Tuesday, February 15, 2011

termonoligy catchup glossary

For those of you who are not adept in the mystical/magical art of searching for terms/expressions/recipes that do you not know then let me shed some light on a few of the ones I've used in my past few posts.

stock/stocks/units - the small slices or pieces of a company that are traded either publicly or privately.

position(s) - (get your mind out of the gutter!)  A holding or ownership of some units of a company.  eg:  I have a small position (of 100 shares) of "Joe's manure Inc."

Stock Exchange/Market - The "farmers market" for all of the things that get traded on the stock markets.  Which generally includes: stocks, bonds, warrants, debentures, mutual funds, ETFs, options, futures, forex and of course commodities.  (I'll explain some of these later... eventually)

Mutual fund - A mostly horrible contraption built by banks and financial companies that hold portfolios of stocks.  The idea being you have diversity all wrapped up into one product.  So when one stock in the fund tanks the whole ship doesn't sink.  (Think Titanic!)  These funds are not openly traded on the stock exchanges (They trade after the market closes every day) and have lots of rules regarding how they can work.  They are often "actively manged" which means they have lots of expensive staff working hard and long hours which costs the fund.  (They take their slice of YOUR pie even if they lose your money)  Don't get me wrong, some mutual funds are great.  But they are hard to find.  (Sprott Asset management has a couple nice funds that actually do very well.  Full disclosure:  I own some Sprott010 - Small cap equity)  Also, they have fees out the ying-yang!  They often charge you money to buy them, they charge you when you sell them, and they charge you for the management!  Talk about a great product... for the bank/financial company that is!  (That's why I highly recommend buying shares of the banks and financial companies that sell these products rather than the products themselves!  Then you win even if the funds go up or down!)  The one good thing about these funds?  There is no brokerage commission to buy or sell.  (But there might be a fee from the mutual fund company, so read the prospectus!)

ETF - Exchange Traded Fund.  These are far less horrible contraptions...  Generally speaking of course.  They too are very often a portfolio of stocks but the rules are very different than the previously mentioned Mutual funds.  They trade actively on the stock exchanges and you can buy and sell your positions very quickly if you change your mind or the market tumbles.  They do have management fees but are often very very much lower than the mutual fund "brothers".  You aren't charged any fees (as the fund companies like to call them : loads) to buy or sell (except for your brokerage commission to make a transaction) and the management expense fees but they are rolled into the price and to be honest, you really won't notice them unless you're buying a bond ETF and hold on to it for 40 years...  Even still, you probably won't notice.

Profit - duh... new money.  Either found in the couch, on the street, a tax refund, or the successful sell of some stock for more money than you paid for it.  eg: you bought 100 shares of Joe's Manure inc. for $5.  Thanks to a stellar "crop" from the cows the past few months, Joe's reported better profits.  The traders on the market liked this news and started buying more shares.  The result (due to supply and demand) the stock climbed in value to $7.  You promptly sold your position for a profit of $200.

Loss - You're a dope and lost money.  (Full disclosure: I'm a dope too!  But not all is lost since capital losses in your TAXABLE accounts are 100% deductible against any of your gains.  However if you're trading inside a registered plan (like I told you to) then yes, losses are indeed lost forever.

Liquidity - How fast can you buy or sell your shares/units?  It all depends on how many other people are trying to buy and sell.  The more shares that trade on any given day means the more liquid the stock is.  IE. you can liquidate your holdings quickly if you want out.  Many of the real estate trusts I recommend are NOT very liquid.  So there can be huge swings in price in the very short term because nobody is buying or selling so the price has to go WAY up or down to catch a buyer or seller's interest.  Don't sweat it, there is a easy way to not get bitten by this.  Which I'll explain in a later posing.

No comments:

Post a Comment