InvestEd 2013: Register Now

April 2013 Webinar: How Everyone Can Use Options to Increase Returns
Preferred Stocks
Online File Backup and Storage: An Overview



InvestEd 2013
Wichita, KS   June 7-9, 2013
Hyatt Regency Wichita
Register Now!

This month is our final focus on individual sessions during the InvestEd conference.


Mary Ann Davis shares the following about her new session How to Sell Options for Clubs and Individuals. Join my options session to see how one investment club earned $10,000+ in less than five years. You will learn how this club did it, and you will see all of its option trades. An interesting fact: in four-plus years, the club had only one losing trade, which it is still working on to reach the break-even point. Yes, the club's goal is to break even or better on this trade, and that is possible to do. Learn how you, like this investment club, can profit by selling options.

The strategies used by the club are the same strategies presented in the sessions here at InvestEd for Selling Covered Calls and Selling Cash Secured Puts. I know the story sounds almost too good to be true, but it is. I invite you to attend How to Sell Options for Clubs and Individuals so that you can learn how to get started.

Daniel Rivera, our expert on everything Google, is teaching three hands-on sessions in the lab on Sunday morning. Daniel writes about his two-part Google Plus: Your Professional Learning Network session.

Google Plus is more than a social network, more than an avenue for sharing fun things with friends and family. It has major features you would expect in a social network tool, and it offers enhanced privacy and control over who sees, shares, and interacts with your content.

Think of the enormous platform Google has built on the web. Gmail is the email of choice for many of us, and we create and share documents in Google Docs, watch videos on YouTube, and use the Google search function whenever we need to know something. Google Plus integrates with Google Local and also with your Gmail account.

Google Plus melds features from other popular networks and adds a few special features of its own. It offers features comparable to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Flickr. Come to my Sunday two-part session and see examples. A mobile app allows you to instantly and automatically upload your photos into a private album. The top feature in Google Plus may be its use of Hangouts. All of this is free, and even available on your mobile device. The ability to search people, places, communities, businesses, posts, and even your own content in Google Plus makes it a force to reckon with.

Come see what all the fuss is about, and see these features in action! The Google Plus sessions are interactive, and will not be recorded. Don't miss this opportunity for hands-on learning.


Join Mary Ann, Daniel, and the rest of the InvestEd team. Register for InvestEd 2013 today.



InvestEd Inc. Free Webinar
How Everyone Can Use Options to Increase Returns
Sunday, April 28, 2013
8:00 PM-9:00 PM ET / 5:00 PM-6:00 PM PT
Instructor: John W. Diercks
Webinar Registration

Many investors don't realize they can profit from options, whether in a taxable account or in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). This webinar is for investors who want to learn how to use options for profit. It will remove some of the apprehension for the small investor interested in trading in options. Covered calls and puts compared with limit orders for the sale and purchase of stocks will be described with examples. Basic pros and cons of option trading for the small investor will be discussed. How to place calls and puts will be illustrated using TD Ameritrade.

Register now to attend the InvestEd Inc. free online investor education webinar. Space is limited.

John is an InvestEd instructor who teaches financial classes and mutual fund workshops at local, regional, and national events. Currently, he is a director of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of BetterInvesting and the treasurer of two investment clubs, including the Centre Region Model Investment Club. Prior to retirement, with advanced degrees in meteorology, John spent 26 years in the Air Force and 16 years as an instructor of meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University.


Preferred Stocks
Louise Sechler


In my continued search for opportunities to create a steady flow of income, I decided to take a look at preferred stocks (preferreds), since their yields usually are higher than those of common stocks. I thought I knew what the term meant, but upon further investigation, I learned that many varieties of preferreds exist.

A good place to begin looking at definitions of cumulative, convertible, participating, preferred equity redemption, and just plain preferreds is Investopedia.


For starters, preferreds may be described as a blend of the characteristics of common stocks (equities) and of bonds (debt with fixed dividends). The equity aspect of preferreds allows for price fluctuation, while the bond aspect allows for calling of the preferred at specified points and helps to firm up share price if the common stock dips. Also important, and why these shares are referred to as "preferred," is the fact that they receive preference to distributed assets over the common shares in the event of a dissolution of the issuing company; they are preferred. Lastly, preferred shares may or may not have voting rights.

Most preferreds are issued at $25.00 per share and usually do not fluctuate in price as much as common stocks, so if you are interested in capital gains, preferreds are not the place to look. Preferreds generally are less risky than common stock, but more risky than bonds.

