The Rooster and the Alarm Clock

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In the early days of history, man was forced to rely on his feathered friends for assistance in many ways. Chickens provided man with a source of meat, eggs, and money. In fact, the rooster may have provided the most important form of assistance. The rooster provided man with a wake-up-call. With the aid of the rooster, man was able to start his day on time. Through the invention of electricity, and the advances in modern technology, the alarm clock has taken the place of the rooster. Both the rooster and the alarm clock have been, and still are, valuable resources to man. Both have qualities that make each of them beneficial.


One noteworthy characteristic of the rooster is its low initial cost. A rooster can be purchased for a minimal amount of money. An alarm clock, on the other hand, is more costly. Alarm clocks vary in price. The cheapest alarm clock usually cost at least ten dollars.


One benefit of an alarm clock is that it does not require any upkeep. Most alarm clocks can operate on batteries as well as on electricity. Therefore, the purchase of batteries is optional. Alarm clocks require no attention and little time investment. The only time investment required is the time it takes to set it. In comparison, roosters require upkeep. Roosters must be fed, watered, and cared for. This upkeep can become quite costly, and time consuming.


Another advantage of owning a rooster is the resources it can provide. As stated earlier, chickens can supply man with eggs for food and money. Without the rooster, the production of eggs would not be possible. On the other hand, an alarm clock is essentially worthless when it comes to resources.


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In conclusion, when searching for the best way to start the day, choose the rooster. The rooster is cheaper to buy than an alarm clock. The rooster also provides a source of income for man that the alarm clock cannot. Although it may require some time and money to own, the rooster is the better choice in the long run. Nobody likes to wake up to the annoying sound of an alarm clock anyway, right?





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the american dream

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The American Dream is the dream of living life to the fullest even if it means taking stupid chances to learn from them. In addition, it means to try keeping a good family atmosphere in the house. In both Raisin in the Sun and Mildred Pierce, these and other ideas of an “ American Dream” are being displayed in many occasions.


In the two books, a central idea is kept of living life to the fullest. In Raisin in the Sun, Beneatha displays this by trying new things and styles. One example of this is the way she switches from horseback riding to guitar lessons, “ Madeline… guitar lessons today…” (1.1.47). Also she shows her interest in the history of her native roots and with the help of Joseph Asagai she wants to find this by going to Africa with him, “Nigeria. Home…show you our mountains… stars…give you cool drinks… and teach you the old songs…” (..17). In Mildred Pierce, Veda, the daughter of Bert and Mildred, is a little different. At the beginning, she displays her taste for life by playing the piano; “ I learned a new piece today…Valse Brillionte” mentioned in the beginning by Veda. Later she looks for happiness in money, expensive things, and in parties. Mr. Beragon shows this all to her by going with her on long evenings, to games of polo, and many other fancy things. Veda presents this in the following lines “Monte had shown me the finer things in life…”


There are two other examples of two people who try to live their life to the fullest. They are Walter Younger from Raisin in the Sun and Mildred Pierce Beragon from Mildred Pierce. Both of the characters show their way of living their life to the fullest, but the only way to succeed is to make mistakes and learn from them. In Raisin, Walter wants to live life the fullest by going into the liquor store business with Bobo and Willy. He thinks that this will make him a lot of money so that he can buy pearls for his wife and work in an office. He also wants to hand down the world to his son as soon as he turns seventeen years old, as mentioned here “You can just name it… and I hand you the world…” ( ..10). When his plan fails, he tries to do everything he can to help the family in their financial state, even if it means selling the house his mother had bought. In Mildred Pierce, the same thing happens, but with different results. Mildred ties to live to the fullest by fulfilling her dream to own a restaurant, which she mentions here “Im planning on opening a place of my own. There is money in a restaurant if it is run right.” She succeeds in creating a restaurant that flourishes and makes a lot of money. Later she opens more and more restaurants creating a whole chain of fast food restaurants. Moreover, this keeps her dream and life goings, but there are still different obstacles in the way.


The two stories show many things that are done to hold the family together as well as having a good atmosphere in the house. In the Raisin in the Sun, Mama tries to display this in the best way that she can by buying a house for her family. She does this, because she sees her family fall apart in front of her eyes, “I-I just seen my family falling apart today…” (.1.4). At the beginning, the whole family enjoys the idea except for Walter, because he needs that money to make a down payment on the business that he wants to start with Willy and Bobo. At the end of the story, even Walter understands what his mother was tying to do and how important it was to make that choice. In Mildred Pierce, the same kind of example is proposed and has very different results. Mildred during her whole life has spent trying to give everything she possibly could to make her children feel special. Her husbands objects to it and leaves her. This is because Mildred buys Veda a dress and Bert tells her of like this “Go ahead, keep it up. Maybe you would not have so many bills if you did not try to bring up those kids like their old man was a millionaire. No wonder they are so fresh and stuck up.” She does not realize it yet that her own daughter only wants money from her. Later in the story, she finds this out when Veda tells her that with the ten thousand dollar check she will be able to do anything, as she mentions it here “With this money, I can get away from you.” In contrast with Mama, Mildred tries to buy love instead of really giving it.


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“ I just seen my family falling apart today…just falling to pieces in front of my eyes…” (.1.4) This quote presented in the A Raisin in the Sun encapsulates the thesis on the American Dream about the family and that everyone will most likely try to do anything to keep it together. A Raisin in the Sun presents a more optimistic view of the Dream, because it ends with the family starting in a new place with a new set of dreams that will have to be realized and worked on later. At the end of Mildred Pierce it is a kind of a down fall for the mother, because she ends up protecting her daughter and her daughter can’t be helped at this point and is caught and taken to jail. All that Mildred had worked for had practically perished when she realizes what her daughter had become.





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of mice and men

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“ Of Mice and Men “ by John Steinbeck is a novel involving two extremely different main characters. George is a reasonably intelligent, hardworking ranchman. Lennie on the other hand always manages to find trouble. He is equally as hardworking and honest as George but his simple childlike mind always finds him trouble wherever he goes. However they have one thing that unites the two of them as close as any bond can. This is that they both share the same dream of owning their own ranch � and after many hard working years, moving from ranch to ranch, living in complete poverty and working for next to nothing they finally try to achieve this life long dream.


OF MICE AND MEN


KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS


SETTING


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This book is set in two places. It starts beside a stream, close to the Salinas River, a few miles


South of Soledad. It then moves to a ranch, where the major part of the story is set. At the end of


the novel, the setting comes back to where it started.


George and Lennie are introduced by the stream. They are on their way to a near-by ranch. The


surrounding land is thick in vegetation and has its own wild life. Men frequent it, as there are ash


piles made by many fires and the limbs of the sycamore tree have been smoothed by the many


men who have sat on it.


The ranch, where the major part of the story takes place, appears isolated and lonely. It includes


a ranch house, a bunkhouse where the ranch workers live, a barn, and a harness-room off the


barn.


CHARACTERS


Major Characters


George - the protagonist and main character of the book. He is a caring, compassionate, and


understanding human being who dreams of owning his own piece of land.


Lennie - the obedient friend of George. He has a childs mind and a giants body. It is these


contrasting qualities that cause him problems.


Old Candy - one of the lonely ranch workers. He is a cripple, working as a Swamper.


Crooks - a black ranch hand. He is sensible and neat, with a mind of his own. He is a lonely


character, who is discriminated against, due to his race.


Slim - a ranch worker with leadership qualities. He commands respect from all on the ranch.


Curley - the bosss son who is a light weight boxer. He picks fights with everybody on the ranch.


Curleys wife - the only woman on the ranch. She is very flirtatious.


Minor Characters


Carlson - a brutal man. He objects to Candy keeping his old dog.


Whit - a ranch worker. He is sent to town to fetch the Sheriff after Curleys wife is murdered.


The Boss - a mice fella (in Candys words). He is more concerned about his work on the ranch


CONFLICT


Protagonist The protagonist of the story is George. He is the kind-hearted ranch hand who is


concerned about his friend Lennie and watches out for him.


Antagonist The antagonist of the story is Georges trying to care for the handicapped Lennie.


Because he has a giants body and a childs mind, Lennie accidentally kills Curleys wife; at the


same time he kills the dream of owning a farm that has kept George and Lennie positive about


the future


Climax The climax occurs when Lennie accidentally kills Curleys wife. George knows that he


can no longer save Lennie, for Curley will want revenge.


Outcome Of Mice and Men ends in tragedy. George feels compelled to mercifully kill his


friend and companion, Lennie, in order to save him from a brutal death. The death of Lennie also


marks the death of the beautiful dream they have been nurturing


PLOT (Synopsis)


One evening, two men, on their way to a ranch, stop at a stream near the Salinas River. George,


who is short and dark, leads the way. The person following him is Lennie, a giant of a man with


huge arms. During their conversation by the stream, George repeatedly asks Lennie to keep his


mouth shut on the ranch, suggesting that Lennie has some kind of problem. After supper and


before going to sleep, the two of them talk about their dream to own a piece of land.


The next day, George and Lennie travel to the ranch to start work. They are given two beds in


the bunkhouse. Then Old Candy introduces them to almost everybody on the ranch. They meet


the boss and the bosss son Curley, who is quite rude. They also meet Curleys wife when she


comes looking for her husband. She wears heavy make-up and possesses a flirtatious attitude.


