Bonds can be taxable or tax-free – here’s your guide to the different types and calculating what’s due on them

bonds
Bonds are divided into two classes: taxable and tax-exempt. While their capital gains are always taxable, the interest they earn may not be.

All investments generate income in one way or another – sometimes as you hold them, sometimes only when you sell them for a profit. And that investment income tends to be taxable.

Bonds are no exception. But as an asset class, they’re a particularly diverse group. And so is the way they’re taxed. Some bonds are fully taxable, some partially taxable, and some not at all. 

And because they generate income in a few different ways, their tax rates vary too. 

Let’s examine bonds and taxes in more detail.

How are bonds taxed?

Bonds and bond funds generate two different types of income: interest and capital gains

Interest

Bonds are a type of debt instrument. When you buy a bond, you’re loaning money to the government or company that issued it; in return, that entity pays you interest. Most bonds pay a fixed, predetermined rate of interest over their lifespan. 

That interest income may be taxable or tax-free (more on the types of bonds that generate tax-free income later). For the most part, if the interest is taxable, you pay income taxes on that interest in the year it’s received. 

The rate you’ll pay on bond interest is the same rate you pay on your ordinary income, such as wages or income from self-employment. There are seven tax brackets, ranging from 10% to 37%. So if you’re in the 37% tax bracket, you’ll pay a 37% federal income tax rate on your bond interest.

Capital gains

If you buy a bond when it’s first issued and hold it until maturity – the full length of its lifespan – you generally won’t recognize a capital gain or loss. The money you get back is considered a return of your principal – what you originally invested in it.

However, after they’re issued, bonds often trade on financial exchanges, just like stocks. If you sell them before their maturity date on the secondary market, the bonds can generate capital gains and losses, depending on how its current price compares to your original cost. Bond funds can also generate capital gains and losses as the fund manager buys and sells securities within the fund.

So, the profit you make from selling a bond is considered a capital gain. Capital gains are taxed at different rates depending on whether they’re short-term or long-term.

Short-term capital gains apply if you hold the bond for one year (365 days) or less. Then the gain is taxed at your ordinary income tax rates.

Long-term capital gains apply if you hold the bond for more than one year. Then you can benefit from reduced tax rates, ranging from 0% to 20%, depending on your filing status and total taxable income for the year.

capital gains

Are all bonds taxed?

Bonds are divided into two classes: taxable and tax-exempt. 

A bond’s tax-exempt status applies only to the bond’s interest income. Any capital gains generated from selling a bond or bond fund before its maturity date is taxable, regardless of the type of bond. 

Taxable bonds

The interest income from taxable bonds is subject to federal, state (and local, if applicable) income taxes.

Taxable bonds include:

  • Corporate bonds
  • Mortgage-backed securities
  • Global bond funds
  • Diversified bond funds

Tax-exempt bonds

Municipal bonds, aka munis, are the main type of tax-exempt bonds. 

Munis are issued by states, counties, cities, and other government agencies to fund major capital projects, such as building schools, hospitals, highways, and other public buildings.

Interest income from muni bonds is generally not subject to federal income taxes. It can also be exempt from state or local income taxes if your home state or city issues the bond. Interest income from muni bonds issued by another state or city is taxable on your state or local income tax return. 

Fast fact: Muni bonds exempt from federal, state, and local taxes are known as “triple tax exempt.”

US Treasuries, bonds issued by the US Dept. of the Treasury, and savings bonds are also tax-exempt – to a degree. If you own them, you owe federal income tax on them. However, they are generally free from state and local income taxes. 

How can I avoid paying taxes on bonds?

Here are a few strategies for avoiding – or at least reducing – the taxes you pay on bonds.

  • Hold the bond in a tax-advantaged account. When you invest in bonds within a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k), the returns are tax-free, as long as you follow the withdrawal rules. Bond income and profits from sales earned within a traditional IRA or 401(k) are tax-deferred, meaning you don’t pay taxes until you withdraw the money in retirement.
  • Use savings bonds for educational purposes. Consider using Series EE or Series I savings bonds to save for education. When you redeem the bond, the interest paid is tax-exempt as long as you use the money to pay for qualified higher education expenses and meet other qualifications
  • Hold bonds until maturity. Holding a bond until maturity, instead of selling it early on the secondary market can help you avoid paying taxes on capital gains. However, you still owe tax on any taxable interest generated by the bond while you owned it.

The financial takeaway

Minimizing the tax consequences of bonds comes down to investing in tax-exempt bonds, such as muni bonds and US Treasuries, and using tax-advantaged accounts where your money can grow on a tax-free or tax-deferred basis.

If you invest in bonds outside of tax-advantaged accounts, you’ll receive a Form 1099 from the bank or brokerage holding your investments around January 31 of each year. Hold on to these forms, as you’ll need them to report bond interest and capital gains on your tax return. The IRS also gets a copy of those 1099s.

 If you miss reporting any income, they’ll be sure to let you know.

Related Coverage in Investing:

A corporate bond provides companies with cash and investors with income – here’s how to evaluate the risks and rewards

Fixed-income investing is a strategy that focuses on low-risk investments paying a reliable return

Bonds vs. CDs: The key differences and how to decide which income-producing option is better for you

What are junk bonds? A risky yet high-yield investment that can bring rewards if you’re willing to take the chance

How to buy treasury bonds, one of the safest ways to invest for income

Read the original article on Business Insider

Investment income is taxed in a variety of ways – here’s how to estimate what you’ll owe and tips to minimize it

investment income
Your investment income may be taxed as ordinary income, at certain special rates, or not at all, depending on the type of investment it is and the sort of investment account it’s in.

