How long before I can double my money in the stock market?
Knee Jerk says: "A really, really long time."
Second Thought says: "Longer than 20 years ago."
The Moneysherpa says: "Learn the rule of 72."
Rule of 72 CAPM: The First Factor of Investing
Am I a stupid investor?
Knee Jerk says: "Yes."
Second Thought says: "Yes, but most of us need help."
The Moneysherpa says: "Acknowledge your stupidity and get help."
Tips for Finding Help
Suggested Links: Market Indicators to Predict Stock Moves, On the Rising Tide of Hope and Optimism
Related Moneysmartz Topics: Investing, Investment Education
Europe and Your Portfolio
Suggested Links: WSJ Review of 'This Time Is Different', U.S. warned to deal with debt to avert another crisis, How the European crisis affects your retirement portfolio
Related Moneysmartz Topics: Investing, Investing Blogs, Personal Finance Blogs
Help Understanding VIX
| LinkMoneysmartz VIX page links you to the resources you need to understand the VIX and how the VIX relates to your investment portfolio and investment decisions.
Suggested Links: Investopedia Explains Ostrich Investing, Don't Put Your Head in the Sand, Personal Finance According to South Park
Related Moneysmartz Guides: Investing, Investing Blogs, Personal Finance Blogs
Market Volatility and Investing
Suggested Links: Investopedia Explains Falling Knife, Falling Knife Investing, Burned by Investing in Troubled Times
Related Moneysmartz Guides: Investing, Investing Blogs
Fear and Greed
Suggested Links: Why Stocks Aren't That Scary, Buffett On Greed and Fear During the 2008 Market Swoon
Related Moneysmartz Guides: Investing, Warren Buffett
Category: Investing Blogs
True to its mission "to cover stocks with depth, analysis and an obsession unmatched anywhere on the web," Blogging Stocks offers an array of analysis and opinion every day. Articles, opinion, and stock picks are organized by stock, so it's easy to find and track your favorite stock.
All Purpose Money Portal
MSN Money, part of the sixth most visited domain on the Internet, MSN, offers personal finance and investing information, an online community, and the latest financial news, services, tools, and articles. MSN Money's financial information can be used for research and tools like calculators will help you plan for retirement, pay off college debt, file tax returns and more. The site's in-depth coverage of financial topics includes personal finance insight from a team of seasoned financial columnists. Like many of the best personal finance portals, MSN has just about everything you need to make smarter financial decisions.
Wisdom For Trying Economic Times
What Would John Templeton Say?
Category: Investing Blogs
"Successful investing is only common sense. Each system for investing will eventually become obsolete." John Templeton, 1984
During trying economic times, it is comforting to remember that common sense, optimism, and a little creativity can ultimately save the day. "What Would John Templeton Say?", a blog and microsite recently launched by the Templeton Press features the wisdom of John Templeton, one of the twentieth century's greatest stock pickers. As stated on the site, "What Would John Templeton Say?" "is not a site dedicated to giving investment advice. Rather, it is a resource to share the wisdom of John Marks Templeton and provide historical and current perspectives on economic issues." The site includes articles, quotes, and a summary of Templeton's life. Equal parts inspiration and reality, the John Templeton site offers perspective to weather the storm.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/16/09
Category: Investing Blogs
Cara Community (formerly BillCara.com) helps participants understand global financial markets and has cultivated a trading-learning environment about capital markets and social equity. The site offers articles, materials, and links to help readers trade with an emphasis on quality and value. Caracommunity.com has approximately 100,000 readers in 140 countries and an annual hit rate of over 100 million. Forbes has listed BillCara.com as a "Favorite" for the past three years.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/12/09
10Q Detective is a blog written by David Phillips that offers readers information on public company 8-K and 10Q SEC filings. The site highlights financial statement soft spots to help readers make better investment decisions. Phillips' works have been published in top financial sites and have received accolades from other financial blogs. 10Q Detective was recognized by BusinessWeek as a "Best of Financial Blog" and by Kiplinger's Personal Finance as a "Must-Read" money blog.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/11/09
The Big Picture
Accumulating over 35 million visits since its inception, The Big Picture covers investing, trading and macro economic topics. Authored by frequent CNBC contributor Barry L. Ritholtz, The Big Picture has received positive reviews from top media sites such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNBC, and the Associated Press.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/8/09
