Health Care Reform Pros and Cons for the US Economy

Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform. What is it? Why do we need it? Do we actually need health care reform in the United States?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. Now, the current administration is looking to repeal it.

There are pros and cons to health care reform; just as Obamacare has its benefits and its downsides, health care reform will impact the American population and our economy. So how, exactly, did the Affordable Care Act change the economy, and why are so many looking to do away with it?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

For a great many years, the United States government has struggled to devise a way to make Universal Healthcare an option for Americans. As one of only a handful of developed countries not covered under such a universal plan, lawmakers have spent many days in debate over how to make insurance accessible to everyone.

Health insurance products, prior to the ACA, had been at the discretion of the states. In Massachusetts, for example, MassHealth existed to ensure that all individuals were covered by health insurance. Those who qualified under specific income guidelines were granted the opportunity to take advantage of public health insurance. Those making above that income level could purchase private insurance, or be subject to a tax penalty.

Obamacare worked in much the same way. Private insurances were consolidated and purchased through the Marketplace. Those who chose not to purchase insurance, and who could not qualify for public assistance, were fined a penalty on their federal taxes.

So what was the result? Simply put, the result was a lot of uninsured people. The premiums of Obamacare, in its beginning stages, were just unattainable for many families who didn’t qualify for public aid. Medicaid was expanded in several states, but in others it was capped and made inaccessible. In short, people opted to pay high emergency care and as-needed health care costs in lieu of paying the high deductibles and premiums offered by the ACA.

Health Care Reform


The Affordable Care Act did have its benefits to the American economy. First, it caused an increase in consumer spending. Raised prescription drug costs and higher insurance spending contributed to this. Second, there was a decrease in state-level spending on healthcare. This, in turn, freed up money to be used against the national deficit. The Congressional Budget Office projected that, if left in place, the ACA would reduce the Federal deficit $16 trillion over ten years.

However, it can’t be left unsaid that Obamacare did leave many Americans uninsured. The current administration has referred to Obamacare as a “disaster;” while that may or not be so, there are certainly areas which could use improvement.

There have been at least five revisions to the proposed repeal, and the most significant point of note is this: under the new proposed plan, the administration would cut back considerably on Federal funding to Medicaid and Medicare recipients. This would leave approximately 19 million adults uninsured.

This spending cut, however, would free up state money to be utilized elsewhere. It would also theoretically increase consumer spending. That is, if those uninsured choose to pay the costs of emergency healthcare and prescription medication. There’s always the risk that those individuals may not seek medical attention at all.

Obamacare certainly has provided benefits to the economy. And the proposed changes have, thus far, fallen short. So what’s wrong with Obamacare, and how can lawmakers truly fix what’s currently in place?

The Trouble with Obamacare

The first problem with the Affordable Care Act is that the plans were expensive. While the costs of those plans were designed to decrease over the years, that fact did little to assist people who were forced to purchase insurance plans from the Marketplace. The choice was simple: pay a high premium, or pay a hefty fine.

The fines themselves were confusing. Depending upon family size, income, and other factors, each America was assessed a fine. Or a percentage of AGI. Or an amount that he or she was responsible to pay. The list goes on, and, like much of the US tax code, it may take an attorney to figure out.

Signing up for Obamacare was meant to be easy, but in fact was quite complex. New insurance agents were hired to assist, but often they were unfamiliar with the rules of the ACA. At the launch of the Marketplace, the website did not work at all. Confusion about plans and how to sign up caused many Americans to miss the deadlines.

For those who could afford the Marketplace plans, Obamacare was a great program. However, most of those individuals were already enrolled in company insurance plan, and the ACA just muddied the insurance process. Plans were cancelled and individuals were forced to re-enroll in different, sometimes inferior coverage.

The Affordable Care Act initially existed to provide all Americans with health insurance. And in fact, that likely would have been the result if left in place. But there were too many short-term problems with the program which were insurmountable to many Americans. This leaves the current administration under a lot of pressure.

What’s Next for Health Care Reform?

Affordable Care Act

Recently, President Donald Trump’s newest plan to replace Obamacare was voted against, and legislators are left, once again, at ground zero. Democrats and Republicans are in stark opposition, as Democrats want to leave Obamacare in place while the Republican Party seeks to repeal the law.

The problem for many is that a repeal of the law would be just that. A repeal, with no new plan in place as of yet. Opponents of the repeal see this as dangerous: Obamacare was initiated without enough planning, shouldn’t a new plan be fully developed and ready to replace the ACA?

Regardless of any lawmaker or American’s stance on Obamacare and the proposed health care reform, it’s clear that there are benefits to Obamacare and that there would be certain benefits to refining the law.

Done right, a universal healthcare plan such as the ones proposed by both parties would help to decrease the national deficit. Money would be freed up at the state level to be added to other programs. Consumer spending would increase as more Americans bought insurance and paid for health care. Unfortunately, it’s up to lawmakers to achieve all of these goals while still keeping health care accessible to all Americans. It’s not an easy task; hopefully the Trump administration can work together to find a solution.

The Stock Market Crash of 1929: How, Why, Can it Happen Again?

The Stock Market Crash of 1929

We at Buy Shares In like to give you the most recent stock market information. But sometimes history is worth taking a look at, too. Many of us think of the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression and wonder if history could repeat itself. In short, no. But if there were to be another stock market crash, there would be several similarities.

To determine if a crash similar to the crash of 1929 could happen today we need to first examine the root causes. It’s hard to place the blame on any one single factor. Buying stock on credit, inexperienced traders, and inflated stock prices all combined to create a volatile market that was primed for the bottom to fall out.

The Stock Market Crash: What Happened?

