What Are Power Hour Stocks? What to Know When Trading

Power Hour Stocks: What Are They and How Do You Trade Them?

While the U.S. stock market is technically open from 9:30am to 4pm ET, some times of day are more active than others, and go by the moniker “power hour.”

Depending on who you talk to, the power hour can be the first hour of trading (from 9:30 to 10:30 ET) or the last hour of trading (3:30 to 4:30 ET).

Derivative traders may argue that the time is even more specific, such as at 3:30 on the third Friday of every month in March, June, September, and December when option, futures and index contracts all expire on the same day. They call that the “triple witching hour.”

Here’s a closer look at the power hour, and what it might mean to you.

What Is the Stock Market Power Hour?

During the trading day, the power hour is when traders have a concentrated time to leverage specific market opportunities. That goes for anyone trading common market securities like stocks, index funds, commodities, currencies, and derivatives, especially options trading and futures.

When Does Stock Power Hour Occur?

The term power hour is subjective, but most market observers land on two specific times in defining the term:

•   The first trading hour of the market day. This is when news flows in overnight from across the world that can impact portfolio positions that investors may want to leverage.

•   The last hour of the trading day. This is when sellers may be anxious to close a position for the day, and buyers may be in a position to pounce and buy low when selling activity is high.

One commonality between the first hour of a stock market trading session and the last hour is that trading volatility tends to be higher than it is during the middle of a normal trading day. That’s primarily because traders are looking to buy or sell when demand for trading is robust, and that usually happens at or near the market opening or the market close.

Each power hour brings something different to the table, when it comes to potential investing opportunities.


💡 Quick Tip: When people talk about investment risk, they mean the risk of losing money. Some investments are higher risk, some are lower. Be sure to bear this in mind when investing online.

Power Hour Start of Day

The first hour of any trading session tends to be the most active, as traders react to overnight news and data numbers and stake out advantageous positions.

For example, an investor may have watched financial or business news the previous night, and is now reacting to a story, interview, or prediction.

Some traders refer to this scenario as “stupid money” trading, as conventional wisdom holds that one news event or one interview with a Fortune 500 CEO shouldn’t sway an investor from a strategy-guided long-term investment position. The fact is, by the time the average investor reacts to overnight data, it’s likely the chance for profit is already gone.

Here’s why: Most professional day traders were likely already aware of the news, and have already priced that information into their portfolios. As the price goes up on a stock based on artificial demand, the professional traders typically step in and take the other side of the trade, knowing that in the long run, investing money will drift back to the original trade price for the stock and the professional investor will likely end up making money.

Power Hour End of Day

The last hour of the trading day may also come with high market volatility, which tends to generate more stock trading. Many professional traders tend to trade actively in the morning session and step back during mid-day trading, when volatility is lower and the market is quieter than in the first and last hours of the day.

Regular traders can perk up at the last hour of trading, where trading is typically more frequent and the size of trades generally climb as more buyers and sellers engage before the trading session closes out. Just as in the first hour of the trading day, amateur investors tend to wade into the markets, buying and selling on the day’s news.

That activity can attract bigger, more seasoned traders who may be looking to take advantage of ill-considered positions by average investors, which increases market trading toward the close.

Red Flags and Triggers to Look for During Power Hour Trading

For any investor looking to gain an advantage during power hour trading, the idea is to look for specific market news that can spike market activity and heighten the chances of making a profit in the stock market.

These “triggers” may signal an imminent power hour market period, when trading can grow more volatile.


💡 Quick Tip: How to manage potential risk factors in a self-directed investment account? Doing your research and employing strategies like dollar-cost averaging and diversification may help mitigate financial risk when trading stocks.

Any Earnings Report

Publicly-traded companies are obligated to release company earnings on a quarterly basis. When larger companies release earnings, the news has a tendency to move the financial markets. Depending on whether the earnings news comes in the morning or after hours, investors can typically expect higher trading to follow. That could lead to heavier power hour trading.

News on Big “Daily Gainers”

Stock market trading activity can grow more intense when specific economic or company news pushes a single large stock — or stock sector — into volatile trading territory.

For instance, if a technology company X announces a new product release, investors may want to pounce and buy the stock, hoping for a significant share price uptick. That can lead to higher volume trading stock X, making the company and the market more volatile (especially later in the day), thus ensuring an active power hour trading time.

Reserve/Economic News

Major economic news, like jobs reports, consumer sentiment, inflation rates, and gross domestic product (GDP) reports, are released in the morning. Big news from the Federal Reserve typically comes later in the day, after a key speech by a Fed officer or news of an interest rate move after a Fed Open Markets Committee meeting.

Make no mistake, news on both fronts can be big market movers, and can lead to even more powerful power hour trading sessions. Anticipation of huge economic news, like a Federal Reserve interest rate hike or the release of the U.S. government’s monthly non-farm labor report, can move markets before the actual news is released, potentially fueling an even larger trading surge after the news is released, either at the open (for government economic news) or at the end of the trading day (for Federal Reserve news).

Triple Witching Hour Events

Quarterly triple witching hours — when stock options, futures and index contracts expire on four separate Fridays during the year — historically have had a substantial impact on market activity on those Friday afternoons, in advance of the contracts expiring at the days’ end.

When options contracts involving larger companies expire, market activity on a Friday afternoon prior to closing can be especially volatile. Thus, any late afternoon power hour on a triple-witching-hour Friday can be highly active, and may be one of the largest drivers of power hour trading during the year.

The Takeaway

The concept of a stock market “power hour” is very real, but so is the risk of trading in more volatile markets when power hours tend to be more active.

Consequently, it’s a good idea to give power hours a wide berth if you’re not familiar with trading in choppy markets, where the risk of losing money is high when power trading activity is at its highest.

Ready to invest in your goals? It’s easy to get started when you open an investment account with SoFi Invest. You can invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, alternative funds, and more. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).