George warns Lennie to behave his best around Curley and his wife. He also suggests that they


should meet by the pool if anything unfortunate happens to either of them on the ranch.


George and Lennie are assigned to work with Slim, who is sensible and civilized and talks with


authority. George finds Slim an understanding confidante, and a bond forms between the two of them. When Curley wrongly accuses Slim for talking to his wife, Slim gets very angry. Curley


apologizes to him in the bunkhouse in front of everybody, but his apology is rejected. Curley


vents his frustration on Lennie, trying to pick a fight. Lennie does not hit back initially, but when


George asks him to, Lennie obliges and crushes Curleys hand. Curley agrees that he will not tell


anyone about his hand, for it would mean losing his self-respect.


While working on the ranch, George and Lennie continue to dream about owning their own piece


of land and make plans accordingly. Old Candy, one of the ranch hands, overhears their planning


and asks to join them. He even offers to contribute all of his savings to purchase the land. George


and Lennie accept his proposal.


One evening, Lennie, looking for his puppy, enters the room of Crooks; since he is the only


black man on the ranch, Crooks lives alone, segregated from the other ranch workers. Candy


enters, looking for Lennie; the two of them tell Crooks about their dream of owning their own


ranch, but Crooks tells them that it will never happen, foreshadowing the truth. Curleys wife


comes in and interrupts them. When Crooks objects to her presence in his room, she threatens


him with a false rape charge.


Later on, Lennie is seen alone in the barn, petting his dead pup. He has unintentionally killed it


by handling it too hard. Now he is grieving over the loss. Curleys wife walks into the barn and


strikes up a conversation with Lennie. As they talk, she asks him to stroke her hair. She panics


when she feels Lennies strong hands. When she raises her voice to him, Lennie covers her


mouth. In the process, he accidentally breaks her neck and she dies. Knowing he has done


something terrible, he leaves the ranch. When the ranch hands learn that Curleys wife has been


killed, they rightly guess the guilty party. Led by an angry Curley, they all go out to search for


Lennie. They plan to murder him in retribution.


George guesses where Lennie is and races to the pool. To save him from the brutal assaults of


the ranch hands, George mercifully kills his friend himself. Hearing the gunshot, the searchers


converge by the pool. They praise George for his act. Only Slim understands the actual purpose


of Georges deed.


THEMES


Major Theme


The major theme of the book, Of Mice and Men, is that a dream, no matter how impossible to


obtain, can forge friendship and give meaning to life. George and Lennie dream of owning a


little farm of ten acres, with a windmill, a little shack, an orchard, and animals. The dream keeps


them going and lightens the load of their work. It also solidifies their friendship.


Minor Themes


One of the minor themes is the tragedy of mental retardation. Lennie never intends to harm


anything, neither the puppy nor Curleys wife. He is simply too slow to realize his own strength.


His retardation is the cause of his downfall and death, in spite of Georges trying to help him stay


out of trouble.


The pain of loneliness is another theme of the book. All the main characters, including George,


Lennie, Candy, Crooks, Curleys wife, and Slim, express the sadness caused by their feelings of


loneliness. The craving for company and the longing for sharing real emotions make these


characters very human.


Loneliness and friendship


To the people on the ranch, even the broad-minded Slim, Georges and Lennies partnership is very unusual. It is clear that most of them are lonely. Some, like Whit, feel the loneliness and remember wished-for friends with affection. Others learn to be self-sufficient emotionally, or just plain selfish. Crooks insists on his right to be alone even though he dislikes it, while Carlson seems incapable of actually sympathizing with anyone elses viewpoint. Curley can only communicate through aggression. He marries to impress the men with his sexual prowess and to boast to his wife about how he will give “the ol one-two” to his opponents. Slim enjoys respect and a friendly manner, if not actual friendship, from the others on the ranch. He is welcoming and sympathetic to George and Lennie, and forces Carlson to consider Candys feelings he allows the dog to be shot, but Carlson must bury it; Candy should not have to do this. Candy is desperate for companionship, and readily discusses the proposed ranch with Lennie (“I been figurin how we can make on them rabbits”) without any sense that Lennie is too simple to follow his conversation.


Crooks astutely notes that Lennie cannot remember what he is saying, but points out that most people in conversation do this, that being with another is what counts; and so he talks freely to Lennie, who has the same effect on Curleys wife. She cannot speak to her husband but pours out her troubles to Lennie. It is ironic that the retarded man should be taken into the confidence of these supposedly normal characters. It is unfortunate that the rare relationship of friends should be ended by one of them; in killing Lennie, George knows (and tells Candy) he is condemning himself to the life of working for a month, then blowing his pay in the pool-room and “lousy cat-house”. And the detailed references to the two brothels in Soledad remind us both of the lack of opportunity for the ranch-hands to have a lasting sexual relationship, and the absence of opportunities for women to work in respectable jobs.


The authors technique


Structure


Steinbecks narrative method is unremarkable but effective in a simple way; for this reason it is not an obvious subject for study. The structure of the novella is clear and quite simple each chapter is an extended episode, in the same place. Some things happen while others, which have happened, are re-told (George tells Slim about Weed; Whit tells the hands about Bill Tenners letter; Curleys wife tells Lennie about her past).





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Thunder of the Heart

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Pamela N. Signa


Dr. Carol Holley


English Composition 11


February 5, 00


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Thunder of the Heart


Women of the Nineteenth Century were not as open about love, sex, and personal feelings of the two as women are today. They felt it necessary to suppress these feelings deep within themselves. Kate Chopin relays this information to her audience of readers in the short story, “The Storm”. Many of the reactions and thoughts that Calixta has in this piece describe her feelings, which were not acceptable for women of this era.


During these times, love was born mostly out of a sense of duty to one’s husband. In many cases, marriages were held together because it was the right thing to do, but not always the preferred choice of many women. Divorce became like a black mark on a woman’s name, and very hard to live down if it happened, no matter the reason. This alone forced many women to remain in the marriage to avoid the scandal that surely followed every woman should she choose to leave.


Women were not thought of as sexual beings during this period of time. Sex was looked to as a marital duty, for procreation purposes, and nothing more as far as women were concerned. Such feelings and emotions were unfitting of a true lady. Calixta does not fit into this preformed mold, because deep down she does have those stirrings of passion, as many women of this age no doubt had, but were forced to suppress. Calixta is a creature with desires, wants, and needs, but it appears that she has suppressed these feelings for so long that a mere encounter with a spark from her past ignites the fury within her all at once.


As the storm develops in nature, Calixta finds a storm developing within herself that she knows should be avoided, but she has no control over the emotions as they are released from deep within. Years of having repressed her feelings add fuel to the thunderous, tornado-like winds that threaten her very soul. As she and Alcee give in to the passion, Calixta knows that this time will be short lived, but the memories will be enough to sustain her in the future life with her husband and son.


The content from this story can be compared to many women of that time, forced to surrender all that they have to each one’s husband, with no chance to express any feelings of passion or desire of their own. Society demanded this of these women. Even though most of them had desires just as the men did, they did not act on them for fear of shame and humiliation should anyone find out.


Chopin, Kate, “The Storm”, July 188





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In what ways was Mother Teresa an active, informed, and global citizen?

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There are a number of people who, while living, were respected by many people in the world, and ever after their death, are missed; Mother Teresa was the one of them. In my opinion, Mother Teresa was an active, informed, and global citizen because Mother Teresa dedicated her whole life to help the poor, and she did a lot of work for them successfully. Also, she influenced on the world in good ways.


First of all, Mother Teresa dedicated her whole life to caring for the weak and impoverished. At the age of twelve, she realized that instead of leading a life of her own she had to live to help the poor. And she endeavored for the poor her whole life. It is not easy to live for others and not for oneself, but she did it. It is a duty of an ideal citizen to care for our neighbours.


Secondly, Mother Teresa did do a lot of work which affected the world a lot. She helped even the poorest people to die with dignity and opened orphanages for children, and so on. As stated before, through her work, she helped many people in need. For what she accomplished would have been too difficult for many to ever try. But, for her not only did she accomplish what she set out to do, but she did it successfully.


Finally, Mother Teresa indirectly encouraged and influenced many people to volunteer to help the poor. For example, today, Mother Teresa¡¯s Missionaries of Charity now has 570 missions all over the world, comprising of 4000 nuns, a brotherhood of 00 members and over 100,000 lay volunteers operating homes for AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis patients. There are also soup kitchens, children¡¯s and family counseling programs, orphanages, and schools. And much more people will join them as they see what Mother Teresa has started and built out of love. At first, she started by herself, but now, it is a big part of the world.


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Accordingly, Mother Teresa did what a lot of people cannot do easily for the poor and also for the world. She shaved her compassion with people all over the world, and everyone still respects and misses and remembers her, although she died six years ago. Therefore, it is natural for her to be an active, informed, and global citizen.


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The Red Pony Literary Letter

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I have been reading The Red Pony, a NOVEL, by John Steinbeck. The first three pages of the book serve as the EXPOSITION where the author introduces most of the CHARACTERS as they sit down to enjoy their breakfast and then begins to introduce the setting of the farm they live on.


Jody serves as the PROTAGINIST as her tries to take care of his first colt. He fights in his CHARACTER vs. nature CONFLICT when he has to fight the odds of whether it will rain or not. If it rains his horse has a chance of catching a cold. Which the horse does catch the cold and Jody and Billy Buck work everyday o keep the horse alive. After the horse dies Billy Buck becomes a dynamic character as he changes emotionally caring for the sick pony.


