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Finance

Finance

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Investing

Introduction

There are three basic ways to make money:(1) Get free money by winning big the lottery or having long-lost Uncle Henry leave you his huge estate.  It's a sure thing, right?(2) Earn the money...

Why Invest?

You might have plans for a high-power career, or you might have big dreams to become the first trillion-dollar YouTube artist. Regardless of how you make your briefcases full of money, why should y...

Student Finance

You need textbooks, but you can't afford them because you need to pay tuition and, you know, eat. You're working as many shifts as you can handle, but you're working so hard that you're worried you...

College Finance: Investing in Education

Paying for School Without Selling an OrganIt's not just Tiger Moms who worry about college.Today, planning for college when you're ten isn't some freaky high-achieving thing. Not only is getting in...

Stocks

Owning a Company Without Having to Work ThereStocks are a tiny slice of ownership in a public company.For example, let's say you can buy one share of Google for a little over $550. If Google has 68...

Why Should I Care About Stocks?

The rich really are different.If you've ever watched a reality TV show, you already know that people with money make very different decisions (and use different Instagram filters) than the rest of...

Stocks as Ownership

It's Tuesday night and you're bored. For fun, you go online and buy one Google stock (because the ticker symbol for Google is GOOG and that made you laugh at 3:00AM). What does that mean?It means y...

Rights of Stockholders

If you buy stock in General Motors Company, does that get you a free car?Nope. It doesn’t even get you a nice discount at the Cadillac dealership. When you create your own (private) business, you...

Common vs. Preferred Shares

Common shares may be…common, but they're the ones who stand to gain the most when a company does well.Stocks are usually divided into two classes: common stock and preferred stock. Here's a handy...

Who Invests in Stocks?

Who Invests in Stocks?Your next-door neighbor with the yappy dog. Your date. Your dentist. Your boss. The guy who runs the biggest business in town. Your pink-haired grandmother with her collection...

Tools of Analysis

Even stockbrokers and professional money managers don't agree on which stocks are best to buy—so how are you supposed to figure it out?One way is to take a look at how a company is doing financia...

The Stock Market

You probably go to your local supermarket (or farmer's market, if you're in California or a hipster) to get your groceries. For your stocks? You'll go to the stock market. You might not be able to...

Mutual Funds

Recap: stocks are a little bit of ownership of a company and bonds are a little bit of a company's debt. Now, you can buy those suckers individually, or you can choose a bunch of them in a mutual f...

"No Load" Mutual Funds

Who doesn't love free stuff? At the same time, we all know that there's really no such thing as a free lunch. Lots of the stuff we think is free is paid for someway and somehow. That free music fes...

Types of Mutual Funds

There are more mutual funds than stocks, and these funds come in every style, color, and flavor you can imagine. (Most of 'em taste pretty nasty, though.) You can match them to your mood, investmen...

Judging the Performance of a Mutual Fund

If you've been to Rush Week, you may have already run into "Alpha," the Greek letter that starts the alphabet and is emblazoned on frat sweatshirts across the country. Wall Street guys went to coll...

Buying Mutual Funds

A lot can happen in 24 hours. You can get a date for prom, win the lottery, break your leg, or find out that the tooth fairy isn't real. (Sorry.)A lot can happen to mutual funds in 24 hours, too. M...

Fidelity and the Magellan Fund

There are always people who see the future more clearly than others—especially when new markets or industries are growing. Bill Gates, for example, was able to picture a time when everyone would...

Mutual Funds vs. Index Funds

You'd think that mutual funds get most of their competition from other mutual funds. Not so.For them, the Big Bad is the index fund. No matter how much mutual funds try to pretty up their image and...

Index Funds

Indexes are always useful.In the back of a book, they help you find the right pages you need to study. On your hand, your index finger is good for pointing and for jabbing at someone who's annoying...

Vanguard: The Rise of Index Funds

Vanguard was the first of the big cat index funds. Its founder and CEO, John Bogle, was one of the first to point out that mutual funds did not perform as well as index funds over time. That commen...

Index Funds vs. ETFs

If you're interested in investing in index funds, you're eventually going to run into the three letters ETF. ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are a type of index fund that doesn't rely on bean counting...

Types of Index Funds

Not all index funds are created equal. They come in tons of colors and flavors —and you might want to taste the rainbow. In fact, plenty of investors and money types recommend that you buy at lea...

Buying Index Funds

Buying an index fund is a little like a zen kōan.Kōans are simple questions (like "what's the sound of one hand clapping?") that are intended to incite doubt and show a student how little he/she...

