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Investing All-in-One For Dummies


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1 About This Book 1 Foolish Assumptions 2 Icons Used in This Book 3 Beyond the Book 3 Where to Go from Here 4 Book 1: Getting Started with Investing 5 Chapter 1: Exploring Your Investment Choices 7 Getting Started with Investing 8 Building Wealth with Ownership Investments 8 Generating Income from Lending Investments 11 Considering Cash Equivalents 13 Where to Invest and Get Advice 14 Chapter 2: Weighing Risks and Returns 17 Evaluating Risks 18 Analyzing Returns 28 Compounding Your Returns 35 Chapter 3: The Workings of Stock and Bond Markets 39 How Companies Raise Money through the Financial Markets 39 Understanding Financial Markets and Economics 42 Book 2: Investing in Your 20s and 30s 51 Chapter 1: Using Investments to Accomplish Your Goals 53 Setting and Prioritizing Your Shorter-Term Goals 53 Investing in Retirement Accounts 56 Chapter 2: Minimizing Your Taxes When Investing 63 Understanding Investment Taxes 63 Reducing Your Taxes When Selling Investments 66 Chapter 3: Laying Out Your Financial Plans 71 First Priorities: Paying Off High-Cost Debt and Building a Safety Reserve 72 What about Paying Down Other Debts? 73 Sorting Out Your Financial Plans 76 Knowing the Impact of Investing for College Costs 79 Securing Proper Insurance 83 Chapter 4: Starting Out with Bank Accounts and Money Market Funds 85 Understanding FDIC Bank Insurance 86 Investing in Banking Account and Savings Vehicles 86 Feeling Secure with Your Bank 89 Defining Money Market Mutual Funds 91 Understanding Money Market Fund Holdings 93 Protecting and Accessing Your Money in Money Funds 94 Using Money Market Funds in Your Investment Plan 95 Understanding Traits of Leading Money Funds 96 Book 3: Starting with Stock Investing 99 Chapter 1: Gathering Information on Stocks 101 Looking to Stock Exchanges for Answers 102 Grasping the Basics of Accounting and Economics 103 Staying on Top of Financial News 108 Reading (And Understanding) Stock Tables 110 Using News about Dividends 115 Evaluating Investment Tips 117 Chapter 2: Investing for Long-Term Growth 119 Becoming a Value-Oriented Growth Investor 120 Choosing Growth Stocks with a Few Handy Tips 121 Chapter 3: Investing for Income: Dividend-Paying Stocks 129 Understanding the Basics of Income Stocks 130 Analyzing Income Stocks 134 Exploring Some Typical Income Stocks 138 Chapter 4: Using Basic Accounting to Choose Winning Stocks 143 Recognizing Value When You See It 144 Accounting for Value 147 Book 4: Looking at Bond Investing 161 Chapter 1: Bond Fundamentals 163 Understanding What Makes a Bond a Bond 164 Why Hold Bonds? 167 Introducing the Major Players in the Bond Market 169 Buying Solo or Buying in Bulk 170 The Triumphs and Failures of Fixed-Income Investing 172 Realizing How Crucial Bonds Are Today 176 Viewing Recent Developments, Largely for the Better 177 Chapter 2: All about the Interest 179 The Tricky Business That Is Calculating Rates of Return 180 Measuring the Desirability of a Bond 182 Understanding Yield 188 Recognizing Total Return (This Is What Matters Most!) 191 Measuring the Volatility of Your Bond Holdings 194 Returning to the Bonds of Babylonia 196 Chapter 3: Types of Bonds 197 Exploring the Many Ways of Investing with Uncle Sam 197 Industrial Returns: Corporate Bonds 201 Lots of Protection, a Touch of Confusion: Agency Bonds 205 Banking Your Money on Other People's Mortgages 208 (Almost) Tax-Free Havens: Municipal Bonds 209 Chapter 4: Investing (Carefully!) in Individual Bonds 213 Navigating Today's Individual Bond Market 213 Dealing with Brokers and Other Financial Professionals 215 Doing It Yourself Online 219 Perfecting the Art of Laddering 222 Chapter 5: Picking a Bond Fund That Will Serve You for Life 225 Defining the Basic Kinds of Funds 226 What Matters Most in Choosing a Bond Fund of Any Sort 230 Book 5: Moving on to Mutual Funds 233 Chapter 1: Considering Mutual Funds' Pros and Cons 235 Introducing Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds 236 Getting a Grip on Funds 236 Opting for Mutual Funds 240 Addressing the Drawbacks 248 Understanding Exchange-Traded Funds 250 Chapter 2: Finding the Best Funds 255 Evaluating Gain-Eating Costs 255 Weighing Performance and Risk 263 Recognizing Manager Expertise 269 Chapter 3: Buying Funds from the Best Firms 271 Finding the Best Buys 271 Discount Brokers: Mutual Fund Supermarkets 277 Places to Pass By 281 Book 6: Investing Online 283 Chapter 1: Getting Ready for Online Investing 285 Why Investing Online Is Worth Your While 286 Getting Started 286 Gut-Check Time: How Much Downside Risk Can You Tolerate? 