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What is the Difference Between ETFs and Index Funds?

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ETFs and index funds attempt to mimic the growth of the stock market. The general trend of the stock market in its few hundred years of existence has been upward, even if it has its daily ups and downs. So, the goal of a diversified portfolio, like those available in both ETFs and index funds, is to tap into that growth for individual consumers. Usually, these assets are geared toward slow and steady, long-term growth.

Before you start looking for your next investment opportunity, it’s smart to become more familiar with the different kinds of financial products available. This post will cover what you need to know about the difference between ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, and index funds. The two investment tools are fairly similar, share many of the same perks, and are often suitable for similar long-term investing goals. However, they do differ in a few interesting ways. Some of the topics we’ll cover related to ETFs vs index funds include:

Before you call your broker, let’s cover the basics.

Understanding ETFs

An ETF stands for exchange-traded fund. There’s a lot going on in that term, so let’s break it down. “Exchange-traded” means it’s traded on a stock exchange, the same way that investors might trade shares in an individual company. “Fund” simply means it’s a large collection of money that many people can add to. Put the two together, and you get a fund where investors can pool their money into a collection of stocks and bonds.

ETFs come in two broad categories that are important to know about before investing any capital: index ETFs and actively managed ETFs.

  • Indexed ETFs track a market index, like the Dow Jones or S&P 500. These are collections of large companies whose overall trajectory closely mirrors the progress of the market as a whole. Over history, the general trend of the economy has been upward. So, the idea behind an index-based ETF is to simply tap into that growth by putting the pooled funds into a collection of stocks that will track market trends.
  • Actively managed ETFs are managed by a fund manager who intentionally invests in certain securities in order to reach a specific investment goal. The idea behind an actively managed fund is that the investors, and the fund manager, are hoping to grow high-yielding assets faster than they might by simply matching a market index.

For the sake of this post, we are mostly concerned with the difference between index funds and ETFs, so we’ll focus more on index-based ETFs because they are much more common than their actively managed counterparts.

Index fund basics

Index funds are a general name for a fund that seeks to track a market index. So, technically speaking, an indexed ETF is a type of index fund. Index funds, however, can also be mutual funds, which are another investment product that you can purchase.

A mutual fund is a company that bundles investors’ money and puts it toward a set of securities and bonds with a particular investment goal in mind. Index mutual funds try to track a market index, and so they tend to grow with the economy over time. Other mutual funds may try to out-perform the market, or try to cash in on a new and exciting innovation that presents an investment opportunity.

Index funds, however, tend to be the “slow and steady wins the race” option. In fact, 80% of actively managed funds (funds that are attempting to out-perform the market) did worse over time than the S&P 500. This means that, if you had invested in an index fund tracking the S&P 500 instead, you would likely have made more money than someone who invested in an actively managed fund.

If it sounds a lot like an index-tracking ETF and an index-tracking mutual fund are pretty similar, don’t worry; that’s because they are. However. there are still a few important differences to point out, which we will go over next.

Index funds vs ETFs: What’s the difference?

The difference between an index-based ETF and an index-based mutual fund is pretty technical, but understanding investing often requires working through technical terms. First, in a certain sense, simply comparing ETFs vs index funds is a bit of a false dichotomy. That’s because ETFs can be index funds, as long as they’re structured to track an index.

In a broad sense, the two vehicles are geared toward the same purpose, too: earning you money slowly but (mostly) surely over the long term (years to decades). You’re likely to find both ETFs and indexed mutual funds included as part of retirement portfolios.

Both ETFs and mutual funds (indexed or not) are SEC-registered investment companies. ETFs, however, trade just like stocks meaning that you can buy or sell shares at any time the market is open. Mutual funds, on the other hand, can not be traded during the day. Mutual Funds are priced at the end of each trading day, so if you placed a buy trade for a mutual fund on Monday the shares would not be purchased until Tuesday. This main difference is because ETFs, like stocks, can only be purchased in whole shares. So if an ETF is priced at $25 per share and you had $80 to invest you could only buy 3 shares for $75 dollars. In a mutual fund you can buy decimals of shares. For example, if you still had $80 to invest and a share of a mutual fund was $25 then you could get 3.2 shares.

