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How To Invest in Stocks

Editorial Staff



If you haven’t Invested in Stocks before, Here is what you need to know

Investing in the stock market can see, scary and confusing. There are so many choices…where do you begin? Well, it’s really not that different from learning how to swim.

Jumping into a big pool, river or ocean can seem scary. But if you simply dive in and begin to learn, you’ll be on your own in no time.

As the world’s greatest investor Warren Buffett explains, it’s not rocket science…

As you can see, Mr. Buffett doesn’t make a big deal out of things that aren’t. He doesn’t have access to special and secret information. He has access to the same information as you do. He simply approaches it in a calm analytic manner.

But just so we’re clear, if Mr. Buffett were here and we asked him to explain how to invest in stocks he would tell you some version of the following:

Buying a stock is buying a piece of a publically trading company. Yes, the minute you buy one single share of a given stock you are an owner of that company. Naturally, as you acquire more shares, you acquire a larger share of equity. In plain English, this just means that you own more of the company in question.
Each stock you buy entitles you to that proportional part of that company’s earnings and assets.

There are two types of stock, common stock and preferred stock.
Common stock ownership allows you shareholders voting rights but no guarantee of a dividend payment. A dividend is a small percentage of the stock price which is paid back to the stockholder on a pre-determined basis.

Common Stock - how to invest your money
It’s basically the company’s way of saying, “Thank you for investing in our company. Here’s a little something to show you we appreciate your business and care about you making money while we are.”

Preferred stock ownership does not give you any voting rights, but (in most cases) guarantees you a dividend payment.

Once upon a time, stockholders would receive a paper stock certificate which had the number of shares they owned written on it. This is called a security, it’s just another word people use in place of “stock” or “share” so don’t get confused. The differences are not big enough to worry about.

What is Preferred stock - 1900's certificate-How to invest your money

What is Preferred stock – 1900’s certificate-How to invest your money

Today, stock or share ownership is recorded electronically and the record is held with your brokerage firm. Of course, the law ensures that you’re allowed to log into your account and check your ownership status. It’s no different than an electronic account at your bank and is typically as simple as checking email.


Now, be careful! Investing in stocks is not as simple as buy, sell, get rich!


Reality doesn’t work like that. Anybody telling you otherwise has some nice oceanfront land to sell you…in Nebraska.

You must treat investing in stocks like you would your job. Be serious, learn as much as you can and follow what the winners do.

Before you go out and buy a stock for the first time, you have to master the basics. This won’t make you Warren Buffett, but it will help you feel comfortable and more likely to succeed.
With that said, let’s go through the basics of getting started.

[CONTINUED How to Invest is Stocks, The 4 Pillars of Trading]

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Wall Street Gave Campaign Donations




US presidential race The names of Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden on the roadside sign on the background of the American flag and a stormy sky-Campaign Donations-ss-featured

Biden Received $74M, Trump Received $18M

Despite enjoying one of the best bull runs in history, the market is looking forward to a new sheriff.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Biden is the chosen one. Wall Street gave campaign donations to Democrat Joe Biden $74 Million, while incumbent President Donald Trump got $18 million. This included contributions since 2019 and until the first two weeks of October.

RELATED: Trump and Biden War Over Social Security

Biden’s Wall Street Supporters

Joe Biden’s campaign is about to amass $1 billion in the remaining days before the election. Among the Democratic nominee’s supporters is former Goldman Sachs President Harvey Schwartz. He gave $100,000 this October to the Biden Action Fund and other various party fundraisers.

During the 3rd quarter, Wall Street investors lined up to support the Dems. Beginning last week, Biden, the DNC, and other committees received over $330 million. In comparison, Trump and the GOP received a total of $220 million.

Bigger than Obama, Smaller than Hillary’s

Biden’s Wall Street donations are larger than the total of Obama’s two runs for president. It falls short of Hillary Clinton’s $87 million hauls in her doomed 2016 run.

