets, enterprises and instruments in the hope of generating a profit. Beyond that, however, they are quite different. Here are the main characteristics distinguishing investors and speculators, and why it’s important to recognize them. Read More...

Aug 22, 2019 Both annual percentage rate (APR) and annual percentage yield (APY) describe the interest associated with either an investment or loan. Essentially, the difference boils down to this -- APR is the rate charged for borrowing or earned through an investment while APY is the effective rate of return, considering compounding interest. The two values vary for different financial products. Whether you're socking away money in a savings account or a money market account, buying bonds or paying off a credit card balance, it's important to understand the distinction between the two. Below, we take a closer look at how APR and APY work, and how they differ. Read More...

Aug 22, 2019 Getting your finances under control isn’t easy. Young Americans have a lot of expenses. It isn’t as simple as learning to balance your checkbook, no matter what your parents might tell you. Personal Capital and Mint are two of the most popular online services for managing your personal finances. Both offer a variety of services and tools you can use to get a hold of what your money is doing and to make improvements to your personal habits so that you are getting the most out of your situation. SmartAsset decided to take a look at both services. We let you know what each offers so you can make an informed choice about which is going to be the best choice for you. And if you find you want some more hands-on assistance in navigating your financial life, consider Read More...

Aug 22, 2019 It's great to save money, but investing to really makes it grow. You may simply want to save money to avoid the risk of losing even minor gains. But it can be hard to make your money work for you if your are completely adverse to investing. Saving will give you cash to fall back on, but it may not help it grow with a changing market and economy. Learn the difference between saving and investing and why it's so important.  Read More...

Jan 22, 2020 A fixed annuity is the most straightforward of annuities. It pays an initial interest rate that is often boosted. Then, according to the contract's terms, the rate re-sets. So though the rate changes, each rate is fixed for a stated period of time. In this way, a fixed annuity is like a certificate of deposit (CD). At the end of the guarantee period or period you committed to keeping your money in the annuity, you have several options. One is  renewing your contract. Another is annuitizing, which is to receive payments. The insurance company partly bases your payments on how much money is in your account. This is why you want a higher interest rate during the accumulation phase - so your  payments during the annuitization phase will be larger. Learning the ins and outs… Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Trading stocks in a brokerage account can be a great way to grow wealth alongside the money you may be investing in a 401(k) or individual retirement account. The only catch is the fees you may pay to make trades. Fortunately, there are several online services offering free stock trading. Here's a breakdown of where to trade stocks for free so you can enjoy more of your investment profits. Read More...

Oct 02, 2019 Certified investment management analysts sit atop and entire industry of financial planners. Only about a third of Americans under 35 have money in the stock market, the legacy of the Great Recession. In part, this is because many people find the stock market intimidating. A certified investment management analyst can make it less scary. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Modern portfolio theory (MPT) focuses on how to maximize returns for a given amount of risk. However, it also attempts to strike the balance between risk and reward to keep those returns steady. By encouraging investors to diversify their portfolio and rebalance it when necessary, MPT attempts to help investors find the right risk-reward ration. Here's how it works. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Chase You Invest Trade is a primarily app-based tool that allows you to create your own investment portfolio. When you open an account, you get 100 commission-free online stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trades in your first year. You can also access automated investments through Chase You Invest Portfolios, the bank's answer to the robo-advisor. Both allow users to enter the world of investing. But if you don't want to go it alone, we can help you find a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 It's never too early to start investing. In fact, the earlier you begin, the bigger your potential for long-term financial growth. If you're a college student and are wondering whether you can afford to invest, don't worry. You don't need a full-time salary to do so. Below we explore your options for investing while in college. And if you want hands-on guidance, consider enlisting the help of a trusted financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Convertible bonds are just one way to expand your investment portfolio beyond the traditional stocks you may already be investing. This type of bond can offer the potential for higher returns to investors, but they also carry certain risks. Getting to know the ins and outs of how they work, as well as the pros and cons, can help you decide whether convertible bonds belong in your investment strategy. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 Bond funds can diversify your portfolio, but it's important to understand how they compare to other investments. Like stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bond funds have both pros and cons. They can be a low-cost option with consistent returns, but they also come with some unavoidable risk. A financial advisor in your area can help you determine which investments belong in your portfolio based on your current financial situation and long-term goals. Read More...

Aug 14, 2019 Investing in precious metals can help an investor diversify their portfolio. A healthy mix of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or even an exchange-traded fund (ETF) or two can keep your portfolio balanced. However, t here's a lot of potential for investors who want to bet on the price fluctuations of gold and other precious metals. Here's how to start trading those commodities.   Read More...

Aug 12, 2019 If you find yourself vacationing in the same area year after year, then purchasing a timeshare may have come across your radar. Timeshare properties allow you to partially own what some might consider to be a second home in one of your favorite foreign or domestic locales. Because you share the ownership of a timeshare with other people, the costs associated with ownership are considerably less than, say, a vacation home. Still, buying a timeshare still represents a major financial commitment, so it's a good idea to consult a  financial advisor before you take the… Read More...

Aug 09, 2019 Deciding whether to pay off debt or invest can be tough. They are two competing financial goals, and you may wonder which one takes precedence. Eliminating your debt as quickly as possible has its advantages. Yet there's a strong case for getting an early start with investing. Considering the benefits and potential drawbacks of each can help you decide which strategy is best for your financial situation. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 If you know how to invest in S&P 500 stocks, they could provide a solid foundation for your portfolio. The S&P 500 is a market index tracking the 500 largest publicly-traded companies on the market. You can learn how to invest in S&P 500 shares with help from index funds. First, however, you should learn how to invest in these funds. Discover what their pros and cons are, and which index fund is right for you.  Read More...

Aug 06, 2019 Treasury bonds and bills can be an important part of your investment strategy. However, treasury yields will determine their value to your portfolio.  Treasury yields represent how much profit you earn by buying U.S. Treasury bonds, bills, or notes. They can reflect the state of the economy or affect the quality of your mortgage. Before investing, it helps to know how treasury yields are calculated and how they affect the economy. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 Cheap stocks that trade outside a traditional exchange are sometimes known as OTC stocks. They often trade at less than $5 per share and are offered by small companies. By not paying to be on a large exchange, companies keep share prices down to woo investors. There is a degree of risk involved for potential investors, but OTC stocks can be a bargain for those who know what they're looking for. Read More...

Aug 06, 2019 While some investors choose to work with a financial advisor who invests on their behalf, others choose to take a DIY approach, buying and selling their own stocks. As you know if you've ever tried to buy stock, though, there are different varieties of stock orders. Some orders execute immediately; some execute only at a specific time, or price; and others have additional conditions attached. What kind of order you use can make a big difference in the price you pay and the returns you earn, so it's important to be familiar with the different types of stock orders. Read More...

Aug 06, 2019 If you have an investment portfolio or a 401(k), you’ve probably invested in a mutual fund. You may have also invested your savings in an ETF. Another similar option for investors who don't want to buy individual securities is a unit investment trust (UIT). They’re similar to mutual funds, but they're a more static investment, offering a fixed basket of securities for a fixed amount of time. Learn how UITs work and how to invest in them. Read More...

Sep 03, 2019 Just because the market isn't open yet, doesn't mean you can't trade stocks. Premarket trading allows investors to make moves before official market hours. This allows investors to protect their holdings and react to off-hours news and events. However, few buyers and volatile prices make premarket trading a bit risky for novice investors. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 Want to bet against the future of a company or index? A put option is one way to do so. It gives the owner of an option contract the ability to sell at a specified price any time before a certain date. It can be a good way to hedge against declines, but it comes with a bit of risk. You can lose not only what you invested, but even more than you realized. If you're unsure of whether put options could be beneficial for you, talk to a financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Jul 30, 2019 A company can be more elective about who buys its shares if it sells them in a private placement. Shares sold in an initial public offering , or IPO, are offered to the general public and tend to attract more attention. However, private placement allows a company to raise money without going public and having to disclose financial information. A company can remain private while still gathering shareholder investments. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 When developing your investing strategy, you may find yourself seeking some help. Yet between financial planners, financial advisors and a money manager, it can be tough to pick the right resource for you. Each specialization varies ever so slightly, but tapping the right expert could make a big difference to your bottom line. It's important to understand what a money manager is, how this expert differs from other financial professionals and how to determine whether you need one. Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) exists because cities can't always be trusted with their municipal bonds. Investing in bonds already involves a degree of risk. The MSRB exists to prevent municipal bonds, notes, and other securities from becoming overly risky for investors. If a city wants to float bonds to fund a public project, the MSRB will be there to oversee the sale, trade and underwriting of those bonds. Read More...

Jul 30, 2019 Working capital measures a business's operating liquidity, but it does so much more. It also can be a good indicator of a company’s efficiency and financial health, as well as how well it manages debt, payroll, and inventory. These are all factors you want to keep in mind, especially if you’re considering investing in said company.  Here's how working capital work and why it's important to investors and business owners.   Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 A zero coupon bond doesn't pay interest, but it could pay off for your portfolio. Choosing between the many different types of bonds may require a plan for your broader investments. A zero coupon bond often requires less money up front than other bonds. Yet zero coupon bonds still carry some of risk and can still be influenced by interest rates. Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 Spotted a hot stock and can't afford to invest as much as you'd like? A margin account allows you to borrow money from your brokerage firm to make the buy. But if trading money you don't have sounds risky, that's because it is. Investing with a margin account can amplify both gains and losses.  Discover the pros and cons of a margin account and whether you should add a margin account to your investment portfolio below.  Margin Account Basics Brokerage firms offer margin accounts to customers who want to boost their buying power or meet their short-term financial needs. Essentially, they're loans that allow you to purchase more securities than you could on your own. As with any loan, you will owe interest. Different firms may charge different amounts based on the… Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 You don't have to watch movies like "The Wolf of Wall Street" or "Boiler Room" to know what pump and dump scheme is about.  Brokers pitch penny stocks to customers in high volume despite its questionable returns.  Once the buyers dry up, the firm ditches its shares for a big profit and drives stock prices down. That results in huge losses for customers and is, unsurprisingly, illegal. Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 Buying on margin lets investors increase potential return with borrowed money, but it's a big risk. The Federal Reserve Board's Regulation T, or Reg T, limits that risk. The collection of rules limits how customers can trade using cash accounts. It is also used whenever an investor buys on margin, using money borrowed from a broker and shares as collateral. Read More...

Aug 19, 2019 When people talk about a market correction, it sounds like a euphemism for falling stock prices. But it’s actually a technical term for a 10% or bigger drop in the price of an index (or individual security) from the last peak. If index prices continue to sink to 20% off the peak, that’s considered a bear market -- beyond a mere correction. To protect your investments during down times and amid all market conditions, consider working with a financial advisor. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 An initial coin offering, or ICO, is a cryptocurrency-based method of funding for companies. While ICOs are often compared to IPOs (initial public offerings), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says ICOs pose significantly greater risk of fraud and manipulation. Compared to traditional capital markets, ICOs are lightly regulated. Be mindful, as ICOs could turn out to be scams that give investors little or nothing for their money. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 One downside of many low-risk investment products is that the rate of the return often does not keep pace with inflation. That downside is eliminated with Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS). With TIPS, your investment principal increases alongside the Consumer Price Index (CPI). TIPS make it possible to invest with low risk without worrying about inflation erasing most or all of your return. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Day trading apps make buying and selling stocks, mutual funds or other securities easier than ever. These apps offer convenience and portability since you can manage your investment portfolio from your mobile device or laptop on the go. But which ones are the best right now? SmartAsset has rounded up the best day trading apps of 2019 for tech-savvy investors. Read More...

Jul 29, 2019 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 15c3-3 requires brokerage firms to maintain secure accounts. Also known as the Customer Protection Rule, SEC Rule 15c3-3 is part of the Code of Federal Regulations. It ensures that brokerage clients can withdraw assets at any time, and a brokerage has to work to uphold it. Read More...

Jul 22, 2019 A call provision allows an issuer to pay a bond early. Most bonds have a fixed maturation and value. If you buy a 10-year bond, you get back your capital plus a fixed interest rate in a decade. Call provisions are an exception to this rule. Before buying bonds, you may want to look into call provisions and their quirks. Read More...

Jul 30, 2019 A viatical settlement is some grim business. It allows the holder of a life insurance policy to sell it for more than its purchase price, but less than its face value. If you are in the market to sell one, you have our sympathies. However, if you find yourself in that situation, there are a few things you should know before making a sale. Read More...

Sep 03, 2019 Liquid assets are things you own that can be quickly converted into cash without losing value. They’re different from fixed assets, which are good investments but take longer to convert to cash. Think of things like real estate properties (your home, for example) or your car. Liquid assets come in many different forms. Make sure you consider which ones you have and how much you should have at the ready. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 When is debt not ordinary debt? When it's packaged as exchange-traded notes. An exchange-traded note (ETN) is pegged to a market index, but functions like a bond. At maturity, ETNs pay out the return of the index it tracks. However, it won't make regular interest payments like a bond. If you're considering using ETNs to diversify your portfolio, you may want to consider some of their more eccentric features before diving in. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 When you starting to invest, you take steps towards using money to earn money. You’ll take cash and buy different types of investments, or securities. There are many different securities you can invest in, and the ones you choose can depend on what type of investor you are. Once you take your personal circumstances and risk tolerance into account, you may able to select the securities that best fit your portfolio. Read More...

Jul 19, 2019 As one of the largest multinational electronic manufacturers in the world, Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Industry Co.) offers a variety of consumer electronics, component and computer electronic products. Led by founder, chairman and CEO Terry Gou, the Taiwanese manufacturer also operates in both domestic and overseas markets. With the company having established a global footprint, many investors are looking to claim a share. Below, we go over your options for purchasing Foxconn equity in the U.S. And if you want further hands-on guidance as you strategize your investments in Foxconn and beyond, consider enlisting the help of a trusted Read More...

Mar 06, 2020 Despite the connotation attached to the word "marijuana," stocks in marijuana companies are becoming more and more readily available for potential investors. In fact, you can even invest in marijuana stock through a normal brokerage. However, just like any other equity investment, these stocks can be risky, even in a growth-heavy market like this one. If you want some guidance regarding the marijuana stock market, considering enlisting the help of a financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Jul 29, 2019 Bonds are often the investment of choice for people seeking stability. They don’t yield much, unless you have sought out the junk market, but they come with highly stable returns. Bonds can be seen as the dad jokes of investing: boring, predictable and there when you need them. However, sometimes you can spice up your bonds just a little. That’s where floating rates come in. Here's a breakdown of floating rate notes and what you need to know before you invest. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 In the U.S., the Federal Reserve determines monetary policy, while Congress controls fiscal policy. Generally, monetary policy seeks either to stimulate the economy or cool it down through managing money supply and demand. Steering monetary policy is the Fed's main responsibility. Around the world, central banks, regulatory authorities and the International Monetary Fund conduct the monetary policy of other countries.  Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Investing in foreign currency can be a great way to diversify your portfolio. Foreign currency trading, or forex for short, is a little more complex than trading stocks or mutual funds, or shoring up your investment strategy with bonds. Learning the basics, however, can give you a solid foundation to build on if this is an asset class you're interested in exploring. This guide walks you through everything you need to know to get started with investing in currency. Read More...

