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Your Ultimate Guide to Trading Stocks Read Article
Company spotlight Ally Invest Built for investors who want to manage their own portfolios, Ally’s self-directed trading gives you all the tools you need to buy and trade stocks, optimize your portfolio and stay on top of the market, all without the need for... Read Reviews
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When considering a stock for investment purposes, there are usually a number of qualities that always need to be addressed – price-to-earnings, sales, profit margins, dividends, EPS growth, debt, and other items. But one of the things that tend to get overlooked far too often is stock buyback programs. Stock buyback (or repurchase) programs are a way the companies have to mitigate price declines and reduce the number of overall shares on the market. Usually a company buying its own stock is seen as a positive thing – after all, if the company believes in their own stock, maybe investors should too. Pros and cons of a stock buyback program It's not too difficult to find a stock that has an active share repurchase program. You can usually find out if a company has an active program through a simple Google query or simply check the company's 10-K statement to find out definitively. Investors normally view stock buyback programs as a positive thing in a potential investment. It means that the underlying company is literally investing in their own brand… Read more

There are four main types of assets investors trade in – equities, bonds, commodities, and currencies. Equities and bonds are relatively easy to invest in while commodities can be done through mutual funds and ETFs, but investing in currencies is usually the domain of large institutional investors. While there are a number of currencies investors can trade, the largest is without a doubt the US dollar. But other than simply holding cash in hand, investors may not be aware of how to actually take advantage of the ups and downs that the value of the US dollar experiences. Betting on the dollar As a global standard of trade, the US dollar is held by virtually every country in the world. As such, the value of the dollar is important not only to the US but also to other countries that own US debt – a drop in the value of the dollar means a drop in the value of those assets. As of the beginning of 2018, the total amount of US debt held by foreign governments surpassed $15 trillion… Read more

Building the right investment portfolio is a dynamic process. There's no perfect solution that fits every investor's needs, and even a well-designed portfolio will need adjusting on a regular basis in order to minimize risk and maximize profits. At some point, one might even consider adding in leverage to boost profits and take advantage of certain opportunities. Using leverage in your portfolio can be a great way to boost overall returns if you have the risk tolerance to deal with higher volatility. But making the choice to add these types of funds to your portfolio shouldn't be taken lightly. There's a significant impact that it can have on your overall investment goals. There's also a significant difference in the behavior of a traditional portfolio and one that includes leveraged and inverse funds that could mean changes to your investment strategy. Using leverage in your portfolio A leveraged or inverse fund is an ETF or mutual fund that uses leverage or short positions in its trading portfolio. Leveraged funds use margin accounts and futures contracts to generate an amplification of 2-3x what the benchmark… Read more

Stocks haven't done much so far this year. The S&P 500 is up just 2.8% while the Dow Jones is actually down around 1.4%. Volatility has ranged from extreme lows to extreme highs this year alone but currently stands at a mild 13.37. The stagnation of US markets has led some investors to think outside of the country for profits. Going international instead of staying domestic could open up new possibilities for investors. There are additional benefits gained by broadening your investment environment, such as diversifying against interest rates and economic events that impact only the US. But it also opens you up to new risks like foreign exchange currency loss. Understanding the risks and benefits of both strategies will help you maximize your profits while keeping risk at a minimum. Stay domestic There are a lot of benefits to be gained by staying in the US for your investment portfolio. For one, you are far more likely to be familiar with domestic companies and economic policies that allow you to employ strategies like sector rotation in your portfolio. Diversification can… Read more

Investors don't have to look very far to find investment advice. From the tip given by a co-worker to the myriad of financial advisors available, there's plenty of material on the subject out there. But unless you fall into the standard risk tolerant category, you might be missing out on a more efficient investment plan. Some investors discover that standard portfolio design doesn't suit them. Moderate returns and a relatively stable account balance can sometimes lead to boredom and apathy. Investors may decide to do something else with their money after a while and give up on the idea of investing altogether. Instead, they need a more aggressive strategy to keep them involved. If the idea of extreme volatility, swings of 10%, 20%, or more, in your portfolio doesn't keep you up at night, you might fit the description of someone who should be investing aggressively. The risks might be higher, but so are the potential returns. Not for the faint of heart Aggressive investors sometimes have a harder time designing a portfolio than conservative ones. That's because there are… Read more