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Investing

Beat the Market By Lying

by Luke Landes
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Selling newsletters offering stock-picking advice is a big business. This is how sites like The Motley Fool survive, and it’s also a big draw for products carrying Jim Cramer’s name. You may remember Jim Cramer from such CNBC entertainment broadcasts as “Mad Money.” This is a fun show where Jim runs around, punches in sound ... Continue reading this article…

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Are You Shunning the Stock Market?

by Luke Landes
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Have you given up on the stock market like a large portion of Americans? I’m getting ready to dive in. According to a survey by a large financial company, 58 percent of Americans have lost faith in the stock market and 44 percent believe they will never invest in the stock market again. While the first question ... Continue reading this article…

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AIG IPO: Opportunity Missed or Crisis Averted?

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I received an email from E-TRADE that my brokerage account there qualified me to participate in AIG’s latest public offering. The government is beginning to sell its stake in the company, and this would be a unique opportunity to purchase stock not usually available to most people. IPOs have a history ... Continue reading this article…

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S&P 500 Return Beats Super-Rich Investors in 2010

by Luke Landes

The year 2010 was an anomaly. Usually, the members of the Institute for Private Investors, a country-club type of investment group that only welcomes you if you have $30 million in investable assets, beats the S&P 500 benchmark in terms of average annual returns. Looking at the latest ten-year average return, that’s what we see. ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Buy Precious Metals Including Gold and Silver

by Luke Landes
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There are two main reasons to head towards precious metals as a major investment. One reason one might significantly invest in metals is the belief that the value of gold and silver will increase more than other types of investments like stocks and bonds, or that the investment in metals will provide a certain type ... Continue reading this article…

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To Diversify Or Not To Diversify

by Luke Landes
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That is the question. For most small-time investors, diversification is necessary. Index funds offer diversification across a type of investment, and with a strategy like this, you can be sure you’re avoiding investment management who, on a whole, perform worse than the indexes. Diversification through index funds allows investors to spread small amounts of money ... Continue reading this article…

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Dollar-Cost Averaging Vs. Lump Sum Investing

by Luke Landes

It’s widely popular in the financial media to encourage the strategy of dollar-cost averaging (DCA) when investing. It’s a simple strategy that calls for investing the same dollar amount at regular intervals. When you assume that stocks or other investments at lower prices are bargains, dollar-cost averaging allows you to buy more of an investment ... Continue reading this article…

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TradeKing Review

by Luke Landes

Launched towards the end of 2005, TradeKing is a relatively young discount brokerage when compared to many of their competitors. TradeKing, more than any other brokerage, is more in tune with today’s social networking and social media trend. This online trading network is somewhat of a forum just for investors, where they can connect with ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: 401(k) Rollover

by Luke Landes

A few months ago, I initiated the process to roll over my pension to an IRA at Vanguard. Leaving my job early, but after having worked at the company long enough to be vested in my pension, I chose to receive a lump sum of my accrued pension, about $18,000, rather a lifetime annuity of ... Continue reading this article…

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The Good Side of Stocks’ Lost Decade

by Rob Bennett

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. Most view the ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Track Gold and Silver Bullion in Quicken

by Luke Landes
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Despite the convenience of Mint.com for tracking personal finances, it’s not flexible and in-depth for my needs. I’ve stuck with Quicken as a desktop program for many years. It’s unlikely I’ll move my data to the “cloud” until Mint.com or a similar service provides all the functions included in Quicken. Even the desktop version of ... Continue reading this article…

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Are We in the Next Tech Bubble?

by Luke Landes

Paul La Monica shares my concern that today’s market is reminiscent of the dot-com bubble of 1999. The bubble, if it exists, would be evident in higher than expected valuations for private companies like Facebook ($75 billion) and Groupon ($25 billion), not to mention Huffington Post’s recent sale to AOL for $315 million. In his ... Continue reading this article…

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Charles Schwab Acquiring OptionsXpress

by Luke Landes

I’m not surprised that smaller trading firms attract the attention of the larger brokerages and banks. ING Direct acquired ShareBuilder (see my ShareBuilder review) in 2007. Today, OptionsXpress (see my OptionsXpress review) has announced that it will be acquired by Charles Schwab for $1 billion. OptionsXpress is one of the best discount brokerages, offering low ... Continue reading this article…

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Are Stocks Too Risky?

by Luke Landes
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When it comes to investing for the future, there appears to be an interesting dichotomy. The typical financial advice marketed to the middle class — upper and lower — calls for long-term growth through investing in the stock market. The typical sales pitch — and I use “sales pitch” as a general term, not necessarily ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One ShareBuilder Review

by Luke Landes

I’m not a frequent trader. With my long-term view of investing, looking at stocks every day and executing costly trades does not make sense for my approach to my own finances. My strategy does not involve trading stocks or ETFs, timing the market in search of better returns. That being said, once in a while, ... Continue reading this article…

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Saving Face for Buy-and-Hold Investing

by Luke Landes

Two years ago, Michael Brush from MSN said, like many other financial columnists, that the buy-and-hold investment strategy, or the long-term efficacy of that approach, is a lie. This echoed a lot of the prevailing popular thinking at the time. The stock market was at an all-time low. People who believed in buy-and-hold investing, which ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Buying Low and Selling High is Impossible

by Luke Landes

One of the investing pitfalls I’m trying to avoid is buying when the market is high and selling when it is low. That’s a certain way to lose money during any economic environment. The best solution, other than investing what you can, when you can, regardless of the state of the market, is to move ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: Rolling Over My Pension

by Luke Landes

In a country where large employers are offering fewer defined benefit plans, like pensions, and more defined contribution plans, like 401(k)s, it’s surprising I have a pension. A little more than a month after quitting my day job, I received a notification from my former employer that I was eligible to begin receiving payments from ... Continue reading this article…

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Opening an Individual 401(k) at Vanguard

by Luke Landes

Now that I’m not working for an employer other than myself, I no longer have the benefit of investing part of my salary in a company-managed 401(k), and I also no longer have the benefit of the employer-matched contribution. I’ll miss the 100 percent return on the first 4 percent of my pay. Before leaving my day ... Continue reading this article…

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Jeremy Siegel’s Economic Outlook for 2011

by Luke Landes

Jeremy Siegel, the author of Stocks for the Long Run, was correct with his prediction for the stock market comeback in 2009. Looking back, it may be easy to say that was an easier prediction due to the low starting point that year, but many experts thought the stock market had further to dive. This ... Continue reading this article…

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