The CLIMAX of the story comes when the story has built up to the pony being sick and maybe getting better and the wind blows open the door to the barn that the horse is in and they find the horse dead that morning. At that time the story takes a SHIFT and the TONE of the story is changed to very grim as the horse has died after the boy has worked so hard on trying to keep it alive and has done his best to train the colt. John Steinbeck is an author who uses great IMAGERY in this NOVEL, as you read you are able to see exactly what he is writing about and the MOOD of the Characte





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Snow Business

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I can still remember the first time I went skiing. It had been cold and dry November day. It hadnt been snowing much at the time, so most of the snow on the hills was that smooth, jet blown, artificial-ice. Not exactly what a first timer likes to start on.


My friend Mike had been trying to talk me into going on a skiing trip to Seven Springs with him and some of his other friends for some time. I was afraid at first; I had heard many over-exaggerated stories from people who had claimed that staying balanced on skies was almost impossible. So naturally I was a bit skeptical, but Mike assured me that the best way to learn was to just go all out and try my luck on one of the many intermediate slopes. At the time it had sounded reasonable, so I did.


I have heard it said before that Its easier said than done. Whoever said that one knew what he was talking about. The first couple of hills I only rolled, head over heels, down. After that, I graduated to skidding down on my backside, and then on to what could pass for actually skiing. It was great, flying over the packed snow, fighting for balance and dodging trees. I thought that my heart was going to pop out.


Mike told me over and over again that I had to be ready for the tricky spots, or I would end up with a broken bone or something of that sort. Nevertheless, I got overconfident and decided that I could try a black diamond slope (the hardest and steepest slope). Mike had been trying to teach me to take sharper, shorter turns and to crouch down to maximize the speed. Now, to an experienced skier these can be handy skills, but to a beginner, they end up being just one more thing to think about while going at 40 miles per hour and hanging on for your life.


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I tried to crouch down and pick up some speed and ended up doing an aerial front flip and going head first into a patch of icy snow. I lay there for several minutes, wondering if the cold I felt was my body going numb. I had thought that that fancy trick had killed me, but it was not my time. It only left me with a bloody nose and a cut chin. I was very disappointed, I thought that at least a broken bone was deserving of my efforts.


Michael pulled up next to me with tears in his eyes and a look on his face that could only come from someone who has just laughed his butt off. I told him that I had had enough of skiing for one day and would meet him in the lodge. Little did I realize that the lodge was, in fact, near the bottom of the hill, and I was not yet past the halfway point. What followed next was a long and painful tumble down the rest of the hill, it was like I was doing somersaults all the way down. Had I been able to think at that moment, I would have thought to record the ordeal in hopes of winning on Americas Funniest Home Videos.


Crawling into the ski lodge, I could barely make out my surroundings through the layer of ice that had formed on my eyes. I managed to find a chair and started to thaw when my Mike waltzed in the door and began to persuade me back to go back onto the hills for more of what he called fun. I smacked him with a frostbitten fist and told him that he owed me a week in the sun.





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“Korean Stock Exchange 1998”

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PART These questions pertain to the case on “Korean Stock Exchange 18”.


QUESTIONS


1. What are the merits and demerits of a stock versus a bank system of financing?


The question can be answered by discussing the differences between a financial system based on relationships versus one based on arms-length transactions.


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A relationship based financial system is characterized by a close relationship between a bank and a company and has the comparative advantage of allowing a long-term investment perspective. Because of the close relationship, the bank can be relatively assured that it will be chosen to provide all of a companys current and future financing needs. Therefore, more emphasis is placed on all the business the relationship will produce rather than the merits of a particular project at a particular time. It allows banks to internalize joint surplus which means they can afford short-term losses by offering lower rates when a company may be financially weak and then make up for it in the long-run by offering above market rates when the companys ability to repay has increased.


This type of financial system occurs when there is a concentrated need and also allows the government greater influence on targeting industries for economic development. It is also occurs when the companies needing financing have fixed capital that they can use for collateral. Finally, it allows companies to overcome underdeveloped product, labor and financial markets.


The main drawbacks of this type of system is the misallocation of resources and lack of price signals. There is a shift of focus from profitability to growth and expansion. This may be done for political reasons to save or create jobs, but it prevents the creative destruction necessary for a economy to develop. For example, take two companies, one that is profitable and one that is losing money. In a developed capital market, the money loser would be shut down. However, in a relationship based economy, resources may be diverted from the profitable company to subsidize the money loser to save jobs and prevent social instability. This type of system favors empire building and overleverage, allowing a company to continue borrowing without regard to appropriate amount of debt that can be supported by its projected cash flows.


A relationship based system, or crony capitalism is also characterized by implicit government guarantees and lax banking supervision. Combined with a lack of transparency and an illiquid market for the assets pledged as collateral, this system is especially vulnerable to both internal and external shocks.


On the other hand, an arms-length system avoids the problems of moral hazard, adverse selection and transaction costs. It does a much better job of channeling resources to the most profitable projects and providing a return commensurate with the risk of the project. It does a much better job of bearing and managing economic risk by allowing investors to distinguish between healthy companies and those in financial distress. The economy becomes more resilient to shocks by localizing problem companies. A prime example is how the Enron collapse did not have a significant ripple effect through the US economy.


Rather than saying that one system is always better than the other, it is important to which system is better for a country at a particular stage of economic development. A country with little access to capital and a weak contractual infrastructure would be better served by a relationship-based system. This characteristics not only describe many Asian countries during the past 0 to 0 years, but also the US during the boom or railroad construction.


. To prevent another bad loan problem in the future, what changes should be made in South Korean banks?


There are two main steps that the Korean government is undertaking to prevent another future banking crisis. First they are strengthening the regulation and supervision of banks, and, second they are restructuring the chaebols. The first step includes measuring and addressing the current problem in order to start with a clean slate. This includes accurately identifying the extent of problem loans, creating necessary regulatory standards, and dealing with banks that do not meet minimum requirements. The second step is to essentially repeat the process for corporations. The Korean government created new guidelines to “improve transparency and governance” and also passed legislation to expedite the process by allowing “tax benefits for restructuring, simplified…the mergers and acquisitions process, and permitted corporate spin-offs and carve-outs.”


Another important aspect of the restructuring program was the attraction of foreign capital. Foreign capital was an important, and often only, source of capital to purchase assets that the chaebols were divesting. Perhaps even more importantly, foreign investors would bring “world class management and governance practices to Korea.”


To prevent a bad loan problem in the future the government needs to “improve transparency and accountability in their financial system” and to “fix its financial plumbing � specifically its accounting…legal and bankruptcy codes.” Essentially, the country, while in the short term, it is probably better to rely on its current relationship based banking system to prevent capital from leaving the country, the long term solution is to develop the basis for an arms-length financial system. In the meantime, temporary government guarantees and restriction on capital flows can improve the probability of success of the transition.


. Is it a good idea for South Korea to rely more on the stock market as a source of corporate finance? Is it a good idea from the perspective of the Chaebols?


As South Koreas economy develops, it is more likely to benefit from relying on the stock market as a source of corporate finance. This will allow for the most efficient allocation of resources and highest return to investors. It also will lower the likelihood of future financial shocks by allowing the separation of good investments from bad ones. This gives foreign investors more confidence to make longer term investments and also prevents the broad problems in the system to grow and risk breaking the entire system. As conglomerates trade at a discount relative to potential sum of their parts, investors will likely demand them to break-up so they can focus on their core businesses and also to end cross-subsidization.


Chaebol management will likely not immediately welcome the change because it will be more difficult for them to raise money and place their actions under more scrutiny. Ultimately, though, it will allow them to shift their focus from asset intensive industries to more investments in intangibles asset and research and development that will provide more opportunities for future growth.


4. What are the impediments to develop a vibrant stock market?


In order to develop a vibrant stock market, South Korea should focus on developing its institutional versus physical infrastructure. Most importantly, this includes developing a strong system of contracts and laws, corporate governance and intermediaries.


Whereas a relationship based system may rely on oral or even implied agreements, a vibrant stock market requires contracts that both parties believe will be upheld and laws that provide recourse if one side breaks their part of the bargain. Strong corporate governance is important to protect shareholders rights which is necessary to assure foreign investors entering the market and to also encourage domestic citizens to invest rather than deposit all their money in the bank. Financial intermediaries, such as mutual funds, investment banks and venture capital firms all play important roles in providing information to the market and ensuring that the system remains efficient. The ability of a minority shareholder to sue management or for a firm to mount a hostile takeover or a poorly run company are both necessary ingredients for a properly functioning market. All of these factors contribute to increasing the liquidity of the market and its ability to correctly price risk and allocate resources.





Please note that this sample paper on “Korean Stock Exchange 1998” is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on “Korean Stock Exchange 1998”, we are here to assist you. Your persuasive essay on “Korean Stock Exchange 1998” will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

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investment fundamentals

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Mutual funds


Whats a mutual fund?


A mutual fund, also referred to as an open-end fund, is an investment company that spreads its money


across a diversified portfolio of securities -- including stocks, bonds, or money market instruments.


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Shareholders who invest in a fund each own a representative portion of those investments, less any


expenses charged by the fund.


