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

Investing

Not All Target Retirement Funds Are Created Equal

by Luke Landes

Over the last few years, “target” retirement funds have become more popular. Vanguard offers a wide selection for those looking to retire between 2005 and 2050 in 5-year increments. Fidelity offers the same options with their “Freedom Funds.” One would think that the Fidelity Freedom 2020 Fund should be similar to the Vanguard Target Retirement ... Continue reading this article…

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Guest Post: The Case Against Gold

by Luke Landes

Lazy Man is a lazy man from California on a quest to retire early. He believes a penny saved is a penny earned, and a penny available for investing. He writes regularly on his blog, Lazy Man and Money My fiancee (Energi Gal) and I were watching Saturday Night Live a couple of weeks ago ... Continue reading this article…

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How Easy is it to Beat the Market?

by Luke Landes

On one hand, we have brokers, or salespeople, who sell financial products designed to put the most money in the hands of the people who manage and sell said products. On the other hand, we have financial advisors who swear that for long-term investing, index funds will provide the best and safest return. The brokers ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Withdraw Money from Upromise

by Luke Landes

Upromise is a loyalty rebate program which rewards its members by investing a percentage of purchases into accounts for education expenses, namely 529 College Savings Plans. Just register your credit cards and your supermarket membership cards and the different rebates are credited to your account to be invested at a later date. These rebates are ... Continue reading this article…

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Problems With TIAA-CREF Continue: One Reader’s Issue

by Luke Landes

My Roth IRA and SEP IRA are held at TIAA-CREF. I’ve had some problems with them in the past, which I’ve outlined a number of times. Most recently I noticed that my contributions for 2005 were included on my 2006 tax form. Their explanation was simply that 2005 contributions made during 2006 would appear on ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing: Real Estate vs. Stock Market

by Luke Landes

Reminder: This week I am giving away a copy of The Maui Millionaires. There is still time left to enter the random drawing. It’s easy. The gurus tout real estate, real estate, real estate as the way to get rich. It’s perpetuated in the media, penetrating a number of people I know who generally speak ... Continue reading this article…

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Ben Stein: Invest in 2007 or You’ll Regret It!

by Luke Landes

Before we get started with the details in US News & World Report’s Investing Guide, Ben Stein (actor, speech writer, guru) has some strategies to share with those wondering what to do with their money this year. Here are his thoughts. Dollar? Dollar? Dollar? The decline of the USD will continue as the United States ... Continue reading this article…

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US News Annual Investing Guide, Part 1

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Nagel write in with a question: Are many predicting a recession? Over the past few months, I’ve heard some anecdotal predictions for the stock market in 2007 including the Dow and S&P 500 reaching record levels, a topsy-turvy year, a typical “up” third year of a presidential cycle, a correction, and yes, even a ... Continue reading this article…

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Rule for Building Wealth: Hold Down Fees

by Luke Landes

If you’re employing the service of others — for example, when someone manages your money (comingled with others’ money) in a mutual fund — then you should be familiar with the idiom, “Nothing in life is free.” Mutual funds, even index mutual funds, have a management fee or “expense ratio.” You may have to find ... Continue reading this article…

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Hedging Strategies for Small Investors

by Luke Landes

Ann C. Logue is the author of Hedge Funds For Dummies, which was recently released. She contacted Consumerism Commentary and offered to send a book for my review. I’ve been interested in hedge funds, and specifically in what individual investors can learn from these investments which are normally closed to everyone but very high net ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine: 25 Rules to Grow Rich By, Part 3

by Luke Landes

Last week, I started a short series looking at Money Magazine’s 25 rules to grow rich by. I’m breaking down the advice within the article into five separate blog entries here; you can find part one here and part two here. Here are the next five tips, with a bit of my own commentary thrown ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine: 25 Rules to Grow Rich By, Part 2

by Luke Landes

Here are more “rules” from Money Magazine. I wrote about the first five guidelines yesterday, and here are five more with some of my thoughts thrown in.

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Four Mental Mistakes in Investing

by Luke Landes

Jonathan Clements from the Wall Street Journal decided to don his psychologist hat and evaluate the muddled minds of investors. He discovered four mindsets that hinder people from investing intelligently. Let’s face it, amassing a decent-size nest egg isn’t exactly rocket science. All we have to do is save regularly, buy a few low-cost mutual ... Continue reading this article…

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Opened a Second Account With ShareBuilder

by Luke Landes

Last week, I decided to take advantage of the ability to acquire $75 for opening an account with ShareBuilder. My first trade will be executed today. Rather than purchasing an exchange-traded fund (ETF) like last time, I decided to go with a well-established stock. My order was placed for $70 worth of Microsoft (MSFT). While ... Continue reading this article…

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Finding Extra Money

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has a feature this month about finding extra money or “hidden assets” as they call it. I’m not going to do a whole series on these suggestions, but I will simply summarize and add a few thoughts. 1. Cash in old savings bonds. If they’ve matured, you have money that’s not earning any ... Continue reading this article…

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The Last 401(k) Guide You’ll Ever Need, Five Tips, Part 2

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine is presenting five tips for building a great 401(k) account. Their first suggestion was to save early and save often by diverting as much as possible directly from your salary to your retirement account. Here’s the next tip. Spread Your Money Around What you must do, though, is choose a suitable combination of ... Continue reading this article…

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Old Promotion, New Trick: Free $75 With ShareBuilder

by Luke Landes

June 24 update: The promotional code listed below is no longer available. You can now earn a $25 bonus using the promotional code 25WO10 rather than the $50 bonus previously mentioned here. It’s actually $71 after expenses, as you’ll see below. ShareBuilder is still running the $50 promotion, but now there’s a way to get ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Make These Mistakes, Part 1

by Luke Landes

Stan Hinden from AARP shares six retirement mistakes he made throughout his life in addition to a pair of better choices. Here are some thoughts on three of those mistakes.

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TIAA-CREF Funded My SEP IRA!

by Luke Landes

TIAA-CREF has finally come through! You may have been following the saga. If not, here’s the short version: In order to reduce my tax liability from self-employment income, I wanted to open a SEP IRA. The SEP IRA lets you contribute tax-free beyond the Traditional/Roth IRA limit, but only as an employer. I employ myself ... Continue reading this article…

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TIAA-CREF Didn’t Fund My SEP IRA

by Luke Landes

In order to reduce my 2005 taxes a little, I decided to throw some of my self employment income into a SEP IRA. The great thing about SEP IRAs is that I can invest above and beyond the normal contribution limit for Traditional and Roth IRAs as well as beyond the employer 401(k) plan offered ... Continue reading this article…

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