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Killexams : Apple Certification course outline - BingNews Search results Killexams : Apple Certification course outline - BingNews Killexams : Apple to tap third party for physical security keys

Apple is to introduce three security features focused on protecting user data in the cloud as the next step in an ongoing programme of cyber improvements, among them the addition of the tried-and-tested physical security key, which it will source from an unspecified third-party supplier.

The three new features, which are to become available globally over the course of 2023, comprise Security Keys for Apple ID, giving users the choice of having a physical form of multifactor authentication (MFA); Contact Key Verification for iMessage, to allow users to verify they are communicating with the intended party; and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, offering end-to-end encryption across users’ iCloud data, such as Backup, Photos and Notes.

“At Apple, we are unwavering in our commitment to provide our users with the best data security in the world. We constantly identify and mitigate emerging threats to their personal data on devices and in the cloud,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice-president of software engineering.

“Our security teams work tirelessly to keep users’ data safe, and with iMessage Contact Key Verification, Security Keys and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, users will have three powerful new tools to further protect their most sensitive data and communications.”

Having introduced MFA for Apple ID nearly eight years ago, over 95% of active iCloud accounts are already using such protection. However, Apple said physical Security Keys would provide users more choice in terms of how they go about securing their personal data.

For those who choose to opt in, Security Keys will strengthen existing MFA by requiring a hardware security key as one of the two factors, which will eliminate the possibility of an attacker obtaining a user’s second factor – such as a one-time passcode – via targeted phishing.

Cupertino did not say from whom it would be sourcing these hardware keys – however according to 9to5Mac, it is working with the FIDO Alliance to ensure cross-platform compatibility with open standards.

The service is designed for users who are more likely to face targeted threats to their online accounts, such as government officials, journalists, or others in the public eye, but there is no indication that it will not be universally available.

ESET cyber security advisor Jake Moore commented: “Hardware security keys offer protection and peace of mind knowing that it is one of the most secure ways of entering an account and is often offered as an entry method to highly sensitive accounts. Attackers still largely target Apple users with phishing scams or via physical device thefts, but the use of security keys will potentially go one step further towards mitigating this common risk and it will inevitably protect Apple accounts even more. 

“To gain the full security benefits of this new feature, it is best to remove all other forms of account verification and solely rely on physical security keys to gain access, which will stop hackers from bypassing this form of chosen authentication. It is also a good reminder to remain vigilant to potential phishing and vishing emails and calls from those trying to gain access to your Apple accounts,” he said.

Contact Key Verification for iMessage is likewise designed with highly attacked users in mind, offering additional protections to existing end-to-end encryption features. Users will be able to choose to further verify that they are messaging the right person, while conversations between users who enable the feature will receive alerts should an advanced adversary succeed in accessing Apple’s infrastructure to eavesdrop. Users will also be able to compare a so-called Contact Verification Code, either in person, on FaceTime, or via another call.

Meanwhile, Advanced Data Protection for iCloud will add to existing security features, introducing end-to-end encryption across more forms of data – it already protects 14 sensitive categories in this way, and this now rises to 23 for users who opt in. This means stored data can only be viewed on trusted devices. Apple claims the feature will keep “most” iCloud data protected even if the service is breached.

The three new features join a raft of other protections Apple already has in place, from on-board device encryption and data protection, to features such as Lockdown Mode, introduced earlier in 2022 to protect iPhone and iPad users from “mercenary” spyware such as that produced by disgraced Israeli malware developer NSO Group, which targeted Apple devices using an exploit known as ForcedEntry.


Wed, 07 Dec 2022 18:14:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Apple and Elon Musk's Twitter are on a collision course

SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk takes part in a joint news conference with T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert (not pictured) at the SpaceX Starbase, in Brownsville, Texas, U.S., August 25, 2022.

Adrees Latif | Reuters

Elon Musk has announced big, albeit confusing, plans for Twitter since he took over the social network last month.

Musk wants to increase the revenue the company makes through subscriptions while opening up the site to more "free speech," which in some cases seems to mean restoring previously banned accounts like the one owned by former president Donald Trump.

But Musk's plans for Twitter could put it in conflict with two of the biggest tech companies: Apple and Google.

Tensions are brewing

One of the biggest risks to Musk's vision for "Twitter 2.0" is the possibility that his changes violate Apple or Google's app rules in a way that slows down the company or even gets its software booted from app stores.

Tensions are already brewing. Musk complained in a tweet just last week about app store fees that Google and Apple charge companies like Twitter.

"App store fees are obviously too high due to the iOS/Android duopoly," Musk tweeted. "It is a hidden 30% tax on the Internet." In a follow-up post, he tagged the Department of Justice's antitrust division, which is reportedly investigating app store rules.

His complaint is over the 15% to 30% cut Apple and Google take from purchases made inside apps, which could eat into the desperately-needed revenue from Musk's plans for $8 per month from Twitter Blue subscriptions.

Over the weekend, Phil Schiller, the former head Apple marketing executive who still oversees the App Store, apparently deleted his widely-followed Twitter account with hundreds of thousands of followers.

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc., speaks at an Apple event at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple Park on September 12, 2018 in Cupertino, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

There are signs Twitter has already seen an increase in harmful content since Musk has taken over, putting the company's apps at risk. In October, shortly after Musk became "chief Twit," a wave of online trolls and bigots flooded the site with hate speech and racist epithets.

The trolls organized on 4chan, then barreled into Twitter with anti-Black and Jewish epithets. Twitter suspended many of the accounts, according to the nonprofit Network Contagion Research Institute.

Musk's plan to offer paid blue verification badges have also led to chaos and accounts impersonating major corporations and figures, which have caused some advertisers to shy away from the social network, in particular, Eli Lilly after a fake Verified tweet erroneously said insulin would be provided for free.

The app stores noticed.

"And as I departed the company, the calls from the app review teams had already begun," former Twitter head of trust and safety Yoel Roth wrote this month in the New York Times.

Fees and subscription revenue

Twitter and Apple have been partners for years. In 2011, Apple deeply integrated tweets into its iOS operating system. Tweets that function as official company communications are regularly posted under Apple CEO Tim Cook's account. Apple has advertised new iPhones and its big launch events on Twitter.

But the relationship appears poised to change as Musk moves to generate a larger bulk of income from subscriptions.

Twitter reported $5.08 billion in revenue in 2021. If half of that comes from subscriptions in the future, as Musk has said is the goal, hundreds of millions of dollars would end up going to Apple and Google — a small amount for them, but a potentially massive hit for Twitter.

Read more about tech and crypto from CNBC Pro

One of Apple's main rules is that digital content — game coins, or an avatar's outfit, or a premium subscription— that's purchased inside an iPhone app, has to use Apple's in-app purchasing mechanism, in which Apple bills the user directly. Apple takes 30% of sales, decreasing to 15% after a year for subscriptions, and pays the remainder to the developer.

Companies such as Epic Games, Spotify, and Match Group lobby against Apple and Google's rules as part of the Coalition for App Fairness. Microsoft and Meta have also filed briefs in court criticizing the system and made public remarks aimed at app stores.

One option for Musk is to take an approach similar to what Spotify has done: Offer a lower $9.99 price on the web, where it doesn't pay Apple a cut, and then users simply log in to their existing account inside the app. Users subscribing to a Premium subscription inside the iPhone app pay $12.99, effectively covering Apple's fees.

Or Twitter could go further, like Netflix, which stopped offering subscriptions through Apple entirely in 2018.

Musk could sell Twitter Blue on the company's website at a cheaper price and tweet to his over 118 million followers that Blue is only available on It might work and could help cut Apple out of any fees.

But that also means Twitter would have to remove many options for informing users about the subscription inside the app, where they're most likely to make a purchasing decision. And Apple has detailed rules about what apps can link to when telling users about alternative ways to pay.

As Netflix's app says: "You can't sign up for Netflix in the app. We know it's a hassle."

A power struggle over content moderation

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S., on Monday, June 4, 2018. 

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Musk faces the power of Apple and Google and their ability to decline to approve or even pull apps that violate their rules over content moderation and harmful content.

It's happened before. Apple said in a letter to Congress last year that it had removed over 30,000 apps from its store over objectionable content in 2020.

If app store-related problems strike Twitter, it could be "catastrophic," according to the former Twitter head of trust and safety Roth. Twitter lists app review as a risk factor in filings with the SEC, he noted.

Apple and Google can remove apps for various reasons, like issues with an app's security and whether it complies with the platform billing rules. And app reviews can delay release schedules and cause havoc whenever Musk wants to launch new features.

In the past few years, the app stores have started more closely scrutinizing user-generated content that starts shading into violent speech or social networks that lack content moderation.

There's precedent for a complete ban. Apple and Google banned Parler, a much smaller and conservative-leaning site, in 2020 after posts on the site promoted the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6 and included calls for violence. In Apple's case, the decision to ban high-profile apps is made by a group called the Executive Review Board, which is led by Schiller — the Apple executive who deleted his Twitter account over the weekend.

