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Investing

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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Facebook IPO Approaching: Will You Buy Shares?

by Luke Landes
Facebook

A few weeks ago, a Consumerism Commentary reader asked me on Facebook whether it would be a good idea to purchase shares of Facebook at $48 a piece. I do not give stock buying advice, but I mentioned that shares had recently been sold for $44.10 on the secondary market, so if someone were to ... Continue reading this article…

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Art Is Not a Good Investment

by Luke Landes
The Scream - Edvard Munch

A few months ago, art and money were connected in the news when Andreas Gursky’s “Rhein II,” a photograph depicting a still river and walkway, became the highest-valued photograph sold at auction. The buyer paid $4 million to walk away with the larger-than-life print. Art is in the news again today, with one of Edvard ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Basics: Investing

by Luke Landes
Money investing

April is National Financial Literacy Month in the United States. This brings attention to the lack of a financial education young people receive in this country, both from their parents and from the education system. I disagree with most people about how to solve this issue. Many call for mandatory high school courses in personal ... Continue reading this article…

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Starting a Roth IRA is a Critical Step for Financial Freedom

by Luke Landes
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5259/5437895492_b0e84aaf2b_b.jpg

I’m excited to be participating in today’s Roth IRA movement. There’s more information about this movement towards the bottom of this article. I wish someone told me about Roth IRAs when I got my first real job. I was a teenager, working in a local Radio Shack store, even though I didn’t even know what ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: Resolving a Dispute With a Brokerage

by Luke Landes

From time to time, Consumerism Commentary readers contact me with questions. I am not an investment professional or a financial planner, and I don’t offer advice related to investing other than my general thoughts on the topic. The questions I receive range from basic investing details like government-regulated limits for investment account types to how ... Continue reading this article…

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