James F. Royal, Ph.D., is a former NerdWallet writer. His work has also been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times and the Associated Press.
The latest from James
Market Order vs. Limit Order: When to Use Which
Market orders allow you to trade a stock for the going price, while limit orders allow you to name your price.
What Is Preferred Stock?
Preferred stock is a hybrid security that integrates features of both common stocks and bonds. Preferred stock is less risky than common stock, but more risky than bonds.
How Do I Fund an IRA?
Uncle Sam has a couple of ways to help you take full advantage of saving in an IRA. Beyond that, breaking down your goal makes it easier.
Should You Auto-Reinvest IRA Dividends?
It's easy to do and is good for many, but first consider your time horizon, distribution schedule and whether you want to do it manually instead.
What Is the Average Stock Market Return?
The average stock market return is about 10% per year for nearly the last century, as measured by the S&P 500 index. In some years, the market returns more than that, and in other years it returns less.
Want a Cheap Stock on the Rise? Start Your Search Here
Good cheap stocks do exist; you just need to know how to find them — and that’s exactly what stock screeners are for.
What Is a Stock Market Correction?
Here's what happens when the market declines, why it does so and how long a drop may last.
How to Invest in Penny Stocks
If you want to dabble in penny stocks, you should know the risks of these low-priced securities – and do your research.
What Is a Closed-End Fund, and Should You Invest in One?
Closed-end funds are a lesser-known kind of mutual fund. Your best odds of success come when you buy them at a discount.
Active vs. Passive Investing: Step Back for Better Returns
Passive investing tends to be quicker and easier, and deliver better overall returns
How to Invest in Bonds: A Quick-Start Guide for Beginners
Bonds can help grow your wealth and balance your portfolio, and investing in bonds is easier than you might think.
How to Buy Bonds
Learn the different types of bonds and how to evaluate them before you buy through a broker, an ETF or directly from the government.
Shorting a Stock: What to Know About Short Selling
Short selling is an investment strategy that lets you profit from falling stock prices, but it’s not for everyone.