Welcome to Ameritrade Plus University
Investing 101
Aiming for a realistic return
Identifying your real risks
Putting together the right portfolio
The psychology of investing
Investing for growth
Seven questions to ask before buying a growth stock
How to spot value
Selecting stocks for income
How to buy bonds
Preferred shares: uncommon values
Convertibles: the best of both worlds
Closed-end funds: their time will come again
The right way to use stock options
Mergers and acquisitions
Frequently asked questions I
Frequently asked questions II
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Welcome to Ameritrade Plus University
Investing 101

Over the past decade the stock market has enjoyed an unprecedented boom, and investors have poured record amounts of money into equities. Many investors have relied almost entirely on mutual funds. Others bet on a handful of big high-tech companies like Cisco Systems, Nokia and Oracle. But now that the boom is over, equity investors need to re-examine their strategies.

That's where this course comes in. It's aimed at long-term growth investors who want to manage their own portfolios, relying largely on individual stocks and bonds.

The 16 lessons cover just about everything an individual investor needs to know to achieve superior long-term returns with below-average risk. And that, of course, is the name of the game.

1. Aiming for a realistic return
Setting reasonable goals increases your odds for long-term success.

2. Identifying your real risks
Volatility is only one part of the equation -- and the least important one. Here's what to consider to ensure you reach your long-term goals.

3. Putting together the right portfolio
Good stock picking alone doesn't ensure long-term success. You also have to get the mix right.

4. The psychology of investing
Here's how to keep your wits about you and boost your long-term returns.

5. Investing for growth
Every portfolio needs a healthy dose of growth. Finding it is easy -- here's how to avoid overpaying for it.

6. Seven questions to ask before buying a growth stock
Look for long-distance runners, not sprinters -- these questions can help determine if you're buying growth that can be sustained.

7. How to spot value
Finding bargains is an art, not a science. But there are rules for getting in at the right price.

8. Selecting stocks for income
We all want a stock that will double overnight. But there's something to be said for steadily rising dividends.

9. How to buy bonds
The stock-picking bug is powerful. But bonds sometimes outperform stocks, and the proper allocation can boost your overall returns.

10. Preferred shares: uncommon values
Uncovering one of the best-kept secrets in fixed income.

11. Convertibles: the best of both worlds
Can't choose between growth of stocks and the income of bonds? Convertibles may be your answer.

12. Closed-end funds: their time will come again
In a rebound, these forgotten mutual funds will likely offer outsized capital gains.

13. The right way to use stock options
Options trading may be exciting -- but it's usually futile. Here's one strategy for locking in gains and lifting overall returns that really works.

14. Mergers and acquisitions
Once dealmaking starts, there are ways smart individual investors can hold their own against insiders.

15. Frequently asked questions I
Is it bullish if my stock is added to the S&P? Can stock splits and buybacks increase total returns? What should I do with a spinoff?

16. Frequently asked questions II
Should you buy stock on margin? What about socially-responsible investing? Is there any reason to own gold?


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