All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
37
votes
10answers
9k views

Should a high-school student invest their (relative meager) savings?

I am a high school student, I don't really have much money, between one and two grand in my savings account. However, I have friends who are investing in both penny stocks and stocks. I do not really ...
22
votes
9answers
4k views

Online money management applications: Do you trust Mint.com or Quicken Online, or other personal finance tools online?

For online applications such as Mint and Quicken (online), to automatically update your accounts, they'll always ask you to enter your login info to your banking and/or investment accounts. Do you ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

Does dollar cost averaging really work?

Does dollar cost averaging really work? If I have money available now, why shouldn't I invest it all at once? If the market's going up, wouldn't that be better?
18
votes
3answers
27k views

How does a dealer (or market maker) earn the bid-ask spread on a stock?

If I am correct, dealers purchase assets for their own accounts, and later sell them for a profit from their inventory. But the spreads is the difference between buy (or "bid") prices and sell (or "...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Does the expense ratio of a fund-of-funds include the expense ratios of its holdings?

Suppose a mutual fund invests only in other mutual funds, instead of investing in stocks or bonds directly. Does the reported expense ratio of that fund include the expense ratios of the funds it ...
11
votes
2answers
439 views

How do I account for newly added money when computing my rate of return?

I have a simple spreadsheet where I track the balance in my investment account. What should I do to handle new deposits in the account? For example: End of Day 1: balance = $100 End of Day 2: $...
41
votes
12answers
26k views

Why do Americans have to file taxes, even if their only source of income is from a regular job?

I live in Europe (Czech Republic) and as long as I'm simply employed at a company, I don't need to file any taxes on my own (I assume the financial department does that for me automatically). Why is ...
23
votes
3answers
4k views

Paying off student loans early/lump sum — best practices?

My wife & I have run into a large sum of cash recently and are interested in paying off/paying down our student loans -- about $30k between us, at about 6.5% avg interest. We're both earning ...
22
votes
3answers
139k views

If I leave my job, what happens to my flexible spending account?

I am about to decide how much money to set aside for my 2013 Flexible Spending Account (FSA). (The max this year is $2500.) But I am wondering what happens if I switch employers during the year. Does ...
18
votes
2answers
22k views

How to access a really old, untouched bank savings account?

I was just going through old things and found a Wachovia account opened for me by my aunt - specifically, I found the checkbook and transaction record. The transaction book is dated April xx, 1998 and ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Does it make sense to buy an index ETF (e.g. S&P 500) when the index is at an all-time high?

I have some money I intend to invest over the next 3-4 years. An important chunk of my portfolio would be invested in a stock market index ETF such as one representing the S&P 500. Unfortunately, ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

What size “nest egg” should my husband and I have, and by what age?

Of course I know I should have a substantial sum of money that generates its own income, off which my spouse and I will live, when we retire. But what is the right amount to have, or even a range? I'...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Layman's guide to getting started with Forex (foreign exchange trading)?

How should I get started with Forex (foreign exchange trading)? How should I prepare myself for it? Please give your answer thinking of me as a layman.
9
votes
10answers
6k views

Does the stock market create any sort of value?

Sorry if the below seems like a conspiracy theory. It probably is, but I probably don't understand something. (This has bugged me to no end as long as I can remember.) Okay, so here is what I ...
8
votes
1answer
11k views

ITIN application rejected, and IRS lost one of our passports. How to get back the lost passport?

I have filed my 2012 tax return jointly with my wife, along with my wife's ITIN application, back in late March. In April, I got a letter for IRS ITIN department saying that we should send my wife's ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

How is stock price determined?

Is stock price determined only by the last trade that takes place? For example, if a stock I own is trading at $3.42, and I place a Sell Limit order for $0.00, will the stock price temporarily dip to ...
32
votes
5answers
3k views

Pros/Cons of a Health Savings Account (HSA) in the USA?

I am wanting to know the real benefits or pros/cons of a HSA in the USA. I have now been given the option of signing up for one due to healthcare changes. I understand some of the basics, but after ...
28
votes
3answers
18k views

Robocall claiming to be IRS saying they are about to sue - Is it legit?

We got a recorded call with a message claiming to be from the IRS. It said they were giving final notice and preparing to file a lawsuit against us. In our case, the message went to voicemail so the ...
22
votes
5answers
19k views

Do stock prices drop due to dividends?

From Personal Finance for Dummies, page 209: Dividends Dividends are income paid by investments. Both bond funds and stocks can pay dividends. Bond fund dividends (the interest paid by the ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

I haven't filed a return to the IRS in 10 years

My employers have always withheld taxes and for the most part I've assumed they've done it right. I have probably owed a bit some years and been owed a refund some years. Anyhow, I want to get ...
20
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it better to use a 401k loan to make a down payment or to put less than 20% down?

I'm about to buy a house and am considering two options: Make a 12% down payment and pay for mortgage insurance Take out a 401k loan and make a 20% down payment I'm having a hard time finding ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I really pay off my entire credit card balance each month or should I maintain some balance?

I've heard two conflicting things: One is that you should pay your entire credit every month, and the other that you should maintain roughly %30, %50 (it varies by who you ask) of your available ...
12
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the difference between Interest Rate and APY?

What is the difference between Interest Rate and APY on savings accounts, CDs, etc? Is there a simple formula to convert the two?
11
votes
9answers
42k views

Why are American-style options worth more than European-style options?

Why are American-style options worth more than European-style options? I realize I can exercise American-style options anytime before the expire, but I can only exercise European-style options ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does high credit utilization really mean?

