Investing All-in-One For Dummies

 
 
For Dummies (Verlag)
  • erschienen am 10. April 2017
  • |
  • 552 Seiten
 
E-Book | ePUB mit Adobe-DRM | Systemvoraussetzungen
978-1-119-37663-7 (ISBN)
 
Invest in your financial future
Featuring guidance from renowned finance expert Eric Tyson and content from other top selling For Dummies investment titles, Investing All-in-One For Dummies offers the foolproof, time-tested guidance you need to turn those hard-earned dollars into a successful and diversified portfolio. Covering everything from stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and the latest in online investing, this hands-on resource lays out an arsenal of techniques for you to select the investment accounts that best suit your particular style, needs, and goals. Investing All-in-One For Dummies offers a succinct framework and expert advice to help readers make solid decisions and confidently invest in the marketplace
* Develop and manage a winning financial portfolio
* Find the right investments for you, no matter your age or income bracket
* Get the latest information on retirement planning, tax laws, investment options, and more
* Benefit from sound strategies brought to you by a well-recognized personal finance counselor
There's no time like the present to invest in your own financial future--and this book shows you how.
1. Auflage
  • Englisch
  • Somerset
  • |
  • USA
John Wiley & Sons
  • 4,23 MB
978-1-119-37663-7 (9781119376637)
weitere Ausgaben werden ermittelt
  • Intro
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • About This Book
  • Foolish Assumptions
  • Icons Used in This Book
  • Beyond the Book
  • Where to Go from Here
  • Book 1 Getting Started with Investing
  • Chapter 1 Exploring Your Investment Choices
  • Getting Started with Investing
  • Building Wealth with Ownership Investments
  • Entering the stock market
  • Owning real estate
  • Generating Income from Lending Investments
  • Considering Cash Equivalents
  • Where to Invest and Get Advice
  • Finding the best fund companies and brokers
  • Finding an admirable advisor
  • Chapter 2 Weighing Risks and Returns
  • Evaluating Risks
  • Market-value risk
  • Individual-investment risk
  • Purchasing-power risk (aka inflation risk)
  • Career risk
  • Analyzing Returns
  • The components of total return
  • Savings and money market account returns
  • Bond returns
  • Stock returns
  • Real estate returns
  • Compounding Your Returns
  • The value of getting a few extra percent
  • Considering your goals
  • Chapter 3 The Workings of Stock and Bond Markets
  • How Companies Raise Money through the Financial Markets
  • Deciding whether to issue stocks or bonds
  • Taking a company public: Understanding IPOs
  • Understanding Financial Markets and Economics
  • Driving stock prices through earnings
  • Weighing whether markets are efficient
  • Moving the market: Interest rates, inflation, and the Federal Reserve
  • Book 2 Investing in Your 20s and 30s
  • Chapter 1 Using Investments to Accomplish Your Goals
  • Setting and Prioritizing Your Shorter-Term Goals
  • Accumulating a rainy-day fund
  • Saving for large purchases
  • Investing for a small business or home
  • Saving for kids' educational costs
  • Investing short-term money
  • Investing in Retirement Accounts
  • Understanding retirement account perks
  • Grappling with retirement account concerns
  • Taking advantage of retirement accounts
  • Surveying retirement account choices
  • Selecting retirement account investments
  • Chapter 2 Minimizing Your Taxes When Investing
  • Understanding Investment Taxes
  • Tracking taxation of investment distributions
  • Determining your tax bracket
  • Devising tax-reduction strategies
  • Reducing Your Taxes When Selling Investments
  • Weighing nontax issues
  • Tuning in to tax considerations
  • Chapter 3 Laying Out Your Financial Plans
  • First Priorities: Paying Off High-Cost Debt and Building a Safety Reserve
  • Paying off high-cost consumer debt
  • Establishing an emergency reserve
  • What about Paying Down Other Debts?
  • Assessing student loans
  • Considering paying down mortgage debt
  • Sorting Out Your Financial Plans
  • Considering your investment options and desires