Although Apple approved Truth Social, Trump's social networking app, in February, it took longer for Google Play to approve it. The company told CNBC in August that the social network lacked "effective systems for moderating user-generated content" and therefore violated Google's Play Store terms of service. Google eventually approved the app in October, saying that apps need to "remove objectionable posts such as those that incite violence."

Musk reportedly fired many of Twitter's contact content moderators this month.

Apple and Google have been careful while banning apps like Parler, pointing to specific guideline violations like screenshots of the offending posts, instead of citing broad political reasons or pressure from lawmakers. On a social network as large as Twitter, it's often possible to find content that hasn't been flagged yet.

Still, Apple and Google are unlikely to want to wade into a difficult battle over what constitutes harmful information and what doesn't. That could end up inviting public scrutiny and political debate. It's possible that app stores simply delay approving new versions instead of threatening to remove apps entirely.

Future features could also irk Apple and Google and prompt a closer look at the platform's current operations.

Musk has reportedly talked about allowing users to paywall user-generated videos — something that former employees think would lead to the feature being used for adult content, according to the Washington Post.

Apple's App Store has never allowed pornography, a policy that dates back to the company's founder, Steve Jobs, and Google also bans apps centered around sexual content.

Anything that isn't safe for work needs to be hidden by default. Twitter currently allows adult content, which could put it even more directly into reviewer sights.

"Apps with user-generated content or services that end up being used primarily for pornographic content ... do not belong on the App Store and may be removed without notice," Apple's guidelines say.

But Musk often runs towards battles, not away from them. Now he has to decide whether it's worth taking on two of the most valuable and powerful companies in Silicon Valley over 30% fees and Twitter's ability to host edgy tweets.

An Apple representative didn't respond to a request for comment. A Google representative declined to comment. Twitter didn't respond to an email and the company no longer has a communications department. Musk didn't respond to a tweet.

Mon, 28 Nov 2022 02:52:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Apple Refurbished Products: Should You Buy Them?

There's sometimes a stigma against purchasing refurbished electronics because many companies don't have rigorous quality control programs for refurbished devices, but that's not the case with Apple. Some companies may sell refurbished items with cosmetic defects and other issues, but Apple's refurbished products available from its online store are "as good as new" products, but with a lower price tag.

Every refurbished iPad, iPhone, Mac, Apple TV, or Apple accessory Apple sells goes through a certification process that ensures full functionality, and with iOS devices, each one gets a new outer shell and a fresh battery. All refurbished products come with a 1-year warranty, just like new devices. Note that you can get refurbished or used Apple products at steeper discounts from third-party retailers, but it's only Apple that offers a rigorous refurbishment process and inspection.

As long as you can wait a few months to pick up an Apple product, there's virtually no downside to purchasing a refurbished model. The quality is superb and the price savings can be worth the wait. This guide covers all the ins and outs of refurbished products, from release timelines and prospective price savings to warranty information and stock information.

What is a Refurbished Product?

The products sold in Apple's online refurbished store are pre-owned products that have been returned to Apple by customers who ran into some kind of defect, such as a faulty SSD on a MacBook Pro or dead pixels on an ‌iPad‌'s display. They may also be products that customers have elected to recycle through Apple's recycling program or products that were unwanted and returned even in perfect condition.

apple lineup

Apple repairs these products and replaces all faulty parts before offering them for sale again through the online refurbished site. Refurbished products are only available through Apple's website and are not offered within retail stores.

Refurbished Products Available From Apple

Apple offers a wide range of refurbished products in its online store, from Macs and iPads to the ‌Apple TV‌ and Apple Watch. Refurbished products range from stock models to those that have been custom built with upgraded parts through Apple's custom build-to-order options. A full list of products that can be purchased at a discount is below:



Apple Watch and Other Products:

Apple sells refurbished products that are both current-generation machines and machines from previous years that are now discontinued, and with different configurations and capacities.

Stock Fluctuations

The stock on Apple's refurbished site is based on what people return or have replaced. That means the refurbished products that are available are constantly fluctuating and are only available in very limited quantities. It also means many of the Macs that are available may not be stock machines, instead featuring various upgrades to hardware like RAM, SSD storage, and processors.

Purchasing a refurbished Mac can be confusing because Apple offers older machines right alongside newer machines. It's often difficult to tell the difference between processors and other hardware between years, especially for those who don't keep up with what's new in Apple's yearly refreshes.

Before making a purchase from the refurbished store, make sure to thoroughly read all product descriptions and research the hardware in the machine to make sure that it meets your needs. Many older Macs continue to be capable options that will last for many years, but there can be some notable differences in both performance and included features.

Getting a specific Mac or ‌iPad‌ from the refurbished store may mean waiting for several days to several weeks and frequently checking for new stock of the desired model. When planning to buy from the refurbished store, it's best to assume there will be a wait involved, especially if you're looking for exact custom options and upgrades.

There are some useful sites that can help you keep an eye on stock in Apple's refurbished store, sending an alert whenever a desired model is added. displays each product Apple has in stock, lists the date a specific model was last available, and lets users set up an alert to be notified when a particular model is back in the store. includes availability statistics and pricing history, which are both useful tools when choosing a refurbished product to purchase.

refurb me logo

Refurb Tracker lets you select specific product categories to watch, with notifications available through email or an RSS feed. Refurb Tracker and both support tracking refurbished products in all of the countries where Apple has a refurbished online store, and they're excellent resources for finding the exact refurbished device that you want.

Apple's Pricing

The main reason to purchase a refurbished Apple product is for the hefty discount, which drops the prices on both current-generation Macs and iPads and older now-discontinued machines. Discounts on iPads and Macs generally range from 15 to 20 percent, but on rare occasions prices, can drop by as much as 25 percent. The older a machine is, the lower the price will be.

On many models, Apple includes the discount percentage and the exact amount saved, but for others, including older Macs, manual price comparisons will need to be made. Prices take into account the hardware upgrades included in refurbished built-to-order Macs.


For iPads and iPhones, most discounts range from 14 to 17 percent off, dropping the price from $50 to $140 off of the original cost. On some higher-end older cellular models, discounts are higher, ranging up to 22 percent off.

In most cases, Apple's refurbished prices aren't going to beat the discounts you can get from unofficial third-party sites that offer refurbished machines, but they are going to be more affordable than new machines. Apple's refurbished discounts also often beat sale prices on newer products available from third-party retailers like Best Buy, MacMall, and Amazon.

How does Apple Test Refurbished Products?

On its website, Apple outlines the rigorous testing procedures that are used to confirm each and every product is in full working condition and free from blemishes and other cosmetic defects.

Apple says its refurbishment procedures use the same basic technical guidelines that are used during its Finished Goods testing procedures for retail products. Here's the general refurbishing process Apple follows:

  1. Each product is tested to make sure it is in working condition. This phase includes several tests, such as full burn-in testing for displays.
  2. Defective modules identified during the testing process are replaced with functional parts.
  3. iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches receive brand new batteries and new outer enclosures, ensuring there will be no cosmetic damage.
  4. Each product is thoroughly cleaned and inspected by Apple employees.
  5. Current software is installed on the device, and each product ships with its original operating system software and the custom software offered with it.
  6. Following the cleaning, products are repackaged with their appropriate cables and manuals in new plain white boxes.
  7. Apple assigns the product a new refurbished part number and a new serial number.
  8. The product undergoes another quality assurance inspection before being given the okay to be sold to the public.


A refurbished product sold by Apple is nearly indistinguishable from a new product, aside from the packaging. Apple's refurbished products come in a plain white box with an "Apple Certified Refurbished" ensure and the name of the product on the front. In contrast, Apple's retail packaging often includes eye-catching images of the product.


Inside the box, refurbished products and new products include the same cables and manuals.

Warranty and Apple Care

Apple's warranty policy for refurbished Macs and iPads is one of the main reasons why there's no downside to purchasing a refurbished item.

applecare apple care banner

Apple sells all of its refurbished products with the same one-year warranty and 90 days of phone support that it offers with all of its standard retail products. That means if something goes wrong with a refurbished product during the first 365 days after you buy it, Apple will fix the issue at no cost or offer a free replacement.

Refurbished products can be serviced at an Apple retail store, via mail, or through an Apple Authorized Service Provider.

AppleCare+ can be purchased alongside refurbished products, extending the warranty period. For Macs, purchasing the AppleCare+ Protection Plan extends warranty coverage and telephone support to a full three years (or more with a subscription), regardless of the year the Mac was originally released. Apple will fix any manufacturing issues that arise, including faulty batteries that retain less than 80 percent charge. Two incidents of accidental damage per year are also included.

With the ‌iPad‌ and ‌iPhone‌, purchasing the ‌AppleCare‌+ protection plan extends warranty coverage and telephone support to at least two years. It also covers two incidents of accidental damage per year, each subject to a service fee (plus applicable tax) for repair or replacement. Accidental damage covers anything from water exposure to shattered displays due to drops, while Apple will fix manufacturing problems, including a faulty battery, at no cost.

New Releases

When a new Apple product is released, it does not become available for purchase from the refurbished store for several months. Most products are available after a three or four month wait, but refurbished versions of products with supply constraints may not be available for six to nine months after launch.

