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Company spotlight Scottrade One of the most recognized and respected names in stock and commodities trading, Scottrade has been developing industry-standard tools for over three decades. The company offers several trading platforms and research tools, which could help you stay informed and ahead... Read Reviews
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It can be hard to cut through the cacophony of Wall Street, considering how much coverage there is from so-called experts on television, internet blogs and various other media outlets. But if you pay close attention, you'll notice something vitally important: they almost never agree on anything. One analysts might predict doom in the next quarter, while another says his data shows a continued bull market for years. If you listened to everyone, you'd likely find yourself frozen; unable to invest at all. Instead, follow these 5 simple investment guidelines and free yourself from doubt. 1. Develop an Investment Philosophy I'm not talking about philosophers like Kant or Nietzsche – I'm talking about developing your own investment model. You need to figure out what your risk tolerance is, what your investment goals are and how you believe markets operate – i.e. EMH Theory and similar systems. You also need to come up with an ideal portfolio, whether you will hold just stocks or include mutual funds, bonds, index funds, ETFs, and so on. 2. Have a Buy and Sell Price… Read more

The oil industry has been one of the most volatile and hotly-debated global economic sectors of the last few years. It seemed to begin in the summer of 2014 when OPEC nations decided to launch a battle to maintain their market share against foreign oil producers, such as U.S. shale oil. Prices dropped precipitously, while OPEC continued to pump out supply, which far exceeded demand, in hopes their competition wouldn't be able to hold out. Fast forward three years and a new plot twist has developed: U.S. oil companies withstood the low oil values and learned to become leaner and more efficient, while OPEC countries eventually realized that they were only hurting their own economies. Now, production cuts aimed at lifting oil prices and allowing the marketplace to determine pricing is replacing the old OPEC oil cartel and the U.S. oil industry is taking advantage of every concession. But the long term issues concerning fossil fuels, climate change and more affordable alternative energy sources haven't changed. It's left investors wondering whether the newly robust domestic oil industry is here to stay, or… Read more

For most Americans, retirement is the ultimate goal. You work hard to earn income, invest as much as you can and prepare to live off off those savings for the rest of your life. It's a permanent vacation and reward for a life well earned. But retirement planning is getting a bit more complicated for a number of reasons, including poor fund management performance, social security shortfalls, longer lifespans and increasing healthcare costs. Considering that it literally takes a lifetime to prepare for retirement, you'll want to take extra care that you've planned it out correctly and avoid making simple mistakes that could end up costing you in the long run. Retirement calculations usually work as follows. First, you add up the total amount in all your savings and retirement accounts in order to come up with a lump sum figure. Then you calculate how long that amount is designed to last – generally about 20 years. Finally, you need to account for inflation, such as increasing your annual withdraws by 3 percent annually. Once you get a number that works,… Read more

Swing Stock Trading is a type of momentum trading where the investor attempts to achieve gains from stocks or commodities within a time period of one to four days. A swing trader’s goal is to find the stocks that are likely to have significant potential gain within a short period of time and then trade them in for profit. The trader is not necessarily interested in the value of the stock, rather, they're more focused on the price and market trends and will carefully study their patterns. Traders use technical analysis to locate the stocks that have a short-term price drive. Who Are the Swing Traders? Swing traders are typically individual day traders. Larger institutions can not benefit from swing stock trading because the stocks they deal with are larger, and the quick aspect of swing trading is not feasible for them. An individual trader benefits from this type of trading because there is less competition from bigger companies. Steps of Successful Swing Trading The strategies involved in swing trading form from carefully analyzing market trends. Trades are usually only placed in… Read more

Retirement planning used to be a fairly straightforward process. Pension and social security income established a base level of income and then your 401K/403b and IRA investments were used to determine how much you could withdraw over 20 years or so to come up with your final income amount.  Anything above and beyond, such as a brokerage account, was extra and not essential in a retirement plan. But things aren't so simple anymore. Many companies have eliminated pension plans and the retirement age required to collect social security keeps ticking up. In fact, there are legitimate concerns that social security payments could be reduced for the next retiring generation. Even standard company-sponsored retirement plans are under-performing in the market – if you even have one with a company match. On top of it all, people are living longer, requiring you to save a greater amount of money in order to provide a long enough retirement plan. What does all this mean? In a nutshell, retirement planning needs some major overhaul. The New Paradigm If you're one of the lucky ones with a pension… Read more