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Investing

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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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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