Getting Your First Job

More getting ahead Napkins...

How to Save More Money

Keep the Change

Like many good habits, saving more money is easier said than done. Once you’ve gotten into a...

Learn more

Active vs. Index Investing

Pick Sides

Active and index investing are two different ways of choosing individual investments. With active investing, investors try...

Learn more

Growth vs. Value Investing

Moves Like Buffett

Growth and value investing are two different approaches to investing in stocks. Growth investors aim to invest...

Learn more

P/E Ratio

At Any Price

The price-to-earnings ratio (or P/E ratio) is a way to evaluate whether a company’s stock is cheap,...

Learn more

Technical Analysis

Off the Charts

Technical analysis means using stock price charts to try to predict future stock price movements. It involves...

Learn more

Sticking to a Budget

In It to Win It

Budgeting can be a lot like dieting. You start out with big hopes for dramatic changes in...

Learn more

Risk Tolerance

Appetite for Destruction

Risk tolerance describes how much risk you can (or should) be taking on with your investments. Investing...

Learn more

Paying Off Student Loans

Take a Load Off

It might seem like there’s only one way to pay down your student loans (namely: slowly, painfully,...

Learn more

Game Theory

Roll the Dice

Game theory is an economic model for predicting people’s decisions in tricky situations.

Learn more

ESG Investing

Do the Right Thing

ESG investing means investing in companies that do good (or at least don’t actively do harm). With...

Learn more

Business Plan

Best-Laid Plans

A business plan is a document that outlines your vision for your business. It describes your big-picture...

Learn more

Venture Capital

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Venture capital (or “VC” for short) is a type of financing for startup companies. Venture capitalists invest...

Learn more

Market Capitalization

Size it Up

Market capitalization (or just “market cap”) is a measure of a company’s total value. If you ever...

Learn more

SBA Loans

Helping Hand

SBA-guaranteed loans (or just “SBA loans”) are business loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)....

Learn more

Volatility

Rocky Road

Volatility describes how much an investment bounces around in price. More volatile investments zigzag in price more...

Learn more

Valuing a Company

What’s it Worth?

A company’s value is the dollar figure that it might sell for if a person or another...

Learn more

Incorporating

Limited Liability

A corporation is one type of formal business structure that entrepreneurs can choose to use when starting...

Learn more

Futures

Looking Ahead

A futures contract is an agreement to buy a specific investment at an agreed-upon price on an...

Learn more

Forex

Hard Currency

The foreign exchange, or forex, markets are where investors go to buy and sell currencies. Unlike the...

Learn more

Asset Classes

Building Blocks

An asset class is a group of similar kinds of investments. It’s a generalization, not a detailed...

Learn more

Financial Advisors

Get Some Help

Financial advisors are experts who can provide financial advice and help you manage your money. Some people...

Learn more

Financial Planning

Ducks in a Row

Financial planning describes the process of mastering your money. It means figuring out where you actually are...

Learn more

Asset Allocation

Divide and Conquer

“Asset allocation” is a way of describing what you own in percentage terms. If you’ve got $1,000...

Learn more

What Is an ICO?

The Wild West of Finance

An ICO, or Initial Coin Offering, is a way for startups to raise money by inventing and...

Learn more

Entrepreneurship

Change the World

Entrepreneurship is building a new business from the ground up. It means coming up with an idea...

Learn more

Tax Deductions

Cut Rate

Tax deductions, such as for donations to charity or interest on student loans, are amounts that you...

Learn more

Diversification

Spread Your Bets

Diversification is the practice of dividing your money among lots of different types of investments. It’s the...

Learn more

Cryptocurrency

Tales of the Crypto

Cryptocurrency is digital money that can be sent electronically anywhere in the world.

Learn more

Rebalancing

Move Your Assets

Know how self-help gurus are always talking about “finding the balance” in your personal life? That same...

Learn more

Bitcoin

Not So Silky Road

Bitcoin is the world’s first type of digital money, or cryptocurrency. Unlike traditional paper money, Bitcoin only...

Learn more

Bull or Bear Market

Into the Wild

Wall Street may be a bit of a rodeo, but there are no literal bulls or bears....

Learn more

Compound Interest

Make Bank

  The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest. — Albert Einstein

Learn more

GDP

Grossly Underrated

Gross domestic product, or GDP, measures the size of an economy. In essence, it puts a dollar...

Learn more

Break-Even Point

Point Break

A company is at its break-even point when its revenue equals its expenses. It is neither making...

Learn more

IRR

Crunch the Numbers

The internal rate of return, or IRR, is a measure of an investment’s or a project’s profitability....

