|EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS |
Enjoyed David Penn's article in the March 2001 issue of Working Money, "Easing Into Exchange Traded Funds." Where can I get a list of the different funds with their symbols and what they trade?
David Penn replies:
Since most exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are traded on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX), the Amex website -- http://www.amex.com -- is a great place to start learning about them. In addition, many ETFs have websites of their own, such as http://www.ishares.com and http://www.holdrs.com.
CLARIFICATION ON EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS
I would just like to call your attention to page 14 of that issue and your mention of the small-cap iShares based on the Russell 1000, 2000, and 3000. The Russell 1000 is actually a large-cap index encompassing 1,000 of the largest capitalization stocks in the Russell 3000 universe. The Russell 3000 is a broad-based index encompassing the Russell 1000 large-cap and the Russell 2000 small-cap.
More information on the Russell indexes is available at www.russell.com.
SEEKING INVESTMENT ADVICE
I read an article in the January/February Working Money, "Stocks And The Art Of Charts," and thought I would ask your professional opinion on some companies, both of which are at their lows and thus may present a good buying opportunity. For some reason, not many analysts are covering the two companies I have in mind. Your comment would be appreciated.
Sorry, we can't give out specific investment advice. -- Editor
SAVING MONEY BY BUYING USED
I read and liked the article "How To Save $13.25 Per Mile. Really!" in the January/February 2001 Working Money. It's about time someone tried to communicate such concepts to folks. I have 20 years of experience in financial decision-making (financial analyst plus securities, certified financial planner, etc.). Working for the rich is how I made money, but buying used is how I survived when I was poor and how I held onto my money so as to get richer. Today, my Chevrolet 1500 Extended Cab 4x4 truck has 105K miles, bought with 50K miles, with only one minor repair and a paint job to look new again. I agree with the concept of buying a car used, unless the vehicle is to be used for business, or if you are rich, or if you need a particular vehicle for a long time.
I bought my 16-year-old son a 135,000-mile $2,500 Ford Ranger. One-and-a-half years of repair has cost $900. Then we bought a 1993 Dodge Dakota with 41K for $5,000. It will end up costing less than the old Ranger. Interesting how a cheap price is not a cheap cost! I usually make a chart of used prices versus miles and then seek the low-priced offer.
MORE WISE WORDS TO THE YOUNG
Thanks for the great article, "Dressing Up Your Future," by Bruce Faber in the March 2001 Working Money. It was insightful and painful as I have/had fallen into that syndrome for years and am now paying back thousands of dollars for clothes that are now not really in style and/or I'm tired of. I have learned to seek out great clothes at the lowest possible prices, but the years of damage have already been done and it will be many years of paying this back.
I also fell victim to the same situation with cars. At 38, my retirement and investment accounts are in shambles even though I make over $100K a year. I am making copies of your article and giving them to some of my younger friends who seem to only mutter the words Gucci, Prada, and Polo, in hopes of talking some sense into them. Thanks again.
GIVE ME CHARTS
How do I get charts and graphs for a stock of choice to perform technical analysis?
For a listing of some software and websites that produce onscreen charts, visit our website at Working-Money.com and click on Traders' Resource, then select the Software category. There, you'll see that products and online services that help you produce charts abound. For free online charts, one popular site is Bigcharts.com. Many charts in Working Money articles were created using MetaStock, TradeCast, and other products. -- Editor
I have been receiving Technical Analysis of STOCKS & COMMODITIES, The Traders' Magazine, and I just recently received a sample issue of Working Money, The Investors' Magazine. S&C is a wonderful publication and I must say that, as a novice trader, I am learning so much. I look forward to the next issue. I think I will subscribe to Working Money as well, because I was pleasantly surprised at the content and the presentation of the topics. They are both great learning tools for me.
My question to you is, What website can I access to paper-trade stocks? I have come across sites that facilitate paper trading of commodities and futures, but I must admit I am not at that point yet. One thing at a time. If you can recommend such a website, preferably one charging little or no fees, it would be greatly appreciated.
For futures and options paper-trading, try:
For stocks, try:
In addition, most direct-access brokers offer limited, free trial versions of their software that you can use to paper-trade. For a list of direct-access brokers, visit the Traders' Resource feature at our website, Working-Money.com.
Perhaps someone reading this can also send in a suggestion. -- Editor
SOFTWARE STRINGS ATTACHED
I just read the March 2001 Working Money, which contained a listing of software available for less than $200 (Traders' Resource: Software). The list is a bit misleading. Sure, for some products, the software itself might be listed as "free," but that doesn't do you much good if you must also pay a subscription fee of hundreds of dollars to effectively use the software. So in reality, such software isn't "free."
That aside, Working Money magazine looks interesting. It's the first time I've read it. But keep in mind that you could do better by your readers by always providing the "full" story.
P.S. I didn't notice VectorVest software listing. It should have been.
Thanks for writing. It is true that some of the software listed may also require, or may simply need, a data subscription to operate, but then again, most analysis and charting programs do necessitate that the user subscribe to some data service, and there's really no getting out of that, since the user can't plot charts without data. That said, some products do have more flexibility in the data formats they accept than others, and the cost of data subscriptions can vary. Generally, real-time data is more expensive because of the fees the exchanges impose. Level II quotes also usually cost an additional sum.
CD INVESTING FOR SECURITY
Regarding "The 411 On 911 Funds" by David Penn in the January/February 2001 Working Money: Excellent advice. I am now a CD pro and plan to implement this strategy ASAP.
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