Dec 17, 2019 The yield curve is an economic indicator that tracks the relationship between long- and short-term bond yields. This is the difference between short-term interest rates and long-term interest rates. In a more literal sense, yield curve refers to a line on a graph representing the relationship between the costs of borrowing money for different periods of time. Read More...

Aug 07, 2019 There are two reasons one may choose to conduct dark pool trading. First, it could make your job sound far more thrilling than it actually is. “Stock analyst” might not light up the conversation at a party. “Dark pool traders,” on the other hand, probably ride motorcycles to work at an undisclosed location. No one will know what you do. And, for security purposes, you can’t tell them. The second, more practical reason is to conduct trades without influencing the market. Dark pool investing is a straightforward solution to a relatively common problem. However, it's not a problem many retail investors will likely have. Here's a breakdown of dark pool investing. Read More...

Aug 02, 2019 When looking for a smart investment strategy, some investors buy call options. Call options often enable investors to maximize profits while minimizing risk. Purchasing a call option may yield profit that is significantly higher than if you bought a security outright. However, as with any investment strategy, there are risks involved. Read More...

Dec 03, 2019 Coupons can save you money on double stuffed Oreo cookies. They can make skee-ball seem like a good use of time. And they can help you save for retirement or college tuition. A bond with semi-annual to annual coupon payments can provide a steady stream of income with the right coupon rate. Though the coupon rate on bonds and other securities can pay off for investors, you have to know how to calculate it first. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) may be the key to better investment earnings. The CAGR formula calculates year-over-year growth rates and helps chart investment performance. It also allows investors to see how similar investments have fared over the same length of time. If you're in need of a financial advisor, the CAGR formula can help you compare advisors and see who is getting their clients the most for their money. Read More...

Mar 05, 2020 In investing, the principal is the cash you put into an investment account. If you're borrowing money, the principal is the actual amount you borrow, before interest begins to apply. For both loans and investment accounts, the principal represents the foundation upon which everything else is paid off or built, respectively. It's a fundamental concept that's crucial to understanding both lending and investing practices. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 While a typical exchange-traded fund (ETF) lets you invest in a sector, index, or industry, an inverse ETF let you bet against them. Inverse ETFs see gains when a market or index goes down. They can be less risky and less expensive than shorting stocks, but they can also be somewhat more costly than standard ETFs. After you find, evaluate, and invest in inverse ETFs, you can just sit back and wait for the sky to fall. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 Never trust a get-rich-quick scheme. This may be the most important thing you need to know about penny stock promoters. Since they aren’t in it for you, here's a breakdown of what you need to know to protect yourself and your money. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 The Volcker Rule was established following the Great Recession of the late 2000s and early 2010s. Essentially, the law stops depository banks from making risky and speculative investments with customer deposits. Furthermore, it prohibits banks from owning and investing in private equity funds, hedge funds and some other specific investments. This is meant to protect customers' funds from losses on the open market. Read More...

Aug 08, 2019 A collateralized debt obligations, or CDO, is a financial instrument that institutions use to combine individual loans into one financial product that is then sold to investors on the secondary market. CDOs are one specific type of derivative that contributed to the Great Recession. In general, derivatives played a significant role in the collapse of the housing market and the fall of large financial institutions such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. Read More...

Jan 21, 2020 Tesla is one of the most popular American electric vehicle companies. Headed by CEO Elon Musk, the company designs, develops, manufacturers and distributes a variety of electric cars and vehicle powertrain components. In addition, it provides storage and energy generation products. Tesla’s success and global international product offerings have many investors looking to buy equity. But how do you invest in Tesla stock? We go over your options below. If you'd also like expert guidance with your financial decisions, consider using a financial advisor matching tool to pair you with local advisors… Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Apple Inc. is a technology company that specializes in computer software, electronics, media devices and online services. Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in Cupertino, California, the company now offers its products all around the world. In addition, Apple was the first publicly-traded U.S. company to reach a trillion dollar valuation. Given that consumers worldwide know and trust the company, investors, both new and experienced, are widely interested in buying equity in Apple. Below, we take a closer look at how to become an Apple shareholder. If you want further hands-on guidance with your investing strategy, consider enlisting the help of a trusted Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Economic indicators are key stats about the economy that can help you better understand where the economy is headed. These indicators can help investors decide when to buy or sell investments. For example, if the stock market is at its peak, you may want to sell. If the market is low and on the rise, you may want to buy. Economic indicators can help you understand this ebb and flow of the market, as well as other important financial factors. Here are several of the different types of economic indicators and how they may be used to understand the state of the economy. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 Limit orders are increasingly important as the pace of the market quickens. According to CNN, computer algorithms execute more than half of all stock market trades each day. Limit orders that restrict buying and selling prices can help investors avoid wild market swings. If you have any questions about whether limit orders are right for you, speak with a financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Structured notes were beloved by Wells Fargo bankers. The SEC warns that they are incredibly risky for the average investor. Structured notes offer investors options that are otherwise unavailable, but there's reason to be wary of them. While structured notes do contain a bond element that is generally considered safe, the inclusion of stocks and derivatives can make them volatile. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 In an interval fund, an investment company will regularly offer to repurchase shares from shareholders. Those repurchases come at various intervals, hence the name. Before you decide to invest in interval funds, though, it's worth considering how they function and what to expect. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Return on equity (ROE) measures how well a company generates profits for its owners. It is defined as the business’ net income relative to the value of its shareholders' equity. It reveals the company’s efficiency at turning shareholder investments into profits. Since ROE takes the net income from a business' income statement and the shareholders' equity from its balance sheet, it can be seen as the amount that would be left over for shareholders if the company liquidated its assets and paid off its debts. ROE helps investors choose investments and can be used to compare one company to another to suggest which might be a better investment. Comparing a company’s ROE to an average for similar companies shows how it stacks up… Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 Mutual funds can simplify the diversification of your portfolio. Mutual fund share classes will determine just how much that diversification will cost. While mutual funds will let you invest in a collection of stocks and bonds through index funds or exchange-traded funds (ETF), mutual fund share classes may determine which fit your budget best. Read More...

Jun 28, 2019 As a business owner, your profit margins may be key to making money and  growing a company. Evaluating your profit margins can assist you with gauging the financial health of your company. In order for your business to succeed, you may need to earn enough to turn a profit and reinvest into your company. This is where profit margins come into play. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 There are several stock markets around the world. The New York Stock Exchange, also known as NYSE, is the largest stock exchange in the world; the NASDAQ (also located in New York City) and Tokyo Stock Exchange aren't far behind. Stock exchanges are only open for trading during set hours, however. The NYSE and the NASDAQ are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST, while other stock exchanges have their own operating hours. If you have questions about how to navigate the stock market and invest in stocks, speak with a local financial advisor. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Created in response to the Great Depression, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is largely responsible for protecting investors in U.S. securities. The federal agency does this by overseeing key players (including brokers, investment advisors and stock exchanges), making sure public companies disclose required information and protecting against fraud. Put simply, it exists to ensure that the system is fair. Helping people maximize their investment returns, though, is not its job. For that, you should consult a financial advisor. Read on for more about the SEC. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Amazon is not only one of the most successful online retailers, but also one of the few trillion-dollar U.S. companies to offer stocks. Founded in 1994 by CEO Jeff Bezos, the company offers an array of products and services to customers on a global level. With its revenue and share price skyrocketing between 2017 and 2018, the company's growth rate has attracted both rookie and experienced investors. But how do you buy stock in Amazon? Below, we explore options for purchasing Amazon shares. If you want more hands-on guidance on your investment decisions, consider using a financial advisor matching tool to pair up with an expert in your area. Read More...

Jan 30, 2020 The discount rate is a financial term that can have two meanings. In banking, it is the interest rate the Federal Reserve charges banks for overnight loans. Despite its name, the discount rate is not reduced. In fact, it's higher than market rates, since these loans are meant to be only backup sources of funding. During major financial crises, though, the Fed may lower the discount rate - and lengthen the loan time. In investing and accounting, the discount rate is the rate of return used to figure what future cash flows are worth today. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 As an investor, your objective is to balance the potential for returns with risk. When assessing risk, investors and financial advisors often apply the Sharpe ratio to their investment analysis. Just one popular method for evaluating stock, the Sharpe ratio is a tool of technical analysis that helps investors and portfolio managers determine  the return on investments compared to the risk. Here’s a closer look at the Sharpe ratio and how you can apply this calculation to your portfolio. Read More...

Jul 15, 2019 If you’re investing in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), the fund manager will charge fees to cover their various expenses. Those fees are collectively rolled into what’s known as an expense ratio, which is expressed as a percentage. This is the portion of your total account value that’s removed annually in fees. For more insight into mutual fund expense ratios and how to lower your costs, consider finding a trusted fiduciary financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Series A funding is the first round of capital after a seed round that a startup company raises from professional investors in order to grow the business. Starting a company takes money -- sometimes a lot of it. And after small business owners gather money from friends and family, dip into personal savings and take out a small business loan, they may turn to bankers and venture capitalists. Those investors are looking for high margins and companies with the potential for enormous returns. A fledgling tech or manufacturing startup will need to attract those investors in order to cover its increasing costs and set the company on the path to greater revenue and profit. Companies often complete Series A, B and C financing to achieve their goals. As you learn more about Series A funding and get interested in investing in a company or have a startup for which you're planning financing… Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 All safe investments come with a catch. They, alone, will never make you Bezos billions. They can, however, earn a little while serving another purpose such as being fairly liquid or balancing a portfolio. This roundup of safe investments explains their pros and cons to help you determine which investments best fit your needs. For even more detailed information, you may want to consult a financial advisor. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 Default risk in bond investing refers to the chance that a bond-issuing company or government would fail to make its debt and interest payments. As a bond investor, you can lose 100% of your investment along with uncollected interest. But there are several steps you can take to hedge against default risk. You can also seek the guidance of a financial advisor who can help you make the right investment decisions. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 As you invest and build a portfolio, you're likely to encounter common investing terms, such as "risk tolerance" or "diversification." One term you may be less familiar with is "stock buyback". In a nutshell, a stock buyback occurs when a company buys back its own shares from the market. But why would a company do that? And what impact does it have on your portfolio if you own shares of that company's stock? Here are the most important things to know about stock buybacks. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 When an investment underperforms, tax-loss harvesting is a way to offset the tax impact of capital gains while maintaining your preferred asset allocation. Some robo-advisors even automate this process. The IRS allows investors to use realized losses to offset gains and reduce their ordinary taxable income by up to $3,000 per year. However, the IRS may disallow some of those losses if they break the "wash-sale rule." Read More...

May 22, 2019 Stock correlation describes the relationship that exists between two stocks and their respective price movements. It can also refer to the relationship between stocks and other asset classes, such as bonds or real estate.  Even if you've turned over control of your investments to an investment advisor, it's still a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of stock correlation. Read More...

Feb 14, 2020 Saving is the first step to building wealth. But you'll likely never get rich just from saving. You also need to put your savings to work, which is to say you need to invest. Stocks are usually what come to mind, but, of course, you can also invest in real estate, baseball cards, your child's lemonade stand. This article focuses on basic financial instruments, such as stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and certificates of deposit (CDs). All come with different levels of risk and return. So which one is right for you largely depends on your goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. A  financial advisor can make recommendations based on your profile - and implement them for you. But before you go there - or go it alone, read this intro to investing . Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are popular investment securities that track stock market indexes, a particular commodity, bonds, or a particular category of assets like tech stocks.  A leveraged ETF is a particular type of ETF that uses debt or financial derivatives to boost the potential for returns. However, this also applies to losses, making leveraged ETFs somewhat risky investment choices. But like other investment, you must thoroughly evaluate them before making any final decision about whether they should occupy a spot in your portfolio. Read More...

Feb 06, 2020 Investment banking is a sect of the banking industry focused on raising capital for companies, governments and other entities. An investment banks, typically a private companies, may underwrite debt and equity securities, assist with mergers and acquisitions, provide  financial advisory services and offer initial public offering (IPO) support when companies go public.  Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 An investment portfolio is a basket of assets that can hold stocks, bonds, cash and more. Investors aim for a return by mixing these securities in a way that reflects their risk tolerance and financial goals. For additional hands-on help, you should  find a financial advisor who can guide you through building an investment portfolio that’s right for you. Read More...

Feb 06, 2020 Investing in startups may seem like an opportunity that only exists for those willing and able to drop a few million into a fledgling tech company housed in a garage or a Stanford dorm room. While that type of investors exists and is certainly important, not all startup investors are ultra-wealthy finance industry titans. Some are average people who want to get in at the ground floor of a business they believe in. Many, in fact, are family members and friends of the people running the company. If you want to start investing in startups, this guide explains what you need to know to get into the game. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Building an investment portfolio means determining the right mix of assets to help you reach your goals for the short and long term. One of the more conventional approaches financial advisors and experts suggest is the 60/40 portfolio. Going this route can make portfolio-building simple, but it's not right for everyone. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 There are many agencies and organizations in America that exist to protect consumers, including consumers on the investing markets. One of those organizations is the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The SIPC is a nonprofit, member-funded organization that helps clients of broker-dealers get their cash and assets back if the firm they are using liquidates or shuts down. It is technically not a government agency and regulating broker-dealers is not part of its mission. If you are working with a broker-dealer, make sure you know what protections the SIPC could offer you if things were to go… Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 Economic recessions can have major financial implications. They can cost millions of people their jobs, retirement savings and financial security. As a result, it can be hard to see a path back to a strong stock market and, in turn, positive economic growth. However, recessions are a sometimes inevitable part of a business cycle. As such, it pays to know the warning signs of a recession so you can prepare. It's important to minimize the impact of a recession on your investment portfolio. Read More...

Nov 25, 2019 The current ratio is an accounting measure that tells you if a company can pay such short-term obligations as payroll and rent for the year. A good metric for investors to use when analyzing securities, the current ratio is a relatively simple calculation: current assets divided by current liabilities. What's not so simple is how to use the ratio. If this sounds like more than you want to take on, a financial advisor can help you with your investments. To find the right one for you, use SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Feb 24, 2020 FINRA, or the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, created BrokerCheck as a free, online research tool that provides information about individual brokers, investment advisors and the firms that employ them. The database contains details like registrations, employment history and any disclosures that a firm may have. BrokerCheck is a good tool for getting basic details on a given firm. If you're looking to find advisors in your area, though, you can also use our financial advisor matching tool to get matched with advisors who meet your needs. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 The Series 66 license is required to work as an investment advisor in the United States. To obtain it, you must pass a rigorous exam covering methods of delivering investment advice and other topics. Below, we'll tackle what the exam is, what exactly it covers and how you can best prepare. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Gross domestic product (GDP) measures the market value of all goods and services a country produces in a specific time frame. It’s used to gauge a nation’s economic growth and its people's standard of living. GDP also guides investment decisions and economic policy that affects everyone. This article will explain GDP, how it works and why it matters. A financial advisor can also help you understand GDP to make better investing decisions. Read More...

