Stocks

Best IRA Accounts of 2014

Most of the top companies that are home to the best IRA accounts are the same places where you would open up an online stock trading account. In a previous post, I ranked the best online brokers so I had a head start when it came to finding the best Roth IRA or best Traditional …

Best Online Stock Trading Brokers for 2014

I’ve had an online stock trading account since I was 13 years old and I’ve used at least a dozen of the best online stock trading platforms. I’ve gained a few “learning experiences” from managing my own account and working as a proprietary day trader in Chicago for several years. There are over 50 online …

The Meaning of the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Mickey writes in: In the last week, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at a thirteen month high and, at the same time, unemployment hit double digits for the first time since the early eighties. I thought that the Dow Jones was supposed to represent how the economy was doing, but that’s not the case. …

Categories: Getting Started, Stocks

The Stock Market Is Rebounding Big Time – Should I Care?

Since mid-March, the S&P 500 is up almost 58% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up almost as much. If you opened your retirement savings at the end of the first quarter this year and looked at the numbers with a cringe, it’s likely that if you looked at the numbers right now, you’d …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

The Time Cost of Investing: Does Obliviousness Pay Off?

One aspect of buy-and-hold investing in low-cost index funds that has always attracted me is that there is an extremely low time cost. Once you have the initial investments in place, there is virtually no time cost at all. All you have to do is invest maybe half an hour a year rebalancing the investments …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

Riding the Market Up

Ada writes in: Like you, I think the stock market is near the bottom right now and will go up greatly in the next three to five years. I have some extra cash (about $10K) but I don’t know exactly what to do with it to get on board. How would you do it? In …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

Earning Regular Income from Stock Investing via Dividends

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with a fellow in his early sixties who has already retired. He had been self-employed his entire life. I told him about The Simple Dollar and I asked him, if he didn’t mind, if he would tell me about how he had invested for …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

The Intelligent Investor: Investment Versus Speculation

This is the second in a weekly series of articles providing a chapter-by-chapter in-depth “book club” reading of Benjamin Graham’s investing classic The Intelligent Investor. Warren Buffett describes this book: “I read the first edition of this book early in 1950, when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best …

Why I’m Not Panicking – And You Shouldn’t, Either

Over the last three or four days, I’ve received a bunch of emails from readers asking me why I’m not talking breathlessly about the chaos at Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and IndyMac. I’ve read dozens of long explanations of why this is disastrous and why it’s the worst thing people have ever seen, and I’ve …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

What Individual Stocks Would I Invest In for the Long Haul?

In the reader mailbag yesterday, I alluded to the idea that I would only buy individual stocks from companies that I was strongly familiar with and whose products I used myself and not only trusted, but that I found enough value in that I would laud them to others. In other words, I’m a big …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

Personal Finance 101: What Exactly Does It Mean to Own a Stock?

Steve wrote in with a good question recently: What does it actually mean to own a stock? Do you own a piece of that company? Are you just gambling that you think a company’s value will go up or down? I guess I don’t really understand the stock market. Steve asks a good question, so …

Categories: Getting Started, Stocks

Is Jim Cramer a Positive or a Negative Influence on the Average Investor?

Yesterday morning, I wrote a fairly controversial article where I described individual stock investing as akin to gambling for the average investor. The impetus for that article was Jim Cramer’s appearances on CNN just before the Bear Stearns collapse, shouting loudly that Bear Stearns was in great shape. Check it out if you want to …

Is Investing in Individual Stocks Merely Gambling – Or Something More?

I have a lot of fun following individual stocks in my spare time. I keep tabs on a small handful of companies that I have a personal interest in – Apple, Nintendo, Herman Miller, and Ford, namely. I watch for news articles on the company, read their annual and quarterly reports, and stay up to …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

The Little Books Series: Which Ones Are Worthwhile Reads?

Over the last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to review all five entries in the Little Book investment series. For those unaware, the Little Book series by Wiley Publishing is a series of small hardcover books. Each entry in the series seeks to explain in layman’s terms a specific investment strategy and how an …

Review: The Little Book That Builds Wealth

Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. The Little Book That Builds Wealth is the fifth book in the Little Books series from Wiley Publishing, each of which focuses in on describing a particular investing strategy in layman’s terms. This time around, the focus is on competitive advantage, or “moats” – the …

Categories: Books, Investing, Stocks

The Vanguard Catch-22

As I’ve mentioned many times before, all of my taxable investing, as well as my Roth IRA, is done directly through Vanguard. I use Vanguard because I trust them – they’re a nonprofit that has a stellar long-term record and their index fund investment options are quite strong. I’m not alone in feeling this way …

Categories: Investing, Stocks

The Chorus of Voices for Index Funds

Having read a small mountain of personal finance and investing books in the last couple of years, I’ve come to realize that there’s some significant overlap in the ideas presented in the books. Spend less than you earn and avoid high-interest debt pop up again and again, but I wanted to look at perhaps the …

Review: One Up On Wall Street

Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Peter Lynch is a Wall Street legend. He drove Fidelity’s Magellan mutual fund to some incredible returns in the 1970s and 1980s, year after year. From 1977, when he took over the fund, to 1990, when he retired, that fund grew from $18 million in …

Categories: Books, Investing, Stocks

Six Steps for a Beginning Stock Investor

Once a person has their debt under control, the next thing that they want to do with their money is figure out ways to maximize it, and most of the time the potential gains of the stock market look like a great place to put money. But how? For the average person, the diversity of …

Categories: Investing, Stocks