Invest with as little as $5 with a SoFi Active Investing account.


Photo credit: iStock/Tatiana Sviridova

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit 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.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

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Inherited IRA: Distribution Rules for Beneficiaries

Inherited IRA Distribution Rules Explained

When an IRA account holder passes away, they might choose to leave their account to a loved one. But whether the recipient is surprised or knew about the inheritance ahead of time, they may have questions about what to do with this inherited IRA.

How does an inherited IRA work? The key to properly handling an inherited IRA is to understand what it means for you as a beneficiary. Your relationship with the deceased, for example, could impact the tax consequences on the inheritance. Plus there are inherited IRA distribution rules you’ll need to know.

An inherited IRA can also be a tremendous financial opportunity, as long as you understand the inheritance IRA rules. Here’s what you should know about the beneficiary IRA distribution rules.

What Is An Inherited IRA?

An inherited IRA, also called a beneficiary IRA, is a type of account you open to hold the funds passed down to you from a deceased person’s IRA. The original retirement account could have been any IRA, such as a Roth, traditional IRA, SEP IRA, or SIMPLE IRA. The deceased’s 401(k) plan can also be used to fund an inherited IRA.

Spouses won’t necessarily need to open an inherited IRA, because spouses are allowed to transfer any inherited assets directly into their own retirement accounts. However, any other beneficiary of the deceased’s account — such as someone who inherited an IRA from a parent — will need to open an inherited IRA, whether or not they already have a retirement account.

Some people prefer to open their inherited IRA account with the same firm that initially held the money for the deceased. It can make it simpler for the beneficiary while planning after the loved one’s passing. However, you can set up your account with almost any bank or brokerage.

💡 Quick Tip: Did you know that opening a brokerage account online typically doesn’t come with any setup costs? Often, the only requirement to open a brokerage account — aside from providing personal details — is making an initial deposit.

How Does an Inherited IRA Work?

When it comes to IRAs, there are two types of beneficiaries: designated and non-designated. Designated includes people, such as a spouse, child, or friend. Non-designated beneficiaries are entities like estates, charities, and trusts.

This article focuses on designated beneficiaries. While your relationship with the deceased may impact your options and any inherited IRA distribution rules, as can the age of the deceased at the time of death, certain inheritance IRA rules apply to everyone:

1.    You cannot make additional contributions to the inherited IRA. You can only make changes to the investments or buy and sell assets held by the IRA.

2.    You must withdraw from the inherited IRA. The required minimum distribution (RMD) rules depend on your age and relationship to the deceased, but according to inherited Roth IRA distribution rules, withdrawals are required even if the original IRA was a Roth IRA (which typically does not have RMD requirements).

What are The RMD Rules For Inherited IRAs?

When it comes to required minimum distributions, there are different rules for inherited IRA RMDs for spouses and non-spouses.

One recent difference between the rules for spouse and non-spouse beneficiaries is a result of the SECURE Act, established in early 2020. It states that non-spouse beneficiaries have to withdraw all the funds from their inherited IRA within a maximum of 10 years. After that time, the IRS will impose a 50% penalty tax on any funds remaining.

Spouses, on the other hand, can take yearly distributions from the account based on their own life expectancy.

RMD Rules for Spouses

Once a spouse takes ownership of the deceased’s IRA account, they can either roll over the assets into their own pre-existing IRA within 60 days, or transfer funds to their newly opened inherited IRA they can withdraw based on their age.

Note that taking a distribution from the account if you are under age 59 ½ results in a 10% early withdrawal penalty.

RMD Rules for Non-Spouses

For non-spouses (relatives, friends, and grown children who inherited an IRA from a parent), once you’ve opened an inherited IRA and transferred the inherited funds into it, RMDs generally must start before December 31st following a year from the person’s death. All assets must be withdrawn within 10 years, though there are some exceptions: if the heir is disabled, more than a decade younger than the original account owner, or a minor.

💡 Quick Tip: Did you know that a traditional Individual Retirement Account, or IRA, is a tax-deferred account? That means you don’t pay taxes on the money you put in it (up to an annual limit) or the gains you earn, until you retire and start making withdrawals.

Multiple Beneficiaries

If there is more than one beneficiary of an inherited IRA, the IRA can be split into different accounts so that there is one for each person. However, in general, you must each start taking RMDs by December 31st of the year following the year of the original account holder’s death, and all assets must be withdrawn from each account within 10 years (aside from the exceptions noted above).

Inherited IRA Situation Examples

These are some of the different instances of inherited IRAs and how they can be handled.

Spouse inherits and becomes the owner of the IRA: When the surviving spouse is the sole beneficiary of the IRA, they can opt to become the owner of it by rolling over the funds into their own IRA. The rollover must be done within 60 days.This could be a good option for someone who is younger than the original owner of the IRA because it delays the RMDs until the surviving spouse turns 73.

Non-spouse designated beneficiaries: An adult child or friend of the original IRA owner can open an inherited IRA account and transfer the inherited funds into it. They generally must start taking RMDs by December 31 of the year after the year in which the original account holder passed away. And they must withdraw all funds from the account 10 years after the original owner’s death.

Both a spouse and a non-spouse inherit the IRA: In this instance of multiple beneficiaries, the original account can be split into two new accounts. That way, each person can proceed by following the RMD rules for their specific situation.

How Do I Avoid Taxes on An Inherited IRA?

Money from IRAs is generally taxed upon withdrawals, so your ordinary tax rate would apply to any tax-deferred IRA that was inherited — traditional, SEP IRA, or SIMPLE IRA.

However, if you have inherited the deceased’s Roth IRA, which allows for tax-free distributions, you should be able to make withdrawals tax-free, as long as the original account was set up at least five years ago.

