Frequently Asked Questions

    • How can I start investing?

      The first step is to evaluate what are your financial goals, how much money you have to invest, and how much risk you’re willing to take. That will help inform your asset allocation or what kind of investments you need to make. You would need to understand the different types of investment accounts and their tax implications. You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. Start small with contributions to your 401(k) or maybe even buying a mutual fund.

    • What is esg investing?

      ESG investing is investing that follows environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. ESG investors look for companies with good environmental practices, social responsibility tenets and equitable governance initiatives. ESG ETFs and mutual funds are an easy way to gain start. ESG investing was initially considered less profitable but now has a proven track record of beating broader markets.

    • How does investing in stocks work?

      When you buy stock in a company, you become a part-owner of the company in proportion to the number of shares you purchase. Companies sell stock to raise money and these shares of stock are listed on stock exchanges which are marketplaces. Like any other item in a market, stock prices also change. You can profit from owning stocks when the share price increases over time, or from quarterly dividend payments.

    • How to start investing in real estate?

      Real estate investing means investing in properties. There are two ways of benefiting from such an investment – appreciation in property value or steady stream of income (rent or dividends). You could buy an actual property or you could consider investing passively. Passive investment options include REITs, real estate funds and ETFs, that allow you real estate exposure without the hassle of managing the property.

    • What is robo-investing?

      Robo-investing means working with a robo-advisor which automates and manages your portfolio based on your preferences. There are many robo-advisors such as Betterment, Fidelity and Schwab. The pros include simple strategies, ease of investing and no required investment knowledge. The cons include lack of holistic financial planning and limited investment options.

    • What is income investing?

      Income investing is a strategy that helps generate an income stream from your investments. The first step is to consider how much money you’d need each month. A good rule of thumb for that is the 4% Rule. You could use multiple assets such as dividend-paying stocks, bonds and real estate among others to create a portfolio that passively gives you regular income.

    • Why is investing important?

      While saving money and budgeting is important, they alone cannot help you build wealth. Investing money, while not risk-free, can help you reach your financial goals – whether its buying a car in a few years or building a nest egg for retirement. A monthly $100 investment that returns 6% would grow to nearly $45,000 in 20 years. That’s the power of compounding, so its better to start investing early.

    • What are alternative investments?

      Alternative investments are investments that do not fall under the traditional asset classes of stocks, bonds and cash. Alternative investments can include real estate, commodities, hedge funds, and cryptocurrencies among others. Although they offer portfolio diversification, alternative investments can be riskier, complex and less transparent than traditional investments.

    • What is the difference between saving and investing?

      By saving you’re putting money aside either in cash or liquid accounts such as checking or savings accounts. When you invest, you put your money into investment products, such as stocks or mutual funds, to get a return on the investment, but you also take on some risk. Savings come handy on a rainy day while investments help build wealth. You need both for your financial well being.

