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How Do You Spend Your Day? And Why College Is Expensive

Here's an interactive chart from the NY Times of how various groups of people spend their time over the course of a day. Like many of you, I have fond memories of college. Here's one reason why; The pie chart below shows the average … [Read the rest]

Missing the Best & Worst Days of the S&P 500

(Click to enlarge.) Using the SPDR S&P 500 ETF to represent the S&P 500 stock market since the ETF inception in 1993, the chart above shows the effect of: Blue: Holding the entire time. "Buy & Hold" Red: Missing the 10 best days … [Read the rest]

Behind The Scenes: No Transaction Fee (NTF) Fund Supermarkets

After the Bogle/Hennessy squabble (here's the latest), I've been digging for more details about mutual fund "supermarkets" where you can buy funds from various managers all with no transaction fee (NTF)... but at a cost. Charles Schwab introduced … [Read the rest]

Mutual Fund Supermarkets Charge 40 Basis Points?

In a recent Wall Street Journal Op-Ed article by Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, he reaffirmed studies like the one from Morningstar showing that one of the strongest predictors of mutual fund performance is how low their annual expense ratios are. … [Read the rest]

PineCone Application Links + Other Paid Surveys

PineCone Research remains one of the better paying and reliable survey companies, with a payout of $3 (check or PayPal) for each 15-minute online survey. The annoying part is that they only take applications intermittently. Here is the current … [Read the rest]

LendingClub Investment Criteria – What Loans To Avoid?

LendingClub.com (LC) is a website that securitizes person-to-person loans so that you can lend money to other people in as little as $25 increments, and you earn the interest. The idea is to replace banks and credit cards as the major middlemen … [Read the rest]

ING Your Number: Retirement Calculator Assumptions and Factors

I was watching TV this weekend and kept seeing commercials about ING's Your Number, which is an online calculator that supposedly helps you plan for retirement by telling you how much you need to save. Here's one of them if you haven't heard of … [Read the rest]

2010 Q3 Investment Portfolio Update – Fund Holdings

I've already posted my target asset allocation, now here's my actual portfolio holdings. Again, these are my own choices, governed by the size of my tax-advantaged accounts like IRAs/403b/401ks, the brokerage firms that I use, and my preference of … [Read the rest]

OptionsXpress Review: Application, Broker Commissions, Trading Features, $100 Bonus

OptionsXpress.com (OX) is a online brokerage site that specialized in options and futures trading, but has since expanded their offering to be one-stop-shop - offering stocks, bonds, brokered CDs, and mutual funds. Like some of you, I signed up a … [Read the rest]

Target Asset Allocation for Investment Portfolio

Asset allocation (AA) is an important part of portfolio design, and I like pinning down a target asset allocation for personal reference. This helps keep me focused as my portfolio shifts over time and makes it easy to re-balance back. For some … [Read the rest]

Amazon Mom: Free 3 Months of Amazon Prime + Diaper Discounts

Amazon is promoting their new Amazon Mom service, which is aimed at all moms, dads, and primary caregivers. (They don't make you send in a picture of your kid or anything.) It's free to join, and here are the benefits: 30% off select diapers … [Read the rest]

My First Shares Of Stock Ever Purchased

I was going through some old financial files and came across an old E-Trade statement which was my first brokerage account and found my first shares of stocks ever purchased in August of 2001. This was after the dot-com bubble burst, and I was still … [Read the rest]

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