Spouses who inherit Roth accounts have an extra opportunity to mitigate the bite of taxes. Since spousal heirs have the power to take ownership of the original account, they can convert their own IRA into a Roth IRA after the funds roll over. Though the spouse would be expected to pay taxes on the amount converted, it may ultimately be financially beneficial if they expect higher taxes during their retirement.

Recommended: Is a Backdoor Roth IRA Right For You?

The Takeaway

Once you inherit an IRA, it’s up to you to familiarize yourself with the inherited IRA rules and requirements that apply to your specific situation. No matter what your circumstance, inheriting an IRA account has the potential to put you in a better financial position in your own retirement.

Ready to invest for your retirement? It’s easy to get started when you open a traditional or Roth IRA with SoFi. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Help grow your nest egg with a SoFi IRA.

FAQ

Are RMDs required for inherited IRAs in 2023?

The IRS recently delayed the final RMD rule changes regarding inherited IRAs to calendar year 2024. That’s because rules regarding RMDs have changed in the last few years, leaving many people confused. What this means is that the IRS will, in some cases, waive penalties for missed RMDs on inherited IRAs in 2023 — but only if the original owner died after 2019 and had already started taking RMDs.

What are the disadvantages of an inherited IRA?

The disadvantages of an inherited IRA is knowing how to navigate and follow the many complex rules regarding distributions and RMDs, and understanding the tax implications for your specific situation. However, it’s important to realize that an inherited IRA is a financial opportunity and it could help provide you with money for your own retirement.

How do you calculate your required minimum distribution?

To help calculate your required minimum distribution, you can consult IRS Publication 590-B. There you can find information and tables to help you determine what your specific RMD would be.


Photo credit: iStock/shapecharge

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit 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.

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businessman reading newspaper

Stock Market Fluctuations Explained

The stock market can go up or down based on a number of different factors, including consumer confidence, worries about inflation, and supply and demand. As an investor, it’s important to understand market fluctuation and how it works, and to know how much fluctuation is normal.

Why do stocks fluctuate? Read on to learn more about market volatility and stock fluctuation.

4 Top Causes of Stock Market Fluctuations

The stock market fluctuation definition is when stock prices rise or fall. So what causes this? The stock market can move up and down due to a variety of factors, including:

Supply and Demand

The prices of stocks depend on supply and demand. Supply is how much of a good — in this case, a share of stock — is available for sale. Demand is how much consumers want to buy that stock. Prices rise when the supply of shares of stock for sale is not enough to meet investors’ demands. When investors demand for shares falls, so does the price of the shares.

Overall, the stock market fluctuates because investors are buying and selling stocks in such a way, and in such volume, that stock prices make a large move in one direction or another.

Inflation

Concerns about inflation may cause investors to become bearish and stop buying stocks, which may make the market go down. That’s because during periods of inflation, consumer spending tends to slow, and corporate profits may suffer. Inflation can inject uncertainty and volatility into the market.

Economic Indicators

Economic indicators are data that analysts use to help judge the health of the economy. These indicators can, in turn, affect stock market fluctuation. They typically include such things as the Consumer Price Index, unemployment numbers, interest rates, and home sales. If prices, interest rates, and unemployment rise, chances are good that there may be stock fluctuation.

Company Performance

How well a company is doing can affect the price of its stock and potentially cause market fluctuations. If the company is expanding its operations and reporting a profit, for instance, investors’ demand for the stock may rise, along with the price of the stock. Conversely, if there are concerns about the company’s financial health, or it reports a loss, demand for the stock may drop, and so generally will the price.

Pros and Cons of Market Fluctuations

There are benefits and drawbacks to market fluctuations. These are some of the advantages and disadvantages to consider when the market becomes volatile.

Market Fluctuations

Pros

Cons

May be able to purchase stocks at lower prices Could lose money by selling stocks at a loss
Opportunity to diversify assets Risk of falling prey to financial scams may be greater

Pros of Market Fluctuations

•  Chance to purchase shares at lower prices. When stock prices go down, it may be a good opportunity for investors to buy shares for less. Investing in a down market could be beneficial.

•  Incentive to diversify your assets. When the market is volatile, it’s a prime time to look over your asset allocation and make any prudent changes. For instance, you may want to reduce some of your holdings in riskier assets and move them over to safer investments in case the market drops.

Cons of Market Fluctuations

•  Might end up selling stocks at a loss. Instead of panicking, selling your shares, and losing money, you may be better off waiting out the fluctuations if you can. When the market goes back up, you may be able to recoup what you paid for the stock.

•  There may be a greater risk of financial scams. During a time of market volatility you may receive offers that advertise risk-free returns on certain investments. Be alert to possible fraud, and don’t let your emotions get the better of you, or you could lose money.

💡 Quick Tip: Before opening any investment account, consider what level of risk you are comfortable with. If you’re not sure, start with more conservative investments, and then adjust your portfolio as you learn more.

Volatility Means the Stock Market Is Working

Although it’s difficult to watch the value of your portfolio drop, stock market volatility is a normal part of stock market investing. In fact, volatility is natural, and it shows that the stock market is working as it should.

Here’s why: The more investors weigh in — by actively buying and selling stocks — the more accurate the prices of stocks will ultimately be. Essentially, it’s a weighing of information about the “correct” price of a stock from many different investors.

It’s also helpful to remember that volatility doesn’t just relate to rising stock prices — it also refers to plummeting stock prices. When the stock market makes a surge upward, that is also considered stock market fluctuation.

What Is a Normal Amount of Stock Market Fluctuation?

This is a notoriously hard question to answer because really, almost any amount of market fluctuation is possible.

The best guide for understanding what is normal (and what is not) is to look at what has happened in the past. While past performance is never a guarantee of future financial success, it’s helpful to look at the data.

The most commonly cited pool of data is the S&P 500. The S&P 500 can give a good historical gauge of stock market movement.