Mutual funds may have simpler, more hands-off reinvestment opportunities. That is, if you earn dividends, they may be immediately reinvested in your fund. ETFs, on the other hand, may charge a small fee for this transaction; however, you can also turn on automatic reinvestment of dividends for ETFs, as well.

Ultimately, choosing to invest in an ETF or Mutual fund will depend on your personal preference and the options you have based on where you are investing.

How do I know what’s right for me?

Once you’re ready to start investing, it’s normal to wonder what options are right for you, and for your specific situation. Your particular investment path will depend primarily on three key variables:

  1. Your goals: What are you investing for? Are you saving for retirement, or are you planning a destination wedding or dream house?
  2. Your time horizon: How long do you have to reach your goals?
  3. Your risk tolerance: Are you okay with being a little risky in hope of a larger return, or would you rather play it safe and let slow and steady win the race?

Knowing what investment strategy is right given your answers to questions 1, 2, and 3 above is the first step in finding the portfolio that’s right for you. Whatever your specific situation, however, ETFs and index funds may be a solid choice.

Here are some of the benefits of investing through an ETF or index fund.

Long-term growth potential

As we noted above, the focus with index-based mutual funds and ETFs is to match the slow and steady growth of the market. While downturns do occur, and there may be periods where your investment portfolio is looking rougher than you’d like, chances are still good that you’ll be able to grow your investments in the long run.

In fact, the average historical growth of the S&P 500 is around 10% a year. That means, by investing in index funds that track that market index, you may be able to make similar gains — averaged over the long term.

Higher chance of long-term gains vs other assets

Take another look at the chart displayed above. It states that over 80% of actively managed funds under-performed the S&P 500. This suggests that, when investors try to be clever and invest in such a way that they beat the growth of the stock market, eight out of ten times, they fail to do so.

Again, if your aim is long-term growth, you may have a higher chance of achieving it by simply using an index-based ETF or index-based mutual fund to steadily grow your money, rather than risking it on an actively managed ETF or mutual fund that tries to out-perform the market.

Relatively low fees

Actively managed funds also tend to cost more. That’s because they require fund managers to actively research and pick out securities to invest in. Index funds (whether mutual funds or ETFs) avoid this by requiring little maintenance from fund managers. So, fees for investing tend to be lower.

ETF & index fund essentials: How to get started investing

Getting started investing can seem daunting, especially with so many options and technical terms floating around. Don’t worry; there are simple, concrete steps you can take to start taking advantage of ETFs and index funds. Consider these options:

  • Brokerage services: Brokerage services professionally manage your personal investment portfolio. They might help you plan for retirement, help you take advantage of tax breaks, or help you optimize investments for a specific goal. You can let them know you’re interested in investing in ETFs or through a mutual fund.
  • Robo investors: Rather than paying for an expensive human broker, a robo investor allows you to open a retirement account or personal investment portfolio with just a few taps of your phone. Cleverly programmed algorithms tailor an account to your preferences, including investing in ETFs and index funds.
  • Solo investing: You can choose to manage on your own and purchase a mutual fund directly from the company that runs it, or buy an ETF directly from a stock exchange. This might be a better option for those who know a bit about how to invest in stocks. (You may also want to take a look at our guide to investing mistakes to avoid before rushing to the exchanges.)
  • Retirement allocation: If you have an IRA that you’ve set up on your own, or you have a 401k through your employer, there’s a good chance you may already be invested in ETFs or an index-based mutual fund. If not, it’s a good idea to consider these options as part of your portfolio.