  • Investment income can be taxed as ordinary income or at special rates, depending on the type it is. 
  • Capital gains and some dividends receive preferential tax rates. Interest and annuity payouts are taxed as ordinary income. 
  • All investments earn income tax-free while they remain in tax-advantaged accounts.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Investing Reference library for more stories.

You probably know that you have to pay taxes on just about all your income. But while the taxes on your work income is fairly straightforward – based on your tax bracket, and often automatically withheld from your paycheck – the tax on investment income can be more complex. 

Not all investment income is taxed equally.

In fact, your investments are taxed at different rates, depending on the type of investment you have. Some investments are tax-exempt, some are taxed at the same rates as your ordinary income, and some benefit from preferential tax rates.

When you owe the tax can also vary. Some taxes are due only when you sell the investment at a profit. Other taxes are due when your investment pays you a distribution. 

And finally, where you hold the investments matters. If the asset is in a tax-deferred account, such as an IRA, 401(k), or 529 plan, you won’t owe taxes on the earnings until you withdraw money from the account – or, depending on the type of account, ever.

See what we mean by complex? Never fear – here’s everything you need to know about the taxes on investment income, and the tax rates on different investments. 

What is investment income?

Investment income comes in four basic forms:

  • Interest income derives from the Interest earned on funds deposited in a savings or money market account, or invested in certificates of deposit, bonds or bond funds. It also applies to interest on loans you make to others.
  • Capital gains. Capital gains come from selling an investment at a profit. When you sell an investment for less than you paid for it, it creates a capital loss, which can offset capital gains.
  • Dividend income. If you own stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or money market funds, you may receive dividends when the board of directors of the company or fund managers decides to distribute the excess cash on hand to reward their investors.
  • Annuity payments. When you purchase an annuity, a contract with an insurance company, you pay over a lump sum. The insurance company invests your money, and converts it into a series of periodic payments. A portion of these payments can be taxable.

How is investment income taxed?

With so many variables, how can you estimate the tax bite on your investments? Here are the tax rates for different types of investment income.

Interest income

For the most part, interest income is taxed as your ordinary income tax rate – the same rate you pay on your wages or self-employment earnings. Those rates range from 10% to 37%, based on the current (2021) tax brackets. 

Some interest income is tax-exempt, though. Interest from municipal bonds is generally tax-free on your federal return; when you buy muni bonds issued by your own state, the interest is exempt from your state income tax as well.

Another exception is granted US Treasury bonds, bills, and notes, as well as US savings bonds. They are exempt from state and local taxes, though not federal taxes. 

Capital gains

The tax rate you’ll pay on capital gains depends on how long you owned the investment before selling it.

You have a short-term capital gain if you own the asset for one year (365 days) or less before selling it. Short-term capital gains are taxed at the same rate as your ordinary income.

You have a long-term capital gain if you hold on to the investment for more than one year before selling it. Long-term gains are taxed at preferential rates, ranging from 0% to 20%, depending on your total taxable income.

Capital gains are not taxable while the funds remain within a tax-advantaged IRA, 401(k), HSA, or 529 plan.

capital gains

Dividend income

The rate you pay on dividends from stock shares or stock funds depends on whether the dividend is qualified or unqualified. 

Qualified dividends are taxed at the same rates as long-term capital gains. Unqualified dividends are taxed at the same rates as ordinary income.

To count as qualified, you must have owned the dividend-producing investment for more than 60 days during the 121-day period that started 60 days before the security’s ex-dividend date. The ex-dividend date is the date after the dividend’s record date, which is the cut-off date the company uses to determine which shareholders are eligible to receive a declared dividend.

Annuity payments

The taxation of annuity payments is a little more complex. While you may earn interest, dividends, and capital gains within your annuity, you don’t owe any taxes on this income until you actually start receiving your annuity payouts. You only have tax due on the sums you receive each year.

What you owe also depends on whether you purchased the annuity with pre-tax or after-tax dollars. If you purchase an annuity with pre-tax dollars (by rolling over money from your 401(k) or IRA), payments from the annuity are fully taxable.

But if you purchase an annuity with after-tax dollars – that is, you didn’t use retirement account money, you only pay taxes on the earnings portion of your withdrawal. The rest is considered a return of principal (the original lump sum you paid into the annuity). 

 When you receive your 1099-R from your insurance company showing your annuity payouts for the year, it will indicate the total taxable amount of your annuity income.

Whether you pay tax on 100% of the annuity payments or only the earnings portion of your withdrawal, all annuity payments are taxed at the ordinary-income rate.

How do I avoid taxes on investment income?

Most investment income is taxable, but there are a few strategies for avoiding – or at least minimizing – the taxes you pay on investment returns. 

