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Investing

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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OptionsXpress Review and $100 Cash Bonus

by Luke Landes

Although OptionsXpress is a discount broker that focuses on trading options and other derivatives, this discount broker is also worth a look for the more traditional trading of stocks and ETFs as well as investing in an IRA for little or no fees. Right now, the discount broker is working to attract new customers. For ... Continue reading this article…

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50 Cent Plugs Stock to 3.8 Million Followers on Twitter, Stock Soars

by Luke Landes
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Here’s a fun experiment. You don’t need many materials, just a little bit of work. Here are the steps: Create a huge following on Twitter. Put your money into a little-known stock with low trading value. Write several messages on Twitter to almost 4 million followers about how good the investment is. Watch the valuation ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Buy Facebook Shares Now

by Luke Landes
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Update: As of May 2012, Facebook is trading publicly. You can purchase Facebook shares like any other stock trading on NASDAQ, using a discount brokerage or a full-service broker. I mentioned recently that although Goldman Sachs appears to be trying to come up with a plan to skirt the regulations set forth by the Securities ... Continue reading this article…

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Kids Play in the Stock Market, Adults Go Elsewhere

by Luke Landes
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Financial planners love to give examples about a hypothetical investor who placed $2,000 in the stock market every year since he was eighteen years old in 1950 and retired rich thanks to the stock market’s returns. They talk about the power of compound interest and getting rich slowly, investing in low-cost index mutual funds. There’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Life After Salary: Saving for Retirement

by Luke Landes
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One of the benefits of earning income outside of a day job while not significantly increasing my expenses has been the ability to fully invest in a 401(k) plan. Assuming one can trust the chances of the stock market (and the financial industry) to produce impressive results over the long term, the 401(k) is the ... Continue reading this article…

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The Motley Fool Now Offering Mutual Funds

by Luke Landes

Don’t forget Consumerism Commentary is matching charitable contributions. Consumerism Commentary readers have donated $2,100 as of this morning, resulting in a total of $4,200 designated for charity including our matching contribution. Sign up and get your donation matched before December 11! About a decade ago, I first learned about no-load index mutual funds and, after ... Continue reading this article…

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Invest in Individual Stocks or Mutual Funds?

by Luke Landes

This is a guest article by Barbara Friedberg, editor-in-chief of Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance. Barbara holds an MBA in finance, a BS in economics, and an MS in counseling. In addition to writing, Barbara is a portfolio manager and a professor. “The business schools reward difficult complex behavior more than simple behavior, but simple behavior ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Opinion: Will You Buy GM Stock or Cars?

by Luke Landes

In April, I noted that General Motors repaid taxpayers for the company’s government-initiated bailout loans in full. There has been quite a discussion about this repayment, but the main points are that the loans accounted only for a small portion of the bailout, and one could consider that the loan repayment was possible only due ... Continue reading this article…

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Honda and Toyota Recalling 1,200,000 Vehicles

by Luke Landes

Honda just announced a major car recall due to faulty brake systems. The company is concerned that owners using brands of brake fluid other than Honda’s own may experience problems resulting in a fluid leak, degrading the brake system’s performance. This affects 470,000 Odysseys and Acura RLs, made from 2005 to 2007. A few days ... Continue reading this article…

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Brokers Are Salespeople, Share Your Story

by Luke Landes

Everyone has a responsibility to oneself and one’s family, first and foremost. It’s hard to blame brokers or anyone else who sells financial products to investors. The choices they make are designed to ensure their well-being, so when they convince an investor to direct money into a product, anyone who is interested in building his ... Continue reading this article…

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Convert to Vanguard Admiral Shares Now

by Luke Landes

Last week, Vanguard decided to offer its lower-cost, more exclusive Admiral Class of fund shares to more investors. For most Vanguard index funds, any customer with a balance of at least $10,000 can convert their investment from the standard Investor shares to Admiral shares. Most managed funds require a $50,000 minimum to qualify. Previously, investors ... Continue reading this article…

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Sue Your Broker When Your Investments Lose Value

by Luke Landes

I know Larry Hagman from watching re-runs of I Dream of Jeannie, but he’s apparently better known as the answer to the question, “Who played J.R.?”. Hagman’s now in the news, not because his next movie is in production, but because he has won $1.1 million plus legal fees in a suit against Citigroup. That’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Buying Gold: ETFs and Bullion

by Luke Landes

Over the past few weeks, the price of gold (expressed in dollars) has increased to all-time highs. This is true if you don’t adjust historical prices for inflation. This and the price increase that began for the recession have fueled a surge in interest in investing in gold. Investors are looking to ride this wave. ... Continue reading this article…

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OptionsHouse Online Discount Broker Review

by Luke Landes

If you take a look at our best online discount brokers page, you’ll notice that OptionsHouse leads the way as the cheapest broker to place a trade with online. While commission structure is a motivating factor in choosing an online discount broker, it shouldn’t be the only factor. Customer service, trading tools, fees and overall ... Continue reading this article…

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The Long-Term Prospects for Stocks: Game Over?

by Luke Landes

For as long as I’ve been paying attention, which admittedly is only the last ten or so years of my total thirty-four, personal finance experts have been extolling stocks as the best long-term investments. Over long periods of time they provide more growth than any other type of investment like bonds, with an expected rate ... Continue reading this article…

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Vanguard Expands Target Date Funds to Young Investors

by Luke Landes

Do you plan to retire in 2055? For some reason, that particular year strikes me as the distant future. It’s only 45 years from now — a year today’s 20-year-olds will be checking out of the cubicle and checking into active adult communities. Perhaps it’s because it’s one century after the year Dr. Brown had ... Continue reading this article…

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TD Ameritrade In Trouble For Misleading Investors

by Luke Landes

According to the Pennsylvania Securities Commission, brokers for TD Ameritrade misled investors in 2007 in order to sell a mutual fund, taking advantage of customers looking for higher returns. A certain mutual fund, the Reserve Yield Plus Fund, was sold as a high-rate investment to investors looking for a money market fund. The brokers allegedly ... Continue reading this article…

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P/E Ratios

by Luke Landes

I’m not a skilled investor, particularly when it comes to short-term prognostication, and my long-term track record has yet to be established considering my first investing decision was less than ten years ago. I don’t invest in many individual stocks. My 401(k) includes company stock as part of my employer’s matching contribution, and I opted ... Continue reading this article…

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