| LinkGoogle Finance
Category: Investing News and Media
Google Finance is one of the most comprehensive sources of financial information and data on the Web. The site offers stock quotes and interactive charts containing up to 40 years of data, news articles about the market and economy, and a list of major public and private companies. Google has partnered with the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange to provide a real-time stock ticker. Features on the home page dashboard include a sector summary and popular financial searches on Google.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 3/7/09
| LinkAbnormal Returns
Category: Investing Blogs
Abnormal Returns has received positive reviews from top investment sites and bloggers for being a one-stop site for a daily dose of top news and updates about the economy and financial markets. The site does not post market-related predictions or forecasts, but offers well-researched and condensed content from the most popular financial websites like NYTimes.com, Freakonomics, MSN Money, and 24/7 Wall St.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 1/26/09
Category: Investing Blogs
Seeking Alpha is a financial website and market opinion and analysis source, with a wide selection of blog posts and articles categorized by topic. Because Seeking Alpha focuses on delivering opinions and analysis rather than news, articles are primarily written by investors with real world experience and insight. The site is the only free, online source for over 3,000 public company quarterly earnings call transcripts. Seeking Alpha was recognized as the "Most Informative Website" by Kiplinger's Magazine and "Best of the Web" by Forbes.com.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 1/9/09
Category: Mutual Fund Families
Vanguard is one of the largest investment management companies in the United States with about $1.3 trillion in assets. The Vanguard website provides personal and institutional investors access to accounts and investment information including retirement investing, mutual funds, ETFs, IRAs, 401(k) plans, college savings plans, brokerage services, and more. Vanguard has a wide selection of investments with more than 180 stock, bond, mixed, and international offerings. Its Vanguard 500 Index Fund is one of the largest in the United States.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 1/6/2009
Category: Investing News and Media
Launched in 1989, CNBC is recognized as the world leader in business news, providing real-time financial market coverage and business information to more than 340 million homes worldwide, including more than 95 million households in the United States and Canada. Its site, CNBC.com, is one of the top financial news sources on the web with live video programming daily, industry blogs, charts, investing tools, and commentary. A leader in providing information about the unfolding global financial and economic crisis, CNBC is becoming the go to source for real-time financial news online and on television.
Moneysmartz Profile Updates 1/4/2009
Category: Major Company Information
Portfolio.com is a monthly business magazine published by Condé Nast. The publication and website offers the latest business news, guides, blogs and articles for effective financial management and market and economic reports to monitor economic trends. In addition to business information, Portfolio.com provides information on a variety of topics including travel, career, culture and lifestyle. The current issue features a story about the end of smart money in investing. Condé Nast Portfolio has 100-person editorial staff and more than 20 affiliate publications.
Capital Gains Primer
In an upside down stock market, panic selling occurs all too frequently. Today's market gyrations likely triggered even more selling. For some, the unintended consequence of panic selling is a larger tax bill. If you already sold stock or are contemplating selling, then The SmartMoney.com Capital-Gains Guide offers worksheets to help you calculate capital gains and a primer on rates for a variety of long-term sales, including investment securities, investment real estate, homes, and small business stock.
To learn more about the SmartMoney website, including tips for navigating the site, or to post your review and comments, visit the SmartMoney Moneysmartz Profile.
Watching Economic Indicators
Until recently, the release of key economic indicators was received by many investors with a yawn. Recent violent market movements in response to the release of economic statistics have resulted in renewed interest in the dismal science. If you ever wondered when the statistics are released and which ones are important, then look no further than the Yahoo! Finance Economic Calendar. The calendar lists current and future economic statistics, corresponding release dates and background information including a description of the importance of the statistic. To learn more about economic indicators and statistics visit the Moneysmartz Economic Indicators and Statistics Page.