Since World War II — the “modern” stock market era, the S&P 500 has seen 12 drops in the stock market of over 20%.

Peak (Start)

Return

May 29, 1946 -30%
August 2, 1956 -22%
December 12, 1961 -28%
February 9, 1966 -22%
November 29, 1968 -36%
January 11, 1973 -48%
November 28, 1980 -27%
August 25, 1987 -34%
July 16, 1990 -20%
March 27, 2000 -49%
October 9, 2007 -57%
February 19, 2020 33.93%

You’ll notice that a big drop in the stock market happens somewhat regularly. And smaller fluctuations of 5% or 10% down happen much more frequently than that.

💡 Quick Tip: When you’re actively investing in stocks, it’s important to ask what types of fees you might have to pay. For example, brokers may charge a flat fee for trading stocks, or require some commission for every trade. Taking the time to manage investment costs can be beneficial over the long term.

What Does Stock Market Volatility Mean to You As an Investor?

How you deal with volatility as an investor depends on your tolerance for risk. What to know about risk is that if you can’t afford losses, volatility could be a time of fear and uncertainty for you. But if you have a higher tolerance for risk, you may see volatility as a potential opportunity.

Risk Tolerance in Investing

Risk tolerance is the amount of risk you’re willing to take with investments. Volatility in the market could directly affect your risk tolerance. For instance, if you have a higher risk tolerance, you may be willing to risk money for the possibility of high returns. If you have a lower risk tolerance, you’ll likely be looking for safer investments with more of a guaranteed return.

Your age, your financial goals, and the amount of money you have impact your risk tolerance. If you’re saving for retirement, and nearing retirement age, your risk tolerance will be lower. In this case, you’ll want to practice risk management with safer investments. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, however, you may have higher risk tolerance because you have more years to recoup any money you may lose.

Investing With SoFi

Choosing the right investment strategy depends on your goals, risk tolerance, and your personal situation. Every investor needs to manage their portfolio in a way that fits their needs during periods of market volatility and as well during times of stability.

Ready to invest in your goals? It’s easy to get started when you open an investment account with SoFi Invest. You can invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, alternative funds, and more. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Invest with as little as $5 with a SoFi Active Investing account.

FAQ

Why does the stock market fluctuate?

The stock market fluctuates for a number of different reasons, but the biggest overall factor is supply and demand. Prices of stocks rise when the supply of shares for sale is not enough to meet investors’ demands. When investors’ demand for shares falls, so does the price of the shares. This causes volatility.

What is the average market fluctuation?

Markets fluctuate fairly frequently. The average fluctuation is about 15% during a year.

How long do market fluctuations last?

How long market fluctuations last depends on the reason for the fluctuations and how big the fluctuations are. Remember, it’s normal to have some periods of volatility in the stock market. Diversifying your portfolio may help you manage risk and stay on track with your investment goals during times of uncertainty.


Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit 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.

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What Is a Self Directed IRA (SDIRA)?

Guide to Self-directed IRAs (SDIRA)

Individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, typically allow for a lot of flexibility in the kinds of investments you can make, from stocks and bonds to mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

However, most IRAs don’t allow certain alternative investments like precious metals, real estate, and cryptocurrency. If you want to hold assets like these in your retirement account, you’ll need a self directed IRA (SDIRA), a specific type of Roth or traditional IRA.

What Is a Self-Directed IRA (SDIRA)?

Self directed IRAs and self directed Roth IRAs allow account holders to buy and sell a wider variety of investments than regular traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. Experienced investors, familiar with sophisticated or risky investments, often use these.

While a custodian or a trustee administers the SDIRA, the account holder typically manages the allocation themselves, taking on responsibility for researching investments and due diligence. These accounts may also come with higher fees than regular IRAs, which can cut into the size of your retirement nest egg over time.

What Assets Can You Put in a Self-Directed IRA or a Self-Directed Roth IRA?

Individuals can hold a number of unique alternative investments in their SDIRA, including but not limited to:

•   Real estate and land

•   Cryptocurrency

•   Precious metals

•   Mineral, oil, and gas rights

•   Water rights

•   LLC membership interest

•   Tax liens

•   Foreign currency

•   Startups through crowdfunding platforms

Recommended: Types of Alternative Investments

Types of SDIRAs

There are specific kinds of SDIRAs customized to investors looking for certain types of investments. The different types include:

Self-directed SEP IRAs

Simplified Employee Pension IRAs (SEP IRAs) are for small business owners or those who are self-employed so that they can make contributions that are tax deductible for themselves and any eligible employees they might have. This type of retirement account gives them the flexibility to invest in alternative investments.

Self-directed SIMPLE IRAs

A Savings Incentive Match Plan IRA (SIMPLE IRA) is a tax-deferred retirement plan for employers and employees of small businesses. Both the employer and the employees can make contributions to this plan. It allows for some alternative kinds of investments.

Recommended: SIMPLE IRA vs Traditional

Self-directed Cryptocurrency IRAS

There are a number of self-directed IRAs that investors can use for cryptocurrency investments if they are interested in crypto. This type of retirement account may be best for those who have experience with cryptocurrency.

Self-directed Precious Metal IRAs

Similarly, there are self-directed IRAs for those who would like to invest in precious metals like gold. However, be aware that some precious metal IRAs may charge higher fees than the market price for precious metals.

How Do Self-Directed IRAs Work?

Now that you know the answer to the question, what is a self directed IRA?, it’s important to understand how these accounts work and the self directed IRA rules. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the guidelines regarding opening an IRA if you have a 401(k).

Aside from their ability to hold otherwise off-limits alternative investments, SDIRAs work much like their traditional counterparts. SDIRAs are tax-advantaged retirement accounts, and they can come in two flavors: traditional SDIRAs and Roth SDIRAs.

