Your Pre-market Checklist

These five best practices can keep traders well informed before the bell rings Everyone’s morning routine differs—some start with coffee, some walk the dog. A daily trading routine is no different. But following these five best practices before the market opens will help you prepare for your trading day. Check the headlines. While many investors … Continued

The Active vs. Passive Overlap

Long-term investors and active traders have more in common than they might think So-called professionals sometimes urge novice investors to turn their backs on active trading. Instead, beginners should entrust their money to an adviser or stash it in a mutual fund and leave it there, the pros like to say.  Those passive approaches might … Continued

The Predictive Power of Options

No one knows for sure what direction the market will take, but options prices can provide actionable clues It’s been a rough year for long-term investors. By the end of the third quarter, the S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (SPY) was down nearly 24% for the year, on pace to become the first negative year since … Continued

The Fickle Influence of Politics on Stock Prices

Elections affect the markets, sometimes in unpredictable ways Two years ago, as America geared up for the showdown between incumbent President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, this column analyzed the potential impact of the election on stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The focus was on clean-energy ETFs and manufacturers of firearms and … Continued

Big Bets in Smaller Packages

Investors can express bullish or bearish opinions on cryptocurrencies by trading the CME’s affordable (and more secure) micro futures contracts The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has for decades provided institutional investors and hedgers access to two-sided, leveraged products for markets underserved by other asset classes. These markets include currencies, metals (both precious and industrial), and … Continued

A Nurse, a Lawyer and a Mail Carrier

Career choice can affect your financial future in unexpected ways Debate over the value of higher education often centers on the relentless rise in tuition over the past few decades. But there’s also the issue of opportunity cost—the income that’s lost by entering the workforce four or more years later. The two factors can combine … Continued

Down But Not Out

When euphoria fades, the hangover may drag down the price of a healthy company’s stock Technology stocks are taking a hit this year, but it’s important to remember the lessons of history. When fear takes over, prices can fall well below their theoretical value. Some—but not all—will rally back to prior levels. Think back to … Continued

Petroleum Perseveres

While debate continues on the transition from fossil fuels to green energy, the nation will rely on oil and gas for the foreseeable future In April 20, 2020, the seemingly unthinkable happened: Crude oil prices fell below zero. More accurately, the May 2020 WTI crude oil futures went negative, touching a low price of -$40.32 … Continued