Stocks

Short Selling Explained: Trading Strategies

How do you begin short selling as an investment strategy? A number of rules restrict which stocks may be shorted and the necessary conditions for shorting. This means you won't always be able to short any stock you want, whenever you want. Working with an online brokerage service like Ally Invest ensures you have plenty […]

Mutual Funds

Money Market Mutual Funds: An Introduction

Money market mutual funds (usually referred to as money market funds or money funds) invest in short-term, fixed-income securities, otherwise known as money market investments. By definition, money market investments mature in less than one year. Like other mutual funds, money market funds are pooled investments that allow investors to participate in a diversified portfolio […]

Trading

Swing Trading Strategies

A guide to Swing Trading for bullish and bearish traders. Swing Trading is a short-term trading method that can be used when trading stocks and options. Whereas Day Trading positions last less than one day, Swing Trading positions typically last two to six days, but may last as long as two weeks. The goal of […]

Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Delta

One of the biggest mistakes new options traders make is buying a call option in order to try and pick a winner. After all, buying calls maps to the pattern you’re used to following as an equity trader: buy low, sell high, in that order. Options are trickier. Sometimes the underlying stock moves in the […]

Trading

How to Buy Stock Online

Step-by-step guide to online stock trading Buying stock with an online broker is easy – but you do need to know a few points before pulling the trigger on your online trade. Here are some pointers to get you started. Anatomy of a Stock Quote When you pull up a stock quote, the first thing […]

Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Gamma

Keep in mind that delta is dynamic: it changes not only as the underlying stock moves, but as expiration approaches. Gamma is the Greek that determines the amount of that movement. Gamma is the amount a theoretical option’s delta will change for a corresponding one-unit (point) change in the price of the underlying security. In […]

Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Rho

Rho is the amount a theoretical option's price will change for a corresponding one-unit (percentage-point) change in the interest rate used to price the option contract. Typically the interest rate used here would be the risk-free rate of return. The rate associated with investing in Treasuries is traditionally defined by market experts as virtually risk-free. […]

Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Theta

Theta refers to time decay and is the amount a theoretical option’s price will change for a corresponding one-unit (day) change in the number of days to expiration of the option contract. Each moment that passes melts away some of the option’s value. Not only does the premium melt away, but it does so at […]

Trading

How are “Hard-to-Borrow” fees calculated?

A hard-to-borrow fee is an annualized fee based on the value of a short position and the hard-to-borrow rate for that position. The fee is charged on a pro-rated basis depending on how many days you hold the position short. It will be assessed to your account at the end of the month or upon […]

Options

Protective Put Strategy

You buy stock because you're bullish and expect the stock's price to go up. Since you're bullish, chances are you aren't too preoccupied with the downside. But as we all know, markets can shift quickly. Puts are a handy tool to help lock in profits on your existing positions in the event of a sudden […]