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  • 1. How do I make a financial plan?
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    Terms of Use: Make A Financial Plan Figuring Out Your Finances This knowledge article is part of a series of knowledge articles aimed to help you define your roadmap to savings and investing. To review the previous knowledge article in this series, click here . To review the table of contents for the articles, click here . You can never take a journey without knowing where you're starting from, and a journey to financial security is no different. You'll need to figure out on paper your current s  More...
  • 2. What is after-hours trading and what should I know about the risks associated with it?
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    Terms of Use: The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market—the highest volume market centers in the U.S. today—have traditionally been open for business from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Although trading outside that window—or after-hours trading—has occurred for some time, it has been mostly limited to high net worth investors and institutional investors. But this is changing. Some smaller exchanges have recently extended their hours. And, with the r  More...
  • 3. How should I go about defining my investment goals?
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    Terms of Use Define Your Goals This knowledge article is part of a series of knowledge articles aimed to help you define your roadmap to savings and investing. To review the table of contents for the articles, click here . What are the things you want to save and invest for … A home? A new car? Your education or that of a child? A comfortable retirement? The needs of your parents? All of these goals will cost money. To make sure that you will have enough money when you need it, follo  More...
  • 4. Why invest in bonds?
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    Terms of Use: Most personal financial advisors recommend that investors maintain a diversified investment portfolio consisting of bonds, stocks and cash in varying percentages, depending upon individual circumstances and objectives. Because bonds typically have a predictable stream of payments and repayment of principal, many people invest in them to preserve and increase their capital or to receive dependable interest income. Whatever the purpose-saving for your children's college education  More...
  • 5. Any suggestions for getting started with investing?
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    Terms of Use Need some help finding the right path for your financial future? You've come to the right place. We've put together an itinerary that takes in all the basics for your journey to learn more about saving and investing. Traveling down the right road to achieving financial well-being is one of the most important trips that you'll ever make in life. You don't have to be a genius to do it … and you don't have to be rich … you just need to hit the road a  More...
  • 6. How can I determine my tolerance to risk when deciding what to invest in?
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    Terms of Use Determine Your Risk Tolerance This knowledge article is part of a series of knowledge articles aimed to help you define your roadmap to savings and investing. To review the previous knowledge article in this series, click here . To review the table of contents for the articles, click here . You are approaching the half-way point in your journey to saving and investing. This is a good point to make sure that you understand some key concepts: Savings Your savings are usually put i  More...
  • 7. How can I buy bonds?
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    Terms of Use: You generally can buy bonds through a full service or discount broker and some banks and credit unions. You can also buy US government bonds directly from the U.S. Bureau of the Fiscal Service web site ( www.fiscal.treasury.gov/ ). If you buy bonds on their web site you can pay by credit card or debit card. Another option is to buy mutual funds specializing in bonds. Almost all the large mutual fund companies offer several funds based on bonds. A bond mutual fund provides th  More...
  • 8. What should I know about pro-forma financial statements?
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    Terms of Use: Investors should always take the critical step of reading the financial statements of the companies they've invested in, or intend to invest in, because financial statements contain important corporate financial information that may not be readily apparent from news releases. Recently, some companies have put out press releases using so-called "pro forma" financial information to highlight what they claim are important portions of their actual financial reports. Investors should kn  More...
  • 9. What does a credit rating for a bond issuer mean?
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    Terms of Use The credit rating for a bond reflects the degree of risk associated with the bond issuer defaulting on the loan. There are several rating agencies that rate bond issuers. Credit ratings are based on in-depth analysis of the issuer's financial condition and management, economic and debt characteristics, and the specific revenue sources securing the bond. The highest ratings are AAA (S P and Fitch) and Aaa (Moody's). Bonds rated in the BBB category or higher are considered i  More...
  • 10. What are the primary economic indicators that economists follow when trying to measure how the economy is doing?
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    Terms of Use: Investors should follow economic news, since the health of the economy affects individual investments. Yet, sometimes press reports about the economy can be difficult to understand. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has information on their site to help you understand the numbers that frequently appear in media reports. The following is a summary: Output: Gross domestic product (GDP) is the dollar value of the goods and services produced in a specific period. In general, the  More...
All information provided through this site is intended to be accurate. However, there may be inaccuracies from time to time which we will make every attempt to correct immediately. Information provided is intended to assist you in making decisions and does not eliminate the need to discuss your particular circumstances with a qualified professional.

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