Too embarrassed to ask: what is an ETF?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is an ETF?

Many investors use ETFs, or exchange-traded funds, as part of a passive investment strategy. But what exactly is an ETF?
1 Apr 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what is a margin call?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is a margin call?

If you borrow money to invest and it all goes wrong, you could face a “margin call” from your creditors. But what exactly does that mean?
30 Mar 2021
To embarrassed to ask: what are voting rights?
Too embarrassed to ask

To embarrassed to ask: what are voting rights?

When you buy shares in a company, they entitle you to a proportion of the profits via dividends. As well as that they usually – but not always – come …
23 Mar 2021
I wish I knew what a 60/40 portfolio was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a 60/40 portfolio was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

If you’ve ever spoken to a financial adviser or read an investment magazine, you may have heard the term “60/40 portfolio”. But what exactly is a 60/…
16 Mar 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what’s the difference between a defined benefit pension and a defined contribution pension?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what’s the difference between a defined benefit pension and a defined contribution pension?

Broadly speaking, there are two types of pension schemes – defined contributions and defined benefits. But what's the difference between them?
9 Mar 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what is fiscal drag?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is fiscal drag?

How can politicians raise more tax revenue, without damaging their political popularity too badly? One way is by using “fiscal drag”. Here's what that…
2 Mar 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what is technical analysis?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is technical analysis?

Some investors don’t rely on a market or company’s fundamentals when assessing whether to buy or sell. They use “technical analysis” or “charting” ins…
23 Feb 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what is the difference between monetary policy and fiscal policy?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is the difference between monetary policy and fiscal policy?

Governments and central banks have two main tools for influencing a country's economic growth: monetary policy and fiscal policy. But what are they, w…
16 Feb 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what is a hedge fund?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is a hedge fund?

Hedge funds are often portrayed as shadowy institutions pulling the strings of the financial markets. But in reality, they are just like any other inv…
9 Feb 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what is the CAPE ratio?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is the CAPE ratio?

Investors often use the price/earnings ratio to judge a stocks value. But that can be a flawed metric. Which is where the cyclically-adjusted price/ea…
2 Feb 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what is short selling?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is short selling?

Short sellers are often accused of unfairly driving share prices down to make a quick buck. But short selling is a perfectly legitimate – if risky – t…
26 Jan 2021
Too embarrassed to ask: what is book value?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is book value?

A popular way to value a company is to use the price/book ratio, which compares a company’s share price with its book value. But what is book value?
19 Jan 2021
I wish I knew what a SPAC was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a SPAC was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

A financial instrument called a “special purpose acquisition company”, or SPAC for short, is growing increasingly popular in the US stockmarkets. But …
12 Jan 2021
I wish I knew what an investment trust was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what an investment trust was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

“Active” investment funds come in two main varieties, one of which is investment trusts. But what exactly is an investment trust?
5 Jan 2021
I wish I knew what an IPO was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what an IPO was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

When a private company decides to sell shares in itself on the stockmarket for the first time, it conducts an “IPO”. Here's what that means.
15 Dec 2020
Too embarrassed to ask: what is inflation?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is inflation?

While coming up with a precise definition for inflation is tricky, for most of us it boils down to one simple question.
8 Dec 2020
Too embarrassed to ask: what are “bulls” and “bears”?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what are “bulls” and “bears”?

Two common terms you’ll hear when reading about markets are “bulls” and “bears”. But what do they mean? 
1 Dec 2020
Too embarrassed to ask: what is value investing?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is value investing?

When you start investing, one of the first concepts you’re likely to encounter is “value investing”. But what exactly is it?
24 Nov 2020
I wish I knew what a bubble was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a bubble was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

Even if you don’t pay a lot of attention to markets or investing, you’ve probably heard the term “bubble”. But what exactly is it?
17 Nov 2020
I wish I knew what bitcoin was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what bitcoin was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

This week, we explain just what bitcoin is – and why the cryptocurrency is so revolutionary.
11 Nov 2020
Too embarrassed to ask: what is a deficit?
Too embarrassed to ask

Too embarrassed to ask: what is a deficit?

When we talk about government spending and the public finances, we often hear the word ‘deficit’ being used. But what is a deficit, and why does it ma…
3 Nov 2020
I wish I knew what a share was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a share was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

When people talk about investing, they often refer to putting money into “shares”, or buying “stocks and shares”. But what is a share anyway?
28 Oct 2020
I wish I knew what negative interest rates were, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what negative interest rates were, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

There’s been a lot of talk from the Bank of England recently about introducing “negative interest rates”. So what on earth are they, and what would th…
20 Oct 2020
I wish I knew what momentum investing was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what momentum investing was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

Momentum investing – the opposite of the “buy low, sell high” advice – is based on the observation that trends in the stockmarket can continue for lon…
13 Oct 2020