Retirees Beware of Scam Artists
During this time of economic fear and uncertainty, many retirees have seen their hard-earned nest eggs shrink. A natural reaction to this decline is to look for ways to increase the value of one's nest egg. Marketwatch's Robert Powell warns retirees and pre-retirees to beware of scams. Potential scams include "free lunch" seminars where presenters use unscrupulous tactics to get attendees to sign-up for unneeded services. AARP has begun monitoring seminars to help distinguish between the good and the bad. In addition to scams, Powell notes that individuals should look out for sales tactics that don't provide all the details behind products like annuities with a guaranteed living withdrawal benefit. The old adage that if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true applies. Especially now, when it is easier to prey on unsettled investors desperately seeking ways to make up lost ground.
Buffett Says Buy American
When the Oracle of Omaha talks, it pays to listen. Today, in an op-ed contribution to The New York Times, Warren Buffett said he is buying American stocks. In the midst of financial market turmoil, how could the world's richest man be thinking of jumping into the stock market? First, he has a long-term outlook and thinks stocks will increase in value over the next 10 to 20 years. Next, he has experience being greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy. Does anyone doubt that fear permeates our economy and markets? Finally, Buffett says cash loses value every day and history indicates that the market recovery will occur before the economic recovery. Before you jump into the market like Buffett, give some thought to your financial situation and your near-term and long-term financial needs. Also, heed Buffett's caution that he has no idea what the market will do in the near-term. To learn more about Warren Buffett, visit the Moneysmartz Warren Buffett page.
24 Hour Stock Market Obsession
Today's financial climate requires vigilance. With wild and seemingly irrational swings in the stock market, it pays to know what is happening 24/7. To track after hours US Futures and Market indicators, visit CNNMoney's After Hours Stock Market and Forex page. This page includes futures quotes for the S&P 500, NASDAQ, and Dow Jones. You can also find after hours quotes on your favorite stock. Check out Goog today.To learn more about CNNMoney, visit the CNNMoney.com Moneysmartz Profile.
Who is not a little made these days? Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC's Mad Money, is screaming mad. Love him or hate him, Jim Cramer is not afraid to make bold predictions about the stock market. Lately, he's been right more often than not. Mad Money is for anyone who buys or sells individual stocks and is interested in learning more about how the market works. To learn more about Mad Money, including tips for navigating the CNBC site, or to post your review and comments, visit the CNBC Moneysmartz Profile.
CNNMoney.com is CNN.com's exclusive business site and the online home of several magazines including FORTUNE and MONEY. CNNMoney.com makes the Moneysmartz short-list for one-stop shop for personal finance information, advice, tools, and news. Best of all, the site is easy to navigate so in a few minutes you will know if this site is right for you. To learn more or post your review and comments, visit the CNNMoney.com Moneysmartz Profile.
Keeping your finger on the pulse of what investment banks and independent research firms think about your favorite or not so favorite stocks can pay big dividends. Newratings.com offers an online database of equity research reports and ratings issued by investment banks and independent research firms. Newratings.com is still in beta and requires registration to use more advanced features, including a stock tracking tool. To learn more or post your review and comments, visit the newratings.com Moneysmartz Profile.
Are you looking for a fast and efficient way to scan the Web for investment information and insight? Rated as one of the top 50 business blogs by the Times Online, Abnormal Returns, an investing blog, offers linkfest, a daily post of recent investment and market related information. Linkfest summarizes recent posts and articles from leading investment blogs and financial portals. You don't have to be a speed-reader to quickly review linkfest and click on links of interest. To learn more or post your review and comments, visit the Abnormal Returns Moneysmartz Profile.
The Big Picture
If you are looking for a rudder during these turbulent economic times, then The Big Picture, an economic and investing blog, offers straight talk and insight to help steady your ship. The Big Picture, authored by CNBC contributor and author Barry Ritholtz, does not sugar coat market turmoil, but instead offers insight that you can use to make smarter decisions. For example, when commenting on the definition of a bear market in a recent post, The Big Picture offers the following advice: "Rather than focus on terminology, investors should be considering their risk management strategies, what they are doing to preserve capital, and how they are psychologically prepared to deal with what could be an extended downturn." To learn more or post your review and comments, visit the The Big Picture Moneysmartz Profile.
As an essential tool to help you make smarter financial decisions, Yahoo! Finance offers personal finance insight, tools, news and more. If you are looking to save time and commit to one financial portal, Yahoo! Finance should be at or near the top of your list. To learn more or post your review and comments, visit the Yahoo! Finance Moneysmartz Profile.
