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Getting Started Articles

Certificates of Deposit

A certificate of deposit (CD) is an interest-paying savings vehicle. A CD has a stated maturity date, a specified interest rate and can be issued in any denomination by commercial banks, thrifts and credit unions. Putting your cash reserve in a CD can earn you more interest than using a cash deposit account. Read more »

American Depositary Receipts

An American depositary receipt (ADR) represents shares of a non-U.S. publicly traded company and is traded on the U.S. exchanges. ADRs make it easier for U.S.-based investors to buy and sell foreign stocks. Read more »

REITs--Real Estate Investment Trusts

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a corporation or trust that purchases and manages income property and/or mortgage loans. Any investor looking to add real estate to a portfolio for diversification purposes may find REITs an attractive option. Find out the pros and cons of investing in REITs. Read more »

Navigating Through EDGAR: What to Look for on the SEC Web Site

One of the most useful Web sites for investors is the SEC's EDGAR, which contains required filings and forms of public corporations, with detailed financial disclosures. A guide to the the key filings. Read more »

From the SEC: Micro-Cap Fraud

Accurate information on micro-cap stocks is sometimes difficult to find. Tips on how to recognize fraud schemes. Read more »

The Basics: What Is the Over-the-Counter Market?

"Over the counter" loosely applies to securities not traded on an organized exchange. Although they encompass Nasdaq stocks, they also include the less-regulated OTC Bulletin Board and the unregulated Pink Sheets. Read more »

The Top 10 Economic Indicators: What to Watch and Why

Everyone wants to keep a pulse on the economy, but no one wants to wade through the massive volume of statistics. A look at the top 10 economic indicators can help you narrow your focus. Read more »

Outrageous Advertising: A Survival Guide for Investors

You wouldn't believe a used car salesman who claimed that an old car had only been driven to church on Sundays. Yet many investors paid good money to a newsletter that claimed it turned $10,000 into over $40 million in 13 years. Read more »

The Psychology Behind Common Investor Mistakes

Standard finance models assume that investors take in information and make logically "correct" decisions. Behavioral finance introduces the possibility of less-than-perfectly-rational behavior. Read more »

What Every Investor Should Know About Mutual Funds

February 2000 by John Markese
Stock funds at the top of the performance lists may continue outperforming in the next period. But what is more telling is that bad funds tend to continue to be bad. Mutual fund pearls of wisdom. Read more »

It's a Balancing Act

You've carefully weighed in your own mind how you want your retirement portfolio to look: just the right amount of your assets allocated to stocks versus fixed-income investments. Then, inevitably, the market jumps up or down, and your portfolio is thrown completely off balance. What should you do? Read more »

Getting Started: Developing an Investing Plan From Ground Level

Younger investors building an investment portfolio from scratch face the limitations of their meager savings. A case study gives one example of where to begin. Read more »

Is R-I-S-K Really a Four-Letter Word?

It can be - but in the investment world, risk is impossible to avoid. The trick is how to get risk to work for you, and not against you. Read more »

401(k) Plan Pluses and Minuses: How Does It Add Up?

Retirement is a long way down the road for many employees. But the decision over whether you should contribute to a 401(k) plan can have a big impact on your long-term financial future. These plans offer significant advantages. But there are also certain disadvantages. Your contribution decision should be based on adding up the pluses and minuses, and seeing which comes out on top. Read more »

The First Step

When entering a 401(k) plan, you may experience nightmares trying to figure out how to achieve a proper asset allocation with your first contribution. Where to start with your initial investment. Read more »

Starting an Investment Program With Dollar Cost Averaging

Starting an investment plan can be daunting, particularly when facing a sea of stock market uncertainty. Taking the plunge can be made easier, however, using averaging techniques. A look at dollar cost and value averaging. Read more »

Saving Time and Taxes Through Good Recordkeeping

No one likes a lot of paperwork. But maintaining accurate records can save time when taxes are due, and aggravation if the IRS challenges your filing. Helpful tips on maintaining records for tax purposes. Read more »