Surfing for stock information
Around the water cooler, people talk about playing
the stock market. But the truth is, if you want to invest in stocks
and bonds, it's a lot of work. There's not much playing involved.
Investing involves learning a whole new language.
So for novices who don't know a stock from a bond,
we've assembled a group of Web sites that can help you get started.
Even seasoned investors may profit by checking them out. Surf on
over to these suggested pages to find out how to invest wisely,
create financial plans, build a portfolio and more.
You can do more on the NASDAQ page than check to see if your
stock has gone up or (gulp) down. Click on "Personal Finance"
in the left column and you'll see numerous articles on topics ranging
from online investing to 401(k)s. The site also offers a set of
online brochures designed to teach you about the process of investing,
including: "Getting ready to invest," "Investing
and the Internet" and "Setting up an account."
Not for monkeys, this site is loaded with basic information for
the new investor. You can learn volatility basics, read an intro
to modern portfolio theory, learn how to estimate compound interest
and see graphs that explain bond yield, stock valuation and other
investing concepts. Plus, you'll be treated to explanations of a
whole alphabet soup of investing acronyms, from P/E to CAPM.
York Stock Exchange
The NYSE site offers a glossary that gives definitions for hundreds
of investing terms, ranging from "accrued interest" to
Sometimes it seems like Uncle Sam is all take and no give. Well,
here's a gift that Uncle Sam has for you: mymoney.gov, the federal
government's Web site "dedicated to helping Americans understand
more about their money." Topics of information include budgeting
and taxes, credit, homeownership, retirement planning and paying
Click on "Personal Investors" and then "Planning
& Education," and you'll find a wealth of information on
financial markets, stocks, bonds, retirement planning, investment
planning and more. Written in plain English, the articles include
"What is investing?" "Stock, bond and cash investments"
and "Economics 101 for investors."
When do I have to pay self-employment tax? Do I have to claim tips
on my tax return? What interest is considered tax exempt? The IRS's
12 tax tutorials will answer these and other basic questions to
keep the tax man from banging on your door after April 15. Click
on "Information for individuals" in the left column and
scroll down to "Tax tips for 2005," and you'll find information
on how to get faster refunds through direct deposit, order forms
and publications, and more.
The Federal Reserve influences the direction of interest rates in
this country -- and it offers lots of information about money and
investing on its Web site. How much do you know about the Federal
Reserve system? Enough to fill out a crossword puzzle on the topic?
Find out on this site.
If you don't know that much, articles and tutorials
on the site will explain the Fed as well as mutual funds and annuities,
the life of a check, the life of a dollar bill and more.
and Exchange Commission's Roadmap to Saving and Investing
The SEC's roadmap tells you how to define your goals, make a financial
plan, determine your risk tolerance, choose investment products,
pick a financial professional and avoid problems along the way.
For even more basic info, the publication "Investment products:
your choices" describes the workings of mutual funds and stocks
Institute for Financial Education
WIFE is "the oldest nonprofit organization
dedicated to providing financial education to women in their quest
for financial independence." The main page offers feature articles
that appeal to money-conscious women and couples, and the site also
offers a free e-newsletter full of tips, articles and exercises.
Tools include a cost of living calculator that lets you compare
today's costs of necessities with those of prior years, and a savings
calculator that tells you how much you'll save in the long run if,
for example, you give up your daily cappuccino at Starbucks. Money
Guides from WIFE will help women -- for free -- start money clubs
to learn more about handling money and investing.