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Domestic stock funds typically own many individual stocks across different industries.

Domestic stock funds offer exposure to the world’s largest, most liquid equity market, and can give investors the ability to own stocks in some of the world’s most successful companies. Because many of these US stocks have historically delivered attractive risk-adjusted returns, domestic stock funds have traditionally been a core component of many portfolios with long-term time horizons.

When you buy shares in a domestic stock fund, the money you invest is pooled with money from other investors and is primarily used to buy stocks issued by US companies. Most funds own hundreds of such stocks, something that would be impractical if you were buying individual stocks on your own.

However, while all domestic stock funds invest in US companies, not all funds take the same approach. Some funds specialize in companies of specific sizes or market capitalizations, while others specialize in companies that invest according to a specific style, such as growth or value. Other funds may be more broadly diversified beyond a specific market cap or style, and may emphasize current income, capital appreciation, or some combination of the two. These funds generally hold stocks issued by a broad range of companies from different industries, different parts of the US, and different sectors of the economy.

Understanding these different approaches, as well as both the risks and potential rewards of domestic stocks, is the first step in helping you find the fund or funds that most closely match your investing needs.

Learn more about the difference between value and growth investing.

Advantages of domestic stock funds
Diversification
Domestic stock funds typically own many individual stocks across different industries, which can reduce the chances that the performance of a single stock or a single industry can negatively impact the performance of the entire portfolio. Certain types of domestic stock funds, such as blended funds, are also diversified across different investing styles and different-sized companies. Domestic stock funds can offer exposure to the world's largest, most liquid equity market, which can give investors the ability to own shares in some of the world’s most successful companies.

Capital appreciation and income
If you're looking to invest in the long-term health of the US economy, domestic stock funds can offer significant appreciation potential. For those saving for retirement or other similar longer-term goals, this kind of potential growth can play an important role in helping your savings keep pace with inflation. In addition, many domestic stock funds invest in companies that pay regular dividends, which could help generate income.

Liquidity and convenience
All mutual funds allow you to buy or sell your fund shares at each day's net asset value. You can also elect to have income from dividends and capital gains distributions automatically reinvested in a fund, which can potentially compound over time and help drive long-term returns, or make additional investments at any time. For most stock funds, the required minimum initial investment may be substantially less than what you would have to pay to build a diversified portfolio of individual stocks.

What Are Options?

Options are contracts that give the bearer the right—but not the obligation—to either buy or sell an amount of some underlying asset at a predetermined price at or before the contract expires. Like most other asset classes, options can be purchased with brokerage investment accounts.

Options are powerful because they can enhance an individual’s portfolio. They do this through added income, protection, and even leverage. Depending on the situation, there is usually an option scenario appropriate for an investor’s goal. A popular example would be using options as an effective hedge against a declining stock market to limit downside losses.

Options can also generate recurring income. Additionally, they are often used for speculative purposes, such as wagering on the direction of a stock.

What is gold trading?

Gold trading is the practice of speculating on the price of gold markets in order to make a profit – usually via futures, options, spot prices or shares and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Usually, physical gold bars or coins are not handled during the transaction; instead they are settled in cash.

There are a number of reasons why you might decide to trade gold, including pure speculation, wanting to buy and take ownership of the physical gold, or as a hedge against instability.

When trading gold, you don’t necessarily need to hold the traditional mantra of ‘buy low, sell high’, as you can go long and short on gold prices – taking advantage of markets that fall in price, as well as those that rise. Whichever position you take, the aim of gold trading is to predict which direction the market will move in. The further the market moves in the direction you’ve predicted, the more you’d profit and the more it moves against you, the higher your losses.

Ready to start trading gold? Open an account today.

The value of gold
The value of gold historically comes from its emotional, cultural and financial value. All across the world, people from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds recognise gold as a sign of wealth.
Gold’s value is relatively stable but due to its popularity and use as a store of value, it can experience greater rises and falls than other commodities.

What is cryptocurrency trading?

Cryptocurrency trading is the act of speculating on cryptocurrency price movements via a CFD trading account, or buying and selling the underlying coins via an exchange.

CFD trading on cryptocurrencies
CFDs trading are derivatives, which enable you to speculate on cryptocurrency price movements without taking ownership of the underlying coins. You can go long (‘buy’) if you think a cryptocurrency will rise in value, or short (‘sell’) if you think it will fall.
Both are leveraged products, meaning you only need to put up a small deposit – known as margin – to gain full exposure to the underlying market. Your profit or loss are still calculated according to the full size of your position, so leverage will magnify both profits and losses.
Exchanges bring their own steep learning curve as you’ll need to get to grips with the technology involved and learn how to make sense of the data. Many exchanges also have limits on how much you can deposit, while accounts can be very expensive to maintain.

What Is Cash Management?

Cash management is the process of collecting and managing cash flows. Cash management can be important for both individuals and companies. In business, it is a key component of a company's financial stability. For individuals, cash is also essential for financial stability while also usually considered as part of a total wealth portfolio.

Individuals and businesses have a wide range of offerings available across the financial marketplace to help with all types of cash management needs. Banks are typically a primary financial service provider for the custody of cash assets. There are also many different cash management solutions for individuals and businesses seeking to obtain the best return on cash assets or the most efficient use of cash comprehensively.

Understanding Cash Management
Cash is the primary asset individuals and companies use to pay their obligations on a regular basis. In business, companies have a multitude of cash inflows and outflows that must be prudently managed in order to meet payment obligations, plan for future payments, and maintain adequate business stability. For individuals, maintaining cash balances while also earning a return on idle cash are usually top concerns.
In corporate cash management, also often known as treasury management, business managers, corporate treasurers, and chief financial officers are typically the main individuals responsible for overall cash management strategies, cash-related responsibilities, and stability analysis. Many companies may outsource part or all of their cash management responsibilities to different service providers. Regardless, there are several key metrics that are monitored and analyzed by cash management executives on a daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
The cash flow statement is a central component of corporate cash flow management. While it is often transparently reported to stakeholders on a quarterly basis, parts of it are usually maintained and tracked internally on a daily basis. The cash flow statement comprehensively records all of a business’s cash flows. It includes cash received from accounts receivable, cash paid for accounts payable, cash paid for investing, and cash paid for financing. The bottom line of the cash flow statement reports how much cash a company has readily available.