What Is a Stock Split?

A stock split occurs when a corporation decides to issue new stock and distribute it to it’s current stockholders. This is a decision made by the company’s board of directors.

The most common stock split is a 2 for 1 split. When this happens the stockholder will now own twice as many shares as before the split but at half the price. The total value of your stock does not change. For instance, if you owned 100 shares before the split and the price was $50 a share, after the split you would own 200 shares at $25 a share. After the split the shareholder owns exactly the same percentage of the company as before the split, only the number or shares and share price has changed.

While a 2 for 1 split is the most common, companies also distribute 3 for 1 splits, 3 for 2 splits, 5 for 1 splits, etc.

Why does a Company Split their Stock?

Companies will split their stock when they feel that the share price has grown to the point that it will no longer be considered affordable by many investors. Since most stock transactions are in round lots (lots of 100 shares), the total cost for 100 shares might be out of reach for some investors. Once a stock price hits $100 a share, for instance, evidence shows that many investors consider it to be too expensive. If the price per share were reduced it would be more affordable. The effect of more people buying the shares will hopefully lead to a price gain.
What effect does a Stock Split have on the Share Price?

When a company splits it stock it sends the message that the company has been profitable and it will probably continue to prosper. Companies normally announce their upcoming stock split some time in advance. Many investors and traders search for these companies and consider them prime candidates for a further price increase.

In theory a stock split should have no impact on the value of the stock, it should be a neutral event. The only thing that has changed is the share price and number of shares. When you do the math you still have the same value and the same percentage of ownership in the company. In practice however, companies who split their stock most often see price increase when the split is announced or after the split actually occurs. The company knows this and is eager to see it’s stock price increase.

Reverse Split

Sometimes a company will issue a reverse split. When this happens the shareholder will have less shares at a greater price. For example, a typical reverse split is a 1 for 10 split. For example, if a company has been trading at $1 a share and you have 100 shares, after a 1 for 10 split you will have 10 shares at $10 a share. A company might perform a reverse split when their share price has dropped to a very low level and they want to increase the share price to appear more respectable to potential investors. In addition, some exchanges will de-list a stock when the price drops below a certain level for 30 days.

Why Do Stock Prices Go Up And Down?

I’ll give you the short answer first!

Stocks go up because more people want to buy than sell. When this happens they begin to bid higher prices than the stock has been currently trading. On the other side of the same coin, stocks go down because more people want to sell than buy. In order to quickly sell their shares, they are willing to accept a lower price.

Having said this, we’ll take a look at the various reasons that cause traders to want to buy or sell a stock.

It is possible to look at the financial statements of a company and determine what the company is worth. Investors who take this approach are said to examine the company’s “fundamentals”. They attempt to find an undervalued stock – one that is trading below it’s “book value”. They feel that sooner or later other traders will realize that the company is worth more than the current price and begin bidding it up.

Another investment psychology it called the “technical approach”. This is when traders closely examine charts of the stock’s past performance looking for trends that they feel will be repeated in the near future. These traders also look at what is happening in the market as a whole trying to anticipate the effect it will have on an individual stock.

Sometimes companies trade at half their “book value” while at other times they may trade at double, triple, or even higher. When this happens it can create some sudden and large price swings. This volatility is what makes it possible to make large profits in the market. It is also responsible for huge losses.

The stock market is essentially a giant auction where ownership of large companies is for sale. If some investors think that a particular company will be a good investment, they are willing to bid the price up. By the same token, when many investors want to sell a stock at the same time the supply will exceed the demand and the price will drop.

Watching the stock market can be likened to watching a ball bounce. It goes up and comes down and then goes right back up. This can be extremely frustrating for many investors who want it to go up in a steady pattern. It is this volatility in the market as a whole and in the individual stocks that the experienced trader profits from. In the absence of a lot of experience, the individual investor needs a proven source of information and direction. The daily stock market recommendations from http://www.stock4today.com can supply this need.

Many investors (as opposed to traders) have a “buy and hold” philosophy. This would work well in a constantly rising market. Unfortunately, the stock market does not go up in a straight line. There are ups and downs that frustrate this type of investor. Today many investors have become “traders” who buy and sell on the fluctuations of the market and the individual stocks. These traders make money in any market – up or down!