Mutual fund investors make money either by receiving dividends and interest from their investments, or by


the rise in value of the securities. Dividends, interest and profits from the sale of any securities (capital


gains) are passed on to the shareholders in the form of distributions. And shareholders generally are


allowed to sell (redeem) their shares at any time for the closing market price of the fund on that day.


Go to the CBS MarketWatch Mutual Funds page for news, commentary and data on funds.


Why invest in mutual funds?


There are a variety of reasons why investors might choose mutual funds over other investments, such as


individual stocks and bonds. The number one reason is diversity, which can both increase your potential


returns and decrease your overall risk.


Mutual funds allow an investor to spread out his or her money across as few as a handful to as many as


several thousand companies at one time.


Funds can be especially advantageous for small investors who would be forced to pay enormous


transaction fees if they bought the securities individually, and for investors who either dont have the time


to research their own investments or who dont trust their own investment expertise. (For more on asset


allocation, see Build Your Own Mutual Fund Portfolio tool).


That said, mutual funds arent necessarily low-cost investments. Many of them charge one-time load fees


to new purchasers that can exceed 5 percent of the investment, and all mutual funds take on average take


1. percent of assets a year for operating expenses, expressed as the expense ratio.


As a result, index funds (see below) have surged in popularity in recent years because, on average, they


provide a much lower expense ratio than managed funds. Also an index funds risk is limited to that of the


benchmark index that it tracks, such as the Standard & Poors 500.


Finally, the rapid emergence of 401(k) plans as the retirement vehicle of choice for millions of Americans


means that mutual funds are here to stay.


Professional management can be both a benefit and a liability of actively managed mutual funds. Several


studies show that, over time, the average, actively managed fund has underperformed the overall stock


market. Still, by picking funds with good long-term track records, managers you trust and low expenses,


investors can build a portfolio with the potential for steady, long-term returns that match their own


investment goals and tolerance for risk.


Liquidity -- the ability to readily access your money -- is another benefit of mutual funds. Funds can be sold


on any business day at that days closing price � or at the following day’s close if the sell order is placed


after the market closes.


The price per share at any given time is known as the net asset value, or NAV, which is the current market


value of all the funds assets, minus liabilities, divided by the total number of outstanding shares. As new


investors buy into a fund, the number of outstanding shares goes up, as does the market value of assets,


but the NAV remains the same.


Mutual fund educational links


Online classes are a fun way to learn mutual fund basics


Take The Vanguard Groups mutual fund quiz


The American Association of Individual Investors glossary of mutual fund terms


The Investment Company Institute’s Web site for mutual fund facts and figures


____________________________________________________________________________________


Types of funds


STOCK FUNDS


Also known as equity funds, these funds invest primarily in the shares of publicly traded companies. There


are numerous types of stock funds.


A blend fund, sometimes known as a core fund, invests across all levels of companies -- small, mid-size


and large -- and unless indicated otherwise, across both growth companies and value companies.


Small-cap, midcap and large-cap funds invest only in companies that fit those definitions, which are based


on the market capitalization, or total stock value, of the companies they invest in.


Growth funds stick to companies with potential for better-than-average profit growth, while value funds


stick to companies with a low stock price relative to their earnings or such measures.


Investors should note that each fund family and each fund manager has his or her own definition of a


value or growth stock, a small-cap stock and what is an acceptable level of ownership of a certain asset


class to meet a funds category.


Investors should check the funds prospectus and Fund Profiles found on CBS MarketWatch before


deciding on a fund.


BOND FUNDS


Bond funds invest primarily in the debt instruments of companies and governments. They make money


both by selling bonds at a profit and through income from the coupon payments of the bonds they hold.


These coupon payments also are distributed to shareholders, thus generating income in addition to


potential capital gains.


Bond funds tend to be less volatile than stock funds, though there are several types of bond funds, some


riskier than others. Junk bond funds, also known as high-yield bond funds, invest primarily in corporate


bonds rated below whats considered investment grade by the major ratings agencies, Moodys and


Standard & Poors.


GO DO IT!


To build your own table of top mutual funds--based on criteria you select--for any of these categories and


more, see our Fund Finder tool.








Municipal (or muni) bond funds invest in debt sold by U.S. cities, counties and states, while government


bond funds invest mostly in U.S. Treasury bonds. Likewise, international bond funds invest in non-U.S.


government and corporate debt. Investors should note that bond funds tend to go up in value when interest


rates decline, and vice-versa.


BALANCED FUNDS


Balanced funds, also called hybrid funds, hold a mixture of stocks and bonds, and typically also a small


amount of cash or money-market instruments.


MONEY MARKET FUNDS


Invest in short-term, interest-bearing securities. Money market funds are generally less risky than either


stock funds or bond funds. The fund industrys trade association, Investment Company Institute, says


money market funds are most appropriate for short-term investment and savings goals or in situations


where you seek to preserve the value of your investment while still earning income. Money market funds


are designed to trade at a constant $1 a share.


INDEX FUNDS


Index funds can be either bond funds or stock funds. They invest in companies that make up a given


index, such as the S&P 500 or the Nasdaq 100, in an attempt to mimic the returns of that index. Their


advantage to shareholders is that they usually have lower costs than managed mutual funds because


index funds do not have to hire staffs of research analysts and money managers to pick their stocks. Most


also come without load fees.


SECTOR FUNDS


Stock mutual funds that invest in a specific industry sector, such as technology, health care, or energy.


Sector funds are usually much more volatile than general equity funds, because sectors of the economy


tend to go in and out of favor among investors, often for reasons that confound the average investor.


However, they can also generate higher returns, such as the triple-digit performance of dozens of tech


funds during 1.


GLOBAL & INTERNATIONAL FUNDS


They sound like the same thing, but theyre not. International funds invest solely in companies based


outside the U.S., while global funds can invest in both U.S. and foreign companies. Its an important


distinction, because if youre picking such funds to diversify your U.S. portfolio, a global fund might have


some overlapping investments to your existing domestic funds.


CLOSED-END FUNDS


These are technically not mutual funds, although many investors consider them as such and they’re often


compared with mutual funds as investment alternatives. Closed-end funds differ from open-end (mutual)


funds in that they issue a set number of shares and are usually listed on exchanges, like stocks.


Like mutual funds, they invest in the stock of a number of different companies, but unlike mutual funds they


do not issue and redeem new shares. Because the share prices are dictated by the market, they often


trade at discounts, and in some cases premiums, to their net asset value.


EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS


These too are not mutual funds but are often compared with them for investment purposes.


Exchange-traded funds are, as their name suggests, traded on stock exchanges. Most represent shares in


the companies that make up a recognized index.


The first such fund, Standard & Poors Depository Receipts (SPY), commonly referred to as a SPiDeR,


launched in 16. At the end of April 001, the ETF industry had grown to nearly $76 billion in assets


spread across 114 funds.


Their increasing popularity among investors stems from certain advantages over mutual funds. Theyre


priced throughout the day, options can be written on them, they can be sold short, and they have no


minimum investment amount beyond the price of the individual share.


The ETF structure is also considered more tax-efficient than mutual funds because they limit the exposure


to capital gains distributions that can occur when fund managers are forced to sell securities to meet


redemptions.


Some of them also have lower expense ratios and better tax efficiency than comparable mutual funds.


However, unlike mutual funds, investors must pay transaction fees to brokers when they purchase


exchange-traded funds, which can be especially costly for investors looking to put a set amount of money


in them each month.


Currently, ETFs only mimic specific indexes. But plans are underway to introduce actively managed


exchange-traded products. The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to publish a concept release


on the subject this summer.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Fees and expenses


Mutual fund fees fall into two general categories loads and operating expenses.


Fees and expenses are important because they reduce the total return that you, the investor, make on


your mutual fund investment.


For example, if one fund has an annual expense ratio of percent, it would have to post a return that was


at least two percentage points higher than a fund with a 1 percent expense ratio to match the return to the


investor.


OPERATING EXPENSES


Operating expenses are all the administrative, management, distribution and other costs that a fund


company incurs in running a mutual fund.


They are expressed as the “annual expense ratio” of the fund, a percentage figure which can be found on


fund prospectuses as well as the fund profiles on CBS MarketWatch. The largest portion of a fund’s


operating expenses is the management fee, which a fund pays to the managers of the fund.


1B-1 FEE


Named for a rule in the Investment Company Act of 140, a 1b-1 fee is charged by some mutual funds to


cover marketing and distribution expenses, such as paying sales professionals. By law, this fee cannot


exceed 0.75 percent of a fund’s average net assets per year, and funds are required to disclose the fee in


prospectuses.


A no-load fund can charge a 1b-1 fee of up to 0.5 percent of assets. A fund’s annual expense ratio


includes 1b-1 fees.


LOADS


Loads, also called “shareholder fees,” are separate from operating expenses and arent included in the


annual expense ratio. Loads are sales charges usually designed to compensate a financial professional


such as a broker for his or her services in selling the fund � and in helping you select it.


The most common type of load is the “front-end load,” a one-time fee charged at the time of purchase.


These fees can range as high as 8.5 percent, but funds that use them usually charge anywhere from


percent to 6 percent. A “back-end load,” also called a “deferred sales charge,” is levied when an investor


sells his or her shares. Some funds only charge back-end loads if an investor redeems the shares before a


certain period of time, for example one year.


