Questions tagged [financial-literacy]

for questions related to understanding basic concepts in finance or certain terms in a particular context

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220
votes
21answers
73k views

Why isn't everybody rich?

This question came up after reading this question (stock market long term risks), in which it is re-iterated (as it has been many times on this site), that investing in the stock market, especially an ...
187
votes
19answers
26k views

How smart is it to really be 100% debt free?

For the last 2 years, I have been trying hard to be debt free without affecting my personal cash flow. I am by no means a rich person, but I have a decent salary. I still have debt, specifically ...
150
votes
10answers
32k views

Do I make money in the stock market from other people losing money?

Basically I am new to stock trading and neglect to see the differences between trading stocks and betting on sports. Basically I am "betting" on which company will do well, and this can change due to "...
124
votes
23answers
22k views

Why buy insurance?

I don't understand why people buy insurances when they know that odds are is not their favor. Is it not better bet to stay uninsured, and save money? I am not talking about house insurance. About ...
119
votes
13answers
18k views

Why does gold have value?

I'm curious about why is there so much financial interest and news coverage about gold. It's hard to do things like buy food or pay the rent with gold, but I can do this with cash. Gold doesn't yield ...
119
votes
14answers
16k views

As a 16 year old, how can I keep my money safe from my mother?

I am 16 and still in HS and work 20+ hours a week. I live with my mother (my Dad left us when I was a kid and I don't see him anymore). My mother is an alcoholic and has trouble keeping a job. I don't ...
93
votes
9answers
23k views

When someone's ability to pay is suspect, why would it make sense to give them more expensive credit?

Answers to the recent question "Why don't bond makers just get loans?" Seem to take it as a given that lending someone money at a 12% interest makes sense when there is already doubt about their ...
67
votes
3answers
14k views

How did this day trader lose so much?

I recently read this article about a day trader that lost $100,000: A trader started a GoFundMe page to pay back $100,000 to E-Trade after a disastrous short Please explain this, because I can not ...
66
votes
9answers
17k views

Why do financial institutions charge so much to convert currency?

With all the modern technology that we have, I am astonished that financial institutions charge such exorbitant prices for currency conversions. My bank, Fifth Third, charges a 3% conversion fee, ...
58
votes
9answers
17k views

Why are 30-year mortgages seen as unwise, if you can pay off the loan in a shorter period of time anyway?

I'm slowly working towards buying my first home (yay!), and have been playing around with the numbers. As far as I can tell, there's literally zero advantage for getting a 10 or 15-year mortgage since ...
52
votes
6answers
21k views

How can a company use money from stock investors when they are constantly being bought and sold?

I am interested in the mechanisms which a company can use the money that investors give them when they buy a public stock since they are being bought and sold constantly. How can a company spend other ...
46
votes
1answer
6k views

Numbers in parentheses in financial statements?

In financial statements numbers are sometimes given with parentheses around them, while other numbers appear without parentheses. What does it mean if a number is enclosed by parentheses?
44
votes
14answers
14k views

How can I support myself financially as a 17 year old with a loan?

I'm a 17 year old Ohio high school student who makes ~$160 a month working minimum wage. I have a $3500 loan (4 year duration) to pay off for a car with ~$2880 left. Monthly payments are ~$80 for ...
43
votes
10answers
4k views

How do I explain why debt on debt is bad to my brother?

My brother has about 5 loans that he paying back and he thinks that another 5000 loan will "solve his problem". He has been this way since he was young, he's now in his 30's. I'm trying to find a ...
38
votes
9answers
10k views

Why would the bidding on a foreclosed property start at the outstanding amount of the loan?

I've read from several reliable-looking sources that if a foreclosed house goes up for auction, the bidding usually starts at the outstanding amount of the loan (plus fees, etc.): Example Money Talks,...
38
votes
3answers
12k views

How do the rich and wealthy withdraw from accounts without leaving home?

