Understanding Option Trading, Simply

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Option trading is one method of trading that you can partake in. But, in order to take advantage of it, you need to find out just what it is and how it works. This will help you to make decisions that will affect you throughout your trading experience. Here is some basic information about option trading to help you.

Option trading

Option trading is one method of trading that you can partake in. But, in order to take advantage of it, you need to find out just what it is and how it works. This will help you to make decisions that will affect you throughout your trading experience. Here is some basic information about option trading to help you.

What Is An Option?

Your basic question of what an option is can be answered like this. It is a contract that allows two parties to come to an agreement that the buyer will have the right to buy or sell a parcel of the shares. It is set at a predetermined price and at a predetermined date. The buyer does not have to take the option though. He has the right but not the obligation to do so. To get this right, the buyer will provide a premium to the seller.

Call Options

There are two types of option trading that you need to know about. In a call option, the buyer has the right to buy underlying shares of a stock. It is set at a predetermined price and also a predetermined date. Again, the buyer has the right but not the obligation to do this.

Put Option

The second type of option is the put option in option trading. In this type of option, the taker has the same fundamentals but is selling underlying shares. He has the same set up of having the right to do so but not the obligation to do it. Also, the same standards of the predetermined price and date also apply. The buyer of a put option is required to deliver the underlying shares only if they exercise the option.

If you would like to learn more about option trading, you simply need to contact your financial advisor and find out how it can serve your needs.

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Why Stock Market Timing

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Stock market timing can reduce your risk and amplify your gains by avoiding bear market losses.

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Copyright 2006 Equitrend, Inc.

It’s important that you understand the impact that a bear market has on your capital. The give and take of your investment capital is not equal. If you placed $100 into an investment and it declined 50% to $50, what is the rate of return you would need to earn back your original investment of $100?

Once you lose money, it takes a much greater return on the funds you have left to recapture your original investment. In this case, you would need a 100% gain on the remaining $50 to recapture your original $100 investment.

Looking at historical bear markets in the United States, we can conclude that the time to recovery from a bear market can take between six months and twenty five years! Declines in portfolio value have ranged from 20% to 86.7%! Not a good scenario for buy and hold investors. This is why you would be better off financially to never lose money in any one year and to only achieve half of the market’s returns in the positive years. Let us explain how this is possible. If you never lost money in the down market years, you would only need to capture 38.33% of the gains in the positive market years to equal a buy-and-hold position in the Nasdaq 100 index. More realistically, if your losses in the down market years were half the Nasdaq’s losses, you would only need to capture 63.37% of the Nasdaq’s gains in the positive market years to equal a buy-and-hold position.

The point we are making is that you don’t need to equal or outperform the performance of the market in the positive market years if you protect your capital in the down market years. Protecting your capital in the down market years has an exponential effect on growing your capital over time.

The objective of any stock market timing strategy should be to reduce risk and maximize returns – with risk reduction being the most important factor. All other things being equal, you want to invest in the least volatile, highest reward, lowest risk strategy possible.

You may be reading this today because you are tired of giving all of your own assets, or your client’s assets, away to a bear market. You may even be in the position where your retirement has been diminished to the point of having to change your retirement plans.

Whatever the reason, there are better ways to grow and protect your assets than the buy and hold (buy and hope) myth promoted by Wall Street.

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Upside potential with convertible bonds

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Convertible bonds are bonds issued by corporations that are backed by the corporations’ assets. In case of default, the bondholders have a legal claim on those assets. Convertible bonds are unique from other bonds or debt instruments because they give the holder of the bond the right, but not the obligation, to convert the bond into a predetermined number of shares of the issuing company.

convertible bonds, bonds, bonds trading

Convertible bonds are bonds issued by corporations that are backed by the corporations’ assets. In case of default, the bondholders have a legal claim on those assets. Convertible bonds are unique from other bonds or debt instruments because they give the holder of the bond the right, but not the obligation, to convert the bond into a predetermined number of shares of the issuing company. Therefore, the bonds combine the features of a bond with an “equity kicker” – if the stock price of the firm goes up the bondholder makes a lot of money (more than a traditional bondholder). If the stock price stays the same or declines, they receive interest payments and their principal payment, unlike the stock investor who lost money.

Why are convertible bonds worth considering? Convertible bonds have the potential for higher rates while providing investors with income on a regular basis. Consider the following: 1. Convertible bonds offer regular interest payments, like regular bonds.