First Home Purchase – To Buy or Not to Buy a Home

We have all said at some point when we look around at our apartments “I wish I had a house”. In reality besides cost; your first home purchase can be a nerve wrecking prospect.
Owning a home is not a realistic prospect for everyone. Besides cost there is responsibilities with owning a home. It is always better to sit down and take a serious evaluation of your situation before signing a contract on a home you may not be able to handle in the long run.
Unless you are rolling in cash, you will have to get a loan from some kind of lender to get a mortgage. Whether you qualify for a loan or not is based on several factors and your credit is a big one.
So, the first assessment for you to decide if you can take on the responsibility of a first home purchase is that you have to see if you are credit worthy to own a home. If your credit rating is 620 or less rest assured that your interest rates on a home will not be good.
They will run extremely high. In a case like this it is better to fix your credit first before even considering a house.
If you decide you want a home anyway with bad credit then you have to be careful. The lending predators will come out of the wood work to prey on you because of your situation.
Your job situation is another factor in deciding whether to rent or pursue your first home purchase. If you do not have a secure job that will make a problem when it comes for you to make your mortgage payments.
Beside mortgage payments there is upkeep and maintenance issues you face to maintain a house and all those things cost money too.
What you have to do if you are thinking about buying a home is to sit down with a paper and pencil and seriously analyze your finances. You have to make sure that you can afford a home on your budget.
For example if you are renting a dwelling for $2,000 dollars why would you decide to buy the same dwelling for $6,000 dollars a month. If you do the math to own the same home you would be renting would end up costing you $48,000 dollars more a year. Think of your first home purchase as a business decision.
To top that off if you are in a 30% tax bracket you will never recoup what you are putting out. Just food for thought.
In addition to the mortgage there is other costs that have to be met when you become a home owner. These costs include utilities, heat, property taxes, repairs, insurance, service costs for things like trash or snow removal, landscaping and assessments and replacement for appliances when needed.
This does not include your food, clothing and other things you need to survive with. All these things have to be looked at closely to see if you really want to take the plunge from renting to buying a home.
Most importantly (and I say this time and time again), your first home purpose has to be made upon good, sound, logical reasoning. Emotion has no place in the decision making process. If you are “desperate” to get into a home, fall in love with a house or feel you need to purchase a home because “everyone else is”, then you are not in the right mindset.
Buying a house should be like a business decision, do your sums, work out your needs then find a home that ticks all the right boxes.

Are Economy Cars Always Cheap To Own?

Are Cheap Cars Really Cheap To Own?
I know that the sticker price is very important to most auto shoppers. This is true if people are looking for a new or used vehicle. However, the actual price of the vehicle should just be one factor to consider. It may not really illustrate the cost of owning a vehicle very well at all!
Consider an obvious example. A lot of people are trying to sell their gas guzzlers for very cheap prices today. You may not pay much for the used vehicle, but with rising gas prices, keeping it fueled can be a larger expense than paying for the car. In addition, if you have not done your homework, you may take home a used car with some mechanical problems. Repair costs can eat into your budget too. All of a sudden, the bargain you picked up at the used car lot is not looking like a very good choice any longer.
Sometimes, paying more for the vehicle, and getting a car that is easy on fuel and does not need major repairs, ends up being a much more frugal choice. Before you purchase a vehicle it is a good idea to have it checked out, and to do some research on fuel economy.
I gave a used car as my first example. However, you can have the same problem if you are shopping for a brand new car from the dealer’s lot. The low end economy car may seem like a great deal. It may even have great gas mileage and a warranty that will save you from a lot of extra costs.
However, you also need to consider the cost of insuring your new car. If you look at a list of the least expensive cars to cover, you will find a lot of minivans, sturdy SUVs, and even some pickups on the list. The lowest priced, economy models may actually cost more to cover. If you have purchased an inexpensive car to control car payments, but then end up with an expensive insurance bill, you may not have really gotten such a good deal after all.
You might have paid $50 a month less for your compact car than you would have for the slightly larger SUV. But you may end up sinking that extra cash into insurance. You could have paid the same total amount of money, and ended up with a more expensive car.
Are Used Cars Always Cheaper?
If you want to buy a reliable used vehicle to save money, be sure it will really save you money in the long run. Some financing companies charge higher interest rates for used car purchases. The difference in interest rates can mean higher car payments in the end. You also have to check into how much money you might save by getting a new car with a good warranty.
Some new cars have advanced safety features which also make then less expensive to insure than used cars. If you want to estimate the cost an auto policy, you cannot always go by the vehicle sales price either!
What Is The Cost Of Car Ownership?
You have to consider the total cost of car ownership. This is not always possible to predict, but you can find out a lot about most makes and models. Look into estimated repair bills, warranty coverage, the cost of an auto policy, and available financing. These are important factors, and they can change the equation much more than the selling price of the car!

A Few Stock Market Tips

There are some people who really get huge returns from their investments in the stock market and their success acts as an inspiration to many who also decide to join stock trading. As a beginner, you may find it challenging since you may be expecting some returns but end up making losses. Outlined below are some stock market tips for some wise investment:
Learn
You should try to understand how the stock market works, learn some concepts and try to understand some common terminologies used in stock trading. You should then go ahead to learn some analyzing skills which should assist you in identifying the best performing stocks. It is also important to understand some common ratios used in analyzing companies. Learning all this will take you time and you will therefore need to be dedicated.
Consider risks
There are definitely risks involved in stock trading and you should always be in a position to analyze these before investing in stocks from a given company. As a beginner, you can start by first practicing using some demo software, proceed to real market trading where you should start small and later invest more depending on your performance. You should also understand your risk tolerance to avoid frustrations.
Automate your trading
Nowadays, you can get some trading software to automate your stock market deals where this will really save you time and energy. You will also be making more accurate decisions which will assist you in making wise investments for greater returns. You can invest in some software to help keep proper records of things like subscription costs, stock brokers, tracking and analyzing stocks and personal money management among others.
Set and follow your rules
When starting your investments in the stock market, you should formulate some goals and ways of achieving them. You should put into consideration some things like your investments per trade, time frame, your risk tolerance and the expected returns. You should then be disciplined enough to stick to these rules and this is what will amount to personal success over time.
The stock market is very dynamic and keeping up with the changes will require you to be always updated on the latest happenings. You can subscribe to stock market news or any other stock investment services where some are free but others will cost you some fee. It is also important to be spending some adequate amount of time with other investors as you may end up benefiting from some important ideas.