As early as January, the Biden campaign approached Wall Street hotshots for support. These included Evercore founder Roger Altman and investor Blair Effron, Blackstone CEO Jonathan Gray, former Citigroup exec Ray McGuire, Centerbridge Partners co-founder Mark Gallogly, and former U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley. A lot of them hosted fundraising events or donated money.

Biden also got big money from supporters from Paloma Partners and Renaissance Technologies. Renaissance’s founder Jim Simons donated $7 million to two super Biden PACs way back in March.  He added over $350,000 to the Biden Action Fund in June. Henry Laufer, Renaissance’s chief scientist, gave $625,000 in June to the American Bridge PAC. Meanwhile, Paloma Partners founder Donald Sussman gave $9 million to Biden’s super PACs. An added $20 million from other hedge funds and private equity firms rounded off the total.

Most Ever Spent by the Industry for an Election

This year, the investment community gave $625 million in contributions for election campaigns. This covers not only the presidential elections but also congressional and senate contests. It stands on record as the most ever spent by the finance and investment industry.

From the total, $370 million went to super PACs and groups allowed to raise infinite funds.

Democrats got the lion’s share at 63% while the GOP got 37%. $161 million went straight to Dem candidates, while $94 million went to Republicans. Compare it to 2016, where the GOP received half of Wall Street’s money.

Funding for the Dems remained high despite talks of pushbacks to big business. There is opposition within the camp in naming business leaders to the Biden cabinet. Progressives are vocal about not wanting their candidate to cozy up to the big business.

Jeff Hauser of the Revolving Door Project researched potential Biden Cabinet selections.  He is “cautiously optimistic” that Wall Street’s funding can influence future appointees. Hauser does believe that the sector’s contributions can help open doors to the Biden White House. He voiced concerns about “conventional thinkers within the Biden world.” These people might insist on paying “deference to the source of that $75 million.” 

Meanwhile in the White House

For Donald Trump, Wall Street isn’t as enamored if you look at the numbers. He received a paltry $20 million during his initial run for president. Four years later, donations to his cause are $2 million less. Analysts noted that many previous finance backers held back on the reelection campaign. These include people who gave millions during Trump’s 2017 inaugural.

Records show that previous supporters helped Republican Senate or House candidates instead. The market’s support for Trump waned due to his coronavirus response. Anonymous sources noted that investors backed off despite Trump’s tax and regulation cuts. Since they think Trump is about to lose, these leaders don’t want to invest in him further.

Trump donor Dan Eberhart said “Wall Street is watching the same polls as everyone else. They can see the direction the campaign is going and they are starting to alter their strategy.” He added that “It’s about risk management. If they can’t beat Biden, they know they are going to have to join him.”

Watch this as CNBC breaks down Wall Street campaign donations during the 2020 election:

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With its contributions, Wall Street implied a decision to support Joe Biden. Should he eke a win, Wall Street will definitely look for returns on its investment. They should remember that this man won over progressives like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who aren’t exactly priority invites to ring the stock exchange opening bell. How do you think this will pay off for big money? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Pelosi Says No Stimulus Even as Coronavirus Cases Rise




Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaking at the Democratic National Convention Summer Meeting in San Francisco-Pelosi Says No Stimulus-ss-featured

With days before the elections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says “No” to stimulus relief.  She then blamed the White House for the failure.  

RELATED: Pelosi Sets 48-Hour Stimulus Deadline, Trump Says ‘She’s Holding It Up’

In a letter to House Democrats, Pelosi heaped the blame on the White House. “For a long time now, Congressional Democrats have laid out a strategic plan to crush the virus. The White House and Mitch McConnell have resisted, and on Sunday, Mark Meadows told us why saying ‘We’re not going to control the pandemic.'” Pelosi referred to Chief of Staff Meadow’s interview last Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

She noted: “From ‘hoax’ to hundreds of thousands dead, the White House has failed miserably — not by accident, but by decision. Now we know why they resisted science at the expense of lives, livelihoods, and the life of our democracy. Again, it was a decision to do so.”

