What is a Dogecoin Mining Pool?

What is a Dogecoin Mining Pool?

While Dogecoin may have its origins as a joke currency, but the process of mining it is very real. A mining pool is one way of mining a proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency like Dogecoin. (The other way is solo mining in which an individual tries to solve for a block on their own, using significant time and computing power.)

A mining pool is a collection of miners who pool their resources and share the rewards. Individual miners receive a portion of block rewards in proportion to how much hashing power they contributed.

Miners may earn less overall when mining in a pool. But they receive rewards on a more consistent basis and can maintain a profitable operation even with smaller amounts of computing power.

Recommended: Is Crypto Mining Still Profitable in 2021?

Before moving on to the subject of Dogecoin mining pools, let’s take a quick look at how Dogecoin mining works:

How Does Dogecoin Mining Work?

Dogecoin mining works in much the same way that mining any other proof-of-work cryptocurrency works. Dogecoin is based off of Litecoin, which forked from the original Bitcoin source code.

The main difference between Bitcoin (BTC) and Dogecoin (DOGE) or Litecoin (LTC) is that the latter two are altcoins that use a mining algorithm known as Scrypt. Bitcoin mining, by contrast, uses an algorithm called SHA-256. Scrypt allows for faster block confirmation times, which means faster transaction times.

Here’s a quick, simplified rundown on crypto basics and how the mining process works.

• A blockchain is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT).

Blockchain networks are the highways on which cryptocurrencies travel.

• The computers that maintain a blockchain network are called “nodes.”

• Some nodes can add new blocks of transactions to the network. These nodes are called “miners.”

• Miners solve complex mathematical problems to process transactions and achieve consensus on the network, ensuring everyone agrees which transactions are valid.

Like gold mining, mining for crypto requires time and energy, whether you’re mining Bitcoin or an altcoin like Dogecoin. But unlike gold mining, computers do all the work in crypto mining. Individuals only have to set everything up and monitor the process. For some, mining cryptocurrency offers an opportunity to obtain cryptocurrency without buying it on an exchange.

Recommended: How Does Bitcoin Mining Work?

How Do You Mine Pool Dogecoin?

To participate in a Dogecoin mining pool, you must have all the necessary hardware and software listed below.

Using a pool only involves one extra step: telling the miners where to “point” their hashing power. This typically involves entering a single line of computer code into the mining software. The mining pool will provide the specific command, likely somewhere on its website or in the software itself.

Dogecoin Mining Equipment

Crypto mining requires sophisticated and powerful computers known as Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs). In the case of Dogecoin, the ASIC must be specifically designed to run the Scrypt algorithm.

While there might be some pools that allow users to use SHA-256 ASICs, contribute that hashing power to the pool, and take rewards in DOGE, those interested in mining DOGE specifically should stick to Scrypt ASICs.

ASICs take so much electricity that even smaller miners usually require a special power supply to connect to an electrical outlet. They also generate considerable heat, and miners must keep them cool to prevent damage.

In addition to the ASICs and their power supplies, miners will need a laptop or desktop computer. Running the mining software can take a considerable amount of central processing unit (CPU) or graphic processing unit (GPU) power, so that computer probably won’t be able to do much else while the mining is happening.

Recommended: What Is a Bitcoin Mining Pool? Should You Join One?

How to Join a Dogecoin Mining Pool

Most mining pools don’t have any special requirements for joining. They want to make it as easy as possible for new miners to contribute because they take a small fee from each block reward. The more miners in the pool, the more often the pool finds new blocks, and the more fees the pool will generate.

Mining pools often have instructions on their website that teach new miners how to join. It usually involves little more than entering a line of code into a mining program. Computers handle the rest.

Here is a rundown of the steps that an individual will take when joining a mining pool:

• Selecting a Dogecoin mining pool to join (more on this in the next section).

• Downloading and installing the software from the pool’s official site.

• Creating a DOGE wallet and entering the address into the software (so the software knows where to send the new coins.

• Obtaining the necessary hardware.

• Using a mining profitability calculator to estimate how profitable mining might be, based on variables such as electricity costs, hashing power, and mining difficulty.

• Each of these steps involves its own set of issues that need to be addressed.

How to Find the Best Dogecoin Mining Pool

To choose the best Dogecoin mining pool for you, consider the following factors:

• The fees charged by the pool.

• How the pool calculates and distributes rewards.

• The location of main servers.

• The total hashing power of the pool.

Because mining cryptocurrency comes with a significant investment of time and money, miners will want to choose a pool that earns them the greatest profit. That involves a pool with the lowest fees and most equitable reward structure. The biggest Dogecoin pool may or may not be the best, as there are other factors to consider.

Some mining pools mine multiple cryptocurrencies. This allows the pool to switch its mining activities should mining a different coin become more popular depending on the constantly changing variables of price and difficulty.