As global markets become increasingly linked and experts tout risk reduction through global diversification, it pays to know what's happening outside the United States. Economist.com offers insight and opinion on international news, world politics, business, finance, science and technology, as well as overviews of cultural trends and regular industry, business and country special reports. To learn more or post your review and comments, visit the Economist.com Moneysmartz Profile.
Investing Education Update
How much investing knowledge is enough? For some, visiting a financial portal every year is too much, while for others, complete immersion in CNNMoney, The Wall Street Journal, and all forms of investing information is not enough. The obvious answer is that your level of investing knowledge depends on your personal situation and interests. With increasing market complexity and volatility, and so much of your net worth depending on smart investment decisions, it's difficult to argue against spending some of your free time learning more about investing. The Moneysmartz Investing Education guide offers a list of free and for-fee investing education resources covering the full-spectrum of investing education needs. To view listings from leading providers of investment education, visit the Moneysmartz Investment Education guide.
Investment Professional Selection Tips
Do-it-yourself or get help? This question, a dilemma for many, will occur early and often during the course of your financial life. As your personal finances become more complex, you will inevitably need help from an investment professional. The following tips will help you make an informed selection:
Suggested Sites: FINRA, Securities and Exchange Commission, CFP.net, Financial Planning Association
Guide Categories: Financial Planning, Insurance, Investing, Estate Planning, Retirement Planning, Tax Preparation and Planning, College Financing and Planning
Day Trading Update
The recently updated Moneysmartz Day Trading page, designed to highlight the risk of day trading, includes two cautionary listings from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). According to the SEC, "Day trading is extremely risky and can result in substantial financial losses in a very short period of time." If you still have the stomach for day trading after visiting the SEC listings, then go to the Wikipedia and Investopedia listings to learn even more about day trading, including trading strategies for beginners.
Tips From The Woodstock of Capitalism 08
"The most important investment you can make is in yourself." Like much of the Q&A during yesterday's Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting of shareholders at Omaha's Qwest Center, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger offered plenty of common sense wisdom and investing advice, including tips on a variety of topics:
Staid, steady, and low-key, not the ingredients to attract over 30,000 admirers to Nebraska on a blustery May weekend. However, for many, Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting, and its star attraction, Warren Buffett, have enough sparks to sizzle an Omaha steak without a grill.
The newly created Moneysmartz Warren Buffett category includes quotes, letters, and insight into the wit and undeniable wisdom of Warren Buffett.
For entertaining and useful investment insight, be sure to visit the link to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. shareholder letters. To learn about how the "Oracle of Omaha" does it, visit the Investopedia Editor Best Bet.
Even if you won't be making a pilgrimage to the "Woodstock of capitalism" this weekend, don't miss the chance to learn from the master by visiting a link or two at the Moneysmartz Warren Buffett page.
Major Company Information Update
Information is power, but too much information can be overwhelming. The secret to do-it-yourself company investment research is to find the most reliable and relevant sources of free information.
The recently updated Moneysmartz Major Company Information category provides links to market research leaders offering both free and for-fee resources to help you get under the hood of potential equity investments.
A great place to start and meet most of your research needs is Yahoo! Finance. Once on the site, enter the ticker symbol of your target company or do a search to find their ticker symbol, and click "get quotes." For example, here's what you will find after entering GE. The Yahoo! Finance GE page includes charts, quotes, news and information, company information, analyst coverage, ownership, and financial information.
Visit the Securities Exchange Commission Edgar database for free access to financial and related filings by public companies. Stock pickers can roll up their sleeves and dig into the SEC information.
Finally, if you prefer a short and sweet synopsis of your favorite company, then visit the Portfolio.com link.
Once you browse through the Moneysmartz Major Company Information category, you will be prepared to turn your information into power and better investment returns.
Commodities and Futures Investing Update
Commodity volatility is on the rise. Visit your local gas station or try buying rice in bulk and you will see evidence of soaring commodity prices. Should you add commodity futures trading to your investment arsenal?
The answer for most investors is a strong and simple no, but for a select few, those with the means, perspective, and training, trading commodity futures is a risky, but viable, investment alternative.