  • Assessing your savings rate
  • Investing regularly with dollar cost averaging
  • Knowing the Impact of Investing for College Costs
  • Paying for college
  • Considering educational savings account options
  • Investing money earmarked for college
  • Securing Proper Insurance
  • Chapter 4 Starting Out with Bank Accounts and Money Market Funds
  • Understanding FDIC Bank Insurance
  • Investing in Banking Account and Savings Vehicles
  • Bank checking accounts and debit cards
  • Savings accounts and certificates of deposit
  • Feeling Secure with Your Bank
  • Evaluating any bank
  • Protecting yourself when banking online
  • Defining Money Market Mutual Funds
  • Making sense of the appeal of money market funds
  • Understanding the drawbacks of money market funds
  • Understanding Money Market Fund Holdings
  • Protecting and Accessing Your Money in Money Funds
  • Protecting your money
  • Accessing your money
  • Using Money Market Funds in Your Investment Plan
  • Understanding Traits of Leading Money Funds
  • Book 3 Starting with Stock Investing
  • Chapter 1 Gathering Information on Stocks
  • Looking to Stock Exchanges for Answers
  • Grasping the Basics of Accounting and Economics
  • Accounting for taste and a whole lot more
  • Understanding how economics affects stocks
  • Staying on Top of Financial News
  • Figuring out what a company's up to
  • Discovering what's new with an industry
  • Knowing what's happening with the economy
  • Seeing what politicians and government bureaucrats are doing
  • Checking for trends in society, culture, and entertainment
  • Reading (And Understanding) Stock Tables
  • 52-week high
  • 52-week low
  • Name and symbol
  • Dividend
  • Volume
  • Yield
  • P/E
  • Day last
  • Net change
  • Using News about Dividends
  • Looking at important dates
  • Understanding why certain dates matter
  • Evaluating Investment Tips
  • Chapter 2 Investing for Long-Term Growth
  • Becoming a Value-Oriented Growth Investor
  • Choosing Growth Stocks with a Few Handy Tips
  • Looking for leaders in megatrends
  • Comparing a company's growth to an industry's growth
  • Considering a company with a strong niche
  • Checking out a company's fundamentals
  • Evaluating a company's management
  • Noticing who's buying and/or recommending a company's stock
  • Making sure a company continues to do well
  • Heeding investing lessons from history
  • Chapter 3 Investing for Income: Dividend-Paying Stocks
  • Understanding the Basics of Income Stocks
  • Getting a grip on dividends and dividend rates
  • Recognizing who's well-suited for income stocks
  • Assessing the advantages of income stocks
  • Heeding the disadvantages of income stocks
  • Analyzing Income Stocks
  • Pinpointing your needs first
  • Checking out yield
  • Looking at a stock's payout ratio
  • Studying a company's bond rating
  • Diversifying your stocks
  • Exploring Some Typical Income Stocks
  • It's electric! Utilities
  • An interesting mix: Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Good energy: Royalty trusts
  • Chapter 4 Using Basic Accounting to Choose Winning Stocks
  • Recognizing Value When You See It
  • Understanding different types of value
  • Putting the pieces together
  • Accounting for Value
  • Breaking down the balance sheet
  • Looking at the income statement
  • Tooling around with ratios
  • Book 4 Looking at Bond Investing
  • Chapter 1 Bond Fundamentals
  • Understanding What Makes a Bond a Bond
  • Choosing your time frame
  • Picking who you trust to hold your money
  • Differentiating among bonds, stocks, and Beanie Babies
  • Why Hold Bonds?
  • Identifying the best reason to buy bonds: Diversification
  • Going for the cash
  • Introducing the Major Players in the Bond Market
  • Buying Solo or Buying in Bulk
  • Picking and choosing individual bonds
  • Going with a bond fund or funds
  • The Triumphs and Failures of Fixed-Income Investing
  • Beating inflation, but not by very much
  • Saving the day when the day needed saving
  • Gleaning some important lessons
  • Realizing How Crucial Bonds Are Today
  • Viewing Recent Developments, Largely for the Better
  • Chapter 2 All about the Interest