Mar 10, 2020 Investing in government bonds is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. This is because your money is backed by the full faith of the U.S. government, so there's virtually no risk of default. A simple and popular way to purchase Treasury securities is through TreasuryDirect, an online platform that the Treasury Department sponsors. Through TreasuryDirect, you can buy government bonds on a commission- and fee-free basis. If you have questions about bonds or investing in general, speak with a  financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 The Series 7 exam is one of two exams that registered representatives of broker-dealers must pass to sell and trade most securities as a financial services professional. The exam mainly covers information about investments, their suitability for different investors,  record-keeping and asset transfers. This article explores the exam in depth and provides tips on how to prepare for it. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 A Series 57 license allows brokers to trade equities and convertible debt securities in the U.S. To obtain one, you must pass the Series 57 exam. This test covers topics like equity trading concepts and regulations around the financial services industry. It’s administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It can be an important certification for financial advisors looking to boost their capabilities and earnings. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Ken Fisher, an investment analyst and self-made billionaire, is perhaps best known for founding Fisher Investments. The financial advisor firm based in Camas, Washington manages more than $96 billion for more than 40,000 clients, mostly high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors. Fisher currently serves as the firm’s executive chairman and co-chief investment officer. However, he has also made a name for himself as an author, financial columnist and industry leader. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 If you find yourself with some extra money - let's say you got a big tax refund, or received a nice inheritance - then you'll need to decide what to do with it. If you have a mortgage worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, it may be tempting to put your windfall toward making extra payments, so you can eliminate interest-earning debt. On the other hand, it may be wise to invest it; any  financial advisor will tell you that investing is arguably the best way to build wealth over the long term. If you're faced with this decision, we'll walk you through making the… Read More...

Mar 02, 2020 Stock investing comes with risk, so it's a good idea to research companies before you invest in them. EBITDA is a popular metric that analysts and investors use for determining the current performance of a company. It measures a company's earnings, excluding certain expenses, to give you an idea of how well a company is handling its operating costs. EBITDA also makes is easier to compare companies across geographies and industries. While many investors choose to leave EBITDA and other tools of stock analysis to their financial advisor, here's a primer on how it's calculated and used. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 As you aspire toward a secure  retirement and other financial milestones, investments become an increasingly important financial topic to know about. But those looking to gain knowledge about investing may have issues finding reliable sources. Luckily, the internet is home to many viable investment courses and content. Some are free, others are not and most go over everything from the basics of investing to more complicated ideas, such as mortgage-backed securities (MBS). So if you're ready to jump into investing, take a look over the top investment classes available now. Read More...

Feb 27, 2019 A dividend reinvestment plan, or DRIP, is a vehicle that  reinvests the money shareholders get from companies in cash dividends. Many investors favor DRIPs because of their ease, low-to-nonexistent fees and ability to strengthen returns over a long time horizon. By supplying shareholders with an automated way to reinvest their money, it also takes away the temptation of spending those cash dividends irresponsibly. Read on to learn more about DRIPs, including the different types, their pros and cons and how to enroll in one. Read More...

Feb 13, 2020 A Coverdell ESA, formerly known as an Education IRA, is a tax-advantaged savings vehicle designed to help parents pay for the educational expenses of a child under the age of 18. It offers several benefits, but it’s not the only option out there. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of a Coverdell ESA to help you decide if it’s the right move for you and your family. If you need some hands-on help in planning to save for your child's education, check out SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool to get paired up with an expert who suits your particular needs. Read More...

Feb 27, 2019 Finviz is a browser-based platform offering a free stock screener, market research, financial news and more. Most of its services are free, but it also offers a subscription package with enhanced features like that allow you to test your trading strategies before deploying them in the real world. We’ll explore the benefits of Finviz as well as its drawbacks to help you decide if its the right choice for you. If you want additional hands-on investing guidance, check out SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool to find an expert in your area. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Investing can be an intimidating venture, but learning how to navigate the investment market is a life skill with plenty of upside. You can use the returns you earn from your investment portfolio to achieve a number of goals, such as saving for retirement, vacations, a new house, your child's college education and more. While there are no shortcuts to becoming a successful investor, there are a few main principles you can focus on as you start. Take a look over this guide to gain some insight into these all-important investing considerations. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 Trend investing is the process of putting your money in stocks, industries or markets expected to boom consistently in the future. The idea is to ride the trend up until it’s the right time to jump off and exit that part of the market with major profits. But before you go investing in the hottest new stock, it’s important to do your homework. This article will explain trend investing as well as some best practices. We’ll also explore its advantages and potential drawbacks. So let’s begin by understanding what trend investing is all about. Read More...

Mar 26, 2020 The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, commonly known as Dodd-Frank, was passed in 2010 in the wake of the 2008  financial crisis. The Obama-era law aimed to prevent another financial meltdown. It increased regulation of the financial industry with the intent of better protecting customers of the financial industry. Lawmakers recently made several changes to the law. Anyone who participates in the financial sector, whether as an investor, a banking customer or a 401(k) plan participant, should know what Dodd-Frank did and how the recent changes may impact them. If you want help with your finances, consider speaking with a Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 As an investor, it’s important for you to choose the right stocks and funds for your portfolio. If you're picking your own investments instead of working with an advisor, then you may want to research the companies you're considering investing in. While researching a company, there are a few important financial documents that you should check: a company’s income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements. In this guide, we’ll breakdown what an income statement is.  Read More...

Jan 10, 2020 Long-term investing is often the best way to build wealth that stands the test of time. It’s how you plan for retirement and build a legacy to pass on to your children and grandchildren. Long-term investments require patience, but they have the potential to pay off with a much higher return than the quicker-fix choice of short-term investing. If you’re looking to figure out which long-term investment options are best for you, it may make sense to talk to a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find one with our free financial advisor matching service. Read More...

Feb 15, 2019 Short-term investments are generally defined as investments that pay off in less than five years (sometimes even less time, perhaps within a year). Whereas long-term investments are generally made with the goal of building overall wealth and preparing for retirement, short-term investments typically are made to build wealth quickly. Often, an investor wants to prepare for a specific goal, such as paying for college or buying a new home. Most successful portfolios will contain a mix of short-term and long-term investments. With that in mind, here are some of the best short-term investment options for investors who want returns sooner than later. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Investing in the stock market has been a great way to build long-term wealth for almost as long as the United States has been a country. And as retirements continue to increase with people’s lifespans, it’s becoming more and more important to protect your savings from inflation by earning a steady return. Thankfully, investing has never been more accessible than it is today. The proliferation of online investment platforms and robo-advisors has greatly increased the options for those looking to make their first foray into investing. Should you use a financial advisor or go it alone? What’s the difference between a robo-advisor and an online brokerage account? And what sort of tax protection can a retirement account provide? Read More...

Mar 10, 2020 A balance sheet is a financial document that a company releases to show its assets, liabilities and overall shareholder equity. However, a balance sheet only includes a company's current financial information. That means you'll need access to historical documents if you're looking to compare numbers on an annual or monthly basis. Companies obviously care about these documents because they detail their financial health, but investors consider them valuable resources as well. If you have more questions about balance sheets or want an expert to help oversee your finances, consider working with a  financial advisor in your area. Read More...

Feb 13, 2019 Opportunity cost is a basic microeconomics concept, maybe one you learned in a long-ago and hazily recollected 8 a.m. Econ 101 lecture. If you need a refresher, opportunity cost is the benefit you miss out on when you choose to do something else. Every choice you make — from investing choices to career decisions to something as simple as where to eat dinner — comes with some form of opportunity cost. There are a variety of ways it applies to your everyday life. There are a variety of ways to apply the theories of opportunity cost to your everyday life. For help making sense of how it specifically relates to investing, you may want to find a financial advisor using SmartAsset’s Read More...

Feb 13, 2019 Investing is risky. When you put your money in the market, you’re taking a chance with real money — money that you might need to pay your mortgage, feed your family and cover the other basic costs of living. If you want the thrill of investing without the risk, consider using an online investment simulator. Here are some of the most popular investment simulators available and what you can do with each of them. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 Although cryptocurrency has only been around for a short time, it’s already expanded into a wide, convoluted universe that can be difficult to understand for the uninitiated. But with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seeing wild fluctuations in price, there's the opportunity for big gains... for those who can stomach the risk. Read More...

Feb 13, 2019 Dow Futures are a reasonable thing not to know about if you're not well-versed in investing. Essentially, a Dow Future is a contract between two parties in which they bet on the direction of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), an index of 30 major U.S. companies. Futures aren’t quite as simple as other investment options like stocks, bonds and mutual funds. If you're a more advanced investor or a have a higher tolerance for risk, however, they may be worth considering for your portfolio. Read More...

Feb 12, 2019 If you have $30,000 to invest, you have many options. Some things, like making the down payment on a house, might be a bit out of reach, but you can still invest in securities ranging from stocks to treasury bonds. No matter your financial situation, there are also a few things everyone can do to put themselves on the path to success. For example, you can almost always help yourself by paying down debt and increasing your retirement savings. Following are some of the best ways for most people to invest $30,000. Read More...

Feb 11, 2019 The cost of higher education has skyrocketed over the last few decades, and shows no signs of slowing. That's why it's more important than ever that parents start saving as early as possible for their children’s future. There are two types of tax-advantaged accounts for saving for college expenses: A Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account and a 529 Plan.  Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 With both established brokerages and new companies offering investment apps, the options can be overwhelming. There are apps for every kind of investor, from the beginner just looking to dip a toe in the water to seasoned day traders who want to analyze individual stocks on the go. Check out our top picks. Managing your investments on your own can be overwhelming. Find a financial advisor today. Read More...

Feb 05, 2019 It might seem easier to find a partner and plan a proposal than it is to buy the perfect engagement ring. In addition to being expensive, rings are seen as a symbol of love for your significant other and an agreement to be together forever. Friends and family will all want to know what it looks like as soon as the proposal is over. That’s a lot of pressure on the purchase, which most people only make once in their life. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Unlike investing , trading requires a very active approach to the financial markets. Rather than buying and holding assets to build wealth over the course of many years, a trader frequently buys and sells stocks, commodities, and other instruments to achieve higher returns. To guide their trades, traders use a variety of analysis tools - like averages, oscillators, and indicators - to help them understand… Read More...

Dec 17, 2019 Investing has the potential to earn you great returns - but where money's being made, you can surely find Uncle Sam nearby. Accordingly, the net investment income tax (NIIT) will take a 3.8% bite out of a portion of your investment earnings. There are, however, a number of restrictions on what the NIIT does and doesn't apply to. Take a look through our detailed guide below for more insight. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Beta measures how volatile a stock is in relation to the broader stock market over time. A stock with a high beta indicates it's more volatile than the overall market and can react with dramatic share-price changes amid market swings. So if you don't have the stomach for vast price changes, you may want to avoid investing in high-beta stocks. But beta is just one factor to consider when examining investments. This article will help you understand what it means and how you can use it to build a better portfolio that matches your risk tolerance. A financial advisor can also help you take advantage of beta to… Read More...

Jan 07, 2020 Mutual funds attract investors for many reasons. For starters, mutual funds are diversified and professionally managed investment vehicles. Their structure eliminates the need to pick securities individually and rebalance your own portfolio. But that doesn’t mean you can pass on doing your homework. There are thousands of mutual funds out there, and each aims for a different objective. In this article, we’ll explain mutual funds, while covering the pros and cons to help you decide if they’re right for you. We can also help you work with a financial advisor to guide you through… Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 The allure of penny stocks isn’t surprising. The idea is to buy low-priced stocks with huge growth potential and then make a robust profit by selling if they go up substantially in value. The problem is that many people don’t understand how big of an “if” that is. Penny stocks are often subject to major manipulation: They exist in a Wild West of the market with few rules. So when you invest in penny stocks, you’re taking on a lot of risk. But that’s not to say you can’t see decent returns. We’ll help you understand whether investing in penny stocks is right for you and how you can do so in a smart way. But because of the risk involved, you may want to work with… Read More...

Feb 25, 2020 Have you ever been on vacation and wondered how delightful it might be to have the chance to live in that locale, even part-time? The tangible next step to this realization could be looking at a local real estate guide and perhaps even calling a real estate agent to look at some available properties. Before you know it, the idea of having a second home could take root. But before you go any further, consider the pros and cons of owning a second home. Also, consider talking to a financial advisor about how a second home could fit into your overall financial picture. Read More...

Jan 10, 2019 You can fulfill the American dream of homeownership by owning an apartment just as you can with a traditional home. Owning instead of renting can also be good for your finances, as you're building equity in a property you can later sell instead of throwing money away to a landlord. So if you're interested in purchasing an apartment for you and your family, here’s what you need to know. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Teslas are hot right now, and not just because they’re named after a man who once tried to invent the death ray. Elon Musk’s brainchild has cultural cachet, doesn’t need gas and might just help keep the Florida coastline above water. These are all great reasons to invest in a car. There’s just one problem: Tesla doesn’t have traditional dealerships. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it may leave many would-be eco road warriors wondering just how they can get behind the wheel. Here's how to buy a Tesla, in three simple steps. Read More...

Jan 07, 2019 If you’re thinking of investing in real estate, why not buy a rental property? Whether it’s just a small home or apartment or, at the higher end, a multi-family home or apartment building, you can generate robust and reliable income from a rental property. Read More...

Jan 07, 2019 A franchise can be the best of both worlds. When you become a franchisee, you get to launch and own your small business without having to create one from the ground up. A franchise means buying into a proven business model, one with a market-tested product, branding and an established customer base. When it works, this can be a great way to become your own boss and stay that way. So how to buy a franchise? Here are seven steps that can take you from eating Big Macs to selling them. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Whether you’re a financial professional or just an interested stockholder, you’ve probably run into the acronyms “EBIT” and “EBITDA” before. Both of these analytical metrics are a way of measuring a firm’s profits. While similar, they differ in critical ways and ultimately measure two different forms of income. Here’s what you need to know about EBIT vs. EBITDA when a quarterly report references either one of these accounting terms. Read More...

Jan 10, 2020 Buying stocks, bonds, and other investments through a brokerage firm is cheaper and easier than ever. Deals abound, as discount brokers like Charles Schwab and Ally charge as low as $4.95 per trade. In many cases, opening a brokerage account with one of these brokers takes just minutes. Here’s how to choose a brokerage and open an account. Read More...

Jan 04, 2019 So you’d like to set aside some money for your children. Perhaps you want to build an early inheritance or, more likely, you’d like to get a jump on their college fund. In either case, you’ll want to know about Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) and Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts. Both are types of custodial accounts, which allow adults to transfer assets to a minor, but they work in slightly different ways. Here’s what you need to know about UGMA vs. UTMA accounts and how to choose between them. Read More...

Jan 07, 2019 Hedge funds are more loosely regulated than traditional mutual funds and tend to invest in different types of securities. This can mean higher returns, but it can also mean higher fees and greater risk of loss. If you’re thinking of investing in a hedge fund, here’s what you need to know. Read More...

Jan 10, 2019 Nearly every business and organization has a website. Many individuals also choose to claim their own space on the internet. But before you build a website, you’ll need a domain name - a unique website address that people will type into their browser to access your site. Whether you’re buying an entirely new domain name or purchasing a domain that someone already owns, we'll walk you through the process of buying and registering a domain name. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Bond index funds invest in a selection of bonds intended to reflect the performance of a particular index. They can provide investors with a window to diversified, low-fee investing. However, bond index funds also carry several risks. We’ll explore the pros and cons of investing in bond index funds. Of course, a financial advisor can also guide you through selecting the bond index funds that are right for you. Read More...

