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How do you know if your investments are performing well? Your first thought might be to look at a chart and figure out how much they’ve grown in value over time—but that’s not always the best answer. Instead, you need to understand total return, which takes into account how much an investment has gained in […]

Generally, you can’t contribute to an individual retirement account (IRA) unless you earn an income in a given year. The spousal IRA, however, is an exception to this rule. If one spouse works and the other spouse has zero earned income, the working spouse is allowed to contribute double the normal limits to an IRA […]

A stock market bubble—also known as an asset bubble or a speculative bubble—is when prices for a stock or an asset rise exponentially over a period of time, well in excess of its intrinsic value. Eventually, prices hit a wall and then fall very far, very fast, as the bubble “pops.” Bubbles can occur to […]

Inflation may be an unavoidable economic fact of life, but it’s starting to make a lot of people very nervous. Economists, investors and everyday folks believe inflation is primed for rapid growth as trillions in federal stimulus spending is layered on top of the Federal Reserve’s rock-bottom rates, a nascent economic recovery and hordes of […]

Closed-end funds are investment vehicles that bear a passing resemblance to mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). All three fund types are pooled investments that sell shares to investors and use the proceeds to build a broadly diversified portfolio of assets. But the similarities between closed-end funds and their mutual fund and ETF brethren end […]

A stock exchange is a marketplace where stocks, bonds and other securities are bought and sold. But stock exchanges are more than just markets: They provide companies with a valuable way to raise capital, encourage investors and companies to be open and transparent, and help the public as a whole understand the value of their […]

More and more often, big name stocks come with big price tags. As of August 2020, one share of Google parent, Alphabet, Inc., was priced at more than $1,500—while one share of Amazon.com, Inc. was above $3,000. Thankfully, fractional shares let you buy the priciest stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) for as little as […]

Opening a brokerage account may feel like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. Before you begin, you need to understand the kinds of brokerage accounts available and which features are most important for your investing goals. “What are you trying to accomplish with the account? What are you looking to trade? Certain […]

Stocks play a key role in your investment portfolio, and learning how to buy stocks is your first job as an investor. Between 1926 and 2018, a 100% stock portfolio returned an average 10.1% a year, according to Vanguard. Over the same timeframe, a 100% bond portfolio earned 5.3% a year. Just remember, buying stocks […]

Social Finance—more commonly known as SoFi—wants to be the future of banking. Founded in 2011, this fintech veteran’s initial pitch was to student debt-laden millennials, some of whom were struggling to find their footing in the economic recovery that followed the Great Recession. Over the years, the San Francisco-based company has added a suite of […]

Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS, are bonds issued by the U.S. government that offer protection against inflation plus modest interest payments. “Many investors save and invest so they can spend in the future,” says Wes Crill, head of investment strategists at Dimensional Fund Advisors in Austin, Texas. “For investors prioritizing preservation of purchasing power, […]

Risk is the chance that an investment’s actual performance could differ from its expected return. Assessing and managing risk is one of an investor’s main jobs, whether they’re individuals or giant financial companies. Financial risk manager is an accreditation for financial professionals who are trained to help institutions identify, measure and manage risk. What Is […]

While tax-advantaged retirement accounts, like 401(k)s and IRAs, are the most common way Americans own stocks, it’s possible—and even advisable—to choose taxable investment accounts for some of your financial goals. While taxable investment accounts aren’t right for every situation, but they could be a good fit for some of your investing dollars. What Is a […]

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the world’s largest stock exchange, with the market capitalization of its listed companies clocking in at a whopping $24.5 trillion. Over nine million corporate stocks and securities are traded on the NYSE every day. Some of the biggest companies trade on the NYSE, particularly within the technology, healthcare, […]

Keeping track of your investment accounts is no small task. Between your employer’s 401(k) plan, one or more individual retirement accounts (IRAs), a health savings account (HSA) and taxable investment accounts, you could end up managing more than a few investment portfolios. My wife and I have more than a dozen. Juggling multiple accounts is […]

Owning international stocks—the shares of companies located outside your home country—can help diversify your portfolios, hedge against risk and tap into growth in economies beyond your own. Here’s what you need to know to start adding stamps to your investing passport. Why Should You Buy International Stocks? You probably already know how important diversification is […]

A CPA, or certified public accountant, is a highly trained financial professional specializing in accounting. Though many people associate CPAs solely with tax preparation, they perform a wide variety of financial-related tasks, from financial reporting to audit work and forensic research. CPA Requirements The requirements to become a CPA vary state by state. Generally speaking, […]

Return on equity (ROE) is a financial ratio that tells you how much profit a public company earns in comparison to the net assets it holds. ROE is very useful for comparing the performance of similar companies in the same industry and can show you which are making most efficient use of their (and by […]

Return on assets (ROA) is a measure of how efficiently a company uses the assets it owns to generate profits. Managers, analysts and investors use ROA to evaluate a company’s financial health. What Is ROA? Return on assets compares the value of a business’s assets with the profits it creates over a set period of […]

The S&P 500 capped its remarkable rise over the last 12 months by hitting 4,000 for the first time in history on April 1. No joke, and you’d never guess that 2020 had been a plague year. Vaccines are being jabbed into millions of arms and Covid-19 infections and deaths are on the decline, but […]

Decentralized finance, also known as DeFi, uses cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to manage financial transactions. DeFi aims to democratize finance by replacing legacy, centralized institutions with peer-to-peer relationships that can provide a full spectrum of financial services, from everyday banking, loans and mortgages, to complicated contractual relationships and asset trading. Centralized Finance Today Today, almost […]

A year after the U.S. stock market cratered in the Covid-19 crash, the S&P 500 ended the month of March at a fresh record high. All in all, the U.S. benchmark index has gained more than 77% in the year since the March 2020 bottom. Nevertheless, March wasn’t exactly a smooth ride. Concerns about the […]

There are plenty of ways to classify stocks to help you refine your investing strategy. One helpful method is to focus on growth stocks vs value stocks. Growth stocks tend to be growing at rates significantly above the average for the market, thanks to their unique products or disruptive technologies. What Are Growth Stocks? Growth […]

Digital currency has the potential to completely change how society thinks about money. The rise of Bitcoin, Ethereum and thousands of other cryptocurrencies that exist only in electronic form has led global central banks to research how national digital currencies might work. What Is Digital Currency? Digital currency is any currency that’s available exclusively in […]

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