  • The Tricky Business That Is Calculating Rates of Return
  • Cutting deals
  • Changing hands
  • Embracing the complications
  • Measuring the Desirability of a Bond
  • Level one: Getting the basic information
  • Level two: Finding out intimate details
  • Level three: Examining the neighborhood
  • Understanding Yield
  • Coupon yield
  • Current yield
  • Yield-to-maturity
  • Yield-to-call
  • Worst-case basis yield
  • The 30-day SEC yield
  • Recognizing Total Return (This Is What Matters Most!)
  • Figuring in capital gains and losses
  • Factoring in reinvestment rates of return
  • Allowing for inflation adjustments
  • Pretax versus post-tax
  • Measuring the Volatility of Your Bond Holdings
  • Time frame matters most
  • Quality counts
  • The coupon rate matters, too
  • Returning to the Bonds of Babylonia
  • Chapter 3 Types of Bonds
  • Exploring the Many Ways of Investing with Uncle Sam
  • Savings bonds
  • Treasury bills, notes, and bonds
  • Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS)
  • Industrial Returns: Corporate Bonds
  • Comparing corporate bonds to Treasuries
  • The crucial credit ratings
  • Special considerations for investing in corporate debt
  • The volatility of high-yield bonds
  • Lots of Protection, a Touch of Confusion: Agency Bonds
  • Identifying the bond issuers
  • Sizing up the government's actual commitment
  • Eyeing default risks, yields, markups, and more
  • Weighing taxation matters
  • Banking Your Money on Other People's Mortgages
  • Bathing in the mortgage pool
  • Deciding whether to invest in the housing market
  • (Almost) Tax-Free Havens: Municipal Bonds
  • Sizing up the muni market
  • Comparing and contrasting with other bonds
  • Delighting in the diversification of municipals
  • Choosing from a vast array of possibilities
  • Chapter 4 Investing (Carefully!) in Individual Bonds
  • Navigating Today's Individual Bond Market
  • Getting some welcome transparency
  • Ushering in a new beginning
  • Dealing with Brokers and Other Financial Professionals
  • Identifying the role of the middleman
  • Do you need a broker or agent at all?
  • Selecting the right broker or agent
  • Checking the dealer's numbers
  • Hiring a financial planner
  • Doing It Yourself Online
  • If you're looking to buy
  • If you're looking to sell
  • Perfecting the Art of Laddering
  • Protecting you from interest rate flux
  • Tinkering with your time frame
  • Chapter 5 Picking a Bond Fund That Will Serve You for Life
  • Defining the Basic Kinds of Funds
  • Mining mutual funds
  • Considering an alternative: Closed-end funds
  • Establishing a position in exchange-traded funds
  • Understanding unit investment trusts
  • Taking a flyer (or not) on an exchange-traded note
  • What Matters Most in Choosing a Bond Fund of Any Sort
  • Selecting your fund based on its components and their characteristics
  • Pruning out the underperformers
  • Laying down the law on loads
  • Sniffing out false promises
  • Book 5 Moving on to Mutual Funds
  • Chapter 1 Considering Mutual Funds' Pros and Cons
  • Introducing Mutual Funds and Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Getting a Grip on Funds
  • Financial intermediaries
  • Open-end versus closed-end funds
  • Opting for Mutual Funds
  • Fund managers offer expertise
  • Funds save you money and time
  • Fund diversification minimizes your risk
  • Funds undergo regulatory scrutiny
  • You choose your risk level
  • Fund risk of bankruptcy is nil
  • Funds save you from sales sharks
  • You have convenient access to your money
  • Addressing the Drawbacks
  • Don't worry about these
  • Worry about these (but not too much)
  • Understanding Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Understanding ETF advantages
  • Eyeing ETF drawbacks
  • Seeing the pros and cons of trading ETFs
  • Chapter 2 Finding the Best Funds
  • Evaluating Gain-Eating Costs
  • Losing the load: Say no to commissions
  • Considering a fund's operating expenses
  • Weighing Performance and Risk
  • Star today, also-ran tomorrow
  • Apples to apples: Comparing performance numbers
  • Recognizing Manager Expertise
  • Chapter 3 Buying Funds from the Best Firms
  • Finding the Best Buys
  • The Vanguard Group
