Markets FAQs

  1. Who is Mr. Copper?

  2. What is a Bermuda swaption?

  3. What's the difference between a mutual fund and a hedge fund?

  4. What does a cut in interest rates mean for the stock market?

  5. I converted my former IRA to a Roth for tax purposes in 1998, so even though the tax was paid over four years, am I correct to assume that this is now mine to withdraw, if I like, at no penalty? I am 60 years old.

  6. Why can you short sell an ETF but not an index fund?

  7. Can a stop-loss order be used to protect a short sale transaction?

  8. What is a staggered board?

  9. How is spread calculated when trading in the forex market?

  10. If a country's currency is determined by the strength of its economy, why isn't the U.S. dollar worth more than the British pound?

  11. How does leverage work in the forex market?

  12. Can an option have a negative strike price?

  13. Is an earnings surprise priced into the opening value by market makers or does the buyer/seller response drive the price?

  14. Which is better for tax deductions, itemization or a standard deduction?

  15. What are cleantech stocks?

  16. How do I open a Swiss bank account, and what makes them so special?

  17. What does "after the bell" mean?

  18. I'm a teacher. Which is better for me, a 401(k) or 403(b)? What is the difference? From whom do I get these plans?

  19. What's the difference between the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500?

  20. Can I roll over a profit-sharing plan to an SEP IRA account without suffering any tax penalties and liquidation of current positions held in this account?

  21. Why did my stock's ticker symbol change?

  22. What's the difference between absolute P/E ratio and relative P/E ratio?

  23. What is the ideal number of stocks to have in a portfolio?

  24. What does the 'FIG' at an investment bank refer to?

  25. Do stop or limit orders protect you against gaps in a stock's price?

  26. What are the disadvantages of using net present value as an investment criterion?

  27. What is the difference between leverage and margin?

  28. How do speculators profit from options?

  29. Do all international markets trade between 9:30am and 4pm local time?

  30. How many attempts at the Series 7 exam are permitted?

  31. How do I receive sponsorship from a member firm in order to write a Series 7 exam?

  32. I have a KSOP through my employer that I've invested 100% in company stock. I am now concerned that I'm not diversified and would like to move out of company stock and into mutual funds. Is this allowed with the funds I've contributed to the account?

  33. What are elves?

  34. What is meant by "full disclosure"?

  35. What is a blackout period?

  36. What kinds of investments are allowed in a qualified retirement plan, and what kinds are forbidden?

  37. Where did the bull and bear market get their names?

  38. Who or what is Dow Jones?

  39. What do the phrases "sell to open", "buy to close", "buy to open", and "sell to close" mean?

  40. Does the seller (the writer) of an option determine the details of the option contract?

  41. How can my stock's price change after hours, and what effect does this have on investors? Can I sell the stock at the after-hours price?

  42. I want to invest in equities, but I don't have much money. Is there a minimum number of shares I must buy?

  43. What causes a significant move in the stock market?

  44. How can I find out which stocks also trade as options?

  45. What does it mean when a bond has a put option?

  46. What is authorized stock?

  47. Do I need to take the Series 6 examination after I have already successfully completed the Series 7?

  48. I want to start my own brokerage company, how do I become a member of FINRA?

  49. How do I register for the CFA program for the first time?

  50. What's the difference between a Nasdaq market maker and a NYSE specialist?

  51. If the stock market is so volatile, why would I want to put my money into it?

  52. What does membership in the New York Stock Exchange entail, and why is it known as "owning a seat"?

  53. What do all of the letters in a stock option ticker symbol mean?

  54. Can stocks be traded on more than one exchange, such as, for example, on both the Nasdaq and the NYSE?

  55. Should I buy options that are in the money or out of the money?

  56. I am in the second year of taking SEPP distributions from my IRA. Can I transfer some of the funds to a new IRA with different investment options?

  57. When does one sell a put option, and when does one sell a call option?

  58. What is the value of one pip and why are they different between currency pairs?

  59. Who sets the price of commodities?

  60. I am not a resident of the United States, but would like to be qualified as a registered representative in the U.S. Is it still possible for me to write the Series 7 exam?

  61. I have a CFA designation. Do I qualify for any exemptions from FINRA licensing exams?

  62. What are the oldest mutual funds, by date of inception?

  63. When you buy a stock in a company, does it necessarily mean that one of the shareholders is selling it to you?

  64. What are the listing requirements for the Nasdaq?

  65. What is the difference between a global fund and an international fund?

  66. What is a CUSIP number?

  67. What's the difference between a straddle and a strangle?

  68. What is the weighted average of outstanding shares? How is it calculated?

  69. How do I measure option liquidity?

  70. How many types of markets can an investor choose from?

  71. How do you tell whether an option is American or European style?

  72. Why can't I have fixed rollover costs in forex?

  73. Why do futures' prices converge upon spot prices during the delivery month?

  74. What does "squeezing the shorts" mean?

  75. Why do options with the same underlying stock and strike prices trade for different amounts?

  76. I've noticed executives buy a lot of stock below market value, and then they sell it for a large gain. How can they do this?

  77. How long does it take for a merger to go through?

  78. Where can I find a list of all of the stocks in the S&P 500?

  79. How do companies use the Pac-Man defense?

  80. What does it mean when a stock symbol has a .PK after it?

  81. What is the best way to measure the total market?

  82. Do hedge funds and mutual funds invest in commodities in high inflation environments?

  83. I own shares of a company that just received a delisting notice from Nasdaq. Does this mean I will lose my shares?

  84. Can I make money using put options when prices are going up?

  85. How can I invest in gold?

  86. Do noise traders have any long-term effect on stock prices?

  87. What is the difference between open-market and closed-market transactions?

  88. What will happen to my SEP IRA if I leave my current employer?

  89. When is a takeover bid legally canceled?

  90. How do I calculate forex pivot points?

  91. What is a typical day in the life of someone in M&A? How long does a project last?

  92. How can I buy oil as an investment?

  93. Is there a world currency? If so, what is it?

  94. What's the difference between publicly- and privately-held companies?

  95. Where can I find a company's annual report and its SEC filings?

  96. What is a penny stock?

  97. When must a company announce earnings?

  98. Which option is better on a mutual fund: a growth option or a dividend reinvestment option?

  99. What happens when a company buys back its shares?

  100. What is the difference between a merger and a takeover?

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