  • Stay in a low tax bracket. Single taxpayers with taxable income of $40,400 or less in 2021 qualify for a 0% tax rate on qualified dividends and capital gains. That income limit doubles for married couples filing jointly. If you can take advantage of tax deductions that will keep your taxable income below that amount, you may be able to avoid paying taxes on a significant portion of your investment income.
  • Hold on to your investments. Hanging on to stocks and other investments can help ensure you take advantage of preferential rates for qualified dividends and long-term capital gains.
  • Invest in tax-advantaged accounts. Interest, dividends, capital gains – almost all forms of investment income are shielded from annual taxes while they remain in one of these accounts. With a traditional IRA or 401(k), the money is only taxable once you withdraw funds from the account. Money earned in a Roth IRA is never taxable, as long as you meet the withdrawal requirements. Interest income from a health savings account (HSA) or 529 plan is not taxable as long as you use the money to pay for qualified medical or educational expenses, respectively.
  • Harvest tax losses. Tax loss harvesting involves selling investments that are down in order to offset gains from other investments. If you have investments in your portfolio that have poor prospects for future growth, it could be worth it to sell them at a loss in order to lower your overall capital gains. Many robo-advisors and financial advisors will take care of harvesting for you, trying to net out the winners and the losers.

The financial takeaway

A few tax-exempt assets aside, investment income is taxable. And it’s taxed in two basic ways: at ordinary income rates or at a lower preferential rate, generally known as the capital gains rate.

All assets accrue income tax-free while they remain in tax-advantaged accounts.

While it’s never a good idea to make investment decisions based solely on the tax implications, it is wise to consider the tax consequences of any investment moves you make. Taxes might not be the only reason you choose one investment over another, but tax breaks can be a bonus on any well-thought-out investment strategy.

Related Coverage in Investing:

Dividends are taxed in different ways – here’s how to figure what you owe on your stocks’ payouts

Interest income from your investments is taxable – here’s how to calculate what you owe and ways to lower it

Bitcoin taxes: Understanding the rules and how to report cryptocurrency on your return

Capital gains are the profits you make from selling your investments, and they can be taxed at lower rates

A variable annuity can provide you with more retirement income since its payouts rise with the stock market

Read the original article on Business Insider

Dividends are taxed in different ways – here’s how to figure what you owe on your stocks’ payouts

dividends2
Dividend income is taxable, but the rate varies, depending on how long you’ve owned the stock shares that pay the dividends.

  • Dividends from stocks or funds are taxable income, whether you receive them or reinvest them.
  • Qualified dividends are taxed at lower capital gains rates; unqualified dividends as ordinary income.
  • Putting dividend-paying stocks in tax-advantaged accounts can help you avoid or delay the taxes due.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Investing Reference library for more stories.

When you invest in a company by purchasing individual stocks, mutual funds, or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), you may be rewarded with dividends. A dividend is a per-share portion of the company’s profits that gets distributed regularly to its stockholders – sort of like a quarterly bonus. 

Like most other types of investment income, the IRS deems dividends to be taxable. However, not all dividends are treated – or taxed – equally. 

Here’s everything you need to know about paying taxes on dividends.

How are dividends taxed?

A variety of unearned or passive income (as opposed to income from your work or job), dividends are subject to both federal and state taxes. For tax purposes, dividends are classified as either qualified or unqualified, depending on how long you hold the underlying shares in a US corporation or a qualifying foreign corporation.

What’s the difference? Qualified dividends meet a special holding period. That means you owned the stock issuing them for at least 60 days during the 121-day period that started 60 days before the ex-dividend date. The ex-dividend date is the day after the cut-off date (aka the “record date”) the company uses to determine which shareholders are eligible to receive the dividend.

Yeah, that definition is pretty confusing. So here’s a real-life example, sort of a timeline. 

  • Say you purchased 100 shares of IBM stock on March 1, 2020.
  • On April 28, IBM’s board of directors announced a dividend of $1.63 per share to stockholders of record.
  • They set the record date as May 8, 2020. So the ex-dividend date was May 9, 2020.
  • Since you purchased the shares more than 60 days prior to the ex-dividend date (May 9, 2020), the $163 in dividends your shares earned you are qualified. On the other hand, if you’d purchased shares on April 1, you would have owned the stock for fewer than 60 days, and the dividends would be unqualified.

How much tax do you pay on dividends?

Why do dividends being qualified or unqualified matter? Because it affects the amount of tax you pay on them. 

Unqualified dividends are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate – the same rate that applies to your wages or self-employment income. So, if you fall into the 32% tax bracket, you’ll pay a 32% tax rate on all your unqualified dividends, also known as ordinary dividends.

Qualified dividends get preferential treatment. You pay the same tax rate on qualified dividends as you do on long-term capital gains. Depending on your tax bracket, this rate can be a lot lower than your ordinary income rate.

The exact rate you pay depends on your filing status and total taxable income for the year.

capital gains 06
Capital gains tax rates.

Returning to the IBM example above, let’s assume you fall into the 32% tax bracket for ordinary income and the 15% tax bracket for long-term capital gains.

If your IBM dividends are unqualified, you’ll pay roughly $52 in taxes on your $163 of dividends. But if those dividends are eligible for qualified tax treatment, you’ll pay only $24 in taxes.

How can you avoid paying taxes on dividends?

There are a few legitimate strategies for avoiding or at least minimizing the taxes you pay on dividend income.

