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Investing

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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Is This a Buying Opportunity?

by Luke Landes

If I were a trader, I might look at yesterday’s drop as a buying opportunity for today, but with a long term view, it won’t change anything that I’m doing as far as investing this year. Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan thinks we’re heading for a recession this year. This is not long after ... 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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US News Annual Investing Guide, Part 4: Technology

by Luke Landes

The biggest news in technology recently seems to be Apple‘s announcement of the iPhone (and they’re already getting sued by Cisco over the name) as well as Apple TV. Perhaps it will be an exciting year for the technology sector. David LaGesse reports that analysts are looking at short-term enthusiasm for technology, thanks to upgrades ... Continue reading this article…

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Question from Reader: What’s a Decent Rate of Return?

by Luke Landes

Frequent reader Doobie emailed yesterday to pose this question: What’s considered a decent rate of return for a stock/fund/etc? I always wondered that when I look at my 401K’s performance. I know it’s good when I’m not losing money, but even when it’s making money I’m trying to find a decent benchmark as to what’s ... Continue reading this article…

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US News Annual Investing Guide, Part 3: Oil

by Luke Landes

Every year, US News puts together an annual investing guide that evaluates certain sectors of the market. Marianne Lavelle writes about the recent and future performance of Big Oil, but there aren’t any revelations. According to the article, the easy money in oil was made in 2006, although there were signs of trouble. Here is ... Continue reading this article…

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US News Annual Investing Guide, Part 2: Drugs

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, it was common for people to leave my company in the financial industry for greener pastures in the pharmaceutical industry. Salaries were higher, bonuses were up, and people were making money off their stocks. Lately, this has cooled. US News & Word Report, in the annual investing guide, agrees: Drug patents ... 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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Beginning Employee Stock Purchase Plan

by Luke Landes

Although it was first announced in 2005 to begin in 2006, my company’s employee stock purchase plan was not finalized until a few months ago, and scheduled begin this month. On Friday, I’ll receive my first paycheck with 10 percent of my salary automatically deducted and transferred to a holding account at E*Trade. There it will ... Continue reading this article…

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Rule for Building Wealth: Defer Taxes

by Luke Landes

Fortune Magazine’s tenth rule for building wealth is appropriate as the end of the year approaches. The magazine suggests taking advantage of a tax rule that lets investors deduct $3,000 of a realized loss from any realized gains. Since you are taxed 15 percent on realized gains from stocks, bonds and mutual funds held for at ... Continue reading this article…

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Fund Roth IRA in One Lump Sum?

by Luke Landes

2007 will be the first year that I could theoretically fully fund my Roth IRA on the first day of the year, rather than spread the investments out throughout the year. If I were to do this, it would present an increased risk into my portfolio. I want to buy when the market is lower, ... 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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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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