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Why You’re Paying Too Much in Fees Image Credit: Christophe Vorlet By Jason Zweig | 1:01 pm ET June 19, 2015 The way financial advisors charge for their advice often makes no sense, and it needs to change. The typical advisor charges absurdly high fees to manage your money, often with mediocre results—but next to nothing to provide financial-planning expertise, which can be hugely valuable. According to survey data gathered from more than 7,000 advisors by Cerulli Associates, a financial-research firm in Boston, 79% of advisors’ compensation comes from asset-based fees—which may bear little relationship to the services the clients use. Such charges, typically based on the size of a client’s investment portfolio, vary widely. Top 5 Investment Sites Yahoo Finance is the 800 lb gorilla in best investment sites. Yahoo essentially democratized financial information. While not the first to do so, Yahoo made it easy for investors to study companies’ balance sheets and income statements. As Reg FD leveled the investing playing field by prohibiting selective disclosures, new sites have arisen that provide tremendous value in the research process. These best investment sites, when used properly, can mean the difference between profit and loss and between big gains and little gains. **Recommended: In my new book, I write about many of these sites and

Research and Valuation Process How to Invest in the Stock Market: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Here is the process I follow which is rooted in the Graham and Dodd approach: Search Mind Fees in Your Withdrawal Rate Retirees should be aware of how costs can eat into their portfolio balances, and consider making withdrawal adjustments every year, says Morningstar's David Blanchett. How to set a sustainable withdrawal rate is a crucial topic for retirees. With bond yields as low as they are, a recent study by David Blanchett, Michael Finke, and Wade Pfau suggests that a 3% withdrawal rate--rather than the so-called 4% rule--will help improve retirees' probability of success.

Investors turn to social media for finance, investing One third of affluent investors are using social media platforms for personal finance and investing purposes, according to a new report. Cogent Research, Cambridge, Mass., published this finding in a survey, “Social Media’s Impact on Personal Finance and Investing. The report is based on a nationally representative survey of over 4,000 investors with more than $100,000 in investable assets. Discounted Cash Flow & Stock Valuation The purpose of the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) valuation is to find the sum of the future cash flow of the business and discount it back to a present value. I use the F Wall Street method of valuing a business along with some tweaks here and there to suit my tastes in the free and best valuation spreadsheets you can find on this site. The advantage of this method is that it requires the investor to think about the stock as a business and analyze its cash flow rather than earnings.

How to Tell How Your Investments are Really Doing Q: How can I tell how my investments actually did, factoring in reinvested dividends and gains and periodic contributions? And can I trust Morningstar and fund prospectuses to be correct? A: “These are really good questions, with multiple answers,” says Thomas McGuigan, a certified financial planner with Exencial Wealth Advisors in Old Lyme, Conn. Let’s start with the easy one first: Can you trust return data published by mutual fund companies and made available by fund trackers such as Morningstar and Lipper? That you can.

Affluent investors increasingly using social media for personal finance, investing One-third of wealthy investors use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube for personal finance and investing purposes, according to a new study by Cogent Research. While most investors continue to rely on a variety of resources for investment information, nearly 70 percent have reallocated investments or began or altered relationships with investment providers based on content found through social media. Social Media’s Impact on Personal Finance and Investment surveyed more than 4,000 investors with more than $100,000 in investable assets. Investors who use social media for personal finance and investment purposes are using various platforms to form first impressions about providers and their decision to use a firm’s investment solutions. Regardless of the platform, investors primarily turn to social media to conduct research on investing, products, and companies or to seek advice regarding investment decisions.

How to Value a Stock with Benjamin Graham’s Formula How to value stocks series For other posts in the series, follow the links below. Quick Word on the Science and Art of Valuation Valuation is an art. Assumptions are needed to perform any type of analysis as the whole topic of stock valuation is forward looking. Throughout these valuation exercises, it’s important to understand that the final stock value will vary based on the assumption of scenarios.

Online Financial Planning: The Chilling Thing I Found Out About My 70th Birthday Retirement plans are like sausage. I want mine to be fat and juicy, and until recently I really didn't care how it was made. But then I got a peek at the recipe, and suddenly I had opinions about how it was put together. On Tuesday, LearnVest, a financial budgeting platform and lifestyle website aimed at women, launched low-cost financial planning services to help demystify the ingredients that go into investing and retirement plans for individuals. LearnVest joins other online financial advisory websites such as Personal Capital and FutureAdvisor that also aim to increase transparency and decrease the costs of financial planning. This startup captured $200 million of people’s savings by turning financial advice into an algorithm My brain tumor introduced itself to me on a grainy MRI, in the summer of 2009, when I was 28 years old. It had been with me from the day I was born. Tumors like mine develop in utero.

How to Calculate Intrinsic Value for Stock Warren Buffet Way How to Calculate Intrinsic ValueDiscounted Earnings, Instead of Just Cash Flow Summarized Overview You will find information about why you should calculate intrinsic value in stock market investing, and step by step guide on how to do it. skyTran Overview skyTran, a NASA Space Act company, headquartered at the NASA Ames Research Center near Mountain View, California, is a patented, high-speed, low-cost, elevated Personal Rapid Transportation (PRT) system. The skyTran network of computer-controlled, 2-person “jet-like” vehicles employs unique, state-of-the-art, SkyTran Magnetic Levitation (STML) technology. skyTran moves passengers in a fast, safe, green, and economical manner.