  • Fidelity Investments
  • Dodge & Cox
  • Oakmark
  • T. Rowe Price
  • TIAA
  • USAA
  • Other fund companies
  • Discount Brokers: Mutual Fund Supermarkets
  • Buying direct versus discount brokers
  • Debunking "No Transaction Fee" funds
  • Using the best discount brokers
  • Places to Pass By
  • Book 6 Investing Online
  • Chapter 1 Getting Ready for Online Investing
  • Why Investing Online Is Worth Your While
  • Getting Started
  • Gut-Check Time: How Much Downside Risk Can You Tolerate?
  • Passive or Active? Deciding What Kind of Investor You Plan to Be
  • How to know if you're a passive investor
  • Sites for passive investors to start with
  • How to know whether you're an active investor
  • Sites for the active investor to start with
  • Chapter 2 Getting Your Device Ready for Online Investing
  • Turning Your Device into a Trading Station
  • Using favorites to put data at your fingertips
  • Putting key mobile apps a touch away
  • Compiling a list of must-watch sites
  • Tracking the Market's Every Move
  • Getting price quotes on markets and stocks
  • Slicing and dicing the markets
  • Your crystal ball: Predicting how the day will begin
  • Getting company descriptions
  • Tracking bonds and U.S. Treasuries
  • Monitoring Market-Moving News
  • Financial websites
  • Traditional financial news sites
  • Checking In on Wall Street Chatter
  • Checking in with blogs
  • Getting in tune with podcasts
  • Taming Twitter
  • Getting your computer to do the work: RSS feeds
  • Keeping Tabs on the Regulators
  • Executing Trades
  • Searching the Internet High and Low
  • Keeping the Bad Guys Out: Securing Your PC
  • Mastering the Basics with Online Tutorials and Simulations
  • Online tutorials
  • Simulations
  • Chapter 3 Connecting with an Online Broker
  • Finding the Best Broker for You
  • Main factors to consider
  • "Gotchas" to watch out for
  • Separating the Types of Brokerages
  • Deep discounters: Trading for $5 or less
  • Discounters: Trading for $5.01 to $10
  • Full-service traditional
  • Avoiding Hidden Fees
  • Finding Out What Reviewers Think
  • Is Your Money Safe? Checking Out Your Broker
  • Cutting the Cord: Mobile Trading
  • Pay Attention to Where Your Cash Is Parked: Money Market Funds
  • Buying Stocks and Mutual Funds without a Broker
  • Stocks: Direct investments
  • Mutual funds: Straight from the mutual fund company
  • Opening and Setting Up Your Account
  • The checklist of what you need to know
  • The checklist of what you need to have
  • Chapter 4 Entering and Executing Trades
  • Understanding How Stock Trades and Shares Are Handled
  • Ways you can hold your investments
  • A second in the life of a trade
  • Getting It Done: Executing Your Trades
  • Types of orders
  • Costs of different orders
  • Tailoring your trades even more
  • Book 7 Introducing Fundamental Analysis
  • Chapter 1 Understanding Fundamental Analysis
  • Why Bother with Fundamental Analysis?
  • Some of the real values of fundamental analysis
  • Driving home an example
  • Putting fundamental analysis to work
  • Knowing what fundamentals to look for
  • Knowing what you need
  • Knowing the Tools of the Fundamental Analysis Trade
  • Staying focused on the bottom line
  • Sizing up what a company has to its name
  • Eyeing a company's cash flow
  • Financial ratios: Your friend in making sense of a company
  • Making Fundamental Analysis Work for You
  • Using fundamentals as signals to buy or sell
  • The perils of ignoring the fundamentals
  • Using fundamental analysis as your guide
  • Chapter 2 Getting Up to Speed with Fundamental Analysis
  • What Is Fundamental Analysis?
  • Going beyond betting
  • Understanding how fundamental analysis works
  • Who can perform fundamental analysis?
  • Following the money using fundamentals
  • Comparing Fundamental Analysis with Other Ways of Picking Investments
  • How fundamental analysis stacks up against index investing
  • Comparing fundamental analysis with technical analysis
  • Putting Fundamental Analysis to Work for You
  • How difficult is fundamental analysis? Do I need to be a math wizard?
  • Is fundamental analysis for you?
  • The risks of fundamental analysis