For example, some pools mine both Dogecoin and Litecoin since both rely on the same mining algorithm. If such a pool’s miners were focused on Dogecoin but the price of DOGE stagnates, it could become harder to mine DOGE due to difficulty increases, meaning reduced profits for miners absent a rise in DOGE. Then they could switch to Litecoin.

The Dogecoin mining pool power cost is also important to consider. Mining requires cheap electricity to be profitable. Many people turn to renewable energy sources like solar power for this reason, which also benefits the environment.

The Takeaway

Cryptocurrency mining is not an easy task and won’t be profitable for most people most of the time. All the right variables must align for an individual to make money mining in most instances. Many take up mining as a hobby and as a way to build a small crypto portfolio while contributing to the livelihood of the network of a particular coin.

If you’re interested in building a crypto portfolio without getting involved in mining, opening an account on the SoFi Invest brokerage platform is a great way to get started. SoFi members can trade crypto directly from the app, with the peace of mind of knowing that they’re keeping their holdings on a secure platform.

Photo credit: iStock/Thirawatana Phaisalratana


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.
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How to Read Crypto Charts: 2021 Complete Guide

How to Read Crypto Charts: 2021 Complete Guide

Reading crypto charts is an important skill for anyone who wants to trade digital assets. Understanding crypto charts will allow you to perform the technical analysis necessary to make investing decisions.

Here’s what to know:

How to Read Cryptocurrency Charts

There are many potential methods for reading crypto charts.

Some factors aside from the chart itself can be worth considering too, as important events or changes in overall market sentiment can have a heavy-handed impact on charts.

For best results, traders can implement multiple methods of reading crypto charts at the same time. When several different indicators lead to similar conclusions, market observers have more confidence in their predictions. Relying on a single indicator is likely to create an incomplete picture and could be misleading.

Recommended: 6 Things to Know Before Investing in Crypto

1. Support & Resistance Levels

Support and resistance are among the most basic technical analysis concepts used when reading charts. Support refers to a potential bottom in prices, while resistance refers to a potential top. Prices tend to reverse at these points, and if they don’t, it can mean that a new trend has emerged.

When prices breakout beneath support, further declines could be possible. Likewise, when prices breakout above resistance, further increases could be possible.

Pivot points, predictive indicators that average the high, low, and closing price from the previous trading session, provide a more precise way to calculate specific support and resistance levels. Traders who are serious about reading crypto charts could begin by researching topics like pivot points more thoroughly.

2. Moving Averages (MA)

Moving averages plot a line on a chart that indicates the trend of price averages over a certain period. Investors can use MAs for just about any time frame, but many believe that long-term averages carry more weight as they include more data. The same can be said of most technical indicators.

Investors also often use multiple moving averages in conjunction with each other. For example, investors consider a “golden cross” a bullish signal, while a “death cross” is a bearish signal.

A golden cross happens when a short-term moving average rises above a long-term moving average. Often this involves the 50-day MA moving above the 200-day MA. A death cross happens when this trend reverses and the short-term moving average falls beneath the long-term moving average.

3. Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP)

The Volume Weighted Average Price (VWAP) appears on a single line on a chart. Similar to a moving average, VWAP includes one crucial variable – volume. Including volume into the average price calculation may create a more accurate picture of previous price behavior. A trend based on low volume could be weak and reverse quickly, while a trend based on high volume is thought to be more robust.

4. Relative Strength Index (RSI)

The RSI is another often-used and easy-to-read indicator. It appears as a single line beneath the price chart itself, with a value between 0 and 100, with 50 being neutral. A low RSI reading may signal oversold conditions, meaning prices could rise soon, while a high RSI reading could signal overbought conditions, meaning prices could fall soon.

The closer the RSI is to its extremes of 0 or 100, the more reliable investors consider it. In some cases, the RSI can remain elevated or suppressed for long periods before the foretold price reversal materializes. For this reason, it can be helpful to use other price indicators alongside ones like the RSI.

5. Crypto Fear & Greed Index

The Crypto Fear and Greed Index provides an approximation of overall market emotions. Using a variety of data, the index shows a value between 0 and 100, with 100 being maximum greed and 0 being maximum fear.

This is a contrarian indicator, meaning investors might use it to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing. When the index reads below 20, that signals extreme fear, and could mean buying opportunities. When the index reads above 80, that signals extreme greed, and could mean it’s time to take some profits.

Recommended: How to Use the Fear and Greed Index to Your Advantage

6. Trends Tend to Continue

Figuring out exactly when a trend is about to reverse can be difficult if not impossible much of the time. Many believe it’s better to just identify existing trends and try to ride on that momentum.

But how do you know exactly when a trend has changed? It’s difficult to say, and traders might disagree. In general, it’s when a pattern breaks down or prices close above resistance or below support, for example, the trend may have changed course.