I was at someone's house once and they made a phone call and had someone bring $50,000.00 cash to their home from one of their bank accounts. I think the person worked for the bank and wasn't a ...
37
votes
9answers
48k views

If stock price drops by the amount of dividend paid, what is the use of a dividend

I have heard that some people buy stocks based on how much dividend they pay, because dividend is considered 'income'. But if I buy a stock for 100$ and it pays a $1 dividend, the stock would also ...
35
votes
5answers
19k views

How can a credit card company make any money off me? I have a no-fee card and pay my balance on time

How does a credit card company make any money off of me using their card if there are no fees associated with the card (I don't pay any extra) and I pay off my balance on time every month (so I don't ...
33
votes
8answers
9k views

Are services provided to Google employees taxed as income or in any way?

The particular service I want to look at is food (though I think the same ideas should apply to all services). So Let's say that a Google employee spends a dollar on food, purchasing groceries. They ...
33
votes
5answers
5k views

What are the economic benefits of owning a home in the United States?

I am trying to figure out if owning a home is more economical then renting. According to all the tools, according to the rent I pay now (< $800) owning a home is not economical, even in the long ...
32
votes
7answers
18k views

Bought stock at higher price than current price

I wanted to buy stock ABCD at a price of 880. The current price was 900. When I bought, I set 980 instead of 880 and it was fully executed. I don't understand how it is possible to buy stock at a ...
31
votes
11answers
7k views

Will a credit card issuer cancel an account if it never incurs interest?

I have a few credit cards that are currently carrying some larger "promotional" balances. These are purchases that I decided to put on a 6, 12, or 18 month 0% APR financing offer vs. taking any points ...
31
votes
2answers
10k views

Is my stock gone forever from a reverse split / bought by another company?

I'm a complete novice in regards to investing and had purchased some shares of OXIS from TD Ameritrade back in March of 2015 (NASDAQ). The company (OXIS International) became very devalued and did a "...
30
votes
3answers
8k views

If I can put together a loan that pays out like a 7.579%-a-year loan, but has a total term of 18.63 years … would you be interested?

I'm reading about Household International's fraudulent mortgage interest rate. According to Michael Lewis, Household disguised a 15 year, fixed-rate loan as a thirty-year loan. The sales would offer ...
27
votes
9answers
3k views

Which practice to keep finances after getting married: joint, or separate?

My wife and I have been keeping our finances separate for a long time. Some of my friends just put everything in a big pot. We each have our own pot, but then we have a common pot where we put all ...
27
votes
7answers
3k views

Where to start with personal finance?

I am married with kids and starting to look hard at savings for retirement, buying a house and sending my kid to college (still a LONG way away). However, I am completely new to the world of finance ...
27
votes
3answers
3k views

What does “Yield Curve” mean?

In the financial news we often read about the Yield Curve. What exactly is it?
26
votes
4answers
12k views

What is the meaning of “short selling” or “going short” a stock?

Can someone please explain the meaning of 'shorting' a stock with an example?
26
votes
4answers
49k views

When a stock price rises, does the company get more money?

When a stock price rises, does the company get more money?
24
votes
4answers
8k views

My out-of-the-money call options are near expiration and won't sell in the open market. What are my choices?

I had attempted to sell my contracts off today but was unsuccessful. They are currently OTM options and will expire tomorrow. What can I do to minimize loss and why was I unable to sell?
24
votes
3answers
10k views

What is a trust? What are the different types of trusts?

What is a trust? What are the different types of trusts? Are some better than others? What are the different roles involved in a trust?
23
votes
3answers
8k views

Is 95% of what you read in the financial press “either wrong or irrelevant?”

From a Cato Institute article by Steve Hanke1 (emphasis added): Most press reports about Zimbabwe’s fantastic hyperinflation are off the mark – way off the mark. Even our most trusted news sources ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

What is the difference between “good debt” vs. “bad debt”?