The updated Moneysmartz Commodities and Futures Investing category offers an introduction to commodity futures, including general information, news and market information, and places to start trading.
The Moneysmartz Editor recommends visiting Lind Waldock, an online trading brokerage with everything you need to learn, practice trading risk-free, and trade with your own money. If you are looking for more information, then visit the CNNMoney commodity markets page and Reality Based Trading for a commodity futures primer.
Since the rising and falling cost of commodities should continue to dominate the news, it is a great time to at least learn more about commodity futures and the potential of futures trading in your investment strategy.
Brokerages, and the brokers who work for them, bring buyers and sellers of securities together, and receive a commission for facilitating the sale. Unlike the old days, a trade, or sale, does not require person-to-person interaction. So, not surprisingly, technology is becoming increasingly important, and the distinctions between brokerage firms are blurring.
The updated Moneysmartz Brokerages category includes the major classes of brokerage firms, including "Premium," "Full-Service," and "Discount Brokers." To help differentiate between brokerage firms, visit the SmartMoney Editor Best Best for brokerage rankings. If you need more information about your personal broker, visit FINRA's BrokerCheck to learn more about the background of your investment professional.
If you are averse to technology, or just feel more comfortable working with an individual instead of a computer, most brokerages offer hands-on trading assistance, both on the phone or in person with a local investment professional.
One final note, to get the best per trade rates, embrace technology and learn how to make your trades online, without human assistance.
Boring, vanilla, and without sex appeal, bonds are an important weapon in your personal investment arsenal. Bonds come in many forms with the most basic representing a loan from the investor to an issuer in exchange for a stream of payments and repayment of the loan. Bonds offer inflation protection and help diversity a portfolio, particularly if you are seeking income over a fixed period. As experienced bond investors know, the variety of bonds, including issuers and denominations, is vast.
The updated Moneysmartz Bonds category offers primers, market news, rates, and insight to help you understand bonds and incorporate them into your personal investment strategy. For a thorough introduction to bonds, visit the Investopedia Bond Basics Editor Best Bet. The SmartMoney and Motley Fool Editor Best Bets link to bond investing tools and strategies. Finally, TreasuryDirect, another Editor Best Bet, offers information and a way to buy bonds directly from the U.S. Treasury
While not flashy, bonds can play a substantial role in your investment portfolio.
Asset Allocation Update
The experts say that asset allocation, defined as how you distribute your investments among asset classes like stocks and bonds, is the single most important factor in determining investing returns. According to Investopedia, the experts also say, "your selection of individual securities is secondary to the way you allocate your investment in stocks, bonds, and cash and equivalents, which will be the principal determinants of your investment results." Given this sage advice, asset allocation deserves at least a portion of your financial planning attention.
The newly created Moneysmartz Asset Allocation category offers calculators, tools, and strategies to help you understand and exploit the power of asset allocation. For a brief and easy to understand introduction to asset allocation, visit the Securities and Exchange Commission beginners' guide to asset allocation Editor Best Bet. Use the Financial Planning Toolkit asset allocator Editor Best Bet to determine your personal asset allocation strategy. Before implementing this strategy, consider talking with a professional for additional guidance and perspective.
Understanding and implementing asset allocation won't guarantee stellar investment performance, but you will improve your odds for better returns from your investments.
Assessing Your Financial Situation
You cannot determine where you will be tomorrow if you don't know where you are today. These are simple words, but powerful advice if you want to begin saving and preparing for your future. The newly created Moneysmartz Financial Situation category will help you determine where you are financially today. Assessing your financial situation comes in many colors and flavors, but essentially boils down to determining your cash flow, income coming in less expenses going out, and your net worth, your assets, including investments less you liabilities, like credit card bills. The great news is that the Web offers do-it-yourself calculators and tools to make your job a lot easier. Be sure to visit the category Best Bets, including Mint.com, to create a budget, and NetWorthIQ, to track your net worth. If you prefer pencil and paper, then visit the About.com Financial Planning picks for worksheets. Once you determine where you are today, it won't take long to start achieving your long-term goals.
