Investor Professor Articles

Health Savings Accounts

July 2016 by Charles Rotblut
HSAs allow for dollars to be set aside tax-free to pay for future medical expenses. Read more »

A Satirical Take on Financial Terminology

January 2016 by Jason Zweig
Financial terms often mean the opposite of what they appear to signify. Poking fun can unveil weaknesses and risks not so apparent on first glance. Read more »

Five Key Financial Concepts

October 2015 by Hareesh Jayanthi
How financially literate are you? Take this quiz to find out. Read more »

How to Read a 10-K Filing

July 2015 by Charles Rotblut
This annual report, required by the SEC, offers insight into a company’s business and the potential risks shareholders may face. Read more »

Earnings Estimates

May 2015 by Charles Rotblut
Earnings surprises and earnings estimates revisions can drive stock price momentum. Read more »

Cash Dividend Types, Dates and Taxes

July 2014 by Charles Rotblut
The various dividend terms all have important implications for your portfolio. Read more »

How Liquidity Impacts the Attractiveness of an Asset

April 2013 by Charles Rotblut
Greater levels of liquidity attract more buyers and sellers, while lower levels of liquidity deter some would-be investors. Read more »

Corporate Bankruptcy and Your Investments

July 2011 by Charles Rotblut
A corporate bankruptcy filing creates tax challenges; here is what you need to know. Read more »

Determining Your Allocation at Retirement

July 2010 by Charles Rotblut
There is no strategy for retirement allocation that universally applies to all investors. The best place to start is to determine your needs. Read more »

Bond Terminology

June 2010
Bond terminology, some of the common terminology used to explain bonds, here is a brief primer. Read more »

Proxy Voting

April 2010 by Charles Rotblut
Proxy ballots give investors a voice and proxy materials contain important information. Read more »

Investing in Gold

March 2010 by Charles Rotblut
There are several choices for investors who want to add an allocation to gold to their portfolios. What you need to know about the various options. Read more »

Dogs of the Dow

January 2010 by Charles Rotblut
Every January, Dogs of the Dow draws attention. A look at the current list, and a suggestion of a better way to use the screen. Read more »

“Stock” Supply Data: Inventory Turnover

September 2009
For stock investors analyzing prospective investments and their own holdings, one important issue concerns how much money a company has tied up in its inventory. How can you judge a company's ability to manage inventory? Two operating performance measures are particularly useful in analyzing how efficiently a firm is managing its "stock." Read more »

Munis vs. Taxables: How to Determine the Taxable Equivalent Yield

July 2009 by Maria Scott
Munis offer income that is sheltered from federal taxes, but at yields that are typically lower than taxable bonds. How do you compare bonds yields that receive different tax treatments? A relatively simple formula puts the yields on an equal tax footing. Read more »

Dividend Safety Signs and Warning Flags

June 2009 by Maria Scott
Many investors have sought shelter from the stock market storm in more mature dividend-paying companies. But in this market environment, how can you be sure a company has the financial resources to continue payments? Signs and warning flags you can use to evaluate the safety of a company's dividend payment stream. Read more »

The Role of Risk-Free Assets in Your Long-Term Portfolio

April 2009
In today's market environment, the exclusive focus is on risk-free assets for the short term. Two years ago, the same assets were considered "too boring" over the long term. What role should they play in your portfolio? The answer requires both a short-term and a long-term perspective. Read more »

Where Credit Is Due: A Look at the Ratings

February 2009
There are many factors that individuals must consider when making investments in fixed-income securities. Current bond yields, current bond prices, and current as well as future interest rates all may have a big impact on the return of a fixed-income investment. Read more »

All Averages Are Not Created Equal

January 2009
Average returns are reported in many different types of listings. Most individuals assume those averages are all calculated in the same way. In fact, they are not. A look at the different "averages," and how they are calculated. Read more »

Making Sense of Profits Using Profitability Ratios

September 2008
Long-term investors buy stocks with the expectation that the company will produce a growing stream of earnings. Profits point to a firm's growth and staying power. But profit figures are absolute numbers that don't relate to the size of the company. How can you put the numbers into context? A look at profitability ratios. Read more »

The Bottom Line: How to Calculate Your Portfolio's Return

August 2008
The question every investor wants to know is: How well am I doing? Although some people are satisfied simply watching the dollars grow, most investors want that translated into a performance figure. A look at two methods for calculating your portfolio's return. Read more »

Stand Up and Be Counted: How to Value a Stream of Payments

July 2008
Are you overlooking a large pool of assets? That may occur when it is hard to put a number on an asset--for example, valuing a guaranteed steady payment stream, such as pension plan and Social Security payments, for retirees. Ignoring those assets may cause you to be too over-invested in fixed income. But how do you value a stream of payments? A look at one approach Read more »

Market Barometers: A Look at Stock Indexes and How They Work

June 2008
You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows, but you do need a stock market index to know which way the stock winds are blowing. A look at stock market indexes and what they are telling you. Read more »

Measured Reality: What It Takes to Reach a Net Return Goal

May 2008
Many strategies promise to "beat the market" but fail to deliver what they promise because their stated return goals are "gross" returns--before taxes and costs. How can you translate those goals into a reasonable expectation of what the strategy's actual--net--return will be? A look at one approach. Read more »

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