Customers who are planning to wait to purchase a refurbished version of a newly launched product should plan to delay their purchase for at least three months and longer with the ‌iPhone‌. It often takes Apple more than a year to make refurbished versions of new iPhones available for purchase.

Shipping and In-Store Pickup

Refurbished products can be shipped directly to your home address or shipped to a local Apple Store for in-store pickup. Refurbished models are never in stock for same-day pickup at a retail store because they come from a central warehouse, but shipping often takes just two or three days.

Country List

Apple certified refurbished products are available in multiple countries, not just the United States. Here's a full list of the countries where Apple operates an online refurbished store:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Refurbished iPhones

The ‌iPhone‌ is Apple's most popular product, so the company undoubtedly receives a huge number of faulty iPhones. While Apple offers iPhones on its refurbished website, the company also sometimes uses refurbished iPhones as under-warranty or out-of-warranty replacements for customers who run into issues with their devices.

iphone xr black

There is nothing wrong with receiving a refurbished ‌iPhone‌ as a replacement for a retail device as these are closely inspected by Apple, but some customers prefer to know what kind of device they're receiving when getting an ‌iPhone‌ repaired or replaced.

The answer lies in the model number of the ‌iPhone‌, which can be found by going to General --> About in the Settings app and checking the first letter of the model number.

iphone 13 model number

  • M - Retail Unit
  • N - Replacement Unit (Can be refurbished)
  • P - Personalized Unit
  • F - Refurbished Unit

M always denotes a new retail device, while N is used for iPhones that have been earmarked by Apple for replacements. These can be new devices or refurbished devices. Apple's use of "P" and "F" is less clear, but "N" and "M" appear to be regularly used based on our research of refurbished iPhones.

Another method of determining whether an ‌iPhone‌ has been refurbished is through checking the Lifetime cellular usage. When resetting Cellular statistics, the Lifetime metric does not change, even on a device that's been wiped or had a new operating system installed.


  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to "Cellular."
  3. Scroll down to "Call Time."
  4. Check the "Lifetime" call time.

On a new device, this should be at zero or close to it - sometimes there are minutes on a new device due to factory testing.

Buying Refurbished Products From Third-Party Resellers

Apple's online refurbished store is the only source for official refurbished products certified by Apple. No third-party retailers are permitted to sell machines that have been guaranteed by Apple's refurbishing process.

You may see other sites such as Amazon, Best Buy, Gazelle, Mac of All Trades, and others offering refurbished Macs at low price, but these do not come with the same warranty and have not been tested by Apple. Refurbished Macs purchased from third-party resellers will include more limited warranties and are not be eligible to receive one year of free support from Apple.

Refurbished machines from third-party sites may come at a much lower cost, but the savings may not be worth it should a major problem surface down the road. If purchasing from a third-party site, aim for a retailer that offers a 90-day or more warranty and a guaranteed inspection process.

Bottom Line

If you plan on purchasing an Apple product and don't mind waiting until a few months after it's released, there's no reason to choose a new device over a refurbished device. With enough patience, you can find the exact model you're looking for, and the process goes even quicker if you have some flexibility on specs that could vary due to build-to-order upgrades.

By purchasing a refurbished product directly from Apple, you can save up to a couple hundred dollars and get the same benefits you get with a brand new Apple product, including a guaranteed inspection process and a 1-year warranty.

You may save more cash purchasing a refurbished machine from a third-party retailer, but do so with caution -- there's less protection if something goes wrong.

Wed, 30 Nov 2022 22:39:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Apple AirPods 2 undergoing Bluetooth certification, release imminent?

(Pocket-lint) - Apple might not have announced its expected AirPods refresh at its October iPad Pro event but there is evidence to suggest they are still coming soon.

The Apple AirPods 2 are currently undergoing certification by the Bluetooth SIG and will come with Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, according to a declaration form published online.

Listed under the model numbers A2031 and A2032, the certification process is usually a good indication that a device is imminent. One approved by the Bluetooth SIG, the headphones will be deemed fit for consumer use (when it comes to wireless connectivity, at least).

In addition, separate trademark filings seem to have revealed a possible new feature for the updated AirPods. Filings in Europe and Hong Kong suggest AirPods 2 could contain their own health tracking sensors.


The filing has been approved for Apple AirPods to also cover the following: "General wellness instruments, namely, health, fitness, exercise, and wellness sensors," reports MySmartPrice.

"It also covers monitors, speakers and displays of measuring, displaying, tracking, reporting, monitoring, storing, and transmitting biometric data, heart rate, body movement, and calories burned."

Apple already uses its Watch for fitness and health tracking, working in tandem with the Health integration in iPhone. But not everyone has a Watch and extending its Health reach to other devices makes sense for Apple.

Best Lightning headphones in 2022 for your iPhone or iPad

Writing by Rik Henderson.

Thu, 24 Nov 2022 20:20:00 -0600 Rik Henderson en-gb text/html
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Sun, 04 Dec 2022 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html Killexams : How to Invest in Stocks: A Survival Guide
  • Stocks as a Path to Wealth
  • What Are Stocks?
  • Trading Places: A Short History of Stocks
  • Why Invest in Stocks: Pros and Cons
  • How Stock Market Trading Works
  • Stock Market Research and Trading Strategies: “Best Bets” to Build Your Portfolio
  • 10 Golden Rules for Stronger Stock Market Trading
  • Stock Market Investing: Your Financial Future Is Now
  • Stocks as a Path to Wealth

    “The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you’re beating the market. It’s by putting in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that is going to get you where you want to go”– Benjamin Graham

    Stock market investing is one of the greatest wealth-creation vehicles in world history – if not the greatest.

    And the data backs it up.

    According to Standard & Poor’s comparison of stock, bond, and cash returns from 1926 to 2021, stocks easily produce the biggest gains for investors.

    According to the study…

    • $1 invested in stocks in 1926 grew to $10,000 by 2021.
    • $1 invested in bonds in 1926 grew to $100 by 2021.
    • $1 invested in cash reserves in 1926 grew to $12 by 2021.

    While the rewards are abundant, becoming a successful – and profitable – investor isn’t easy. To make money investing in stocks you need good money management skills and asset allocation… you need to understand your personal risk/reward profile… and you should outline your personal investing goals ahead of time. Then, of course, you need to find the right stocks to invest in.

    Educating yourself on stocks and the financial markets can mean the difference between big portfolio gains and frustrating portfolio losses.

    In this free report from InvestorPlace, we’ll explain how stocks work, demystify the complicated nature of stock trading, and provide a bulletproof plan to maximize your stock market investment experience – for the short-term and the long-term.

    What Are Stocks?

    A stock represents a share of ownership of a publicly traded company.

    As an investor the value of your ownership rises and falls with the company’s assets and earnings. When sales and earnings are growing, stock prices increase. When a stock’s price rises, investors make money on the shares they own. (Of course, stock prices can rise because of positive news, executive changes, or other things as well.)

    Investors can also benefit from company dividends. Dividends, often paid quarterly in the form of cash or stock, are paid out from a company to its shareholders.

    As a shareholder you can attend company shareholder meetings and occasionally vote on broad issues like confirming a board of directors, issuing new securities, and new company mergers and acquisitions, but your impact on company operations is limited.

    Most stockholders are okay with that – the reason they invest in a company isn’t to run the business, it’s to benefit from superior financial performance that translates into higher stock prices.

    On the downside, there’s no ensure a company’s stock will rise in value. Stock prices can and do decline.

    That’s why robust research and working with a trusted financial adviser can be a big help when investing in stocks.

    At a Glance. recently rated the “10 best long-term investments” as follows – with eight slots reserved for stocks or stock-related investments.

    Different Types of Stocks

    Just like your favorite ice cream shop has myriad flavors of ice cream, stocks come in myriad categories, too.

    These stock investment categories are among the most widely used. Nearly all investment/brokerage firms offer these categories of stocks.

    Growth stocks. If you’re looking for an investment that offers the potential for accelerated market gains, growth stocks could be for you. Amazon, Google and Apple are all examples of growth companies that made it big, stock market-wise.

    Growth stocks often come from fast-moving industries, like technology, fintech and biosciences. Company executives tend to take revenues and plow them back into the business, to encourage further operational and financial growth. (That’s why growth companies don’t pay dividends – they want profits put back to work inside the company.)

    Be forewarned, though. Companies who operate in the fast lane tend to take risks that more conservative companies don’t. That could lead to falling revenues and sliding stock prices when business is off, or in downbeat economies.

    Value stocks. If you’re looking to take your risk/reward exposure down a notch and want to buy stocks at discounted prices, value stocks could be in play.

    Value stocks are more defensive-oriented securities that perform well in tumbling economies, as interest rates rise and money is tight. That’s primarily so as value stocks are usually a better deal than growth stocks when measured by key metrics like a company’s price/earnings ratio, i.e., what a stock buyer pays for each dollar of a company’s earnings.

    Value stocks can offer solid returns, but historically at a slower pace than growth stocks. Bank stocks, like Bank of America, and consumer good stocks, like Proctor & Gamble, are good examples of value stocks.

    Dividend stocks. Investors who prefer companies that return cash directly to shareholders often turn to dividend stocks.

