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Stocks: Better Than a Gift Card?

Your dad loves to roam the electronics section at Costco (COST). Your mom raves about T.J. Maxx (TJX). Rather than buying them gifts from those stores, give a share in the company itself. It’s easy to buy a single stock online. And even if the...

Bonds. Italian Bonds. And Why The World is Watching Them.

From left: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti These days, the ongoing European debt crisis has more twists and turns than a plate of spaghetti. Several countries—Ireland,...

The Greek Crisis Unfolds

Police and protesters clash in Athens. Photo:AP   Confused about what’s going on with Greece? You’re not alone. “It’s currently one of the most complicated subjects in the world,” says global equity strategist Alec Young of Standard & Poor’s...

The Scariest Investing Terms

Gather ‘round dear AssetClass readers. Today, in honor of Halloween, we have a tutorial in terror. Here are a few spine-tingling terms that investors should watch out for: Zombie Stocks These are shares that have been left for dead, but they...

Should You Buy Stock in Your Most-Loved Brands?

“Buy what you know.” You’ve probably heard this bit of folksy, feel-good advice about stock picking. It’s often attributed to investing legend Peter Lynch, who from 1977 to 1990 managed Fidelity Investment’s Magellan Fund (FMAGX), which earned an...

ETF vs. Mutual Fund Showdown

Cats vs. dogs. Waxing vs. shaving. Clooney vs. Pitt. In the grand battles of personal preferences, what about mutual funds vs. exchange-traded funds (ETFs)? (Yes, we’d also rather talk Clooney and Pitt, but, hey, this is an investing column.) At...

What Does it Mean to “Short” a Stock?

When watching a sports game, would you bet on who’s going to lose? That’s essentially what “short-sellers” do: they bet that a stock, sector or broader benchmark will fall in price. (“Long investors” bet that prices will rise.) Here’s a simplified...

Change Your Benefits Plan and Save

It’s open enrollment season again—the annual window where you can sign up for (or adjust) your employee benefits. The ultimate benefit to you, of course, is the money you can save. To make sure you understand and maximize your package, check out...

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