289 Passive or Active? Deciding What Kind of Investor You Plan to Be 290 Chapter 2: Getting Your Device Ready for Online Investing 293 Turning Your Device into a Trading Station 294 Tracking the Market's Every Move 297 Monitoring Market-Moving News 302 Checking In on Wall Street Chatter 306 Keeping Tabs on the Regulators 310 Executing Trades 312 Searching the Internet High and Low 313 Keeping the Bad Guys Out: Securing Your PC 313 Mastering the Basics with Online Tutorials and Simulations 315 Chapter 3: Connecting with an Online Broker 319 Finding the Best Broker for You 320 Separating the Types of Brokerages 322 Avoiding Hidden Fees 332 Finding Out What Reviewers Think 334 Is Your Money Safe? Checking Out Your Broker 335 Cutting the Cord: Mobile Trading 336 Pay Attention to Where Your Cash Is Parked: Money Market Funds 338 Buying Stocks and Mutual Funds without a Broker 338 Opening and Setting Up Your Account 341 Chapter 4: Entering and Executing Trades 343 Understanding How Stock Trades and Shares Are Handled 344 Getting It Done: Executing Your Trades 348 Book 7: Introducing Fundamental Analysis 353 Chapter 1: Understanding Fundamental Analysis 355 Why Bother with Fundamental Analysis? 356 Knowing the Tools of the Fundamental Analysis Trade 361 Making Fundamental Analysis Work for You 363 Chapter 2: Getting Up to Speed with Fundamental Analysis 365 What Is Fundamental Analysis? 366 Comparing Fundamental Analysis with Other Ways of Picking Investments 372 Putting Fundamental Analysis to Work for You 374 Making Money with Fundamental Analysis 377 The Fundamental Analysis Toolbox 378 Chapter 3: Gaining an Edge with Fundamental Analysis 383 Better Investing with Fundamentals 384 Relying on the Basic Info the Pros Use 390 Figuring Out When to Buy or Sell a Stock 394 Chapter 4: Getting Your Hands on Fundamental Data 401 Getting In Sync with the Fundamental Calendar 402 Getting up to Speed with the Basic Accounting and Math 410 How to Get the Fundamental Data You Need 414 Book 8: Investing in Real Estate 421 Chapter 1: Evaluating Real Estate as an Investment 423 Understanding Real Estate's Income- and Wealth-Producing Potential 424 Recognizing the Caveats of Real Estate Investing 426 Comparing Real Estate to Other Investments 427 Determining Whether You Should Invest in Real Estate 432 Fitting Real Estate into Your Plans 434 Chapter 2: Covering Common Real Estate Investments 439 Identifying the Various Ways to Invest in Residential Income Property 439 Surveying the Types of Residential Properties You Can Buy 447 Considering Commercial Real Estate 452 Buying Undeveloped Land 453 Chapter 3: Identifying Sources of Capital 457 Calculating the Costs of Admission 458 Rounding Up the Required Cash by Saving 460 Overcoming Down Payment Limitations 460 Chapter 4: Location, Location, Value 465 Deciding Where to Invest 466 Finding Properties to Add Value 467 Evaluating a Region: The Big Picture 469 Investigating Your Local Market 472 Evaluating Neighborhoods 485 Mastering Seller's and Buyer's Markets 490 Index 493

About the Author

Eric Tyson is a best-selling personal finance book author and has penned five national best sellers. He is also the only author to have four of his books simultaneously on Business Week's business book bestseller list. His Personal Finance for Dummies, a Wall Street Journal best-seller, won the Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Business Book of the Year. Eric's syndicated newspaper column is read by millions of readers weekly. He is a former columnist and award-winning journalist for the Sunday San Francisco Chronicle.

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