Investing for Beginners

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How to Look Up a Mutual Fund CUSIP

A Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures – or CUSIP – number is used primarily by industry professionals to identify clearances and settlements for a particular investment. Each CUSIP is a unique nine-digit number belonging to a particular ...

Things You Didn't Know About the Stock Market

Investors know that thousands of companies trade on stock markets around the world. Trading starts in Tokyo on Sunday evening and continues almost non-stop right until the final bell sounds on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday afternoon. Successful investing requires ...

What Is a Stock and How Do Stocks Affect the Economy?

Stocks represent ownership interest in companies and are important to individuals and businesses. Stocks are a key component of individual retirement portfolios. Businesses access the stock markets to raise capital for strategic and operational reasons. Stock prices influence ...

Mutual Fund Yield Versus Return

When you buy a fixed income investment such as a bank certificate of deposit or a Treasury note to be held to maturity, the yield paid by the investment and your annual return are essentially the same percentage. With a mutual fund investment, you get to include the additional ...

Can I Cash a Savings Bond at a Bank if I Don't Have an Account There?

The traditional place to cash a U.S. savings bond is at your bank. Almost every bank will cash Series EE and Series I bonds as a service to customers and the U.S. Treasury. To cash a bond at a bank where you do not have an account is possible within certain limitations.

The Advantages of Leveraged Investing

Using leverage as part of your investment strategy could help you reach your investment goals sooner. The use of leverage multiplies the gains for the same amount of money invested. The amount of leverage you can use depends on the markets in which you are investing and trading. ...

Do Assets Have to Be Liquidated to Change Stock Brokers?

In most cases, it is possible to have your current investment holdings transferred to a new broker -- no selling required. To accomplish a transfer, you must follow the established procedures. Before you initiate any brokerage account transfer, you should make yourself aware of ...

What Is the Difference Between a 529 & a Custodial Account?

A 529 plan and a custodial account are personal finance tools that parents use to benefit their children. A 529 plan provides an investment vehicle designed for building funds to pay for college for children, while a custodial account acts as a trust that enables parents to ...

Long-Term Vs. Short-Term Investment

Many investors claim you should buy and hold investments, ignoring short-term market dips. However, some stocks decline to zero, and buy-and-hold investors regret skipping selling opportunities that would have preserved cash. Short-term investors hold investments for one to ...

The Advantages of Investing in T-Notes

The federal government requires a steady flow of money to operate. When the government spends more money than it takes in, it has to borrow money to make up the difference. The United States Department of the Treasury borrows money from individual, institutional and government ...

How Much Return on My Investment Do I Get on a CD?

Bank certificates of deposit provide a combination of a safety of principal and the ability to earn yields greater than the rates paid on savings or money market accounts. Banks advertise rates and yields for different CD options. You can use that information to calculate your ...

How Does a Put Option Work?

A put option is a security with a dual personality. You can trade put options for profit, but you must accept considerable risk. On the other hand, traders often use put options primarily as a risk-reducing strategy to protect the value of other investments. Puts are often ...

Index Trackers vs. Picking Shares

Index trackers, or funds, invest in shares that track a particular stock market index, such as the S&P 500. Picking stocks involves researching company fundamentals and buying those that meet certain investment criteria. Index tracking is a passive investing strategy because ...

How Do United States Savings Bonds Mature & What Are They Worth?

U.S. savings bonds are a popular savings and investment vehicle that offer safety, security and a rate of return comparable to many other savings and investment programs. The current Series EE savings bonds mature at a steady and predictable rate and are backed by the full faith ...

How Do Dividends Affect Stock Price?

Your total return from dividend stocks consists of the rise in your stock prices plus the corporate profits companies pay out as dividends on your shares of their stocks. You profit when stock prices rise and dividends remain steady. Knowing the relationship between dividends ...

What Is a Derivative Contract?

The widespread use of derivative financial contracts often receives at least partial blame for the 2008 financial crisis. An informed investor understands which types of securities are derivative contracts. In spite of the sometimes negative connotation attached to derivatives, ...

How to Account for Selling Stock

Selling stock when you want to cash in on an investment or sell before the market dips in value is a key part of a timely investing strategy. However, there's much more to selling stock than pocketing the money you receive and walking away. You'll need to account for the money ...

What Is the Duration of a Bond With Two Years to Maturity?

Bond duration is a measurement of the risk of a bond in relation to changes in interest rates. The calculation of a bond's duration is complex -- but that is what calculators are for. Using the duration to make investment decisions is a simpler task and more useful for investors.

Dollar Cost Averaging vs. Market Timing

Dollar cost averaging is the periodic investment of funds, while market timing refers to investment decisions based on market conditions. These strategies determine how and when investors allocate their surplus cash into stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other financial assets. ...

How to Find Out If Bonds Have Been Cashed

About $16 billion in unredeemed U.S. Savings Bonds are still floating around, waiting to be cashed, according to the U.S. Treasury. If you have found some old certificates, depending on the issue date, it may be a simple thing to find out if savings bonds have been cashed out ...

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