  • Stay in a lower tax bracket. Single taxpayers with taxable income of $40,000 or less in 2020 ($40,400 or less for 2021) qualify for the 0% tax rate on qualified dividends. Those income limits are doubled for married couples filing jointly. If you can take advantage of tax deductions that reduce your income below those amounts, you can avoid paying taxes on qualified dividends, though not unqualified dividends.
  • Invest in tax-exempt accounts. Invest in stocks, mutual funds, and EFTs within a Roth IRA or Roth 401(k). Any dividends earned in these accounts are tax-free, as long as you obey the withdrawal rules.
  • Invest in educationoriented accounts. When you invest within a 529 plan or Coverdell education savings account, all dividends earned in the account are tax-free, as long as withdrawals are used for qualified education expenses.
  • Invest in tax-deferred accounts. Traditional IRAs and 401(k)s are tax-deferred, meaning you don’t pay taxes on earnings until you withdraw the money in retirement.
  • Don’t churn. Try not to sell stocks within the 60-day holding period, so any dividends will be qualified for the low capital gains rates. 
  • Invest in companies that don’t pay dividends. Young, rapidly growing companies often reinvest all profits to fuel growth rather than paying dividends to shareholders. You won’t earn any quarterly income from their stock, true. But if the firm flourishes and its stock price rises, you can sell your shares at a gain and pay long-term capital gains rates on the profits as long as you owned the stock for more than a year.

Keep in mind: You can’t avoid taxes by reinvesting your dividends. Dividends are taxable income whether they’re received into your account or invested back into the company.

The financial takeaway

Dividend stocks can be a good way to build wealth and supplement your income, so don’t let worries over taxes keep you from investing in dividend-paying stocks. 

Still, by knowing how dividends are taxed, you can do some planning to ensure you pay as little to the IRS as possible. 

Qualified dividends benefit from being taxed at lower capital gains tax rates. And you may be able to lower the tax bite even more if you keep the high-dividend-payers in tax-advantaged accounts.

Related Coverage in Investing:

What are the best college-savings investments? 5 ways to grow your money for the ever-higher costs of higher education

Dividend yield is a key way to evaluate a company and the regular payouts from its stock

Capital gains tax rates: How to calculate them and tips on how to minimize what you owe

How to invest in dividend stocks, a low-risk source of investment income

Interest income from your investments is taxable – here’s how to calculate what you owe and ways to lower it

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to play Google Stadia on your phone, computer, or TV

Google Stadia game controller
There are several ways to play Google Stadia.

  • You can play Stadia on an Android phone, an iPhone or iPad, a computer with Google Chrome, or a TV with a Chromecast Ultra installed.
  • To play Stadia on your Android phone, you’ll need to install the Stadia app, which is free to download.
  • On iPhone and iPad, you’ll need to go to the Stadia website using Safari or another internet app.
  • Stadia can be played directly from your Chrome browser on a computer, no installation required.
  • Mobile devices and computers support a variety of controllers, but to play Stadia on a TV with a Chromecast Ultra, you’ll need to be using the Stadia Controller.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Stadia, Google’s new cloud-based gaming platform, was built to be “platform-agnostic.” In other words, you can play Stadia on dozens of different devices, and have largely the same experience on each one.

That said, for many newcomers to the platform, it isn’t immediately clear just which platforms can run Stadia. So aside from a solid internet connection – a must-have for any streaming setup – how can you play Stadia?

In short, Stadia is available on most popular Android phones, new iPhones and iPads, any computer with Google Chrome, and TVs with a Chromecast Ultra plugged in. And if you’re using a phone or computer, you probably won’t even need a new game controller.

Here’s a guide to the hardware you’ll need to play Stadia, so you can get started streaming your favorite games right away.

How to play Stadia on an Android phone

Stadia supports most Google Pixel phones, all new Samsung S phones, most OnePlus phones, and more. On most modern Android devices – 6.0 and later – you’ll simply need to download the Stadia app to get started playing.

You can download the Stadia app from the Google Play Store for free. Once you open it, you’ll be prompted to connect your Google account, and then set up your Stadia profile. Or, if you already have a Stadia profile, you can just sign in.

Like all platforms, you won’t need to download any games from Stadia – they’re streamed to you over the internet – so don’t worry about deleting photos to make room for it.

All Stadia games played on Android support touchscreen controls, but you can also use a real gamepad, as we’ll outline in a bit.

8   How to play Stadia
You can play Stadia on a phone with your hands or a controller.

How to play Stadia on an iPhone or iPad

Although there is a Stadia app for iPhones, you can’t actually play Stadia games through it – you can only sign up for Stadia and set up your controller. This is due to a long-running rivalry between Google and Apple.

Instead, if you want to play Stadia on your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need to play through an internet browser. Here, we’ll use Safari, the default internet app that comes installed on every Apple device.

 

Just note that you’ll have to be running at least iOS 14.3 or iPadOS 14.3. Any version older than that can’t support Stadia.

1. Launch Safari on your iPhone or iPad and head to the Stadia website. Once there, sign into your Stadia account or tap “Try now” to create a new one.

2. After you log in, a pop-up will appear telling you that you can play in your browser, but warning you that the iOS version of Stadia is in beta. Tap “Got It,” and you’ll be shown your games.

IMG_7257.PNG
The iOS and iPadOS versions of Stadia are still in development.

3. Tap the red play button under any game’s picture to start playing it, or tap “Store” at the top to browse for new games.

IMG_7259
You can launch the game right from Safari.

And although you can’t play from the official Stadia app, you can add the Stadia website to your iPhone’s homescreen as a shortcut that looks just like any other app. To do this, scroll up, and then tap the sharing icon in the middle of the toolbar at the bottom of Safari. When a menu of options appears, tap “Add to Home Screen.”