The 1920s, often known as the “Roaring 20s”, were a period of perceived prosperity and financial success in the United States. The rapid proliferation of industrial techniques and technology caused a sharp rise in production. With output soaring, businesses were faced with the challenge of attracting buyers in a competitive market. The answer was the rise of installment plans. “Enjoy while you pay” became a mindset of the American consumer.

Following World War I, the celebration of what was perceived as the end to global conflict increased consumer confidence. More and more individuals began investing in the stock market. Many saw the steadily rising market as a way to gain quick income. Banks and brokers exacerbated the problem by loaning individuals money to invest or by allowing them to buy additional stocks on the margins of held stock.

As stock prices continued to rise, investors saw opportunity and invested more and more, eventually leading to a situation where the value of a company’s total stock dramatically exceeded the actual value of the company. Unfortunately, the introduction of installment plans and the rapid rise in purchasing power meant that most families had, by the end of the decade, made the purchases they wanted to make. The result was a consumer economy that was saturated with goods. The boom had run its course, but investors continued to pump money into the market, inflating the bubble.

A Self-Correcting Stock Market

Governmental policies did little to stifle the ever-growing problem. Conservative presidents Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge were hesitant to stand up against big business. Prosperity and strong economic times favored both presidents. Both believed that action to slow down what was seen as business growth would be seen as holding back the success of the free market and the national economy.

Inevitably the market had to correct itself. The problem with investing borrowed money was that when the market began to fall, investors had little choice but to sell their shares before the price dropped. This caused a massive selloff when the market began its largest fall on October 29, 1929. So many investors were trying to sell off their shares that the tickers of the time were unable to handle the volume. Many were reported to be delayed up to two hours, adding to the confusion and panic.

Could the crash happen again? Look at the situation which led to the crash of 1929 and compare it to today’s. The 1920’s were a time of increasing dependence upon credit, an inflated market, individual investors, and weak governmental regulation.

Could Another Stock Market Crash Happen?

A look at today’s dependence on credit gives a very similar image to that of the 1920s. Nearly every good or service can be paid for on credit. There are major credit cards, department store cards, fuel cards, etc. Add to these automobile loans, personal loans and mortgages and you begin to see a very similar image to that of the 1920s.

The largest difference between today’s investor and the investor of the 1920s is the rise of day trading. Today, the Average Joe can open their laptop and within a few clicks make whatever moves they want. While convenient, this has the potential to be catastrophic. Not all mobile investors are trained in the ups and downs of the market. In the face of what could be a short-term downward slide, there is potential for day traders to contribute to a massive sell-off.

Stock exchanges have put in place processes to help limit the amount of emotional or fear-based trading. Circuit Breakers, or pauses in trading designed to allow traders time to collect themselves are a great example. These pauses will undoubtedly have some effect on trained investors. The question is whether a break in trading will alleviate the panic in an untrained investor sitting behind a laptop. In today’s global economy, investors could simply sell their shares on a different exchange, expanding the problem.

Stock Market Education is Crucial

Educated investors know the best way to weather a downward slide in the market is to stay the course. For example, following the record loss of 777.68 points on September 29, 2008 the market bottomed out on March 6, 2009 at 6,443.27. In March of 2013 the Dow reached record levels previously set just a year before the 2008 drop.

This shows that the market is very resilient and has the potential to bounce back rather quickly in today’s world. The problem is that a large number of Americans are in or nearing retirement. These individuals have much more to lose if the market tanks and does not recover rapidly.

Finally, we have to examine the market to see if it is inflated. We are currently in the 2nd largest bull market in history. Since March 2009 the market has gained 14,591 points, or 232%. If this is indeed an inflated market, it will correct itself. The reaction of investors will determine if the downward movement in the market is merely a natural correction or a crash.

So, could another stock market crash happen today? Probably not on the same scale as the crash of 1929. Our market is very resilient, and it would be difficult to simulate the events of 1929.

But it’s extremely important that we educate ourselves about the stock market. Knowing when to sell and when to hold is only a small part of it. Investors also need to be mindful of avoiding panic. Such reactions only serve to make a falling stock market worse.

Dropbox Stock: Anticipating Stock Price and IPO

Buy Dropbox Stock

We live in quite a collaborative world. In our day to day lives, it’s not uncommon for us to share calendars, email pictures, send financial reports and even sign contracts using online collaboration software.

Of these programs, Dropbox has become one of the most widely used. Of course, some people opt for the free services provided by Microsoft One Drive or Google’s sharing applications. But Dropbox has long been a go-to for many people because of its simplicity and its security.

It’s made news that Dropbox may soon be issuing an IPO. When we learned this, we wanted to find out if Dropbox stock would be worth the buy. Here’s what we learned about the company and about its potential should the organization go public.

Can you Buy Dropbox Stock?

As of the time of this post, you can’t buy Dropbox stock; Dropbox is a privately owned company. The company is based in San Francisco, California, and was founded in 2007 by MIT students Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston. The premise behind the service is simple. It looks and acts like a memory card or a folder on your computer desktop, but it’s accessible from anywhere. Using the cloud, Dropbox registrants can share and access files from any internet enabled device.

The company has an estimated valuation of about $10 billion dollars, and it’s reached this success by maintaining an outstanding reputation for security. While Dropbox has weathered much criticism for data breaches and even password leaks, it’s managed to come out ahead in the end against competitors such as Box (NYSE: BOX), Google Drive and Mozy (NYSE: EMC).

Cloud computing has become an essential tool for both personal and business use, and more and more consumers are turning to secure services like Dropbox to protect and share information. While you can’t yet buy Dropbox stock, the service is expected to go public later in 2017.

