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Investing

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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Stocks Are For Suckers?

by Luke Landes

The book I recently reviewed focuses on investing in index funds and letting the portfolio sit for decades — “buy and hold.” It’s a strategy that has been popular since the market took a downward spin when the tech bubble gave out. Not everyone agrees that it’s the best strategy. Mark Cuban, outspoken owner of ... Continue reading this article…

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CNN Money Redesigns

by Luke Landes

Fresh for the new year, CNN Money redesigned. The new layout is cleaner, but some of the deeper pages have some placement issues.

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My Investment Holdings

by Luke Landes

I was wondering how my investments were doing this year, so I whipped up a table. It appears my managed funds have generally outperformed my index fund. Some notes: * My 401(k) was recently rebalanced (it’s automatic on a quarterly basis). * The YTD Return is annualized based on either the most recent information or ... Continue reading this article…

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Reading Company Income Statements

by Luke Landes

Every month, I post my personal income statement (here’s November’s). I break down my income and expenses in each category and show how they’ve increased or decreased over the last few months. This helps me (and any readers) get a good sense of my financial well-being. The Motley Fool offers an introduction to company income ... 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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2005′s Strongest Stock

by Luke Landes

NutriSystem [NTRI] climbed 1,500 percent this year. That’s an amazing climb. I expect that it would be impossible to keep that momentum up, but if you happened to buy NutriSystem at the beginning of the year, you’d be a happy person now. NutriSystem’s customer base is huge. Also, there are many of these customers, as the ... Continue reading this article…

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HOWTO Retire Rich Without Much Effort

by Luke Landes

Walter Updegrave from Money Magazine shares the secret to retiring rich: Increase your savings. According to a study by Putnam Investments, your investment performance has less to do with how good you are at picking stocks and more to do with how much money you invest. In other words, saving more leads to, well, more ... Continue reading this article…

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Ben Stein Wears A Small Cap

by Luke Landes

In Ben Stein’s column this week, he offers ideas for smartly investing in small caps, which have outperformed the broader market. The article makes me want to buy $1,500 of iShares S&P Smallcap 600 Value [IJS] right now through ShareBuilder and hold onto the investment as long as possible. In the article Ben talks about ... Continue reading this article…

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A Hedge-Like Fund For The Rest Of Us

by Luke Landes

Amanda Cantrell from CNN Money evaluates the performance of mutual funds that act like hedge funds. Is their performance worth the expense? Here are the details of the four funds the author evaluated: Fund Exp Ratio Sales Chg YTD Rtn The Gateway Fund [GATEX] 0.97 percent   4.52 percent Diamond Hill Focus Long/Short [DIAMX] 1.75 percent 5.00 percent 12.12 percent ... Continue reading this article…

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