Trust preferred shares are a bit different from ordinary preferred stock. They are shares issued by a trust that a corporation forms exclusively to purchase subordinated debt of the corporation. These shares pay interest, not dividends; thus, their payouts are treated differently by the tax code.

As with all of your investments, you want to study the company issuing the preferred stock to ensure you've selected a sound company that will be able to finance future dividend payments. Checking the Moody's or Standard & Poor's (S&P) credit rating of the company and the preferred is important in selecting high rated preferreds, thereby lowering your risk.

As mentioned in a previous article about dividend aristocrats, one of my favorite investment sites is Seeking Alpha. The following links will take you to a two-part article, "Preferred Stock Investing: A Simple Guide To 7% Yield" by Doug K. Le Du. He is a preferred stock researcher, author of the book Preferred Stock Investing, and publisher of two monthly preferred stock newsletters (one of which is free). These two articles are a good place to begin your study of preferred stocks. Part 1. Part 2.

If you conclude that preferred stocks might be for you, I suggest you next point your browser to The Yield Hunterand search for specific preferred issues. This site, edited by Tim McPartland, who contributes articles to SeekingAlpha, contains a wealth of information and allows you to search many categories of preferreds by companies issuing them. One of the links allows you to search for preferreds that are rated "investment grade" by S&P. In addition, the site gives concise definitions of each type of preferred.

Louise is an InvestEd Inc. director and treasurer. She is a conference instructor, is chair of the Newbie Program, and teaches classes at national events. A director and past president of the North Carolina Chapter of BetterInvesting, Louise teaches classes for the chapter. She is a member of the CGAB Alumni Investment Club. A retired high school mathematics teacher, Louise currently tutors high school students.


Online File Backup and Storage: An Overview
Sandy Gallemore

Backing up your important files is one of the standard pieces of advice we hear throughout our computer life. Do we listen? Or, do we have to learn the hard way?


Years ago we backed up files on a disk or a CD. More recently, many of us switched to USB drives. Currently, savvy computer users have switched to online backup for documents, music, and photos. A variety of websites provide information about using online backup and online storage, among which is The Best 10 Online Backup. It provides guides to selecting the best online backup provider for your particular needs, along with tips and tools related to online backup of your files and a comparison of several providers.

Some online websites offer free storage, and some charge a fee. Some have a limited amount of storage free with the option of purchasing more, and others provide a free trial period before a charge is instituted for continued use of the program.

Is cloud storage the same as online backup? While the terms may be used interchangeably by some people, and they share some characteristics, they are not the same. With cloud storage, your stored files are available for access whenever you would like to see them, as long as you have an Internet connection. In addition, you can share those files with others. Typically, you have a folder on your desktop that you use for this storage. Popular cloud storage programs include Dropbox and Google Cloud.

Online backup is a term used to refer to backing up all of the files on your hard drive so you can restore them in case of a disaster. Familiar online backup programs include Carbonite and Mozy. Other online storage programs include Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Drive, Box, and SugarSync.

A few companies, including MyPCBackup and JustCloud, offer both cloud storage and online backup. These two programs offer the option of backing up your entire computer and also give you the option to share the files, if you choose.

For Google users, Google Drive Description: free cloud storageoffers the ability to create text documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and forms in the cloud, as well as upload files from your computer for storage and editing. Log in to the InvestEd Online Education page and view Daniel Rivera's webinar "Getting Started with Google Drive," which includes a phenomenal overview of the capabilities of Google Drive. The Help section of the Settings menu in Drive offers a wide variety of topics to help the beginning user. Join Daniel at InvestEd 2013 where he will present hands-on Google sessions in the Computer Lab on Sunday morning.

Check out the questionnaire on The Best 10 Online Backup to help you determine which program would be your best option for file storage and/or backup. After completing the questionnaire about how much storage space you need, what you are willing to pay, how many computers and external drives you need to backup, whether you are using a Mac or PC, and whether or not you want to be able to share those files, you will see the top companies matching your needs. This will be a good start at avoiding the disaster of losing important files on your computer, should the worst happen.

Sandy is an InvestEd Inc. director and serves as secretary. She is lead editor and prepares the general program brochure for the InvestEd conference. Sandy, a former president and vice president of the Coastal Georgia/South Carolina Chapter of BetterInvesting, is an O'Hara Award recipient for chapter service and is a charter member and the current president of a local investment club. She has helped form investment clubs, presented introductory investing programs, and taught stock study classes at local and regional events. Sandy is professor emerita, Georgia Southern University.


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