Posts Tagged ‘wealth building’

IRS Eases Investment Rules for 529 College Savings Plans

July 13th, 2018 Comments off

Saving for college is always difficult and is even more so during the current economic downturn. One of the most popular college savings plans are so called “529 plans.” The IRS recently announced that participants in 529 plans will be able to change their investments more often in 2009 than in past years. The IRS will allow a change in investment strategy twice in 2009. This is good news for 529 plan participants, especially those who may otherwise be locked into a mix of investments that has turned out to be more speculative than initially contemplated.

Tax-Free Distribution Options A 529 plan, a type of qualified tuition program, allowed taxpayers to contribute to an account established for paying a student’s educational expenses. Eligible educational expenses may include the costs of tuition, books, and fees at eligible institutions, such as colleges, vocational schools, and other ostsecondary institutions.

Contributions to 529 plans are not tax-deductible. However, earnings are tax-free, and distributions used to pay the beneficiary’s qualified education xpenses are tax-free.

Be aware that A 529 plan should not be confused with a Coverdell Educational Savings Account (Coverdell ESA). A Coverdell ESA is also a savings account for education expenses that offers tax-free distributions. The funds saved in a Coverdell ESA can be used for elementary and secondary school expenses as well as college costs.

Investment Decision For the most part, participants in 529 plans must select only from among broadbased investment strategies designed exclusively by the program. The IRS has also traditionally permitted a change in investment strategy only once a year.

In response to the economic slowdown and the turmoil in the financial markets, the IRS will allow investments in a 529 plan to be changed during 2009 on a more frequent basis. A 529 plan will not violate the investment restriction if it permits a change in the investment strategy twice in calendar year 2009, as well as upon a change in the designated beneficiary of the account.

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When The Out Of The Money Covered Call Writing Strategy Fails Miserably

December 16th, 2017 Comments off

There are many investment training strategy websites and e-books that promise you incredible things. One of the more common stock market trading strategies taught is to sell covered call options on stocks. These websites maintain that you can earn monthly returns up to 10% or more using that very strategy! Sound good? Read on.

Under the right circumstances, impressive monthly returns can be achieved by selling out-of-the-money covered call options. This strategy has been successfully used by me. However, it is not without its disadvantages. The public has not been properly educated by the website and e-book marketers. This strategy is marketed as having low risk and being conservative. They leave you holding the bag when it all goes wrong.

When the stock market is rising in value selling out of the money covered calls works well and not to mention the importance of having call tracking. Additionally, when the stock market is neutral (not going up or down by any meaningful amount), this strategy also works well. Please tell me when the last time was that the stock market remained neutral for any length of time?

We are currently in the midst of an extremely volatile market. We have recently seen swings in the Dow as much as 200 points in either direction on any given day. Hardly a profitable market for an out-of-the-money covered call writer. Once that stock you are holding starts to decline, so do your profits. I can assure you that profits can evaporate very quickly. I have seen stocks fall from $10 per share to $1 per share over night! There is never enough premium on an option sale to cover that kind of decline.

You want the stock to get called, that is the key to out of the money covered call writing. Many so called experts do not want the stock to get called. They say you should keep the stock so you can continue to sell a covered call option on it in future months. This strategy is flawed. What you should do is select stocks that are moving up in value, in a rising market. Those stocks will make you the most money. I am happy when a stock gets called because I ended up making the profit that I expected.

What happens if the stock goes way up in value? The stock simply gets called away if it rises up past the strike price and stays there through expiration. Isn’t that what you wanted in the first place? Because you did not participate in those gains you may feel like you left money on the table. If you feel that way just buy the stock outright and don’t sell covered call options on it. Why not just let the stock get called away, take your profit and move on? Then look for stocks to buy and sell calls on for the next month.

Remember, selling out-of-the-money covered calls can provide an excellent source if income in a rising stock market. However, this strategy is less than ideal in a stock market like the one we find ourselves in today. There are, however, other strategies that will offer significant protection in a volatile or declining stock market.

Marc Abrams Is A Certified Public Accountant With Over 15 Years of Financial And Investing Experience. Visit Marc’s Website at To Learn More About Successful Covered Call Option Writing Strategies In Today’s Stock Market.

Details Of Google Stock Price

March 17th, 2017 Comments off

Many analysts debated when Google stock price started out at an initial public offering for only $85 per share back in August 2004.

So much of Google’s value was intellectual property as opposed to real property and the market was not used to the idea that internet companies could be so valuable.

Well in hindsight there was certainly no reason for debate as five years later, the Google stock price is five times its initial value and the company as a whole has a market value of $175 billion dollars.

Do you know that google stock price rose to over $100 on their very first day hit the market and then doubled within 3 months after that.

Now that analyst debate on different things on Google company, they debate on a matter of how much more it will grow and how quickly.

Though the early growth of the company was unsustainable and unrealistic, but over the past few years their stocks has settled into a traditional pattern growth, but with the exception of the recession which has been detrimental the entire marketplace and tech sector.

Investors has sown that they are very confident with Google company, even though there is no stock comes with guarantee, but Google seems will not likely to significantly lose value, at least not relative to the market as a whole.

