Investor Professor Articles

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

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

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 Crawford 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 Crawford 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

Great Expectations: Earnings Estimates and Their Impact on Stock Prices

How often have you seen a stock's price fall after the company announced increased earnings, or rise after it announced that earnings fell? Expectations play a key role in determining a stock's price. A look at how earnings estimates can impact price. Read more »

How Interest Rate Changes Affect the Price of Bonds

No matter the cause of interest rate movements, the impact on the bond investor is the same: Rising interest rates reduce existing bond values and falling interest rates increase existing bond values. But knowing how much bond prices can change when interest rates change will help you keep your bond risk to a level you can live with. Read more »

Currency Exchange Rates: The International Wild Card

Think you're hot in the international markets? Think again--your high-flying returns may owe more to currency rate changes than to smart selections. Read more »

Developing an Intuitive Feel for the Mechanics of Growth

Major investment and planning decisions require judgments concerning growth. But most investors don't understand growth mechanics, particularly over long time periods. How to develop an intuitive feel for growth figures--without using a financial calculator. Read more »

Will the Real P/E Please Stand Up?

A brush-up on basic investing terms and concepts. This issue explores the many ways to calculate P/Es and the wealth of information they provide about expectations. Read more »

What's in a Yield?

Understand the many meanings of yield for bond and fund investors. Read more »