Investment Objectives Update
Risk tolerance and investment objectives go hand-in-hand and determine where you invest your money. InvestorWords.com defines an investment objective as "the result desired by an investor or mutual fund, such as current income or capital appreciation." Wachovia identifies four broad investment objectives including income, growth and income, growth, and speculation. The recently created Moneysmartz Investment Objectives category elaborates on these concepts and provides guidance to help you determine your personal investment strategy. For an understanding of the link between investment objectives and risk tolerance, visit the Wachovia listing. The About.com Stocks listing explains how investment objectives define investment strategy. The category is short on listings, only four, but long on insight.
Investopedia defines Stagflation as "a condition of slow economic growth and relatively high unemployment - a time of stagnation - accompanied by a rise in prices, or inflation." Given the recent drumbeat of negative economic news, it is not a surprise that 'stagflation' has suddenly become a hot topic with depressing implications for your economic well-being.
The newly created Moneysmartz Stagflation category will help you understand the meaning of stagflation and find new ways to manage your investments during turbulent economic times. Be sure to visit the National Public Radio listing with a link to a thirty-minute podcast on the meaning of 'stagflation' to you. The Morningstar and Seeking Alpha listings offer 'stagflation' investing tips.
A final word as you prepare for the worst. Media references to impending 'stagflation' have been frequent since 2003. So, as you evaluate your investment strategy through the prism of stagflation, seek professional advice and use caution.
Risk Tolerance Update
The market is crashing. What will you do with your investments? Your risk tolerance, defined by Investopedia as "the degree of uncertainty that an investor can handle in regard to a negative change in the value of his or her portfolio," largely determines your reaction. Equally important, risk tolerance, in addition to your investment objectives and experience, time horizon, and financial situation, should play a critical role in how you allocate your investment assets. The newly created Moneysmartz Risk Tolerance category includes links to online tests to help you determine your risk tolerance and articles to help you understand how risk tolerance relates to asset allocation. Be sure to visit the Wikipedia Stock Market Crash listing to learn about situations that are sure to test even the most risk tolerant.
"It's 'Squawk Box' meets 'Saturday Night Live'," says The New York Times. At the cutting edge of online financial video, Wallstrip, with the tagline, "where pop culture meets stock culture," features one high-flying stock every day.
Launched in 2006 and later acquired by CBS, Wallstrip has an extensive archive of humorous, yet informative videos about your favorite stocks with related commentary from financial bloggers. Julie Alexandria, an actress who has paved the way for other online hosts, including Barely Political's Obama Girl, hosts this daily show.
For a fresh take on the daily stock pick, Wallstrip is an entertaining way to learn about hot stocks.
Do zero dollar trade commissions catch your attention? Zecco.com, a new entrant into the crowded and competitive world of online brokers hopes you find real value in free trading.
The free lunch ends after the first 10 trades each month, then you pay $4.50 per trade.
In addition to low cost trading, Zecco has created an online community with a social networking feel, including a blog section, forums, Activity Feed, where you get "an instant snapshot of your friends' and groups' latest activities and trades, right on your profile page," and Performance Scanner where you can find top performers in the Zecco community.
Zecco.com is not a securities broker/dealer. All securities and investments are offered through Zecco Trading, Inc., member FINRA / SIPC.
For a complete list of Zecco's competitors, visit the Moneysmartz Online Brokers page.
The Best Mutual Funds
During market tumult, investors seek investments that help them look toward the future with confidence. The recent Money Magazine 70 recommends mutual funds that should be of comfort during good and bad times. The Money Magazine selection criteria includes mutual funds with "low expenses, a strong record for putting share-holder interests first, a consistent investment strategy and experienced managers." The result is above average performance, with over 70% of the selected mutual funds outperforming their category average. Leading fund families Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, and Fidelity are well represented with 23, 8, and 4 funds on the list respectively.
Best of Class Financial Services Customer Service
If you have ever been at the receiving end of a surly customer service agent, then you know the value of great customer service. The following insurance, banking, and brokerage firms are included in the top 50 of The BusinessWeek 2008 Customer Service Elite:
Saving Your Tax Rebate
A recent CNN/Opinion Research poll of American taxpayers found that 32% of respondents will save their tax rebate, 41% will use the windfall to pay bills, 3% will contribute the money to charity, and only 21% of those polled plan to spend the money.