    Dividend stocks usually come from older, more established companies that have a reliable record of earnings and may not require as much cash as a growth or value company. Typically, dividend-paying companies distribute profits to shareholders on a quarterly basis and also commit to doing so on a regular basis going forward.

    Big Fortune 500 consumer and industrial brands like Coca-Cola, Dow, Walmart, and 3M tend to offer cash dividends, with dividend yields as high as 3%, 4% or even 5%. Such companies are called “dividend aristocrats”, as they’ve boosted dividend dividends per share for a minimum of 25 consecutive years.

    Large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap stocks. Stocks can also be categorized by the size of a publicly-traded company’s market capitalization, i.e., the total financial value of their shares of stock. To properly calculate a company’s “market cap”, simply multiply the total number of a company’s tradeable shares by the company’s current stock price.

    Typically, that size is broken down into three categories: large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap stocks.

    Large-cap stocks. These stocks come with market capitalizations of $10 billion or higher. They’re stocks that are deemed by traders to be more conservative and consistent, and are widely traded on major market exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange.

    Mid-cap stocks. Publicly-traded companies with a market capitalization of between $2 billion and $10 billion are known as mid-cap stocks.

    These stocks may offer different trajectories for investors, either as last-year’s large-cap stock or next year’s small-cap stock.

    Consequently, if you’re looking for a stock with a balanced blend of growth and value, mid-cap stocks can make sense for stock market investors.

    Small-cap stocks. Small-cap stocks come with market caps of between $300 million to $2 billion (another higher-risk stock category – micro-caps – have market caps of up to $300 million.)

    Since there are so many small-cap stocks, given the vast number of companies with market cap ranges that low, small-caps are both widely and actively traded, thus bringing more market volatility into the mix compared to large-cap and mid-cap stocks.

    With more risk on the table, investors should be thorough in vetting small-cap stocks, which may offer more opportunity for gains, but also more potential for significant losses.

    ESG stocks. So-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) stocks are geared toward the ethically-minded investor.

    With ESG stocks, the focus isn’t primarily on profits, although that’s an important component. Equally important are the values and ethics on key factors like impact on the environment, demonstrated, shareholder rights, health impact (i.e., no tobacco, alcohol or firearms, for example), and company-related charitable and community impact.

    Studies do show that not only are ESG stocks popular with the investing public, their return on investment is highly competitive, too.

    International stocks. For investors who don’t mind some wanderlust, international stocks can be a solid performance and diversification addition to any investment portfolio.

    These stocks, which are traded outside the U.S., offer the prospect of good returns with portfolio geographical diversity. After all, the U.S. isn’t the only country with a robust economy.

    Foreign bourses like Japan, Australia, Brazil, Belgium and South Africa, among many other countries, can also produce fast-growing economies with risk and return tendencies that are different from the U.S., and that can balance out any stock portfolio that’s loaded up with U.S. stocks.

    Additionally, international stocks can negate or minimize the impact of a declining U.S. dollar, which can be offset by investments in foreign companies in countries where currencies are robust.

    That said, there is a decent element of risk associated with investing stocks from far off lands.

    International stocks require serious due diligence before investing in them. Global investors can benefit from investing in foreign stocks funds and by working closely with a professional money manager with solid international stock trading experience.

    Initial public offering (IPO) stocks. Publicly-traded stocks have to start somewhere, and that comes in the context of newly-minted IPO stocks.

    These stocks allow private companies to start trading publicly via an initial public offering on stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq. It’s not always easy to get in on the ground floor of a publicly-traded company but that’s exactly what IPO stocks offer.

    Even so, steering cash into a new, possibly unproven IPO can be risky. Thus, limiting exposure to IPO stocks may be an idea worth considering.

    Stock funds. If betting on the fortunes of individual stocks is too daunting or too complex, why not invest in mutual funds or index funds that provides broad diversity to stock-minded investors?

    It’s fairly easy to get the best of both worlds with stock funds – access to all kinds of stock indexes and categories along with a diversified stock portfolio that owns potentially owns hundreds of stocks.

    Stock funds make good sense for investors who don’t want to take on the research and management that comes with comes with stock trading on a full-time basis. Instead of buying a single small-cap or value stock, you can buy into major index-weighted funds, like an S&P 500 or Nasdaq 100 index funds.

    Fees are increasingly investor friendly – at about 1% or lower for a good exchange-traded fund – and there’s no need to do the legwork, as the fund’s professional money manager takes care of that task for you.

    Like stocks, stock funds come with a fair share of investment risk, as some funds can move 30% in either direction of the course of a year. In general, however, you get more safety and diversification element with stock funds than you do with individual stocks.

    Robo-advisor. The digital age has had a significant impact on stock market investing.

    Exhibit “A” is the robo-advisor approach, which allows investors to log onto an online investment site, fill out their investment goals, needs and timelines, and deposit some cash into the account.

    The robo-investment advisor takes over from there, investing your money on your behalf, using your risk tolerance, time horizon, and short- and long-term investment goals.

    Typically, the robo-advisor will place portfolio funds in low-cost mainstream index funds, thereby constructing a stock portfolio that’s unique to your needs for a low management cost (as low as 0.25% of your total assets on an annual basis.

    Trading Places: A Short History of Stocks

    Stocks – and the stock markets where securities are traded – date back to the 11th century. Then, French “brokers” handled trades between banks and farmers, based on the debts owed by agricultural landholders and the value of the commodities they produced (which rose and fell in value on a regular basis).

    Two centuries later, a Belgian financier named Van de Burse began hosting merchants to trade commodities at his house in an early version of the stock market. Today we still use the word “bourse” to describe financial exchanges.

    The first official stock exchange also originated in Europe. Merchants in Amsterdam gathered to swap shares of the Dutch East India Trading Co., the first publicly traded company that changed hands on a stock exchange.

    America got into the action in the 1700s, when New York business owners gathered in lower Manhattan in what is now Wall Street to trade securities under a buttonwood tree. The experience went so well that the merchants created and signed the “Buttonwood Tree Agreement,” which historians credit with launching the New York Stock Exchange. The NYSE continues to be the largest stock exchange in the world today.

    Stock exchanges proliferated during the late 1890s and early 1900s, a period which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (both still key benchmarks for stock trading) play a major role in the trading and valuation of stocks on behalf of buyers and sellers.

    Fast forward to the 21st centuries… and stocks are regularly traded digitally on major stock exchanges – the average daily trading volumes stood at 14.7 billion in 2021.

    While the NYSE remains the largest stock exchange in the world, the all-electronic Nasdaq and major international exchanges like the ones in London and Tokyo have helped fuel an explosion in global stock trading.

    At a Glance. The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the largest securities exchange in the world, hosting 82% of the S&P 500, as well as 70 of the biggest corporations in the world.

    Why Invest in Stocks? Pros and Cons

    Given their track record as a reliable long-term investment option, there are decidedly more “pros” than “cons” when it comes to investing in stocks.

    But investing in stocks is not without risk. When deciding to invest your hard-earned money in the markets, it important to understand the pros and cons…

    The Pros

    • Robust historical performance. According to industry statistics, the S&P 500 Index has averaged 10% annual returns over the last 100 years. That far outpaces other investment vehicles like bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), bank savings accounts, and commodities like gold and silver.
    • Stocks beat inflation, too – by a lot. At 10% average annual investment returns, stocks tend to stay well ahead of inflation, which usually clocks in at 2% or 3% annually.
    • Stocks are easy to buy. With a vast array of brokerage services and online trading sites, stocks have never been easier to purchase. Many brokerages have removed historical barriers to buying stocks, like account minimums, high fees, and paid stock research programs.
    • Multiple ways to make stocks pay off. Stock market investors can choose from multiple investment return models. For instance, they can buy shares of individual stocks, buy fractional shares of individual stocks, and buy “bundled” stocks in the form of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or index funds. Stock market investors can go for short-term gains or invest for the long term to save money for retirement. Investors can even be paid for owning stocks through dividends.
    • Stocks are highly liquid. Most stocks are readily bought and sold, giving investors a level of comfort that they can turn their stock shares into cash quickly, if needed.

    The Cons

    • No ensure of positive returns. Stocks aren’t bulletproof. Investors can and do lose money on stocks that don’t perform well. Stock market investors need to know going into it that they can lose money with stocks and adjust their expectations – and their investment strategies – accordingly.
    • Investors face multiple risk issues. Whether it’s the risk of losing some or all of your money, the risk that your investments may not be liquid enough to sell quickly, or the risk that your stock portfolio isn’t sufficiently diversified, investors have to account for myriad outcomes – bad and good – when investing in stocks.
    • You need to do your homework. While wealthier investors frequently lean on professional stockbrokers to build their portfolios, Main Street investors often research stocks and markets on their own. That takes time, discipline, and patience. After all, you likely wouldn’t buy a car without kicking a few tires. The same goes for stock research, which can involve practicing complex financial documents, tracking the news regularly, using highly sophisticated trading tools and charts, and budgeting the appropriate amount of money needed to meet your unique portfolio investment needs.
    • Tax issues. While stock market investors can benefit from certain tax breaks if you sell a stock for a loss, selling for a gain results in a capital gains tax. Capitol gains taxes vary in percentage depending on how long you’ve held the stock. Taxes tend to be higher on short-term holdings – usually under a year. In other words, day and swing traders pay a lot more in taxes than long-term investors.
    • Potentially high stress. Stocks can take an emotional toll on investors, particularly those who take higher risks. That can lead to unfortunate scenarios like selling out of fear or trying to “time the market” by removing money from stock portfolio accounts when stocks decline – and then missing out when the market rebounds.