How to play Stadia on a computer

Stadia can be run through Google Chrome on Mac, PC, and Linux computers. 

Using the Google Chrome web browser, simply use your Google account credentials to set up a new Stadia account, or sign into an existing one.

Once you’ve signed in, you can start playing games directly from your browser. Just note that Stadia requires most games to be played in fullscreen mode, and for some, will need access to your computer’s microphone.

You can connect a controller from within your browser by clicking the controller icon in the top-right, selecting which controller you want to use, and then following the directions.

3   How to play Stadia
Google will offer directions to connect each type of controller.

How to play Stadia on a TV with a Chromecast Ultra

If you’re a gamer who loves to use the biggest screen in your house, this setup is the one for you.

To play Stadia on your TV, you’ll need the following: A TV with an HDMI port, a Google Chromecast Ultra device, and a Stadia Controller.

First, plug the Chromecast Ultra into your TV and set it up. The Chromecast Ultra comes with its own Ethernet port – for the best Stadia experience, use this port and an Ethernet cable to link the Chromecast to your internet router.

Once you’ve done that, press the Stadia logo on your controller to put it into Linking Mode. 

A code should appear on your TV screen – it’ll look like a random combination of buttons on your controller.

1   How to play Stadia copy
Stadia controllers will need to be linked through a code.

Enter the code on your Stadia Controller and wait for your Chromecast to detect your controller. If the link is successful, Stadia will launch on your TV. If it’s unsuccessful, you’ll have to enter the code again.

If you don’t see a linking code appear on your TV, this might mean that your Chromecast isn’t set to “Ambient Mode.” To fix this:

1. Open the Google Home app on your smartphone and tap the icon for your Chromecast Ultra.

2. In the top-right corner, tap “Settings.” It may also look like a gear icon.

3. Under “Device Info,” tap “Ambient Mode.”

4. A new screen will appear. Scroll down until you find “Stadia Controller linking code” – click “Show” underneath it. The linking code will appear on your TV.

If you’re having issues connecting your Chromecast to Wi-Fi, the Google Home app can help with that too. If the controller won’t connect to Wi-Fi, you’ll need to use the Stadia app.

You can also cast Stadia onto your TV using the mobile Stadia app, or your computer’s Chrome browser.

Although playing with the Chromecast Ultra offers the least flexibility in terms of controller support, Google has hinted that more controllers might support it in the future.

In the meantime, you can purchase a Stadia Controller for $69, or for $100 get the Stadia Premiere bundle that includes both a controller and Chromecast Ultra.

All the controllers that work with Google Stadia

We’ve mentioned several times that the Stadia Controller isn’t the only way to play Stadia. If you’re using a smartphone, tablet, or your computer, you can use a variety of popular controllers.

Here’s a full guide to which controllers work for which systems.

 

To use non-Stadia controllers on your computer or phone, you can connect them like you would any other controller. For examples, check out some of our articles on the subject:

Other controllers, like the Switch Pro controller, can be connected in similar ways. Also note that the method for connecting controllers to an iPad is almost exactly the same as on an iPhone.

You should be able to use a keyboard and mouse in Stadia’s browser version just by plugging them in.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

Read the original article on Business Insider

What is the Nasdaq? Understanding the global stock exchange that’s home to the fastest-growing, most innovative companies

nasdaq index
The Nasdaq has a headquarters in New York City, though it’s actually an electronic stock exchange.

  • The Nasdaq is the world’s largest electronic stock exchange with two closely watched indexes: the Nasdaq Composite and the Nasdaq 100.
  • Technology, consumer services, and other growth stocks dominate Nasdaq and have caused it to outperform other stock markets in recent years. 
  • The easiest way for individual investors to participate in the Nasdaq’s volatile but high-performing stocks is via index funds.
  • Visit Business Insider’s Investing Reference library for more stories.

The Nasdaq is the largest and oldest electronic stock market in the world, meaning all of its buying and selling happens electronically, rather than on a physical trading floor. Short for National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations, the Nasdaq is the second-largest stock exchange globally based on the market capitalization  of its listed companies – exceeded only by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). 

A pioneer in online operations when it launched in 1971, the Nasdaq provided a listing service for companies that had previously only traded over-the-counter (OTC). It quickly became the home for many new and innovative high-tech startups, including Microsoft and Apple.

Today, the Nasdaq plays an important role in the US and global economy, with its two major indexes – the Nasdaq Composite and the Nasdaq 100 – closely watched barometers of business.

To help you make sense of it all, here’s what you need to know about the Nasdaq, from what it is to smart strategies for investing. 

What is the Nasdaq?

The Nasdaq is technically a dealer market where both buyers and sellers trade with a market maker in a particular stock or security, unlike an auction market (like the NYSE) where buyers and sellers trade with each other through a broker.

Nasdaq fast facts

  • 3,889 listed companies trade on Nasdaq.
  • Nasdaq’s listed companies are collectively worth $11.23 trillion. 
  • Over 4.5 billion shares are traded daily on Nasdaq.
  • To be listed on Nasdaq, companies pay $47,000 to $163,000 in fees. 

Nasdaq’s 3,889 listed companies represent 10 broad sectors or industry groups. Most are in the fields of technology, consumer services, and health care. 

