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 ...

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 ...

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.

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 ...

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 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

What are Pooled Investment Accounts?

Ways to invest your money can be divided into two paths — the direct ownership of securities such as stocks and bonds, or through pooled investments where you earn a proportional share of the profits and income earned by the pooled assets. Some types of pooled investments ...

Define Portfolio Risk

Each investment carries a risk of loss. The higher the potential returns, the higher the risk. If you hold a portfolio with many investments, each of those investments carries its own risk. All of the investment risks combined result in an overall risk you have exposed your ...

Advantages and Disadvantages of Common Stocks

Common stocks represent part ownership of publicly traded companies. Stocks trade on regulated and over-the-counter stock exchanges worldwide. Common stocks are a key component of retirement portfolios, along with bonds and short-term money market instruments. You can buy stocks ...

How to Calculate Multiple Year Holding Period Returns With Dividends

It is important to monitor your investments’ returns to see if you are meeting your investment objectives. If you’ve held a dividend-paying stock for more than one year, you can calculate its multiple-year holding period return to gauge its performance. A holding ...

How to Endorse Savings Bonds as the Personal Representative of Estates

When the owner of a savings bond dies, the U.S. Treasury has procedures for redeeming the bonds. As an estate executor, you have the authority to endorse savings bonds because you are the personal and legal representative of the estate. Visit a bank and follow specific ...

Taxable vs. Non-Taxable Bonds

A major investment choice comes when you must decide between bonds paying taxable interest and those that are exempt from income tax. Bonds have different features, liquidity and credit quality. Your personal tax situation will make one type or the other a better choice for you.

What Is a Debt Investment?

When it comes to investing, you have two primary options: equities and debt instruments. Equities are things you own, such as stock or real estate. Debt instruments represent a loan from which you expect to receive a return of your principal with interest, such as a bank ...

How to Estimate the Value of a Bearer Bond

Most bonds are issued to a particular individual in that person’s name; bearer bonds belong to whoever holds them. In this respect, they’re similar to cash. If you inherit bearer bonds from someone or find some tucked away in the attic, you might not know the value ...

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