  • Making Money with Fundamental Analysis
  • Putting a price tag on a stock or bond
  • Being profitable by being a "contrarian"
  • The Fundamental Analysis Toolbox
  • Introducing the income statement
  • Balance-sheet basics
  • Getting the mojo of cash flows
  • Familiarizing yourself with financial ratios (including the P/E)
  • Chapter 3 Gaining an Edge with Fundamental Analysis
  • Better Investing with Fundamentals
  • Picking stocks for fundamental reasons
  • Dooming your portfolio by paying too much
  • Sitting through short-term volatility
  • Relying on the Basic Info the Pros Use
  • What is "the Warren Buffett Way"?
  • Checking in on Graham and Dodd
  • Figuring Out When to Buy or Sell a Stock
  • Looking beyond the per-share price to market value
  • Seeing how a company's fundamentals and its price may get out of alignment
  • Avoiding overhyped story stocks
  • Pairing buy-and-hold strategies with fundamental analysis
  • Looking to the long term
  • Patience isn't always a virtue
  • Chapter 4 Getting Your Hands on Fundamental Data
  • Getting In Sync with the Fundamental Calendar
  • Which companies must report their financials to the public?
  • Kicking it all off: Earnings season
  • Getting the earnings press release
  • Bracing for the 10-Q
  • Running through the 10-K
  • Flipping through the annual report
  • There's no proxy like the proxy statement
  • Getting up to Speed with the Basic Accounting and Math
  • Operating activities: Finding smooth operators
  • Investing activities: You have to spend money to make money
  • Financing activities: Getting in tune with high finance
  • Learning a key fundamental math skill: Percentage changes
  • How to Get the Fundamental Data You Need
  • Getting acquainted with the SEC's database
  • Step-by-step directions on accessing company fundamentals using EDGAR
  • Pulling fundamental data from websites into spreadsheets
  • Finding stocks' dividend histories
  • Getting stock-split information
  • Book 8 Investing in Real Estate
  • Chapter 1 Evaluating Real Estate as an Investment
  • Understanding Real Estate's Income- and Wealth-Producing Potential
  • Recognizing the Caveats of Real Estate Investing
  • Comparing Real Estate to Other Investments
  • Returns
  • Risk
  • Liquidity
  • Capital requirements
  • Diversification value
  • Opportunities to add value
  • Being aware of the tax advantages
  • Determining Whether You Should Invest in Real Estate
  • Do you have sufficient time?
  • Can you deal with problems?
  • Does real estate interest you?
  • Can you handle market downturns?
  • Fitting Real Estate into Your Plans
  • Ensure your best personal financial health
  • Protect yourself with insurance
  • Consider retirement account funding
  • Think about asset allocation
  • Chapter 2 Covering Common Real Estate Investments
  • Identifying the Various Ways to Invest in Residential Income Property
  • Buying a place of your own
  • Converting your home to a rental
  • Investing and living in well-situated fixer-uppers
  • Purchasing a vacation home
  • Paying for condo hotels and timeshares
  • Surveying the Types of Residential Properties You Can Buy
  • Single-family homes
  • Attached housing
  • Apartments
  • Considering Commercial Real Estate
  • Buying Undeveloped Land
  • Chapter 3 Identifying Sources of Capital
  • Calculating the Costs of Admission
  • Forgetting the myth of no money down
  • Determining what you need to get started
  • Rounding Up the Required Cash by Saving
  • Overcoming Down Payment Limitations
  • Changing your approach
  • Tapping into other common cash sources
  • Chapter 4 Location, Location, Value
  • Deciding Where to Invest
  • Finding Properties to Add Value
  • Evaluating a Region: The Big Picture
  • Population growth
  • Job growth and income levels
  • Investigating Your Local Market
  • Supply and demand
  • Focusing on the path of progress
  • Considering barriers to entry
  • Government's effect on real estate
  • Evaluating Neighborhoods
  • Schools
  • Crime rates
  • Pride of ownership
  • Role play: What attracts you to the property?
  • Mastering Seller's and Buyer's Markets
  • Understanding real estate cycles
  • Timing the real estate market
  • Index
  • EULA