7. Candlestick Charts

Candlesticks are price charts that show the high, low, opening, and closing prices of cryptocurrency during a specific time period. When you set up a candlestick chart, you’ll choose the time period that you want it to cover.

8. Bitcoin Dominance

One last factor worth taking note of when reading crypto charts is Bitcoin dominance . This number, expressed as a percentage, refers to the amount of the crypto market captured by Bitcoin. For many investors, the higher this value rises, the more bullish they are on Bitcoin, while being bearish for many altcoins.

The opposite is also thought to be true. Investors may perceive a decline in Bitcoin dominance as a bearish signal for Bitcoin and bullish for altcoins.

On April 22nd, 2021, Bitcoin dominance fell below 50% for the first time since 2018. Some market observers believe this means that Bitcoin could either fall or trade sideways for a time while many altcoins rally.

Bitcoin forks can also potentially impact Bitcoin dominance, as a new altcoin is created when this happens.

Recommended: How to Invest in Bitcoin

The Takeaway

This has only been an introduction to how to read crypto charts and tips for investing in Bitcoin and crypto. Using one or more of the above listed methods can help traders make informed decisions, but they may also want to do additional research.

If you’re ready to start trading cryptocurrency, consider opening an account on the SoFi Invest brokerage platform. It allows you to trade not only cryptocurrencies, but also stocks and exchange-traded funds.

Photo credit: iStock/SARINYAPINNGAM


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.
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What Is Ethereum 2.0 and When Will it Be Released?

What Is Ethereum 2.0 and When Will it Be Released?

It’s hard to imagine the U.S. government announcing the “Dollar 2.0.” But in the wild world of cryptocurrencies, that wouldn’t be an unusual occurrence. When it comes to some cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum, it’s inevitable — Ethereum 2.0 is in the works.

While Ethereum has, in some respects, joined Bitcoin as a fairly mainstream cryptocurrency, it’s overdue for an upgrade. Read on to learn what those upgrades will look like, what they’ll do to your Ethereum holdings, and ultimately, what it means for your portfolio.

Recommended: Guide to Investing in Ethereum

What is Ethereum 2.0?

To understand Ethereum 2.0 and its upgrades, you must have a basic understanding of what Ethereum is. Here’s the short version: Ethereum is an online platform built on blockchain technology (essentially a decentralized ledger) that programmers use to store data on decentralized networks. It has a native currency, “ether,” which powers transactions on the platform. So, using blockchain technology, Ethereum allows developers to build decentralized applications (DApps).

Now, as for Ethereum 2.0, the upgrades will address some core issues with the Ethereum network. It’s like upgrading the software on your phone or computer, in a sense, in that the new version of Ethereum will resolve some existing issues and make it easier for Ethereum 2.0 to gain more widespread adoption.

Limitations of the Current Ethereum

Ethereum 2.0, or Ethw, aims to “make Ethereum more scalable, more secure, and more sustainable,” according to its creators .

Those goals address several of the network’s key limitations: It needs to be faster, less vulnerable to threats, and eat up fewer resources. Of course, there are challenges to put these changes in place. Programmers have spent many years working on Ethereum 2.0, and the changes will take several years to be fully adopted.

When Is the Ethereum 2.0 Release Date?

There is not a hard and fast Ethereum 2.0 launch date. The transition to Ethereum 2.0 has already begun, with the introduction of the Beacon Chain occurring in December 2020. The next phase will be “the merge,” followed by “sharding,” and then, finally, the transition to eWASM.

What Are the Upgrades to Ethereum?

The Beacon Chain

The Beacon Chain upgrade launched in December of 2020. The Beacon Chain introduces a new staking concept to the platform. It launched before many other upgrade components because it’s a cornerstone to Ethereum 2.0’s system. The Beacon Chain needed to be in place for other components to work on top of it.

The Ethereum Mainnet Merge

“The merge,” as some call it, concerns the marriage of the existing Ethereum mainnet ( Ethereum’s main network) with the Beacon Chain’s proof-of-stake protocol. The Ethereum 2.0 team working on these upgrades refers to this as “the docking.”

Developers expect “the docking” to take place sometime during 2021 or 2022. Once it happens, miners will no longer need to mine ETH, and will instead move to a staking system in order to earn additional Ethereum tokens.

These two steps — the launch of the Beacon Chain, and the mainnet merge — pave the way for the final part of the transition: The introduction of shard chains.

Shard Chains

By introducing shard chains, the Ethereum network will have more capacity and speed, giving it the ability to handle more traffic. “Sharding” is a bit technical, but it basically means that a database will split horizontally to spread the load of the transactions on the network.

Sharding reduces congestion and speeds everything up, allowing the network to store and process more data in a shorter amount of time. Plus, more people will be able to participate on the network after it is sharded.

The introduction of sharding will likely occur sometime in 2022.