Feb 04, 2020 Both public and private corporations issue corporate bonds, which are a type of fixed income security. Corporations place these investments on the open market to help fund projects and other major financial undertakings. Investors can purchase corporate bonds on either the primary or secondary markets, and they offer predictable payouts and strong liquidity. So if these reliable, low-risk investments interest you, check out our guide below. Read More...

Dec 03, 2018 It’s no secret: investing can be intimidating, and many people just don’t like the idea of “gambling” with their hard-earned savings. Luckily, there are some simple investment strategies that provide a steady stream of income without exposing you to much risk. One such strategy is making a bond ladder.  Read More...

Feb 03, 2020 Known for its size, success and seeming ubiquity, Walmart is a discount retailer that has had a tremendous run on Wall Street. Founded by Sam Walton in 1962, the corporation went public in 1970, debuting at $16.50 per share. Since then, the retail leader has had 11 two-for-one stock splits, with its closing price peaking in 2019 at $121.28. It's often pointed out that if you'd bought 100 shares of the initial public offering for $1,650, you would have 204,800 shares today - worth almost $24.84 million at the peak share price. Meanwhile, the company has increased its cash dividend every year since it first paid $.05 in 1974. Yet in the age of Read More...

Nov 30, 2018 Although widely recognized as solely a technology brand, Samsung is actually more of a conglomerate. The South Korea based company extends into the financial services, tourism, science and machinery businesses as well. But tech is what Samsung does best, as Forbes ranks it 94th on its list of the top 100 digital companies for 2018. Unfortunately for American investors, Samsung stock is difficult to get your hands on without a bit of legwork and fees. Read More...

Nov 28, 2018 Vanguard began operations back in 1975, although its oldest fund, the Vanguard Wellington™ Fund, was incepted in 1929. The company currently manages about $5.1 trillion in global assets from over 20 million investors in about 170 countries. Unlike many other investment management companies, which are owned by outside stockholders, Vanguard is owned by its customers who buy and own the company’s funds. By giving ownership to its clients, Vanguard gets to return profits back to you in the form of lower costs, helping to boost your savings. This ownership structure also means Vanguard can focus solely on its customers. Keeping in line with its core purpose of giving investors “the best chance for investment success,” Vanguard offers a variety of investment products. This allows you to find the best investments for you and your financial goals. You can buy and sell Vanguard ETFs and… Read More...

Mar 18, 2020 With Warren Buffet at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway, its stocks (BRKA and BRKB) are among the most well-known on today's market. The company is a holding company that either owns other businesses or has a major stake in them. Some of the company's largest holdings include Apple, Bank of America and Coca-Cola. It's often said that investing in Berkshire Hathaway is like buying into an exchange-traded fund (ETF). Both offer diversification across industry sectors. But while ETFs are often passively invested, seeking to track a benchmark index, Berkshire Hathaway actively buys stocks and businesses. As you explore whether or not investing in Berkshire Hathaway is a good idea for you, it can help to… Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Mutual funds are companies that combine investors' money in an effort to diversify their assets throughout specific areas of the market. So investing in a mutual fund is more than just buying into the investments a fund makes. You're actually buying shares of the mutual fund to become a part owner. This typically attracts lots of attention, especially from long-term investors. Here's a guide for how you can get your hands on a mutual fund. Read More...

Nov 27, 2018 Savings bonds are what seem like a relic of the past, but they are still very much alive. The U.S. Treasury Department issues these extremely low-risk investments to help fund various projects of the federal government. Although you once could buy savings bonds in paper form, today most of them are sold electronically. There are a few different methods of buying savings bonds, but a   financial advisor can help if you have specific questions. Read More...

Feb 12, 2020 Nike stock represents a tiny portion of ownership in Nike -- one of the most prominent sportswear companies in the world. This means that when you purchase Nike stock, you own a part of the company that makes your sneakers. Read More...

Nov 26, 2018 Municipal bonds, or "munis," are debt security investments in the daily operations or long-term projects of a state, county, city or other government organization. Government entities themselves issue muni bonds, and they offer interest payments typically on a semi-annual basis. Maturity dates of these bonds can be anywhere from just a few years to over a decade, allowing you to select the one that's best for your financial plans. Investors can pick up these bonds through a number of direct and indirect methods. Read More...

Nov 26, 2018 Stock options are an increasingly popular form of employee compensation. They come in two flavors, which are treated differently for tax purposes: non-qualified stock options and incentive stock options. Non-qualified stock options are the more common of the two. Here's what you need to know if they're are part of your compensation package. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 The Walt Disney Company is an iconic part of the American childhood experience. And its influence extends internationally and to all age groups. The legendary Walt Disney began producing his animated films in the early 1920s, and they've been fan-favorites ever since. As a fun way to start your children or grandchildren on the path to financial success, you can buy stock in Disney and gift it to them early on. Anyone can get a hold of Disney stock, though, and we go over how to do so below. Talk to a financial advisor today about how to create a robust… Read More...

Nov 21, 2018 Charitable donations often take the form of food drives, clothing donations and giving cash to a nonprofit. But did you know you could also donate stocks directly to charity? While you could always sell your stocks and donate the proceeds, it might make more sense to donate the stocks themselves. It can greatly benefit the organization and can prove to be a smart tax move for you, too. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 When you take a new job, your salary is probably not your only form of compensation. You'll likely also get benefits, vacation days and, possibly, some form of stock in the company. This will likely come in one of two forms: restricted stock units (RSUs) or stock options. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Annuities are one way to fund your retirement. With an annuity, you exchange a certain amount of principal up front for payouts in retirement. An equity-indexed annuity is a popular type of annuity. The payout for these annuities is based on the performance of an equities index, like the S&P 500. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Diversification is an investment strategy that aims to reduce risk while maximizing return. It does this by spreading exposure to several different asset classes and within each asset class. The thinking is that if one sector or one holding goes down, the whole portfolio won't sink and may even experience gains elsewhere. Experts often recommend diversification for long-term investments such as retirement accounts. For help deciding if your portfolio needs more diversification, consider turning to a  financial advisor who can guide you based on your personal financial goals. Read More...

Nov 20, 2018 A big name in the investment and day-trading worlds, E*TRADE offers a wide variety of investments and platforms to trade them. Originally founded in 1982 as TradePlus, the company made its first online trade the following year and relaunched as E*TRADE in 1992. Should you choose to start trading with E*TRADE, you’ll join over 3.9 million existing brokerage accounts. The company currently has $473 billion in assets under management. Read More...

Jul 26, 2019 You may have heard about short-selling, shorting or short position when listening to  investment discussions, but maybe you weren’t quite sure of the meaning. Taking a short position is essentially the opposite of investing in a company. When you invest in a company, you’re betting that the price of the shares will go up, giving you positive wealth growth. When you take a short position, you’re betting that the price of a company’s stock is going to go down. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Anyone who spends time thinking about investments has likely heard the phrase price-earnings ratio. Put simply, price-earnings ratio, or P/E ratio, is a figure that compares the price of a share of a company’s stock to the earnings per share it posts over a 12-month period. Read More...

Mar 30, 2020   Fidelity is a global financial services company headquartered in Boston. Founded in 1946, the firm has more than $8.30 trillion in total customer assets. It offers a full suite of products and services, including annuities, mutual funds, retirement plans, 529 plans and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In addition to its brokerage arm, Fidelity offers investment services through a robo-advisor called FidelityGo and a hybrid robo called Fidelity Personalized Planning and Advice. There's also a financial advisor division,  Fidelity Investments, for anyone who wants a full-service wealth management experience. Read More...

Mar 11, 2020 In order to become an accredited investor, you must meet certain income or net worth requirements laid out by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You must also demonstrate to investment firms that you can qualify to invest in certain products. This article will define an accredited investor and explain how to become one. It will also explore what an accredited investor can do and why he or she must follow certain rules. But because accredited investors have exclusive access to complex investments, it always helps to work with a financial advisor. Read More...

Jan 27, 2020 With student loan debt reach record levels, American families are seeking more ways to help their children save for higher education. One solid option is investing in a 529 college savings plan. What is a 529 Plan? Each state, except Wyoming, sponsors at least one of these savings vehicles, as does Washington, D.C. Money you contribute to these plans comes from after-tax dollars, so your contributions can reduce your taxable income. Your money also grows tax-free. And you won’t face any taxes if you withdraw money for 529 qualified educational expenses like tuition. Some states allow you to take additional tax deductions or credits based on how much you contribute. But the great thing is that you’re not limited to investing in the 529 plan sponsored by your state. You’re free to enroll in… Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 If you're wondering about employee stock options, you might work for a startup or are about to sign on with one. Typically, startups don't have a lot of money, so they offer stock options as extra incentives. Employees come on board at perhaps a lower-than-normal salary in exchange for the possibility of a big payday later on. If you've been offered options as part of a compensation package, or if you're considering exercising and selling those options, be sure you know how they work. Talk to a financial advisor if you have questions about your stock options or any other… Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Higher education is pricier than ever, and tuition hikes don't show any sign of slowing down. But 529 college savings plans and Roth IRAs both include benefits to help you save for your children's education. Investors use 529 plans specifically for the purpose of paying for college. By contrast, Roth IRAs provide the chance to save for both retirement and college in a single account. Decision which one to utilize is a complicated decision that can have long-term financial ramifications, so feel free to consult a financial advisor if you have further questions. Read More...

Nov 14, 2018 If you invest in stocks, there is a decent chance that you will receive some sort of dividend, which is a payment to shareholders that is awarded in correlation with how the stock is performing on the market. To see if you’re getting a good dividend in comparison with other stocks, you’ll need to learn how to calculate dividend yield. Read More...

Feb 24, 2020 TD Ameritrade is a full-service brokerage firm. It's a fixture in the investment space, with its predecessor firm, First Omaha Securities, Inc., first opening for business in 1975. TD Ameritrade employs well-balanced online and mobile trading platforms that include versions for both new and experienced investors, as well as a robo-advisor service. On top of this versatility, TD Ameritrade offers online equity, exchange-traded fund (ETF) and option trading on a fee-free basis. If you have questions about investing or any other financial topics, consider speaking with a Read More...

Nov 08, 2019 If you’re interested in investing in real estate, you should start by doing as much research as possible. This first and foremost means studying the market, figuring out how you want to invest and learning as much as you can about what investing in the real estate market really means. One of the best ways to do that is to read a book on the subject. This guide will take you though the best books on real estate investing. We'll tell you what you’ll be able to glean from each of them. If you want hands-on advice, consider enlisting the help of a trusted financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 One of the most crucial investment decisions anyone makes is how he or she goes about setting up their asset allocation. This is the process by which you break down your investment portfolio based on stocks, bonds and cash. Your age and risk tolerance will largely influence this decision. In this article, we’ll explore common ways you can rebalance your your asset allocation based on age. But any time you’re making serious investment and retirement-planning decisions, it’s important to find a financial advisor who… Read More...

Feb 24, 2020 Merrill Edge is a brokerage firm that offers everything from self-sufficient investing to financial advisor consultations and  robo-advisor services. The brokerage firm falls under the umbrella of the Merrill Lynch group of companies. Although once its own entity, Merrill Lynch is now under the ownership of Bank of America. Therefore Merrill Edge is an especially natural fit for anyone who maintains accounts at BoA. The brokerage firm has racked up its fair share of accolades in recent years. Barron’s has handed Merrill Edge a 4-star rating each year from 2014… Read More...

Nov 14, 2018 Robinhood is a brokerage firm whose services are centered around its mobile and online trading platforms. In fact, the firm’s mobile app won a design award from Apple in 2015, and it holds an average rating of 4.75 stars between the Android and Apple app stores. Robinhood’s principal attraction is a complete lack of commission fees for all purchases and sales of U.S. listed stocks, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and cryptocurrencies. Some of the downsides of Robinhood include no human advisement and limited customer service. That makes this brokerage best suited for independent investors. Former Stanford roommates Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt founded Robinhood in 2014 after building their own finance companies. As it stands today, the firm is independently owned, and co-CEOs… Read More...

Mar 18, 2020 For investors looking to diversify their portfolio, real estate is a great option. But 89% of Americans have never ventured into that kind of  investing, according to RealtyShares, an online real estate investing platform. This is largely because of a lack of funds (61%) or know-how (19%). But investing sites like RealtyShares and  Fundrise mean you don't need millions or even hundreds of thousands to invest. So do real estate investment funds (REITs) and REIT mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Read on for more about some popular ways to invest in real estate. Of course, the guidance of a Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 The investment world is full of an overwhelming number of options, including equities, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and more. Commodities may seem like just another one of the bunch, but these products offer a unique way to invest your money in the market. If you have questions about a specific commodity, or you're new to creating an investment portfolio, it might be wise to consult a  financial advisor. Read More...

Oct 25, 2018 Angel investor is one of the terms you constantly hear bandied about on the news, in blog articles and maybe even in a few of your favorite movies. But don’t feel bad if you still ask yourself: What is an angel investor? An angel investor is simply an individual, generally someone with a big base of wealth, who gives money to a business to help it get started in exchange for either ownership equity or convertible debt. A lot of famous companies you’ve heard of, including Facebook, had angel investors early on. This post will take you through the basics of angel investors, including what an angel investor is, the pros and cons of working with an angel investor, who should use an angel investor and how you can become an angel investor yourself. Read More...

Jan 10, 2020 An investment strategy is a defined approach to investing that shapes the choices an investor makes for his or her portfolio. Different investment strategies assume specific tactics based on fundamental beliefs. For instance, value investing seeks stocks that are undervalued and are selling for less than their true worth, whereas growth investing aims to find investment opportunities in companies that have high potential for growth. Those are just a few of the many investment strategies out there to choose from. This guide will break down the major investment strategies and help you decide which of them is likely to be a good choice for you. Read More...

Oct 02, 2018 Asset allocation is the mix of investments you choose for your investment portfolio. Picking the right mix is key to maximizing returns and minimizing risk as you invest. If you don’t get the mix right, you could miss out on some opportunities to earn returns. Or, you could take on too much risk and end up losing your savings without enough time left to earn it back. Read More...

Nov 12, 2018 Gold can be an attractive investment for those who wish to protect themselves from the volatility paper currency and stocks experience. However, the process of acquiring gold is a bit more opaque than simply heading to an ATM. You need to decide what kind of gold you want to buy, find a reputable gold dealer and make sure you're storing your gold safely. Read on to learn why you may want to invest in gold in the first place, how to purchase gold and what the different kinds of gold investments can look like. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 If you’re doing anything related to money or investing, chances are you’ll have to deal with a broker. A broker is someone who serves as a conduit for you when purchasing a variety of things. There are a number of different types of brokers, from investment brokers to insurance brokers.Knowing what a broker is and what he or she does is important to ensuring you effectively work with this type of financial professional. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 If you’re a relatively new investor, you may be wondering what types of investments you should be looking to put your money in. While there are plenty of different ways to buy them, it’s likely the actual investments you make will be in one of two basic categories: bonds or stocks. Read More...

Mar 11, 2020 The rule of 72 is a simple formula that shows how quick your money will double at a given return rate.  SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool can also set you up with a local advisor who can further aid you in evaluating your current investments or building an investment portfolio for the future. Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 You contribute money to 529 college savings plan as a tax-advantaged way to save for your child's future education. But when your kid is set to matriculate, you can't use those funds for just any costs. To avoid a tax penalty, you must put that money toward 529 plan qualified expenses. Don't worry: You won't need to dive into thousands of pages of the tax code. We did that hard work for you. Now, we will teach you exactly what will count 529 plan qualified expenses—and what won't. Then you can use your tax-deferred savings penalty free.  Read More...

