What is the S&P 500?

How many times have you read somewhere or heard someone state the “S&P 500 is up or down X% today?”  Or have you heard someone say that they own a mutual fund or ETF mirrors the S&P 500?  Lastly, have you read one of our stock analyses where we compare a company’s price to the S&P 500 to determine if the company is undervalued?   If you are a beginning investor, when asking those or similar questions to yourself, did you even stop and wonder what exactly the S&P 500 is?

This year, we have started our financial education series where we educate investors of all experience levels about various topics.  We’ve covered topics such as Who and What Is Vanguard?, What is the Dividend Payout Ratio?, and  What is a Dividend? In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the S&P 500, explain what the stock market index is, provide a background, and review how the S&P 500 determines which stocks are included in the index.

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Who & What is Vanguard?

What does it mean when someone says, “Oh, I Vanguard” or “I use Vanguard”.  There is even a line or two when people talk about investments in a conversation, and someone says, “I let Vanguard handle everything”.  Well, my goal is to explain and put that to rest.  This all came from an interesting conversation with one of my best friends.  He felt that this information was necessary for the community to read.  Especially those starting out to invest and wanting to know more terminology, where it comes from, what it means and the impact to them.  Therefore, I will do my best to explain the “who” and the “what” in Vanguard.

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What are the Differences Between Mutual Funds and ETFs?

This year, we launched our financial education series.  The purpose was to educate investors on various aspects of dividend investing or just investing in general.  Some articles have been as fundamental as “What is a Dividend?”  while some articles took a deeper dive into a topic, such as “What is a REIT and How Are Dividends From a REIT Taxed?”   Today’s article will take a step out of the dividend specific topic and explain the differences between mutual funds and ETFs.  Both types of investments are important diversification options and are similar (but with some key differences).   And of course, as you would expect, there will be a dividend twist at some point in this article!  Let’s start peeling back the layers!

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What is a REIT and How Are Dividends Received from a REIT Taxed?

This year, we started a financial education series geared towards educating beginning investors and more specifically, beginning dividend growth investors.  Our first two articles explain what a dividend is and the dividend payout ratio (and how to calculate it). In this article, we will take a deeper dive into one specific type of holding that can be found in many dividend investors’ portfolio.  This holding typically pays a higher dividend, which is why dividend investors are always on the lookout for a great one. If you’re looking into becoming a dividend growth investor, you better get used to reading these four letters…REIT. Here is a deeper dive into what a REIT is and how dividends received from a REIT is taxed.

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