Traditional IRA Contributions and Withdrawal Rules

IRA contributions to traditional accounts goes in before taxes, which reduces investors’ taxable income, lowering their income tax bill in the year they make the contribution. For 2023, individuals can contribute up to $6,500 in total across accounts. Those age 50 and up can make an extra $1,000 catch-up contribution for a total of $7,500. Investments inside the account grow tax-deferred.

It’s important to pay close attention to self directed IRA rules, particularly rules for IRA withdrawals. Once individuals begin to make withdrawals at age 59 ½, they are taxed at normal income tax rates. Account holders who make withdrawals before that age may owe taxes and a possible 10% early withdrawal penalty. Traditional SDIRA account holders must begin making required minimum distributions (RMDs) after age 73.

Roth IRA Contributions and Withdrawal Rules

Roth SDIRAs have the same contribution limits as traditional SDIRAs. However, retirement savers contribute to Roths with after-tax dollars. Investments inside the account grow tax-free, and withdrawals after age 59 ½ aren’t subject to income tax.

Roths are also not subject to RMD rules. As long as an individual has had the account for at least five years (as defined by the IRS), they can withdraw Roth contributions at any time without penalty, though earnings may be subject to tax if withdrawn before age 59 ½.

There are also rules restricting who can contribute to a Roth IRA, based on their income. In 2023, Roth eligibility begins phasing out at $138,000 for single people, and $218,000 for people who are married and file their taxes jointly.

Individuals can maintain both traditional and Roth IRA accounts, however, contributions limits are cumulative across accounts, and cannot exceed $6,500, or $7,500 for those 50 and over.

Traditional vs Roth SDIRA

There are some differences between a self-directed traditional IRA and a self-directed Roth IRA.

With a traditional SDIRA, you save pre-tax money for your retirement, just like you do with a traditional IRA plan. You pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it, which you can do without penalty starting at age 59 ½. However, a self-directed traditional IRA gives you the flexibility to invest in alternative assets, like real estate or precious metals.

With a self-directed Roth IRA, just like a regular Roth IRA, you make after-tax contributions to the plan. The withdrawals you make starting at age 59 ½ are tax-free, as long as you have had the account for at least five years, according to the five-year rule. With this type of self-directed IRA, you can invest in alternative investments, such as private equity, real estate, and precious metals.

💡 Quick Tip: Investment fees are assessed in different ways, including trading costs, account management fees, and possibly broker commissions. When you set up an investment account, be sure to get the exact breakdown of your “all-in costs” so you know what you’re paying.

Pros and Cons of Self-Directed IRAs

Self-directed IRAs offer unique perks for the right investor. However, those interested must weigh those benefits against potential drawbacks.

Benefits of Self-Directed IRAs

An SDIRA allows investors to branch out into different types of investments to which they might otherwise not have access. This allows investors to seek out potentially higher returns and diversify their portfolios beyond the offerings in traditional IRAs.

Alternative investments have the potential to offer higher returns than investors might achieve with stock market investments. However, investors beware: These opportunities for higher rewards come at the price of higher risk.

Also, investors’ ability to hold a broader spectrum of investments that can help them diversify their portfolio and potentially manage risks, such as inflation risk or longevity risk, the chance an investor will run out of money before they die. For example, some SDIRAs allow investors to hold gold, a traditional hedge against inflation.

Drawbacks of Self-Directed IRAs

While there are some very real advantages to using SDIRAs, these must be weighed against their disadvantages.

For starters, investments like stocks and shares of ETFs are highly liquid. Investors who need their money quickly can sell them in a relatively short period of time, usually a matter of days.

However, some of the investments available in SDIRAs are not liquid. For example, real estate, physical commodities like precious metals, or some types of cryptocurrency may take quite a bit of time to sell if you need to access your money. Individuals who need to sell these assets quickly may find themselves in a situation in which they must accept less than they believe the asset is worth.

SDIRAs may also carry higher fees. Individuals who hold regular IRA accounts may not have to pay management or investment fees. However, SDIRA holders may have to pay fees associated with holding the account and with the purchase and maintenance of certain assets.

Finally, SDIRAs place a lot of responsibility in the hands of their account holders. Investors must research investments themselves and perform due diligence to make sure that whatever they’re buying is legitimate and matches their risk tolerance.

What’s more, investors must make sure the assets they hold meet IRS rules. Running afoul of these rules can be costly, in some cases causing investors to pay taxes and penalties.
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of SDIRAs at a glance:

Pros

Cons

Tax-advantaged growth. Contributions to traditional accounts are tax deductible. Investments grow tax-deferred in traditional accounts and tax-free in Roth accounts. Not liquid. Selling alternative investments may be slow and difficult.
Same contribution limits as regular IRAs. In 2023, individuals can contribute up to $6,500 a year, or $7,500 for those aged 50 and up. Higher fees. Individuals may be on the hook for account fees and fees associated with alternative investments.
Higher returns. Alternative investments may offer higher returns than those available in the stock market. Increased responsibility. Investors must research investments carefully themselves and ensure they stay within rules for approved IRA investments.
Diversification. SDIRAs offer investors the ability to invest in assets beyond the stock and bond markets. Higher risk. Alternative investments tend to be riskier than more traditional investments.

4 Steps to Opening a Self-Directed IRA

Investors who want to open an SDIRA will need to take the following steps:

1. Find a custodian or trustee.

This can be a bank, trust company, or another IRS-approved entity. You’ll need to follow their requirements for opening an IRA account. Some SDIRAs specialize in certain asset classes, so look for a custodian that allows you to invest in the asset classes in which you’re interested.

2. Choose investments.

Decide which alternatives you want to hold in your SDIRA. Perform necessary research and due diligence.

3. Complete the transaction.

Find a reputable dealer from which your custodian can purchase the assets, and ask them to complete the sale.