Aug 21, 2019 Amid rising college costs and mounting student debt, parents are looking for more ways to lessen the financial burden of higher education. Luckily, 529 college savings plans can help. These unique savings vehicles offer several tax breaks for parents as they save for their children's future education. Similar to 401(k) plans, 529 plans let you contribute toward investment portfolios with underlying mutual funds that leading investment firms manage. Tackling an expense as large and important as higher education is important. So read on to understand 529 college savings plans down pat. Read More...

Jul 04, 2018 Unlike with 401(k) plans and other retirement savings vehicles, the IRS does not set annual contribution limits for 529 college savings plans. Instead, the states that sponsor individual 529 plans set parameters for the life of the plan. So what are the 529 plan contribution limits for plans you're considering? And how can you be sure to follow the rules so as not to incur any penalties? Read on to find out. Read More...

Sep 05, 2018 529 college savings plans offer several tax benefits and the potential to build your child’s college fund over time. Unlike with several investment accounts, the federal government allows your 529 plan earnings to grow tax-free. Your withdrawals will be tax-free as well if you use them to pay for qualified higher education expenses. But you need to understand 529 plan rules. What constitutes a qualified expense and what are the penalties for making a nonqualified withdrawal? Read on learn how you can maximize your 529 benefits and avoid pitfalls.  Read More...

Jan 21, 2020 When you're getting started with investing, it's important to research the options available to you. One such option, known as socially responsible investing (SRI), enables you to grow your money while doing good. It allows you to invest in social causes you care about. In fact, this type of investing has experienced significant growth in recent years. Socially responsible investments offer a great way to boost your assets while also making a difference. Read More...

Sep 05, 2018 The Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) found that the median inheritance in the U.S. is $69,000. Yet an HSBC survey found that Americans in retirement expect to leave nearly $177,000 to their heirs. As it turns out, the passing of property and assets doesn’t always go as expected or planned. Plus, though it may seem like a windfall, getting an inheritance is rarely as easy as depositing a check. Read on as we explain exactly how inheritance works. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Making an investment plan involves more than just choosing a few stocks to put money in. You have to consider your current financial situation and your goals. It's also important to define your timeline and how much risk you're willing to take on in order to determine your optimal asset allocation. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to make an investment plan. Read More...

Feb 11, 2019 When creating an investment plan for your portfolio, diversification is the most important rule. Diversification essentially means spreading your assets among a variety of investments. Doing this helps to mitigate risk and provides the potential to improve returns. Read on to find out more about how to diversify your portfolio. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 If you need help making investment decisions and managing your portfolio, you may want to seek the advice of an investment advisor. Investment advisors are basically  financial advisors that, for a fee, provide guidance and management for your investment portfolio. These individuals are often labelled as either an "advisor" or an "adviser." But don't worry - these terms are completely interchangeable. Read on to learn more about what investment advisors are, what standards they're held to, how much they charge and more. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 For anyone trying to choose a financial advisor, Form ADV is an essential point of reference. Form ADV is paperwork that all financial advisor firms that manage more than $25 million must file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The publicly available paperwork includes dozens of pages of information about a firm, including its fee structure, total assets under management, other business activities, any disciplinary issues on record and more. Read More...

Sep 06, 2018 When you place your investments in the care of an investment manager or advisor, you’ll often run into various fees. The advisor can charge you a percentage of your assets, a transaction fee per trade, commission fees and more. To remove some of the confusion and clutter that comes with this fee structure investment managers choose instead to charge a wrap fee. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Figuring out how to buy bonds is a deceptively complicated process. Before you make your purchase, it's important to understand what types of bonds there are, and how much risk and reward each bond carries. Bonds can be a good way to round out a diverse portfolio, but not all bonds are as straightforward and reliable as the ones your grandma gave you for graduation. Read More...

Mar 20, 2017 Remember Brexit? In June 2016, more than 30 million people in the U.K. took part in a referendum. Most of the voters (51.9%) wanted Britain to exit the European Union (hence the term Brexit). Prime Minister Theresa May will begin the process of leaving the EU by the end of March 2017. Meanwhile, France is preparing for an election that could result in a so-called Frexit. Read More...

Jul 24, 2019 Not all investors in the stock market are individuals who buy and sell their own hand-picked stocks and bonds. Some are large entities trading securities on a large scale, usually on behalf of individuals: Pension plans, mutual funds, commercial banks and more. Such entities are known as institutional investors, and they account for the majority of trades in the market. If you plan to be involved in the market, you should understand what institutional investors are and what role they play in the stock market. Read More...

Dec 30, 2016 If you were paying close attention to the presidential race, you may have heard someone say something about carried interest. Or maybe you have finance friends who've mentioned this term in passing. Either way, if you're not sure what carried interest is, we're here to help. We'll explain what this term means and how it's related to a controversial tax loophole. Read More...

Dec 27, 2016 If you only have stocks and bonds, you can diversify your portfolio by investing in real estate. Buying a rental property can provide you with a steady stream of income, especially in a market where rental rates are on the rise. Not sure whether you should become a landlord? Asking yourself these questions can help you decide whether you should make buying an investment property one of your new year's resolutions. Read More...

Dec 20, 2016 J.K. Rowling's  net worth is an estimated $1.2 billion. Since 1997, J.K. Rowling has captivated book lovers across the globe with her renowned Harry Potter series. In addition to publishing that series, she has written other novels and stories and has gotten involved with the film adaptations of her books. Read on for a breakdown of Rowling's net worth. Read More...

Oct 18, 2017 Goldman Sachs has a higher profile than many other investment banks. Its name is frequently invoked as a stand-in for Wall Street and the financial sector. Secretary Clinton's speeches to the company were a hot topic during the 2016 presidential campaign, and President-elect Trump has tapped a former executive from the bank, Steven Mnuchin, to be Treasury Secretary. So what is Goldman Sachs? Let us explain.  Read More...

Nov 23, 2016 Several businesses and divisions of businesses market themselves as providing targeted investing advice for women. But do women need investing advice that's different from the advice men receive? It's a controversial issue. Let's take a look at some of the arguments for and against financial advice and financial services marketed specifically to women.   Read More...

Oct 14, 2016 Arbitrage is the buying and selling of assets, profiting from the price difference between the price paid to buy and the price at the time of sale. In a successful arbitrage deal, the turn-around time between buying and selling is minimal and the transaction costs (the cost of buying the goods and bringing them to sale) are low or nonexistent.  Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Economic recessions are never pleasant. But they're an unfortunate reality that investors have to deal with from time to time. While it's impossible to predict when a recession will hit, there are often clues that warn of a potential economic downturn. If you're worried that another recession could hurt your portfolio, it might be a good idea to take these tips into consideration. Read More...

Dec 19, 2016 If you've been too afraid to take a serious look at your investment portfolio, this could be the perfect time to finally do it. Even if you think you've made good financial decisions, you could be hurting your bottom line without realizing it. If you've made any of the following investing mistakes, it might be time to start using a different strategy. Read More...

Aug 22, 2017 One common misconception about investing is that you need a big bankroll to get started. Some financial technology companies are challenging that notion by bringing the concept of micro investing to the masses. The idea is simple: Instead of investing large chunks of cash, you can do it in small increments. But can you really get rich by making micro investments? Read More...

Mar 25, 2020 When the market is soaring, it's easy to forget that what goes up can also come down. But economic slowdowns tend to be cyclical, which means that another recession is in the future. Whether it's fast-approaching or still a ways off, it's wise to be prepared for its eventuality. This way, you won't join the panicking stampede out of stocks and into cash. Instead, you'll remember that stocks can perform even during a recession - you just need to know which ones. Find a financial advisor who can help you build a recession-resistant investing plan. Read More...

Oct 04, 2016 A Ponzi scheme is a kind of investment scam in which investors of longer standing are paid with the buy-in contributions of newer investors. To avoid collapse, a Ponzi scheme must secure a continual supply of new investors. When a Ponzi scheme is exposed or otherwise comes to an end (often because the fraudster takes the money and runs), investors face disastrous consequences.  Read More...

Nov 30, 2016 Beyonce's net worth is an estimated $265 million in 2016. Beyonce is an icon known for her electrifying performances and her empowering lyrics. At 35, she's one of the youngest people on Forbes’ 2016 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. Read on to find out how she accumulated her wealth. Read More...

Nov 30, 2016 Drake's net worth is an estimated $60 million as of May 2016. The Canadian actor-turned-rapper's annual earnings have risen, going from a reported $10 million in 2010 to $39.5 million in 2015. Today, he's one of the wealthiest hip-hop artists. Here's a look at his assets and some of his main sources of income. Read More...

Sep 29, 2016 What happens on Wall Street has a major influence on the U.S. economy and financial systems around the world. So in order to become a part of this exclusive group of investors, bankers and financial experts, you'll need to prove that you have what it takes to succeed. If you're dying to work at the New York Stock Exchange or Goldman Sachs, read on to learn how to get a job on Wall Street. Read More...

Nov 30, 2016 Donald Trump's net worth is estimated to be between $3 and $4.5 billion. It's hard to keep track of where Trump stands financially and, in some cases, politically. Here's how Trump's net worth breaks down. Read More...

Nov 30, 2016 Kanye West’s net worth is an estimated $145 million. West is one of the most polarizing figures in entertainment today. The outspoken rapper knows how to keep fans guessing with his unpredictable behavior. While we don't know what he'll do next, one thing we do know is that he appears to be as wealthy as he is provocative. Let's look at how the star's assets and debts add up. Read More...

Sep 23, 2016 We seem to have a fascination with the net worth of celebrities, but the wealthy aren't the only ones whose net worth is of interest. It's a good idea to know your own net worth so you can assess the state of your assets and liabilities and figure out how to increase your financial stability. Calculating your net worth doesn't require an accounting degree. Let us walk you through it.  Read More...

Sep 12, 2016 Although the World Trade Organization (WTO) affects all of us, many people aren't very familiar with it. You might remember hearing about it over the years since its beginnings in 1995. If you had no idea that it exists, don't worry. We'll explain what the organization does and discuss what critics have to say about it. Read More...

Mar 18, 2020 Investors often consider a company's debt-to-equity ratio when evaluating the stock. If the number is roughly 4, it means that for every shareholder dollar, there is $4 of debt. What's high or low, or good or bad, depends on the sector. Financial industry companies tend to have the highest numbers, say, 20, while stable manufacturing companies are often in the low single digits. Having a number lower than 1, say, 0.45, could invite a buyout. Knowing what the ratio is and what makes a good debt-to-income ratio can help you make investment decisions. Read on for more about this useful metric.  Read More...

Sep 05, 2016 Each election year, many of us feel uncertain about the new personnel and policy changes that could be in store for our country. If there's one thing we all can agree on, it's that the presidential race is often filled with surprises. Election years can bring economic surprises as well. Here's a look at how presidential races can affect the nation's economic climate. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 What would you do with a million dollars? Would you immediately pay off your student loans and your credit card debt? Or would you take that trip you've been planning for years? These days, becoming a millionaire isn't as far-fetched as it may seem. With the right strategy in place, you too could be earning a seven-figure salary. If you've struggled to turn that dream into a reality, here's how to make a million dollars. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 The P/E ratio, or price-to-earnings ratio, is a quick way to see if a stock is undervalued or overvalued. As it sounds, the metric is the stock price of a company divided by its  earnings per share. What makes a good P/E ratio depends on the industry, though, generally speaking, the lower the number, the better. That said, you shouldn't compare P/E ratios of different kinds of companies, like a tech company and a consumer staple company. In other words, the metric is only useful when comparing apples to apples. Do you have questions about a particular investment? Speak with a local… Read More...

Oct 01, 2019 Jumping into the  investing game in your 20s can pay off big time by the time you're ready to cut your losses and retire. Unfortunately, many millennials opt out of building a portfolio. So why are 20- and 30-somethings steering clear of the market despite the potential payoff? Here are four common excuses millennials are using to get out of investing. Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 If you've strayed away from your original asset allocation, rebalancing can help you get back on track. And if you want to lower your investment risk, rebalancing can protect your portfolio from market volatility. Before you make adjustments, however, it's best to avoid doing anything that could jeopardize your investment strategy. Here are four rebalancing mistakes you can't afford to make. Read More...

Aug 19, 2016 The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is one of the hot-button issues that has been mentioned repeatedly throughout the course of the 2016 presidential race. Constituents and politicians on both sides of the aisle have strong opinions about whether or not the TPP is a good thing. If you're still not sure what the TPP is all about, here's everything you need to know about it. Read More...

Aug 19, 2016 Films are expensive to make. If you're making a movie without the backing of a studio and its resources, you'll need to get funding from somewhere. And if you're on a really tight budget, you might need to get creative. If your other fundraising ideas fell through, check out five ways to finance an independent film. Read More...

Aug 15, 2016 Maintaining a good working relationship with your financial advisor is important, especially when you're trying to build wealth. But annoying your advisor or doing things that drive him up the wall could prevent him from wanting to help you meet your financial goals. If your advisor seems to be avoiding you these days, here are five reasons why that could be happening. Read More...

Aug 08, 2016 If you're only investing in a mixture of stocks, mutual funds or bonds, there are plenty of ways to add diversity to your portfolio. Fine art can be a lucrative investment but it takes a certain amount of knowledge and skill to choose pieces that are likely to increase in value over time. If you're new to art collecting, here's a quick guide to getting started as an investor. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Tech stocks have become a popular choice among investors. While owning a share of stock in Google or Apple might be out of reach for some people, there are plenty of companies whose stock is more affordable. That doesn't mean, however, that you can just dive in without doing your homework. Take a look at some  common mistakes people make when investing in tech. Read More...

Aug 03, 2016 If most of your investments are tied up in bonds or stocks, becoming a venture capitalist is one way to diversify your investment portfolio. But jumping into it isn't something any investor should do without understanding what it involves. If you have a substantial amount of cash available to invest, keep reading to learn more about the pros and cons of venture capitalism. Read More...

Sep 03, 2019 While it may seem like a company should have to make a profit in order to be considered successful, that's not always the case. Take Amazon, for example. Although it was founded back in 1994, Amazon didn't actually make a profit until 2001. But the company has been a major online retailer for years. Read on to find out how businesses can succeed even when they're not profitable. Read More...

Aug 06, 2019 Many high-net-worth investors turn to experts when they need financial advice. And while many of them trust their advisors to help them build and maintain their wealth, there are plenty of things that investors wish advisors would do differently. New research sheds some light on what wealthy individuals and investors want (and don't want) from their financial advisors. Read More...

Jul 27, 2016 It looks as though the UK - or at least England - might be leaving the European Union. Brexit (as the act of Britain leaving the EU is commonly referred) is non-binding, so some people are pushing for a second referendum. If Britain does leave the EU, the decision would affect more than just the people living in the country. In fact, Brexit could have long-term consequences for everyone. Read More...

Jul 12, 2016 Investing can be intimidating, especially when you're doing it for the very first time. It's easy to get confused and overwhelmed when trying to understand financial terminology and many new investors worry about making a false move. If you're nervous about buying bonds, commodities, mutual funds or stocks, here are five tips that'll help you get a grip on the financial markets. Read More...