ETFs vs mutual funds vs index funds, and actively managed vs index-based — the terms can be tricky, but with the right background knowledge, you can make informed investment decisions to help grow your future.

Sources:

Investor.gov | Investopedia | SPIVA Statistics & Reports

The post What is the Difference Between ETFs and Index Funds? appeared first on MintLife Blog.

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By: Mint.com
Title: What is the Difference Between ETFs and Index Funds?
Sourced From: blog.mint.com/investing/etf-vs-index-fund/
Published Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 17:49:35 +0000

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Are These Marijuana Stocks Built For Long Or Short Term Success?

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Would You Invest In These Marijuana Stocks In 2021?

For the last several month’s investors have found a renewed interest in marijuana stocks. From mid-2020 to currently in 2021 cannabis stocks have been on the move. Many pot stocks from various niches have been rising in the market. Some marijuana stocks have not only reported record earnings but some have seen back-to-back all-time highs. With the amount of money being invested with the hopes of federal cannabis reform, people are trying to jump on board before the boat leaves the dock.

The cannabis sector as a whole has been on fire. Many companies in the cannabis industry have been preparing for what’s next to come. Meaning most cannabis companies are making operational adjustments to be able to adapt to the future of the cannabis industry. For example, 2 big-time cannabis companies both teamed up to make the biggest cannabis company on earth. Tilray Inc. and Aphria Inc. joined forces which have helped both companies market performance to a degree.

As well other companies have taken notice and may follow the same path. A lot is changing for the cannabis industry between legislation, more states going legal, and new regulations. All these variables play a factor in how this sentiment impacts the market. With more positive sentiment taking hold of the market is reflects in how well some marijuana stocks trade.

So far in 2021 cannabis stocks are moving up and seeing overall bigger gains. For this reason, many new and seasoned investors are looking to get involved and make some money. The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world that is continuously expanding. The 2 cannabis stocks below are examples of when the sector is trending it resonates well with how marijuana stocks can or will trade.

Pot Stock Watch List This Month

  1. Green Lane Holdigns Inc. (NASDAQ:GNLN)
  2. Liberty Health Sciences Inc. (OTC:LHSIF)

Green Lane Holdigns Inc.

Green Lane Holdigns Inc. has been of the many marijuana stocks trying to climb higher in a volatile market. Back in 202 GNLN stock saw its price fluctuate quite often. This price fluctuation allowed for good entry points before GNLN stock had a spike in trading. Like many marijuana stocks, 2021 gave the cannabis market a nice push to start the new year. With Green Lane 2021 was no different.

In the first 2 weeks of the new year, GNLN stock shot up 25 percent in trading as it was starting to dip from this point. Even though Green Lane closed out the first month of the new year with a drop from previous highs in January the following month was a different story. Currently GNLN stock in February has been able to recover from January’s dip. 

The company has been able to even reach higher highs than last month. Within the first trading week of February, GNLN stock saw gains of 27 percent. This was a much-needed momentum booster to help the company recover from its trading at the close of January. So far for in February GNLN stock has had a nice upward push in the market showing over 60 percent gains in trading. This current momentum has signaled to investors that Green Lane may be a marijuana stock to watch in 2021.

[Read More]

Liberty Health Sciences Inc.

Liberty Health Sciences Inc. has been an interesting cannabis stock to watch. Like many other cannabis businesses, it’s going to take more than a pandemic to stop the company from expanding. Back in January, the company announced that it will be opening a new location adding to its current portfolio of dispensaries. The Company plans to open two more dispensaries by the end of February 2021 with much more in the works.

Although in 2020 LHSIF stock traded mostly sideways with subtle spikes in trading the new year has provided a strong push in trading. Starting from December 21st LHSIF stock started to bounce and began to climb in the market. From the 21st to the 31st of December LHSIF stock shot up 90 percent. For those who held their position until this point, they made a healthy return on their investment. Pushing into the new year the company was able to sustain its market momentum and keep pushing up in the market.

