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Investing

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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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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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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The Trouble With Target Date Funds

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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Should Target Date Funds Be Standardized?

by Luke Landes

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is setting up a new division to oversee new financial products, and this group is starting with target date funds. These are mutual funds usually taking the form of baskets of other mutual funds, designed to target a certain year of retirement. As the year approaches, the fund automatically ... Continue reading this article…

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$50 Bonus for New Prosper Lenders

by Luke Landes

Peer-to-peer lending institution Prosper is offering a $50 bonus for new lenders who sign up for for the service and bid on two loans. Peer-to-peer lending is an interesting way for people to qualify for loans and to lend money to others. In an economy where savings account interest rates are under 3 percent or 2 percent, ... Continue reading this article…

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How is Your 401(k) Retirement Account Performing?

by Luke Landes

I’ve been investing in a 401(k) retirement account since I joined the ranks of the corporate employed seven years ago. I started with a small percentage of my income, just enough to take advantage of the full company match. As my income increased, I diverted a larger percentage to the 401(k) with the hopes of ... Continue reading this article…

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Three Detailed Income Strategies for Retirement

by Luke Landes

Earlier this week, I reviewed common financial rules of thumb and offered a quick evaluation of how each rule would likely perform if accepted by an individual as the final word. One of these was the rule that convinces retirees they will be financially secure if they withdraw 4 percent of their nest egg for income ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Reasons to Take Another Look at DRIPs

by Clare

This is a guest article written by Clare, the founder of MoneyEnergy, where she writes about international dividend investing, DRIPs, and increasing your cashflow. If you like this post, consider subscribing to her RSS feed to get others like it in your reader. DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plans) were fairly popular back in the 1980s I ... Continue reading this article…

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Roth IRA Conversion

by Luke Landes

The option to convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA has been around for a while. Here are the differences between a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA for those new to these retirement accounts. As long as your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is under $100,000 you have qualified for this conversion. Contributions ... Continue reading this article…

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Kiplinger’s Best 529 College Savings Plans

by Luke Landes

Although I do not have children, I am considering starting to save for college. With the cost of tuition rising well above levels of inflation, the sooner I get started, even before any children exist, the higher the chance my child or children will be able to go to school without an insurmountable pile of ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee’s First Stock Sale

by Smithee

Well, I sold my first stock. I agonized over when would be the right time, but then I just pulled the trigger, anyway. Earlier this year, I started using the “free money” I was getting from this credit card to buy some stocks. In March, we paid our tax bill of over $3,300 using that ... Continue reading this article…

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How Much of Your Portfolio Should Be in Stocks When You Enter Retirement?

by Luke Landes

March 9, 2009 was a bad day to retire. On that day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its bottom of 6,547, a low not seen since 1997. If you followed mass-market retirement investing advice, you may have entered retirement with a portfolio 100 percent invested in a stock market index, like the S&P 500, whose ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Finance Advice: One Size Does Not Fit All

by Luke Landes

It is human nature to search for Truths that describe the world we live in. This is one reason why personal finance gurus are so popular amongst a group of individuals that listens. Many of the more popular authors, seminar leaders, and cult favorites stick by their mantras, Grand Unifying Theories, such as “credit cards ... Continue reading this article…

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Compare Your Company’s 401(k) Retirement Plan

by Luke Landes

While researching companies for possible career moves — an occasional hobby of mine before all of my extracurricular time was spent working on Consumerism Commentary — it has been difficult to find reliable information about one of the biggest benefits companies can offer, the 401(k) retirement plan. As an outsider to the company, you cannot ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Timing: You’re Doing it Wrong

by Luke Landes

A recent question-and-answer article from Money Magazine illustrates the problem with timing the market. While making money in the stock market is as “simple” as buying low and selling high, emotional reactions to the market often prevent that from being a feasible strategy. The question comes from an individual close to retirement, Heidi. She lost ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: How Can My Money Earn More for Me?

by Luke Landes

A reader and friend is looking for some basic financial advice. It just so happens that April is National Financial Literacy Month, so the timing is perfect because I am in a sharing mood. I get to share his situation and my suggestions with Consumerism Commentary readers, and readers have the option of offering their ... Continue reading this article…

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Has the Economic Collapse Changed the Rules of Investing?

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine published an article with the “7 new rules of financial security,” claiming that the recent economic collapse has changed the fundamentals that investors have relied upon for decades. The simultaneous meltdown of the stock, housing and credit markets resulted in a world in which investors must adjust their assumptions in order to succeed. ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Qualify for Vanguard Admiral Shares

by Luke Landes

Note: Vanguard has recently changed the qualification requirements for Admiral shares. Most index funds now require only a $10,000 balance while most managed funds require only $50,000. Both required minimums are down from $100,000 previously. Whether right or wrong, having more money opens more doors and opportunities. Just look at the way casino hotels operate. ... Continue reading this article…

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Three of the Largest Closed Hedge Funds are “Madoff Feeder Funds”

by Luke Landes

Last year, hundreds of hedge funds, special mutual funds generally open to wealthy investors which specialize in alternative investments like derivatives, shut down due to the economic crisis. Three of the ten largest hedge funds to close were funds that invested exclusively or almost exclusively in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, leaving investors with nothing. While ... Continue reading this article…

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