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Investing

Traditional vs. Roth IRA: An Introduction and Comparison

by Luke Landes

The Individual Retirement Account (IRA) allows anyone who earns income the opportunity to save for retirement, regardless of the plans offered by his or her employer. An IRA is not an investment in itself, it’s an account type. Within the IRA, you can keep your money for the future in money market funds, CDs, stocks, ... Continue reading this article…

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Some Money Market Funds are Insured

by Luke Landes

Through December 31, 2009, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insures bank deposit accounts up to $250,000, with the limits returning to $100,000 after that. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit. There are a few nuances to this coverage, so ensure you know the full details of FDIC ... Continue reading this article…

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My First Stock Purchase

by Smithee

So, I got this credit card that deposits 2 percent cash back into a brokerage account. I started using it for all my daily purchases, paying off the statement balance each month. At the end of January, my points on the card were redeemed for the first time, and a few impatient days later, I had ... Continue reading this article…

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The Paradox of “Buy Low, Sell High”

by Luke Landes

If everyone could “buy low and sell high” when making investment decisions, everyone would be a successful investor. I would never give this advice to anyone. First, it is obvious to anyone who understands basic arithmetic. If you want to make money, you have to sell something for more than you paid for it. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Is “Buy and Hold” Still a Good Investing Strategy?

by Luke Landes

From the time I started investing for the long term, almost all the advice I’ve read has pointed towards buying stocks (usually in the form of index mutual funds) and holding them for decades, rather than following trends in the news and trying to buy and sell stocks frequently. The reasons for this strategy were ... Continue reading this article…

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ETFs or Index Funds: Which are Right for You?

by Luke Landes

About the author: This guest article is presented by ABCs of Investing, a new website for novice investors which offers two short and simple investing posts each week. Feel free to subscribe the the RSS feed. With last year’s market meltdown affecting both managed mutual funds as well as their low-cost counterparts index funds and ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing Ethically

by Smithee

Last year we wrote an article about Ethical Consumerism, the practice of spending your money on businesses who support your ideas of a healthy community and environment. In addition to where you spend your money, you can also put a lot of thought into which investment vehicles agree with your personal ethics. This is something ... Continue reading this article…

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What Do I Know About Investing?

by Smithee

Flexo has often touted the benefits of using a real credit card (as opposed to a debit card) for daily spending, and paying off the balance each month. I guess this finally permeated my skull, since as soon as I saw the news about a credit card that deposits 2 percent cash back into a brokerage ... Continue reading this article…

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Your TARP Money Put to Good Use

by Luke Landes

About the author: Jeff Rose is an Illinois Certified Financial Planner™ and co-founder of Alliance Investment Planning Group. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, having served in the National Guard. Warning: For those of you that have been laid off recently, received a pay cut due to the recent economic crisis or frustrated ... Continue reading this article…

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Should Investors Who Profited From Madoff Scheme Return Their Money?

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary readers: Please complete this readership survey for a chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card! It may be true that everyone who invested with Bernard Madoff without knowing the extent of his scheme was a victim, but some investors have profited from Madoff’s plan. For example, assume an investor gave $1 million ... Continue reading this article…

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2009 Economic Outlook from Jeremy Siegel

by Luke Landes

Jeremy Siegel, author of The Future for Investors and Stocks for the Long Run believes that the economic recovery will be faster than expected this year. Siegel has been criticized in the past for being overly optimistic, but he may be right considering stocks don’t have to perform well this year to improve over 2008. ... Continue reading this article…

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When to Begin Investing for a Child’s Education

by Luke Landes

I do not have any children. I am, however, planning to have children at some point in the future. It is part of my long-term vision for my life, despite endless stories from co-workers who seem to have such a difficult time with their own. (These stories are always followed by a confession that they ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Your Special Investment a Ponzi Scheme?

by Luke Landes

Here is how a Ponzi scheme works. The individual running the scheme promises abnormally high returns over a short period of time to the initial investors. These investors provide the start-up capital, and the schemer will do whatever he likes with that money, either invest it, spend it, or let it sit in a bank. ... Continue reading this article…

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Coworkers Excited About Investing

by Luke Landes

In the sea of cubicles in my office, two of my coworkers were talking yesterday about their investments. As stocks — primarily our company stock — have increased a little from their recent lows, they seem to believe that this might be a good time to increase 401(k) contributions and enroll in the company stock ... Continue reading this article…

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Lessons Learned From Losing a Quarter Million Dollars

by Luke Landes

About the author: This guest article is presented by Debtkid, who recently begun working part-time for LendingClub. He regularly writes at Debtkid about his journey to become debt free. A few years back, I was playing poker at a bachelor party. There were about 12 guys there, and the pot was around $100. During the ... Continue reading this article…

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When Your Company Stops Matching Your 401(k) Contribution

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, GM announced that it would be suspending the company’s matching contributions into its employees’ 401(k) retirement plans starting November 1 and lasting until financial conditions improve. For people like me who make their living working for a corporation, the 401(k) match is practically expected. One way to look at the company match, if dollar ... Continue reading this article…

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My Recent Experiences With Buying the Market on Dips

by Luke Landes

Last week, I suggested considering tax-exempt money market funds as an alternative to high-yield savings accounts. As an example, I looked at one of the best options for me, the Vanguard New Jersey Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund (VNJXX), citing its 4.83 percent 7-day yield. Today, a week later, the yield is already down more than 100 ... Continue reading this article…

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Changing Your 401(k) in a Treacherous Market

by Luke Landes

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, a measurement of the stock market at large, ended below 10,000 yesterday. That’s the lowest closing since 2004 and it’s quite a drastic change from a year ago, when the market closed above 14,000, the highest watermark for the Dow. It’s tempting to just stick my head in the sand. ... Continue reading this article…

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Considering Tax-Exempt Money Market Funds

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I mentioned I invested in the stock market at a low with money marked for an intermediate time horizon. I didn’t get the price I wanted, however. I initiated the $3,000 investment in VTSMX, the index fund following the total stock market, on Monday night following the stock market’s sharp decline. ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Put Your Money in an Investment Earning 0%?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday I mentioned that the U.S. Treasury was able to raise $40 billion in a one-day auction of 35-day Treasury bills. When you bid for these investments, you could either compete with others by offering to invest at the lowest interest rate you’re willing to accept or bid “non-competitively,” accepting whatever the Treasury Department determines ... Continue reading this article…

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