When Will Dropbox Stock be Available?

Dropbox IPO

In 2016, Dropbox decided to delay its plans to issue an IPO. Technology, in particular cloud based computing, didn’t do well in the markets and Dropbox CEOs did not want to fall prey to a lousy market. But the company has announced that it will likely go public in the later months of this year.

In 2015, Box issued an IPO, and was at that point valued at about $2.4 billion. Since that time, the competitor has seen shares increase from the IPO price of $14 per share to its current price at around $19. But Box is now only valued at about $2.3 billion, a decrease from its 2014-2015 valuation.

Dropbox has also enlisted the financial backing of many venture investors. The company has raised $600 million from the likes of JP Morgan, Benchmark and Salesforce Ventures. The company has reported that its cash flow is positive, and despite being a free service, the company does make a little bit of cash through its storage programs. Its individual accounts cost users $10 per month for 1 terabyte of storage. Dropbox also offers corporate plans at a cost of $150 annually per employee.

Likely Dropbox Stock Price

Because Dropbox does not disclose its financial information, it’s difficult to predict what the Dropbox IPO will cost. Furthering the challenge of this prediction is that the company has very few competitors with a similar business structure.

For example, one Dropbox competitor is Google, with its Drive service. Google, of course, went public in 2004 with a price of $85 per share. But Alphabet wasn’t solely a cloud storage service. Similar to Google, Microsoft’s OneDrive is just one of many products offered by the company.

To determine a likely Dropbox stock price, it’s easiest to look at companies which are similar in services offered to Dropbox. At its IPO, share in Box were available at $14. Mozy is owned by parent company EMC. That stock went public in 1986, so to compare EMC with Dropbox would be like comparing apples to oranges. Time will tell what the Dropbox stock price will be, but analysts suggest it will be in the $20 range. This is in keeping with other technology offerings such as Box and Snapchat.

Will Dropbox Shares be Worth it?

The technology market is highly competitive and highly volatile. As mentioned, 2016 wasn’t a great year for technology stocks, and although 2017 is looking better, more investors are turning away from the industry.

Because of newly extended credit and because the company’s cash flow is in good shape, Dropbox will likely do reasonably well following an IPO. However, it’s important to note that Box, before its IPO in 2015, was also in good financial standing. Box stock has remained stagnant at best.

The key for both Box and Dropbox is to expand services. The companies may never be in direct competition with huge names in the industry like Google and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), but by increasing enterprise solutions and expanding services offered, both Dropbox stock and Box stock may see share prices rise. If Dropbox can succeed in offering more various services and retaining its reputation as a secure cloud storage solution, we think Dropbox shares will be worth it.

If they are going to launch their shares with an IPO, then they may just do that. After all, they know that they will be entering a competitive market and they know that they need to make an effort to standout. So, before you think about buying Dropbox shares in the future (if indeed they do have their IPO) then be sure to focus on any improvements they have or haven’t made.

Dropbox Stock Symbol

Dropbox Stock Symbol

When Dropbox does pull the trigger on the IPO, you’ll find the Dropbox ticker symbol and information pertinent to the stock on the Buy Shares In website. We obviously can’t yet quote a Dropbox stock price or give you information about the Dropbox stock symbol, but check back frequently. We will update our information as it comes available.

If you’re interested in learning about other tech stocks, be sure to check out our investment guides linked in the header above. Here, we’ve provided information about companies such as Instagram and Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) as well as a general overview of tech stock.

Also, be sure to check out our information about trading platforms. We cover a wide range of options for investors in our unbiased reviews. These reviews will show you how to buy shares in Dropbox or other companies.

Chinese Stock Market Crash: How, Why, and Can it Happen Again?

Chinese Stock Market Crash

Ranked by GDP, China is one of the biggest economies in the world. And according to Bloomberg, Forbes and US News, it’s expected to surpass the United States within the next several years.

But, as solid an economy as the Chinese have enjoyed, it’s not been unwavering. Back in the mid-2010s, the world watched the Chinese stock market crash, and economies across the globe were concerned, to say the least.

Why did the Chinese economy falter as it did? Could it happen again? Let’s look at what happened, and the probability that the Chinese stock market will experience a similar occurrence in the future.

The Chinese Stock Market

The Chinese stock market is comprised of three major exchanges. These are the Shanghai Stock Exchange, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

These markets operate a bit differently than those in the United States or elsewhere in two ways. First, the companies listed within the exchanges used to be largely state owned. That means that the government had a substantial say in what happens to the markets.

The second way these markets differ is that investors treat them differently. Historically, the Chinese stock markets have offered a bit of a “casino” for investors, and although that’s becoming less and less the case, it’s an important difference.

Retail investors comprise around 85% of Chinese stock market activity, as opposed to about 25% in America. Chinese households prefer, instead, to invest in banking accounts and other assets.

So, to summarize, the Chinese stock markets and the businesses which are listed therein have been historically state owned. If the market appeared to be dipping, the Chinese government could easily inject money into the economy to bail their companies out.

The Chinese Stock Market Crash

Chinese Stock Exchange Crash

Up until 2015, the Chinese stock markets were impacted very little by other aspects of the economy. As a result, a stock market bubble was created as new investors began to enter the markets. Even businesses which had previously never traded were now enthusiastic about investing, and the bubble continued to grow.

Until it popped. On June 12, 2015, the Shanghai Stock Exchange lost a full third of its value, and the smaller exchanges experienced even more dramatic losses. The Chinese government worked frantically to prevent an economic catastrophe. They fed money to brokerages and compelled them to buy stocks, while ordering companies not to sell shares.