    Key Terms

    A woman reviews her investment gains
    What Is an Unrealized Gain?
    A CEO goes over company filings with her employees.
    What Is SEC Form S-1?
    An employee takes a break from work.
    What Is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)?
    Piles of bundled $100 bills
    What Are Assets Under Management (AUM)?
    man and woman with advisor
    Should You Use an Investment Advisor to Buy Mutual Funds?
    A young man at a windowpane analyzes data with a dry erase pen.
    What Is a Z-Score?
    An investor looks over available properties.
    What Is Real Estate Wholesaling?
    A shareholder grins after seeing his returns
    What Is a Shareholder?
    An investor gets an alert for a quarterly dividend payment
    What Is a Quarter?
    An engineering major takes notes during a lecture about AI.
    What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?
    An investor works through EAR calculations.
    What Is Effective Annual Interest Rate?
    A person in a plaid jacket and fedora stands in the middle of a New York intersection, lit by the sun shining down the street behind them
    What Is an Opportunity Zone?
    Warren Buffet is known for Nebraska, Coca Cola, and more.
    Learn About the Life and Business of Billionaire Warren Buffett
    young man standing at a four-way crossroads trying to determine which way to go
    What Is Opportunity Cost?
    person in polka-dot white shirt looking intently at laptop screen
    What Are Savings Bonds?
    Illustration of woman and blockchain
    Blockchain, NFT, WTF?
    A man in a black business suit writes data on a whiteboard
    What Is Pro Forma?
    Businesswoman at desk holding pen
    What Is a Millionaire?
    Female Video Editor Works with Footage and Sound on Her Personal Computer. She Works Late. Her Office is Modern and Creative Loft Studio.
    What Is Asset Management?
    High Angle View Of Swans Swimming In Lake
    What Is a Black Swan?
    businessman using a mobile phone to check stock market data.
    Best Stock Trading Apps for Android
    Woman listening to a podcast
    Best Investing Podcasts
    Top-down view of a clipboard with a blank white sheet of paper, a calculator, and a cup of coffee on a yellow background.
    Compound Interest Calculator
    Business owner using calculator for do finance work at an office desk
    What Is Delta in Options Trading?
    person with glasses in blue flannel shirt working on laptop
    What You Need to Know About VeChain
    Young adult in jean shirt with hand on his head, stressed out in front of computer
    What Is a Short Squeeze?
    A young couple meets with a financial planner
    Enterprise Value vs. Equity Value/Market Cap
    A young woman makes a trade on her iPhone.
    Best Stock Market Apps for iPhones and iPads
    Three women and two men in a business meeting
    What Is the Enterprise Value of a Company?
    Female financial adviser speaking with client
    What Are Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs)?
    how a trust fund works
    What Is a Trust Fund?
    Businessman using laptop in a cafe
    What Is Form 8-K?
    Woman potter in a workshop with a cup in hand looking at a laptop
    What Is Break-Even Analysis?
    Man doing finances in home office
    What Is Future Value?
    Man reading investment books
    The 10 Best Investing Books for Beginners in 2021
    Image shows a woman at a computer and gesturing to the price to earnings ratio equation. Text reads: "What to know about price-to-earnings ratio: useful metric for evaluating relative attractiveness of a company's stock price compared to the firm's current earnings; P/E ratio is the price an investor is paying for $1 of a company's earnings or profit. Along with due diligence, examining P/E ratio can help you avoid getting swept away in bubbles, manias, and panics."
    Using the P/E Ratio To Value a Stock
    A woman uses a tablet in front of a shop
    What Is the Rule of 70?
    A man in a reflective vest, goggles and helmet takes inventory in a lumber yard.
    What Is a Spot Price?
    Exchanging ideas in the boardroom
    The Pros and Cons of EBITDA
    A couple working with a financial advisor
    What the Investment Fiduciary Rule Means for You
    A potential investor considers investing in a startup company
    What Is a Unicorn?
    Person updating calendar on laptop.
    What Is Year to Date?
    Woman in blue sweater counting cash in her hands
    What Is Legal Tender?
    Image shows a woman sitting at a table on two computer monitors working with various market data. There is a money tree next to her computer. There is a large window looking over a large city beside her. Text reads: "What is hedging? A hedge is an investment that protects your finances from a risky situation. It's done to minimize or offset the chance that your assets will lose value"
    Protect Yourself From Financial Crises
    couple discussing finances
    How Mutual Funds Work
    A potential investor looks at the run rate of a startup
    What Is Run Rate?
    Businesspeople walking in train station
    What Is a Multinational Corporation?
    Busy businesswoman checking financial trading data
    What Is a Portfolio?
    Hands typing on a keyboard on a home desk with investment charts.
    What Is an Investment?
    Man in blue shirt calculating something on his desk
    What Is Annualized Total Return?
    Stock trader in stock exchange
    How Do Options Work?
    Developer meeting with couple at home to discuss properties he’s showing them on a laptop.
    Should You Consider Real Estate Crowdfunding?
    Man worries about finances in kitchen with family
    What Is Volatility?
    An older couple calculates retirement savings
    What Is a Nest Egg?
    person in striped shirt sitting on floor while working on computer
    What Are Outstanding Shares?
    Business people shaking hands in conference room
    What Is an Acquisition?
    What is a brokerage account?
    What Is a Brokerage Account?
    Cheerful mid adult woman smiling at business meeting
    How Does A Holding Company Work?
    Entrance to Black Rock building
    The 10 Largest Investment Management Companies Worldwide
    Young woman in dark blue shirt looks at a screen with other screens behind her.
    What Is Fair Value?