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Investing

Accurate Prediction Market Intrade Shuts Down

by Luke Landes
Stop

I’ve mentioned Intrade here. Intrade, until recently, was an open prediction market. People from all over the world could place money — bet — on circumstances they expected to be true some time in the future. It was used to great effect during the recent presidential election here in the United States. Even as the ... Continue reading this article…

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Learning About Investing With the Stock Market Game

by Luke Landes
Stock Market Game

In my mind, no child is too young to learn about the basic concepts of personal finance. From using money to saving money and budgeting, youngest children learn as they watch their parents behave. These are the most important lessons because parents are the ultimate role models. Financial literacy programs that wait until high school ... Continue reading this article…

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Stock Market Reaching Highs: Time to Exit?

by Luke Landes
S&P Index from November 12

On November 12, the world was still reacting to the election of Barack Obama to a second term in the White House. The financial media began its relentless coverage of the fiscal cliff. Market confidence was down, and so were the stock market indexes, immediately following the election results. This seemed to me to be ... Continue reading this article…

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Stock Market: Time to Go All In

by Luke Landes
Donkey

I don’t advocate trying to time the market. It’s impossible to predict with any kind of consistent accuracy what the stock market will do, and the impossibility increases — regardless that the concept defies logic — as the time frame is shorter. I’m still looking at a horizon far enough in the distance that the ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Optimize Your Retirement Investing Priorities

by Luke Landes
Golf in Retirement?

The law in the United States is designed to encourage each working citizens to save for his or her own future. Through tax advantages, there are subtle incentives for investing in certain types of accounts. These incentives encourage financial literacy, boost use of the economic machine of the financial industry, and shift the burden of ... Continue reading this article…

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Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits

by Luke Landes
Retirement savings IRA

You have more time than you might think to contribute to your 2012 traditional and Roth IRAs. Rather than an end-of-year deadline, you have until you file your 2012 taxes to make that contribution. Federal taxes for 2012 will be due on April 15, 2013, so this is the deadline for establishing and contributing to ... Continue reading this article…

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Betterment Gifts: A Better Gift Registry

by Luke Landes

I introduced Betterment to readers last year as an alternative method of maintaining a brokerage account. For an annual fee of 0.15 percent to 0.35 percent of your assets invested with Betterment, the company provides a goal-focused way of investing for retirement and saving for future financial goals. The service handles asset allocation automatically based on goals, ... Continue reading this article…

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Holding Old Company Stock, Still Waiting for Recovery

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I asked if you were better off now than you were at the start of the recession. I mentioned that I considered myself in a better financial position today — overall, there wouldn’t even be an argument — but there are small details that still bother me. Not every piece of ... Continue reading this article…

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Stock Lock-Ups at Facebook Cause Falling Share Prices

by Luke Landes
Facebook

Today is the final day to vote for Consumerism Commentary and your favorite financial blogs in this year’s Plutus Awards. Take a moment — after reading this article, naturally — to show your appreciation for the best writing about money management and personal finance outside of mainstream media. Starting soon, voting will open for the ... Continue reading this article…

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Invest for the Future Without Wall Street

by Luke Landes
Future

Reminder: Time is running out to vote for Consumerism Commentary and your favorite financial blogs in this year’s Plutus Awards. Take a moment — after reading this article, naturally — to show your appreciation for the best writing about money management and personal finance outside of mainstream media. You can be forgiven if you’ve lost ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Choose Between a Traditional and Roth IRA

by Luke Landes
Gray's Sports Almanac

How are your prognostication skills? Do you have a direct connection to the spiritual world or an uncanny ability to predict the future? Someone with these skills and an individualistic drive, and perhaps an advance edition of Gray’s Sports Alamanac, could ensure the financial stability of his or her future. The rest of us without ... Continue reading this article…

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Planning to Work Into Retirement

by Luke Landes
Beach chair

In a world where employees can’t rely on long-term relationships with their employers, most of which no longer offer relatively safe retirement protection through pensions, planning for retirement, at least for the younger demographic in today’s workforce, is substandard. People do start thinking about their future as time goes by, but often, the appropriate planning ... Continue reading this article…

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Brokers Are Salespeople, Not Financial Advisers

by Luke Landes
Used car

Stockbrokers facing the general investing public, working for JP Morgan Chase, might have business cards with a title of “financial adviser,” but just like the people you meet when you walk into a car dealership, they are salespeople. They are rewarded when they meet their sales targets. Their bonuses are based on the clients they ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Ways to Convince Yourself to Increase Your Retirement Savings

by Luke Landes
Coin jar

The last few years have been nail-biting for anyone saving for retirement with investments in the stock market. The Great Recession and continued gloomy outlooks in the media have investors second-guessing their plans to save for the future. Maybe it’s better to spend more money now and avoid the Wall Street industry, which seems to ... Continue reading this article…

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Best Feature of a 401(k) Plan: Employer Contribution

by Luke Landes

A Reddit user recently posed this question to her fellow community members: Right now my fiancé and I have 2 student loans, 2 vehicle loans, small credit card debt, and a mortgage. We want to start the snowball debt payment method and want to apply a little more income to accelerate the process. My company ... Continue reading this article…

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Four Risks of Investing

by Luke Landes
Skydiving

No investment is without risk. You may feel safe even when you do what financial advisers consider the “right thing” — invest in a broad stock market index fund with a long-term view — but there is risk there as well. Unfortunately, to build wealth over time, investors need to accept a significant amount of ... Continue reading this article…

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Bill Maher Buys a Share of the New York Mets

by Luke Landes
Mr. Met

Over the weekend, political comedian Bill Maher revealed he invested in the New York Mets. As you could imagine, the polarizing figure’s investment spurred mixed reaction. Those who share his liberal views consider the investment to be solid, while those who disagree with the outspoken television show host pointed out the hypocrisy of the investment. ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing for Dividend Income: Not All That Passive

by Luke Landes
Money

Passive income is the Holy Grail of financial independence. Although modern Western society and capitalism relies on the Puritan work ethic, the idea that labor is a value to society and hard work is the path to a spiritual and successful life, most people would prefer not to trade their time and effort for an ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: Should I Invest in My Non-Matching 401(k)?

by Luke Landes

Occasionally, Consumerism Commentary readers send in questions about handling their finances. I am not a financial planner, so I have no certification claiming I’m qualified to give financial advice. I am not an investment adviser, so I certainly won’t be recommending stocks. I like the opportunity to address financial questions that other readers may be ... Continue reading this article…

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Half of All Americans Are Not Saving for Retirement

by Luke Landes
Wall Street

In April, LIMRA, a think-tank for the financial industry, completed a survey intended to focus on the savings and investment preferences of those living and working in the United States. After receiving responses from 2,697 Americans, a representative sample of the country, LIMRA was able to determine that 49 percent of the country is not ... Continue reading this article…

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