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Investing

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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The Kirk Report

by Luke Landes

Kudos to The Kirk Report‘s Charles Kirk, whose blog is the top story on MSN Money, after bring featured in Barron’s magazine recently. The MSN article focuses on Charles’ strategy for beating the S&P 500. Kirk relies mostly on screens to find his stock candidates. One of his favorites, according to Barron’s, is a screen ... Continue reading this article…

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Yet More Hedge Fund Fraud

by Luke Landes

The bad news for the hedge fund industry just keeps coming. [Kirk] Wright is on the lam after federal officials charged him with fraud, claiming he sent statements saying that his funds, managed by Atlanta-based International Management Associates, had over $150 million invested when the accounts in question held only $150,000 — about the only ... Continue reading this article…

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Status: Free Money Invested, Transaction Fee Recovered

by Luke Landes

Click here for the latest Sharebuilder promotion, a $25 bonus. Way back in August, I took advantage of a ShareBuilder promotion that gave me $50 for investing. With the free money, I bought $46 worth of IYZ, the iShares Telecommunications ETF. The other $4 was ripped from my clenches as a transaction fee. I’m happy ... Continue reading this article…

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Thinking About The Future

by Luke Landes

Most of my investing is for the future — the far future. While I can’t predict what the future will bring, other people have some good ideas. Take global warming for instance. Sure, there’s a lot of political disagreement about the science, but all sides agree the Earth’s climate is changing regardless of the causes. ... Continue reading this article…

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Tracking Restricted Stock in Quicken

by Luke Landes

As I mentioned earlier today, employees in my company have been granted restricted stock, vesting in three years. I decided to do some research to try to determine how to track the value in Quicken, which I use for tracking my personal finances. From what I can tell through some Google research, you don’t track ... Continue reading this article…

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Worrisome Market

by Luke Landes

I recently increased my pre-tax 401(k) contribution from 4 percent to 6 percent. It’s not a huge jump, and my company only matches that first 4 percent, but I feel like I didn’t save as much for retirement last year as I would have liked. My first paycheck with the increased contribution will be this Friday. I’m realizing ... Continue reading this article…

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Time To Buy Gold Or Not?

by Luke Landes

The price of gold has been high. In fact, it hit a 25-year high recently. Everyone saying it’s time to buy and that prices will go only higher. Everyone is also warning investors to stay away. A pair of articles on MSN Money give you the option of choosing your point of view while having ... Continue reading this article…

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Good News If You’re Lance Armstrong

by Luke Landes

On the other hand, if you’re an investor in American Century mutual funds, you now have a good idea where your management fees and expense ratios go. Lance Armstrong has become the company’s celebrity spokesperson, and American Century’s bright marketing team will link the athlete’s struggle with cancer to “investing discipline.” American Century’s Equity Index ... Continue reading this article…

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New Free $25 ShareBuilder Bonus

by Luke Landes

Updated June 24, 2010. ShareBuilder is offering a $25 bonus to new customers by using the promotional code “25WO10.” You get $25 to use to purchase whatever stock or ETF you like. I’ve had good experiences with a $50 bonus from ShareBuilder earlier, here and updated here. Here’s the deal on ShareBuilder for those who ... Continue reading this article…

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Some Hedge Funds Must Register

by Luke Landes

The Securities and Exchange Commission has ruled that most hedge funds must register with the organization, due to fraud and other drama in the industry. Some funds will be able to escape regulation with a designation as a “private fund.” From the New York Times article: “The new rule applies only to those funds that ... Continue reading this article…

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Another Broker Settlement Ordered – UBS

by Luke Landes

UBS is the latest brokerage being charged for deceptive trading practices. The company agreed to pay a $54 million settlement, $18 million of which will go back to wronged customers.

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Articles For Thursday

by Luke Landes

Here’s a snapshot of some of the reading I managed to sneak in while getting real work done in the office. As you can see, I didn’t have too much time today. * Why it’s smarter to buy a home rather than rent [focus] * Wall Street has a crush on Google but investors may ... Continue reading this article…

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Quick Guide to Asset Allocation

by Luke Landes

Rex Moore from The Motley Fool has posted Four Rules for Asset Allocation. It’s a quick general overview of where you should keep or invest money based on when the funds will eventually be needed. Rule No. 1: If you need the money in the next year, it should be in an interest-bearing savings or ... Continue reading this article…

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Today’s Reading

by Luke Landes

Here are some news stories I read today. * Jon Markman’s 17 stocks that always go up * Personal bankruptcies hit record high [focus] * Mortgage applications up 9.9 percent * Even rich folks have bag-lady syndrome [focus] * Keeping new year’s resolutions * Thousands of customers had problems with TIAA-Cref [focus] * Too much, too ... Continue reading this article…

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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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Articles In The News

by Luke Landes

There are some interesting items in the news today, but not much that is inspiring me to write about the stories in detail. Here is what I’ve been reading. * How to Sell a Car When You Owe More Than It’s Worth. This is a dangerous position to be in. * Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best ... Continue reading this article…

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Merrill Lynch Broker Allegedly Steals $320,000

by Luke Landes

A broker from Merrill Lynch allegedly stole more than $320,000 from an elderly woman by forging her signature. Peter Lau, 37, who was the victim’s broker, stole some 28 checks from the victim and forged her signature before depositing them for his own use from June 2004 to December 2005, Brown said in a prepared ... Continue reading this article…

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My Retirement Investment Changes

by Luke Landes

Based partly on feedback when I listed my investment holdings, I made some changes to my retirement contributions for 2006. In my 401(k), I shifted around my percentage allocations to increase international and small-cap exposure at the expense of large-caps, which are currently overweighted. In the Roth IRA, I’ll be investing in a small-cap equity ... Continue reading this article…

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