CLASSES OF SHARES


Some funds offer different share classes, which basically represent different ways of charging investors for


the same mutual fund. While these classes differ from fund to fund, Class A shares usually have a


front-end load; Class B shares often have a 1b-1 fee and a back-end load, and Class C shares often


have a higher 1b-1 fee (and thus a higher expense ratio) but no load.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Taxes


Mutual fund investors are taxed on their investments in three ways � the sale of shares, capital-gains


distributions and dividend distributions.


When you sell your shares, you must pay capital-gains taxes on any profit that you made. Likewise, you


can declare a loss on the investment if the shares decreased in value. The amount of gain or loss is


determined by the difference between the sale price and the “cost basis” of the fund shares (generally the


purchase price).


DISTRIBUTIONS


Mutual fund investors are also taxed on the two types of distributions that mutual funds make to


shareholders during the year � dividends and capital gains.


Dividend distributions are primarily from the interest and dividends earned from the investments in the


fund’s portfolio. These must be reported as income on your 1040 federal tax form.


Capital-gains distributions represent any gains from the sale of shares held more than a year that the fund


itself made during the year. These are taxed as capital gains, often at lower rates than federal income


taxes.


Fund investors are often befuddled by a large drop in the share price of their fund when distributions are


paid out. In such cases, while the share price may have dropped sharply, the number of shares in the fund


-- and the number of shares you own � increased proportionately, meaning the value of your investment


stayed the same.


TAX EFFICIENCY


Most mutual fund investors mistakenly overlook the issue of tax efficiency when purchasing mutual funds,


and yet it can have as large an impact on your total return as the fund’s expenses or even its performance.


The factor which most drives the tax efficiency of any given fund is its turnover ratio � how often the


investments within the portfolio are bought and sold during the year. Funds looking for conservative,


steady long-term returns are likely to have lower turnover ratios � and as a result higher tax efficiency �


than aggressive funds looking for sharp short-term gains. Funds usually report their tax efficiency ratios on


their prospectuses, and some fund companies have begun to report after-tax returns on their Web sites.


Keep in mind that, if you hold your funds in a 401(k) or other tax-deferred retirement account, the issue of


tax efficiency is mostly moot, as dividends and capital gains accrue tax-deferred until you draw from the


account.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Stocks


Introduction


Everything is now working in favor of individual investors to learn about stocks and trade them. The


Internet has opened up a new world to everyone.


Online trading has changed the average investors involvement in trading their own stocks. The availability


of company information has become so widespread and easily attainable that researching and finding


stocks to buy and sell is as easy as logging onto your computer.


Buying a stock for the long term means that you want to own part of a company and you think that in the


future the company will be profitable. If you buy stock in a company and the company performs well, the


stocks price should rise. If the company fails, then the stock should fail you, too and go down.


Companies list their stocks on the various stock exchanges located throughout the U.S. The stock


exchanges actually compete with each other for these listings, since companies that attract more trading


make more money for the stock exchange that listed it.


Company stocks are assigned a ticker, or trading symbol by the listing exchange. You may notice some


well-chosen tickers that are easy to remember, like DNA for the company Genentech, a biotechnology


firm. Or some companies ticker is the same as its name, Nike for example.


You need to know the ticker of a stock in order to access information about the stock and eventually trade


it.


The various stock exchanges are a very good place to start getting information on stock trading and


general investing. We suggest you visit the following web sites


The American Stock Exchange (www.amex.com)


The Nasdaq Stock Market (www.nasdaq.com)


The New York Stock Exchange (www.nyse.com)


The Pacific Exchange (www.pacificex.com)


The Philadelphia Exchange (www.phlx.com)


Besides being a great online source, some of the exchanges listed above give free seminars about


investing.


The Securities and Exchange Commission, which is the watch dog and regulator of the securities industry,


also has an investor education program and you can get more information at its web site at


www.sec.gov/oiea1.htm.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Stocks


Bulls and Bears


All this talk about bull and bear markets means that it’s a zoo out there, when it comes to investing. And,


like any zoo, there are quite a few species to be found down on Wall Street.


Most investors’ favorite animal is clearly the bull. The term is used in several ways. Referring to the stock


market, it describes a period in which prices rise for a lengthy period of time. When it comes to people,


bullish describes one who is optimistic.


How this usage came about is not entirely clear. A bullish investor is one who buys a stock in the


expectation that its price will rise. This could be compared with bulls charging ahead, stampeding prices


higher. Or it could simply reflect the fact that bulls habitually toss their heads upward.


To be considered a bull market, prices need not rise continuously. There can be days, weeks and even


months in which prices fall. What matters is the long-term trend.


Bears


The Street’s least favorite animal is the bear. This term is used to describe downers � both stock prices


and individuals. It originated from the old days, when traders used to sell bearskins before the bears were


actually caught. In the stock market, it applies to people who expect prices to decline.


As for how much of a price decline constitutes a bear market, the rule of thumb seems to be at least 0


percent. However, a lot depends on how long the drop lasts. The quicker the rebound, the less likely that


investor psychology will turn from optimism to the pessimism that usually accompanies a bear market.


You can find other animals down on Wall Street. For example, there are dogs, as in Dogs of the Dow. This


is an investment strategy that calls for buying the 10 stocks with the highest yield among the Dow, altering


the portfolio annually as needed.


In the feline family, remember CATS (Certificates of Accrual on Treasury Securities), LYONS (Liquid Yield


Option Notes) and TIGRS (Treasury Interest Growth Receipts)?


Arachnids


A recent addition to the Street’s menagerie is SPDRS (pronounced spiders), which enable investors to


participate in the price performance and dividend yield of the Standard & Poors 500 Index by purchasing


shares at a price equal to roughly 10 percent of the value of this index.


While buying and selling stock, investors must be on the lookout for donkeys and elephants, representing,


of course, the two major political parties. The government certainly plays a big role in Wall Streeters’ lives.


Sometimes Washington even makes monkeys out of traders by changing the rules in the middle of the


game.


There are two other animals to keep watch for. Ostriches are investors who stick to their old strategies,


oblivious to changes in the world around them. And then there are the hogs � as in the expression, bulls


can make money, bears can make money, but hogs, investors who are too greedy, usually get


slaughtered.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Before buying


If you have decided to go ahead and buy and sell your own stocks, but where do you begin? Thanks to in


Internet you can find out a lot by just logging on.


It is suggested by many financial experts that before you lay down any hard-earned money, you need to


first research a few stocks to see if they are sound companies that have the potential to earn money and


grow over time.


One of the best sources of information about a public company is in its financial reports, like an annual


report, a quarterly report, or a special filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. And luckily for


everyone, these reports are usually available online at each companys web site, or at the SEC’s EDGAR


database online (which is also free).


Perusing the annual report or looking at a company’s earnings report can tell you a lot about how the


company is doing and, in some cases, what they have in the pipeline that will help it in the future.


And there is some quick math you can do to test a company’s health. You may have heard of “earnings per


share” or “profit margins” or “price-to-earnings ratios”--and you should familiarize yourself with a few of


these terms. Visit the glossary to find out more about those terms.


Another good source to find out more about a company are Wall Street analysts and stock brokers.


Analysts and brokers are usually employed by a bank to give their opinions on a stock. Some say you


should buy, or hold, accumulate a particular stock, but if you look beyond the opinion there is sometimes


hard numbers and much research to read up on.


A good strategy is to use analysts and brokers to get information about a stock and then to check some of


the numbers for yourself before investing.


Keep abreast of what analysts are saying and how it affects a stock. Some analysts carry a lot of weight


and what they say can move a stock significantly, within minutes of giving an opinion. And others are just


dead wrong about a stock again and again.


Also, if you are investing for the first time, look for a company that has been out for a while and is paying


dividends and has a low price-to-earnings ratio. Older, more solid companies tend to have some history of


excellent earnings and you can learn a lot by studying a company that has a good track record.


And although history shouldn’t be heavily-weighed when making a stock pick, looking at what a company


has done in the past can help you see how it might react to changes in the future.


Risks


You will also want to learn what risks are involved when investing in stocks especially if you plan on buying


and selling them often. Although some people trade stocks for a living, it is not for everyone and can really


be a dangerous endeavor that will eat up your savings in a jiffy. And there are arguments as to who makes


more money over time--the active trader or the buy-and-hold types.


Make realistic goals about how much you may make on a stock over time. Some think that since they have


been making 0 percent gains or more in the past couple of years, that this will always be the case. That is


not very realistic if the market slows down and it is more difficult for companies to make profits. Do not take


on more risk than you are comfortable with just to hope for above-average returns.


Diversifying your stock portfolio, or investing in different stocks with different revenue streams is really key.


Make sure you spend a lot of time looking at the forest as well as the trees. And stock splits and other


factors can really effect how your stock portfolio is weighed so set aside time to revisit your goals.


And remember that everyone is in it for the money--not just you. Brokers, exchanges, fund mangers, etc.


Use your broker or fund manager to find out exactly what you are getting into. Really find out how a broker


or fund manager makes money off of you and what fees are involved. Go to the various stock exchange


web sites or SECs web site and read up on regulations and risks.


This is especially true when it comes to margin accounts--or an account that is set up by a broker who lets


you borrow money, pay interest on that money, and trade it as well. Margin accounts can be very risky, so


know the risks before signing up.


The key to successful stock picking is that you must do your homework and find out as much as you can


about the company behind the stock. Really dig and dont give up. Theres tons of free information out


there and the more you know the more you will be rewarded.


Its a big job, which is why many rely of mutual fund managers, brokers and others to do the stock picking


for them. But if you have the knack, the time and the money, nothing is standing in your way to do it


yourself.


