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Investing

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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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 3

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has done a good job of assembling five simple tips for starting and maintaining a great 401(k) retirement account. The first tip was to save early and often and the second was to spread your money around with a smart diversification strategy. Here’s the third tip. Limit Company Stock When you work for ... 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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My Nest Egg Score

by Luke Landes

I broke down and took the A.G. Edwards Nest Egg Score estimation thing. I’m doing better than average for my age group (18-35), so I’m satisfied. The mini-quiz asked a few questions about my living status and my investing and savings habits, and presented these suggestions: * Continue to manage debt. * Maximize your retirement ... Continue reading this article…

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Millionaires Invest in Cash But Watch Stocks

by Luke Landes

A survey from HSBC Bank reveals that millionaires take a position on cash higher than what financial planners generally advise. 472 “mass affulent” individuals — those with at least $1 million available to invest — were surveyed, and 34 percent have at least 20 percent of their investable assets in cash. The mass affluent watch stocks even ... 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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Democrats Get Their Own Mutual Fund

by Luke Landes

If you’re a Democrat and Democratic values are important to you, you may want to put your money where your mouth is and invest blue. According to CNN Money, Blue Investment Management intends to offer a mutual fund that consists of companies that “give blue” and “act blue.” That means they support Democratic politicians and ... Continue reading this article…

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Stocks and Funds to Weather All Market Conditions

by Luke Landes

Do you want to know which stocks will provide you with long term growth no matter what the market throws at you? Fortune Magazine believes it has the answer. This is a timely story; with the markets behaving badly (that sounds like a mediocre sitcom) people want help and suggestions about how to invest. How ... Continue reading this article…

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The Good Thing About The Market’s Poor Performance

by Luke Landes

If nothing else, the falling prices may indicate it’s the right time to buy more and continue dollar-cost averaging. I could complain that the stock market is hurting my net worth and making my monthly reports seem like my financial state is getting worse, but I do keep buying more shares at lower prices through ... Continue reading this article…

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After Graduation: Choices, Plans and Risks, Part 3

by Luke Landes

David Bach, the author of The Automatic Millionaire and The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner (the latter of which I reviewed earlier this year), also writes a column on Yahoo Finance. Recently he presented five tips for college graduates just beginning their path to financial security. This follows Part 1 and Part 2. Here is the fourth ... Continue reading this article…

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Hedge Fund Sues Its Own Investors

by Luke Landes

In addition to filing for bankruptcy, a hedge fund is suing its own investors to recover the profits that were paid out. Should investors who thought they were investing in a legitimate operation be forced to give back what those funds paid out if the payments were based on fraudulent numbers? Who is to blame? ... Continue reading this article…

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When IPOs Attack

by Luke Landes

The voice-over-IP telephony company, Vonage, did something interesting for its initial public offering (IPO) last week. They offered long-time customers a chance to get in on the IPO. As you can see below, customers who went in on the deal may not have received the best investment.

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Investing in Banks is Boring But Sexy

by Luke Landes

Fortune Magazine is happy about bank stocks, and it comes down to dividends. The dividends bank stocks pay to their shareholders beat the averages and increase every year, far above the rate of inflation. Presumably banks can offer this because they don’t necessarily need to reinvest earnings in much research and development, like a technology ... Continue reading this article…

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