Launch of eWASM

The final stage of the rollout will include the introduction of eWASM (WebAssembly) code to the renewed platform. eWASM will replace Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM), the engine on which the platform runs now, and which powers the action on the network. The launch of eWASM should make the network faster and more efficient.

Ethereum 2.0 Staking

Recall that Ethereum 2.0 will represent a full transition to a proof-of-stake protocol from a hybrid system that uses both proof-of-stake and proof-of-work. Staking, in general, is the process of locking up cryptocurrencies to earn rewards. It’s like putting your cash in a savings account and accruing interest. Staking is a process used to validate data and transactions in a blockchain network, which is why and how Ethereum uses it.

Recommended: What is Crypto Staking?

Understanding Proof-of-Stake

With a proof-of-stake system, users validate block transactions based on the number of coins they hold. Basically, the more ether a user has, the more mining power they possess. But mining isn’t necessary under a proof-of-stake algorithm (not the case for proof-of-work).

That means that the process requires less energy and mining power—fewer resources overall—to keep the network running.

The Difference Between Proof-of-Stake and Proof-of-Work

Proof-of-work, conversely, is the original algorithm used by blockchain networks. On this protocol, users “mine” new coins, as they would with Bitcoin, to earn rewards. Mining eats up a lot of resources, which is one reason Ethereum 2.0 is moving to proof-of-stake.

Recommended: Is Crypto Mining Still Profitable in 2021?

A proof-of-stake algorithm will also bring less risk onto the network, has stronger support for sharding, and is more efficient — all upgrades over the proof-of-work system.

Status of the Ethereum 2.0 Project

It’s still early days for Ethereum 2.0. The Beacon Chain has launched, but we’re waiting for the “merge,” or “the docking,” to take place. Developers expect this to occur sometime during 2021, but it could happen during 2022.

The Ethereum 2.0 project is being released in phases, so it’ll be some time before the full transition is in effect. You can visit Ethereum’s website to check on the current status of the project.

What Will Happen to My ETH?

There is no immediate impact to ETH holders from the Ethereum 2.0 project. While the network is getting upgrades, there’s no change to ETH itself. Be suspicious of anyone who says otherwise, as scammers may try to take advantage of the transition.

Some ETH proponents have positive ethereum 2.0 price predictions. They believe that the upgrade will increase the value of ETH making your holdings worth more over time.

The Takeaway

Ethereum 2.0 is an upgrade to one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrencies. While the multi-year rollout of the upgrade has just begun, developers hope it will make the cryptocurrency bigger and safer, while reducing its environmental impact, setting it apart from other types of cryptocurrency.

If you’re interested in trading Ethereum before the Ethereum 2.0 update comes out, a great way to get started is by opening a brokerage account on the SoFi Invest online trading platform. You can use it to trade several types of cryptocurrency, as well as to purchase other investments such as stocks or exchange-traded funds.

Photo credit: iStock/Pekic


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t endorsed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and involve a high degree of risk. Consumer protection and securities laws don’t regulate cryptocurrencies to the same degree as traditional brokerage and investment products. Research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before engaging with any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including FINRA , the SEC , and the CFPB , have issued public advisories concerning digital asset risk. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds or traditional investments. Limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states.
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50 Investment Phrases, Decoded

50 Investment Terms, Decoded

Any new endeavor — from rock climbing to investing — means getting familiar with new words and phrases. Some investment terms may seem complex, but this list will take the mystery out of the most common investing terminology, so you can feel even more confident as you start your investing journey. If you want a deeper dive, SoFi’s Investing 101 Center can help you become even more fluent with investing basics.

50 Investment Terms Every Investor Needs to Know

1. Alpha

Alpha is used to gauge the success of an investment strategy, portfolio, portfolio manager, or trader compared with a relevant benchmark. You may also hear alpha defined as “excess return” in that it refers to returns that can be attributed to active management, over and above market returns.

2. Assets

An asset is anything that holds value that can be converted to cash. Personal assets might include your home, a car, other valuables. Business assets might include machinery, patents. When it comes to investing, assets are typically the securities you invest in.

3. Asset Class

An asset class is a group of investments with similar characteristics that is likely to perform differently in the market than another asset class. Types of asset classes include stocks, bonds, real estate, currencies, and more. Given the same market conditions, stocks and bonds often move in opposite directions. Most financial advisers recommend you invest in multiple asset classes in order to have a well-diversified portfolio and minimize risk.

4. Asset Allocation Fund

An asset allocation fund is a diversified portfolio consisting of various asset classes. Most asset allocation funds have a mix of stocks, bonds, and cash equivalents. These types of funds can be popular as some advisors stress the importance of having diverse portfolios to minimize potential losses.

5. Beta

Beta refers to how risky or volatile a security or portfolio is compared with the market overall. Calculating the beta of the stocks in your portfolio can help you determine how your portfolio might respond to market volatility. You can also gauge the beta of a stock to help determine how much risk it might add to your portfolio.