____________________________________________________________________________________


___


Corporate filings with the SEC


One of the best ways to begin researching a company’s financial health and history is through corporate


filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Reports filed most frequently by companies with the SEC include, annual and quarterly reports, insider


transaction documents, IPO- related documents and other registration statements.


The following provides a brief description of the most frequently filed documents with the SEC (for a full


description visit the agency’s description of SEC forms )


Typical information provided in an annual or quarterly report includes, financial data, results from


continuing operations, market segment information, new product plans, subsidiary activities and research


and development activities on future programs.


Insider transactions are among the most common corporate filings with the SEC. Every director officer or


owner of more than a 10 percent stake in a company must disclose their holdings with the SEC. These


filings are made on Forms , 4 and 5.


Registration statements filed most often by companies include S-1 and S- documents. An S-1 is a basic


registration form filed when a company’s planning an IPO. After a company has been publicly traded for a


year, any subsequent plan to offer securities, which may include common stock, preferred shares or debt


securities, must be filed through an S- registration statement.


Visit CBS.MarketWatch.com’s column, which provides daily coverage of the latest in SEC Filings. Also,


visit the SEC’s free online database of filings, EDGAR.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Bonds


Introduction


Many investors decide to have a portion of their money in bonds or bond funds, and some experts say as


much as 0 percent of your money should be invested in bonds.


Why? Bonds are very liquid -- easily sold -- and can be less risky than stocks, to start. They are


fixed-income investments that pay interest, which means safer and more dependable income than many


other investment choices.


A bond is very similar to an I.O.U. with interest. When you buy a bond you are giving money to a


government, a corporation or a municipality�and it in turn issues an “I.O.U.” for the money you provided.


Until that money (called the face value of the bond) is paid back to you on a specified date, you are paid


interest on it.


Here are the types of bonds you can choose from U.S. government securities, municipal bonds, corporate


bonds, mortgage and asset-backed securities, federal agency securities and foreign government bonds.


It used to be hard to find information on the Web about bonds, but that’s not so anymore.


A good place to look may be The Bond Market Association site. This site has a great deal of information on


bond basics as well as free bond price information on corporates, municipals and treasurys. It also has


bond news and research information, and a list of bond dealers.


Bonds Online is another good source to know�it’s run by Twenty-First Century Municipals Inc., an online


information- services company based in Mercer Island, Washington. It has various news sections on the


fixed income market and a bond market commentary updated everyday. Price quotes and research reports


can be found there, too.


You can also go to the official site for Treasury bond information, which is the Bureau of Public Debt


Online. Ever wonder what that savings bond is worth? The site has a calculator to help you figure it out and


will even let you buy savings bonds online. But there’s a ton of more bond information there for you to


peruse.


Also, visit the mutual fund types page to find out more about bond funds.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Municipal bonds


Interested in municipal bonds? Youre not alone. While a $5,000 minimum limits muni bond investments


to mature, wealthy individuals, there are numerous muni-bond mutual funds carrying much lower initial


investments.


Internet resources for researching, pricing and buying these securities are booming. The result? A market


that once resembled an invitation-only country club party is turning into one that offers the variety and


accessibility of an all-you-can-eat buffet.


The $1.5 trillion-plus muni bond market doesnt necessarily allow the simple point-and-click satisfaction


investors enjoy with stocks and mutual funds. Among the daunting investment considerations youll


encounter are arcane credit ratings, varying durations and yields, and sometimes-complicated tax


compliance issues.


Still, many investors -- especially those in search of tax shelters -- will find that the learning process is


worth the effort.


Municipal bonds have two principal qualities that make them attractive to investors They’re free from


federal and sometimes state and local taxes, and their proceeds go toward projects that benefit the public


-- new roads, schools, hospitals and even sports stadiums.


Even if you rely on a finance professional for investment advice, youll find plenty of useful background on


muni bonds on the Web.


Where to start research


Investors might begin their research on The Bond Market Association’s Web site,


www.investinginbonds.com, suggests Arthur Sinkler, president of MuniDirect.com, a novel online


brokerage firm that allows individual investors to purchase bonds directly via the Web.


A click on MuniDirect.com gives investors two paths to follow, explains Sinkler. Experienced visitors can


find bonds by typing in specific qualities of the security theyre looking for through Detailed Search. Those


just getting their feet wet can experiment with Muni Wizard.


How muni-market commissions and pricing work had long been one of Wall Streets biggest secrets,


though the barriers started to come down even before brokers began Internet postings.


MuniDirect charges no more than a $5 commission on a typical bond with a face value of $1,000 -- but


remember youll have to start with a $5,000 order -- and sometimes charges less. Typically, bond brokers


may pocket $10 to $0 per bond, or up to $70 on lower-quality, higher yielding bonds.


Still, critics of a MuniDirect system say lower commissions come at the expense of a large inventory of


bonds. While MuniDirects database is growing, some states, cities, and municipalities still opt to issue


through mainstream brokers because they provide underwriting and other services. And, in exchange for


higher commissions, traditional bond brokers sometimes shoulder some of the losses a bond may incur.


Customer base


Statistics are proving that the age and income level of the average muni investor fit the demographics of


individuals most likely to invest online, noted Sinkler, who said his average customer is about 55 years old.


A group of Wall Street heavy hitters -- including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., BondDesk.com LLC,


Susquehanna Partners GP, Paine Webber Group Inc., and Bear Stearns & Co. Inc. -- joined to create an


online, industry-wide, muni-bond marketplace, MuniGroup.com LLC. The site is pending Securities and


Exchange Commission approval.


Sinkler said about 40 Internet sites sell bonds, though he claims his is the first to sell munis directly to


individuals.


MuniGroup, for example, will sell bonds to brokerage houses, which then sell the bonds to individual


investors.


Still, a migration online is indicative of the evolution taking shape in a marketplace once dominated by a


select group of brokers able to keep price information essentially under wraps and institutions such as life


insurance companies that needed municipal bonds. Now, households directly hold 0 percent of munis


and when tax-free mutual funds, money market funds and closed-end funds are included, that figure climbs


to 7 percent.


Consider bond funds


An investor ready to take a nibble of the market rather than a bite might consider a tax-exempt bond or


money market fund, says Reno J. Martini, chief investment officer with the Bethesda, Md.-based Calvert


Group. His firm manages $4.8 billion in tax-free and taxable bond funds that recently earned top billing


from Barrons.


A fund manager can conduct daily credit research, keep closer tabs than busy investors on the debt


market and offer a variety of bonds to maximize return and weather ups and downs. Martini, whose


tax-exempt funds carry a smaller $,000 cover charge to get in, says his average investor is 40 to 60


years old.


The data we are seeing (shows) that more individuals are seeking financial help with their investments,


he says.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Convertible bonds


Sleepless because of market volatility? You may want to consider convertible securities.


Convertible securities are hybrid investment instruments, the most common of which are convertible bonds


and preferred stocks. As their names imply, they can be converted at the users choice into other


investments, most often shares of common stock.


As a mixed breed, convertibles share the relative safety of fixed-income investments (bonds), while also


being exposed to the underlying stocks potential gains. They move in sync with the stocks into which they


can be converted, yet their hybrid nature makes them less volatile.


Like fixed-income investments, convertibles pay interest and principal payments as well as dividends. If its


a bond -- essentially a loan -- the company has to pay back the money with interest. If its a preferred


stock, which blends the characteristics of a bond and common share, it pays dividends and gives the


investor a leg up over common stock in making claims on a companys assets in the event of a liquidation


or sale.


Why convertible bonds?


A convertible bond is superior to convertible preferred stock because its safer and the interest is paid


before any stock dividends. In addition, if the company goes under, a convertible bond holder still has


priority over stockholders when it comes to settling financial claims.


Investors can make money two ways Sell the convertible when its price goes up in the market, or convert


to common stock and sell the shares.


Funds even better


Convertible securities have their place in a well-diversified portfolio, said William Harding, an analyst at


Morningstar, a mutual-fund rating and information company. But the exact percentage that convertibles


should take up in ones portfolio depends on personal investment goals and needs.


Its suggested that the best way for individual investors to participate in convertibles is to buy into a mutual


fund. Convertibles are complex securities and information about them isnt as readily available to small


investors as common stocks.


For example, when buying a convertible bond, the investor has to look at several things The bonds


interest rate and yield, how many years remain before maturity, the common stock price applicable upon


conversion, how it compares to a regular bond, downside risk and possible rewards in converting to a


stock.


Since a bond, whether convertible or straight is still a loan, the investor also has to investigate the quality


of the business issuing the bond to determine whether the company can pay back what it owes. Throw in


the idea that the company may choose to repay the loan before maturity and youve got more homework to


do than youd probably want.


The upshot? Researching a convertible carries an extra level of complexity because you have to


investigate the dual nature of this hybrid security. So stick with mutual funds, experts say.


The risks


Bonds, whether convertible or not, are only as good as the strength of the company behind it. In the past


year or so, the credit quality of convertible bonds has dropped off.


Indeed, half of the convertible market comprises issues in technology and telecommunications, both of


which can be volatile sectors.


Convertible funds also tend to be more expensive than domestic stock funds because most carry loads, or


sales charges.


And just because a fund invests in convertible securities doesnt mean it will always be less risky than a


regular stock fund.


