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Investing

Mets Will Pay $162 Million to Settle Madoff Suit

by Luke Landes
Jose Reyes Mets

As a Mets fan, though these days I try not admit being so, it’s bittersweet to see the organization settling its legal troubles relating to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. On the one hand, if the owners of the Mets were found guilty of ignoring the possibility of fraud, it could have spelled the end of ... Continue reading this article…

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Are Stock Gains and Losses Real?

by Rob Bennett
Dollar and calculator

This is a guest article by Rob Bennett, a personal finance journalist and author of the blog A Rich Life. Rob developed the Passion Saving approach to money management; Passion Savers save not to finance their old-age retirements but to enjoy more freedom and opportunity in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s. You naturally get ... Continue reading this article…

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Vanguard Voice Recognition for Security

by Luke Landes
Voice Pattern Waveform

After a few years of testing this new security feature, Vanguard has begun rolling out voice pattern recognition technology for security. According to the representative I spoke to today, this feature will be available for Flagship customers first, and all customers will eventually follow. Voice recognition adds another layer of security to your financial accounts, ... Continue reading this article…

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Buy-and-Hold: A Losing Strategy for the Future?

by Luke Landes
Dollars

This isn’t the first time smart professional investors have considered abandoning the buy-and-hold strategy. Most of the controversy has surfaced following the recession. I asked whether buy-and-hold was still a good investing strategy a few years ago. Investors who had been following the buy and hold strategy — forgoing active trading in favor of buying ... Continue reading this article…

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High I.Q. Scores Correlate to Better Investments

by Luke Landes
Brain

In Finland, all young men are required to spend some time in the military. Finland also has a wealth tax, requiring citizens to report their investments to the government. As a result, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, Aalto University, and the University of Chicago have discovered data worth studying. Because all military ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Invest in a Broadway Show

by Luke Landes
Broadway show

If you’re interested in theater and have money you don’t mind losing, you may consider expanding your horizons by investing in a Broadway or off-Broadway show. Be prepared to lose money, though, because according to a variety of producers, only one show in five breaks even. When a play or musical is in the planning ... Continue reading this article…

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Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio

by Jacob

This is a guest article by Jacob, creator of the personal finance blog, My Personal Finance Journey. In the article, Jacob analyzes the Permanent Portfolio, a theory presented by Harry Browne, to determine whether investing along the theory’s guidelines can help investors beat the stock market. Investors in general always seem to be on the ... Continue reading this article…

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Kodak Files for Bankruptcy

by Luke Landes
Kodak Portra

There were rumors and predictions for a while, but today it’s official. Kodak, the company that revolutionized film photography and adopted digital photography early, has declared bankruptcy. The company has been struggling since the 1980s; I’m surprised it survived this long without filing Chapter 11. That’s what the company chose to do today, with debt ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Reasons to Beware 401(k) Retirement Plans

by Luke Landes
Cubicle

Financial planners just love promoting 401(k) retirement plans. They have quite a few benefits, notably a tax deduction for contributions as well as a tax deferral for contributions and earnings. They’re also one of the most popular vehicles for introducing the working middle class to the stock market, something that might not have been accessible ... Continue reading this article…

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Schwab Creates Low-Cost 401(k) Fund Choices

by Luke Landes

I used to work for a company in the financial services industry. Another branch of the corporation I worked for is involved with institutional money management. This department manages institutional investments like company retirement plans and pensions. This is a service they provided to other companies of various types, much like Fidelity and Schwab offer ... Continue reading this article…

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My Future Investing Strategy

by Luke Landes

Last week I met with a Certified Financial Planner for the first time. This was a free service provided by Vanguard, so it was a good opportunity to speak to a professional about my specific situation. For many years, I’ve been relying on mostly generalized advice, whether from books, large communities like the Motley Fool ... Continue reading this article…

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Year End Reminder: Rebalance Your Portfolio

by Luke Landes
Balance

As the end of the year approaches, take a break from stressing about the holiday season by getting your personal finances in order. It’s a great time to finish your charitable contributions and adjust your 401(k) contribution. It’s also better to fund your IRA now than it is to wait until the April deadline. You ... Continue reading this article…

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Year End Reminder: Fund Your IRA Now

by Luke Landes

These last few weeks in December present a good time to prepare your finances for the coming year. My personal goal is to start January 1 on a good note, moving my life forward. In the grand scheme putting your finances in order takes a back seat to cleaning up your life as a whole, ... Continue reading this article…

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Year End Reminder: Change Your 401(k) Contribution Level Now

by Luke Landes
Winter Snow

At the end of the year, most people in the United States are thinking about the holidays and the potential credit card bills for gifts and family visits. One good way to control this potentially stressful month is to take some time to breathe and get your own finances in order. There are several actions ... Continue reading this article…

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Judge Rejects Citigroup Lawsuit Settlement

by Luke Landes

The Securities and Exchange Commission, an organization designed to regulate and oversee the financial industry, is charged with acting in investors’ best interests. Most of the time, however, the SEC works on behalf of the large financial companies under its purview. As a result, when consumers demand that companies be held accountable for misleading investors ... Continue reading this article…

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The $4 Million Photograph: How Do You Value Art?

by Luke Landes

Last week, a photograph by Andreas Gurksy, Rhein II, was sold at auction for $4,338,500 to an anonymous buyer. The record-breaking sale allowed Gursky to reclaim fame as the artist whose work has claimed the highest price paid for a photograph. This auction was a secondary market sale. As in most art auctions commanding high ... Continue reading this article…

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Should Hedge Funds Receive Special Treatment?

by Luke Landes

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advised the managers of super-secret hedge funds, investments of the most wealthy, that they will soon need to disclose more information to the regulators. Highly leveraged hedge funds contributed to the economic collapse, but the pressure to increase oversight has been mostly ignored by the industry. In response ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Contribution Limits for 2012

by Luke Landes

Thanks to inflation, the maximum amount of money you may contribute to your 401(k) in 2012 will change. This applies to 403(b) accounts, as well. For 2009, 2010, and 2011, the maximum you may designate to your 401(k), not including your employer’s matching contributions, was $16,500, but in 2012, this will finally increase to $17,000. ... Continue reading this article…

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Citi Settles Lawsuit for $285 Million

by Luke Landes

Without admitting any wrongdoing, Citigroup has settled a major lawsuit. The Securities and Exchange Commission claimed that Citi misled investors, and to settle the claims, the financial behemoth was ordered to pay $285 million to customers. The issue focuses on collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) in 2007. The bank packaged subprime mortgages, loans with a good ... Continue reading this article…

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Betterment Review

by Luke Landes

Betterment is a different type of brokerage. Unlike most discount brokerages whose purpose is to get customers to trade — as frequently as possible — Betterment is looking to be your asset manager. Currently, the brokerage is offering a bonus of $25 for new customers, but the way they do business is a bit different ... Continue reading this article…

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