Checks should range from $300 to $1,200 and even more if you have kids under age 17. For the full details of the tax rebate, visit the Kiplinger Tax Rebate page.
Whether you plan to spend or save, consider the value of a $1,000 investment today, earning 8% annually over 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 years. Your $1,000 investment would be worth $2,200, $4,927, $10,936, $24,273, and $53,878 respectively.
Looking at how the numbers grow, it is easy to understand how saving early and often makes sense and is perhaps the only sure route to building a sufficient nest egg for your golden years.
John Mauldin's Investment Newsletters
With an eye popping 1.5 million subscribers, John Mauldin provides investors an insightful view into the economy and Wall Street through his three newsletters:
What's better than the smell of coffee in the morning? For technology and investing aficionados, the smell of profits is the only way to start the day.
Yahoo's recently launched video-centric blog, Tech Ticker, with its tagline, "I Love the Smell of Profits in the Morning," aims to "bring stocks and and the stories to life - and to reveal the culture of an ecosystem often understood only by those who inhabit it."
That's a mouthful in the morning, but a visit to the site reveals investment insights like today's lead about Google's new mobile operating system, Android.
Contributors to the site include many well-known Wall Street and Silicon Valley journalists.
If you can't forsake your coffee, try caffeine with profits, a powerful combination any day.
All Eyes on the Federal Reserve Bank
Much maligned and frequently misunderstood, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank is in the spotlight, with all eyes on Ben Bernanke's every move. Since the Fed is playing an increasingly important role in our financial lives, particularly as it struggles to conduct monetary policy in a way that contributes to the health of the economy, it is probably in your best interest to learn a little more about the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank. We will spare you the nitty gritty details, but instead offer a convenient bookmark to the Moneysmartz U.S. Federal Reserve page, with links to the Fed, its member banks, and more information on the inner workings of the Fed. After visiting this page, you will be better prepared to translate your Fed watching into smarter financial decisions.
The Sound of the Other Shoe
In case you were not listening, there was a very loud boom from Wall Street today as Bear Stearns reached out for help from The Federal Reserve and JPMorgan. We won't bore you with the details, but we will pose the question, "what do you do when the other shoe drops and panic begins to take over?" Run. Stay put. Pray? The short answer is to try to keep your cool. However, since we are already jittery from a very rocky 2008, keeping cool is much easier said than done.
As you attempt to stay calm, some insight into investor psychology may help soothe your nerves and clear your mind. A recent MSN article by Richard Conniff about how fear can make you lose millions, speaks to how a little fear is healthy, but too much fear can be disastrous in the end. Another similar article from Investopedia on fear and greed offers cautionary advice based on previous bubbles and crashes.
After gaining a little perspective your feelings of fear may subside and be replaced with thoughts of the future and what you can do to prepare yourself, and your portfolio, for the long haul. This is possibly the best advice in both up and down markets.
Best Brokerages for Stock Advice
If you are looking for a brokerage for advice, then StarMine's recent ranking of big brokerage performance is a good place to start.
Wachovia Securities is at the top of the list, in part because of a strong buy on Comcast, with a 46% gain over the rating period.
The remaining top ten includes Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, JPMorgan, Bear Stearns, Stifel Nicolaus, Deutsche Bank, UBS, and CIBC World Markets.
Investing Games Update
The Curious Capitalist
Peer-to-Peer Stock Picking
The October 2, 2006 issue of Forbes offers a list of peer-to-peer stock picking websites. These sites provide tips, insights, and virtual portfolios. A site on the list, Marketocracy, even pays stellar performers asset management fees. Online investment communities offer a forum to exchange ideas, an additional venue to conduct research, and even a way to compare your stock picking ability with others.