While Nasdaq has plenty of giant corporations, such as PepsiCo., PayPal, and Amazon, its stocks tend to be more growth-oriented, and less blue-chip, than those on the NYSE. Nasdaq equities have a reputation for innovation, disruption – and volatility

History of the Nasdaq

The Nasdaq was created in 1971 by the then-National Association of Securities Dealers (currently known as FINRA). Originally, it was just a quotation system – an electronic ticker of bid and ask prices – but it began adding trading and transactional systems.

  • In 2002, Nasdaq became a fully independent, publicly traded company. 
  • In 2006, it became an SEC-registered national securities exchange.
  • In 2007, it combined with the Scandinavian exchange group OMX to become the Nasdaq OMX group. 

The Nasdaq does not have, and has never had, a physical trading floor. This became a problem for the exchange in 1995 as major companies such as Microsoft threatened to leave. No trading floor meant no physical presence, no opening bell ceremony, and, more importantly, no place for media networks to broadcast from during the trading day. 

That problem was solved in 2000 with the construction of a massive 10-story tall tower at the corner of 43rd and Broadway in New York City, known as MarketSite, complete with video screens, a full television studio, and, yes, an opening bell ceremony. But the actual trading remains electronic.

It’s a bit ironic: Nasdaq, which began as an all-electronic exchange, had to create a physical presence to gain credibility with Wall Street. But eventually, the NYSE and other older, established exchanges, discovered the need for an electronic component in order to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving marketplace. 

The Nasdaq has two major indexes 

Nasdaq isn’t just a stock exchange. It also has two highly regarded indexes that track the performance of Nasdaq stocks daily: 

  • The Nasdaq Composite index tracks 2,790 Nasdaq securities – basically, everything but mutual funds, preferred stocks, and derivative securities. The Nasdaq is heavily weighted with technology stocks making it the ‘de facto’ bellwether for the tech sector.
  • The smaller Nasdaq 100 index focuses on the largest, non-financial companies listed on the Nasdaq. Over half of them are in the tech sector.   

Of the two, the Nasdaq Composite is the more influential. When commentators refer to “the Nasdaq closing up five points,” it’s usually the Composite they mean.

While the Composite index is more widely followed, the Nasdaq 100 is viewed by traders and investors interested in futures, options, and exchange-traded funds.

Calculating the Nasdaq indexes daily average

Both the Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 use the same modified market capitalization weighting method in which the closing price of each share (LSP) is multiplied by the total shares outstanding (TSO) for that company to arrive at that stock’s market capitalization.

Share weights are calculated by dividing each security’s market capitalization by the total capitalization of all index securities. Share weights for each stock are then multiplied by that stock’s closing price and the total divided by an index divisor that accounts for market fluctuations such as stock splits, mergers, and other actions. The result is the Nasdaq average for that day.

Performance of the Nasdaq indexes

Nasdaq stocks have led the charge of the long-running bull market the US has seen in the 2010s.  Its indexes have dramatically outperformed the S&P 500 (which tracks large-cap stocks), and the Dow Jones Industrial Index (the 30 largest US companies), two other stand-ins for the stock market overall. 

The explanation? Since both Nasdaq indexes lean heavily into tech, consumer services, and health care – all top-performing industries in recent years.

How to invest in Nasdaq stocks

You can always try to duplicate the Nasdaq 100 or the Nasdaq Composite yourself, with individual stock purchases. But it probably would be more efficient to invest in an index fund that tracks the market’s indexes. Many of them, naturally, trade on the Nasdaq. 

  • One of the most popular Nasdaq index funds is the Invesco Unit Investment Trust QQQ ETF (QQQ) which tracks the Nasdaq 100. 
  • To invest in the entire Nasdaq composite, Fidelity’s Nasdaq Composite Index ETF (ONEQ) is a popular exchange-traded fund. 
  • If you prefer a mutual fund, the Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index Fund (FNCMX) is a well-established vehicle.

In addition to being a stock market, the Nasdaq is a public company and you can invest in it, too. It trades as Nasdaq Inc. (NDAQ). But remember, you are investing in the company itself – not in the stocks listed on its exchange.

The financial takeaway

The Nasdaq made history by being the first electronic stock market. Today, as the second-largest major stock exchange, the stock exchange reflects market movement in tech and high growth companies. The Nasdaq, and its indexes, are highly watched by those who invest in those types of securities.

Investing in the Nasdaq or Nasdaq stocks is, by definition, riskier and more volatile than investing in the NYSE or DJIA, both of which rely on more established, less volatile stocks. But that also means potentially higher returns. 

Weighted towards growth stocks, Nasdaq indexes have outperformed others. And investing in Nasdaq-tracking mutual funds or ETFs give investors an easy, efficient way to take advantage with less risk.

Related Coverage in Investing:

What is common stock? The most typical way to invest in a company and profit from its growth

What is the P/E ratio? An analytical tool that helps you decide if a stock is a good buy at its current price

A guide to stock market indexes: What they measure and how they can guide your investing

The price-to-book ratio is a way to determine if a company’s stock price accurately reflects its financial value

What is growth investing? A strategy that focuses on high-growth companies in hopes for significant investment returns

Read the original article on Business Insider

Here’s how many doses of vaccine each state needs to vaccinate every high-risk healthcare worker

Healthcare workers coronavirus family
Romelia Navarro, right, is comforted by nurse Michele Younkin as she weeps while sitting at the bedside of her dying husband, Antonio, in St. Jude Medical Center’s COVID-19 unit in Fullerton, Calif., Friday, July 31, 2020. Antonio was Younkin’s first COVID-19 patient to pass on her watch.