Judging the Performance of an Index Fund

So you've bought some index funds, and now you're kicking back, waiting for your money to grow so that you can buy that Maserati. Tick tock.How long is this thing going to take? And how do you know...

Selling Index Funds

When should you sell your index funds? At about the same time you should turn down free money.So…never. If the market is going up about 8% a year, you're making money...so you want to stay in....

Bonds

There are a lot of bonds out there. There's 007 sipping his martini by the bar, of course, and then there's the super bond adhesive that your sister somehow used to glue her My Little Pony to her a...

Why Should I Care About Bonds?

You want a fat, juicy investment portfolio that oozes money and makes you a zillionaire so that you can outfit your house in Versace, right? Since bonds make less of a return than stocks, why would...

Types of Bonds

There may only be one 007 but the bonds in your investment portfolio are a dime a dozen. Or at least like a couple thousand bucks a dozen. Senior Obligation BondsJust like the seniors at your schoo...

Government Bonds

Do you find yourself scrambling to pay your bills and credit cards some months? Well, it turns out the government has the same problem. It costs a lot of money to run a country, and the government...

The Pieces of a Bond

On the surface, it can look pretty simple. You buy a bond and—boom—you have a security. Right? Well, like most things created by money people, there's a lot going on behind the scenes. Your bon...

Buying Bonds

Should You Buy Bonds?If you're looking to invest in stocks or any other investments, bonds cover your butt. Even if the real estate market tanks or your stocks take a swan dive off Wall Street, bon...

Inflation and Bonds

Way back in 1799, poet William Wordsworth decided to rent a cottage in the Lake District of England. His rent? Under $8/year. Today, when an apartment can cost you $2,500/month, it kinda makes you...

Loan Duration

Loans don't last forever; they just feel like they do.When companies and governments issue bonds, they attach a maturity date to them. The maturity date can range from a few years to a really long...

How Bonds Trade

Those Wall Street guys will sell just about anything, including stocks, securities, currency, the shirt off your back, or their dirty secrets to the tabloids. Why should bonds be any different?Most...

Commodities

Your aunt might call Matthew McConaughey a "hot commodity," but she wouldn't be exactly right—and not just because you prefer Ryan Gosling.Commodities are basically things that can be sold, bough...

Currency

Here's the simple version: currency is something we all agree has specific value.If you had a secret club when you were six and you decided that you would use green M&Ms to buy action figures o...

Hedge Funds

Hedge funds, at first blush, look a lot like any mutual funds They're a bunch of investments combined together, and there's a financial guy at the helm.But look a little closer. You'll notice that...

Emerging Markets

That farm shop selling vegan cheese may be a new market, but emerging markets are something very different. In the financial world, they refer to investment risks that affect whole countries rather...

Asset Allocation

Asset allocation just means not keeping all your eggs in one basket.Let's say you want to go to Harvard. You buy the snappy sweatshirts, get a "Harvard or Bust" bumper sticker on your car, and go t...

The S&P 500

The Standard and Poor's 500 (a.k.a. the S&P 500) is a stock market index. Created by a publishing company called (not surprisingly) Standard & Poor's, the S&P 500 tracks the top 500 U.S...

Wealthy Americans

If you're going to become the next multibillionaire, you'll want to look at the people that came before you: the Rockefellers and, uh, Mark Zuckerbergs of the world. While lots of American Dreamers...

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is an idea, yes, but it's also an actual place.It technically refers to the area in Santa Clara County, California, near Stanford University—roughly between the San Jose airport an...

Staying Rich

What happens once you make your millions?The real trick is holding onto to what you've earned. If you get rich, how do you stay rich?Trust FundsTrust funds protect your money from others. Let's say...

Starting a Company

Twenty years ago, kids wanted to be astronauts when they grew up. Today, they want to be entrepreneurs.And good news: there has never been a better or easier time to start a business. Thanks to ser...

Challenges Facing Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs—the people who found and own businesses—enjoy some pretty big perks: the corner office, first dibs on morning office coffee, and personal assistants they can order around. But tha...

Case Studies

So you're ready to stick it to The Man by becoming your own boss? Great.Let's take a look at a few different kinds of businesses, from dud to stud.RestaurantFoodies and celebs alike love the idea o...

Financial Journalism

What do you do if you want to see how your stocks are doing and what you should invest in next? Just pick up the Wall Street Journal or go to pretty much any financial news source online, right?Eh...

Growth

Type A business people have a motto: "If you're not growing, you're rotting." Actually, they have a bunch of mottos, including "The guy with the best BMW wins." But let's not worry about that right...

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