Meanwhile, markets across the world experienced panic as a result of this seemingly stable economy experiencing such a crisis. The Chinese economy was failing; how would this impact imports and exports, or the economies of other nations? Investors worldwide began to show signs of hesitancy.

The Chinese government’s bailout worked for a short time. The markets appeared to rebound a bit after the initial plummet, but over the next several months it saw more losses.

Chinese Stock Market Recovery

Chinese Stock Market Recovery

The Chinese government faced difficulty in 2015. Where government-owned businesses had once constituted the majority of traded stocks, now more privately owned companies were listed on the exchanges. With no way to bail these companies out, China was left facing a failing economy with no remedy.

In the months following the June 12 crash, Chinese stock markets remained turbulent, but then in early January of 2016, the markets were halted twice due to a 7% fall. On March 16, the Chinese stock market reached a 15 month low, further worrying both Chinese and global investors.

As stated, the Chinese government has a history of injecting money into the economy to ensure that the market remains stable. Following the low of March 16, the government did just that. Once again, a state backed agency offered loans to brokerages, assisting in balancing the teetering economy. Slowly, investor confidence rose again, and over the next several months, the Chinese economy was once again regaining in strength and declining in volatility.

Chinese Stock Market Crash: Can it Happen Again?

In short, the answer is yes. The Chinese stock market is wildly volatile, and booms and busts are not at all uncommon. In fact, the Chinese economy has very little to do with the stock market. It’s not uncommon for the economy to be suffering in terms of GDP or other factors, while the markets are booming. Likewise, the Chinese economy can be on the path to surpass the United States while the stock market is in trouble.

Because of this, investors don’t pay the same type of attention to the numbers as investors in the United States or other economies. They invest with very short term memory, and it’s likely that another bubble and subsequent crash will occur.

Secondly, the Chinese government has a huge hand in the stock market. A majority of stocks listed on, as an example, the Shanghai Stock Exchange are at least in part government owned. If the stock markets start slipping, it’s very easy for the government to issue a bailout. In the past, the state has attempted to change regulations to encourage more private investors, but haven’t been successful.

Finally, the Chinese stock market is heavily influenced by governmental rhetoric. The United States experiences this to some extent. As government leaders issue statements about the economy, investors react. But as a whole, US investing law remains unchanged. Chinese investors suffer a slightly different pattern. The government frequently issues statements which change policy entirely, and this causes investors to panic as they attempt to interpret the new rules.

Chinese Stock Market Crash: Speculation

Chinese Stock Market Recovery

There are other issues affecting the stock market which are worth a mention. High numbers of speculative investors as compared to the number of long term investors is a factor. The lack of reliable information about the companies listed within the exchanges is another. There is also a perception of the Chinese stock market being an avenue to “get rich quick.” Many investors have become very wealthy by playing the stock market, and there’s little incentive for long term investors.

So yes, the Chinese stock market can crash again. And it’s likely that it will. The Chinese government is sending its investors conflicting messages. While it claims to seek to create long term investors, it’s still too thickly involved in the markets to cause this to happen. Once the government lets the market drive itself, perhaps it won’t be as erratic.

What is Mock Stock Trading?

Mock Stock Trading

We’ve gotten some questions over the past few days about mock stock trading. We’d be happy to answer your questions, but it’s actually a topic that we’ve covered quite a bit here at Buy Shares In. So we’ll keep our answers short and sweet, and direct you to a few other resources that we’ve made available to you.

What is Mock Stock Trading?

Mock stock trading is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Mock stock traders can trade the big names on the markets like Twitter and Microsoft, but use virtual currency to do it. Mock stock trading is a great way to learn how investment works before you put your own money at risk.

Is Mock Stock Trading Safe?

Yep! Mock stock traders use currency like points, virtual money or physical items like chips to buy and sell stocks. There are hundreds of free programs available online for users to try, like Plus500 and Each have a demo account that investors can open; they’ll use virtual money to build a portfolio and then buy and sell as if they were real stocks. There’s no risk to you, so feel free to spend all your virtual cash!

Why Should I Do Mock Stock Trading?

There are lots of good reasons to open a mock stock trading account. It’s an excellent way to learn the markets, first of all. Like we mentioned, there’s no monetary risk to you and you can trade thousands of virtual dollars. It’s exciting to see how much money you would have made if you’d bought into that IPO last year.

Another reason is to teach your kids about the stock markets. There are mock stock trading programs like Student Stock Trader that are marketed and designed for kids. It’s never to early to learn about the markets.

Finally, it’s just plain fun! Most of the free stock trading games you find online include the option to create your own game. Who needs an NCAA bracket when you and your buddies each have a killer virtual stock portfolio?

So How Do I Do It?

What is Mock Stock Trading?

This is the point where we direct you to other sections of the Buy Shares In website. We’ve done tons of reviews and have even played a few games ourselves, and have compiled them all for you on this site.

HowTheMarketWorks is a good place to start if you want a fun little game to play with your friends. The game is simple to set up, and even kids can play.

If you want a game to play that’s exclusively designed for kids, try Student Stock Trader or take a look at what we’ve got to say about stock market worksheets.

If you’re looking for a few reviews of programs we did and didn’t like, we’ve got a few of those, too. We covered a few stock market simulation games, as well as our more recent post about the best free stock trading games.

Take a look around, and let us know if you have any more questions! Have fun with your mock stock trading!

What is Premarket Stock Trading?

Premarket Stock Trading

Every now and then, we get a few questions about stock market terminology. The most common question that we’ve heard lately is “what is premarket stock trading?” Well, we’re happy to oblige! Here’s a summary of premarket trading, and its potential benefits to you.

What is Premarket Stock Trading?