6. Bear Market

A bear market occurs when the market declines, typically when broad market indexes fall 20% or more in two months or less. Bear markets can accompany a recession, but not always. They often signal that investors feel pessimistic about their investments’ ability to make money and the market’s ability to rebound.

7. Bull Market

A bull market is the opposite of a bear market, meaning prices are rising or are expected to rise for extended periods of time. Bull markets usually mean security prices are rising for months or even years at a time.

8. Blue Chip

Blue chip companies are generally thought to be well-established, financially sound, and therefore high-quality investments. Blue chip stocks are typically large companies, and many of them are household names. In some cases, blue chips may be more expensive to invest in since they can be considered relatively stable and likely to grow.

9. Bonds

When governments or corporations need to borrow money they issue bonds. Investors who buy the bonds are effectively loaning that entity cash, which will be repaid according to the terms of the bond (e.g. a 10-year bond with an interest rate of 3%). Bonds are often considered to be relatively stable, lower-risk investments compared with stocks.

10. Broker

An investment broker, whether a person or a firm, acts as a middleman to help investors buy and sell securities. Brokers may be necessary because some securities exchanges only allow members of that exchange to make an investment order. A broker’s primary function is to help clients place trades, although many brokers also help clients with market research and investment planning.

11. Diversification

You’ve probably heard that you should aim to have a diversified portfolio. That means investing in a range of asset classes that are likely to behave differently under different market conditions, in order to mitigate risk. A portfolio of only stocks, for instance, could be more vulnerable to market volatility than a portfolio that also included bonds, real estate, commodities, and so on.

12. Dividends

When a company shares their profits with investors, these are called dividends. Dividends are often paid in cash (although they can be paid in stocks). Some companies — e.g. many blue chip firms — pay dividends, but not all companies do. Ordinary dividends are taxed differently than qualified dividends, so you may want to consult a tax professional if you own dividend-paying stocks.

13. Dollar Based Investing

Also called fractional share investing, dollar based investing is a way for investors to buy partial shares of stocks. Instead of buying shares of a company, you instead invest a dollar amount. Dollar based investing is a great way for smaller investors to buy into popular companies that they may otherwise be priced out of.

14. EBITDA

EBITDA is a way to evaluate a company’s performance that is considered more precise than simply looking at net income. EBITDA stands for: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. To calculate EBITDA, use the following formula: Net Income + Interest + Taxes + Depreciation + Amortization.

15. EBIT

EBIT is a simpler way to calculate a company’s profits than EBITDA, as it’s only one part of the EBITDA equation (literally!). It stands for “earnings before interest and taxes.” It’s calculated using this formula: Net Income + Interest + Taxes.

16. EPS

EPS stands for earnings per share, which is a common way investors measure how well a stock is performing. EPS is calculated by finding a company’s quarterly or annual net income and dividing it by the company’s outstanding shares of stock. Increases in EPS can be a sign that the company’s profit performance is on the upswing, whereas a decrease can be a red flag for investors.

17. ETF

Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are similar to mutual funds in that the fund’s portfolio can include dozens or even hundreds of different securities, and investors buy shares of the fund. Unlike mutual funds, ETF shares can be traded like stocks throughout the day (mutual fund shares are traded once a day). Most ETFs are considered lower-cost, passive investments because they track an index, although there are actively managed ETFs.

18. Expense Ratio

An expense ratio is an annual fee investors pay to cover the operating costs of mutual funds, index funds, ETFs and other types of funds. Fees are typically deducted from your investments automatically (you don’t pay a separate charge), and they can reduce your returns over time so it’s wise to shop around for lower fees. Expense ratios are calculated using this formula: Total Funds Costs / Total Fund Assets Under Management.

19. FCF

Free cash flow is the money a company has after it has paid its expenses. This number is important to investors because it can show them how likely it is that a company could have extra cash for dividends or share buybacks. A continuous decrease in free cash flow over a few years can also be a red flag to investors.

20. Growth Stock

Growth stocks are shares in a company that’s growing faster than its competitors, typically showing potential for higher revenue or sales. Growth stock companies may be considered leaders in their industry.

21. Hedge Fund

Hedge funds are usually managed by an LLC or limited partnership that invests in securities and other assets using money from multiple investors. Hedge funds tend to be more risky and expensive than mutual funds or ETFs, which often makes them accessible to more wealthy investors.

22. Index Fund

Index funds are a type of mutual fund that invest in securities that mirror a particular index, such as the S&P 500 Index or the MSCI World Index. Indexes track many different sectors, from smaller U.S. companies to big global companies to various kinds of bonds. Each index acts as a proxy for how that market sector is performing; the corresponding index funds reflect that performance.

23. Interest Rate

The interest rate is the amount a lender charges to borrow money — and it can also mean the amount your cash earns in a savings, money market or CD account. The baseline interest rate in the U.S. is set by the Federal Reserve. This rate in turn influences savings rates, mortgage rates, credit card rates, and more. Generally, when the Federal Reserve lowers interest rates, the stock market tends to rise.

