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Investment Choices

March 24, 2008

  *  Account Info
  *  Basics
  *  Bonds
  *  Brokers & Advisers
  *  CDs
  *  Futures
  *  International Investing
  *  Investment Clubs
  *  Mutual Funds
  *  Options
  *  Stocks
  *  Trading Strategies
  *  U.S. Treasuries
  *  Variable Annuities

Account Info

About Settling Trades in Three Days: Introducing T+3 – Answers questions about the 3-day settlement cycle and describes how investors may hold their securities, including "street" name and direct registration.

Holding your Securities – Answers frequently asked questions, and discusses advantages and disadvantages to the different ways you can hold your securities.

Opening a Brokerage Account – What every investor should know before signing a new account agreement, including questions your broker should ask you and information about margin accounts.

Trade Execution: What Every Investor Should Know – Where and how your broker's firm executes its customers' orders, including order routing, payment-for-order-flow, and internalization.

Transferring Your Brokerage Account: Tips for Avoiding Delays – Learn how account transfers work and what steps you can take to assure they go smoothly.



Ask Questions – Questions you should ask about your investments, the people who sell them to you, and what to do if you run into problems.

Get the Facts on Saving and Investing – General information to get you started on the road to saving and investing.

Investing for Your Future– Brought to you by the USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, this home-study curriculum covers the basic building blocks of sound financial management.

Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future – The latest tool in the U.S. Department of Labor's Retirement Savings Education Campaign, brought to you by the DOL and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. (Provided in PDF format.)



An Investor's Guide to Corporate Bonds – Information from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association to help investors understand corporate bonds.

An Investor's Guide to Municipal Bonds – More guidance from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association about municipal bonds.

Putting Compound Interest to Work Through Zero Coupon Bonds - The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association provides information about zero coupon bonds.

An Investor's Guide to Tax Exempt Zero Coupon Municipal Bonds - Information about municipal zero coupon bonds from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.


Brokers & Advisers

About Your Broker – Information to help you select a broker and check out his or her disciplinary history, brought to you by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Financial Planning Resource Kit – Guidance from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards to help you decide whether you need a financial planner and to identify a planner who's right for you.

Invest Wisely – How to choose a broker, pick an investment, and look out for trouble.



Certificates of Deposit: Tips for Investors – CDs have become more complex in recent years. Don't be dazzled by rising rates. Before you consider investing in a high-yield CD, make sure you fully understand its terms.



Glossary of Futures Terms – An introduction to the language of the futures industry, brought to you by the National Futures Association (Provided in PDF format.)

A Guide to Understanding Opportunities and Risk in Futures Trading – A discussion of price discovery, basic strategies, risks, and more from the National Futures Association.


International Investing

International Investing – This brochure explains the basics about investing in foreign companies and points out the ways investing abroad can differ from investing in U.S. companies.


Investment Clubs

Investment Clubs and the SEC – Answers some of the most common questions about the relationship between investment clubs and the SEC.


Mutual Funds


Getting Started with Mutual Fund Connection – An interactive quiz developed by the Investment Company Institute (ICI) that can help you with your investment decisions about mutual funds.

A Guide to Understanding Mutual Funds – A publication from the ICI that explains mutual funds, describes how to establish realistic goals, and suggests questions to ask before you invest. (Provided in PDF format.)

Invest Wisely: An Introduction to Mutual Funds – Advice from the SEC about mutual funds and the impact of fees and commissions.

Mutual Fund Investing: Look at More Than a Mutual Fund's Past Performance – To get the whole picture before investing in a mutual fund, the SEC suggests that you look beyond a fund's past performance and consider other factors.

Questions You Should Ask Before You Invest in a Mutual Fund – Covers the nine key issues you should find in a mutual fund's prospectus or profile to make informed investment decisions, brought to you by the ICI. (Provided in PDF format.)

Fees & Loads

Frequently Asked Questions About Mutual Fund Fees – For answers to your questions about the costs of investing in mutual funds, brought to you by the ICI. (Provided in PDF format.)

Mutual Fund Cost Calculator – The SEC designed this calculator so you can easily estimate and compare the costs of different mutual funds.

401(k) Plans

A Look at 401(k) Plan Fees – A booklet from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to help consumers understand the fees and expenses associated with 401(k) programs.



Your Options Education Center – Tips, tools, and an interactive learning center for both beginning and experienced investors, brought to you by the Options Industry Council.

Understanding Options – A comprehensive guide to trading options, including benefits and risks, brought to you by the American Stock Exchange. (Provided in PDF format.)



Getting Information About Companies – To invest successfully, you need to know a lot about the companies you invest in. Here's how.

Managing Expectations – How to manage your expectations for long-term success in the stock market, brought to you by the Securities Industry Association.

Types of Stock – Explains the difference between common and preferred stock. Brought to you by the Securities Industry Association.


Trading Strategies

Day Trading: Your Dollars at Risk – Before you day trade, learn the risks and how difficult it is to profit from this trading strategy.

Margin: Borrowing Money to Pay for Stocks – Learn how margin trading works, the upsides and downsides, and the risks involved.

Tips for Online Investing: What You Need to Know About Trading In Fast-Moving Markets – Limit your losses in fast-moving markets with this timely advice.


U.S. Treasuries

The Basics of Treasury Securities – An introduction to treasury bills, notes, and bonds and U.S. Savings Bonds, brought to you by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Bureau of the Public Debt.

Savings Bonds – Information about savings bonds, including calculators, a kid's page, and Spanish-language brochures, from the Bureau of the Public Debt.


Variable Annuities

All About Annuities – A comprehensive guide to fixed and variable annuities, including information on fees, brought to you by the National Association for Variable Annuities.

Annuities: The Key to a Secure Retirement – Information from the American Council of Life Insurers on annuities, life insurance, and other financial products to help you plan for retirement. (Provided in PDF format.)

Variable Annuities: What You Should Know – Helps investors better understand the benefits, risks, and costs of variable annuities. (Available in PDF format.)




We have provided this information as a service to investors.  It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy.  If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.

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