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8 Things No One Tells You About Investing
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The Foundations of Investing
Need to Know
So, What’s a Stock?
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Need to Know
What are funds?
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Need to Know
What’s a bond?
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Need to Know
Why is cash important?
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Investing Strategies
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The Basics of Balance
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3 Things To Know About Risk
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How to find investments
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3 Steps to Building Confidence
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There’s no such thing as stupid questions

  • 1 What does investing in stocks mean?
    Stocks represent shares of a company. Buying shares in a company makes you a part owner of that company. As a part owner or shareholder, you benefit when that company makes money. Ways a company makes money or earnings might be by releasing a new product or by increasing its sales. The more earnings the company makes, the more the shareholder (you) benefit.
  • 2 Can anyone be an investor with Goldbean?
    You need to be over 18 years old, and for now, a resident of the US.
  • 3 What are my options?
    There are dozens of different ways to invest your money, ranging from the simple to the highly complex, from low risk to high risk. They include stocks, mutual funds, index funds, bonds and more. See GoldBean’s shame-free Glossary for a further list of investment products and what they mean.
  • 4 Why should I care about investing in the market?
    You have two options when it comes to your money: take control of it or rely on others. Choosing the latter, means paying fees for things that you could have managed on your own. These fees may initially look small, but they add up. You can do it yourself with less fees.
  • 5 How much money should I start with?
    There is no maximum and you can start with as little as $100 for your first trade once you subscribe to Goldbean for $50 a year. If you're not ready to enter the market with real dollars, sign in to GoldBean to create a practice portfolio.
  • 6 Can I use the site even when the market is closed?
    Yes. Although the US markets are open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday thru Friday EST. GoldBean orders can be placed at anytime to be executed when the market is open.
  • 7 What is the difference between a public and a private company?
    A private company is owned by individuals or groups of people, who share its profits and losses. There are many limitations around buying into private companies. A public ('listed') company is owned by the people who own its shares. Buying shares in publicly-traded or “listed” company is a form of investing.
  • 8 What if I like a company that isn't public?
    Currently, you need to be an "accredited investor" to invest in private companies. This law, designed to protect less-savvy investors, allows only people with $1 million in investable assets to invest in private companies.
  • 9 What if I lose money?
    You won't make or lose money until you sell a stock. The GoldBean Index recommends whether you should buy, sell or hold onto a stock. Your portfolio might be down today, but as stock prices move, your portfolio might be up in a month. Patience is more than a virtue, it is a strategy.
  • 10 How does GoldBean protect and help me?
    GoldBean assesses your risk profile - which is the measure the financial services industry uses to determine your investor type. The GoldBean Index helps you make decisions about companies to protect you from buying or selling at the wrong time. Trust your instincts, act on them, and profit from them.
  • 1 What does being an investor mean?
    Being an investor means participating in the market. Even if you own just one share of a company or just one fund, you’re an investor. Nice!
  • 2 What does buying, owning and selling a stock mean?
    When you buy a stock, you invest in it. You exchange your money for partial ownership in the company in the form of stock. Owning a stock means just that - you own stock or shares in that company and are thus an official shareholder. Even if you buy just one share of Apple, you’re a shareholder in Apple. Selling a stock happens when you want to trade the stock back for cash or liquidate it. Selling a stock is when you actually make or lose money on the stock. If you sell it for more than you bought it for, you make money. If you sell it for less than you bought it for, you lose money.
  • 3 Why does the stock price change so much?
    Stock prices change everyday because of market forces like supply and demand. For example, if more people want to buy a stock rather than sell it, the price will go up. On the flip side, if more people want to sell a stock than buy it, there is greater supply than demand and the price of the stock would fall. There are many theories out there on why these price changes happen, and even people trying to predict when they will happen. We recommend a buy and hold strategy, aka evaluating and investing in companies over the long term, regardless of daily stock price movements.
  • 4 How does tax work if I make money or lose money on stocks?
    Ahh, you had to ask us the hard stuff. In most investment accounts, you’ll have to pay what’s called a capital gains tax on any net profit you make when you sell a share. There are two types of capital gains tax. Short-term capital gains tax applies if you sell shares before you’ve held them for a year. It’s the same rate as your income tax rate (0 to 40%). Long-term capital gains tax applies if you sell shares after you’ve held them for a year, and ranges from 0 to 20%. On the other hand, if you sell a share that has decreased in value since you bought it, that’s called a capital loss. The general rule is you only have to pay taxes once you sell a share that has gone up in value.
  • 5 How do I manage risk?
    You can think of risk in three ways: your willingness to take on risk, your ability to take on risk, and your need to take on risk. Willingness is like you “freak-out factor”. Are you going to be up all night worrying about the potential of loss? If you lose money, will you preoccupied with that loss and unable to focus on anything else? Willingness is your personal psychological disposition toward risk. Ability is a mix of your age and the stability of your income. Are you in your 20s with a stable income and a career path that will allow you to continue to earn more? You have the ability to take on more risk than say someone in their 60s who wants to start their own business. Finally, your need to take on risk refers to how much risk you need to take on in order to reach your goals for investing.
  • 6 Are there other local resources for me to learn more about investing?
    Great question. We host events from time to time and will be launching a meetup group that meets and discusses all things money & investing. Sign up here.
  • 1 How do I share my story? Can I talk to other GoldBean users?
    We’d love to hear your story and personal experiences with investing. As of right now, there isn’t a formal way to engage with other GoldBean members, but we would love to be able to provide a forum for members to ask questions and share stories. If you’d be interested in sharing your experiences and connecting with other GoldBean members, both on and offline, let us know here.
  • 2 Can I see what others are doing?
    Not on an individual level. Your actions (what stocks you watchlist, what you buy and sell) can be seen on an aggregate level only. For example, other members of the community might know that a 28 year old Female living in New York City also invests in Technology stocks.
  • 1 What is a risk profile?
    A risk profile is an assessment of your ability and willingness to take on risk. Basically, it’s all those questions you answered when you first signed up for GoldBean, such as “What are your income and expenses?” and “What do you own and owe?” Your risk profile allows us to recommend a target allocation of stocks and funds that matches the level of risk you want to take on.
  • 2 Why is my risk profile important?
    Your risk profile is important because it helps us and you understand your goals for investing. Once we understand your goals, we can then recommend a strategy to help you achieve them.
  • 1 What do you do with my data?
    We use your data for two primary goals: to provide you with personalized investment advice, and to provide members with relevant information from the community.
  • 2 How do you protect my information?
    We take security very seriously. We use the same backend technology as major financial institutions, such as your own bank. We do not store your bank login/password or credit card information on our servers ever.