Look at a funds investment policy carefully. Some managers are allowed to invest a large percentage of


the funds assets in regular stocks, and, if they are chasing performance, they most likely will have


investments in technology companies.


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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Options


Introduction


You may have heard of options and seen that you can trade them in your online account, but what is a


stock option and why would you even care if one exists?


Lets start first with a very basic question What is a stock option?


A stock option is not a physical thing like holding shares in a company. Instead it is a contract between two


parties.


When you own stock (or shares) you actually own part of a physical entity--a piece of a company. An


option is an agreement, or contract, where one party agrees to deliver something to another party within a


specific time period and for a specific price.


This distinction is important because with options you are not borrowing anything. For example, in the case


of stock, you must first borrow the stock to short it--but with options there is nothing to borrow so you can


short options without the worry of borrowing first.


Options are popular because they can help you get more bang for your buck. Instead of buying a stock


outright, you can enter into an options contract which can be much cheaper but have the same--or even


better--results.


Options can also be less risky than holding stocks, but that is not always the case. If you plan on trading


options at some point make sure you understand fully the risk and downside of each trade. Also, options


take more attention and can amplify the movement of a stock in your favor or out of your favor very quickly.


So options trading is not for everyone, especially if you are not comfortable taking on risk or managing


positions.


Learning about options isnt difficult anymore. There are a few web sites that have popped up recently to


help you keep track of options news. And there have been plenty of books written recently that can really


help individual investors understand how using options can be a worthwhile endeavor, depending on your


financial needs.


Many of the various options exchanges have web sites geared towards individual investors looking for


information on options.


Probably the best prepared to reach investors is the Chicago Board Options Exchange, which has a terrific


web site set up to educate you. Visit its education page. The CBOE also holds seminars and sells books


about options and how to trade them.


Your broker also can give you much guidance if you are prepared to trade options online or through a


proprietary service.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Bull strategies


If you are trying to make money on a stock that you think will go up, you may adopt a bull spread strategy


(hence the name).


This trading strategy can be accomplished with either puts or calls.


Remember a call is the right (not obligation) to purchase a security (stock, index, or bond) at a specific


price on or by a specific date. A put is the right (not obligation) to sell a security (stock, index, or bond) at a


specific price on or by a specific date. See Options terms.


NAKED LONG CALL


The simplest bullish strategy is the naked long call (see chart below). This is simply buying the call without


any type of hedge and the strategy is used when you think that a security is going to make a large move


upward.








Let us assume that a stock is trading $50. You may purchase a call with a strike price of 50 and about 0


days until that option expires. This call may costs $4, for example.


If the stock closes $50 or less on expiration then the call will expire worthless. This represents your


maximum risk. There is no way to lose more than you paid for the call. If the stock closes at some price


higher you will begin to recoup some of your investment and possibly make money.


If the stock closes at $54 on expiration, you will exercise your right to purchase the stock at $50 and


immediately turn around and sell the stock for $54 yielding $4. Since this profit covers your initial


investment, however, the outcome is a net wash.


This point is important since it is your breakeven point. It is always important to know your breakeven point


PRIOR to making any options trade. By knowing this point you also know where you are loosing money but


more importantly where you are making money.


Now comes the good part. If the stock closes above $54 you will be making a net profit. Let us say the


stock closes $60 on expiration. There are two ways to take profits The first is to exercise the right to


purchase the stock at $50 and then turn around and sell it for $60 yielding a $6 profit. But you have to have


enough money in your account to take delivery of the stock.


Another way to take a profit, and the better way of doing it, is to sell the option the Friday of expiration for


$10. This $10 is referred to as the par value of the option. Math is $10 minus the $4 you paid for it yields


$6 in profit. (Note that you may actually be able to sell it for 10 1/8 or have to sell it for 7/8 depending on


how volatile the stock is, or how liquid those particular options are that day.)


$5 BULL SPREAD


Lets talk about bull spreads. Bull spreads also take advantage of an upward movement of a stock, but they


are less risky. And unfortunately if the stock makes a very large movement to the upside, then you are also


limiting your reward by using this strategy








But lets assume that a stock is trading for $50. If you are bullish, you may choose to buy the 50-55 call


spread.


What does this mean? This means that you are purchasing the 50 level calls and selling the 55 level calls.


Since the 50 level calls are more expensive than the 55 level calls, this spread is done for a net debit.


Remember our previous example. The 50 level calls were trading for $4. Let us say that the 55 level calls


are trading for $. This means that you can buy the 50-55 call spread for $ ($4-$).


This call spread is a $5 call spread since the strikes of the two options involved are $5 apart. This means


that at expiration (when the options expire) the most the call spread can be worth is $5 and the least the


spread can be worth is $0.


Let us take a look at two extreme examples.


First lets assume that the stock goes to $100. The 50 level call that you own will be worth $50 however,


you will have to pay out $45 on the 55 level call that you are short ($50 - $45 = $5). This means that your


profit is $5 minus the $ that you paid for the spread that is $.


Another example is what would happen if the stock dropped to $5. Both of the calls will be worthless since


they will both be out of the money. Therefore your loss is $, the amount that you paid for the spread.


Remember, if you paid $ for the spread the most that you could hope to make is $. Heres the math $5


is the most that the spread can be worth, minus $ which is what you probably paid for it.


It is also possible to do $10 call spreads or $15 call spread, but those spreads will cost more to do since


the possible reward is greater however, they work pretty much the same way.


BULL SPREADS WITH PUTS


Bull spreads can also be done with puts.


If you sell the 50 � 55 put spread the result is identical to the example above. Lets say that the 55 put is


trading for $7 and the 50 level put is trading for $4. (Notice that the 50 level put and call are the same


price, this is true close to expiration with the stock trading at the strike.) If you sell the 55 level put and you


buy the 50 level put then you have sold the put spread for a net credit of $ to you.


Let’s once again use the same extreme examples of stock movement. First with the stock trading $100


both of the puts are worthless and therefore your profit is the $ you got for selling the spread. If the stock


goes all the way down to $5 the 55 level puts are worth $50 and the 50 level puts are worth $45, meaning


the spread is worth $5.


Since you are short the spread you must pay out the $5 but since you sold the spread for $ you are really


only out $.


STRADDLES


Straddles are a fun to look, but are complicated and difficult to take advantage of. They are kind of like


chess… a day to learn but a lifetime to master. But lets discuss it nonetheless


Straddles are when you buy both the put and call of the same strike of the same month. They work when


you think that a stock is going to make a very large move EITHER to the upside or to the downside.








Let’s keep using the same options that we have been talking about in the previous examples. To put on a


straddle we would have to buy the 50 level call for $4 and the 50 level put for $4. This means that we have


just paid an $8 debit for the straddle.


As you can see from the chart and as you have probably guessed, your maximum loss occurs at $50


where you loose all $8.


The breakeven points are at $58 and $4. At $58 the put is worthless and the call is worth $8. At $4, the


call is worthless and the put is worth $8. Therefore, you do not make anything unless the stock makes a 16


percent move ($8). This is a huge move. To make $8 the stock must move either to $66 or down to $4 a


percent move.


Here’s the problem If the stock goes up to $66 and closes at expiration at $58 then all you do is break


even. The same is true if the stock goes to $4 and closes $4.


Let’s say the stock goes to $66 and you sell the call out for $17 ($1 for premium). And then the stock goes


back down, you have locked in your profit of $ ($17-$8) and still own a free put till expiration. This is also


possible to the downside.


However, this requires that you are constantly paying attention to your stock and you will also incur


additional commissions. Diligence and patience can pay off though.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Bear strategies


If you are trying to make money on a stock that you think will go down, you may adopt a bear spread


strategy (hence the name).


This trading strategy can be accomplished with either puts or calls.


Remember a call is the right (but not the obligation) to purchase a security (stock, index, or bond) at a


specific price on or by a specific date. A put is the right (not obligation) to sell a security (stock, index, or


bond) at a specific price on or by a specific date. See Options terms.


NAKED LONG PUT


The simplest bear strategy is the naked long put. This is done by simply buying the put without any type of


hedge. This strategy is used when you think that a security is going to make a large move downward.








Let us assume that a stock is trading for $50. You may purchase a put with a strike price of 50 and about


0 days till expiration. Let us say that this put costs you $4. If the stock closes at $50 or more on expiration


then the put will expire worthless.


This represents your maximum risk. There is no way to lose more than you paid for the put. If the stock


closes at some price lower you will begin to recoup some of your investment and possibly make money.


If the stock closes $46 at expiration, you will exercise you right to sell the stock at $50 and immediately


turn around and buy the stock for $46 yielding $4. But since this profit covers your initial investment the


outcome is a net wash.


This point is important since it is your breakeven point. It is always important to know your breakeven point


PRIOR to making any options trade. By knowing this point you also know where you are loosing money but


more importantly where you are making money.


Now comes the good part. If the stock closes below $46 you will be making a net profit. Let us say the


stock closes $40 on expiration. There are two ways to take profits. The first is to exercise the right to sell


the stock at $50 and then turn around and buy it for $40 yielding a $6 profit.


But taking profits this way means you must have enough money in your account to cover the stock.


Another way to take profits is to sell the option the Friday of expiration for $10. This $10 is referred to as


the par value of the option. Math is $10 minus the $4 you paid for it yields $6 in profit. (You may actually


have to sell it for 10 1/8 or have to sell it for 7/8 depending on how volatile the stock is, or how liquid


those particular options are that day.)


