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Bonds vs. Bond Funds: What's the Diff?

If the recent stock market insanity has you craving more stability and you're considering adding more bonds to your portfolio, first ask yourself: bonds or bond funds? These are two different beasts. An individual bond offers certainty: usually a...

3 Must-Dos to Keep Your Money Safe

Everyone is telling you to “sit tight” regarding your retirement investments. But financial planner Galia Gichon, founder of Down-to-Earth Finance, says there are three things you should do to ease fears and feel more in control of your money:   ...

Wait to Celebrate Fiscal Feats

You know the drill: You get excited about a goal (a real vacation! new fall clothes!) and you plaster your brain with promises to save. Then you lose that kick-butt momentum and your plan falters. Are you a savings slacker? Nope, but you may be...

Lower Cost Funds Tend to Perform Better

When you're deciding where to invest your money, the natural instinct is to go for the best possible mutual funds—the ones ranked 4 or 5 stars by Morningstar. But it turns out you should pay just as much attention—maybe even a bit more—to cost....

Selling Gold? Expect Less

The scenario: Late July. Gold prices are above $1,600 an ounce. I have a brilliant idea: sell my broken gold bracelet for some easy money!The reality: At a local San Francisco jewelry store, my bracelet is weighed and tested. A calculator is...

Can Credit Cards Help Us Spend Better?

In the midst of the recession, some credit-card companies are trading in the old, carefree “life takes Visa” approach and rewarding more responsible credit use instead. Chase Blueprint is a system that can be activated with certain Chase cards....

It’s Not Just About the U.S. Anymore

Whether you’re an avid day trader or your portfolio is on set-it-and-forget-it, we have some news from the market frontlines. The days of thinking and behaving like a U.S. investor are over. Done. Sayonara. Auf wiedersehen. Why? Three words:...

Know What 'Long-Term' Means for You

As we wrote on Monday, market downturns can be good buying opportunities for long-term investors. But what is a long-term investor these days? Given that the 10-year annualized total return of the S&P 500 is now 1.9% and over five years it’s 0.6%,...

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