  • The US is still a long way away from getting every high-risk healthcare worker vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • The country has a total of 16,926,288 high-risk workers in healthcare facilities, according to a database launched in part by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • The US shipped states 2.9 million Pfizer doses on Monday. Vaccines developed by both Pfizer and Moderna require two doses.
  • Here’s how many vaccine doses each state needs to inoculate every high-risk healthcare worker.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Vaccinating every US high-risk healthcare worker against COVID-19 will be no small feat.

Days after the US Food and Drug Administration allowed for emergency authorized use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, healthcare workers across the country began getting shots.

Healthcare workers are three times more likely to test positive for COVID-19 than the public, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and King’s College London. At least 1,445 healthcare workers have died in the US from COVID-19, per The Guardian

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to recommend healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents get first access to vaccines.

Read more: Meet the 19 key scientists, executives, and leaders responsible for pushing coronavirus vaccines across the finish line

The country has a total of 16,926,288 high-risk workers in healthcare facilities, according to a database launched by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and The Surgo Foundation. The database uses 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate high-risk healthcare worker populations in hospitals, doctor’s offices, outpatient centers, pharmacies, nursing homes, and other health settings.

Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine require two doses taken three weeks and four weeks apart, respectively. That means 33,852,576 total doses are needed to vaccinate more than 16.9 million healthcare workers.

The initial shipment comprised of 2.9 million Pfizer doses distributed across the country. States should receive second shipments – 636 total, each containing 1,000 doses – by Wednesday. “It is a constant flow of available vaccines,” Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer for Warp Speed, told reporters Monday.

An independent advisory committee will vote on whether to recommend the FDA green light Moderna’s vaccine on December 17. Sources close to the FDA told The New York Times the agency will likely allow emergency use authorization on Moderna’s vaccine on Friday. The US will ship nearly 6 million Moderna vaccines upon the FDA’s decision.

Here’s how many doses of the vaccine every state needs to inoculate every high-risk healthcare worker

 

Alabama

472,398 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 236,199 healthcare workers

Alaska

67,350 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 33,675 healthcare workers

Arizona

70,7976 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 353,988 healthcare workers

Arkansas

280,920 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 140,460 healthcare workers

California

3,439,696 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 1,719,848 healthcare workers

Colorado

500,122 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 250,061 healthcare workers

Connecticut

429,604 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 214,802 healthcare workers

Delaware

108,678 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 54,339 healthcare workers

Florida

2,136,874 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 1,068,437 healthcare workers

Georgia

940,910 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 470,455 healthcare workers

Hawaii

129,242 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 64,621 healthcare workers

Idaho

162,838 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 81,419 healthcare workers

Illinois

1,309,196 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 654,598 healthcare workers

Indiana

696,040 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 348,020 healthcare workers

Iowa

311,698 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 155,849 healthcare workers

Kansas

261,080 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 130,540 healthcare workers

Kentucky

422,304 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 211,152 healthcare workers

Louisiana

519,258 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 259,629 healthcare workers

Maine

159,570 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 79,785 healthcare workers

Maryland

641,858 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 320,929 healthcare workers

Massachusetts

1,025,990 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 512,995 healthcare workers

Michigan

1,044,082 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 522,041 healthcare workers

Minnesota

692,718 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 346,359 healthcare workers

Mississippi

243,854 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 121,927 healthcare workers

Missouri

690,028 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 345,014 healthcare workers

Montana

99,818 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 49,909 healthcare workers

Nebraska

207,894 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 103,947 healthcare workers

Nevada

238,372 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 119,186 healthcare workers

New Hampshire

153,218 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 76,609 healthcare workers

New Jersey

978,164 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 489,082 healthcare workers

New Mexico

199,486 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 99,743 healthcare workers

New York

2,744,702 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 1,372,351 healthcare workers

North Carolina

972,202 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 486,101 healthcare workers

North Dakota

89,934 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 44,967 healthcare workers

Ohio

1,446,794 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 723,397 healthcare workers

Oklahoma

375,558 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 187,779 healthcare workers

Oregon

397,214 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 198,607 healthcare workers

Pennsylvania

1,636,440 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 818,220 healthcare workers

Rhode Island

139,870 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 69,935 healthcare workers

South Carolina

461,938 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 230,969 healthcare workers

South Dakota

108,272 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 54,136 healthcare workers

Tennessee

729,142 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 364,571 healthcare workers

Texas

2,805,296 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 1,402,648 healthcare workers

Utah

260,628 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 130,314 healthcare workers

Vermont

62,240 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 31,120 healthcare workers

Virginia

776,454 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 388,227 healthcare workers

Washington

706,988 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 353,494 healthcare workers

West Virginia

201,766 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 100,883 healthcare workers

Wisconsin

622,190 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 311,095 healthcare workers

Wyoming

43,712 Pfizer or Moderna shots are needed for 21,856 healthcare workers

Read the original article on Business Insider

When can I get a coronavirus vaccine?

coronavirus vaccine US

The US finally has a highly effective, safe coronavirus vaccine to use.

The US Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine an emergency use authorization on Friday. The shot could go into the arms of some of the most vulnerable people in the country, healthcare workers and nursing home residents, within days.