2. Downturns in this investment category have not been as dramatic as in other investment categories.

3. If the bond’s underlying stock does decline in value, the minimum value of your investment will be equal to the value of a high yield bond. In short, the downside risk is a lot less than investing in the common stock directly. However, investors who purchase after a significant price appreciation should realize that the bond is “trading-off-the-common” which means they are no longer valued like a bond but rather like a stock. Therefore, the price could fluctuate significantly. The value of the bond is derived from the value of the underlying stock, and thus a decline in the value of the stock will also cause the bond to decline in value until it hits a floor that is the value of a traditional bond without the conversion.

4. If the value of the underlying stock increases, bond investors can convert their bond holdings into stock and participate in the growth of the company.

During the past five years, convertible bonds have generated superior returns compared to more conservative bonds. Convertible bonds have generated higher returns because many companies have improved their financial performance and have their stocks appreciate in value.

Convertible bonds can play an important role in a well-diversified investment portfolio for both conservative and aggressive investors. Many mutual funds will invest a portion of their investments in convertible bonds, but no fund invests solely in convertible bonds. Investors who want to invest directly could consider a convertible bond from some of the largest companies in the world.

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A Real-Time Way To Avoid Identity Theft

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As identity thieves become more of a threat to individuals and businesses, many people wish they had someone–or something–to watch over and guard their valuable financial information.

A Real-Time Way To Avoid Identity Theft

As identity thieves become more of a threat to individuals and businesses, many people wish they had someone-or something-to watch over and guard their valuable financial information.

While most consumers can’t afford a financial bodyguard, many are taking advantage of a real-time identity management service that can potentially avert identity crimes.

I consider one service, Identity Sweep, developed with MyPublic Info (MyPublicInfo.com) and Affinion Group (www.affiniongroup .com), a leader in credit monitoring and identity theft, to be more proactive than any other. It may be the consumer’s best chance at avoiding identity-related criminal abuse. Identity Sweep protects consumer identities in three ways:

1. It includes a leading-edge identity fraud detection technology that scans billions of public records for suspicious activity associated with identity fraud, including attempts to create a synthetic identity. The service analyzes the suspicious activity to provide a risk score.

2. It searches Internet newsgroups, search engines, blogs and hundreds of thousands of chat rooms and Web sites looking for personal and financial information. It instantly notifies consumers by e-mail of any suspicious activity related to their personal information before the customer is victimized. This technology works faster than credit card and credit bureau monitoring services.

3. It scans online directories that list a consumer’s information and requests removal of that information to prevent abuse by telemarketers and identity thieves.

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IRS Crushes Credit Counseling Groups Claiming Non-Profit Status

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Many credit counseling groups claim they are in it just to help you and not make a profit as indicated by their charitable organization status. The IRS is not happy.

irs, credit, counseling, audit, credit report, non profit, charity, scam, credit scams,

Many credit counseling groups claim they are in it just to help you and not make a profit as indicated by their charitable organization status. The IRS is not happy.

IRS Crushes Credit Counseling Groups Claiming Non-Profit Status

For the last five years, the IRS has been taking a much closer look at businesses claiming to be non-profit organizations. Given the reduction of tax loopholes over the years, the agency has taken note of the fact that many high-end tax strategies now involve some kind of charitable organization. In performing the analysis, the IRS has found no worse a collection of abusive businesses than the credit counseling industry.

Beginning in 2004, the IRS audited 63 credit counseling groups claiming non-profit status. These “charitable organizations?receive over fifty percent of all the revenues in the credit counseling industry, to wit, we are talking a major audit initiative. Well, guess what the IRS found?

To date, the IRS has completed 41 of the audits. Of these 41 audits, every single credit counseling business has had their non-profit status revoked, proposed for revocation or outright termination. Yes, every single entity has bitten the dust! Can anyone think of a bigger scam?

In crushing these bad apples, the IRS found a couple of amazing things. The primary reason for revocation was the groups provided insufficient public benefit. They offered little or no counseling or education to individuals. Instead, they were primarily motivated by profit according to the IRS. To top things off, the IRS found most of the businesses had “unique?dealings with for profit companies that just happened to be owned by the same interested parties. Imagine that! Shocking, I tell you.

It must be admitted that these rotten apples only represent roughly forty to fifty percent of the credit counseling industry. The rest of the industry that has not been audited might be entirely legitimate. The IRS does not seem to think so. In fact, it has sent out audit notices to every single company that has not yet been audited. I suspect the blood bath is just going to get worse.

In truth, not all credit counseling agencies are dubiously claiming non-profit status. The IRS, in fact, has noted it approved a whopping three applications for non-profit status out of 100 since 2003! Unfortunately, the IRS hasn’t indicated the identity of the three.

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