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Adjustable-Rate Mortgages in the Post-Boom Era

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and other “alternative financing” or “non-traditional lending” products helped fuel the housing boom of 2001-2005, but now that the boom has turned to bust, ARMs have been given a bad name. Is this fair? On one level, it is true that many mortgage lenders and Realtors knowingly set up clients with loans [...]

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Small Business Reality Check: The Myth of ‘Double Taxation’

Being financially smart today means more than simply living within your means, paying your bills on time, and setting money aside for retirement — it requires some foresight into the changing nature of the global economy. After all, the primary reason personal-finance education is so important today is that we can no longer count on [...]

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Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification: What You Need to Know Before You Go Home-Shopping

Here’s the scenario: You meet your Realtor outside of what looks like your dream home. As you walk in together, you instantly fall in love with the interior — it is the home of dreams! You tell your real-estate agent that you want to make an offer for a little under the list price, and [...]

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What Every Investor Should Know About the Forex (Foreign Currency Exchange) Market

In the late 1990s and early part of 2000, it seemed like everybody was making a killing in the stock market. While it was great that lots of people were investing, many were doing so with little or no knowledge of the companies they were buying, or even how the stock market worked! Today it [...]

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Budgets for People Living in the Real World

Budgets are a lot like Big Foot, UFO’s, and honest politicians — crazy people talk about them, but they don’t really exist, do they? There are literally thousands of articles on the Web about “creating a budget,” but the vast majority of people who try to actively plan their finances give up after a week [...]

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As the Stock Market Reaches New Highs – What About Gold and Silver as Investments?

The stock market reached an all-time high on Thursday, and then came back on Friday and went even higher. Whenever the market reaches new highs, there are always people who become wary of a potential “correction” — which is essentially a euphemism for a crash! But even if the sky isn’t falling on these Chicken [...]

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Six Steps to Financial Freedom: A Foolproof System for Getting Out of Debt

Millions of Americans roll out of bed each morning knowing that they will only be able to keep a small fraction of the money they earn that day. When payday comes around, not only do they have to worry about Uncle Sam and the state taxing authorities, but a large portion of what’s left will [...]

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Be Credit Smart: Beware of the ‘Larry Rule’

Under the rules of the National Basketball Association’s salary cap, teams can sign contracts with their existing players — as opposed to the players from other teams — without counting the full salary towards their team total. This is called the “Larry Bird Rule,” for Boston Celtics legend, Larry Bird. The NBA didn’t want to [...]

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401(k) or IRA? Where Should You Put Your Money?

Although there are other retirement plans for people in niche markets (Keogh plans for self-employed people; 403(b) plans for employees of not-for-profit enterprises), the 401(k) and Individual Retirement Account (IRA) are easily the most popular investment vehicles for retirement savings. These two plans are open to the vast majority of Americans who work for employers [...]

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Investing on a Budget: How to Get Started in the Stock Market without a lot of Money

In the not-so-distant past, stock trades cost $50 or more. Then Charles Schwab introduced the concept of “discount brokerage,” which forced the big brokers on Wall Street to lower their prices. Finally, the Internet made trading much easier and less expensive, and online brokers like E-Trade and Ameritrade competed to deliver even lower prices. But [...]

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