“Buy low, sell high.” This simple piece of advice sums up the goal of every investor — to sell securities at a higher price than what was originally paid. Of course, this is easier said than done. Buying and selling the right stocks at the right time is tricky business, even for investment pros who
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During the financial crisis and Great Recession, thousands of Americans lost their homes to foreclosure when they were unable to pay their monthly mortgages. But now, a new type of foreclosure crisis is emerging in which people are losing their homes as a result of delinquent payment of their property taxes. How Tax Liens Work
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Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are securities issued by the government that adjust for inflation based on the value of the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Unlike other fixed-income investments, the face value (and therefore the interest income) varies over time based on the amount of inflation adjustment. This makes TIPS a good choice for a laddering
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A new type of investment has recently emerged that has piqued the curiosity of options investors. Commonly referred to as binary options, this investment is an options contract in which the payout is based on the correct or incorrect answer of a simple yes/no proposition. Binary options are also sometimes called all-or-nothing options or Fixed
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“Operation Mis-Modification” may sound like a bad TV sitcom or a strange new form of pageant, but it is actually a joint effort from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and officials from fifteen states, designed to crack down on mortgage-relief scammers. During the mortgage crisis, desperate homeowners sought help
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Pairs trading, developed by analysts at Morgan Stanley in the 1980s, uses correlation between two similar investment vehicles to create a market-neutral trading strategy – where profits are not related to whether the overall market goes up or down. Correlation of two investment vehicles refers to how their prices change relative to each other. If
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The Foreign Currency Market, often called the FOREX or FX market, is a marketplace for the buying and selling of currencies, which are considered a form of commodity. Investors make or lose money based on changes in the value of relative currencies. Trades on the FOREX market are made in currency pairs – you are
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An investment is considered “triple-tax-free” if it is exempt from taxes at all three levels of government – federal, state and municipal. What kind of investment gives you that sort of a sweet deal? The answer is municipal bonds. Generally, a state or a municipality offers the bonds with tax-free interest payments to promote investments
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“The Witching Hour” sounds like a bad public access television show, but it really refers to a particular time of day where odd and unexplainable things happen. When referring to stocks, it means pretty much the same thing, except that the reasons behind the activities are somewhat explainable. Triple-witching days occur four times a year
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Natural gas has been touted by some as a greener alternative to other fossil fuels, and thanks to technological improvements to increase supply, the current price also makes natural gas an attractive option. The relatively sudden increased availability of natural gas was a boon for energy consumers. Unfortunately for investors, natural gas price plummeted through
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If you are one of those people who likes to post on social media about all the things going on in your life, there is at least one event you might want to think twice about before hitting the “post” button: a car accident. That is because insurance adjusters are increasingly turning to social media
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MedPay Car Insurance, otherwise known as Medical Payments coverage, is a common target for people who are trying to reduce their insurance premiums to save money. However, MedPay is one of the better bargains in insurance today in terms of the value you get for the premiums that you pay. A typical cost is between
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APR and APY – are they new texting acronyms? IDK, you say – or rather, you text? (For the benefit of the textually-challenged, IDK means “I don’t know.”) If you think they are texting acronyms, or just “DK” what they are, it’s time to learn. APR and APY are financial acronyms, short for Annual Percentage
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A microfinance loan is a loan extended by non-traditional lenders to people who are not served by traditional banks, such as lower-income borrowers, people without collateral, or people with lower credit scores. It does not necessarily refer to the loan amount, although most loans are small – from the $500 range to thousands. Microfinance loans
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There are two avenues of government assistance to disabled Americans – Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. To qualify for these programs, generally a person must meet the definition of disabled as defined by the Social Security Administration, must have resources of less than $2,000 and the disability must prevent them from holding a job.
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Insurance is a useful tool to cover risks, if applied wisely. If not, then it is the equivalent of throwing your money away. Even worse than throwing your money away, these frivolous insurance policies can leave you with a false sense of security. Less useful policies tend to offer very narrow single-purpose coverage, overlap with
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Not surprisingly, choosing a trustee is one of the most important aspects of setting up a trust. It is not uncommon for trustees to be unprepared, overwhelmed, disinterested, or otherwise unsuited for the job they have been given. The job of a trustee, and therefore the best choice of trustee, varies depending on the type
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Flood insurance is required if you live in an area designated as a potential flood zone by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). However, some 20-25% of flood claims come from moderate and low risk areas – not to mention the impact on uninsured people who are affected by floods. How do you determine your
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When most people think of “disability insurance,” they think of Workers Compensation programs provided by all 50 states. That’s because Workers Comp, as it’s typically called, insures over 130 million Americans today against the risk of workplace injury through premiums paid by both workers and employers. In 2011, the last year for which complete data
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Futures are investments that allow you to buy commodities by locking in a certain price at a specific time without actually buying the shares. These are speculative bets you are placing on the future price of a commodity, sometimes far in advance. In addition to commodities such as crude oil and corn, stocks, foreign currencies
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Most people tend to lump all insurance carriers together within the “alphabet soup” of insurance types, but there are differences. Consider the areas of Life and Health (L&H) and Property and Casualty (P&C) insurance. Some larger carriers offer both, but most specialize in one form or the other. All of these carriers have the common
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Medicare has one important difference when compared to most other health plans – Medicare Parts A and B do not have a cap on out-of pocket costs. These costs can add up quickly, especially for chronic or long-term illnesses. Premiums and most deductible and co-insurance situations are straightforward, but some costs are not. These Medicare
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Most people don’t consider earthquake insurance unless they live in earthquake-prone areas, and even then many don’t purchase policies because of high premium costs and deductibles. Some mistakenly believe they are covered under different policies. It’s worth a few minutes of your time to investigate your potential needs for earthquake insurance. Earthquake insurance is sold
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