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Investing

Lessons Learned From Losing a Quarter Million Dollars

by Luke Landes

About the author: This guest article is presented by Debtkid, who recently begun working part-time for LendingClub. He regularly writes at Debtkid about his journey to become debt free. A few years back, I was playing poker at a bachelor party. There were about 12 guys there, and the pot was around $100. During the ... Continue reading this article…

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Buying the Stock Market on the Dips

by Luke Landes

It’s now more than a month since I considered taking advantage of a downward market by dollar-cost averaging at specific times. Yes, I’m “timing the market.” After making a few newbie mistakes when buying on the dips, I’ve refined my strategy. At Vanguard, I have cash in a tax-exempt money market fund, which I will ... Continue reading this article…

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TradeKing Extends $50 Bonus Offer

by Luke Landes

If you are interested in opening a new brokerage account, you will now have more time to qualify for TradeKing’s $50 new account bonus. The promotion was originally slated to end this week, but the brokerage has decided to extend the $50 bonus through November. In order to qualify, open a new account at TradeKing ... Continue reading this article…

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When Your Company Stops Matching Your 401(k) Contribution

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, GM announced that it would be suspending the company’s matching contributions into its employees’ 401(k) retirement plans starting November 1 and lasting until financial conditions improve. For people like me who make their living working for a corporation, the 401(k) match is practically expected. One way to look at the company match, if dollar ... Continue reading this article…

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Warren Buffett is Buying American Stocks Right Now, You Should Too

by Luke Landes

Warren Buffett, a rock star in the world of investing, has noticed the pattern of panic in the stock market recently and is using this volatility to his advantage. I am still buying into the market; the only change I’ve made is to buy more stocks, even if I don’t get the price at the ... Continue reading this article…

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Economist’s Advice on the Local News Program

by Luke Landes

Here’s what an economist had to say about investing on ABC 7 Eyewitness News tonight: Third quarter 401(k) statements are reaching homes now. Don’t look at your statement. If you put more money in your 401(k), put it into Treasuries. If you are thinking about stocks, think again. They look cheap now, but they’ll be ... Continue reading this article…

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The Market Collapse in Terms of Champagne

by Smithee

If you’re still confused, as I was, about what exactly led to the failure of just about everything financial, here’s a video made by a Senior Editor at Marketplace, explaining what happened with a clever metaphor: Crisis explainer: Uncorking CDOs from Marketplace on Vimeo.

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My Recent Experiences With Buying the Market on Dips

by Luke Landes

Last week, I suggested considering tax-exempt money market funds as an alternative to high-yield savings accounts. As an example, I looked at one of the best options for me, the Vanguard New Jersey Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund (VNJXX), citing its 4.83 percent 7-day yield. Today, a week later, the yield is already down more than 100 ... Continue reading this article…

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How Money Professionals are Reacting to the Stock Market Within Their Own Portfolios

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has interviewed eight professional money managers to determine how the current economic crisis is affecting their own financial and investing decisions. In many cases, the professionals are not making modifications to their plans. In a few cases, the professionals believe staying the course is the right decision but they’ve made some small changes ... Continue reading this article…

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Changing Your 401(k) in a Treacherous Market

by Luke Landes

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, a measurement of the stock market at large, ended below 10,000 yesterday. That’s the lowest closing since 2004 and it’s quite a drastic change from a year ago, when the market closed above 14,000, the highest watermark for the Dow. It’s tempting to just stick my head in the sand. ... Continue reading this article…

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$50 Bonus for New TradeKing Brokerage Account

by Luke Landes

TradeKing is an online brokerage featuring a low commission of $4.95. For a short time, if you open account at TradeKing, fund it with $2,500 within 30 days and make a trade within 180 days, you can earn a $50 bonus. You’ll also have to maintain a $2,500 minimum bonus for six months, otherwise TradeKing ... Continue reading this article…

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Considering Tax-Exempt Money Market Funds

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I mentioned I invested in the stock market at a low with money marked for an intermediate time horizon. I didn’t get the price I wanted, however. I initiated the $3,000 investment in VTSMX, the index fund following the total stock market, on Monday night following the stock market’s sharp decline. ... Continue reading this article…

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Stock Market in Sharp Decline, Stocks on Sale?

by Luke Landes

Because I believe this economic crisis will end within the next few years or sooner, I took today’s 777+ point decline in the Dow and 8.8 percent decline in the S&P 500 as a sign that the stock market, as a whole is on sale. I opened an individual brokerage account at Vanguard after market hours ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Put Your Money in an Investment Earning 0%?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday I mentioned that the U.S. Treasury was able to raise $40 billion in a one-day auction of 35-day Treasury bills. When you bid for these investments, you could either compete with others by offering to invest at the lowest interest rate you’re willing to accept or bid “non-competitively,” accepting whatever the Treasury Department determines ... Continue reading this article…

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Where Did the Federal Reserve Get $85 Billion for AIG?

by Luke Landes

When I heard the news that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is making $85 billion available to American International Group in the form of loans, one of my first questions was about the source of the money. Does the Federal Reserve keep an emergency fund available to bail out companies during financial crises ... Continue reading this article…

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Who Do You Blame When You Lose $6 Million Overnight?

by Luke Landes

The New York Post presented an article about David Shorr, a shareholder of Lehman Brothers, who lost $6 million as the company filed for bankruptcy. David spent many years as an employee of Lehman Brothers, building up compensation in the form of stocks which are now worthless. “What the hell was he thinking?” asked Shorr, ... Continue reading this article…

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Ten Things to Do With $1,000 (Plus 21 More)

by Luke Landes

If you’ve suddenly come upon $1,000 you didn’t have the day before, you may get the urge to celebrate. $1,000 doesn’t open many new opportunities to you these days, but there are a number of options. Kiplinger has published a special with 37 ways to invest $1,000, but I have a few suggestions of my ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing Strategy: Set it and Forget It (Except Once Annually for Rebalancing)

by Luke Landes

It’s very tempting to quickly peek at your investments to see if they’ve gone up or down in the past twenty-four hours. The same technology that makes our lives so much easier, computer software, can drive us insane. It takes almost no effort to log into my company’s 401(k) website. When I’m at home, Quicken ... Continue reading this article…

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Confirmed: TIAA-CREF Laying Off 10% of Workforce

by Luke Landes

August 8 update: This is now confirmed. This is unconfirmed but in the last few hours, two employees at TIAA-CREF have written to Consumerism Commentary to share the knowledge that workers in the the Charlotte, North Carolina office are being laid off by management at this very moment. The layoffs began on Monday and will ... Continue reading this article…

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Would You Ask For More Company Stock In Lieu of a Raise?

by Luke Landes

Mellody Hobson, the president of Ariel Investments, recently shared her favorite piece of advice to Money Magazine. When I was 22, a friend who is very successful explained to me that no one ever got rich through earned income. “Look at all the great wealthy families,” he said. “From Carnegie to Rockefeller, it was never ... Continue reading this article…

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