Jul 18, 2016 Owning your own business is a lot of work. While it can be rewarding, including financially, we were interested to see how opportunities compared for minority and non-minority business owners. SmartAsset decided to dig into the data to find out which metro areas in America are the best specifically for minority business owners. To do so, we looked at three variables - income ratio, profitability ratio and ownership ratio. See our full methodology at the end of the study. Read More...

Jun 25, 2018 Because of Brexit, the pound - i.e., British currency - has just plunged to a thirty-year low against the dollar. The euro has also fallen to a low against the dollar. The Japanese yen's value has also gone up in value in comparison to the pound. But what does that mean for you - if you haven't invested in currency? And what does it mean for a currency to be strong or weak? It might affect you more than you think. Read More...

Jul 01, 2016 Confidence is an important trait to have as an investor, but there is such a thing as being over confident. A recent study provided some insight into the gap between investor expectations and the amount of income they actually earned. Whether you're a novice investor or a seasoned pro, here are a few common traps that you might want to avoid falling into. Read More...

Jun 30, 2016 Diversifying your investment portfolio doesn’t just involve investing in different types of stocks or bonds. By investing in foreign markets, you can lower your overall investment risk and potentially increase your earnings at the same time. If you're interested in investing in an international market, one way to get started is to get an American Depositary Receipt (ADR). Here's everything you need to know about ADRs. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Entrepreneurship has its perks and one of them is the ability to make wealth creation a reality if you're running a successful business. Generating a high net worth as an entrepreneur requires some luck but it's more about making sound financial decisions. A recent  survey reveals some interesting details about how wealthy business owners manage their money. Some of those lessons can even be used by the rest of us. Read More...

Jun 24, 2016 News recently broke that Microsoft is about to acquire LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the most widely used social networking site for business and other professional activities. Some news outlets have suggested that this is Microsoft's attempt to dominate the tech world. They also hint that Microsoft is betting that the traditional software business will move to  cloud computing, a service where the customers rent internet services. In light of this recent business purchase, we're taking a look back at companies that we might have all forgotten were acquired by other companies. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Small-cap stocks are securities that are tied to companies whose market values often fall between $300 million and $2 billion. Adding some of them to your investment portfolio could be a good idea, especially if you're interested in building long-term wealth. If you usually invest in large-cap stocks, here are three reasons to consider throwing some small-cap securities into the mix. Read More...

Jun 20, 2016 There's nothing wrong with investing in U.S. markets. But looking at foreign markets might open some doors and provide you with some new, lucrative opportunities that you didn't have access to before. U.S. securities only represent a small portion of the global market. Investing in international markets does come with certain risks, but if you approach it strategically, it just might pay off. Read More...

Sep 12, 2018 Investing in real estate can add diversity to your portfolio while creating a sustainable source of passive income. If you're a high net worth investor, you may be able to expand your horizons beyond the basic fix-and-flip by moving into the luxury real estate market. If you're interested in investing in luxury properties, here are a few things to keep in mind before diving in. Read More...

Sep 19, 2019 Deciding which stocks to invest in can be difficult. There are different kinds of stocks and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages. Compared to value stocks, growth stocks can potentially generate higher returns over time and you can start investing in them without spending a ton of money. Here are some tips to consider before you invest in growth stocks. Read More...

Jul 09, 2018 Choosing the right investments is an important part of building wealth. If you don't have the time to take an active role in managing your portfolio (or you're just feeling lazy), you can still find investments that have a good chance at providing you with steady returns. The following types of investments are designed to generate passive income and require minimal effort on your part. Read More...

Jun 06, 2018 The Panama Papers leak was a global scandal. In one of the biggest data leaks in history, millions of documents revealed that banks, political leaders and wealthy individuals had allegedly hidden billions of dollars in shell companies through a Panama law firm. Reportedly, the scheme also allowed some of the firm's clients to evade taxes. If you don't understand what shell companies are, here's everything you need to know. Read More...

May 25, 2016 Title III of the 2012 JOBS Act allows both accredited and non-accredited investors to participate in equity crowdfunding. Under these new rules, anyone can invest in equity shares of a startup through a crowdfunding platform, regardless of their income or net worth. If you're thinking about wading into equity crowdfunding, there are some factors you'll want to consider first. Read More...

Jun 27, 2017 With a traditional rewards credit card, you can earn miles, points or cash back. If you have an investment rewards card, however, you can use your rewards to save for retirement or fund your child's college expenses. But there are some potential pitfalls to watch out for. Before you invest with credit card rewards, it's a good idea to find out what you're signing up for. Read More...

May 19, 2016 There's more than one way to invest. Besides choosing a vehicle to put your money into, you'll need to pick an investing strategy. The one that you select will depend on various factors, including your target  asset allocation and the kinds of returns you want to see. If you've never heard of dollar-cost averaging, we'll review how this investing technique works. Read More...

May 18, 2016 The 2012 JOBS Act was designed to boost economic growth and make it easier for small businesses and startups to raise capital. Title III of the law deals specifically with equity crowdfunding and beginning May 16, non-accredited investors can begin financing startups in return for equity. Before the new rules take effect, it's helpful to understand how Title III may impact your investing strategy. Read More...

May 16, 2016 Hiring a financial advisor might be a good idea if you need help managing your portfolio, planning your estate or working toward your long-term goals. Knowing that you can trust your advisor to make sound decisions is the key to a good professional relationship. If you're worried about falling victim to a Bernie Madoff-style scam, here are some ways to tell that you're being ripped off. Read More...

May 17, 2016 When startups need additional funding to get off the ground, they can look for venture capitalists (VCs) who are willing to help them. Venture capitalists are investors who offer emerging companies financial support in exchange for an equity share. Once the startup goes public, investment firms can sell off their equity stakes, hopefully for a sizable profit. Read More...

May 12, 2016 When it comes to the stock market, millennials aren't exactly embracing it with open arms. Recent reports show that they hold most of their investments in cash. While cash is king in terms of liquidity and safety, it doesn't have the same return potential as a stock or a mutual fund. For young investors who are cautious about investing, dividend investing may be something worth considering. If you're ready to give it a try, here are four tips to keep in mind. Read More...

May 12, 2016 Incorporating real estate into your portfolio is a smart move if you want to diversify and include some insulation against market volatility. Investing in commercial real estate can offer you the opportunity to realize some significant returns, but it's best to know as much as possible about a property before investing in it. If you're ready to become a commercial real estate mogul, here's a quick rundown of how different property investments compare. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 By investing in real estate you can add diversity to your portfolio and spread out the amount of risk you're taking on. What's more, you can benefit from the fact that real estate investments have historically been less susceptible to major market swings. Real estate investments can be grouped into two broad categories - commercial and residential property - and each one has its pros and cons. If you're dipping your toes into real estate for the first time, it's important to understand how they differ. Read More...

May 06, 2016 If you want to build a real estate empire without actually owning property, there are a couple of ways you can do it. You can go the crowdfunding route or put some cash into a real estate investment trust ( REIT). A REIT is a company that owns income-producing commercial properties, such as hotels, retail shopping centers and multifamily apartment buildings. A non-traded REIT has the potential to earn you high returns but there are a few things to keep in mind before diving in. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Investing in real estate can be a good way to diversify your portfolio. And it can be particularly appealing to 20-somethings who are comfortable taking risks and who want to earn bigger returns. If you're in your 20s and you've toyed with the idea of becoming a landlord or putting money into a real estate investment trust, here are three key reasons to jump on the property bandwagon. Read More...

Aug 22, 2017 Marriage comes with certain perks and having two heads is better than one when it comes to building wealth. In order to avoid disagreements, it's best to make sure that you and your partner are on the same page. After all, you'll need to make a team effort if you want to manage your wealth effectively. If that's one of your goals, it's a good idea to add the following tasks to your to-do list. Read More...

Apr 28, 2016 Investing wisely requires an understanding of how the market works. But you also need a certain degree of confidence in your decision-making abilities. If you're not convinced that investing is a good way to reach your long-term goals or you're not sure whether you're capable of choosing solid investments, you could be building your portfolio on shaky ground. Read More...

Jul 28, 2019 If you're going back to school, choosing your undergraduate major or just curious about the finance and accounting worlds, you may be wondering what the difference is between accounting and finance. The two fields aren't a world apart, but there are important differences that are worth knowing. Let us break it down for you. Read More...

Apr 13, 2016 Investing isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition and there are lots of different approaches you can take. Value investors, for example, focus on undervalued companies while buy-and-hold investors buy securities and hang on to them over the long haul. Momentum investing is an entirely different animal and it's geared toward investors who prefer active to passive investments. Read More...

Apr 11, 2016 Spring has officially arrived and that means that it's time to start cleaning out the clutter and organizing the inside of your home. Doing the same thing with your finances is probably a good idea. If it's been a while since you took a look at how your stocks, bonds and other assets are performing, here are five ways to begin spring cleaning your investment portfolio. Read More...

Apr 04, 2016 When you think about building a portfolio, stocks and bonds are probably the investments that come to mind. But there's more than one way to increase your net worth. Investing in physical assets is another way to pad your nest egg. While some investors have a passion for collecting antiques or classic works of art, others prefer to put their money into cars. The premise is simple - you find an old car, restore it and then sell it for a profit. But before you dive in, there are a few things you'll need to consider. Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 There are a few different ways to build wealth in your 20s, 30s and beyond. Funneling money into tax-advantaged accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs is a start, but you can only contribute so much every year. Once you hit the contribution limit, you could begin investing in a taxable brokerage account. Before you open one of these accounts, here are a few things to keep in mind. Read More...

Jul 19, 2019 Inflation becomes a problem when average prices rise too fast, hurting consumers, businesses and investors. Deflation can wreak havoc on an economy as well. There's deflation when growth is slow and overall prices are on the decline. Yet another issue that we have to worry about is stagflation. We'll tell you what it is and the signs that indicate that it's approaching. Read More...

Mar 21, 2016 If you have access to $10,000 or more, you don't want to squander it all on a bad investment. That's why it's important to think twice and weigh the pros and cons of going with one investment vehicle over another. For those of you who have the spare cash, here are some of the best ways to invest $10,000. Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 Setting aside enough money to invest can be difficult. Financial instability can be a huge barrier to entry for aspiring investors and some investment accounts require a minimum deposit of $5,000 or more. If you don't have that much cash at your disposal, you can still start investing. Check out some easy ways to invest your money when you're on a shoestring budget. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 You don't have to be wealthy to become an investor. On the contrary, there are plenty of ways to invest smaller amounts of money. The key is finding investment opportunities that don't charge excessive fees that can reduce the size of your profits. If you're ready to give investing a chance, we go over some of the best ways to invest $1,000 without taking huge risks. If you want hands-on assistance, consider finding a financial advisorRead More...

May 28, 2019 Inflation has many causes, but they mainly break down into two camps: demand-pull and cost-push. Demand-pull happens when an increase in the demand for goods and services leads producers to raise prices to maximize profits. Cost-push occurs when producers raise prices because their costs have gone up. Over time, inflation can significantly impact your cost of living. It affects everyone from ordinary people to businesses and the stock market. As an investor, you may want to seek the guidance of a financial advisor to help you hedge against inflation and protect your investments. But everyone can benefit from understanding the causes of inflation and what it truly means. Read More...

Mar 14, 2016 Investing requires quite a bit of time and effort. In order to choose the right mix of stocks, bonds and cash investments for your portfolio, you'll need to spend some time researching your options. And unless you plan on putting your investments on autopilot, you'll have to make time to rebalance your portfolio and ensure that fees aren't eating up your earnings. Depending on the investments you have, it might take time to see the kinds of returns that you're looking for. In the meantime, you might be able count on something known as compound interest. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Investing in real estate can be a lucrative way to generate passive income or replace your day job altogether. Flipping houses can be a good way to get started. But it's not something you want to jump into without doing your homework. If you're about to embark on your first house flip, there are some critical errors that you'll need to avoid. Read More...

Mar 10, 2016 Building wealth is something just about anyone can do. But unfortunately, there's no silver bullet for getting rich unless you're lucky enough to win the lottery. The internet is chock full of advice on how to effectively generate wealth, but it's best to be careful about who you listen to. Buying into any of these four myths could cost you when you're trying to grow your net worth. Read More...

Oct 23, 2019 Investors who put their money into savings vehicles and other accounts hope to earn decent returns. Over time, interest adds up, and how quickly it grows depends on the kind of interest you're working with. You might make a simple interest investment or pay a simple interest loan, where the interest is calculated in that way. There are also loans and investments that use compound interest, a different way of calculating interest. For a thorough dive into these matters, we've got everything you need to know about simple interest. If you need more hands-on help in understanding out simple interest plays into your overall financial picture, try SmartAsset's free financial advisor matching tool to get paired with an expert in your area.  Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Anyone who takes out a loan has to think about the cost of doing so. If you need to borrow money to finance a home purchase or a renovation, you'll want your interest rate to be as low as possible. From an investors' standpoint, however, higher interest rates present the opportunity to earn higher rates of return. Interest can be simple or it can compound over time. Don't understand the difference between simple and compound interest? We'll define both concepts and give plenty of examples.  Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 When it comes to buying a home or a property that you plan to rehab and resell, a fix and flip loan may be just what you need if you're not sitting on a huge pile of cash. Fix and flip loans work a little differently than conventional home loans. So if you're trying to get approved for this kind of financing, there are a few things you'll need to keep in mind before meeting with a lender. Read More...

Mar 03, 2016 The stock market always has its ups and downs and once the value of stocks has fallen by 20% for a period of time, we've officially entered a bear market. When you see your portfolio shrinking, it's tempting to start selling off assets to minimize losses. But giving in to panic can make things worse. A bear market can be stressful for investors, but you can weather the storm if you make the right moves. Read More...

Sep 12, 2018 As an investor, boosting your return rates is probably your primary concern. But no matter how carefully you've selected the stocks and bonds in your portfolio, it's a good idea to make some adjustments every once in a while to minimize the amount of risk you're taking on. Before you rearrange your assets, however, there are five important factors you'll need to consider. Read More...

Aug 23, 2019 Thanks to their lower costs, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are becoming a popular choice among investors. These funds, which track specific stock indexes or market sectors, look like any other mutual fund, but they trade like a stock. While there are certain advantages to ETFs, they're not the best option for every investor. Here's what you need to keep in mind before investing in ETFs through your 401(k). Read More...

Nov 06, 2017 Investing is a science of sorts and it takes some effort to build a solid portfolio of income-generating assets. If you don't have time to study prospectuses or pore over the stock pages, you'll need to take a different route to build wealth. Fortunately, there are some investments that are geared toward people who want to maximize returns without getting too hands-on. Read More...

Feb 12, 2016 In the 2015 film  The Big Short, hedge fund manager Dr. Michael Burry realizes that the mortgage market is about to implode. By the end of the movie, Burry decides to shift his investment focus to one thing: water. If you're wondering why anyone would want to invest in water, the answer's pretty simple. Despite the fact that most of the Earth is made up of water, the vast majority of it isn't drinkable. Read More...

Feb 04, 2020 Index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) similarly earn returns based on a series of indexed investments, but how they're traded and what they cost varies. Both ETFs and index funds are each popular choices for new investors, though. There are even some ETFs that are also index funds and vice versa. That means the subtle differences between each of these investments make them specifically better options for certain investors over others. If you have questions about how to build your portfolio, a  Read More...