    At a Glance: Build a practicing list before you invest. Becoming a good stock investor means becoming a good reader.

    That means regular reviewing key investment documents like annual company reports, Standard & Poor’s stock reports company 10K and 10Q reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and media like InvestorPlace, The Wall Street Journal, and other informative investment content.

    On Wall Street, a little knowledge goes a long way, so get in the habit of practicing the stock market data and news that makes you a smarter investor.

    How Stock Market Trading Works

    Before starting to invest, job one is to understand why companies issue stock and what that process means to you as an investor.

    Basically, companies issue stock shares to raise money to run their operations. Using stock share income enables companies to hire employees, conduct research, build plants and offices, and acquire other companies – just for starters.

    A company’s first step in issuing stock shares is to go through an initial public offering. An IPO means a company is issuing stock shares publicly for the first time. Once the IPO is complete, the shares are traded publicly on a stock exchange – like the NYSE or Nasdaq – for anyone to buy or sell.

    When you buy a company’s stock, you’re not buying it from the company itself; you’re actually buying it from other investors who own shares in that company. Correspondingly, if you sell shares in a company’s stock, you won’t be selling the stock back to the company. Instead, you’ll be selling the stock to another investor.

    Stock trades are executed by a broker or trader, via a stock exchange, such as the NYSE or Nasdaq. Today, it’s common for investors to purchase stocks online through a broker’s digital trading platform, which connects the investor to the appropriate stock exchange where the specific stock trades.

    Once you understand how and where stocks are traded, your next step is to open a stock brokerage account. Here’s a step-by-step process to get the job done right.

  • Establish what kind of brokerage account suits you best.
  • The right kind of stock brokerage account depends on your unique investment needs. Usually, that scenario leads to one of several stock trading accounts.

    • A traditional brokerage account: A traditional stock brokerage account, formally known as a taxable brokerage account or a standard brokerage account, is a popular choice for investors who don’t have complicated investment portfolios. If you simply want to trade stocks from time to time or trade stocks to meet short-term personal financial goals, a traditional brokerage account is a solid option.
    • A margin account: If you have a little more risk appetite, you can open a traditional broker account with a margin account add-on. Margin accounts enable you to borrow money from the brokerage firm to trade more stocks, using your stock portfolio as collateral. Expect to pay interest on any funds borrowed via a margin account, and note that margin accounts come with abundant risk.If, for instance, the market drops significantly, the brokerage firm can demand payment on your margin loans immediately. If you can’t make the payments, the brokerage can legally seize your portfolio assets to cover the costs of the margin loan.
    • An IRA account: New stock market investors with a long-term horizon may opt for an individual retirement account (IRA) geared to stashing money away for retirement.The upside to IRA accounts are the tax deductions that come part and parcel with such accounts. One downside is that you can’t access your account funds until age 59-and-a-half. If you raid your IRA prior to that time, you face hefty fines and penalties imposed by Uncle Sam.Roth IRA accounts enable you to access your account funds more easily. Just note that account withdrawals are limited to direct contributions – investment profits cannot be taken out of the account.
  • Start shopping for the best trading platform deals.
  • Brokerage charges and fees have significantly declined over the past decade, as online trading platforms have driven market prices down.

    While that’s good news for new stock traders, it’s still a good idea to price shop before putting any money down is a stock brokerage account.

    Launch that process with a full review of any broker’s pricing schedules. Increasingly, basic “buy” and “sell” executions come with either no or low service fees. If, however, you want to trade other assets, like bonds, commodities, equity options, cryptocurrencies, or ETFs, you’ll likely pay a higher fee to do so.

    For firms that charge fees, the average stands at about $3 to $7 per trade. Thanks in part to Robinhood’s free trading platform gaining in popularity the last few years, many online brokerage firms have lowered their fees to $0 for unassisted stock trades.

    You can also anticipate additional charges, such as annual account fees (about $50 to $75 per year); research fees (from $1 to $30 per month); and paper statement fees (about $2 per month), in addition to other fees related to more complex trading strategies. Brokerage firms outline their fee structure on their websites, so be sure to check them out so you are not surprised later.

  • Know what features you’re getting.
  • In addition to looking at stock trading costs, new investors should thoroughly review the features and amenities offered by brokerage/trading firms.

    Here’s a short list of items that should be offered by a brokerage firm:

    • Good research. Smart stock trading doesn’t usually happen without access to quality research. When choosing a trading firm, make sure it offers a robust stock rating feature along with clean access to quality stock research firms like Morningstar or Standard & Poor’s.
    • A solid trading platform. Efficient, easy-to-use trading software is a “must have” for any stock investor – especially a new one. Ask your broker about its trading software features (for example,, does it allow for trading foreign stocks or cryptocurrencies; does it allow trading of fractional shares; what’s the mobile app trading experience like; and can you actively test the trading software before paying for the service?). Ask around and see what trading platform your friends, families, and other experienced traders recommend. Online reviews are easy to find and can help you evaluate a brokerage’s stock trade services.
    • Help desk and customer service. A stock trading platform is only as good as its customer service – and so you should vet a brokerage’s customer experience. Check to see if the trading firm has the customer service options you need, such as face-to-face branch office availability, 24/7 customer services by phone, an easy-to-use and reliable mobile app, account features like easy money transfers, and online/mobile full trading services.

    Again, ask around and leverage web reviews to see if a potential brokerage trading partner meets your specific needs.

  • Make your decision.
  • Okay, you’ve done your research and vetted potential brokerage partners – now it’s time to make a decision and start trading stocks.

    You want to choose a brokerage firm that offers the best trading tools at an affordable price. You’ll want a trading partner that offers superior customer service and caters to stock-trading beginners.

    Don’t make this process too complicated.

    Start a “pros” and “cons” list for each of the brokerage firms under consideration. Whichever one has the best ratio of “pros” to “cons” should be your winner. If you’re still in doubt, share your list with trusted friends and family and any regular stock traders you know. They can help pick the stock trading platform that best meets your best unique needs.

  • Fill out your account information.
  • Once you’ve chosen a firm, it’s time to complete your new brokerage account information.

    Most trading firms offer online account registration, which can make for a quick and easy process.

    When you open up the sign-in document, expect to include the following information in your account registration process:

    • Name
    • Phone number
    • Address
    • Social Security number
    • Driver’s license information
    • Employment status
    • Investable assets
    • Investment goals
    • Your net worth (possibly)

    You’ll also need to include your banking information, especially your preferred way of funding your account and taking withdrawals.

    These options include:

    • E-funds transfer. This mechanism enables you to send and receive money by linking your checking account to the bank’s electronic payment system. Expect payments to hit your account the next business day.
    • Wire transfer. This mode of bank payment allows you to see payments completed within a few minutes, as a bank-to-bank payment transfer is a quick and seamless process.
    • Paper checks. Brokerage firms still accept traditional paper checks, but the process may take several days to complete.
    • Rolled-over assets. Sometimes, new investors need to transmit funds directly from their 401(k) or IRA accounts. That’s perfectly acceptable – just ask your broker the best way to set payments up using rollover accounts.

    One note on funding your trading firm account. No matter what banking mechanism you use to fund and receive payments with your brokerage firm, you may have to meet minimum funding and operating levels (usually between $100 and $500 for traditional accounts, or a $1,000-and-up minimum account level for more sophisticated accounts).

    That’s it – now you’re ready to buy and sell stocks.

    It’s a good idea to talk to a trusted financial professional about your investment goals and stock trading preferences. A good, local financial planner should do the trick.

    The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) offers a good database of certified U.S.-based financial planners to choose from – just plug in your ZIP code and start searching right away here.

    At a Glance: demo Brokerage Firm Account Form.The U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers a helpful demo brokerage account form. Check it out before your fill out the real thing so you’ll know what to expect.

    Stock Market Research and Trading Strategies: “Best Bets” to Build Your Portfolio

    There’s no shortage of ways to structure a stock trading strategy, but some trading models have stood the test of time better than others – especially for traders just starting out.

    Let’s look at the most common and effective stock trading strategies, and see how they might fit into your long-term portfolio management experience.

    Before you begin, make sure to review your investment goals, current household budget, current household cash flow, and investment risk tolerance.

    It’s highly advisable to keep your stock purchase activity well inside the constraints of your household finances – for the short and long term. Remember: You can lose money trading stocks, and you shouldn’t go into debt by overbuying stocks, especially when you’re just getting the lay of the market land.

    Value Investing

    One of the best, and safer, stock market investment strategies can be found in value investing.

    Value investing is the bargain shopping corner of the stock investment landscape. Value investors like Berkshire Hathaway founder Warren Buffet and former Fidelity Investments star manager Peter Lynch believed that certain stocks are undervalued, and that there are characteristics and clues available to help investors single out value stocks.

