You can trade in old electronics for cash

By Jeff Bertolucci
Posted on April 23, 2012

How many dusty gizmos and gadgets do you have languishing at home? It’s easy to convert those old cellphones, computers, iPods, video games and movie DVDs into quick cash.A number of big-name shopping sites — including Amazon, Best Buy, eBay and Gazelle — will offer cash or store credit for your gear. The process is quick and painless, and you won’t have to pay... READ MORE

Up-and-coming stocks costing $12 or less

By Jennifer Schonberger
Posted on April 16, 2012

Look at a list of any day’s top performers and you’ll see that low-priced stocks almost always dominate. Of course, the lists of the biggest losers are also often filled with low-priced stocks.These stocks are risky because the underlying companies are either small or troubled. Still, the hunt for the next big thing tantalizes.In that spirit, we’ve identified three stocks... READ MORE

What you need to know about target funds

By Kathy M. Kristof
Posted on April 09, 2012

Apathy and neglect can be benign forces in the investing world. Need proof? Look no further than target-date funds.These set-it-and-forget-it investments — which annually adjust their holdings among a variety of investments in order to prepare shareholders for a particular year of retirement — have become ubiquitous in 401(k) plans since 2007. That’s when employers were... READ MORE

Pre-owned annuities: low risk, high return

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on April 02, 2012

Most readers are looking for safe investments with a high rate of return. One investment that can meet these objectives is a pre-owned annuity.Many people own the rights to annuities that guarantee monthly income, sometimes for terms of up to 50 years. Some of these owners are willing to sell the legal right to their structured monthly payments, at a discount, for a lump-sum payment.There... READ MORE

How to contribute to political candidates

By Michael Stratford
Posted on March 26, 2012

Knowing the rules of the game will help you decide how best to support your candidate.1. The sky is not (always) the limit. Individuals may donate up to $2,500 per candidate per election (the primary and general elections are counted separately), up to $30,800 to a national political party annually, and up to $10,000 to state, district and local parties combined each year.Individual... READ MORE

Diversifying? Don’t forget Canadian stocks

By Mark Jewell
Posted on March 19, 2012

Building a truly diversified portfolio means going global.Many advisers suggest investors supplement their U.S. investments with stocks and bonds from fast-growing nations like China and Brazil. Growth prospects are grim in Europe, but there may be bargains to be found in the continent’s depressed markets.But it can be easy to overlook opportunities much closer to home. Think Canada.... READ MORE

Stock up on stocks that invest in staples

By Anne Kates Smith
Posted on March 12, 2012

How bad would things have to get before you stopped putting ketchup on your fries? What kind of Armageddon would keep you from buying toilet paper, diapers or detergent?If you can’t imagine life without the products in your pantry, linen closet or laundry room, then you know why shares of companies that make consumer necessities have performed well, even in a dicey economy.In 2011,... READ MORE

Don’t overpay when filing 2011 tax return

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on March 01, 2012

As in most years, there are several changes in the tax code that may have an impact on your 2011 tax return. Whether you prepare your own return or hire someone to do it for you, you should know what changes have been made. Even if someone else prepares your return, you are responsible for its accuracy.Certain changes, such as the increase in the standard deduction, will be apparent when... READ MORE

Mistakes that even smart investors make

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on March 01, 2012

Everybody knows somebody who purports to be an investment maven. You might even like to consider yourself one.However, while we always hear about the winning picks these favored few make, we don’t commonly hear about their mistakes. And, to hear Larry Swedroe tell it, “smart” investors make mistakes all the time.Swedroe, a money manager and columnist for CBS... READ MORE

Avoid pitfalls when starting a business

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on February 27, 2012

Many Americans dream of starting a small business. For some, it’s a way of doing something they love while being their own boss. For others, it’s an idea they turn to after losing a job or retiring.What every aspiring small business owner needs to know is that starting an enterprise takes a lot of work and investment, and the chances of failure are high.Most small businesses... READ MORE