Premarket stock trading is pretty much precisely what the name implies. It is all trading that occurs before the markets open. The New York Stock Exchange, for example, is open from 9:30 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon. So, premarket trading on the NYSE is anything that happens before 9 in the morning.

Generally speaking, most premarket trading happens between around 7 or 8 and 9:30 in the morning. And it’s important to note that not all brokerages will allow it. So because the markets aren’t yet open and not everyone will participate, there’s usually not a whole lot that goes on during premarket hours.

Should you Participate in Premarket Trading?

Premarket trading can be extremely beneficial to investors. There are a number of reasons for this. The first reason is that companies often release quarterly earnings reports in the wee hours of the morning, so an investor may be able to take advantage of any indicators that the reports may provide.

Secondly, the same applies for news. If an acquisition, a natural disaster or another event which could impact the markets occurs while the markets are closed, premarket trading will allow investors to jump on a transaction, rather than wait until the markets open.

Finally, there are a lot of people who make a living analyzing the stock markets. They’re studying market trends, economic indicators and other factors which could influence your transaction decisions. Reports of those economic indicators are released at 8:30 in the morning, an hour before the markets open. Premarket trading will allow you to use this news, and give you a head start on trading for the day.

How to Participate in Premarket Trading

Premarket Stock Trading Hours

As we mentioned, not all stock brokers will allow you to participate in premarket trading. Some brokers will restrict transactions to regular trading hours only, so make sure you do a bit of research with your broker before you decide you want to trade during premarket hours.

If you’re using an online platform or an app on your device, you should read the fine print before you sign up. But if your broker or app does allow it, it’s quite simple. Just designate the transaction that you’d like to perform, pay any applicable fees, and you’re set.

Premarket Trading Hours (US, UK)

Obviously, the premarket stock trading hours will differ from stock market to stock market and from timezone to timezone. There is no set time, as the premarket hours in one country could be the trading hours in another.

To see the exact hours for yourself on markets like the London Stock Exchange, as well as China Stock Market, just pay a visit to our Stock Market Trading Hours page. This will tell you when the stated hours are for each market; when the holidays and non-trading days are; and more. From this you can work out when the pre-market trading hours will be.

You can also pay a visit to the main stock market pages. All major stock exchanges have these, from the US markets to markets in Pakistan and Australia. As an example, the NYSE main page can be found on

The Downside to Premarket Trading

It may sound pretty cool to be able to trade before the stock market wakes up. But as we mentioned, the markets are pretty thin, and it may actually work in your favor to wait. If you decide to do it anyway, be sure that your transactions are based on research and not following the lead of other investors.

The biggest reason you might have to wait is that when those earnings reports are released, thousands of other investors will decide that they either do or don’t like the results. They’ll be quick to make snap decisions, and buy or sell their stock without having fully comprehended the scope of the report.

So in summary, premarket trading is trading that occurs before the markets are open. Is it beneficial to you? Maybe. But you’ll need to make sure you put your research into it first, and avoid jumping to conclusions before you make that trade.

Tesco Finance: How this Big Chain is More Than Groceries

Tesco Finance

You know the name Tesco. It’s the biggest grocery store in the UK in terms of both revenues and market share. And if you’re not familiar with it, we suggest you check out our TSCO investment guide.

But what you may not know is that Tesco is more than just a grocery store. It’s the largest retailer in the UK, and a few years back it was stated that one in every seven pounds spent was spent at Tesco.

So what’s contributed to Tesco’s success? How did Tesco finance become such a popular investment? Let’s take a look at how the company grew from a tiny military surplus stall to the multi-billion retail giant that it is today.

Tesco’s Early Years

If you’ve read our Tesco investment guide, you’ll have a bit of background information about how the company was begun. Jack Cohen opened a little shop in Hackney, and as his sales grew, he expanded to own several shops. Soon after, he opened a few stores in the London area, and Tesco was created.

The name Tesco was formed when Cohen ordered a shipment of tea. The supplier’s name was T.E. Stockwell, and Cohen combined the letters T, E and S with the first two of his last name. At that time, Tesco was a retailer of army surplus materials, dry goods and tea. But as Cohen reached higher and higher profits, he began to sell groceries and opened several superstores.

Tesco Finance Today

Tesco PLC has come to rule the market in the UK by becoming more than just a one hit wonder. Originally opened as a grocery store, the company now claims quite a few subsidiaries. Diversity in the products that it offers has allowed TSCO to steer a straight course through an otherwise turbulent market.

One subsidiary, Tesco Lotus, is the company’s network of superstores in Thailand. In 1994, Tesco opened its first store in Thailand as a test market. The store was successful, and in 1998, Tesco Lotus was created. There are now 1,400 stores in the Lotus market.

The United States has Straight Talk, and the UK has Tesco Mobile. You may be familiar with how Straight Talk works. Users purchase a phone at Walmart, and the phones operate using AT&T and other towers. Tesco Mobile is similar in structure, and is also a subsidiary of Tesco.

Now, to understand the third subsidiary, think in terms of the Target REDCard. Target offers customers credit or debit cards. The cards can be reloaded online or at customer service, and used in the store to get discounts on Target products. Like Target, Tesco has a banking product. Tesco Bank offers a debit card for consumers, and also offers savings accounts and credit lines.

Tesco owns a few other subsidiaries as well. Dunnhumby is a market research company based in the UK but with a presence in the US. Tesco also owns subsidiaries for each of its markets in Ireland and Turkey, and owns Spenhill, its development branch. Such a diverse portfolio of subsidiaries has certainly contributed to the success of Tesco finance, and has created a brand that’s much more than just a grocery store.

Tesco Stores

What is Tesco Finance?

