A penny saved may be a penny earned, but a penny invested can be even more.
In this financial crisis, old advice about equities, mutual funds, commodities, and real estate may no longer hold. Here is a fresh look at all aspects of investing to help readers protect and grow their wealth. This edition includes the most current information on: corporate fundamentals; the sub-prime crisis and its effects; practical tools for evaluating mutual funds; advice about riding the equity market; and the use of Exchange Traded Funds.
Table of Contents
- Title Page
- Copyright Page
Part 1 - What Does “Financial Security” Mean to You?
- Chapter 1 - Bubbles and Bailouts: Understanding the Financial Crisis
Chapter 2 - Put Your Money to Work for You
- Putting Money to Work Is the Essence of Investing
- The Miracle of Compounding
- How Compounding Makes the Difference
- An Easy Way to Figure Compound Interest
- The “Blow-Your-Mind-by-Adding-Time” Chart
- The 10 Percent Habit
- Become an Educated Investor, Not Just a Consumer
- Time, Risk, and Your Sanity
- The Fed’s Balancing Act: Dampening Inflation Without Dumping on Us
- Chapter 3 - How Do You Really Feel About Risk?
- Chapter 4 - Selecting Your Investing Objectives and Style
Chapter 5 - What Do You Have Right Now—and What Will You Need to Retire?
- So What Will Social Security Do for Me, Anyway?
- Time to Pester Human Resources
- Help, I’m Self-Employed!
- Creating Your Own Fabulous Pension Plan
- A Super-Easy Way to Figure Out How Much You Need to Save
- Use the 401(k) Plan, Stan
- Get an IRA!
- Trust Us, You Really Don’t Want to Wait
- But My Circumstances Will Change… Won’t They?
- Stagger Your Debt
- Your Personal Balance Sheet: A Snapshot of Your Finances
Part 2 - Creating a Plan
Chapter 6 - Retirement Plans 101
- If You Aren’t Planning for Retirement Yet, You’re Not Alone
- Defined Benefit Plans
- Defined Contribution Plans
- 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
- Contribution Limits
- Should You Put All Your Eggs in the Company Basket? Ask the Folks at Enron …
- What About Stock Options? Go for It.
- Individual Retirement Accounts
- Old Faithful: The Traditional IRA
- The Flexible Roth IRA
- Avoiding the 10 Percent Early Withdrawal Penalty
- Which IRA Is Right for Me?
- Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits
- Chapter 7 - Solving Debt and Credit Problems
Chapter 8 - Home Ownership: What You Need to Know
- The Down Payment
- Timing Is Everything
- Re-Fi Mania
- Evaluate Your Mortgage-Worthiness Before a Banker Does
- Compare Renting to Owning
- Over Time, Owning Should Save You Money
- Renting Pluses
- How Much of Your Income Should You Spend on Housing?
- Fixed-Rate vs. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
- I.O. for U?
- The Costs of Closing
- Second Mortgages: Pros and Cons
- Pluses and Pitfalls of Paying Off Your Mortgage
- Should You Shorten Your Mortgage?
- The Relocation Package
- Renting Out Your Home When You Move
- Real Estate Agents
- Closing the Deal
Chapter 9 - Funding Your Own (or Your Child’s) Education
- An Overview of College Costs
- An Investment That Really Pays
- Put Your Financial Security First
- Establishing an Education Fund
- Using a Traditional or Roth IRA to Save for College
- Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESAs)
- Qualified Tuition Programs (Section 529s)
- Pros and Cons of 529 Plans
- Tax Breaks for Education Expenses
- Patriot Bonds (formerly EE Savings Bonds)
- Other Options
- Sorting Out All the Options
- In Whose Name?
- Chapter 6 - Retirement Plans 101
Part 3 - 3 Investing 101
Chapter 10 - What Are They Up to on Wall Street, Anyway?
- The Purpose of Wall Street
- The Stock Exchanges
- The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- What’s With All the Animal References?
- But What Do All Those Numbers Mean?
- The Key to Your Stock Knowledge: Price-Earnings Ratios
- Look into My P/E Crystal Ball
- Should You Play with the Big Kids or Just Get a Piggyback Ride?
- Asset Allocation/Rebalancing
- How Much Stock Should Be in Your Portfolio?
