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Investing

Is It Time to Give Up On the Stock Market?

by Luke Landes

I’ll admit I’m nervous with my investments right now. Back at the beginning of May, the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500 and other indices, dropped sharply. This was around the time of the “flash crash,” and it appeared to me that the value of my primary vehicle for investment, VTSMX, fell irrationally. ... Continue reading this article…

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Discover Bank’s IRA CDs: High Interest Rates, FDIC Guarantee

by Luke Landes

With thirty years or so until retirement, I haven’t considered investing in certificates of deposit in my retirement accounts, money I would hopefully have no need to touch for decades. Despite recent problems, the stock market is expected to provide the best returns, even with risk, over a long period of time. But not everyone ... Continue reading this article…

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Vanguard Eliminates Commissions on ETF Trades

by Luke Landes

Vanguard seems to be one of those rare companies that wants to give customers more for less. The brokerage recently eliminated transaction fees for their proprietary exchange-traded funds (ETFs). They’ve been offering no-load, no-commission mutual funds, but with mutual funds you don’t have the flexibility to buy or sell while trading is open. While I ... Continue reading this article…

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Opening an IRA With a Discount Brokerage

by Luke Landes

As a fan of index mutual funds for the long term, I’ve stuck with first TIAA-Cref and currently Vanguard for my IRAs. I started with TIAA-Cref because when I first discovered Roth IRAs, I didn’t have enough saved to qualify for Vanguard’s minimums. Both brokerages offer low-cost options for those who want to invest in ... Continue reading this article…

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The Best Way to Invest in Real Estate

by Christian

This is a guest article by Christian of Money Obedience. If you enjoy this article, please consider subscribing to the MoneyObedience RSS feed. My parents offered a very important piece of wisdom to me: Even if everybody is doing something, you do not have to do it, too. Unfortunately I usually applied this advice to ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Invest With Inflation on the Way

by Greg McFarlane

This is a guest article by Greg McFarlane, the author of Control Your Cash: Making Money Make Sense, a financial primer for people in their twenties and thirties who know nothing about money. People have feared inflation ever since… well, since the dollar’s last rampant bout of inflation in 1977. However, there’s every reason to ... Continue reading this article…

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The Wrong Reason to Dollar-Cost Average

by Pop
Dollar-cost averaging

Pop writes about the intersection of our lives and economics at Pop Economics. There, you can find biweekly posts on everything from how your behavior affects your personal finance decisions to what the Fed’s most recent move means to you — not to mention some killer pop art. He recently wrote: Resistance is futile: Why ... Continue reading this article…

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Zecco Discount Online Brokerage Account Opening Review

by Luke Landes

Zecco is a discount online brokerage offering trades for $4.50. I decided to open an account with Zecco recently to try my hand with stocks with a small amount of “fun money.” Trading stocks, not to mention options, is a risky way to manage your money, and I prefer to buy mutual funds and hold ... Continue reading this article…

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I Might Need $3,000,000 To Retire: What’s Your Number?

by Luke Landes

ING Direct‘s recent survey results about retirement are scary. I don’t know what the world is going to be like in thirty years, the time I’ll be approaching “retirement age.” I do know that if my pattern of increasing expenses doesn’t change until then, and if I’m still earning primary income by trading my time ... Continue reading this article…

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You’re Not That Great: 4 Ways to Combat Overconfidence

by Luke Landes

Overconfidence leads investors to believe they can make buying and selling decisions that would result in their performance beating the indexes. Most professional fund managers don’t beat the indexes on a consistent basis, so there is little reason to believe that amateur stock-pickers will be able to succeed where professionals have failed. Are you overconfident? ... Continue reading this article…

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Breaking an Art Sale Record With $104.3 Million for Running Man I

by Luke Landes

This past weekend, a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti broke the previous record for most expensive piece of art sold at auction. An anonymous bidder purchased “L’Homme Qui Marche I” for $104.3 million, up to five times more than the expected price. This may be a good sign for the art world in need of a ... Continue reading this article…

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Creating a Risk-Free Retirement Plan

by Pop
Bernanke

Or, how to invest like a grandmother. This is a guest article by Pop. Pop writes about the intersection of behavior, economics, and personal finance at Pop Economics. He writes about investing for a living and turns famous economics figures into pop art for fun. I’m young, as I bet a whole bunch of you ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing During Four Asset Bubbles: Don’t Blow It

by Luke Landes

Earlier this month, I stopped my automatic monthly investment of $1,000 in the stock market through Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX), and it’s possible that this will prove to be a good decision. Shawn Tully from Fortune Magazine identifies four current asset bubbles that all investors should heed, and one of these bubbles ... Continue reading this article…

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More Toyota Cars Recalled: Time to Buy Shares of TM?

by Luke Landes

Another day, another recall. Normally, automobile recalls are not much of a problem. A recall usually involves bringing your car to a dealership, subjecting yourself up to some sales pitches, getting your car fixed, and driving home. Toyota’s recent string of recalls is more complicated because some of the problems do not have solutions yet. ... Continue reading this article…

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Between a Rock and a Hard Debt

by Smithee

Well, I didn’t want to have to make this decision, and I know that all of you smart people will think I’m making a mistake, but I’ve decided for the time being to stop making pre-tax investments into the 401(k)-like thing that my company operates. Over the last year I’ve directed $1,879.18 out of my ... Continue reading this article…

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Start the Decade Off Right: Invest For the Future

by Luke Landes

With new technology becoming available to consumers every day, like 3-D high-definition televisions, it certainly feels like I’m living in the future. How did we all survive without such marvels as wireless internet, video games that react to movement, GPS, text messaging, and video on demand? In ten years, we could as easily be wondering ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Contribution Limits For 2010

by Luke Landes

In 2010, the basic maximum for 401(k) contributions is $16,500. Employees 50 and older can add an additional $5,500. These limits take your pre-tax, after-tax, and Roth 401(k) contributions into consideration, so the sum of all your 401(k) contributions in 2010 cannot exceed the limit for your age group. This limit is the same as ... Continue reading this article…

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Are Values-Based and Socially-Responsible Investments Worthwhile?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, FaithShares added two new exchange-traded funds to their lineup, already consisting of funds called “Catholic Values,” “Christian Values,” and “Methodist Values.” These and the two new funds, “Baptist Values” and “Lutheran Values,” focus on investing in only those companies that live up to the values encouraged by each of these communities. It is more ... Continue reading this article…

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Ben Stein Offers Four Lessons From the Recession

by Luke Landes

The United States must be approaching the end of the recession when economists begin offering their retrospectives. Even if the data are pointing to an end to the recession, in technical terms, the economy is a long way from recovery. Just look around at the people out of work. Even those who have maintained their ... Continue reading this article…

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2010 Roth Conversion: Good Idea?

by J.J.

Over the next couple of weeks, six finalists will be auditioning for the opening of “staff writer” at Consumerism Commentary. Each will be providing two guest articles to share with readers. After the six writers have shared their guest articles, readers will have an opportunity to provide feedback before we select the staff writer. This ... Continue reading this article…

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