$5 BEAR SPREAD


Lets talk about bear spreads. Bear spreads also take advantage of an downward movement of a stock but


are less risky than the naked long put. However, if the stock makes a very large movement to the


downside then you are also limiting your reward.








Lets assume that a stock is trading for $50. If you are bearish, you may choose to buy the 50-45 put


spread. What does this mean? This means that you are purchasing the 50 level puts and selling the 45


level puts.


Since the 50 level puts are more expensive than the 45 level puts, this spread is done for a net debit.


Remember our previous example? The 50 level puts were trading for $4. Let us say that the 45 level puts


are trading for $. This means that you can buy the 50-45 put spread for $ ($4-$).


This put spread is called a $5 put spread since the strikes of the two options involved are $5 apart. This


means that at expiration (when the options expire) the most the put spread can be worth is $5 and the


least the spread can be worth is $0.


Let us take a look at two extreme examples. First lets assume that the stock goes to $1. In this case, the


50 level put that you own will be worth $4 however, you will have to pay out $44 on the 55 level put that


you are short ($4 - $44 = $5).


This means that your profit is $5 minus the $ that you paid for the spread or $.


Our second example is if the stock is trading at $100. Both of the puts will be worthless since they will both


be out-of-the-money (see options terms). Therefore your loss is $, or the amount that you paid for the


spread.


BEAR SPREADS WITH CALLS


Bear spreads can also be done with calls.


If you sell the 45�50 call spread the result is identical. Lets say that the 45 call is trading for $7 and the 50


level call is trading for $4. (Notice that the 50 level put and call are the same price, this is true close to


expiration with the stock trading at the strike.) If you sell the 45 level call and you buy the 50 level call, then


you have sold the put spread for a net credit of $ to you.


Let’s once again use the same extreme examples of stock movement.


First with the stock trading $1 both of the calls are worthless and therefore your profit is the $ you got for


selling the spread. If the stock goes to $100 the 45 level calls are worth $55 and the 50 level calls are


worth $50 meaning the spread is worth $5.


Since you are short the spread you must pay out the $5 but since you sold the spread for $ you are really


only out $.


STRADDLES


Straddles are a fun to look, but are complicated and difficult to take advantage of. They are kind of like


chess… a day to learn but a lifetime to master. But lets discuss it nonetheless.


Straddles are when you buy both the put and call of the same strike of the same month. They work when


you think that a stock is going to make a very large move EITHER to the upside or to the downside.








Let’s keep using the same options that we have been talking about in the previous examples. To put on a


straddle we would have to buy the 50 level call for $4 and the 50 level put for $4. This means that we have


just paid an $8 debit for the straddle.


As you can see from the chart and as you have probably guessed, your maximum loss occurs at $50


where you lose all $8.


The breakeven points are at $58 and $4. At $58 the put is worthless and the call is worth $8. At $4, the


call is worthless and the put is worth $8. Therefore, you do not make anything unless the stock makes a 16


percent move ($8). This is a huge move. To make $8 the stock must move either to $66 or down to $4 a


percent move.


Here’s the problem If the stock goes up to $66 and closes at expiration at $58 then all you do is break


even. The same is true if the stock goes to $4 and closes $4.


Let’s say the stock goes to $66 and you sell the call out for $17 ($1 for premium). And then the stock goes


back down, you have locked in your profit of $ ($17-$8) and still own a free put till expiration. This is also


possible to the downside.


However, this requires that you are constantly paying attention to your stock and you will also incur


additional commissions. Diligence and patience can pay off though.


____________________________________________________________________________________


Options terms


Expiration The final day of the contract that the option must be either exercised or expire worthless. For


standard listed options this is the Saturday following the third Friday of the month of expirations. Brokerage


firms require that you let them know by 0pm PST the Friday before. Most of the time in-the-money


options are automatically exercised.


In-the-money For calls this means that the strike price of the option is less than the price of the stock. For


puts this means that the strike price is greater than the price of the stock. All in-the-money options are


usually exercised on expiration automatically. Check with your brokerage firm to be sure.


Out-of-the-money For calls this means that the strike price is greater than the price of the stock. For puts


this means that the strike price is less than the price of the stock. Out-of-the-money options are almost


never exercised.


At-the-money For both puts and calls, the strike price is the same or close to the price of the stock. i.e. if


the stock is trading 56 1/, the 55 level puts and calls are referred to as the at-the-money-options.


Premium The value of the option that is not intrinsic. Out-of-the-money options are all premium. Premium


is sometimes referred to as time value. Premium generally goes down as expiration approaches. Also


referred to as juice.


Juice see Premium.


Time Value see Premium.


Theta The daily amount of decrease of options value due to advancement of time. Also referred to as


decay.


Decay See Theta.


Vertical Spread Any spread strategy that employs multiple options (all puts or all calls) in the same month.


i.e. Butterflys, bull, bear, Christmas tree, condor.


Time Spread When you buy an option in one month and sell an option to hedge in another month.


Straddle When you either by or sell a put and a call of the same strike and same month.


Strangle When you either buy or sell a put and call of different strike and the same month


American options Options that may be executed any time until expiration. This is the most common type of


option.


European options Options that may only be executed at expiration.


Types of orders


GTC Good till cancelled. The order is valid until it is either executed or it is cancelled.


Day The order is valid until the end of the trading day or it is cancelled.


AON All or none-- The entire order must be executed at once or it is not valid.


OCO One cancels the other-- When two orders are entered at the same time, only one of the orders may


be executed. As soon as one of the two is executed the other is cancelled.


IOC Immediate or cancel-- The order must be executed immediately or it is cancelled.


Limit The maximum a customer will pay to execute the order.


Market The customer will pay the best offer to execute the order irregardless of the price.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Futures


Ever wonder how the coffee you drink in the morning actually got there? Or where the wheat that went into


your toast came from? Or what sultanate pumped the oil that was turned into the gas in your car that got


you to work so that you could make the money to buy the coffee in the first place?


Probably not, but you may want to. Some very nervy people make a lot of money every day betting


whether theres going to be more or less of those things available.


All of these things -- coffee, wheat, oil and dozens more -- are called commodities. They are the raw


materials of life. They dont have brand names, they havent been turned into anything. Theyre just the


stuff from which fortunes are made.


The way those fortunes are made is by people who buy and sell contracts to deliver a set amount of a


commodity, say cocoa from West Africa, on a set date for a set price. Those contracts are called futures.


A futures contract is a legally binding obligation for the holder of the contract to buy or sell a particular


commodity at a specific price and location at a specific date. They can change value very fast because of


changes in the weather, or politics, or peoples expectations about whats going to happen.


People who trade futures pay a lot of attention to the weather because a lot of commodities are things that


grow, such as wheat, oranges, cocoa and cotton. They also pay a lot of attention to politics because things


like wars and revolutions can affect the price of oil and natural gas and gold.


Because so many commodities are agricultural products, the Commodity Research Bureau Futures Price


Index is among the most closely watched indicators of future futures activity.


A futures contract is valuable because it lets the owner control a lot of something. One cotton contract


represents 100 bales, or 50,000 pounds of cotton, for example.


There are at least a couple of reasons why people might want to buy a futures contract.


One reason is to protect your business against fluctuations in the price of the things that you need to make


your products.


For instance If youre a baker and you need to have wheat to bake your special walnut wheat sourdough


bread next summer, and youre not sure that theres going to be enough wheat available then, you can buy


a futures contract to guarantee that youll have it.


Whether the price of wheat goes up or down, you know youll have your wheat and you know how much it


will cost. If wheat goes up between now and when the contract expires, you save money. If wheat goes


down, you lose money. But either way, you know youll have the wheat.


On the other hand, if you grew the wheat, and youre worried that all your brother and sister farmers


around the world are growing wheat too, you might buy a contract giving you the right to sell your wheat at


the current price. That way, even if prices fall, youll still get the higher price agreed to in the futures


contract.


Another reason to trade futures is to make money. The people who do this, called speculators, dont have


bakeries, or chocolate factories or anything that they need the commodities for. They just want to bet on


which way the futures contracts are going to go. Of course, if theyre wrong, they may wind up having to


figure out what to do with 50,000 bushels of cotton.


Futures contracts, like stocks, are traded on exchanges, found mostly in New York and Chicago.


They can be pretty lively places because the prices are usually set by people shouting at each other at the


top of their lungs and using hand signals to show how much they are willing to buy and sell for because its


too hard to hear.


The top ten U.S. futures exchanges are


Chicago Board of Trade � grains, precious metals, financial indexes


Chicago Mercantile Exchange - livestock, currency


New York Mercantile Exchange - precious metals, natural gas, energy futures


Commodity Exchange division of the New York Mercantile Exchange - precious metals, copper, financial


indexes


Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange - food


New York Cotton Exchange - cotton, orange juice


Kansas City Board of Trade - grains, livestock, food and fiber, stock indexes


Mid America Commodity Exchange - financial futures, currency, agriculture


Minneapolis Grain Exchange - grains


Philadelphia Board of Trade - foreign currency


Naturally the trading of futures is completely above board and honest. But just in case someone like


Nelson Bunker Hunt tries to corner the market for silver, as he did, the trading at these exchanges is


monitored by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).


If you want to find out the latest commodity prices, check out Futures Contracts. And to get a handle on


which way the markets are moving you can look at Futures Movers every day.





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