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As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Investing

Should You Sell When the Stock Market Tumbles?

by Luke Landes
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Although stocks are opening higher this morning, yesterday brought more devastation to the stock market. Stocks are now down 13 percent over the past week and down 11 percent for the year. This is bad news for stock investors, with the worst short-term performance since the market crashed at the beginning of the recession. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Take Out a Loan From Your 401(k)

by Luke Landes

As a very last resort, employees with active 401(k) retirement accounts have an option to take out a loan against their future. Borrowing money is never a good position to be in, but if you’re borrowing money from yourself, you ease the pain. 401(k) plans permit borrowing at interest, and paying interest to yourself can ... Continue reading this article…

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Despite Big Valuations, There is No Tech Bubble

by Luke Landes

I’ve always been a fan of Marc Andreessen. By the time the World Wide Web came into its own, I had already been a long-time user of and creator on the Internet. Marc’s Mosaic changed the way in which the Internet was viewed. It was fascinating, and I had to be a part of it. ... Continue reading this article…

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Investor Performance Won’t Match Advertised Returns

by Luke Landes

Mutual funds use annual returns as advertisements to attract investors. Investors are customers for managed mutual funds, and the better the annual returns, the more likely the fund will be to attract investors. Track the actual investor performance for someone who invests in a mutual fund, it often diverges greatly from the advertised performance. This ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Financial Independence Days Sale

by Luke Landes
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Online bank ING Direct is offering some goodies in July in time for Independence Day. July 4 is a bank holiday in the United States, so this sale starts early. July 1 and July 2 are the only days this sale will be available, so this offer is only around for a very limited time. ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: I Am Selling 18 Months of Company Stock Today

by Luke Landes

My former employer has a generous company stock purchase plan for employees. Each quarter, the company offers the opportunity to buy stock at a discount of 15 percent off the share price at the close of the first day of the quarter or the last day of the quarter, which ever is lower. When I ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: Invest $100,000 or Pay Off Mortgage

by Luke Landes

To someone with debt, receiving an inheritance can feel like winning the lottery. Occasionally, an heir doesn’t realize money will be coming her way and hasn’t planned for the windfall or thought about her options. Even those who do plan often realize that contemplating options for managing a potential windfall is quite different from making ... Continue reading this article…

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J.P. Morgan Misled Investors, Will Pay $153.6 Million

by Luke Landes

As the market was collapsing, J.P. Morgan Securities continue to convince clients to invest in a complicated investment made up of credit-default swaps, even though the underlying investments were selected by a hedge fund, Magnetar Capital LLC, that would benefit from seeing the investment fail. Allegedly, J.P. Morgan was knowingly selling an investment designed to ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: 401(k) Rollover Complete

by Luke Landes

In late April, I described the process for rolling over a 401(k), and last week, I finally got around to doing it myself. I quit my day job nearly six months ago, and I’m slowly unwinding all of my employer-related investments. My 401(k) was worth about $106,000 and was my largest investment account, so I ... Continue reading this article…

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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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