    The great value investors also believe there are certain irregularities in the stock market that trigger discounted prices in select stocks.

    Those traders didn’t need to comb through volumes of complex financial data to pick good value stocks. Instead, they leaned on bedrock corporate finance principles like company cash flow, price-versus-earnings, market share, annual revenue minus debt, and the ability and length of term of company decision makers.

    The great value investors don’t place a high priority on sophisticated trading charts and market algorithms. Instead, they place it on a simple concept – is the underlying company a good, well-run business that can thrive over the long haul? (Remember, as a market investor, you’re not really buying stocks – you’re buying companies.)

    Time matters, too. So-called “buy and hold” investors like Buffet view value stocks as long-term propositions. As long as performance remains stable and strong, there’s no reason to sell a value stock early – not when value investors make stock investment selections based on years (even decades) of company performance, and with future decades of share growth in mind.

    One of the best and simplest formulas for uncovering hidden stock market gems that produce gains over the long term is a company’s price-to-earnings ratio.

    A company’s price/earnings ratio, also known as the P/E ratio, is represented by a business’s stock share price and its earnings per share. Value investors use the P/E ratio to essentially peg the real value of the company (hence the term “value investing”).

    The goal for any value stock investor is to leverage a company’s P/E ratio to evaluate current and future expectations for a stock, based on the price per unit that investor will be willing to pay for a specific value stock.

    While a firm’s P/E ratio is certainly an important factor in valuing a stock, it’s not the only one. You should include good research on a company’s history, its executive team, and its ability to build robust market share – and on potential stock dividend payouts – in any value stock investment strategy.

    What to look for in a value stock:

    • A robust earnings per share.
    • A company with a good rating from Standard & Poor’s (B or better).
    • A company with low debt. (Check its ratio of assets to liabilities.)
    • Positive earnings growth over time.
    • A company that gives back dividends.

    At a Glance: Value Stocks Can Be a Reliable Investment. Vanguard Investments expects value stocks to outperform growth stocks by 5% to 7% over the next decade, and “perhaps by even a wider margin over the next five years.”

    A good way to track value stocks is through the Russell 1000 Index, which is a value-weighted index composed of 1,000 of the largest U.S. companies, by market capitalization.

    Growth Stocks

    Unlike, value investing, which is focused on the current earnings and overall financial health of a company, growth investors place a higher priority on the future growth of select companies.

    No doubt, early investors were handsomely rewarded with early purchases of stocks in companies like Apple, Amazon and Google. Yet for every Apple, there are hundreds of thousands of small company stocks that don’t grow, and thus disappoint investors.

    That’s the trick with growth stocks – figuring out which ones offer robust upside growth based on future earnings.

    If you hit the mark with a growth stock, the return can be substantial. Over the past 10 years, growth stocks have outperformed value stocks by an average of 7.8%, although value stocks tend to outperform growth on a 10-year time line basis dating back to the 1930s, according to Vanguard Investments.

    Structurally, growth investors seek companies with evidence of strong future earnings.

    Growth investors may use a variety of analytical tools to properly evaluate a growing company, including the industry it resides in and the prospects of future earnings growth inside that industry.

    For example, if a growth investor is probing an electric car manufacturer like Tesla, that investor may spend as much time studying the electric vehicle market as they will be researching Tesla.

    By taking an industry-intensive approach to stock picking, a growth investor hopefully can uncover the potential for a company’s growth potential in that industry for decades to come. That said, a growth approach also considers a company’s current earnings picture, along with a potential trend of robust earnings and sales that provide evidence of long-term growth.

    Growth stocks also can be cyclical in nature. Market data show that growth stocks tend to do well in periods of economic growth when interest rates are low. In periods of economic decline, when rates tend to trend higher, growth stocks underperform against other asset investment models.

    What to look for in a growth stock:

    • A company with good, experienced leadership.
    • A company that’s in an industry with strong growth potential.
    • A company with robust sales.
    • A company with a big target market.
    • A company with profit margins that increase over time.

    At a Glance: No Dividends With Growth Stocks. One feature that most growth stocks won’t provide is dividend payments.

    When companies are growing at a speedy pace, company decision makers prefer to pour stock market proceeds back into the company in order to accelerate even faster growth rates. In that scenario, dividend payments are deemed a luxury that competitive growth companies can’t afford.

    To best track growth stocks, the Dow Jones U.S. Small-Cap Growth Total Stock Market Index is a good index to follow on a regular basis.

    Momentum Investing

    Another, lesser-known stock market investment strategy – at least compared to growth and value investing – is momentum investing.

    Momentum investing is the risk takers’ table in the stock market dining room. Investors who adhere to momentum investing (also known as “ride the wave” investing) rely on technical analysis and crunching data to find stocks that offer the potential to rise dramatically in short periods of time.

    They study tiny share-price patterns that point to small slivers of opportunity of market growth – opportunities that may only offer a short trading window just minutes long.

    Momentum investing is especially popular with so-called day traders. These are aggressive traders who spend their days looking to exploit inefficiencies in the market, snapping up shares of stock that have – if the data is right – short bursts of upward stock movement.

    When the data show the stock is no longer in ascendency, momentum traders sell out of the position as quickly as possible, and then move on to the next “technical” stock opportunity.

    While there’s a case to be made that day trading can produce good returns for traders with deep experience moving in and out of positions quickly, momentum trading is not a smart option for new investors.

    Aside from a knowledge deficiency, new investors who embrace momentum-based day trading face significantly higher trading risks, potentially sky-high trading costs, and long days on the computer studying data algorithms and weighing trade opportunity after trade opportunity.

    For now, at least until you get up to speed on the markets and share-price movements, it’s best to forego the machine-gun style of stock market trading and focus instead on studying growth and value stocks with an eye for the long haul.

    Always Be a Regular Investor

    No matter what stock strategy you use, having a set schedule to invest and aiming to invest regularly can make a big difference over time.

    Here’s why.

    Imagine that Investor A and Investor B both have opened a stock brokerage account with a $5,000 initial deposit. The market is largely robust over a decade, and average annual returns amount to 12% each year, leaving approximately $15,500 in one investor’s account, but not the other’s.

    That’s because Investor A did something Investor B did not – adding an extra $50 to her brokerage account to buy more stocks. She did so for the same 10-year period. Instead of having $15,500 in her investment account after the 10-year period, Investor A had $27,300 in her account.

    If either investor had added $100 to the trading account each month, the returns would have been even higher, given the same time period and the same 12% average annual returns. In that scenario, the original $5,000 investment would have grown to a whopping $39,000.

    The moral of the story?

    Regular contributions to your stock trading account can substantially help grow your assets under management. That’s a habit every stock investor should be pursuing.

    The Takeaway on Stock Market Trading Strategies

    No matter which stock market trading strategy you choose, don’t sell the process short.

    It’s a process that takes time, discipline, and diligence – and that makes the process of selecting stocks as equally important as the outcomes the strategy produces.

    By immersing key factors like risk tolerance, time constraints, and a personal budget into the mix, fledgling investors can maximize their stock trading strategy experience – and to a long and potentially prosperous run as a stock market investor.

    At a Glance: Common Stock Orders Defined.

    When you start buying stocks, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the jargon. Don’t let that get to you – keep the process simple with these common stock execution definitions.

    Ask. This tells buyers what price sellers are willing to accept for a stock.

    Bid. This describes the price that buyers are willing to pay when buying a stock.

    Spread. This is difference between the highest bid price and the lowest ask price for a stock.

    Market order. This describes an investor’s call to buy or sell a stock as soon as possible as the best available price.

    Limit order. This terms to a call from an investor to buy or sell a stock at a specific price or better.

    Stop-loss order. When a stock hits a certain price, a “stop” or “stop-loss” order triggers an automatic market trade execution where the buyer’s stock position is partially or fully sold.

    10 Golden Rules for Stronger Stock Market Trading

    With our foundational pieces in place, let’s add to the “starting out” experience with several time-tested tips to better market trading results. Each should fit nicely into a new stock trader’s tool kit.

  • Conduct a self-audit before investing a dollar in stocks.
  • Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson once said that “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

    Wise words, indeed. That’s exactly why your portfolio investment plan has to be bulletproof, and why the planning process should start with a thorough and honest self-audit.

    Assessing factors like your investment goals and your cash-flow situation before buying stocks are all components of a financial self-audit.

    Don’t flinch with your pre-stock trading self-assessment. The more you know about your household financial situation, the better financial steward you’ll be when the markets get chaotic and the fists start flying – with your money on the line.

    In stock investing, stability counts for a whole lot. Good financial planning before you start buying stocks can build the foundation needed to grow your portfolio assets over time, within the confines of a good household budget and a solid long-term investment strategy.

  • Leverage IRA account trading.
  • New stock market investors can take some financial risk out of the equation by opening an IRA account with their stock brokerage firm.

    Most online brokerage firms accept IRA accounts for stock trading and make them easy to open and to start trading.

    The big advantage is that you can steer up to $6,000 annually into your IRA account ($7,000 for Americans over the age of 50) in a tax-advantaged basis, which can add account funds to your stock trading experience.