Sep 06, 2018 Investments can be great wealth building tools that you can use to multiply your savings. But unfortunately, all of the research and counseling in the world can’t necessarily guarantee a high rate of return. Whether you're an expert or a novice, it's important to keep in mind that there are certain uncontrollable factors that will always have an impact on your investments. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 New investors often focus on  picking the right mix of funds to add to their portfolios based on their risk tolerance. While choosing the right investments is a big part of building wealth, it's not the only factor that matters. There are certain costs that go along with investing that you can't afford to overlook. Before diving in, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the fees you'll run into. Read More...

Sep 03, 2019 When it comes to turning a profit on investments, the trick is knowing how to balance the risks against the potential rewards. Calculating a real estate property's capitalization rate can give you a ballpark figure of what kind of returns you stand to earn for a fixed point in time. The internal rate of return (IRR) is a more exact measurement of a property's long-term yield and it's a good concept for real estate investors to be familiar with. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds are two great ways to dive into the world of investing. What are they? You can think of a mutual fund as a basket of stocks and bonds. Similarly, an ETF invests in a range of different securities but trades like a stock itself. So whether you want to invest in small, mid-size or large companies or in a particular sector, you'll likely find a mutual fund or ETF that's right for you. As you learn more about the nuances of ETFs and mutual funds, you should also seek the help of a financial advisor, who can help you guide you through the investment choices that will work best for your needs.  Read More...

Oct 18, 2018 Investing in real estate can potentially yield some major returns. But at the same time, you're taking a chance in assuming that renting out a property will pay off. Being a landlord isn't always a walk in the park and the headaches that go along with it aren't for the faint of heart. Before taking the leap, it's helpful to consider the downsides you might encounter when investing in a rental property. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 Investing in real estate is a good way to add some diversity to your portfolio and make a decent profit at the same time. But the rewards don't come without certain risks. Before you start putting big bucks into real estate investments and different rental properties, it's a good idea to ask yourself the following four questions to make sure it's the right choice. Read More...

Jan 07, 2016 Target-date funds (TDFs) take some of the guesswork out of investing for people who aren't market savvy. And because they shift toward a more conservative asset allocation over time, you don't have to worry about rebalancing your portfolio. Millennials represent one group of investors that have latched on to target-date funds in a big way. While these funds offer some benefits, there are some downsides that younger investors in particular need to be aware of. Read More...

Jan 08, 2016 Investing can be a great way to build wealth as a young adult. But if you don’t know anything about stock or bonds, you might be tempted to avoid the process of investing altogether. Avoiding investing means you could miss out on the chance to earn big returns, though. Check out the tips below to help you get started. Remember, an early start can make all the difference when it comes to your net worth. Read More...

Jan 04, 2016 Crowdfunding has taken off since the passage of the JOBS Act in 2012. In addition to being a way to fund personal causes, crowdfunding has opened up new avenues for investors who want to put their money into real estate or startups. As an investment tool, crowdfunding has some advantages. But it has its drawbacks as well. Before wading in, you need to know what to expect. Read More...

Jan 01, 2016 It's important to diversify your portfolio to hedge against risk. The traditional school of thought suggests that investors focus on things like asset allocation or striking a balance between stocks and bonds. But factor investing takes a different approach. This concept has gained popularity in recent years. If you're not familiar with it, here's a quick guide to the basics. Read More...

Dec 24, 2015 Owning real estate can be a lucrative venture. But as with any investment, you'll have to be prepared to tolerate a certain amount of risk. If you're planning to buy a property for the sole purpose of renting it out, figuring out the cap rate can help you gauge what kind of return you'll see on your investment. Here's a rundown of what the cap rate is, how to calculate it and why it matters. Read More...

Dec 21, 2015 There's been a lot of talk lately about fiduciary duty as part of the ongoing debate as to which finance professionals should have a fiduciary duty to their clients. Let's explain the concept of fiduciary duty and why it's so important to understand who has one and who doesn't. If you're taking advice from someone who doesn't have a fiduciary duty to you, there are risks you should understand.  Read More...

May 30, 2018 If you're planning for your child's future, socking money away into a high-interest kids savings account is a good place to start. The only downside is that investing your money will typically yield a better return than simply saving. Certain types of investment vehicles even offer tax advantages. Let's take a look at some investment options that parents can use to set their children up for financial success. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 Those apps on your smartphone? While they're entertaining you they may be making a lot of other people rich. The mobile apps industry is booming. A 2015 report by Transparency Market Research predicts that the global mobile app market will experience a 16.2% Compound Annual Growth Rate between 2014 and 2020. By 2020, the global app market will likely be a $54.89 billion industry. Read More...

Jun 19, 2018 These days it seems like film festivals are a dime a dozen. From the glitzy red carpet of the Cannes festival to the casual vibe at Sundance, film festivals are a chance to premiere new films, generate buzz and get distribution deals. Some big-name directors got their start with independent films at festivals. How do these filmmakers make money and how do the festivals themselves turn a profit? Let's a take a deeper dive.  Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 When you're actively working toward building wealth, it's a good idea to make sure you're taking steps to protect it. Taking the time to develop an estate plan is a must for wealthy investors and the sooner you get started, the better. If you don't have an estate plan in place yet, you can take a look at some important tools that you can use to safeguard your nest egg. Read More...

Nov 23, 2015 Investing is the linchpin of any sound wealth-building strategy, but that doesn't mean you have to limit yourself to playing the market. Angel investing is another way to potentially reap some major returns but like anything else, there's a certain amount of risk involved. Let's take a look at what angel investing is and how it works to help you decide whether it's worth the gamble. Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 Investing can be tricky to master and one thing it's important to do is balance your profits against your losses. Selling off stocks or other securities for a profit can actually cost you money if you have to pay a substantial amount of taxes on your capital gains. Tax-loss harvesting and investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can help shrink your tax bill. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 If you're new to investing, you may not have settled on a particularly investing strategy. While experts say that many people can get away with investing in low-fee index funds rather than trading stocks in individual companies, some people enjoy deciding which company shares to buy. These active investors tend to self-identify as either growth investors or value investors.  Read More...

Sep 05, 2018 Investing can yield big returns but it comes with a price. When you sell off investments and realize a profit, Uncle Sam expects you to pay taxes on your earnings. That could mean a much bigger tax bill if you've had a successful investing year. Fortunately, there are some specific strategies you can use to minimize  what you owe on your capital gains. Read More...

Nov 11, 2015 When it comes to investing there are different schools of thought. Your investing strategy and asset allocation will depend on what you hope to get out of your investments. Are you looking to score deals on under-valued stocks or find companies that are on their way up? Let us explain how growth investing works and its potential pros and cons for the average investor.  Read More...

Nov 09, 2015 Taking a hands-on approach to your investments can be a smart strategy if your goal is to build wealth. But in a busy world, who has time for that? While putting your 401(k), IRA or other investments on cruise control is a hassle-free way to save, that can cost you money in the long run. Here are five reasons why a set-it-and-forget-it approach can be a bad investing strategy. Read More...

Nov 04, 2015 Want to turn $5 into $500,000 in a single weekend of NFL football? Or how about $10 into $10 million? Those are the types of payouts promised to winners in daily fantasy sports (DFS), the online game that has rapidly become one of the largest pieces of the multi-billion dollar fantasy sports industry. Read More...

Oct 30, 2015 Investing can be a risky game and it's easy to let your emotions influence your decision-making when the market takes a wild swing. Instead of panicking, however, you'll want to keep cool so you don't lose your head or your nest egg. Fear can kill your investment strategy if you let it. Taking steps to implement some fear-busting moves can head off the jitters that can come during a market slowdown. Read More...

Oct 29, 2015 When you're ready to start investing, one decision you must make has nothing to do with picking the right stocks or mutual funds. Before you sink a single penny into the market, you'll need to find a brokerage firm to handle your trades. Online brokers can be great for beginning investors but with dozens to choose from, how do you know which one is right for you? If you're on a quest to find an online brokerage, here are five things to think about. Read More...

Jan 06, 2020 If you think all millennials struggle to make it to their next paycheck while fending off their student loan servicer, think again. According to a 2014 report from the Shullman Research Center, 23% of U.S. millionaires are millennials. All together, that comes to almost 5 million young adults who have managed to accumulate some serious wealth. While that might be surprising, what's more of a shocker is the fact that more than half of them are managing their money solo. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 If you scan the financial news you may see a reference to "shadow banking." It's a term that can apply to a range of activities, from unregulated activity by banks to lending by non-bank institutions. Confused? Let us break it down for you with our guide to shadow banking, its risks and its potential rewards. If you're  investing, you'll be well served by learning about it. Read More...

Sep 05, 2018 Investing has gone high-tech these days thanks to the rise of robo-advisors. These online services take a lot of the hassle and cost out of managing your investments by cutting out the human middleman. If you're working on building wealth, a robo-advisor can help you reach your goal. But you'll need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages before handing over your money. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 Deciding where to invest your extra money can be tough when there are so many different investment products to choose from. If you’re wondering what a commodity is and how it’s traded as a financial investment, you’ve come to the right place. Here we have a comprehensive guide for you about commodities and the role they play in financial markets. Read More...

Aug 01, 2019 People tend to celebrate when gas prices and food costs drop. Who doesn’t love having more money to spend? Having a little extra cash in your pocket can certainly feel like a blessing, especially if you’re in the process of paying off loans or growing your retirement nest egg. If prices overall are on the decline, however, that could be a sign that the economy is experiencing deflation. Deflation Defined You’re probably fairly familiar with how inflation works. There’s inflation whenever prices of goods and services are consistently rising. And as a result, consumers have less purchasing power, because their money isn’t worth as much as it once was. Deflation is the opposite of inflation. To say… Read More...

Nov 11, 2015 There comes a time when businesses decide to take the plunge and go from being privately-held companies to public ones. This move gives business owners the opportunity to sell stocks to the general public rather than just a few shareholders. In stock market terms, it's referred to as seeking an initial public offering (IPO). Never heard of an IPO before? We'll break it down. Read More...

Oct 12, 2015 The stock market is unpredictable and things can go from great to grim at the drop of a hat. If you've got money tied up in investments, even the slightest dip can put you on the edge of your seat. But panicking isn't the answer. Instead, it might be a good idea to study the habits of wealthy investors. Here's a look at what you won't catch them doing when stocks tumble. Read More...

Jan 14, 2020 Open the Wall Street Journal and we guarantee it won’t be long before you come across an article about hedge funds. If you’re not an experienced investor or you don't work in the finance industry, the term may go right over your head. Investing lingo can be difficult to grasp, so we’ve got a comprehensive answer to this question: What is a hedge fund? Read More...

Oct 09, 2015 One of the keys to building wealth through investing is diversification. If you ask uber-wealthy investors like Warren Buffett or Ted Turner, they'll probably tell you that no portfolio is complete without a healthy dose of real estate holdings. Buying into private real estate can cost you $100,000 or more, but that's not the only way to get into the game. If you're ready to invest in real estate on a much smaller scale, here are three ways to get started. Read More...

Oct 06, 2015 Investing is all about building wealth but taxes can curb your portfolio's growth if you're putting your money in the wrong places. Keeping your investments as tax efficient as possible is especially important for high net worth investors, who typically land in a higher tax bracket. Minimizing what you owe isn't that difficult if you've got a strategy for managing your investments. Read More...

Sep 24, 2018 Building wealth over time isn't something that's exclusive to the super-rich. Even if you can't afford a luxurious lifestyle, it's still possible to accumulate some decent assets if you're smart about what you do with your money. Taking a page out of the investing playbooks of the 1% is a step in the right direction and there are some basic rules the wealthiest investors swear by. Read More...

Oct 02, 2015 Savings bonds are a relatively safe way to invest and there's more than one way to put them to work. Series EE and I bonds issued after December 31, 1989 can be used to cover the cost of earning a college degree. If you want to use bonds to pay for your child's education expenses, it's a good idea to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of investment. Read More...

Oct 01, 2015 The money market is a market in fixed-income securities. Like other fixed-income securities markets (the bond market, for example), the money market is a stable place to put your money but it's not a get-rich quick plan. We'll walk you through what it is and how it works. If you decide it's for you, you can choose a money market account for your emergency fund.  Read More...

Feb 05, 2020 Looking at interest rates for certificates of deposit (CD), you see that the five-year CD earns, say, 2% more than the one-year CD. You'd love to get that higher rate, but you're worried about locking up your money for so long. The solution: a CD ladder, where you divvy your money into several CDs with staggered term lengths. That way, some of your money will get the higher rate and some of your money is not locked up for five years. As each CD matures, you renew it for the longest term in your ladder, again snagging the highest interest rate but still having the liquidity of the next CD set to mature. Read on for the pros and cons of this savings strategy. Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 Investors sometimes see the prices of their securities rise one day and fall the next. At times, however, it might seem as though there's a pattern as the value of certain securities moves consistently in one direction. Are you facing a bull or bear market? If you don't know the answer to that question, we'll break down the difference between these two trends. Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 The inflation rate in the United States has been very low for a very long time. In both 2013 and 2014 inflation was less than 2%, the Federal Reserve’s target rate to maintain price stability. To find the last time the rate of inflation topped 5%, you would have to go back to 1990, when the inflation rate was about 5.4%.  Read More...

Sep 28, 2015 There are certain phrases that we come into contact with on a regular basis. Even though other people use them all the time, we don't actually understand what they mean and we've never taken the time to find out. If that's the way you feel about the term "bull market," here's your chance to finally learn what it is and why it's associated with investing in the stock market. Read More...

Jul 16, 2018 When you're someone with a high net worth, taxes can take a big bite out of your paycheck and your capital gains. And if you're nearing retirement, your tax burden can be even harder to bear, particularly if you don't have enough saved up to maintain your current lifestyle once you stop working. If you're looking for a way to slash your tax bill, consider getting a boat. Read More...

Mar 26, 2018 Whether you're planning to leave the U.S. for a wedding in Italy or you want to try your luck at investing in a foreign market, you'll need to have a basic understanding of exchange rates. They reveal the value of one country's form of currency compared to another. If you're still a bit confused about how exchange rates work, here's a crash course on the subject. Read More...

Sep 04, 2019 Real estate crowdfunding is similar to any other type of crowdfunding: a group of people all contribute a relatively small amount of money to go towards a larger cause or investment. In this case, the investment is real estate. Real estate crowdfunding is an alternative to real estate investment trusts (REITs), in that it’s for people who want to invest in real estate but don’t have the ability to buy a property themselves. Read More...

Mar 14, 2017 Judging by the number of Americans who don't invest, the stock market can be an intimidating topic. Wealthier individuals are much more likely to invest their savings, but even they face special investment challenges. Having a high net worth comes with its own set of considerations.  Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 Investing wisely is a proven way to build wealth for yourself but a unique investment strategy is making it easier to help others. Although it's a relatively new trend, the concept of impact investing is gaining steam and it's got the potential to be particularly appealing to millennials. If you're scratching your head over what impact investing is all about, here's what you need to know. Read More...

Jan 12, 2016 Investing your money can help you build wealth, but it's a misconception to think that you need a lot of money to get started. Whether you've got $50,000 or $500 to play with, you can make a dent in your savings goals (like retirement) if you know where to put your money. While you could go with stocks or bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can offer a lot of bang for your buck. Read More...

