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Investing

Problems With TIAA-Cref

by Luke Landes

Apparently I was not the only person having problems with TIAA-Cref. When I contacted the company to report my missing contribution, the customer service representative was very helpful and assured me the account would be adjusted. I had complete confidence, and when I checked my account yesterday, the deposit had been made and backdated. My ... Continue reading this article…

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More Stuff From Kiyosaki

by Luke Landes

I saw Yahoo Finance posted a new column from Robert Kiyosaki today. With an open mind, I decided to read it, thinking perhaps he has something positive to say. I wasn’t planning on commenting about the article until I read the third and fourth paragraphs. He’s trying so hard to sell his point of view ... Continue reading this article…

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Efficient and Frugal Food Shopping

by Luke Landes

This is an area in which I hope to make vast improvements in 2006: my eating, cooking and food shopping habits. At the end of the year, I’ll evaluate how much money I’ve spent on food this year. I already have a good idea of the amount based on my latest income statement (dining plus ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Stress About Investing

by Luke Landes

Kiplinger’s presents four mantras for stress-free investing. If you’ve been feeling nervous about the stock market lately, perhaps considering these ideas will put you in a relaxed state of mind. 1. Think Long Term The longer you have until your savings deadline, the more risk you can afford to take. If your goals are decades ... Continue reading this article…

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Staying Away From Fund Fees

by Luke Landes

MSN Money is carrying an article suggesting ways to get around mutual fund fees. As mutual funds have become more complex, fund companies need to spend more on marketing to explain their products. The expenses are then, as one would think, passed along to the customer. Timothy Middleton suggests “marching straight into the new reality” ... Continue reading this article…

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What Are You Afraid Of?

by Luke Landes

CNN Money has an extensive feature on how general consensus is wrong again. The articles look at the biggest money fears, how they may be unreasonable, and what should worry the public instead. Here are the first three from the series. The remaining three appear in a follow-up post here at Consuermsim Commentary. While Americans ... Continue reading this article…

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Sweep Account Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

Any investment account at a brokerage usually has an associated cash account in which proceeds from sales and dividends are deposited, usually in the form of a money market fund. According to this free Wall Street Journal article, investment banks are purposely moving investors’ cash funds into accounts that earn less than typical money market ... Continue reading this article…

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The Golden Ratio and the Market

by Luke Landes

There are a lot of crazy theories about movements of the stock market. Take a look at Elliott Waves for instance. Supporters believe the tenets of Elliott Wave Analysis like a religion, while those who disagree believe the theory is bunk. Have you ever heard of the golden ratio? It is related to the Fibonacci ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Clubs?

by Luke Landes

Marshall Loeb mentions the popularity of money clubs, akin to the investment clubs of the 1990s. Much like other sorts of support groups, money clubs offer the unique opportunity of belonging to a group of people with similar desires, who can encourage, inform and brow-beat you as needed. (This sounds very much like the community ... Continue reading this article…

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Letting Terror Affect Your Investment Strategy

by Luke Landes

When terror strikes, it’s easy to think about September 11 and the poor performance of the stock market following the event. It may be better to wait this one out before running for the hills and cashing out. It’s better not to make hasty decisions based on world events. CNN Money offers that same advice. ... Continue reading this article…

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Thursday Reading

by Luke Landes

So far, I’ve received one submission for Carnival of Personal Finance. Remember to send your submissions in before Sunday night. Here are the articles I’m reading today: Kids get more expensive for their parents as they get older, and this article enumerates the costs of a teen-ager. Sports or music, food, orthodontia, and a plethora ... Continue reading this article…

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Introduction to Hedge Funds

by Luke Landes

Hedge funds have received a bit of negative press lately. Here are just some examples from MSN Money (“Billions of dollars in hedge-fund money disappeared into thin air amid the GM mess”), Marketwatch (“Treasurys rise on hedge fund woes”), and The Herald (“Complex hedge funds criticised”). I’ve heard the term over the past several years, ... Continue reading this article…

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My Investments

by Luke Landes

In the interest of full disclosure, I might as well give you a a peek into the investing side of my net worth. Roth IRA Invested in the TIAA-Cref Equity Index [TCEIX], directly with TIAA-Cref. The fund invests in the stocks listed in the Russell 3000 Index. It has a low expense ratio of 0.26 percent, ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Exploitation

by Luke Landes

Robert Powell has written an article entitled, Seven ways to fully exploit your 401(k), and it appears on CBS MarketWatch. In it, he does what the title suggests and gives the reader seven important things to remember when planning for retirement. Here they are, with infamous Flexo commentary. Enroll now. I have a friend of ... Continue reading this article…

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Better Than The Bare Minimum

by Luke Landes

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Retirement (from CNN Money) lists five easy steps for those who don’t want to expend energy and still be able to retire. Here are the five steps: Think about how you want to live when you retire Take advantage of your 401(k) or a similar investment account Use automatic contributions ... Continue reading this article…

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My Name is Flexo, and I Approved This Message

by Luke Landes

Last week, I received the following email. I have changed the name of the firm for the safety of the author: Flexo- I enjoy reading the posts on your blog ‘Consumerism Commentary’. It is a well put together site. I was reading a post on 9/29 about your brokerage recently charging you an annual fee. ... Continue reading this article…

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