In the first 14 days of trading of the new year LHSIF stock has a 13 percent increase in trading. The remainder of January’s trading resulted in a small dip. Yet overall gains for the first month of 2021 for LHSIF stock was an increase of 8 percent. This was a subtle push that helped the company sustain its current market position. Now that we have entered February LHSIF has continued to trade up in the market. Currently for the month of February LHSIF stock is up over 25 percent. If the company can continue this momentum it would intrigue more people to keep an eye on this marijuana stock.

The post Are These Marijuana Stocks Built For Long Or Short Term Success? appeared first on Marijuana Stocks | Cannabis Investments and News. Roots of a Budding Industry.™.

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By: Daniel Chase
Title: Are These Marijuana Stocks Built For Long Or Short Term Success?
Sourced From: marijuanastocks.com/are-these-marijuana-stocks-built-for-long-or-short-term-success/
Published Date: Thu, 11 Feb 2021 13:30:07 +0000

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Price to Earnings Ratio Defined (P/E Ratio Formula)

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Trying your hand at the stock market? Chances are, you’ve come across the term “P/E ratio”. If you’re like many who are new to the stock market, you’ve looked at this phrase and asked yourself, “What in the world is that?” 

P/E ratio, otherwise known as the price-to-earnings ratio, is a formula that investors use to determine the value of a company’s share. It is one of the most common formulas used to determine the value of a stock. The formula compares the price of a company’s share to the earnings per share (EPS) of the company in order to determine how much an investor is paying for $1 of the company’s earnings. Let’s take a deeper dive into the P/E formula. Use the links below to jump ahead to a section of your choosing. 

P/E Formula and Calculation 

First thing’s first: let’s learn the price to earnings ratio formula and how to calculate it. The price-to-earnings ratio formula is as follows: the price of a single share of a company’s stock (What is a stock?), divided by the company’s earnings per share (EPS). The ratio of these two variables will tell you exactly how much an investor is spending for a single dollar of the company’s earnings. 

Finding the cost of a company’s stock is extremely simple. In order to find the price of a single share of a company’s stock, all you need to do is enter the company’s stock ticker symbol (the series of characters that represents that company on the stock market) into a finance website, such as investor.gov. You’ll quickly find the current cost for a single share of that company’s stock. Google also keeps an up-to-date Market Summary for the prior day’s stock market, so a quick Google search will often bring exactly the answer you’re looking for. 

Determining a company’s earnings per share (EPS) can be a bit trickier. Earnings per share are broken down into 2 categories: trailing earnings and forward earnings. Trailing earnings, often shortened to TTM, are the company’s core earnings over the trailing, or prior, 12 months. This number is the profit that the company has generated over the past 12 months of business. Remember that we’re talking about the net income of a business, rather than the gross income (Need a refresher? Learn more about gross income vs net income.). P/E ratios calculated with trailing earnings are known as the trailing P/E (P/E TTM). Forward earnings, on the other hand, are the predicted earnings that the company will generate over the next 12 months. P/E ratios calculated using forward earnings are known as the forward P/E. Both types of earnings are divided by the total number of public shares on the market in order to generate their EPS. More on this later. 

Let’s try out an example. Say you’re looking to determine the trailing P/E of a fictional company AlphaBet Corporation, known on the stock market as ABC. Their share price is currently at $50 per share. Their trailing earnings per share is $5. Divide the $50 per share by the $5 EPS, and you’re left with a P/E of 10. This means that investors are paying $10 for every $1 in earnings per share. 

Understanding P/E Ratio 

So, ABC has a P/E of 10. What does that mean for you? 

In the most general sense, the lower a P/E ratio, the less an investor is paying for each dollar of a company’s earnings per share. A higher P/E ratio means that an investor is paying more per EPS. But, unfortunately, determining which stock to buy isn’t as simple as “look for the lowest P/E ratio”. 