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The Foundations of Investing

So, What’s a Stock?

Stocks represent shares of a company. Buying shares in a company makes you a part owner of that company. As a part owner or shareholder, you benefit when that company makes money. Ways a company makes money (or earnings) might be by releasing a new product or by increasing its sales. If the company is successful, you (the shareholder) will share in that success when the stock rises in price and when the company shares its profits with you through dividend payments.

The Foundations of Investing

What’s a bond?

That video game you used to play with your cousins. 007. Just kidding - we’re talking about the bonds you can invest in here.

Both corporations and governments issue bonds as a way of raising money. Bonds are kind of like loans. If you buy a bond, you’re essentially a lender to the company or government who issued the bond, and so, you’re able to collect interest. Bonds do something called “mature.” The “maturity date” of a bond is the date in which the company or government who issued the bond owes you the money that you invested (the principal) back, and interest payments stop. Bonds are generally understood to be less risky than stocks and can be used to offset the risk of stocks in a balanced portfolio.

The Foundations of Investing

Why is cash important?

You might not immediately think of cash when it comes to investing, but it does have a role. First, cash can be used to balance out the risk from stocks in your portfolio. Another role of cash is to have some funds in case an opportunity pops up. For example, in a downturn, you might be tempted to cut and run - liquidate your portfolio and get out of the market. But with experience and confidence, you might begin to realize that a downturn is actually a great time to go shopping for stocks because prices are low. Buy low, sell high and keep some cash dry.