Goog Swoon and Portfolio Rebalancing
Kiplinger's Must-Read Investing Bloggers
The October 2006 issue of Kiplinger's offers a list of must-read investing blogs, including nine blogs featured in Moneysmartz. Investing blogs appear to have some staying power as most of the blogs in previous Moneysmartz Directory updates, including Investing Blogs, Economics Blogs, Financial Podcasts, and Personal Finance Blogs are still actively posting. The Kiplinger list offers blogs for the hard-core number cruncher, including the 10Q Detective and one of our favorites, Footnoted.org, and a wide-range of blogs covering economics, personal finance, and mutual funds. Blogs continue to move toward the mainstream, as a blog in the Kiplinger list, Seeking Alpha, now provides content to Yahoo! Finance. From the perspective of financial decision-making, many investment blogs provide fresh insights directly from investment professionals. However, anyone can start a blog and begin offering advice, so as always, it's important to consider the source before devoting a lot of time to a blog.
Real Estate Investing Blogs
Nothing can take the place of experience. In real estate investing, perhaps the best experience comes from walking away from the security of a 9 to 5 paycheck and giving it all to real estate investing. If you are looking to begin real estate investing, then you should consider spending some time with ProHabber.com, the Moneysmartz choice for Best of the Web real estate investing blog. Started by a full-time real estate investor, ProHabber.com offers guidance on every aspect of real estate investing. If you are new to the game, then be sure to read ProHabber's Investing Rules. For inspiration on getting started as a full-time real estate investor, read more about ProHabber's author, Bryan Casteel.
Real Estate Investing Blogs
Woven into the American dream is the idea, opportunity, and reality of making money through real estate. Most recently, real estate investing has been a boon for many.
With gurus like Guy Kiyosaki espousing the virtues of real estate investing, low interest rates, and a stable economy, real estate investing appears to be at near-term apex (see Real Estate Bubble Blogs to see what the future may hold for real estate).
Moneysmartz identified a small but growing cohort of real estate bloggers, bravely chronicling the risks and opportunities of real estate investing. Given the inherently local nature of real estate, most real estate investment blogs focus on narrow, regional slices of the real estate market.
If you are a real estate investor or interested in getting started investing, then the list should provide ideas, encouragement, and helpful insights.
With storm clouds brewing, we'll be watching to see if this list grows.
"Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it." Agatha Christie
"Beware of the young doctor and the old barber." Benjamin Franklin
The world of investment blogging is blossoming, with a lot of good advice, and even more bad advice, some of it coming from individuals who probably couldn't tell the difference between a 401k and mutual fund.
With the always-present disclaimer of "buyer beware", we offer the recently updated Moneysmartz Investing Blog directory, full of advice and commentary.
In compiling the new investing blog directory, we found several award-winning sites and a few notable newcomers.
Investing Chats and Forums
When entering online chats and forums, particularly in the general investing arena, Publilius Syrus offers a timeless disclaimer: "Many receive advice, few profit by it."
With these sage words in mind, Moneysmartz identified the most active general investment forums covering topics such as penny stocks, multi level marketing, trading, and business development companies.
Investing Chats and Forums
BDC Investor: Discussion community and investor resource, focusing on business development companies (BDCs).
BestCalls.com: A free directory of investor conference calls and webcasts. CallTracker service provides advanced notice of conference calls by email.
Club for Value Investing: An investment club for value investors to share their best stock ideas. Admission is free, but selective and limited to only 250 savvy investors.
Daytraders.org: Professional live free chat room for day traders. Running since 1996.
eInvesting.com: Investing forum and stock market game.
Free Financial Advice Forum: Moderated personal finance forum specializing in financial help.
Golden Talk: Mainly about High Yield Investment Programs, games and general investment issues.
Investing Pub Money Forums: Investing money forums.
Investors Hub: Large, dynamic community of investors sharing market insights.
Penny Stock Plays: Discussion forums, market analysis, stock trading tips, penny stock plays, including market commentary and corporate interviews.
PureChat: Discussion of investing and trading of all instruments.
Raging Bull: Investment message boards.
StockHideout.com: Stock forum and trading community.
T2W Trading Community: Community website for active traders (short-term and daytraders) with live trading rooms, trading discussion boards, trading book store, infomation about trading/brokers/software/technial analysis.
Tactical Trader: News, reviews and discussions from the world of financial trading.
Talk Gold: Forum for discussion of high yield investment programs, foreign exchange, and general investing.
The Critical Mass Discussion Forums: Discussion forums for aggressive investors.
Web Life Forum: High yield investment program discussion.
Random Roger's Big Picture
Site Name: Random Roger's Big Picture Blog