As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!


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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Advice From Robert Shiller: Don’t Be a Sheep

by Luke Landes

Robert Shiller, a professor of economics at Yale University, shares advice about investing he learned in graduate school. One needs to think antisocially to excel in investing, to resist the patterns of thinking that seem mysteriously to arrive simultaneously in the minds of millions of people around the world. People do not trust their own ... Continue reading this article…

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Advice From Bill Miller: Increase Your Money Without Working

by Luke Landes

Bill Miller, the manager of Legg Mason Value Trust, shares some advice about building wealth. [My father said...] “See this ‘plus .25′? That means that if you own one share of this company today, you have 25¢ more than you had yesterday.” I had come in from mowing the grass for three hours to earn ... Continue reading this article…

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Is it Finally Time for Market Optimism?

by Luke Landes

The Dow and the S&P 500 indexes were both up 2.5 percent and the Nasdaq index was up 3.1 percent today. Is this a sign of things to come? I wouldn’t mind if it were. My 401(k) has been decimated this year. That’s a literal decimation, a reduction of 10 percent of its value. Based on the short ... Continue reading this article…

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The Problems Investors Should Have With the Wisdom of Crowds

by Luke Landes

Which rule applies to investing: the wisdom of crowds or herd mentality? According to James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds, all you need in order to make good decisions — good investing decisions being a subset of all good decisions — is a diverse, independent, decentralized, and aggregated crowd to follow. Let the ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Now a Good Time to Buy Bank Stocks?

by Luke Landes

I don’t think “market timing” is a good investment strategy — in fact, it’s not a strategy at all — but it can be a worthwhile experiment if played with money you don’t mind losing. One way to time the market is to buy low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These investments act as mutual funds — ... Continue reading this article…

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Get Through a Bear Market: Don’t Cut Your Losses

by Luke Landes

Despite contributions totaling thousands of dollars so far this year, since January 1, the value of my investment portfolio is down 10 percent. That’s enough of a decline to make anyone consider giving up on the stock market. It’s an understandable point of view. My 401(k) offers an automated interview to help you choose your asset ... Continue reading this article…

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7 Ways to Lose Your Money

by Luke Landes

The idea of “getting rich slowly” may well be a fallacy. While slow and steady is a great method of accumulating wealth over long periods of time thanks to compounding interest and returns, the power of inflation — real inflation, not government-reported inflation, eats away at the value of your funds almost ensuring you will ... Continue reading this article…

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The Benefits of Target Retirement Funds

by Guest Author

About the author: The following is a guest article written by Kevin from No Debt Plan. He writes to help readers eliminate debt, learn how to budget and save, and move themselves towards financial freedom. The first investment we made in one of our Roth IRAs was in a Vanguard Target Retirement fund. Generally target ... Continue reading this article…

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