Chapter 1

Exploring Your Investment Choices


IN THIS CHAPTER

Defining investing

Seeing how stocks and real estate build long-term wealth

Understanding the role of lending and other investments

Selecting investment firms and brokers

In many parts of the world, life's basic necessities - food, clothing, shelter, and taxes - consume the entirety of people's meager earnings. Although some Americans do truly struggle for basic necessities, the bigger problem for other Americans is that they consider just about everything - eating out, driving new cars, hopping on airplanes for vacation - to be a necessity. In reality, investing - that is, putting your money to work for you - is a necessity. If you want to accomplish important personal and financial goals, such as owning a home, starting your own business, helping your kids through college (and spending more time with them when they're young), retiring comfortably, and so on, you must know how to invest well.

It's been said, and too often quoted, that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. To these two certainties we add one more: being confused by and ignorant about investing. Because investing is a confounding activity, you may be tempted to look with envious eyes at those people who appear to be savvy with money and investing. Remember that everyone starts with the same level of financial knowledge: none! No one was born knowing this stuff. The only difference between those who know and those who don't is that those who know have devoted their time and energy to acquiring useful knowledge about the investment world.

Getting Started with Investing


Before we discuss the major investing alternatives in the rest of this chapter, we want to start with something that's quite basic yet important. What exactly do we mean when we say "investing"? Simply stated, investing means you have money put away for future use.

You can choose from tens of thousands of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and other investments. Unfortunately for the novice, and even for the experts who are honest with you, knowing the name of the investment is just the tip of the iceberg. Underneath each of these investments lurks a veritable mountain of details.

If you wanted to and had the ability to quit your day job, you could make a full-time endeavor out of analyzing economic trends and financial statements and talking to business employees, customers, suppliers, and so on. However, we don't want to scare you away from investing just because some people do it on a full-time basis. Making wise investments need not take a lot of your time. If you know where to get high-quality information and you purchase well-managed investments, you can leave the investment management to the best experts. Then you can do the work that you're best at and have more free time for the things you really enjoy doing.

An important part of making wise investments is knowing when you have enough information to do things well on your own versus when you should hire others. For example, investing in foreign stock markets is generally more difficult to research and understand compared with investing in domestic markets. Thus, when investing overseas, hiring a good money manager, such as through a mutual or exchange-traded fund, makes more sense than going to all the time, trouble, and expense of picking your own individual stocks.

We're here to give you the information you need to make your way through the complex investment world. In the rest of this chapter, we clear a path so you can identify the major investments and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Building Wealth with Ownership Investments


If you want your money to grow faster than the rate of inflation over the long term and you don't mind a bit of a roller-coaster ride from time to time in your investments' values, ownership investments are for you. Ownership investments are those investments where you own an interest in some company or other asset (such as stock, real estate, or a small business) that has the ability to generate revenue and profits.