You can find Google’s up to date stock price at any time by searching using company’s symbol “GOOG”.

It is also important to note that there are two types of Google stock, Preferred and Common. Preferred stock prices are traditionally higher because these stock holders are paid dividends before dividends are distributed to all the common stock holders. Both types have voting rights.

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How to Choose the Right Forex Broker? (Part I)

January 17th, 2017 Comments off

Almost 90% of the traders in currency markets are speculators. Most of the investors start forex day trading as a speculating venture to make capital gains. Once you have made the positive decision to start currency trading, you need to choose the right forex broker. The right choice will greatly influence the success of the whole enterprise.

These days, the market is overcrowded with companies and banks offering online brokerage services to individual traders and investors to access the currency markets. It is not easy to make the right choice without a certain set of criteria. These criteria will mostly depend on the interests, preferences and means of each individual trader depending on his/her trading strategies and tactics.

You may ask, what is the best way to choose the right broker? You should compose a list of questions to ask the forex broker before making a final decision. The following are some of the suggested questions that you should ask. You should ask these questions before making a final decision.

What is the amount of the interday and overnight margin and corresponding leverage? Many good online forex brokers offer margin between 2-5%. They provide leverage ranging from 20:1 to 50:1. Higher margin requirement means lower investment efficiency.

However, beware of lower margin. It means that most of the time the forex broker will be against you as a trader and will do everything possible to prevent you from winning. You will face many trading problems with such a broker. It will become difficult for you to work under such conditions.

What is the minimum contract size? Now days, the standard contract size is $100,000. This contract size is quite affordable and allows for reasonably effective money management with limited capital. This contract size also allows small individual investors to participate in currency speculation.

What are the requirements of minimum deposit? The investment and financial means of traders differ. It is common that many new traders dont have sufficient funds to open an account. In my opinion, the optimal minimum amount is $10,000 with 2% margin requirement. I think $10,000 is the required minimum amount corresponding to the forex market conditions.

What are the terms of setting and executing stop and limit orders by the forex broker? The ideal condition should be the execution of the stop and limit orders at the fixed price. This should be regardless of the market conditions, its speed and its direction. Some forex brokers provide this type of execution. Other brokers reserve the right to fulfill an order with slippage under unsteady market conditions mostly defined by the broker themselves.

The value of slippage depends on the current state of the market. It can fluctuate from a few pips to tens of pips. Although it is practically impossible to arbitrate the price received from the broker during the transaction. The slippage creates favorable conditions for the abuse of the trader by the broker.

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Following Gold in Currency Trading

January 4th, 2017 Comments off

Gold is the ultimate global currency. At one time US Dollar used to be pegged to gold. But with the collapse of the Bretton Woods System, US Dollar was unpegged from gold.

Now US Dollar is only backed by the full faith and credit of the US Government. Most of the currencies in the world are free floating now. Many countries are also purchasing gold in the open markets as a hedge of their foreign reserves most of which are in US Dollar. In the present financial crisis with the global economy in recession, many investors are trying to take refuge in gold as the ultimate safe haven of their wealth from financial turmoil.

Among the different currencies, the Australian Dollar (AUD) is known for its strong correlation with gold prices. Most of this correlation is due to amount of gold that Australia produces and exports. On the other hand, US Dollar has an inverse relationship with gold prices. When gold prices rise, US Dollar falls in value. This causes the currency pair AUD/USD to appreciate in value.

The opposite is also true. As the US Dollar gains value, gold usually loses value. So when gold prices are rising, we can execute long trades on AUD/USD. Likewise, when gold falls in value, we can sell short AUD/USD. This relationship provides us with a method to take advantage of the fundamental factors in forex markets. It may be due to the fact that gold is considered to be the ultimate safe haven by investors in times of financial crisis.

Entering a trade to follow gold is a three step process. We will use RSI (Relative Strength Index) as the technical indicator to trigger our trade. If you have read the previous article on following oil, we had used the CCI (Commodity Channel Index).

When both gold and oil are commodities, why dont we use CCI for gold as well? Why is that we are using RSI now? CCI gives a quicker signal. This is good for relatively less volatile pairs like USD/CAD. Whereas RSI gives slower signals, this is ideal for more volatile pairs like AUD/USD. It all depends on how quickly the two indicators react to volatility.

You should use a moving average to confirm if gold is in an uptrend or a downtrend. You will use the seven periods RSI on AUD/USD chart. Watch the RSI chart when it enters one of its reversal zones, then move back out of the reversal zone in the same direction as the gold is trending.

You need to enter a long trade on AUD/USD if the gold prices are rising with the RSI crossing back above the 30 line. On the other hand, you need to enter a short trade on AUD/USD pair if the gold prices are declining with the RSI crossing below the 70 line.

Set a limit order of 200 pips and a stop loss order of 50 pips for the trade. This gives a risk to reward ratio of 50/200=1/4. This risk to reward ratio is good. The chances are you are going to make 200 pips that means $2000 profit if the trade goes as you had anticipated. And if the trade does not go in your favor, 50 pips stop loss means a $500 loss. It is not uncommon to have a trade go against you only to find yourself right back in trade that goes your way after sometime.

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