Learn more

Private Equity

Members Only

Private equity is money invested directly into a private company. Private equity funds pool money from many...

Learn more

Crowdfunding

Pound the Pavement

Crowdfunding is a way to raise money from many people, thanks to the power of the Internet....

Learn more

Tax Loss Harvesting

Cut Your Losses

Tax loss harvesting is a trading strategy investors can use to try to reduce their taxes. It’s...

Learn more

Capital Gains Tax

The Taxman Cometh

If something you own goes up in value and you sell it, then you’ve made a profit....

Learn more

Carried Interest

In the Interest Of

Carried interest is a share of a private equity or hedge fund’s profits that is paid to...

Learn more

Blockchain

Chain Gang

Blockchain is the recordkeeping technology that serves as the foundation for Bitcoin and some other types of...

Learn more

The S&P

Make the Market

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index—also known as the S&P 500, or just the S&P—is an index...

Learn more

Business Insurance

Cover Your Bases

A business insurance policy is a contract between an insurance company and a business. In exchange for...

Learn more

Options

Coming Attractions

An option is the right, but not obligation, to buy or sell an investment at a specific...

Learn more

EPS

Bang for the Buck

Earnings per share (EPS) is a financial metric that helps investors evaluate a company’s profitability. It’s calculated...

Learn more

Index Funds

Copy That

An index fund is a professionally managed collection of stocks, bonds, or other investments that tries to...

Learn more

Fixed vs. Variable Costs

At All Costs

Fixed and variable costs are types of expenses that businesses pay in order to operate.

Learn more

Convertible Note

Take Note

A convertible note is a type of short-term loan for a business. However, instead of being repaid...

Learn more

Liquidity

Cashing Out

Liquidity refers to how easily you can sell an investment or asset at a fair price.

Learn more

ROI

Many Happy Returns

Return on investment, or ROI, is a ratio for measuring the profitability of an investment. It puts...

Learn more

IPO

Opening Bell

An initial public offering, or IPO, is when a company’s shares start trading on a stock exchange...

Learn more

Mutual Funds

Join Forces

A mutual fund is a professionally managed fund that pools lots of investors’ money in order to...

Learn more

Risk vs. Reward

Double Down

All investments come with risk. With financial investments, risk is usually tied to reward. That means investments...

Learn more

Rule of 72

Crunch the Numbers

The rule of 72 is an easy, back-of-the-napkin way to figure out how long it will take...

Learn more

Philanthropy

Greater Good

Philanthropy is giving back. It’s paying forward the resources you have—whether your money, or physical goods, or...

Learn more

Hedge Funds

Hedge Your Bets

Hedge funds are investment funds that pool many investors’ money and then hire one or more professional...

Learn more

EBITDA

How You Slice It

EBITDA (pronounced “ee-bit-tah”) stands for “earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.” It’s one measure of a...

Learn more

Profit Margin

Margin of Error

A company’s profit margin measures the portion of its total sales that it gets to keep as...

Learn more

The Stock Market

Greed Is Good

The stock market is the collection of physical and electronic markets where buyers and sellers come together...

Learn more

Financing a Startup

Sink or Swim

If you’re trying to get a startup off the ground, chances are you’ll need some cash to...

Learn more

REITs

Take Stock

A real estate investment trust, or REIT, is a company that owns, manages, or finances real estate....

Learn more

Short Selling

The Big Short

Short selling is a way to bet that a stock will fall in price. Normally, an investor...

Learn more

Investing

Piece of the Pie

Investing is putting your money to work in the hopes of earning a return. You probably already...

Learn more

Opportunity Cost

Fork in the Road

Opportunity cost is the return or benefit you miss out on by choosing one option over the...

Learn more

ETFs

Jack-of-All-Trades

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are investment vehicles similar to mutual funds. Like mutual funds, ETFs are professionally managed...

Learn more

How to Start a Startup

Go Big or Go Home

Although plenty of startups fail, the ones that succeed can do so wildly. Beyond a financial payoff,...

Learn more

Stocks

Buy Buy Buy

Stocks are pieces of ownership in companies. If you bought one stock of, say, Amazon, and Amazon...

Learn more

Independent Contractor

Free Agent

An independent contractor is someone who is self-employed and works for clients as a nonemployee. Independent contractors...

Learn more

Securities

Market Maker

“Securities” is the term used to describe stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other types of financial investments....

Learn more

Real Estate

Location, Location, Location

Buying real estate—whether on your own or by pooling your resources with other investors—is one possible way...

Learn more
By signing up, I agree to Napkin Finance’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

The simple information you need
to clean up your not-so-simple finances.