4. Plan withdrawals carefully.

Because alternative assets have less liquidity than other types of investments, you may need to plan sales well in advance of needing retirement income or meeting any required minimum distributions.

Investing in Your Retirement With SoFi

If you’re opening your first IRA account, you’re likely best served with a traditional or Roth IRA. Because of the complications involved in using an SDIRA, only sophisticated investors should consider it.

Ready to invest for your retirement? It’s easy to get started when you open a traditional or Roth IRA with SoFi. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).


Easily manage your retirement savings with a SoFi IRA.

FAQ

Are self-directed IRAs a good idea?

There are advantages and disadvantages to self-directed IRAs. Benefits include the fact that you can make alternative types of investments you might not otherwise be able to. That could help you diversify your portfolio and potentially increase your returns.

However, there are drawbacks to SDIRAs, including higher risk because alternative investments tend to be riskier, and potentially higher fees for maintenance of investments in the plan and account fees. In addition, investors need to research the investments themselves and follow the IRS rules carefully to make sure they comply. Finally, many alternative investments are not liquid, which means they could take longer and be more difficult to sell.

Can you set up a self-directed IRA yourself?

To set up a self-directed IRA, find a custodian or trustee such as a bank or trust company to open an account, research and choose your investments, find a reputable dealer for the investments you’d like to make, and have your custodian complete the transactions.

How much money can you put in a self-directed IRA?

In 2023, you can contribute up to $6,500 to a traditional or Roth self-directed IRA, plus an additional $1,000 if you’re 50 or older.


Photo credit: iStock/Andres Victorero

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit 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.

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The Ultimate List of Financial Ratios

The Ultimate List of Financial Ratios

Financial ratios are numerical calculations that illustrate the relationship between one piece or group of data and another. Business owners use financial statement ratios to performance, assess risk and guide decision-making. For investors, these calculations can provide meaningful data that reflects a company’s liquidity and financial health.

The use of financial ratios is often central to a quantitative or fundamental analysis approach, though they can also be used for technical analysis. For example, a value investor may use certain types of financial ratios to indicate whether the market has undervalued a company or how much potential its stock has for long-term price appreciation. Meanwhile, a trend trader may check key financial ratios to determine if a current pricing trend is likely to hold.

With either strategy, informed investors must understand the different kinds of commonly used financial ratios, and how to interpret them.

What Are Financial Ratios?

A financial ratio is a means of expressing the relationship between two pieces of numerical data. When discussing ratios in a business or investment setting, you’re typically talking about information that’s included in a company’s financial statements.

Recommended: How to Read Financial Statements

Financial ratios can provide insight into a company, in terms of things like valuation, revenues, and profitability. They can also aid in comparing two companies.

For example, say you’re considering investing in the tech sector, and you are evaluating two potential companies. One has a share price of $10 while the other has a share price of $55. Basing your decision solely on price alone could be a mistake if you don’t understand what’s driving share prices or how the market values each company. That’s where financial ratios become useful for understanding a company’s inner workings.


💡 Quick Tip: Did you know that opening a brokerage account typically doesn’t come with any setup costs? Often, the only requirement to open a brokerage account — aside from providing personal details — is making an initial deposit.

Key Financial Ratios

Investors tend to use some financial ratios more often or place more significance on certain ratios when evaluating business or companies. Here are some of the most important financial ratios to know.

1. Earnings Per Share (EPS)

Earnings per share or EPS measures earnings and profitability. This metric can tell you how likely a company is to generate profits for its investors. A higher EPS typically indicates better profitability, though this rule works best when making apples-to-apples comparisons for companies within the same industry.

EPS Formula:

EPS = Net profit / Number of common shares

To find net profit, you’d subtract total expenses from total revenue. (Investors might also refer to net profit as net income.)

EPS Example:

So, assume a company has a net profit of $2 million, with 12,000,000 shares outstanding. Following the EPS formula, the earnings per share works out to $0.166.

2. Price-to-Earnings (P/E)

Price-to-earnings ratio or P/E helps investors determine whether a company’s stock price is low or high compared to other companies or to its own past performance. More specifically, the price-to-earnings ratio can give you a sense of how expensive a stock is relative to its competitors, or how the stock’s price is trending over time.

P/E Formula:

P/E = Current stock price / Current earnings per share

P/E Example:

Here’s how it works: A company’s stock is trading at $50 per share. Its EPS for the past 12 months averaged $5. The price-to-earnings ratio works out to 10, meaning investors would have to spend $10 for every dollar generated in annual earnings.

3. Debt to Equity (D/E)

Debt to equity or D/E is a leverage ratio. This ratio tells investors how much debt a company has in relation to how much equity it holds.

D/E Formula:

D/E = Total liabilities / Shareholders equity

In this formula, liabilities represent money the company owes. Equity represents assets minus liabilities or the company’s book value.

D/E Example:

Say a company has $5 million in debt and $10 million in shareholder equity. Its debt-to-equity ratio would be 0.5. As a general rule, a lower debt to equity ratio is better as it means the company has fewer debt obligations.

4. Return on Equity (ROE)

Return on equity or ROE is another financial ratio that’s used to measure profitability. In simple terms, it’s used to illustrate the return on shareholder equity based on how a company spends its money.

ROE Formula:

ROE = Net income – Preferred dividends / Value of average common equity

ROE Example:

Assume a company has net income of $2 million and pays out preferred dividends of $200,000. The total value of common equity is $10 million. Using the formula, return on equity would equal 0.18 or 18%. A higher ROE means the company generates more profits.

Liquidity Ratios

Liquidity ratios can give you an idea of how easily a company can pay its debts and other liabilities. In other words, liquidity ratios indicate cash flow strength. That can be especially important when considering newer companies, which may face more significant cash flow challenges compared to established companies.