It is imperative to remember that everything on the stock market is relative. “Good” and “bad” numbers are different for each and every industry. An electronics company and an automotive company are functioning in two vastly different landscapes. Therefore, in order to determine what is a good price to earnings ratio, you’ll need to understand the landscape of P/E ratios in the industry. Look at similar companies’ P/E ratios to better understand the relative value of your company’s P/E ratio. If ABC’s price-to-earnings ratio seems extremely high as compared to other companies in the industry, it may be an overvalued stock. On the other hand, if it seems extremely low as compared to other companies in the industry, it may be a very valuable stock. 

Let’s try another example. We’ve already determined that ABC’s price is $50 per share, earnings are $5 per share, and P/E is 10. A competitor, DOG, also has stock for $50 per share. Their earnings, on the other hand, are $2 per share, making their PE 25 (50/2=25). An investor would pay $10 for every $1 of ABC’s earnings per share, but they’d have to pay $25 for every $1 of DOG’s earnings per share. With a better understanding of the landscape, we can see how ABC sits relative to its competitors. 

A company’s price to earnings ratio may also be looked at relative to itself. Remember those two types of earnings we reviewed earlier? We can compare a company’s trailing P/E to their forward P/E to better understand the value of a stock. A company with a high trailing P/E ratio may have been rather unprofitable the prior 12 months because theywere preparing to ramp up business substantially, and took on a number of upfront costs. They may be expecting a boom of profits over the forward 12 months, leaving them with a substantially lower forward P/E. By reviewing these numbers in comparison to each other, we may see an opportunity for a long-term investment. 

Limitations of the P/E Ratio 

While the price to earnings ratio is certainly one of the most widely used calculations among stock market investors and analysts, it’s not a cut and dry way to determine a good or bad stock. It gives investors a good understanding of the value of stock in a particular moment, but it certainly has its short-comings. 

Just as the stock market is relative, it’s also in a constant state of fluctuation. It is re-evaluated and recalculated constantly. Why does this matter when it comes to the price to earnings ratio? Well, just look at the variables we use to determine the P/E ratio. 

First, we have the “price” of the price-to-earnings ratio: the cost of a single share of a company’s stock. Stock prices fluctuate every single day based on supply, demand, current events, and more. Typically, the cost of a company’s stock will be reported as the cost that it was when the stock market closed the prior day. Each time a company’s stock price changes, their P/E ratio will change. Certain companies may tend to have a greater fundamental volatility than others, leaving their stock price changing substantially each and every day. Even those with low fundamental volatility experience routine fluctuation. 

Next, we have the “earnings” in the price-to-earnings ratio. Both trailing and forward P/E ratios have their limitations. Trailing P/E can feel like the more reliable of the two numbers because it’s based on facts. We take their actual earnings over the prior 12 months into account. But, in many situations, a company’s prior 12 months may have little to do with their next 12 months. As mentioned earlier, a company may have spent heavy the prior 12 months in preparation to ramp up the next 12 months. The trailing P/E won’t show us any of that. The forward P/E, on the other hand, is based on predictions. And predictions are quite educated guesses, but at the end of the day predictions are still guesses. A company may fall short of their predicted earnings or blow completely past them. 

Looking to try your hand at the stock market? Don’t go at it alone. Consider opening an investment account with Mint. We believe that there’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to investment. That’s why we offer a variety of investment partners, suited to each particular need. Let’s find the best to suit yours. 

The post Price to Earnings Ratio Defined (P/E Ratio Formula) appeared first on MintLife Blog.

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By: Mint
Title: Price to Earnings Ratio Defined (P/E Ratio Formula)
Sourced From: mint.intuit.com/blog/investing/price-earnings-ratio/
Published Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2020 19:37:02 +0000

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Will Marijuana Banking Be Apart Of Federal Cannabis Reform?

