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Investing

Rule for Building Wealth: Don’t Chase Trends

by Luke Landes

Here’s a continuation of the latest miniseries, based on Fortune Magazine’s 10 Rules for Building Wealth. Today’s declaration is, “Don’t chase trends.” Another term for this activity is timing the market, poorly at that. If you see an asset class that’s catching fire – like real estate investment trusts (REITs) in the late ’90s or ... Continue reading this article…

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Rule for Building Wealth: Don’t Try to Beat the Market

by Luke Landes

Here’s the bottom line about investing, straight from Fortune Magazine’s 10 Rules for Building Wealth: “Even the best fund managers have trouble beating the S&P 500, so give up the chase.” If the professionals — people who spend hours each day studying the markets — can’t do it consistently, why do you think you can? ... Continue reading this article…

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ShareBuilder Offers Options Trading

by Luke Landes

If you’re interested in risky trading rather than long-term investing, ShareBuilder [affiliate] is now offering options trading. They offer covered calls as well as buy calls and puts. There don’t seem to be any fees above and beyond ShareBuilder’s standard trading fees and commissions. ShareBuilder offers a short guide to options for those who are ... Continue reading this article…

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My Company’s Stock Purchase Plan, Take 3

by Luke Landes

Recently, I’ve written about my company’s new stock purchase plan. My employer is giving all employees a chance to purchase up to 10 percent of their salary in company stock at a 15 percent discount of the lower of the beginning or end of each quarter. Yesterday, I made my election official. I will be contributing the ... Continue reading this article…

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What’s in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Investment Accounts?

by Luke Landes

Although I share my investments and my net worth, I am far from being a politician in the spotlight. On the other hand, Nancy Pelosi, the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, is required to disclose her investments. I found her disclosure via Seeking Alpha and pfblogs.org. Pelosi and her husband have a number ... Continue reading this article…

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Bond Issued to Fund Vaccinations for 500 Million Children

by Luke Landes

If you’re looking for an investment that provides a return higher than Treasury bills, and you want to help the world at the same time, you might want to consider this new bond. The government of Britain with some others (not including the United States) are selling bonds to raise money to immunize millions of ... 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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When the President of Harvard Endowment Speaks, Investors Should Listen

by Luke Landes

This summary of a discussion and Q&A session by Mohamed A. El-Erian, President of Harvard Management Company, the entity that manages the endowment investments for the Ivy League university, was sent to me. He has talks about the global economy, but without too many specific answers. El-Erian does hint at an answer to a question ... Continue reading this article…

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Companies Dropping Funds From 401(k)s and What Mine Offers

by Luke Landes

There was a report this morning that Ford is dropping the popular Fidelity Magellan fund, in addition to several others, from the company’s 401(k) selections due to poor performance. After the eliminations, Ford still offers 30 mutual funds. My company is a financial services company, so you would think their fund choices rival the best ... Continue reading this article…

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My Company’s Stock Purchase Plan

by Luke Landes

Enrollment starts soon for my company’s stock purchase plan. Here is how it works. If an employee chooses to participate, after-tax funds are deferred from each paycheck and deposited into a cash account at E*Trade, at a rate of 1 percent to 10 percent of eligible earnings (salary and overtime). Since the payroll deductions are after-tax, they ... Continue reading this article…

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Dow Surpasses All-Time High

by Luke Landes

Everyone is aflutter with the news that the Dow Jones industrial average traded above its record high close this morning. I’m not sure these benchmarks really matter. It may have a small psychological effect, with selling off in the short term, but I’m not too concerned.

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THIRD ShareBuilder Bonus Received, the Free Money Rolls In

by Luke Landes

I received $50 yesterday for opening my third account at ShareBuilder. Add that together with the $25 I received from ebates, that’s another free $75. Here are those ShareBuilder promotion codes again, and here’s how to turn a quick $75 just for opening an account. ShareBuilder’s trades are kind of expensive. You can buy for ... Continue reading this article…

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College Savings Plans Still Tax-Free, For Now

by Luke Landes

When I signed up for Upromise a few years ago, my intent was to start savings the rebates in a fund for higher education expenses for a hypothetical child I might have some time in the future. At the time, 529 accounts were new. They provide investments with tax-free earnings if the money if eventually ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Can Ben Stein Retire at 61?

by Luke Landes

I like Ben Stein. He’s been an actor, game show host, advisor to a presidential administration, author, and traveling guru. In his latest column on Yahoo Finance, he writes about the tendency to live in fear about retirement but not adequately plan (save). He started getting to the point by offering how he would be ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting Spam on Your Ameritrade Email Address?

by Luke Landes

If you’ve been getting penny stock spam on the email address you’ve only used for your Ameritrade brokerage account, here’s why: In April 2005, Ameritrade reported that several tapes with customer information were lost… After the tape incident, Ameritrade notified me of the possible breach and I was given a year of an identity watch ... Continue reading this article…

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The Market Goes Up When Congress is Out

by Luke Landes

I heard an interesting story on Marketplace yesterday evening. Apparently, the statistics show that the stock market performs better when the U.S. Congress is on vacation. They call it the Congressional Effect: the fact that Wall Street does better in periods like August, when Congress is on holiday. And not just somewhat better. Nearly all ... Continue reading this article…

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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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My Third ShareBuilder Account Gets Funded Today

by Luke Landes

For the second time, I’m taking advantage of the techniques I mentioned to invest with free money with ShareBuilder. The company does not seem to mind having multiple accounts per individual, as long as it’s within reason. From what I understand, they have sent warnings to those who have a incredible amount of accounts (thirteen ... Continue reading this article…

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