    One note of caution: IRA withdrawals before the age of 59-and-a-half can trigger IRS fees and penalties. When you use IRA funds to trade, think long term – a good idea for most stock investors.

  • Balance your stock portfolio with index funds.
  • Chances are that you won’t want an investment portfolio that’s top-heavy with stocks. It can be risky to do so, especially for new investors with little experience managing an investment portfolio.

    That’s where index funds can help. Instead of laying all out your cash on a few stocks, parcel some cash out for index funds or ETFs that pool dozens or even hundreds of stocks into one fund.

    Having a stake in 10 funds instead of 100 individual stocks reduces overall investment risk, but still allows investors to take advantage of effective investment vehicles like value stocks, growth stocks, international stocks, and sector-specific stocks like technology, healthcare, or banking and finance.

    Additionally, index funds and ETFs come with low fees – sometimes as low as 0.100% to 0.25% of all assets under management.

  • Limit your stock investments at first.
  • When you’re starting out as a stock investor, it’s a good idea to limit your stock investments until you’ve gained more experience as a market trader. There’s no standard rule of thumb, but many financial planners advise limiting the individual stock portion of your investment portfolio to 10% or 15%.

    Working regularly with a financial planner, you can adjust the stock portion of your overall portfolio over time, as you become more familiar with securities trading.

  • Avoid penny stocks.
  • So-called penny stocks are just what you may think – the bargain bin for securities traders.

    As a new stock market investor, provide penny stocks a wide birth. They not only come with high risk, but they can be difficult to trade (not many buyers want them) and can easily be delisted by major stock exchanges – usually for significant price declines or malfeasance by the company.

  • Don’t “trade the news.”
  • While it’s understandingly tempting to buy and sell stock shares based on what you see on CNBC, what you read in The Wall Street Journal, or what you see on Twitter, resist the urge. Short-term swings based on company or industry news are likely temporary and go against your long-term “buy and hold” strategy.

    As long as you’re stocking your portfolio with solid companies that perform over time, ignore the news and stick to your investment plan. After all, news comes and goes, but a good investment strategy stays for the long haul.

  • Take advantage of dollar-cost averaging.
  • Stock trading success largely depends on buying low and selling high, but that’s not possible when investing in chaotic markets with millions of trades executed every day.

    One way to benefit more regularly from market fluctuations when buying stocks is through dollar-cost averaging (DCA). This investment strategy curbs the impact of high market volatility when buying stocks. With DCA, instead of making a single lump-sum stock purchase, you buy smaller amounts of stocks on a predetermined periodic timetable (monthly or quarterly, for example), until you own the number of shares needed, based on your investment strategy.

    This “slow and steady” stock-buying strategy can take an abundant amount of pricing risk out of the equation, while keeping your stock market investment goals in good standing.

  • Use a paper-trading account before using the real thing.
  • Most reputable stock brokerage firms will offer you the opportunity to practice trading via “test” market trading software. With demo trading, you can dip into the trading waters and gain valuable knowledge on how stocks work and how they’re traded on various exchanges.

    Better yet, you won’t absorb any financial losses when you make trading mistakes. The genuine accounting won’t take place until you begin trading for real – which you’ll be bettered prepared for after a few weeks of demo-stock trading.

  • Emphasize logic over emotion.
  • Even the best stock pickers make mistakes, and you will, too. The worst mistakes, however, are when you make market moves out of fear or emotion, and not logic and reasoning.

    Warren Buffett once advised Main Street investors to “control your urges” when trading, and that’s good advice. Let your head, and not your heart (or, worse, your stomach), make the final call on tough trades. As the old adage goes, when you can keep your head on when others are losing theirs, you’re way ahead of the game – and usually the market, too.

  • Don’t be a speculator – be an investor.
  • Buffett also once famously said that it’s “far better to buy a good company at a fair price than it is to buy a fair company at a good price.”

    Those should be words to live by for new stock investors. Take risk out of the equation with good research and a disciplined trading mindset that aims for singles and doubles and not great slams. When you swing for the fences on Wall Street, you wind up striking out a lot.

    At a Glance: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” –Ben Franklin

    Stock Market Investing: Your Financial Future Is Now

    When it comes to learning how to invest and building the habits of a savvy stock trader, the future really is now.

    By embracing the tenets listed above and taking the time needed to educate yourself on the stock market, you’re taking the first action steps in becoming the trader you need to be to really build wealth over the long haul.

    Even better, watching your investment portfolio grow over time is one of the substantial joys of stock market investing.

    After all, growth means expanding, and that’s the goal of any stock market investor.

    So get going today. Take the proven path to financial security with a time-tested means of helping you reach your lifetime financial goals – one share of stock at a time

    The post How to Invest in Stocks: A Survival Guide appeared first on InvestorPlace.

    Thu, 01 Dec 2022 07:26:09 -0600 en-US text/html
    Killexams : A flying start in modern C++

    Nieke Roos

    5 December

    Despite a host of up-and-coming alternatives, C++ is still a force to be reckoned with, certainly in the legacy-fraught high-tech industry. Drawing from almost 25 years of experience, computer programming enthusiast Kris van Rens introduces coding rookies to the language basics and essential best practices in his new training at High Tech Institute.

    Over the years, a long list of programming languages has been put forward to supplant C++. D, Rust, Apple’s Swift, latest Google addition Carbon and lesser-known alternatives like Nim and Vale, to name a few – they all have their merits and their specific application areas. Nonetheless, C++ is still very much alive and kicking, contends computer programming enthusiast Kris van Rens.

    “There’s this widely held view that you shouldn’t use C++ because it’s outdated,” says Van Rens. “But it’s actually this view that’s outdated. It’s based on old-style C++. Ever since modern C++ was born in 2011, the language has kept moving with the times. With the right provisions, it’s no less relevant than up-and-coming alternatives like Rust.”

    In the new 4-day training course “C++ fundamentals,” organized by High Tech Institute in the last two weeks of March, Van Rens introduces participants to the language basics and essential best practices. “I aim to impart a positive vibe about C++. I want participants to leave feeling that they can really do something with it and knowing how to put it to good use.”

    Bread and butter

    Van Rens has been captivated by the wonderful world of programming ever since he first laid his hands on his dad’s ZX Spectrum home computer. “It was a machine from 1983, the year I was born. When I was 7 or 8, I started tinkering with it, using the Basic programming language. In high school, in an extracurricular activity, a fellow student taught me X86 real-time assembly, followed by C and then C++. In the past few years, I’ve been delving into Rust as well.”

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    After a bachelor’s in mechatronics at Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in Krefeld, Germany, Van Rens did a master’s in electrical engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE), specializing in video coding and architectures under the supervision of professor Peter de With. “The university is where I became a software engineer and had my first taste of teaching. In parallel to my graduation project, which was about converting MPEG-2 into H.264 video streams, I created an image and video coding tutorial – for my own understanding but also just for the fun of it and to convey that fun to others. Spreading my enthusiasm has always been an important driver for me.”

    20221129 HT Kris van Rens RRA_4262

    In 2009, Van Rens started his professional career at his current employer, the smart surveillance specialist Vinotion. At the time, this TUE spinoff was still a startup, working from an office space belonging to De With’s research group. “From coding image analysis algorithms in C++, my focus slowly shifted to the development platform as a whole, including the language itself, the programming interfaces and the tooling. That became my bread and butter: enabling the creation of robust, high-performance, high-quality code using solid software architecture.”

    Van Rens’ career in training got a leg up when he was asked to speak at one of the informal 040coders meetings for computer programmers in the Eindhoven region. “The meeting was hosted by Philips Image Guided Therapy and I did a skit about introducing kids to C++. Afterward, IGT invited me to provide a serious presentation to their engineers. So I did a tryout on an in-depth C++ topic. They liked it so much that it’s grown into a quarterly event – so far all online, due to Covid, with me presenting from my attic to crowds as big as 150 people.”

    Encounters with legacy

    The new C++ classroom training at High Tech Institute is targeted at much smaller groups of max a dozen software engineers with basic programming skills – any language will do. It’s also much more hands-on, with practical exercises drawn from Van Rens’ 10+ years of industrial experience. “These exercises aren’t theoretical and made-up like I’ve seen in so many other courses. They’re real industrial cases, inspired by the problems I encounter in my daily work.”

    A key concept addressed by Van Rens is the craft of systems programming. “When you’re writing embedded software for a high-tech system, you’re much closer to the hardware than when you’re creating a web application,” he points out. “In Javascript, for example, you generally don’t have to concern yourself with things like memory management; the interpreter takes care of that for you. In an embedded system, you do have to worry about the often limited resources and how to use them wisely. Systems programming is all about being aware of the intricacies on all levels and having the flexibility to act accordingly. The training provides the handles for that. This knowledge applies to any systems programming language.”

    The omnipresence of legacy code in the high-tech industry is another reason why C++ and his training are so relevant, notes Van Rens. “A lot of that legacy is written in some older version of C++. Sooner or later, you’ll come across this code. Rewriting it or programming against it in Rust or another language is almost never a viable option; you’ll have to deal with it in C++, and my training will help you do that.”