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The Cannabis Industry VS Financial Institutions

As marijuana stocks and the cannabis industry as a whole awaits federal cannabis reform the sector keeps trending. Now if the U.S. can federally decriminalize cannabis some analysts feel it may cause some cannabis stocks to rally. As well as many new doors will that can open. For one many new markets will look to join the U.S. cannabis industry. Furthermore, with federal cannabis reform, it could be the start of initiating a banking system for the industry.

Currently due to cannabis still being federally illegal banks can not take money from a cannabis-related business. From the time states started going legal, it has been an issue that has yet to be resolved. The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, especially in the United States. Politicians have been working to pass various pieces of cannabis legislation.

The one bill that would be beneficial to the industry is known as the SAFE Banking Act. This bill would allow banks to accept money from cannabis-related businesses. On March 7, 2019, the bill was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Ed Perlmutter and was introduced to the Judiciary and Financial Services Committees. Back in 2019, the Financial Services Committee voted 45 to 15 to advance the bill to the full House.

The SAFE Banking Act provisions were included in the HEROES Act COVID-19 relief bill passed in the U.S. House in May 2020. They were again included in a bill approved by the house 214–207 in October. A push to include the SAFE Banking Act provisions in the end-of-year COVID-19 stimulus failed, though hope remained it could pass in 2021 if reintroduced.

How Will The Cannabis Industry Work With Banks

When it comes to any business you can think having startup capital is important. Now not every person with money is willing to invest in a new venture which makes finding that more of a task. Especially with cannabis-related business and right now banks are no help. For a business to acquire a line of credit or some type of lending your business must be able to have some type of financial record.

This usually tells banks and lenders how good you are at paying things back and how reliable you are to do so. The bigger obstacle for cannabis businesses is how do you show you are trustworthy with no credit history. Once again this due to financial institutions not working with cannabis businesses. Let’s look at a few steps to help jump over some red tape.

First, you should start a new business that is a separate company from your personal credit. This will help when it comes time to do your taxes. The second step to take is you need to register for your EIN number. Next thing to do is open a new bank account and make sure you can show that you have continuous income which shows financial stability. Again with banks not accepting cannabis money the last step may be next to impossible to do.

[Read More]

Will Cannabis Banking Actually Happen?

The way financial institutions offer other industries various banking options is not the same for the cannabis industry. Although there is some grey area with cannabis and banks yet most banks won’t offer services for how high risk the industry is. This leaves many cannabis businesses left out from what other traditional retail businesses would have. Look past the risk banks also look at taking cannabis money as to much work. This would result in following regulations and keeping data on all money. This process has been established by the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970. Also, working with the large amounts of cash cannabis businesses generate may affect how a bank can operate.

With this roadblock between banks and cannabis money, it shuns cannabis businesses from establishing a form of credit. This issue alone is why the industry operates only in cash with very few places to keep it. Also, this issue can do much harm to future relationships with other companies and businesses. If a cannabis business can not establish a credit history no lender or bank can help. That’s why it’s important to have an industry as big as cannabis have some form of credit being reported to credit companies. This will tell other lenders and banks that a particular business is profitable enough to pay back any loans.

What Will The Future Of Cannabis Banking Become

It’s wild to think that an industry that is generating a high volume of cash is being blocked from showing the reliability needed to secure lending. Some feel if the cannabis business can earn the trust of financial institutions by being transparent with its earnings. This may be a step to banks feeling more comfortable with working with a cash-intensive business. Hopefully, with federal cannabis reform, it will help push cannabis banking in the direction needed to help out the industry.

The post Will Marijuana Banking Be Apart Of Federal Cannabis Reform? appeared first on Marijuana Stocks | Cannabis Investments and News. Roots of a Budding Industry.™.

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By: J. Phillip
Title: Will Marijuana Banking Be Apart Of Federal Cannabis Reform?
Sourced From: marijuanastocks.com/will-marijuana-banking-be-apart-of-federal-cannabis-reform/
Published Date: Tue, 09 Feb 2021 18:34:56 +0000

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