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin negotiated with Pelosi for weeks. The Speaker set a deadline last week to finish the stimulus package. The deadline allows the legislators to vote on the final bill before the elections.

The Democrats passed a $2.2 trillion Covid- aid 19 bill. But, Senate  Republicans and Mnuchin found the budget too expensive. They countered with a lower costing bill at $1.8 trillion. Trump said he can go higher if needed.

In the end, both sides remained far apart in negotiations. Pelosi threw in the towel yesterday.

A Case of Bad Timing

The decision to forego talks on stimulus relief comes at the heels of higher Covid-19 cases. Infections reached a record high over the weekend, with over 83,000 new cases reported. As of this week, there are 1.7 million Americans infected and 227,000 dead. Yet, there are no signs that the pandemic is slowing down.

There are reports that House Democrats could grow in number in this year’s elections. Pelosi committed to writing legislation in aid of struggling American workers. She said: “This week, we continue to put pen to paper, with thanks to our Committee Chairs for their mastery of the legislation and loyalty to America’s working families.” She included a dig on Trump and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell. “The President’s words only have meaning if he can get Mitch McConnell to take his hand off the pause button,” she added.

Trump Fires Back

In response, the White House fired back at Pelosi last Tuesday. Trump said “Nancy Pelosi is only interested in bailing out badly-run, crime-ridden Democrat cities and states. That’s all she is interested in. She is not interested in helping people.”

Trump promised that once the GOP wins, they’ll get an aid package ready. He said “After the election, we will get the best stimulus package you have ever seen. I think we are going to take back the House because of her.” Trump looked forward to getting the House back. He said “I think you have a lot of congressmen and women – Republican – that are going to get elected. We will take back the House. We’ll hold the Senate. We’ll hold the White House.”

Other CARES Act Benefits Expiring Soon

Besides a stimulus check, Americans received many benefits under the CARES Act. This bill expired last July, but some of the provisions managed to hold on longer. Here are some of the benefits and their shelf lives.

401(k) hardship withdrawals and loans, unemployment can continue to do so until the end of 2020. You will owe taxes on the withdrawal, but there aren’t any automatic deductions. Tax payments can spread out up to three years. 401(k) loan payments due between March 27 to December 31 will extend to next year, but with interest.

Federal enhanced unemployment benefits ended in July will continue in some other form. Depending on your state’s coverage, some provisions will remain in place until the end of the year. Self-employed, independent contractors, and gig economy workers remain qualified for state benefits. These last until December 31, 2020.

Bans Will Remain

Evictions will remain banned until the end of the year. This is via a “historic” order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those needing mortgage relief due to coronavirus can still request help. They can choose between six months of deferral or lower payments. While the CARES Act doesn’t specify the duration, it’s likely available as long as the pandemic is ongoing. At the least, this covers loans until the end of the year.

Finally, the student loan moratorium remains in effect until January 2021.

To paraphrase a famous saying: When Elephants and Donkeys fight, it’s the grass that suffers. A week to go before the elections and much-needed relief remains unavailable. Americans who remained resilient must now endure a few more months. They will need to fend for themselves while Congress and the Senate bicker over details.

Watch this as Donald J. Trump, the President said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is only interested in bailing out badly-run Democrat cities and states:

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Who is to blame for these negotiations made in bad faith? Is it the Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi and their spend-at-all-costs proposal? Or is the GOP, who insisted that lower is better? Let us know what you think by leaving your comments below.

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Stocks Post Its Worst Day in A Month




Economy and disease as an economic pandemic fear and coronavirus fears or virus Outbreak and Stock market selling as a sick financial health business recession-Stocks Worst Day-ss-featured

Wall Street took a beating Monday as stocks posted its worst day in a month. Rising coronavirus cases and a fading stimulus relief led investors to sell-off.