    To be prepared for legacy code, participants obviously need to know a thing or two about old-style C++, but the emphasis is on the safe, modern aspects. “After the first standardization in 1998, the language didn’t change much for a long time. It wasn’t until 2011 that C++ underwent a true metamorphosis with the introduction of modern concepts like smart pointers for safer memory usage. Since then, the language is regularly updated, and so are the best practices,” explains Van Rens. “My primary focus is on the state of the art. Later on in the training, I also equip the participants for their inevitable encounters with old-style C++ by going into the evolution of the language and providing exercises in which pieces of legacy code have to be rewritten using modern constructs.”

    20221129 HT Kris van Rens RRA_4283

    Supercharged learning

    The fundamentals taught by Van Rens in the upcoming training are more than enough for participants to get off to a flying start, but they’re only a fraction of what there is to tell about C++. “It’s a huge language. I use the book “Beginning C++20” by Ivor Horton and Peter Van Weert as a reference during the course. It’s comprehensive, almost a thousand pages long, but even that’s not nearly enough to cover everything, not by a long shot. In four days, I aim to lay a solid foundation, showing participants the ropes and where to go if they want to dive deeper.”

    Books and online tutorials only get you so far. Nothing beats learning by doing, maintains Van Rens, pointing to the added value of classroom teaching. “Working with C++ since 1998, I’ve built up almost 25 years of experience that I’m amply sharing in class. I’m not just explaining the language; I know where to put the right emphasis, supporting my story with relevant best practices, examples and exercises from industry. It’s supercharged learning.”

    This article was written in close collaboration with High Tech Institute.

    Sun, 04 Dec 2022 17:51:00 -0600 en-US text/html
    Killexams : Which Apple iPhone should I buy?

    If you want your next phone to be an Apple iPhone, there are a few options to choose from. Keep practicing to find out about the key differences, as well as the best iPhones we've tested, to help you make the right decision.

    Apple is one of the most popular smartphone manufacturers in the UK, alongside Android brands like Samsung, Motorola and Huawei. It retains a unique standing among mobile phone brands, though many question whether Apple remains a cutting-edge company, or if it now adopts more of a style-over-substance approach.

    Apple frequently pushes the envelope, though, introducing new features and ideas to the smartphone world. Its products aren't cheap, so it's important to consider whether you need the latest and most expensive iPhone, or if an older device at a cheaper price will still tick all the boxes.

    Below we reveal how each iPhone fared in our tough tests. 

    See how Apple's phones compare in our iPhone reviews, and check for discounts in our expert pick of the best mobile phone deals.

    Which iPhone is right for you? We reveal our test results

    Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts below. If you're not yet a member, try Which? to get instant access to our iPhone results plus all of our online reviews, including phones and laptops.

    • Sign up to reveal

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    Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of December 2022.

    How much do Apple iPhones cost?

    Apple iPhones are typically very expensive, with no particularly budget-friendly options when you buy brand new.

    The £1,199 iPhone 14 Pro Max (128GB) is the highest spec in the 14 series. It has an impressive, large 6.7-inch OLED display with a quick-refresh system for a seamless experience. There are four high-quality cameras with lots of exciting features and upgrades from the 13 series.

    The other iPhones in the 14 series are cheaper than the Pro Max, but they're still expensive. 

    • £1,099 - iPhone 14 Pro (128GB) 
    • £949 - iPhone 14 Plus (128GB) 
    • £849 - the standard iPhone 14 (128GB) is the cheapest in the 14 series. 

    The latest iPhone 14 series doesn't have the small-screen models we saw in the iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 12 Mini

    Apple iPhones are typically very pricey, but the SE model is Apple's mid-range option. The iPhone SE 2022 (64GB) starts at £419.

    Not in a rush to upgrade? iPhone prices often drop when a new model comes out

    If you're not committed to always having the latest tech, it can pay to wait until the model you want has been succeeded by a newer model. Prices of older iPhones typically drop when there's a new kid on the block, even if not by much. 

    For instance, when the iPhone 14 (128GB) launched at £849, the iPhone 13 (128GB) was £749, and the iPhone 12 64GB was £649.

    Want to save more money? Take a look at our guide to the best mobile phone deals right now.

    Small-screen iPhones – the SE and Mini range

    Small-screen iPhones aren't going away, and Apple has released two new models since September 2021. Expect a smaller screen and a smaller battery, but not necessarily less power. 

    Apple first introduced a 'mini' version of its standard release in November 2020 with the iPhone 12 Mini. Compared to the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Mini has a smaller 5.4in OLED display and a smaller 2,227mAh battery. However, it has the same two 12Mp rear cameras and software. 

    The more latest iPhone 13 Mini has an upgraded processor, a bigger battery and starts with 128GB memory.

    A year before the iPhone 12 Mini, we got the first iPhone SE. This is a more limited, but cheaper, iPhone. Apple has released two more versions since then – the iPhone SE 2022 is its latest offering. The iPhone SE 2022 has one rear camera lens, a 2,018mAh battery and a 4.7in LCD display, which is smaller than the iPhone 13 Mini.

    What to look for when choosing an Apple iPhone

    There are a few things to think about when deciding which iPhone to choose. Here’s our shortlist of what to consider:

    • Size If you want an iPhone that you can easily use with one hand, the iPhone SE or Mini variations are a good bet with a 4.7in or 5.4in display respectively. You'll need two hands for comfortable use for any of the bigger models.
    • Storage space All iPhones in the 14 series start at 128GB, with the Pro models going up to a monstrous 1TB. The iPhone SE starts at 64GB. If you want the larger storage option, these usually cost £100-£150 more. If you're happy to delete old photos or apps you don't use much, a smaller option should be fine. Bear in mind that iPhones don't have a micro-SD card slot, so you can't boost space with a separate card.
    • Speed When Apple launches a new phone, it often features the brand's latest chipset, promising the fastest speeds. However, previous processors may well be up to the job of playing the latest games, or running the latest apps with ease. To find out more about iPhone speed, you'll need to read our iPhone reviews.
    • Camera The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max come with a high-spec camera and settings, but they aren't hugely different from the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Differences are even smaller on the standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus in comparison to the iPhone 13 and even the iPhone 12. They all have two 12MP rear cameras with very similar specifications. It's elements such as the size of the sensors and the software upgrades that change from series to series. The iPhone SE camera is more limited with only one rear lens.
    Wed, 30 Nov 2022 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
    Killexams : Apple speeds up plans to ship manufacturing away from China Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley discusses Apple’s plans to iron out global supply chains after unrest in China disrupted iPhone production.

    Credit Yahoo Finance

    Wed, 07 Dec 2022 20:00:00 -0600 Geraldine en-US text/html
    Killexams : 20,000 hires left Apple supplier Foxconn’s Chinese campus: Source

    Staff departures come amid concerns about Apple’s ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period.

    Published On 25 Nov 2022

    More than 20,000 employees at Apple supplier Foxconn’s huge Chinese plant, mostly new hires not yet working on production lines, have left, a Foxconn source familiar with the matter told the Reuters news agency on Friday.

    The departures from the world’s largest iPhone factory deal a new blow to the Taiwanese company that has been grappling with strict COVID-19 restrictions that have fuelled discontent among workers and disrupted production ahead of Christmas and January’s Lunar New Year holiday.

    Concerns are mounting over Apple’s ability to deliver products for the busy holiday period as the worker unrest lingers at the Zhengzhou plant, which produces the US company’s popular iPhone 14 models.

    The departures will complicate Foxconn’s target of resuming full production by the end of November, after the sometimes violent unrest, the source said.

    Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, declined to comment. Apple, which said on Thursday it had staff at the factory, declined to comment on Friday.

    In a rare case of open dissent in China, employees have complained about sharing dormitories with colleagues who tested positive for COVID. They claim they were misled over compensation benefits at the factory that accounts for 70 percent of global iPhone shipments.

    Foxconn on Thursday offered 10,000 yuan ($1,400) to protesting recruits who agreed to resign and leave the plant.

    The company apologised for a pay-related “technical error” when hiring, which workers say was a factor that led to protests involving clashes with security personnel.

    Videos posted on Chinese social media on Friday showed crowds and long lines of luggage-laden workers queueing for buses. “It’s time to go home,” one person posted.

    Another Foxconn source familiar with the matter said some new hires had left the campus but did not elaborate on how many. This person said the departures had no effect on current production, as the new staff still needed to take training courses before working online.

    “The incident has a big impact on our public image but little on our (current) capacity. Our current capacity is not affected,” the source said.

    “There’s only so much corporate can do on pandemic prevention … It’s been a problem for a while. This is a problem faced by everyone,” the person said, pointing to other worker unrest triggered by rigid COVID restrictions, including upheaval at another Apple supplier, Quanta, in May.

    The unrest at the Foxconn plant comes as China logs record numbers of COVID infections and grapples with increasing lockdowns that have increased frustration among citizens across the country. It has also exposed communication problems and a mistrust of Foxconn management among some staff.

    Foxconn launched a hiring drive this month, promising bonuses and higher salaries after it had to enact COVID curbs in October. The restrictions forced the company to isolate many employees, prompting several to flee.

    Thu, 24 Nov 2022 17:12:00 -0600 en text/html
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