Along with its subsidiaries, Tesco finance relies on the success of the types of Tesco stores that have been launched. Tesco Extra is a hypermarket, much like a Super Target (NYSE: TGT) or Super Walmart (NYSE: WMT). Tesco Extra locations offer groceries as well as electronics, clothing and other products. The larger locations also offer services like opticians, photo services and gas stations.

Tesco also owns smaller locations; grocery stores with a few extra services. These locations don’t generally carry as many non-grocery products, but are still larger than Tesco’s Express and One Stop locations.

Tesco does offer an internet shopping service. Tesco Direct is the online extension of its stores, offering the apparel and household items available in its retail locations. There’s also the option to “pick up in store” for both the household items and grocery products.

The company’s got quite a broad range of stores, and that’s allowed them to generate profits through the sale of fuel, household goods and financial products. Having a one stop shopping business model allows Tesco to provide consumers with a perception of convenience. That is to say, if you can buy your milk, fill up your gas tank and subscribe to cell service all at the same location, why would you go anywhere else?

The Outlook for Tesco

In recent months, Tesco has reported a 30% rise in operating profit, but its shares are quickly falling. Inflation and accounting scandals are beginning to impact the company, and consumers are experiencing significantly higher food prices.

With that said, Tesco has always had a bit of a bizarre psychological approach to marketing. The company positions products within its stores to encourage impulse buys. But at the same time, Tesco reminds shoppers that in order to save money, they should skip the impulse buys. You can interpret this to mean one thing: Tesco finance is largely dependent on impulse buys.

You’ve probably heard someone joke about it before – it’s easy to walk into Walmart for a loaf of bread and walk out with a loaf of bread, a trash can, some motor oil and a rifle. It’s the same way with Tesco shopping. But UK consumers are finding it increasingly necessary to clutch their wallets just a little more tightly, and to not spend as freely on fuel and groceries, much less impulse buys. Tesco may soon see this frugality affect its bottom line.

So is it a good time to buy shares in Tesco? Honestly, it’s got a lot going on right now. It was recently hit with a fine of £129 million plus additional costs after a 2014 accounting scandal. We mentioned inflation and how that could hurt the company’s profits. And the UK based company will be more deeply hurt by recent political changes than competitors Aldi and Lidl simply due to its location.

But as we noted, Tesco is still seeing its profits rise, and the majority of its competition will face similar struggles with the economy. Overall, we think that with its huge market share and the persistence of its rising profits, Tesco remains a good buy for investors.

Hot Stocks Right Now (SUNE, EBIO, ZIOP, JNUG, RLYP)

Hot Stocks Right Now

Hot Stocks Right Now

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been getting a lot of questions from you about a few hot stocks you were thinking about trading. But, humble as we pretend to be, we’re going to admit that we’d never heard of a few of them.

So, because we want to make you happy, we decided to do a bit of research into these seemingly obscure stocks. We want to know if you could be on to something. Here’s what we found out about these hot stocks. You’re welcome! (Oh, and thank you.)

SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE)

Buy NYSE: SUNE Stocks

So, renewable energy has become a bit of a buzzword over the past few decades. Even large companies have been transitioning to wind and solar power. Whether you believe global warming’s impending or not, it’s still not going to hurt to make a switch to renewable resources, right?

That’s what SunEdison thought, too. The US based company has main offices in Missouri and California, and focuses its attention on wind and solar energy products. It was originally a Monsanto company, but in 1989 Monsanto sold it, and in 2013 it became known as SunEdison to better reflect its purpose. (Get it? Reflect?)

So what are they doing in the markets? Nothing much. In April of 2016, SunEdison filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and their SunEdison stock is trading at less than $.40 per share at the writing of this article.

But wait! Recently, SunEdison has reached settlements with their former subsidiaries, TerraForm Power and TerraForm Global, which will mean that restructuring the company is possible. Keep watch on this SUNE stock, because by the end of March, the company intends to file a Chapter 11 exit plan. You may see those SUNE stock prices take off.

Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull and Bear 3x Shares (NYSEARCA: JNUG)

Buy JNUG Stock

Big name, little price. And reviews are mixed about the profits. This index tracks daily investment results of the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners Index (GDXJ). That long name is actually pretty descriptive: they’re looking for a return that’s 300% or -300% of the return of that index for one day. No more, no less. One day.

If you’re not familiar with the GDXJ, the name “Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners Index” doesn’t refer to teenage gold miners. The GDXJ covers all of the precious metals (silver, gold, palladium and platinum) mining companies that don’t meet the market cap cutoff to be a part of the GDX. GDXJ is like the GDX’s baby sister.

So should you trade it? Like any ETF, JNUG can be traded to an investor’s benefit. But you’ve got to do it right. If you’re looking to invest long term, JNUG might not be for you. But if you’re thinking more short term, and are willing to trade in and out a few times each week, you can actually do quite well with 3x shares.

Right now, you can get in on the JNUG action for less than $10. If you’re okay with playing with a volatile trade, go ahead and buy in. Just remember that you won’t be able to exit quickly if things go pear shaped, and to watch the big brothers’ gold miners index as well.

Ziopharm Oncology (NASDAQ: ZIOP)


Ziopharm wants to cure cancer. Based in Boston, Mass, the company is working on a portfolio of advances which will help to treat patients of cancer and graft-versus-host disease.

So with plans so big, why are ZIOP shares trading at just around $6? Well, even GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK) is only trading at about $42. But biotechnology is huge, and keeps getting bigger every day. As noble a cause as cancer treatment may be, Ziopharm is only one of many companies seeking to treat disease – cancer, Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis to name a few.

