A 401k fund

Automatic 401(k) enrollment plans less effective than opt-in

A survey recently found that laws allowing employers to automatically enroll employees in 401(k) plans don’t work as well as was hoped. When workers automatically contribute to a retirement plan unless they opt out, they will often put in less than they would if they chose to start a plan. Automatic contributions fall short of
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Goldman Sachs Facebook deal sets bank up to manage possible IPO

A Goldman Sachs Facebook investment of $450 million was the biggest news on Wall Street Monday. The Goldman Sachs Facebook deal, plus an additional $50 million investment from a Russian firm, has given Facebook an implied market value of $50 billion. Goldman’s investment makes it a front runner to manage a Facebook IPO that most
The facade of the New York Stock Exhange draped in the U.S. flag

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae stocks delisted from NYSE, losses grow

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the key sources of funding that have kept lending to home buyers from completely drying up, were ordered by the government to cease trading their shares on the New York Stock Exchange to abide by NYSE delisting rules. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae stocks, which have already lost nearly all
A close-up, high-contrast photo of U.S. $20 bills, fanned out.

Fed backs off on quantitative easing

Quantitative easing (QE) has been referred to by some economists as the last vestige of an empire in ruin. The idea is to create money, suppress rates, promote liquidity and watch inflation spread. It’s like a plumber who tries to fill a bathtub by pouring in massive amounts of water, without plugging the drain first.
Stock market ticker board, possibly on quadruple witching day.

Quadruple Witching: the stock market seasons change

Today is Quadruple Witching day on the stock market – the day where all four of the major linchpins of the stock market — market index futures, market index options, stock options, and stock futures — all expire. This “quadruple witching” happens the third Friday of every March, June, September, and December, and like the
Polish gold bars of varying sizes.

Gold futures hit record high, investors urged to jump in

There is a definite connection between currency values and the price of precious metals, and if today’s movement on gold futures is any indication, the world is experiencing a major shift. According to Marketwatch, Gold for December delivery went up $7.20 per ounce to an all-time high of $1,405 early Monday on the Comex of
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Vulture investors move from flippers to landlords in down market

Vulture investors are feasting on the depressed U.S. housing market. Deflating home prices, rock-bottom mortgage rates and a rental market surging with people who have lost their homes are attracting swarms of vulture investors who are after distressed properties. But in this weak U.S. economy, their strategy is changing. In boom times, vulture investors were

Fewer people financially confident about entering retirement

The number of people who feel financially confident about entering retirement are an increasingly small portion of the population. Falling real estate values and a volatile stock market have made soon-to-be retirees fairly nervous. To make matters worse, energy prices could be due for a large increase, and politicians may be gunning for Social Security.
A pile of gold bars

Gold prices and cash for gold scams rise, stock market tanks

The gold market has been where the action is for investors lately. As a neurotic stock market and the European debt crisis spur predictions of a global financial meltdown, a vault full of gold is like a dose of Valium for stressed out investors. The spot gold price started at more than $1,200 dollars an
jobs report

Rising stocks behave out of character with positive jobs report

Stocks rose on the jobs report released by the Labor Department Friday. Job creation in the last two months is the strongest it has been since before the recession. But the market’s current response to a positive jobs report is unusual, and stocks could fall again if the labor market continues to improve. First quarter
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Law school investment may not pay off for most law graduates

The value of an investment in law school is being seriously questioned. Law school tuition continues to rise and fewer jobs with good pay are available. Even so, law school enrollment has ballooned during the recession, and the market is flooded with young, starving lawyers. Law school debt overwhelms lawyer salaries The number of people
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Plunging commodity prices leaving investors jittery

In the last few days, prices on of some of the most important commodities have plunged. The effect this plunge may have on some prices may not be immediately noticeable, but it will affect most consumers. Precipitous drop in commodity prices In the last seven days, prices of several commodity items have dropped by huge
climbing to retirement savings goals

Roth IRA conversions surge in 2010

Converting to Roth IRAs has significance for retirement savings goals in 2010. The prospect of higher taxes enacted by Congress after the mid-term elections is increasing Roth IRA conversions. Plus, the IRS removed income limits that prohibited richer people from setting up Roth IRAs, and taxpayers have a three-year window to pay taxes due on
A young boy blowing a big soap bubble

Falling gold price could mean the gold bubble is about to burst

Talk of a gold bubble burst is spreading. Investors have perceived gold as a safe haven during the global financial crisis. But after rising in value steadily since October 2008, the gold bubble may be reaching the bursting point as the global financial crisis fades. If the markets continue to rally, the demand for so-called

Most Americans still believe in real estate as an investment

A recent survey indicated that most Americans think real estate is a good investment. The value of the average house has dropped by nearly a third since the housing recession began in late 2007, and nearly a third of all homes are worth less than the amount that is owed on them. Housing prices will
Definitely not what Apple earnings look like.

Apple earnings boom for first quarter

Since the iPod renaissance that followed a reclusive streak in the 1990s, Apple has been a growing empire, and the Apple earnings for the most recent quarter have blossomed.  The company has been shipping huge volumes of the iPhone, and with the iPhone 4.0 and iPad beginning to take off, Apple is set to never