RELATED: A Stock Market Rally On New Stimulus Bill Could Be ‘Short-Lived’

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 2.3% lower. It fell down 935 points during the day before settling 650 points lower. All Dow stocks closed in the red except Apple, which eked out a .01% gain. It was the Dow’s worst day since September 3.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 closed for the day at 1.9%, marking its worst day since late September. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which bounced back from its lows in the morning, finished lower at 1.6%.

While all sectors across the board experienced losses, some got crushed more. These include energy, industrials, and financials.

Higher Cases of Coronavirus

With eight days remaining before the elections, investors are starting to get jittery. Despite lots of talks, Congress has yet to approve a stimulus package. Cases of coronavirus are jumping in all states, and it recently hit a daily high average of 68,767 last Sunday.

Meanwhile, big tech companies are set to report earnings later this week. This lot includes Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.  Fawad Razaqzada of Think Markets noted that the reports can inject further volatility. In the note, Think Markets believed that “on a more macro level, ongoing US stalemate over US fiscal stimulus and the rapidly spreading Covid-19 is going to determine the direction for the wider markets.”

Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, thinks Covid is a big influence over the market. He said “It’s almost as important as the Fed right now. Covid is suppressing the economy, and it’s essentially offsetting easy money. If we didn’t have Covid, people would be going out and spending money. It’s acting as a huge headwind.”

No Relief in Sight

Brad McMillan, CIO of Commonwealth Financial Network, thinks the reality hit investors hard. He told CNN business: “I think a big difference this time around [is]…there’s been a tremendous amount of hope baked into the market for quite a while, and we saw some things over this weekend that hit those assumptions hard.” The negotiations for a new relief package is gone at least until after the elections. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel adjourned the Senate after confirming new Chief Justice Amy Coney Barrett. They will resume their session on November 9, or six days after the elections.

Without a clear stimulus plan, the US economy could start to double-dip. And if the rise in coronavirus cases continues, the business will shut down again. This nightmare scenario is haunting the market at present. Steven Wieting, the chief strategist at Citi Private Bank, sees dimmer prospects. “The ability to fight the virus further right now is very much in question, and it’s a political question.” Wieting believes that Washington could take months before anything gets done. This made investors tentative.

Tom Lee added that “We have a lot of things to be anxious about in the next couple of weeks. That’s why this is a pre-election market. But post-election, I think a lot of things that make people nervous turn into a tailwind. The post-election stimulus is a when not an if. Even if it’s a mixed Congress, I think there’s still some common ground. It’s just the scope that’s different. It would be a smaller package.”

Eight Days Remaining

The final eight days before the elections usually brings good vibes for Wall Street. This year, the bulls will need some extra running following Monday’s selloff spree.

Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist history, observed this bull phenomenon. Since 1944, the S&P 500 rose on average 2.5% in the eight days before elections. The index is up 17 out of 19 times, or 89%. The biggest rise came during the recent financial crisis, with the S&P 500 roaring back 18.5% in a bear market rally. That year, Democrat Barack Obama won over the GOP’s John McCain. The market sunk back to new lows after the election. It bottomed out four months later. The first decline in 1968 (-0.8%), happened as Richard Nixon won over Democrat Hubert Humphrey. The other was in 1988 when Republican George H.W. Bush won against the Dems’ Michael Dukakis.

Wall Street needs to get its act together with eight days remaining. A short, decisive victory by either party can help uplift America’s image. And with all the drama removed, maybe the market can go back to its winning ways.

Watch this as Stocks fall sharply at open amid Covid-19 resurgence:

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Stock investors of The Capitalist, are you selling off right now, or are you holding off for a bigger payday? Do you think the market will rally in the next few days, or do you foresee better days after the elections? Share with us your stock scenarios as we count down to the elections. Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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