- Dollar Cost Averaging, or How to Own Stocks and Stay Happy
- The Two Secrets of Successful Investing
- Choosing a Broker
- Placing a Trade with Your Broker
- Asset Management Accounts
- Financial Advisors
Chapter 11 - How to Invest in Individual Stocks … Not That We Recommend It!
- Trading Tips
- When Should You Buy Stock?
- If You Buy It, You’d Better Love It
- The Biggest “Do” of All: Invest in Quality
- Researching Individual Stocks
- All the News That’s Fit to Print: Company Annual Reports
- Dividends: How Companies Share the Wealth
- The Truth About Stock Splits
- Diversifying Your Stock Portfolio: How Many Holdings Are Enough?
- We’re Not Talking About Leaky Faucets: Investing Through DRIPs
- Changed Your Mind About Being Your Own Securities Analyst?
Chapter 12 - Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Fixed-Income Securities
- What Are Fixed-Income Securities For?
- When Do You Get That Groovy Interest Income?
- The Wonderful World of Bond (No, Not James)
- A Simple Rule for Deciding How Much of Your Portfolio to Keep in Bonds
- Corporate Debt—An Unwise Choice for Small Investors
- Treasuries—Smart Alternative to Corporate Debt
- An Old Favorite: Savings Bonds
- CDs: A Viable Alternative to Government Debt
- Municipal Bonds
- Money Market Funds
- Chapter 13 - Preferred Stock: A Hybrid of Wall Street
Chapter 14 - Navigating the Mutual Fund Universe
- What Exactly Are Mutual Funds?
- Open-End and Closed-End Funds
- Avoid Load Funds
- Index and Tax-Advantaged Funds
- Exchange-Traded Funds
- HOLDRs: An Alternative to ETFs
- What’s out There in the Fund Universe?
- Why Funds Are a Great Investment Option
- How to Pick a Winning Mutual Fund
- Money Market Funds
- Lifestyle and Tax-Efficient Funds
- Pick a Date to Rebalance Your Mutual Fund Holdings Annually
Chapter 15 - Investing in Real Estate: Pros and Cons
- Why Own Real Estate?
- Advantages of Investing Through REITs
- Types of REITs
- Not All REITs Are Alike
- REIT Resources
- Four Types of Real Estate Ownership
- Eight Basic Forms of Real Estate
- Purchase and Rental of Homes and Apartment Buildings
- Location, Location, Location
- How Rental Income Hits Your Tax Return
- Chapter 10 - What Are They Up to on Wall Street, Anyway?
Part 4 - Rolling with Life’s Changes
Chapter 16 - Work Smart, Not Just Hard: Getting the Max from Your Job
- What to Ask a New Employer
- Transferring Retirement Accounts
- So You’re Your Own Boss
- Retirement … at Last!
- How the Retirement Age You Choose Affects Social Security
- Pay Tax on Social Security Benefits? Sad, but True
- Can You Work and Still Collect Social Security?
- Advantages to Delaying Retirement
- When and How to Apply for Your S.S. Benefits
- How Does Medicare Work?
- What About Lump-Sum Retirement Benefits?
- Chapter 17 - The Ramifications of Romance
- Chapter 18 - Cutting Expenses Is Investing
- Chapt er 19 - Covering Your Assets
- Chapter 16 - Work Smart, Not Just Hard: Getting the Max from Your Job
Part 5 - 5 Advanced Investing Strategies
- Chapter 20 - Keeping Uncle Sam’s Mitts off Your Assets
Chapt er 21 - Hedging Your Options
- Weighing Your Options
- Puts and Calls
- How Did This Get Started?
- Risk-Loving Speculator Seeks Cautious Hedgehog
- In the Money
- Reading an Options Table
- Selling Short vs. Trading Options
- Risky Business
- Option Strategies That Protect Your Stock Positions
- Stock Index Options
- The Braveheart of Wall Street
- Chapter 22 - Fancy Futures
- Chapter 23 - Alternative Investments
- Appendix A - Glossary
- Appendix B - Useful Investing Information
- Appendix C - Quick Reference Points
- Title: The Complete Idiot's Guide® To Investing
- Release date: December 2009
- Publisher(s): Alpha
- ISBN: 9781592579150