24. Large Cap

A large-cap company has $10 billion or more in market capitalization. These companies are often considered industry leaders, and are relatively conservative, low-risk, and safe investments. A company’s stock may be considered large cap, mid cap, or small cap.

25. Market Cap

Market capitalization, or market cap, is the value of a company’s total outstanding shares. It’s often used to measure a company’s value and build a diversified portfolio. You can calculate market cap by multiplying the number of outstanding shares by the current price per share. Companies with lower market caps usually have more room to grow and usually are associated with newer companies, meaning they can also be riskier.

26. Mid Cap

Mid-cap companies are usually between $2 billion to $10 billion in market capitalization, putting them somewhere between small- and large-cap companies. Many mid-cap companies are in a growth phase, making them attractive to some investors who believe the company may grow into a large-cap over time, although this is not guaranteed to happen.

27. Mega Cap

Mega-cap companies are the largest companies you can invest in, with a market value of $1 trillion or more. Mega-cap stocks are typically industry leaders and household name brands, like Apple or Microsoft.

28. Mutual Fund

Mutual funds may invest in stocks, bonds, and other securities — or a combination of these (e.g. a blended fund). Mutual funds can also be industry-specific (such as a mutual fund consisting only of energy stocks, green bonds, or tech companies, and so on).

29. Net Income

When talking about investing, net income usually refers to how much a company makes (or its total losses) after it has paid all its expenses. Net income is therefore usually calculated by subtracting a company’s expenses from its revenue. Investors may want to know a company’s net income because it can help determine how profitable the company is, although EBITDA (defined above) is another measure.

30. Over-the-Counter Stocks

Not all stocks are publicly traded. These “private” stocks, often called over-the-counter stocks, usually have to be traded through a broker. Companies may offer OTC stocks if they don’t meet the requirements to be traded publicly. Such companies are often startups or other small companies. So, while these companies may eventually grow to be able to trade publicly, investing in them also carries the risk that they may fold or even engage in fraudulent activity since the market is far less regulated than publicly traded markets are.

31. Price-to-Earnings Ratio

Investors commonly use P/E or price-to-earnings ratios to gain insight into how profitable a company is compared to its stock price. In other words, price-to-earnings ratios can help investors decide if the price of a stock is worth it when compared to how much a company is making.

32. Prime Interest Rate

Banks are likely to offer their best customers — those with the best credit histories and the lowest risk of defaulting — a prime interest rate for a loan. The prime interest rate is generally the lowest rate the bank will offer. A bank’s criteria for determining their prime interest rate may vary, but most banks consider the federal funds rate when setting any interest rate.

33. Portfolio Management

Portfolio management simply refers to how you select and manage the investments in your portfolio. There are many different management styles, such as active or passive, growth or value. Additionally, you can elect to manage your own portfolio or hire an individual or group to manage it for you.

34. Preferred Stock

A preferred stock means investors own shares in a company and get scheduled dividends, similar to how bond interest payments work. Preferred socks may not fluctuate in price like common stocks do, meaning they are often less volatile and risky.

35. Profit & Loss Statement

You probably know what profit and losses are, but do you know how to read a company’s P&L or profit & loss statement? It can help you determine a company’s bottom line, as it can show you how well a company is doing compared to its peers in the same industry. If you’ve never read one before, this article about profit & loss statements could give you some tips on what to look for.

36. Prospectus

Companies that offer stocks, bonds, and mutual funds to investors are required to file a prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission that provides details about the investment they are offering (e.g. the expense ratio, the constituents of a fund, and more). Investors can use the prospectus to better understand a given security and how it might fit in their portfolio, or not.

37. Recession

A recession is a period of economic contraction. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession further as a decline in monthly employment, personal income, and industrial production. As an investor, a recession may indicate a drop in the value of your portfolio, although this may be temporary: When looking at the history of U.S. recessions, the stock market has typically rebounded after recessions.

38. REIT

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a way that investors can further diversify their portfolios. Instead of having the responsibility of managing an investment property yourself, you can invest in REITs, which are generally large-scale real estate projects that investors can help fund in exchange for partial ownership. Most REITs are publicly traded and pay dividends to investors.

39. Retained Earnings

When looking for a company’s net income statement, you may come across the term “retained earnings,” also sometimes called unappropriated profit, uncovered loss, member capital, earnings surplus, or accumulated earnings. In general, retained earnings is the amount of money a company keeps and potentially reinvests after it gives its investors a dividend payout. As an investor, knowing whether a company had positive retained earnings can help you determine how much money it has to continue growing. If its retained earnings are negative, that could be a sign the company is in debt and may not be a good investment.