5. Current Ratio

Also known as the working-capital ratio, the current ratio tells you how likely a company is able to meet its financial obligations for the next 12 months. You might check this ratio if you’re interested in whether a company has enough assets to pay off short-term liabilities.

Formula:

Current Ratio = Current Assets / Current Liabilities

Example:

Say a company has $1 million in current assets and $500,000 in current liabilities. It has a current ratio of 2, meaning for every $1 a company has in current liabilities it has $2 in current assets.

6. Quick Ratio

The quick ratio, also called the acid-test ratio, measures liquidity based on assets and liabilities. But it deducts the value of inventory from these calculations.

Formula:

Quick Ratio = Current Assets – Inventory / Current Liabilities

Example:

Quick ratio is also useful for determining how easily a company can pay its debts. For example, say a company has current assets of $5 million, inventory of $1 million and current liabilities of $500,000. Its quick ratio would be 8, so for every $1 in liabilities the company has $8 in assets.

7. Cash Ratio

A cash ratio tells you how much cash a company has on hand, relative to its total liabilities. Essentially, it tells you how easily a company could pay its liabilities with cash.

Formula:

Cash Ratio = (Cash + Cash Equivalents) / Total Current Liabilities

Example:

A company that has $100,000 in cash and $500,000 in current liabilities would have a cash ratio of 0.2. That means it has enough cash on hand to pay 20% of its current liabilities.

8. Operating Cash Flow Ratio

Operating cash flow can tell you how much cash flow a business generates in a given time frame. This financial ratio is useful for determining how much cash a business has on hand at any given time that it can use to pay off its liabilities.

To calculate the operating cash flow ratio you’ll first need to determine its operating cash flow:

Operating Cash Flow = Net Income + Changes in Assets & Liabilities + Non-cash Expenses – Increase in Working Capital

Then, you calculate the cash flow ratio using this formula:

Formula:

Operating Cash Flow Ratio = Operating Cash Flow / Current Liabilities

Example:

For example, if a company has an operating cash flow of $1 million and current liabilities of $250,000, you could calculate that it has an operating cash flow ratio of 4, which means it has $4 in operating cash flow for every $1 of liabilities.

Solvency Ratios

Solvency ratios are financial ratios used to measure a company’s ability to pay its debts over the long term. As an investor, you might be interested in solvency ratios if you think a company may have too much debt or be a potential candidate for a bankruptcy filing. Solvency ratios can also be referred to as leverage ratios.

Debt to equity is a key financial ratio used to measure solvency, though there are other leverage ratios that are helpful as well.

9. Debt Ratio

A company’s debt ratio measures the relationship between its debts and its assets. For instance, you might use a debt ratio to gauge whether a company could pay off its debts with the assets it has currently.

Formula:

Debt Ratio = Total Liabilities / Total Assets

Example:

The lower this number is the better in terms of risk. A lower debt ratio means a company has less relative debt. So a company that has $25,000 in debt and $100,000 in assets, for example, would have a debt ratio of 0.25. Investors typically consider anything below 0.5 a lower risk.

10. Equity Ratio

Equity ratio is a measure of solvency based on assets and total equity. This ratio can tell you how much of the company is owned by investors and how much of it is leveraged by debt.

Formula:

Equity Ratio = Total Equity / Total Assets

Example:

Investors typically favor a higher equity ratio, as it means the company’s shareholders are more heavily invested and the business isn’t bogged down by debt. So, for example, a company with $200,000 in total equity and $200,000 in total assets has an equity ratio of 0.80. This tells you shareholders own 80% of the company.


💡 Quick Tip: When you’re actively investing in stocks, it’s important to ask what types of fees you might have to pay. For example, brokers may charge a flat fee for trading stocks, or require some commission for every trade. Taking the time to manage investment costs can be beneficial over the long term.

Profitability Ratios

Profitability ratios gauge a company’s ability to generate income from sales, balance sheet assets, operations and shareholder’s equity. In other words, how likely is the company to be able to turn a profit?

Return on equity is one profitability ratio investors can use. You can also try these financial ratios for estimating profitability.

11. Gross Margin Ratio

Gross margin ratio compares a company’s gross margin to its net sales. This tells you how much profit a company makes from selling its goods and services after the cost of goods sold is factored in.

Formula:

Gross Margin Ratio = Gross Margin / Net Sales

Example

A company that has a gross margin of $250,000 and $1 million in net sales has a gross margin ratio of 25%. Meanwhile, a company with a $250,000 gross margin and $2 million in net sales has a gross margin ratio of 12.5% and realizes a smaller profit percentage per sale.

12. Operating-Margin Ratio

Operating-margin ratio measures how much total revenue is composed of operating income, or how much revenue a company has after its operating costs.

Formula:

Operating Margin Ratio = Operating Income / Net Sales

Example:

A higher operating-margin ratio suggests a more financially stable company with enough operating income to cover its operating costs. For example, if operating income is $250,000 and net sales are $500,000, that means 50 cents per dollar of sales goes toward variable costs.

13. Return on Assets Ratio

Return on assets or ROA measures net income produced by a company’s total assets. This lets you see how good a company is at using its assets to generate income.

Formula:

Return on Assets = Net Income / Average Total Assets

Example:

Investors typically favor a higher ratio as it shows that the company may be better at using its assets to generate income. For example, a company that has $10 million in net income and $2 million in average total assets generates $5 in income per $1 of assets.

Efficiency Ratios

Efficiency ratios or financial activity ratios give you a sense of how thoroughly a company is using the assets and resources it has on hand. In other words, they can tell you if a company is using its assets efficiently or not.

14. Asset Turnover Ratio

Asset turnover ratio is a way to see how much sales a company can generate from its assets.

Formula:

Asset Turnover Ratio = Net Sales / Average Total Assets

A higher asset turnover ratio is typically better, as it indicates greater efficiency in terms of how assets are being used to produce sales.