This other question about home renovations makes reference to the concept of "good debt." Could somebody explain the concepts of good debt vs. bad debt, providing examples of each? Are there cases ...
22
votes
9answers
2k views

What are the best strategies to give pocket money or an allowance to children?

What are the best strategies to give pocket money or allowance to a child especially if you would like to teach them something through this, e.g. saving?
22
votes
2answers
168k views

What's the difference between a certified check, a cashier's check, a money order, and a bank draft?

The question comes from reading this answer. I've heard these terms used somewhat interchangeably, but I have no idea what the differences are. What's the difference between a certified check, a ...
21
votes
6answers
16k views

Is rent considered a debt?

I am taking a financial assessment. It asks me: What is your total monthly debt payment (e.g. student loans, vehicles, credit cards, personal loans, etc.)? Then the next questions are about ...
21
votes
2answers
33k views

I have Sprint shares. What does this merger with T-Mobile mean for my shares?

Over the weekend Sprint and T-Mobile announced again that they would try to merge. Assuming the powers that be in the US don't have any issue with this deal and it moves forward as proposed, what ...
20
votes
5answers
17k views

Why don't SPY, SPX, and the e-mini s&p 500 track perfectly with each other?

These tickers (SPY, SPX, /ES) are all based off the S&P 500 yet the relative lows and highs diverge. Can someone provide a basic explanation what causes this to happen? I feel like it may stem ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

Can you explain “time value of money” and “compound interest” and provide examples of each?

Can you explain the time value of money concept, including present value and future value? How does compound interest work? Why is compound interest a powerful concept when it comes to borrowing, ...
18
votes
2answers
10k views

Buying shares in a company after you quit

US law dictates that you cannot buy / sell shares in a company you work for except during open trading windows. I understand lockout periods when you're in a company but what about after you quit? ...
18
votes
3answers
38k views

If I were to buy something a day before my due date for my credit card bill, would I be charged interest?

First of all, I am a resident of Canada. I am new to credit cards, so I hope my question makes sense. I've had my card for a few months ago and I've always paid the balance in full by the time the ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Special Needs Trust and Financial Planning

update: I may not have explained it clearly in my post below but I don't believe the intent is to close out the 401k or fund the life ins. policy using it. I will clarify with the consultant what the ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Can someone explain the different kinds of annuities?

So in my retirement and personal investing I have some stocks (very little), a Roth IRA, a Roth 401K and a Traditional 401K (later two are from work and I split things right now). At my age and ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

What do I need to know before getting a loan?

Recently, due to a series of events, I've been finding myself... uncomfortable with my financial situation. I'm not in debt, but my account balance did drop into the low three-digit figures a couple ...
16
votes
2answers
7k views

What is “financial literacy” and how does one become “financially literate”?

How does one become "Financially Literate"? Also, on a side question; what does "Financially Literate" even mean?
14
votes
2answers
4k views

Stock Split seems not to have changed the Share Price. Why?

I was recently looking at the financial charts of TCS(Tata Consultancy Services) and noticed that the TCS offered 1:1 bonus on 31st May, 2018. I noticed that the price of the share stock did not ...
14
votes
2answers
238k views

What are “headwinds” and “tailwinds” in financial investments?

I've seen/heard these terms in various writings & broadcasts lately. What do they mean?
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why would I want a diversified portfolio, versus throwing my investments into an index fund?

Index funds are well-known to give the best long-term investment. However, most financial planners recommend having a diversified portfolio, including components such as bonds and foreign markets. I ...
14
votes
2answers
955 views

Is there any reason to not request a CC limit increase?

I have had the same card for quite some years now, approaching 10. I have requested a few limit increases for the sake of convenience because buying a computer or international airfare tends to be the ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the difference between a stock and a bond?

I am just learning about finances (only 14 years old) and have heard about Stocks and Bonds and I would like to know the difference between these two things and wonder why would I invest in one or the ...