On Thursday, Moderna’s vaccine is also up for review, which means by the end of 2020 it’s likely that there will be two highly protective vaccines available to fight the virus in the US.

But don’t roll up your sleeves and ready your arm for a needle just yet. Don’t throw away your face masks, either.

It will still take many more months for healthcare providers to give these new shots to enough members of the general public to make a dent in the pandemic. Here are the key milestones to watch out for.

The FDA granted its first Emergency Use Authorization

Pfizer’s vaccine authorization marks a milestone several months in the making. The company began its global trial in April, then released its final stage of data in November, before getting the FDA’s green light on Friday.

The decision to issue an emergency use authorization came after an FDA advisory committee on Thursday reviewed the safety data submitted by the company. The committee voted in favor of recommending the shot for people ages 16 and older.

The third phase of Pfizer’s trial involved more than 43,000 volunteers across six countries and 16 US states. Just eight COVID-19 cases were recorded in the group that got the vaccine, compared to 162 cases in the placebo group. Most immunized volunteers in clinical trials reported only temporary side effects like fatigue, headache, and pain at the injection site.

On Friday, the FDA determined that the benefits “outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine.”

Some individuals could now receive their first shot within 24 to 48 hours. Then they’ll need a second shot 21 days later (A single dose is only 52% effective at preventing COVID-19, compared to 95% for two doses).

Then, ethicists decide who gets the first shots

coronavirus vaccine
A health worker administers a trial dose of Sinovac Biotech’s vaccine for COVID-19 to Dr. Cem Gun during third phase trials in Istanbul, on October 9, 2020.

An advisory group housed at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that healthcare workers and nursing home residents should be first in line for shots. But ultimately, it’s up to each state to decide how to prioritize their most vulnerable populations. 

Though there may be some slight variations across the nation, first doses are generally most likely to go to four groups of people: frontline healthcare workers, essential workers, people over 65, and those with preexisting conditions who are more vulnerable to severe COVID-19 infections. 

In December and January, roughly 50 million of the most high-priority people across the US are expected to receive vaccinations. The federal government’s Operation Warp Speed hopes to double that number by March, with 100 million Americans vaccinated and protected from disease by then. 

By springtime, vaccines could be rolling out to healthy members of the general public 

covid vaccine
A health care worker holds Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine candidate, in Ankara, Turkey on October 27, 2020.

If those federal projections hold, roughly a quarter of the US could be vaccinated by the spring. Then, shots could become more widely available to young, healthy people.  

That does not mean that everyone will be able to get their coronavirus shots by April.

“It really is a bit more complicated than that,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters in November, explaining that distribution will “be a graduation over a period of months.”

“By the time we get through December, January, February, March, April, we hopefully will have been able to get to the people who are listed as priority people,” Fauci said. “I would say starting in April, May, June, July, as we get into the late spring and early summer, that people in the so-called general population, who do not have underlying conditions or other designations that would make them priority, could get them.”

He added: “This does not mean that in April everybody who is going to be wanting a vaccine who is not a priority group is going to get it. It means starting at that point, you would likely begin.” 

By Memorial Day 2021, many Americans will likely have access to COVID-19 vaccines, but full coverage will require more than one shot each

vaccine trial
A volunteer in South Africa receives an injection during the country’s first human clinical trial for a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus, at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, June 24, 2020.

By summer 2021, it’s reasonable to expect widespread vaccine access in the US. May 31 – Memorial Day in the US –  could be a benchmark moment. 

“What I believe is that by Memorial Day, in the US, anybody who wants a vaccine will get a safe and efficacious vaccine,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told Business Insider in November

There is one catch. Both Moderna and Pfizer’s new vaccines require people to get two shots, administered several weeks apart, in order to be fully protective against the virus. (Moderna’s are administered four weeks apart. For Pfizer’s shots, it’s three weeks in between.)

It’s possible that by summertime, there will be other shots available from drugmakers including AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and many more

By the end of 2021, it may be safe to host large gatherings again if enough people get vaccinated

Both Moderna and Pfizer’s new vaccines appear to be very effective. Their reported vaccine efficacy rates, at around 95%, mean that those shots prevent more than nine in ten symptomatic infections when vaccinated people are exposed to the virus.

Those success rates are far better than the annual flu shot, and on par with other highly protective vaccinations which provide herd immunity, like chickenpox, measles, and polio vaccines.

But the process of getting coronavirus vaccines into hundreds of millions of people across the country and around the world, developing herd immunity to the coronavirus through widespread vaccination, is likely to take many, many months.

“The moment you get a vaccine doesn’t mean you’re going to put your mask in the trash,” Maria Elena Bottazzi, a vaccine developer at Baylor College of Medicine, recently told Business Insider

Fauci told the New York Times in November that “at least 75%, hopefully close to 80, 85%” of the country would need to be vaccinated by fall 2021 in order to get “close to some degree of normality.” 

“What I would like to see is the overwhelming majority of people get vaccinated so we can, essentially, really crush this outbreak,” he said. “This is going to be a difficult task.” 

Fauci also recently told Insider that it’s probably safer to wait until 2022 to schedule big weddings, birthdays, and other celebrations where crowds will congregate.

Getting “most everybody in the population” vaccinated against the coronavirus in the US “could be accomplished by the end of 2021,” he said.

Andrew Dunn and Aria Bendix contributed reporting.

Read the original article on Business Insider