40. Return on Equity

Return on equity, sometimes called return on net worth, can help investors compare how well companies are managing their stockholders’ contributions. You can calculate it using this formula: Net income/Average shareholder equity. A higher return on equity can signal to investors that a company is managing its money efficiently.

41. ROI

Return on investment (ROI) is just that: the return you get after making an investment in a stock, bond, mutual fund, and so forth. Investors generally hope for a positive ROI, meaning that their investment has made a profit. While a good ROI will vary depending on the type of investments you’re making, some investors look to the historic return of the stock market (about 7%) as a barometer.

42. Small Cap

A small-cap company usually has a market cap of $250 million to $2 billion. Investors may be attracted to a small-cap company because they believe it has growth potential or may be undervalued.

43. SPAC

SPAC stands for special purpose acquisition company. SPACs are shell companies that list shares on an exchange to raise money so they can merge with a privately held company. Once the merger between the public SPAC and the private company is complete, that company is now in effect a public company — which is why a SPAC is sometimes called a backdoor IPO. Many companies may elect to use SPACs instead of traditional IPOs because they are often faster and less expensive.

44. Stocks

If you’ve made it this far, you probably know what a stock is. To review, a stock is a way to buy a piece of ownership into a company. You can buy and sell your stocks depending on whether you anticipate your stocks will decrease or increase in value.

45. Stock Exchange

A stock exchange is the place where you buy, sell, or trade stocks. Common U.S. stock exchanges are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq.

46. Stop-Loss Order

A stop-loss order can help investors have more control over their stocks. When a stock reaches a certain price that you choose, your broker will sell, buy, or trade that stock. Having a stop-loss order can help you limit how much money you make or lose in the stock market.

47. Target Date Fund

A target date fund is a type of mutual fund that includes a mix of asset classes to provide investors with a portfolio that adjusts over time to become more conservative as they age. Target date funds are often used to help investors plan their retirements. Target funds are typically constructed around various target retirement years (e.g. 2030, 2040, 2050) so investors can pick a date that corresponds with their hoped-for retirement.

48. Value Stock

A value stock is a stock that investors believe is undervalued and/or inexpensive compared to its past prices on the stock market or with its competitors. Investors may consider a stock’s price-to-earnings ratio to help them determine if something is a value stock.

49. Venture Capital

Venture capital is money a startup uses to grow its business. This money usually comes from private investors or venture capital firms. Investors may elect to invest venture capital into startups they believe have the potential to be profitable with time.

50. Yield

Yield is another way of referring to the return of an investment over a set period of time, expressed as a percentage. You may hear the term in relation to bonds (e.g. high-yield bonds), but yield is more accurately a measure of the cash flow an investor gets on the amount they invested in a security during that time period, and is different from total return.

The Takeaway

Getting familiar with a few key investing words and phrases can go a long way in helping you gain confidence when you’re new to investing. Getting fluent with investing terminology is like any other pursuit — there’s a learning curve at first, but the terms will feel more natural as you move forward and start investing regularly. If you need some extra help decoding investment terminology, opening a SoFi Invest® brokerage account could also help: SoFi Members get complimentary access to a qualified financial advisor.

Photo credit: iStock/akinbostanci


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
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If you invest in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) through SoFi Invest (either by buying them yourself or via investing in SoFi Invest’s automated investments, formerly SoFi Wealth), these funds will have their own management fees. These fees are not paid directly by you, but rather by the fund itself. these fees do reduce the fund’s returns. Check out each fund’s prospectus for details. SoFi Invest does not receive sales commissions, 12b-1 fees, or other fees from ETFs for investing such funds on behalf of advisory clients, though if SoFi Invest creates its own funds, it could earn management fees there.

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs): Investors should carefully consider the information contained in the prospectus, which contains the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other relevant information. You may obtain a prospectus from the Fund company’s website or by email customer service at [email protected] Please read the prospectus carefully prior to investing. Shares of ETFs must be bought and sold at market price, which can vary significantly from the Fund’s net asset value (NAV). Investment returns are subject to market volatility and shares may be worth more or less their original value when redeemed. The diversification of an ETF will not protect against loss. An ETF may not achieve its stated investment objective. Rebalancing and other activities within the fund may be subject to tax consequences.
Investment Risk: Diversification can help reduce some investment risk. It cannot guarantee profit, or fully protect in a down market.
Advisory services are offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC an SEC-registered Investment adviser. Information about SoFi Wealth’s advisory operations, services, and fees is set forth in SoFi Wealth’s current Form ADV Part 2 (Brochure), a copy of which is available upon request and at adviserinfo.sec.gov .
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How to Use Social Media for Investing Tips: The Smart Way

How to Use Social Media for Investing Tips: The Smart Way

Social media has become an important new source for many people, including for investors looking for ideas to guide their strategy. That said, social media users must be careful when sifting through the vast quantities of information on the web to make sure they’re relying on legitimate sources.