Observing how the world's richest have built their wealth is enlightening. Not surprisingly, many of the champions of wealth around the globe gained their fortunes largely through owning a piece (or all) of a successful company that they (or others) built.

In addition to owning their own businesses, many well-to-do people have built their nest eggs by investing in real estate and the stock market. With softening housing prices in many regions in the late 2000s, some folks newer to the real estate world incorrectly believe that real estate is a loser, not a long-term winner. Likewise, the stock market goes through down periods but does well over the long term. (See Book 1, Chapter 2 for the scoop on investment risks and returns.)

And of course, some people come into wealth through an inheritance. Even if your parents are among the rare wealthy ones and you expect them to pass on big bucks to you, you need to know how to invest that money intelligently.

If you understand and are comfortable with the risks and take sensible steps to diversify (you don't put all your investment eggs in the same basket), ownership investments are the key to building wealth. For most folks to accomplish typical longer-term financial goals, such as retiring, the money that they save and invest needs to grow at a healthy clip. If you dump all your money in bank accounts that pay little if any interest, you're likely to fall short of your goals.

Not everyone needs to make his money grow, of course. Suppose you inherit a significant sum and/or maintain a restrained standard of living and work well into your old age simply because you enjoy doing so. In this situation, you may not need to take the risks involved with a potentially faster-growth investment. You may be more comfortable with safer investments, such as paying off your mortgage faster than necessary.

Entering the stock market


Stocks, which are shares of ownership in a company, are an example of an ownership investment. If you want to share in the growth and profits of companies like Skechers (footwear), you can! You simply buy shares of their stock through a brokerage firm. However, even if Skechers makes money in the future, you can't guarantee that the value of its stock will increase.

Some companies today sell their stock directly to investors, allowing you to bypass brokers. You can also invest in stocks via a stock mutual fund (or an exchange-traded fund), where a fund manager decides which individual stocks to include in the fund.

You don't need an MBA or a PhD to make money in the stock market. If you can practice some simple lessons, such as making regular and systematic investments and investing in proven companies and funds while minimizing your investment expenses and taxes, you should make decent returns in the long term.

However, don't think that you can "beat the markets"; you certainly can't beat the best professional money managers at their own full-time game. This book shows you time-proven, non-gimmicky methods to make your money grow in the various financial markets. We explain more about stocks in Book 3 and mutual funds in Book 5.

Owning real estate


People of varying economic means build wealth by investing in real estate. Owning and managing real estate is like running a small business. You need to satisfy customers (tenants), manage your costs, keep an eye on the competition, and so on. Some methods of real estate investing require more time than others, but many are proven ways to build wealth. See Book 8 for more on investing in real estate.

John, who works for a city government, and his wife, Linda, a computer analyst, have built several million dollars in investment real estate equity (the difference between the property's market value and debts owed) over the past three decades. "Our parents owned rental property, and we could see what it could do for you by providing income and building wealth," says John. Investing in real estate also appealed to John and Linda because they didn't know anything about the stock market, so they wanted to stay away from it. The idea of leverage - making money with borrowed money - on real estate also appealed to them.

John and Linda bought their first property, a duplex, when their combined income was just $35,000 per year. Every time they moved to a new home, they kept the prior one and converted it to a rental. Now in their 50s, John and Linda own seven pieces of investment real estate and are multimillionaires. "It's like a second retirement, having thousands in monthly income from the real estate," says John.

John readily admits that rental real estate has its hassles. "We haven't enjoyed getting calls in the middle of the night, but now we have a property manager who can help with this when we're not available. It's also sometimes a pain finding new tenants," he says.

Overall, John and Linda figure that they've been well rewarded for the time they spent and the money they invested. The income from John and Linda's rental properties also allows them to live in a nicer home.

Ultimately, to...

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