I've heard and read that high utilization of credit hurts, but what does that mean exactly? Does that mean high utilization month-to-month, or simply high utilization at all, even when paid off in ...
7
votes
2answers
779 views

I'm trying to figure out a formula for when I'll be able to retire at any given month

I love the Mad Fientist laboratory that lets me see how far away I am from FI. Here is what I love about, the right side to the graph: But to motivate me a bit more, I wanted to calculate the FI date ...
6
votes
1answer
540 views

Wash sale rule + Mutual Funds/ETFs?

According to IRS rules, you can't sell a security, take a capital loss on your taxes, and then buy back the same or a "substantially identical" security within 30 days. However, "substantially ...
4
votes
4answers
537 views

Can a regular salaried (w2) employee opt to pay quarterly taxes?

As a consultant, I got used to paying quarterly taxes. Now that I'm a regular w2 salaried employee, I'm subject to normal withholding on each pay statement. I would like to keep making exact quarterly ...
4
votes
2answers
12k views

How does order matching happen in stock exchanges?

When I place my trade order in the stock exchanges, I know the price matching happens and only when there is a buyer and seller at the same price a trade happens. But how does the quantity matching ...
19
votes
4answers
13k views

Why would anyone buy a government bond?

In my country, the interest rates on government bonds are currently 2 - 3%, but I have money in a term deposit at the bank which earns 4% interest. I don't understand how this can be possible. Why are ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a merchant charge you more in the US if you want to use a credit card?

I'm pretty sure the answer is no for Visa/MC and basically no for Amex, and it's actually illegal in some states, but what if they just rephrase it as "We're giving you a discount if you choose to pay ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

When to pay a credit card in order to avoid fees/penalties/interest?

I am beginning to build credit and got a credit card a few months ago, I am a little confused about when a payment should be made in order to avoid any late fees/penalties/interest. Here is a ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How do credit card companies track your purchase categories?

I've seen a few responses scattered on the internet that attempt to answer this but they seem to disagree on the matter. When dealing with cash-back credit cards, they offer different percentages for ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Pros & cons of buying gold directly vs. investing in a gold ETF like GLD, IAU, SGOL?

Google search brings up some articles on this topic, but they can be biased, so: What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying physical gold vs. investing in a gold ETF like GLD, IAU, or SGOL?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Are the new “Smart” or “Chip” Credit Cards better from a security standpoint?

The new Chip credit cards are being introduced to provide better security to consumers, merchants and credit card vendors. Sample Card: (source: mastercard.com) Card Reader & PIN Entry: ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the primary expenses I should account for in my budget upon college graduation?

I'm 22 and about to graduate from college in Chicago, Illinois with a bachelor's degree in a few months, and I'm creating a detailed budget based on my anticipated expenses. After significantly ...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

How can I fix a mistake I made on my income tax filing? [US]

How can I fix a mistake I made on my income tax filing?
7
votes
1answer
699 views

How are unmarketable market orders (other side of the order book is empty) matched with incoming orders? [duplicate]

Note: This question is erroneously marked as a duplicate. It concerns a very specific situation with unfulfillable market orders in very illiquid markets, one that no other discussion here has covered....
7
votes
1answer
1k views

“Cap gains exposure” of an ETF — what does it mean?

Morningstar provides an ETF data point called potential cap gains exposure. For example, here is Vanguard's Europe ETF (VGK): This value is negative 78% for VGK. I understand that this is a good ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How does remittance work? How does it differ from direct money transfer?

I have a bank account in Germany in which I receive my salary in Euros. I want to deposit a part of it in my Indian bank account for personal savings. My Indian bank account is in INR. As I see it, I ...
6
votes
2answers
683 views

What price is a limit buy and a limit sell order settled at?

A market has an existing limit buy order at $1.00. The market then receives a limit sell order at $0.95, what price is the transaction settled at?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Why do (ACH) payments that withdraw or deposit on my bank account require 1+ business days to complete?

Based on this question, I figured that there might be multiple questions for distinct locales. Why do the most common transactions to or from bank accounts in the US require waiting one or more days ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Military member asks me if she can have money wired into my bank account but needs my social security number and bank routing number [duplicate]

I was recently talking to someone online and she said that she was in the Army and then she went on to tell me that she had a lump sum of 45,000$ co.i g to her but she needed my bank account routing ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What do the components of the taxable income in the Schedule D Tax Worksheet mean?

The Schedule D tax worksheet calculates the tax on the taxable income by first decomposing the taxable income in line 1 into lines 19, 20, 28, 31, 37 and 40, then taxing on them at different tax ...
2
votes
3answers
998 views

Calculating interest accrued with extended Initial Payment Date

I'm wondering how do I calculate the interest accrued if the intervals aren't perfect. For example Principal - $100,000 Interest - 8% Compounding monthly Disbursal Date - January 1st, 2016 Initial ...
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?
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it OK to use a credit card on zero-interest to pay some other credit cards with higher-interest?

I was reading up on What is the difference between "good debt" vs. "bad debt"? and it says borrowing money from a credit card is a bad-debt. So, I was wondering if the credit card ...
8
votes
3answers
43k views

Credit Card Security: First six + last four digits

A company asked me to provide the first six digits of my credit card, along with the last four, to identify a credit charge to my account. I'm wondering - that's ten of sixteen digits. How secure is ...
7
votes
6answers
477 views

What factors should I take into account when deciding how much of my 401(k) contribution should go into my Roth 401(k)?

My employer allows new contributions to my 401(k) to go in as Roth (post-tax) or "regular" (pre-tax). What should I consider when deciding how to distribute my contributions between the two?
7
votes
4answers
7k views

How do amortization schedules work and when are they used?

Specifically, I notice that on a mortgage statement, my payment is "amortized" so that at the beginning of the loan, I am paying almost entirely interest and very little principal. However, on a ...

15 30 50 per page