Sarah Gilbert

Sarah Gilbert


Guide to Money Questions Answered: 16

Recent Questions Answered by Sarah Gilbert

Is 'Buy and Hold' a good investment strategy?

The buy-and-hold investing strategy explained If you are trying to decide which investing strategy to use after having learned a bunch of new financial lingo, you might be thrilled to come across the buy-and-hold strategy. What you see is what you get! The buy-and-hold investing strategy is simple: You purchase stocks and Read More >>

Should I Use a Broker?

Brokers, like, in Boiler Room? Before we answer the question, "should I use a broker to buy and sell stocks?" we should distinguish what, exactly, we expect a broker to do: All brokers are legally permitted to buy and sell stocks, bonds and other securities, like derivatives and commodities, on a stock Read More >>

What Should I Include in My Portfolio?

A beginning investor can easily be overwhelmed by the variety of investments and retirement strategies available. When I started a 401(k) program for a small company I worked for, only one person, me, made any elections for several months. Here's a bit of helpful knowledge to make those choices a Read More >>

Should I risk money in the stock market?

Before you begin to answer the question, "Should I risk money in the stock market?" you should first assess your investment goals, needs and risk tolerance using this series of questions: What are my investing goals? When will I need this money? (Or: What is my investment timeline?) What is my risk tolerance? The Read More >>

What are bonds?

Bonds are one of a group of so-called "securities," contracts used by companies and governments to raise money for their operations with an underlying asset as security. For companies, the company's goods, revenue streams and properties secure the bond. Government bonds are secured by future tax receipts. Bonds and stocks are Read More >>

What are commodities?

Commodities refer to physical goods, usually raw materials used in manufacturing and production, that are essentially interchangeable. One bushel of wheat produced by an Iowa farmer is assumed to be equivalent to a bushel produced by a farmer in Russia. One ounce of gold just mined in Canada is no Read More >>

What are money market funds?

A money-market fund is a very low-risk type of mutual fund, meant to be as close to cash as possible while still earning a modest return. It is different from a money-market account, which is a type of deposit account in which the entire principal is invested in money-market funds Read More >>

What are treasuries?

Treasuries refer to various investments offered by the U.S. Treasury Department, the part of the government that makes sure there's enough money for the entire government to keep operating. The U. S. Treasury funds just about everything the U.S. does, including paying social security checks, giving emergency aid to citizens harmed Read More >>

How do I get started with investing?

How do I get started investing? is a question much like, What should I do once I graduate high school? In both cases, the answer very much depends on where you are in life; and where you are going. Just as a future doctor might take biology and chemistry at Read More >>

What are stocks?

Every incorporated company--even the coffee shop on the corner and the used record shop next door--has stock. Stock is a way of holding ownership in a company, tangibly, through stock certificates (which are today mostly virtual). When you "buy stock" you are buying a small percentage (a share) of ownership Read More >>

What is portfolio diversification?

Portfolio diversification means putting your money in multiple types of investments (called "asset classes"). Doing this often reduces the volatility (up-and-down performance) of your portfolio. A very basic diversified portfolio might contain the following investments: Stocks and mutual funds (most risky, but with the highest potential growth) Bonds, including treasury and corporate Read More >>

What is risk tolerance?

Risk tolerance, simply put, is your own comfort level with the ups and downs of investments. Fancy definitions in text books might call it "the degree of uncertainty an investor can handle in regard to a negative change in his portfolio"; but when you are making decisions about investments, you Read More >>

When should I start investing?

You are never too young to start investing. No, I don't know how old you are, but if you can read and type well enough to be here reading this article, it's a pretty good bet you've got some understanding of personal finance and a curiosity to know more. You've Read More >>

Where should I invest for the long term?

Got long-term savings to invest? We'll help you figure out where to put it. But first, let's talk about what long-term savings means. What is "long-term" savings? Bond investors consider anything 10 years and over to be "long-term." Many regular consumers think of long-term savings as something that won't need to be accessed Read More >>

Why should I invest?

Why invest? With so many risks--and savings accounts insured by the FDIC--why should you invest when you could simply save? You'll find as many answers as there are personal finance experts, but nearly everyone can agree that if wealth is your desire, investing is the best way to acquire it. Relying Read More >>

What is investing?

Investing is a broad term referring to any commitment of resources (money, time or effort) with the expectation of making a profit at some time in the future. Examples include: Putting money into a business in hopes of earning a share of the business's profits. Buying a house, putting money, time and Read More >>