Because of the increase in popularity of biotech stocks, Ziopharm may see stock prices skyrocket as the sector starts to take off. To us, that sounds promising. Why not get in now while you can buy shares in ZIOP for less than a Netflix subscription?

Eleven Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: EBIO)


Here’s another drug company from Massachusetts. Eleven Biotherapeutics is tailoring its research to include treatments for bladder cancer and carcinoma of the head. They’re researching Targeted Protein Therapeutics, which apparently work better than traditional antibody treatments.

At the time this article was written, investors could buy stock in EBIO for $1.90. But because of recent research showing that 100 of their brain cancer patients were still alive in their tenth year, analysts have projected that the stock price may reach upwards of $8-9 by the end of 2017. That’s not bad for a company less than a decade old. The Cambridge company’s IPO was in February, 2014 at $10 per share.

Relypsa (NASDAQ: RLYP)


Just kidding. You can’t buy shares in Relypsa anymore; they were acquired by Galencia back in 2016. But you asked if it was a hot stock, so we’ll give you a little info.

Galencia (VTX: GALN) owns subsidiary Vifor Pharma, into which is incorporated Relypsa. Got it? Galencia is a Swiss company which is currently trading at $1,117, a far cry from the price of the stocks we’ve been quoting you.

Now, if you can afford that, we’ll offer you this little piece of knowledge. Last year, when it was announced that Galencia would be purchasing Relypsa, RLYP stock shares spiked almost 60%. Relypsa’s drug Veltassa was acquired by Galencia in the acquisition, and gave Galencia a huge presence in the United States. We’ve already covered a bit of the biotech market, and we feel that Galencia’s presence in the states might offer a bit more competition and drive markets as a result.

At the moment, shares in Galencia can only be traded on the Swiss stock exchange.

So there you go! You asked, and we delivered. While not all of your hot tips led to hot stocks, you were absolutely on the right path. Keep an eye on biotechnology, in particular. It may just be that you can buy in while stock is cheap and see a great return on your investment in the very near future.

Stock Market Worksheets: Learn the Basics and Teach Kids

Stock Market Worksheets

Investing doesn’t just have to be for grown ups. It can actually be pretty fun for kids, too. They just need to know how to invest and to understand the basics of the stock market.

That’s not to say that we’d encourage you to empty your savings account and buy shares in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) or anything, but if you get a head start on learning the market game, you’ll be more ready to make informed investments when it is time.

Stock market worksheets are one of the ways that you can familiarize yourself with trading. They’re easy to use, and you can learn a lot from them. Here are just a few of the things you can learn with stock market worksheets.

Learn How Stocks Work

Stock market worksheets are useful only if you know what stocks are. You’ve heard of the stock market, and about people who have made a lot of money by buying and selling stocks? But what is a stock, exactly? When you buy a stock, you buy a share in a company. That share allows you to vote in shareholder meetings, sell your shares, and earn money from the company. Owning stock doesn’t mean that you own a part of the company. You can’t make decisions on behalf of the company, and you don’t own any of the company’s things.

But if the company does well and makes a profit, you can make money, too. Companies pay out something called dividends to shareholders. Dividends are when a company pays out a portion of its earnings to investors. You might receive this money just every now and then, or it may be a quarterly or annual payment. The dividends themselves aren’t usually a huge amount of money – maybe $.50 or so each year. But when they’re part of a bigger portfolio, you can make a bit of money.

Stock market worksheets will give you a better idea of what stocks are by allowing you to play around with them. You’ll be able to choose stocks, track them, determine how much money they’d earn you and learn when to buy or sell.

How to Build a Stock Portfolio

Stock Market Worksheets

Stock market worksheets can help you learn how to build a portfolio. So wait, what’s a portfolio? A portfolio is a collection of everything you own, from stocks and bonds to mutual funds and ETFs. Stocks just make up a small part of your portfolio, but they’re a very important part. There are some parts of a portfolio, like bonds, which won’t increase or decrease in market value too much over time. But stocks will! And that’s why it’s important to know how to choose stocks. Stock market worksheets will help you learn how to decide when to buy shares in a company, sell shares or hold on to them.

There are stock market worksheets which will allow you to choose a few stocks and track their value over a few days or weeks. You can easily find stock prices by typing the ticker symbol into a Google search. For example, to find the stock price of Twitter, you’d just put “TWTR” into your Google search. If you don’t know the symbol, you can type something like “buy shares in Twitter.”

Usually, once you hit search, a graph will pop up on your results page, telling you the current price of the stock and what all the prices have been over the course of today, or a longer period of time. Using a stock market worksheet can help you determine how good you are at using the news, a stock’s history or industry reports to guess whether a stock price will rise or fall.

Understanding Wall Street Vocabulary

It can be confusing to hear people talking about the stock market. Bull markets, bear markets, ROI, dividend yield, market cap, OTC… good grief it can be overwhelming. Stock market worksheets are a very good way to learn the terminology, and then learn how to apply it. Say, for example, that you have no idea what a dividend yield is. Well, it’s actually pretty simple. It’s how much a company pays annually relative to the price of a stock.

Okay, maybe that didn’t clarify it for you. That’s why you need stock market worksheets. You can recite the definition all day long, but until you understand how a dividend yield is calculated, it won’t make sense. On stock market worksheets, you’ll probably have a few examples, broken down into a simple equation: dividend yield = dividend per share / share price. That’s it!

Calculations are just one way of using stock market worksheets to learn vocab though. Some classroom teachers play a vocabulary bingo game – she’ll call out a term, and if a student can correctly define the term, they check off that space on their worksheet. There are other ways you can play, too. The point is, stock market worksheets can make learning about stocks fun.