Example:

Say a company has $500,000 in net sales and $50,000 in average total assets. Their asset turnover ratio is 10, meaning every dollar in assets generates $10 in sales.

15. Inventory Turnover Ratio

Inventory turnover ratio illustrates how often a company turns over its inventory. Specifically, how many times a company sells and replaces its inventory in a given time frame.

Formula:

Inventory Turnover Ratio = Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory

Example:

Investors use average inventory since a company’s inventory can increase or decrease throughout the year as demand ebbs and flows. As an example, if a company has a cost of goods sold equal to $1 million and average inventory of $500,000, its inventory turnover ratio is 2. That means it turns over inventory twice a year.

16. Receivables Turnover Ratio

Receivables turnover ratio measures how well companies manage their accounts receivable. Specifically, it considers how long it takes companies to collect on outstanding receivables.

Formula:

Receivables Turnover Ratio = Net Annual Credit Sales / Average Accounts Receivable

Example:

If a company has $100,000 in net annual credit sales, for example, and $15,000 in average accounts receivable its receivables turnover ratio is 6.67. The higher the number is, the better, since it indicates the business is more efficient at getting customers to pay up.

Coverage Ratios

Coverage ratios are financial ratios that measure how well a company manages its obligations to suppliers, creditors, and anyone else to whom it owes money. Lenders may use coverage ratios to determine a business’s ability to pay back the money it borrows.

17. Debt Service Coverage Ratio

Debt service coverage reflects whether a company can pay all of its debts, including interest and principal, at any given time. This ratio can offer creditors insight into a company’s cash flow and debt situation.

Formula:

Debt Service Coverage Ratio = Operating Income / Total Debt Service Costs

Example:

A ratio above 1 means the company has more than enough money to meet its debt servicing needs. A ratio equal to 1 means its operating income and debt service costs are the same. A ratio below 1 indicates that the company doesn’t have enough operating income to meet its debt service costs.

18. Interest Coverage Ratio

Interest-coverage ratio is a financial ratio that can tell you whether a company is able to pay interest on its debt obligations on time. This is also called the times earned interest ratio.

Formula:

Interest Coverage Ratio = EBIT ( Earnings Before Interest and Taxes) / Annual Interest Expense

Example:

Let’s say a company has an EBIT of $100,000. Meanwhile, annual interest expense is $25,000. That results in an interest coverage ratio of 4, which means the company has four times more earnings than interest payments.

19. Asset-Coverage Ratio

Asset-coverage ratio measures risk by determining how much of a company’s assets would need to be sold to cover its debts. This can give you an idea of a company’s financial stability overall.

Formula:

Asset Coverage Ratio = (Total Assets – Intangible Assets) – (Current Liabilities – Short-term Debt) / Total Debt

You can find all of this information on a company’s balance sheet. The rules for interpreting asset coverage ratio are similar to the ones for debt service coverage ratio.

So a ratio of 1 or higher would suggest the company has sufficient assets to cover its debts. A ratio of 1 would suggest that assets and liabilities are equal. A ratio below 1 means the company doesn’t have enough assets to cover its debts.

Market-Prospect Ratios

Market-prospect ratios make it easier to compare the stock price of a publicly traded company with other financial ratios. These ratios can help analyze trends in stock price movements over time. Earnings per share and price-to-earnings are two examples of market prospect ratios. Investors can also look to dividend payout ratios and dividend yield to judge market prospects.

20. Dividend Payout Ratio

Dividend payout ratio can tell you how much of a company’s net income it pays out to investors as dividends during a specific time period. It’s the balance between the profits passed on to shareholders as dividends and the profits the company keeps.

Formula:

Dividend Payout Ratio = Total Dividends / Net Income

Example:

A company that pays out $1 million in total dividends and has a net income of $5 million has a dividend payout ratio of 0.2. That means 20% of net income goes to shareholders.

21. Dividend Yield

Dividend yield is a financial ratio that tracks how much cash dividends are paid out to common stock shareholders, relative to the market value per share. Investors use this metric to determine how much an investment generates in dividends.

Formula:

Dividend Yield = Cash Dividends Per Share / Market Value Per Share

Example:

For example, a company that pays out $5 in cash dividends per share for shares valued at $50 each are offering investors a dividend yield of 10%.

Ratio Analysis: What Do Financial Ratios Tell You?

Financial statement ratios can be helpful when analyzing stocks. The various formulas included on this financial ratios list offer insight into a company’s profitability, cash flow, debts and assets, all of which can help you form a more complete picture of its overall health. That’s important if you tend to lean toward a fundamental analysis approach for choosing stocks.

Using financial ratios can also give you an idea of how much risk you might be taking on with a particular company, based on how well it manages its financial obligations. You can use these ratios to select companies that align with your risk tolerance and desired return profile.

The Takeaway

Learning the basics of key financial ratios can be a huge help when constructing a stock portfolio. Rather than focusing on a stock’s price, you can use financial ratios to take a closer look under the hood of a company.

Ready to invest in your goals? It’s easy to get started when you open an investment account with SoFi Invest. You can invest in stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, alternative funds, and more. SoFi doesn’t charge commissions, but other fees apply (full fee disclosure here).

Invest with as little as $5 with a SoFi Active Investing account.

Photo credit: iStock/MStudioImages


Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

SoFi Invest®
INVESTMENTS ARE NOT FDIC INSURED • ARE NOT BANK GUARANTEED • MAY LOSE VALUE
SoFi Invest encompasses two distinct companies, with various products and services offered to investors as described below: Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of these platforms.
1) Automated Investing and advisory services are provided by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser (“SoFi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC.
2) Active Investing and brokerage services are provided by SoFi Securities LLC, Member FINRA (www.finra.org)/SIPC(www.sipc.org). Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above please visit 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.

SOIN0723078

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