Jim Probasco

Contributing Author

Jim is a veteran business writer with more than 30 years’ experience including online, print, radio and television.

He has written business and finance related content for a variety of online and print outlets in areas that include personal finance, the stock market and profiles of industry leaders.

Jim was head writer for a series of Public Broadcasting Service television specials and a staff comedy writer for the Marconi Award winning Gary Burbank Show on WLW radio.

He continues to write radio short form comedy airing on more than 200 stations nationwide. When not writing, Jim enjoys hiking, fishing, reading, playing his trombone and traveling with his wife.

Blog posts

News and Articles
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  • Another one of those phrases that gets tossed around a lot is “stock market returns.” Obviously, stock market returns are an expected part of both trading and investing. Returns, after all, represent profit (or loss).

  • Understanding A Wrap Account
    Sept. 22, 2017, 10:04 a.m. by

    A wrap account is one in which a brokerage firm manages your portfolio for an annual fee, based on total assets under management (AUM). The fee covers all administrative, commission and management expenses.

  • The Kohls-Amazon Mashup
    Sept. 22, 2017, 10 a.m. by

    Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS CD) and Amazon.com Inc. (NSDQ:AMZN BC) have struck a deal that allows Amazon customers to return items to 82 Kohl’s stores in the Chicago and Los Angeles areas. This move follows an agreement earlier this month in which Kohl’s agreed to sell Alexa-enabled Echo home speakers, Fire TV devices, tablets and other Amazon-branded devices in 10 of its stores.

  • Institutional investors are what “whales” are to the gambling world. Except they are not people. They are, well, institutions, i.e., pension funds, mutual funds, insurance companies, banks, trusts, endowment funds and others.

  • Tax Loss Harvesting
    Sept. 19, 2017, 10:05 a.m. by

    Tax-loss harvesting is, simply put, a way to turn a loss (in the market) into a positive. It’s a way to increase returns indirectly by selling losing equities and replacing them soon after to keep your market exposure constant.

  • Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
    Sept. 14, 2017, 10:01 a.m. by

    Investors and traders alike like to have a benchmark to tell them how the stock market is doing overall as well as how they are doing with their investments and trades. While a number of these benchmarks exist, perhaps none is more watched and respected than the Standard & Poor's 500 index (S&P 500).

  • Beware The Bad Broker
    Sept. 14, 2017, 10 a.m. by

    News that some states are moving to shore up investor protections out of concern the Trump administration will weaken or outright repeal the federal “fiduciary” legislation, raises an important question: How do I tell if I’m working with an honest broker?

  • The wind, rain and storm surges of Harvey and Irma have barely subsided and already there is talk about the thousands of construction jobs and infrastructure spending that will come as a result.

  • When To Buy, Sell Or Hold
    Sept. 14, 2017, 9:49 a.m. by

    It’s the quintessential question for investors and traders. Conventional wisdom is not all that helpful – buy low, sell high. Well, duh! How about something with a little more meat on it?

  • The Bid-Ask Spread
    Sept. 6, 2017, 12:54 p.m. by

    In simple terms, the bid-ask spread is the difference between the maximum (bid) price a buyer is willing to pay for a stock and the minimum (ask) price a seller is willing to accept. The spread is an indicator of the liquidity of the asset.

  • Artificial Intelligence And WWIII
    Sept. 6, 2017, 12:47 p.m. by

    Say what? Did Tesla Inc. (NSDQ:TSLA C) CEO Elon Musk just say that countries competing on artificial intelligence would “likely” create a case for World War III? Apparently so.

  • There may be no investor in America more respected than Warren Buffett, the so-called “Oracle of Omaha.” When it comes to investing philosophy, Buffett’s couldn’t be easier to understand.

  • Common Investing Mistakes
    Aug. 31, 2017, 11:52 a.m. by

    As an investor, you know the mantra – “Buy low – sell high.” And that’s what you’ve been trying to do. That’s hard enough. Meanwhile you try not to make mistakes – to do things that are counterproductive, cost you money or hurt your bottom line.

  • The Traveling Salesman Is Back
    Aug. 29, 2017, 9:36 a.m. by

    With fewer people visiting shopping centers and many of those unwilling or unable to make decisions on electronics without advice, Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY C) and Amazon.com Inc. (NSDQ:AMZN BC) have come up with a novel solution: Bring back the traveling salesman.

  • Two Types Of Stock Analysis
    Aug. 29, 2017, 9:30 a.m. by

    To pick a stock you must know something about the market as well as the company behind each stock. This is where analysis comes in. It’s what analysts do. It’s something investors need to do as well – even if it’s just to better their understanding of the work stock analysts do.

  • All About Analysts
    Aug. 24, 2017, 9:42 a.m. by

    Buy, sell or hold – the 3 main decisions you must make about any stock in which you are interested. If you don’t have the stock, should you buy it? If you have it, should you sell it or hang on to it (hold it) for a while?

  • Analysts and investors are noting that 2017 has generally been a good year for the market. As always, however, not every stock benefits when the market is up. Some observers are looking at some of this year’s losers for their potential in 2018.

  • Retail – It’s All About Price
    Aug. 24, 2017, 9:32 a.m. by

    Based on Q2 results, when it comes to picking a winner in retail, selling price matters. Not the price of the stock – the prices of products. The retail landscape is bleak – except for companies offering low prices.

  • Risk And Investing
    Aug. 18, 2017, 8:32 a.m. by

    Investors know that buying and selling securities is risky. The simple logic of the market – buy low, sell high – isn’t often easy to achieve. Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) attempts to assess the maximum expected return of a portfolio given a specific amount of risk.

  • The Basics Of Short-Selling
    Aug. 18, 2017, 8:29 a.m. by

    Short selling involves selling shares of stock you do not own (that you have “borrowed”) in hopes you can later buy the shares for less than the sale price, replace the shares you borrowed and turn a profit at the same time.

  • Shorts Against The Tech World
    Aug. 16, 2017, 11:37 a.m. by

    Short sellers have recently been taking on tech – and not just any tech – big tech. Specifically, they have targeted Apple Inc. (NSDQ:AAPL A), Amazon.com Inc. (NSDQ:AMZN BC)and Alphabet Inc. (NSDQ:GOOG BA).

  • Understanding Alternatives
    Aug. 16, 2017, 11:33 a.m. by

    Alternatives, also known as alternative investments, are assets that are not stocks, bonds or cash – in other words they are not traditional investment vehicles. The majority of alternative investments are made and held by institutional investors or accredited, high-net-worth individuals.

  • Investing In Health Care
    Aug. 11, 2017, 9:44 a.m. by

    If you are interested in investing in health care, you should know it’s a complicated sector with lots of moving parts, lots of potential and not a small amount of risk.

  • Rebalancing Your Portfolio
    Aug. 10, 2017, 9:31 a.m. by

    If you are new to investing – or even if you’ve been at it for a while – the idea of rebalancing your portfolio probably isn’t a high priority.