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Investing

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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Making The Most Of The Holidays

by Luke Landes

The holiday shopping season is in high gear, and Marketwatch has an idea about how this can be used to your advantage. If you think that retail will have a positive season, John Spence recommends buying ETFs (exchange-traded funds) that follow the retail sector. They can be traded like stocks for those who like to ... Continue reading this article…

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Diversification is for Amateurs

by Luke Landes

Kiyosaki’s rich dad told him not to diversify — rather, seek out “the best” investments. The author attempts to use anecdotal evidence (“I knew a guy who… therefore everyone…”) to villify the financial planning industry. Suddenly, people without much financial education became “professional financial advisors.” School teachers, used car salesmen, housewives, and insurance agents found ... Continue reading this article…

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Reading Materials

by Luke Landes

Here are some articles worth the look. * Jeff Brown from the Philadelphia Inquirer calls for an end to quarterly guidance. * Four ways to simplify your life and save from MSN Money. * Just when you thought real estate in New York City was getting a little pricey, now you have to worry about ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Stress About Investing

by Luke Landes

Kiplinger’s presents four mantras for stress-free investing. If you’ve been feeling nervous about the stock market lately, perhaps considering these ideas will put you in a relaxed state of mind. 1. Think Long Term The longer you have until your savings deadline, the more risk you can afford to take. If your goals are decades ... Continue reading this article…

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Fewer Women in Hedge Funds

by Luke Landes

Fortune Magazine has an article exploring why we don’t see women managing hedge funds. The proportion on women to men is much lower in the hedge fund business than it is in other areas of market finance. People cite many different explanations, including fewer women with MBAs, fewer women willing to make the jump to ... Continue reading this article…

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Fight The Allure of Low Prices

by Luke Landes

The advice I hear most often is to stay away from high-priced mutual funds and go for the low cost index funds instead. The logic behind this is that you pay for fund management with no guarantee that the fund will beat its index. Extending this logic, one might think it would make sense to ... Continue reading this article…

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Rock Beats Scissors, Cash Beats Stocks?

by Luke Landes

An analyst with JP Mogran Chase is making some predictions. Abhijit Chakrabortti believes the Fed will raise rates from the current 3.75 percent to 4.5 percent by the beginning of next year. He also foresees stocks having a flat year in 2006. Is it time to move out of the market, or is 2006 going to be ... Continue reading this article…

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The Spam Stock Portfolio

by Luke Landes

I get mounds of spam every day, a good portion of which is full of stock recommendations. Joshua received similar emails, and decided to put the unsolicited advice to the test. How well would you guess this portfolio performed? What if I purchased 1000 shares of stock from EVERY stock tip mentioned in a SPAM ... Continue reading this article…

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Staying Away From Fund Fees

by Luke Landes

MSN Money is carrying an article suggesting ways to get around mutual fund fees. As mutual funds have become more complex, fund companies need to spend more on marketing to explain their products. The expenses are then, as one would think, passed along to the customer. Timothy Middleton suggests “marching straight into the new reality” ... Continue reading this article…

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Are You An Investor Or Speculator?

by Luke Landes

Mark Cuban has presented an editorial on the differences between investing and speculating. He proposes that investors no longer exist and the vast majority of those in the market are speculators. He concludes with his own opinion about how corporate profits distributed to shareholders should be taxed. True investors in businesses would not be taxed, ... Continue reading this article…

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Consensus View is Better Than Experts?

by Luke Landes

In one point of view, “the masses” are wrong about financial issues (Part One and Part Two). On the other hand, some believe that the general populace on the whole outsmarts even the experts. That’s the basis of the book The Wisdom of Crowds by James Suroweicki. To prove his points in his book, he ... Continue reading this article…

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What Are You Afraid Of?

by Luke Landes

CNN Money has an extensive feature on how general consensus is wrong again. The articles look at the biggest money fears, how they may be unreasonable, and what should worry the public instead. Here are the first three from the series. The remaining three appear in a follow-up post here at Consuermsim Commentary. While Americans ... Continue reading this article…

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Hedge Funds in August

by Luke Landes

So the Barclay Group, which monitors hedge funds states that hedge fund investments gained 1.01 percent in August while the stock market fell 1.5 percent. While the 1.5 percent drop is before fees, there is no information regarding the net return of the hedge funds. Considering the high fees involved, the real returns may be ... Continue reading this article…

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ShareBuilder $50 Promotion Updated

by Luke Landes

Click here for the latest Sharebuilder promotion, a $50 bonus. I have been participating in ShareBuilder’s $50 bonus promotion which offers the free cash to those who open a new account online with a certain coupon code. Originally, I funded the account with $50 from my checking account and invested in $46 worth of IYZ, ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing After Katrina

by Luke Landes

Here are some articles that touch on how to concentrate investments post-Katrina. Jim Jubak says stay away from sectors that will take a strong hit due to rising energy and commodity prices in addition to retailers that rely on low-income consumers. Instead, head towards companies that stand to gain the economic shift that Katrina has ... Continue reading this article…

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Scottrade Experience Thus Far

by Luke Landes

A few weeks ago, Richard asked: I have been having an “issue” with Schwab over their $45 inactivity fee & $95 termination fee. Next week I shift over to Scottrade. How is Scottrade treating you? Do they allow dividend reimbursement of stocks in your portfolio? (I heard they once did not.) I am looking forward ... Continue reading this article…

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Sweep Account Interest Rates

by Luke Landes

Any investment account at a brokerage usually has an associated cash account in which proceeds from sales and dividends are deposited, usually in the form of a money market fund. According to this free Wall Street Journal article, investment banks are purposely moving investors’ cash funds into accounts that earn less than typical money market ... Continue reading this article…

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