There are a variety of social media platforms that investors use for information, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Stocktwits, and even TikTok. While there are potential benefits to using social media to invest, there are also plenty of pitfalls.

Why Understanding Social Media Investing Is Important

In 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) allowed companies to start using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to communicate information to investors. As long as companies tell investors which website to check, they can use social media to announce information like company metrics that may influence stock price. Individuals interested in investing in a particular company may want to follow that company directly to stay abreast of breaking news.

Social media can also be an important place to gather information from analysts and financial bloggers who post their thoughts about stocks and news events or upcoming IPOs. Since these folks are typically reacting to news, following them may be a way to stay on top of popular investment trends. More than a third of young investors say that they now use social media to look into possible investments, making it their most popular source of investing information ideas.

Recommended: 10 Popular Investing Trends

Recently, social media has entered the investment space in a new way with the rise of meme stocks. Meme stocks are companies that experience increased volume in trades due to hype on social media. Perhaps the original, and most famous, meme stock is GameStop. Retail investors encouraged each other to buy shares of the company over the subreddit message board r/wallstreetbets to force a short squeeze among hedge fund investors betting against the stock. Together these retail investors drove the share price up nearly 8,000% by late January 2021.

Recommended: A Guide to WallStreetBets Lingo

Because investor sentiment, rather than company fundamentals, often fuels meme stock price increases, they can be extremely volatile. While meme stock investing can be exciting, it can also expose investors to large amounts of risk.

How to Use Social Media When Investing

Individuals aren’t the only ones using social media to guide their investing decisions. Fully 80% of institutional investors said that social media is part of their regular workflow. If you want to use social media as a way to inform your investment decisions, there are a few strategies to consider.

1. Follow Companies in Which You Invest (or Want to Invest)

Directly following a company’s social media accounts ensures the information you receive is timely and accurate.

2. Follow Informed Experts

Follow news sources, journalists and analysts who cover the companies and sectors, such as healthcare or electric vehicles, in which you’re interested. Consider people who have large followings, a good clue that they provide information that is useful to a broad range of investors.

3. Use Tech Tools

Some brokerages offer social media tools such as social sentiment trackers that aggregate and analyze information that’s posted on social media sites. For example, some firms use software to compile information from Tweets, blog posts, and messages. Others offer in-house social media platforms that allow investors to communicate with each other to discuss trading ideas. Or they may offer crowd-sourced research and analysis, using a website or app to gather ideas and opinions from the public at large. For example, analysts, investors and academics might weigh in with their thoughts on earnings estimates.

It’s important for investors to beware that these tools can be inaccurate or misleading. Data gathered from social media may be old, or contain hidden agendas. Read all disclosures offered by social sentiment tools to understand how they collect data and any risks or conflicts of interest.

Recommended: Understanding Market Sentiment

Social Media Investing Mistakes to Avoid

While social media can be a helpful tool for investors, it also has several pitfalls that investors should understand.

1. Impulsive Decisions

Information driven by social media, such as discussion boards or buy/sell indicators based on social sentiment can drive investors toward emotional investing, especially when information appears in real time. Impulsive investments carry additional risks. Trading securities without proper due diligence can lead you to buy stocks as prices are peaking, or sell as prices tumble, locking in losses and missing out on potential rebounds. Avoid allowing social media to feed the tendency to time the market.

2. Failing to Do Your Own Research

Think of information you get from social media as a jumping-off point, something that sparks your interest and leads you to do more research.

For example, if someone posts about how great they think a stock is, take a look at the company’s financials yourself. Look at past and present earnings reports to understand trends. You can find out this and other information on a company’s quarterly report. Look at the annual report as well. It will let you know about any risks the company foresees in its future. In addition, look at what a number of analysts are predicting the company’s earnings will be in the future.

You may also want to consider broader economic indicators or market measures, such as the Fear & Greed Index.

3. Trusting Bots

Bots are programs—not humans—built to engage on social media. It’s not always clear what their agenda is, and they certainly don’t have your best interests in mind. There are several signs that an account could be a bot, including:

• No profile picture

• Strange numbers of characters in the account name

• Posting at irregular hours

• Repetitive, formulaic language

• Repeated posting on the same subject or the the link

The Takeaway

Social media has become an important way to gather investment information. But learning to recognize reliable sources is critical to finding accurate and useful information to create a strategy whether you’re investing in stocks, bonds, options, or other financial securities. What’s more, investors must understand the behavioral biases that social media investing can trigger, namely the temptation to time the market.

To avoid this pitfall, create and follow a long-term financial plan. Use social media to research stocks and funds that fit your plan, including your time horizon and tolerance for risk. Ready to invest? You can open an account on the SoFi Invest brokerage platform to get access to both active and automated investing services with competitive fees and no account minimums.

Photo credit: iStock/GOCMEN


SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or pre-qualification for any loan product offered by SoFi Lending Corp and/or its affiliates.
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