Which Companies Affect the Value of the S&P 500 Index?

The following is a 3rd party contribution

Index trading online enables traders to invest in major national indices such as the French CAC40, the German DAX30, and the British FTSE 100. The 3 major Wall Street stock indices are the DJIA (Dow Jones Industrial Average), the S&P 500 (Standard & Poor’s 500) and the Nasdaq.

The Dow usually gets most of the attention, but the S&P 500 is more important to traders and is generally considered the most representative of the U.S. economy, as it is made up of 500 leading companies.

Founded on March 4th, 1957, the S&P 500 represents about 80% of U.S. market capitalisation. It is the most accurate tool for investors to monitor the overall health of the U.S. economy and is widely accepted as the best gauge of large cap equities. Worldwide indices are highly correlated and U.S. markets are usually the leading indicators of global economic forces, with European and Asian markets often following their performance.

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The Best Sources of Capital for an Events Startup Business

The following is a 3rd party contribution

In most business startups financing is usually a concern. Entrepreneurs are faced with a hard time trying to bring to life what they have envisioned for their startup. It can be disheartening when you compare all the beauty and greatness dreamed of and the limitations in access to funding.

However, just because funds are scarce doesn’t mean taking money from any source. Some sources of capital are incompatible with your business model and can wreak havoc to the startup.

There are institutions and individuals with zeal to see entrepreneurs transform ideas into success stories. In this article, we will point out some of the best sources of finance for an events business.

Family and friends

Apart from serving as a source of low-cost capital, they will also provide the required social proof for outside investors. When pitching this group, make sure you communicate the idea clearly enough to make them believe in you.

Even when they can’t provide large sums of money, they offer a valuable ingredient in startup funding. Most professional investors will be keen to see if the people closest to you believe in the proposed business. If they do, that could mean money flowing in towards your course.

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Understanding Health Savings Accounts

The following is a 3rd party contirbution
Even with insurance, the cost of healthcare in America can still feel like sustaining another injury, only this time it’s to your wallet. A new type of personal savings account, called a health savings account (HSA) can make it more affordable for certain individuals to pay for medical costs without ruining their budget or bank account. Learn how HSAs work as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Definition

An HSA works much like any other personal savings account, but they’re only available to individuals who have a high-deductible health insurance plan. Even though these insured individuals have high deductibles, their monthly premiums are often low. If you like the idea of getting your up-front healthcare costs as low as possible, a high-deductible plan might be perfect for you. Generally, HSAs are a better fit for those who are near retirement and those in a financial position where they can save for future health care expenses.

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Can A Rules-Based Investing Framework Improve Your Stock Market Results?

The following is a guest post. Jay Delaworth is the founder of Intelligent Trend Follower, where each week you can get actionable investment ideas and free educational content designed to help you apply a rules-based framework to limit risk and reduce stress in the stock market.

When you were a kid, did you follow the rules?

Did you clean your room, wash your hands before dinner, and always play nice with others?

It’s funny, as children, we are constantly told to obey all kinds of rules. Then, as we grow up and acquire our independence, the shackles of rules slowly loosen their grip.

We get more freedom, more leniency and more trust. Suddenly, you realize you’re an adult who can do whatever you want, whenever you want (so long as you don’t break any laws).

But why does this matter?

Well, let me put it this way:

  • Do you ever look at your investment portfolio and wonder why you own some of the stocks in there?
  • Do you ever scratch your head and wonder whether you should buy, sell or hold?
  • Have you ever bought a stock based on a tip or news story, only to end up unsure what to do with it?

The reason I ask is because I believe these common errors can easily be avoided. All it takes are a few simple rules you can use to make better investment decisions. So in this blog post, I want to show you why (and exactly how) you can start using rules to help your investing.

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9 Top Dividend Stocks in the Energy Sector after the OPEC Meeting

This is a guest contribution from The Dividend Manager

Energy stocks have seen a lot of volatility over the last two years as the supply of oil increased and the price of oil plummeted. In 2014, the price of a barrel of Crude Oil WTI was over $100. By the beginning of 2015, the price was under $50 per barrel. The final bottom in price occurred earlier this year when crude hit $25 a barrel. The chart below illustrates the downfall of crude oil prices since 2012. While the price has rebounded since the February lows, it has not come close to rebounding to its 2014 price high.

crudeoil1

On November 30th, 2016 the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels a day. Currently, production is at a record high, at 33.6 million barrels per day. This will be the first cut in production since 2008, but there is still expected to be a significant surplus in oil supply. This production cut will likely drive up the price of Crude Oil WTI and make many energy companies more profitable.

The news sent many energy stocks soaring.The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSE: XLE) jumped over 5% following the news (compared to year-to-date performance of +10%).This bump comes after many of these stocks jumped as part of the “Trump Rally” following the election, and has many energy investors excited about current performance and how the new production may impact oil prices going forward. WIth large tax cuts and decreased regulation on the way in 2017, many of the energy companies listed below should profit from increased economic growth.

The stocks below are the energy stocks that I maintain on our Top 100 Dividend Stocks list. My favorites include Occidental Petroleum, Schlumberger, Total SA ADR, and Valero. While some investors have been spooked by the energy sector in the last two years, there are many intriguing stocks with high dividends & excellent dividend growth prospects now that oil has crossed back above $50 a barrel.

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