Jan 28, 2016 As Apple (AAPL) continues to expand upon and enhance its product lineup, the tech giant launched its newest product, the Apple Watch, in April. The Apple Watch serves three primary functions: timekeeping (as one would expect), efficient communication and fitness tracking. Promoted on their website as its “most personal device yet,” this product propels Apple into the wearables market. Read More...

Apr 10, 2017 Investing in your 20's and 30's can put you in a good financial situation as you save up for retirement, but becoming a savvy investor is easier said than done. For millennials who are paying down student loan debt while combating stagnating wages in the workplace, just finding the money to invest can be a challenge in and of itself. Making the following mistakes could complicate things even more. Read More...

Oct 25, 2019 Most people are looking for ways to  save enough money for retirement. One of the best ways to do that is through earning interest -- money you get in exchange for lending your money or storing it with a bank. Yes, it's possible to make money from money and if you want to do so, interest is your friend. Read on for our guide to see how it works and what you need to know about rates. Read More...

Aug 02, 2019 Trading binary options is a little different than regular trading. With binary options you are answering a yes or no proposition about whether an asset will hit a certain price at a certain time. From the comfort of your living room, you can pay to place bets on the price movements of stocks, commodities and indices. It's marketed as investing, but it can be more like gambling. In this article we'll explain what binary options are, and the risks involved in binary options trading. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 If you're worried that an economic disaster might cause the dollar to plummet, you may be looking to commodities like silver as a safe haven. In this article, we'll discuss the ins and outs of investing in silver, as well as the risks that this strategy carries. When it comes to investing, say,  retirement savings, it's important to make sure you're making informed decisions.  Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 Oil. You may have heard that it's a non-renewable resource. And you already know how much the global economy depends on it. So won't the price of oil keep rising, you ask? In this article we'll go over the pros and cons of buying oil futures. When you buy oil futures, you're betting money that you know how the price of oil will change in the future. If that sounds risky, it's because it is.  Read More...

Aug 02, 2019 FOREX trading, or trading in foreign currencies, is big business. For the average investor, though, FOREX trading is not necessarily needed as a step to reaching financial goals like saving for retirement. But if you're curious about trading foreign currency and wondering if it's right for you, you're in the right place. We'll talk about how FOREX trading works - and the risks it poses.  Read More...

Oct 19, 2018 If you're a business owner moving into an office that's being renovated or you're looking to have construction work done, you might want to consider a surety bond. It's a contract that ensures that projects are completed and expectations are met. Not to be confused with other types of bonds, surety bonds are about transferring risk from one party to another, not earning money. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 When economic times get tough, some investors look to gold as a hedge against the risk that their other investments will depreciate. The intrinsic value of gold, these investors say, means it will keep its value even if society breaks down and paper money becomes worthless. That's a doomsday scenario. If you decide to invest in gold, we say it should be based on facts, not fear. So here are the facts on investing in gold. Read More...

Jan 30, 2020 If you're wondering how to invest your money in stocks, you must be thinking about building your wealth. Just having that intention is a step in the right direction. After all, no one ever accidentally became affluent. It takes thought and action to make money - and the stock market is one of the most reliable ways. Of course, you can also invest in gold, real estate, baseball cards, your neighbor's nephew's college roommate's startup, etc. But online brokerage accounts and commission-free transactions are making investing in securities more accessible than ever before. Read on for a general discussion of why stocks are a good way to put your money to work and how to get started. We'll also cover common investing wisdom. But for professional help, use SmartAsset's free matching tool to find a… Read More...

Feb 28, 2018 Just about anyone can invest in the stock market. When it comes to something like day trading, however, you may find it's best to leave that to the pros. Day trading is a complex practice that requires strategy and extensive background knowledge of how market indices operate. If you think it could be a good way for you to build your portfolio or make some extra money, it's important to know that it's risky. Read More...

Jul 18, 2019 The Nasdaq – we’ve all heard something about it at some point. You probably already know that it’s part of the stock market. And you’ve probably read a news article or heard a reporter talk about it going up or going down. If you’re curious about investing and want to know more about what the Nasdaq is and how it works, here are some key points to understand. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 When most people think about buying "stock," they're thinking about common stock. But did you know that there's another class of stock called preferred stock? Well, now you do. When you buy preferred stock, you're investing in equities - but with some bond-like features. You lock in a dividend rate, much like you would with a bond or other fixed-income security. Let us explain. Read More...

Jan 13, 2020 Buying a stock means getting into some risky business. Sure, they can help you earn money that you could put toward many things - a  retirement account, an emergency fund, a down payment - but you also run the risk of putting yourself in hot water if the company you've invested in goes under. But some stocks are riskier than others. If you're risk-averse, you may want to consider blue-chip stocks. Read More...

Aug 02, 2019 U.S. savings bonds are essentially a loan you make to the government. When you buy a savings bond, you are giving money to the government in exchange for a guarantee you will get that money back, plus interest, at a predetermined later date. Investing in U.S. savings bonds is a good potential investment for new investors or anyone else looking for simple, cheap and low-risk investment options. Best of all, you’ll be able to watch your money grow from a distance and you can use it later on for just about anything, including retirement. How Savings Bonds Work Buying a savings bond is like loaning money out to a reliable friend who always pays you back. In this case, you’re letting the government borrow money for a set period of time that can be anywhere from one year to 30 years. You’ll… Read More...

Sep 06, 2018 Publicly traded companies can decide what to do with profits. They can reinvest them to grow the company and raise share prices or they can pay some of their profits to shareholders as dividends. A company that pays dividends may do so as a compensation to shareholders - compensation for being a higher-risk investment or for low growth in share values. Read More...

May 29, 2015 When most people think of employee benefits, they think of health insurance, 401(k)s, and maybe some free food. But for folks at the top of their fields, benefits may include stock options. If you've got a job that comes with incentive stock options (ISOs), it's important to know how those options work and what they can do for you. For one thing, they come with favorable income tax treatment. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Read on for our guide to ISOs. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 Looking for a reliable and steady source of investment income? Maybe you're getting closer to retirement and looking to take some risk out of your 401(k). Or maybe you have a low risk tolerance that means you shy away from equities in general. We've got you covered with our guide to fixed-income securities - what they are, what they can do for you and what risks they carry. Read More...

Mar 24, 2020 It’s virtually impossible to make it through the day without hearing something about the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Whether the Dow is up or down might not mean much to you if you’re a beginner investor with no knowledge of how the stock market works. But once you understand the basics, you can consider how investing fits into your overall financial plans. A  financial advisor can take things a step further by creating a personalized investment portfolio just for you. Read More...

May 25, 2015 When you go shopping for something (whether it's clothing, food or furniture) you're probably aiming to get the best deal you can find. You don't want to spend more money than you have to and you want whatever you buy to be truly worth the money. Prices change over time and when overall costs increase or decrease it affects everyone from investors to regular consumers. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 An "option" in the finance world entitles the holder of the option to buy or sell an asset at a pre-determined price, on or before a certain date. The buyer pays a premium for the option, and may lose that initial investment depending on how the stock performs. If that sounds confusing, fear not. We'll break it down for you in our guide to options.  Read More...

Jan 21, 2020 Equities are stocks - shares in a company. If you buy stocks, you're buying equities. You may also get "equity" when you join a new company as an employee. That means you're a partial owner, or can be, of shares in your company. Because equities don't pay a fixed interest rate, they don't offer guaranteed income. In other words, with equities comes risk.  Read More...

Jul 25, 2019 If you're an investor looking to play it safe, treasury bonds could be the way to go. Also called T-bonds, they come straight from the government and can be held for up to 30 years. Although they're a lower-return way to invest, it's a good idea not to underestimate them. They play an important role in our economy. Whether the Fed buys or sells them affects interest rates - including interest rates offered when getting a loan to buy a house. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 If you want your money to experience significant growth over time through the power of compound interest, you may want to consider investing in the stock market. When it comes to buying stocks, though, it's important to understand what you're doing. That's why SmartAsset is bringing you this guide. Sit back, relax and prepare to get some clarity on what stocks are and what they can do.  Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 You may have heard that a balanced investing portfolio includes both stocks and bonds, with the ratio between the two varying depending on your age and risk tolerance. Most financial advisors will recommend increasing the proportion of bonds in your investment portfolio as you get closer to retirement, the better to counterbalance the risk of a market crash wiping out your net worth. But what exactly is a bond, and how does it work as… Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 A mutual fund company pools money from individual investors and invests it, charging each investor a fee for the convenience of having someone else manage their investments. Investing in a mutual fund is an alternative to hand-selecting individual stocks and bonds and buying them independently. Sounds great, right? Not all mutual funds are created equal, though. Read More...

Sep 09, 2019 Every once in a while you hear about some lucky person who got rich by trading penny stocks. And we're happy for those people - we really are. But for the average investor, penny stocks are risky business. Let's talk about penny stocks, what they can offer you and what they can't. Read More...

Jan 07, 2020 A municipal bond is a bond issued by a local government to raise money for things like infrastructure improvements or investments in schools. When you buy a bond, you're lending money to the issuer. You receive interest payments at regular intervals and get your money back when the bond matures. Municipal bonds aren't generally considered to be as rock-solid as Treasury bondsRead More...

Jul 25, 2019 Derivatives are a type of financial instrument traded by more advanced investors. A derivative is a contract between two parties that depends on an underlying asset of some kind to determine its value. Options, futures, forward contracts and warrants are all forms of derivatives. While the concept of a derivative is simple enough, things can quickly become complex. If you're interested in exploring derivative investing but you don't want to lose your way, consider seeking the help of a financial advisor. Read More...

Oct 18, 2018 Index funds are popular with those who want to take a slow-and-steady approach to investing. Brokerage firms that offer index funds are able to charge lower fees for index funds because they put fewer hours into managing them. Index funds don't promise get-rich-quick results. Instead, they offer transparency and low cost to potential investors. Let us break it down for you. Read More...

Jul 23, 2019 As an outsider, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the stock market. News coverage of markets is often punctuated with images of brokers hollering across a trading floor; there's a litany of unfamiliar terms and lingo; and the threat of a catastrophic crash hangs over the proceedings. Despite all the noise, though, the stock market is based on a handful of easy-to-understand concepts. The most foundational concept: Companies sell stock, or partial ownership in the company, to investors in order to raise money. As those companies increase or decrease in value, the value of your investment will rise and fall. Read More...

Sep 06, 2018 You may have read about stock splits in the news. Big, successful corporations sometimes split their stocks multiple times. But what does a stock split actually mean about the company, and what does it mean for shareholders? If you get word that a company whose stock you own is splitting its stock, don't panic. We've got you covered with our guide to stock splits and reverse stock splits. Read More...

Jul 17, 2019 What if there were a way to make money from the up-and-down movement in the prices of financial assets without actually owning the asset? Well, there is a way- with futures. If you're an Average Joe or Jane just looking to put aside money for retirement and watch it grow, getting in to futures might be overkill. But here's some information so you'll know how it works.  Read More...

Sep 27, 2019 Investing in real estate has serious appeal. It can not only diversify your portfolio, but it can also create a long-term stream of income if done correctly. Whether you want to be a landlord or invest in real estate by way of a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), we've identified the key steps with our guide to real estate investing. Below, we explore the different types of real estate investing, and we outline process needed to begin.  Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 Bonds can help your investments maintain value in a financial downturn, but they likely won't make you rich. Think about dipping your toe into bond investing? Or wondering what the point of the bonds in your portfolio is? Not worry. We've got you covered with our guide to the basics of bonds - and some of the many bond types out there. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 The Dow is up and the NASDAQ is down, but the S&P is unchanged. These terms get tossed around by everyone, from television pundits to politicians to people on the street. Many people assume they are representative of the stock market as a whole, while others think they represent the state of the economy. Understanding what these terms mean and what they refer to is as essential for anyone who is interested in actively investing in stocks as it is for anyone who has money in IRAs and 401(k)s for retirement. Read More...

Feb 14, 2020 Building wealth means more than just having a solid emergency fund or maxing out your retirement account. It's instead good to develop an investment strategy, as one can supplement existing savings and potentially bring in some bigger returns. One of the most common mistakes people make when it comes to investing, however, is assuming they need a big chunk of change to get started. If you're ready to dip your toes into the market, here are five ways you can do it that don't require a lot of cash. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 Not everyone has the time or qualifications to pick individual stocks and bonds to invest their hard-earned money in. That's why mutual funds exist, so that many investors can pool their money in order for trained fund managers to purchase the same portfolios of securities for everyone involved. Read More...

Feb 14, 2020 If investing seems like a foreign word to you that only those who are wealthy are able to do, this article is for you. Investing can also seem complicated and overwhelming when it conjures images of the stock market. There are several smart, simple ways you can invest on a small budget, regardless of your age or income. In fact, learning how to invest wisely sooner rather than later can help you pay down debt and start saving for you future. Read More...

Jan 08, 2020 The question new and seasoned investors have puzzled over for decades is whether the better investment strategy lies in mutual funds or individual stocks. The answer is like comparing apples and oranges. They're both investments in businesses (with some exceptions) but a better analogy would be apples to apple pie. They're both composed of the same basic ingredient stocks but mutual funds, like a good apple pie, has more than one kind of apple baked into it. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 William Shakespeare said it best in his most well-known play, Hamlet: “To thine own self be true.”  This most excellent advice applies in most areas of our lives, including the realm of personal finance.  The key to finding success in your investment strategy may lie within…within yourself, that is. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 It is a common occurrence: Sorting through old letters, crowded filing cabinets, and the corners of desk drawers often yields surprises like old savings bonds. Sometimes parents and other relatives discover savings bonds they bought when you were a child but then forgot about. Read More...

Jan 15, 2020 Investing in high yield bonds can be a great way to increase your returns, but they inherently come with a greater degree of risk. Many financial advisers automatically steer their clients away from this arena, unwilling to put their reputation behind riskier assets. But that doesn't mean you should necessarily stay away. Just understand and know what you are doing. Read More...

Mar 14, 2018 Interest rates are a percentage of the total amount being loaned to someone. The person paying off the loan is responsible for paying for the total amount of their loan as well as the interest rate on that loan. Individuals are not the only ones who pay interest rates – banks pay them as well. When banks hold deposits for consumers, their customers are actually paid an interest rate on their deposits by the bank. The reason for this is that banks use the deposits they get from consumers to give out as loans. The interest rate given to customers is a way of convincing people to make deposits. Banks make profit by paying depositors a smaller interest rate then what they charge borrowers. Read More...

Aug 15, 2019 The stock market has become a volatile and unpredictable for average investors to gamble their hard-earned dollars. Savings accounts and CDs are completely useless, as average interest rates continue to hover slightly below one percent. Sound options have grown thin for families looking to secure their financial futures, while earning a few extra bucks at the same time. Those willing to think outside the box and take some unconventional steps can  start saving immediately. Thought it may sound like the thinking of someone with schizophrenia symptoms, you may be setting yourself up for long-term financial security and stability. Read More...

Dec 08, 2015 If you're new to investing, you may want to look to some investing greats for guidance and inspiration. The 13 names on this list all made a name for themselves by beating their peers - and the stock market. Read More...

Back

About Our Investing Expert

Have a question? Ask our Investing expert.