Beyond Stock Market Worksheets

Free Stock Market Worksheets

If you’re lucky enough to have computers in your classroom, there are a ton of ways that you can use what you’ve learned with stock market worksheets. There are dozens of games that you and your classmates or your friends can play – they simulate the stock market, using stock quotes that are current as you play them.

HowTheMarketWorks is one; they offer you a chance to set up your own game and compete against your buddies to see who makes the most money trading stocks. Wall Street Survivor is another. Your teacher can set up a contest between class groups or individual traders – maybe she’ll even offer a prize to the winner. No homework for a week? It’s worth a shot.

If you don’t want to compete against your friends, there are stock market simulations that you can do on your own, too. You’ve mastered the vocabulary and math with your stock market worksheets – try an app like the one on Investopedia to set up your own portfolio using fake money, and see how much you can earn if you buy shares in your favorite companies.

Even if you’re not learning about finance or the stock market in school, stock market worksheets are a great way to brush up on the knowledge you’ll need now to become a good investor later. You’ll learn the basics as well as terminology, and you’ll learn how to use formulas commonly used by investors. Before you know it, you could find yourself giving your adult friends advice on how to play the market.

Top Penny Stocks to Watch Right Now (2017)

Top Penny Stocks to Watch Right Now

What are the best penny stocks on the market right now? This is question we receive a lot, and it’s one we will address in this article as we look at the “Top Penny Stocks to Watch” right now. We typically don’t cover penny stocks here on Buy Shares In, so this makes for a refreshing change.

Penny stocks have a loose definition, and in this article we have probably made that definition even looser. These “top penny stocks to watch” are basically stocks that can be bought cheap. They are stocks that will give you large numbers for your relatively small investment, which in turn will mean you’ll be in of a big payday if the price goes up.

Why Invest in Penny Stocks?

Many first-time investors and non-investors have a misconception about the stock market. They think that it’s a place where you can enter with pennies and walk away with millions. They see the successful traders and they think that this is a high-risk game of chance where you can walk away a multi-millionaire.

As soon as they start trading, they realize that that’s not the case. The stock market is about small margins. It’s about playing the long-game and focusing on slight gains and dividends. At least, for the most part. Because there is a way that you can trade small and win big. That’s where penny stocks come in.

The beauty of penny stocks is that, as their name suggests, they cost mere pennies to buy. That leaves a lot of room for growth. And if you get in while the company is still small and stay there until it’s huge, then you can secure a small fortune. Such was the case with investors who bought shares in Netflix, and to an extent it was also the case with shares in Apple.

This this guide we’ll look at the Top Penny Stocks to Watch for 2017. At the time of writing, there is a lot of movement in the markets. There is a lot going on and a lot of promise. These top penny stocks to watch all have the potential to be huge, but they also have the potential to fade away into nothing. So, don’t expect a sure-thing.

Top Penny Stocks to Watch

Best Penny Stocks

So, let’s get to it. These are the companies that have made our list. Below each one you will also find a stock ticker, which flashes real-time stock prices for each penny stock.

Aerotech (NASDAQ: ARTX

This is company with a big future, because it’s a company that has invested in the future of virtual reality. As discussed on our Buying Virtual Reality Stocks page, there are many ways to invest in this technology. But tech stock like Aerotech are by far the best. They have direct involvement. If this tech takes off, then so will ARTX stock.

This is one of our top stocks to watch right now because so many factors can trigger a successful year for this company. What’s more, they haven’t been recognized for their success and their promise, which means ARTX stock is very reasonably priced. So, if you want a big 2017 then make sure you invest in a company that is also likely to have a big 2017. Buy Aerotech stock and you won’t regret it. Probably (come on, we’re not psychics)

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Hecla Mining Company (NYSE:HL)

This is one of the oldest mining companies n the world. As far as we can see, it’s also the oldest mining stock on the New York Stock Exchange. It has had its ups and its down. But there is still a lot of promise in NYSE: HL stock. If you want to buy Hecla Mining Company stock then now is the perfect time.

There is a lot of uncertainty out there right now. The UK is leaving the EU. Trump is causing chaos in the United States. The world could be on the brink of a trade war, if not a world war. With all of that going on, the markets will likely look to trusted mining companies like this. There will always be value in minerals as any investor will tell you. And when it comes to profitable minerals, HL stock is a good bet.

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Five Below (NASDAQ: FIVE)

Another one from the NASDAQ, this one has heaps of promise and is increasing month by month. Already Five Below stock has increased in 2017 by as much as a quarter. In months to come it will like jump even further up. So, buy Five Below stock and you will be buying stock in a company that is only looking up, a company that is only moving forward.

For those not in the know, Five Below is a department/discount store that is focused on California, Florida and Texas. They have plans to open a total of 2,000 stores across those states, adding around 1,600 to the number that they already have. If hat’s not a valid reason to buy stock in Five Below, we don’t know what is.

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Twitter (NYSE: TWTR)

This might be a surprise to see on a list of the top penny stocks to watch, because you might not see it as a penny stock. But the value is very low, much less than the likes of Facebook. Of course, there is a reason for that. Twitter doesn’t make as much money as Facebook. It also doesn’t have the additional support from services like WhatsApp and Instagram.

Twitter may be commonly seen as the second largest social network and that may be true, but as close as these two are in social network stakes, there is a huge gap between them in the markets. However, the future is bright for TWTR stock. It might be struggling now, losing members and investor faith, but we have a good feeling Twitter’s stock price will rise throughout this year and will be huge within a few years.

Buying Twitter stock could be the best thing you do this year. That is why this one makes it onto our list of the top penny stocks to watch, and why it will probably feature on many similar lists from here on out.

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