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Investing

Wachovia Fees Going Up Again

by Luke Landes

Last September, I posted about Wachovia adding a $50 annual fee to its individual investor discount brokerage account. I was disappointed I couldn’t get it waived, so I decided that I would transfer my funds out in 2005 before getting charged another annual fee in September. The account termination fee was $75, so I’d be ... Continue reading this article…

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More on 401(k) Borrowing

by Luke Landes

Following up on the topic of 401(k) loans, which was discussed here, there is a new article on CNN Money by Walter Updegrave. This article compares a scenario for two options: borrowing $40,000 through a 401(k) loan and borrowing the same amount through a home equity line of credit. Assuming the two options are available ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing Scams

by Luke Landes

CNN Money is running a story about the most popular investment scams. Similar stories are being run on MSN Money and Bankrate as well. In fact, the story is everywhere. Here are the top ten scams, as measured by the North American Securities Administrators Association. The links below provide more information on each of these ... Continue reading this article…

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The Future for Investors

by Luke Landes

I’m not looking to make a quick million through my investments. Sure, it would be nice, but I have realistic expectations. If you’re investing for the long term like I am, you might want to read this interview with Jeremy Siegel. He has some interesting insights about what investment strategy has performed the best in ... Continue reading this article…

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Stock Market Down

by Luke Landes

The Nasdaq composite sank to a new low for the year Friday and stocks lost ground for the second straight week as investors dealt with rising oil prices and long-term interest rates. (From CNN Money.) To me this says Keep On Investing. I’m in it for the long haul. My investments are all long-term, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Magazine

by Luke Landes

Have you perused the first issue of the reformulated Money Magazine? I had a chance to do so this morning. It’s been a while since I have read a magazine. The full page ads were nostalgic; they brought me back to the time I read Sports Illustrated as a young teenager. I remember convincing my ... Continue reading this article…

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My Investments

by Luke Landes

In the interest of full disclosure, I might as well give you a a peek into the investing side of my net worth. Roth IRA Invested in the TIAA-Cref Equity Index [TCEIX], directly with TIAA-Cref. The fund invests in the stocks listed in the Russell 3000 Index. It has a low expense ratio of 0.26 percent, ... Continue reading this article…

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Buffett Says

by Luke Landes

When Warren Buffett speaks, it would do investors well to heed his advice. In his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, he offers this advice: Be un-American. By this he means that the way to great returns is to go against the trends while investing in index funds. If Wall Street is fearful, be greedy. ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Diversification

by Luke Landes

Does your company offer diversified options for employees’ 401(k)s? Even after the bubble burst several years ago and many people were burned, many companies haven’t created possibilities for diversification in retirement plans. In many cases where the companies do offer a wide variety of funds, employees have not chosen to configure their accounts to allow ... Continue reading this article…

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Every Other Friday

by Luke Landes

Every other Friday, I try to will the stock market down. Most of my investing is done on pay day. My 401(k) funds are invested at the same time I get paid, and naturally I want to invest at the best price possible. So on that day, I try to channel some of my brain ... Continue reading this article…

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Made a 401(k) Contribution Change

by Luke Landes

I changed the contribution rate to my 401(k) today. Previously 12 percent of my pretax income was being diverted to the 401(k) despite only 4 percent of my income being matched by the employer. I reduced the rate from 12 percent to 4 percent so I could still get the complete company match while allowing me more cash. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Another Option for Your 401(k)

by Luke Landes

You’ve heard of the Roth IRA, but you may not have heard of the Roth 401(k). This is a new twist to the employer-sponsored retirement account that will be going into effect on January 1, 2006. Your total 401(k) contribution limits won’t change, but like the Roth IRA, the money you contribute to the Roth ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Asset Allocation

by Luke Landes

The chart that follows is my 401(k) asset allocation. I’m striving for an aggressive approach to investing for retirement since I theoretically have many years before I would be able to stop working. The company suggests a slightly different allocation for an aggressive portfolio: 25 percent small/mid cap instead of my 30 percent, 65 percent large cap instead ... Continue reading this article…

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2004 Investment Performance

by Luke Landes

According to my Microsoft Money 2004 report, my investments did well in 2004. My 401(k) produced a 23.9 percent return over the year, not accounting for my employer match, just the change in fund values. My Roth IRA delivered a 17.2 percent return. I have a regular investment account that provided me with a less impressive 6.8 percent ... Continue reading this article…

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My 401(k) Contributions

by Luke Landes

Currently, I am contributing 12 percent of my gross salary to my 401(k). In thinking about my finances for the upcoming year, I’d like to reduce that to 6 percent or 8 percent. There is a strain on the amount of available cash at any moment. Unfortuantely, I am a designated person in my company, according to government ... Continue reading this article…

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Delayed Deposits Cost Account Holders

by Luke Landes

Jonathan Burton of CBS MarketWatch has pointed out that millions of dollars are lost by employees when their employer holds onto 401(k) funds after they are deducted from the paycheck. It works like this. On Friday, January 1, you receive your paycheck. 12 percent of your paycheck has been deducted before taxes and put aside. According ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Exploitation

by Luke Landes

Robert Powell has written an article entitled, Seven ways to fully exploit your 401(k), and it appears on CBS MarketWatch. In it, he does what the title suggests and gives the reader seven important things to remember when planning for retirement. Here they are, with infamous Flexo commentary. Enroll now. I have a friend of ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing While In Debt

by Luke Landes

An article by Dayana Yochim at The Motley Fool gives the reader license to invest in the market while in debt — as long as the debt is good debt and not bad. Even if the debt is bad debt (credit cards), she suggests investing what you can while keeping to a plan to get ... Continue reading this article…

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More Millionaires This Year

by Luke Landes

There are more millionaire households in 2004 than ever, and they have increased in number at a record rate year-over-year. The latest research shows that the number of millionaires has increased 33 percent this past year to a total of 8.2 million U.S. households. Most of the people surveyed said that it was not real estate ... Continue reading this article…

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Better Than The Bare Minimum

by Luke Landes

The Lazy Man’s Guide to Retirement (from CNN Money) lists five easy steps for those who don’t want to expend energy and still be able to retire. Here are the five steps: Think about how you want to live when you retire Take advantage of your 401(k) or a similar investment account Use automatic contributions ... Continue reading this article…

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