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Posts We Liked! Week of 11/30/09

Great article links for the week.

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Gold Funds or Physical Metal?

One pays a dividend, has enterprise value, and has the potential for growth. One is a piece of metal long accepted as a store of value. Which one do you invest in: gold (or silver) mining stocks, or gold (or silver!) itself?

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Generation Y Surprises: Millennial Investors Reacted With More Equities

Ready for a Generation Y surprise? From U.S. News and World Report comes this report (using a Scottrade study) about the attitudes of Generation Y investors mid (post?) recession. Yes, instead of running scared from ticker symbols to the safety of buried backyard treasure, Generation Y is taking the recession in stride- even increasing their investments despite the plunge.

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Retirement Saving is Not Gambling

A few years back my cousin visited me while I was still in school. Since he had never been to Vegas, my roommate and I decided to take him there... as soon as he landed in Los Angeles. Hilarity ensued... and nothing was learned at all about retirement saving except how not to approach it.

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Using Treasury Bond Yields to Determine Economic Signs of Health

As noted in a CNN article today, one way to gauge the market's reading of current conditions is by reading the bond yields. Twice I've taken a look at how you can use Treasury Inflation Protected Securities plotted with the Daily Treasury Yield Curve to get a glimpse at the market's inflation expectations (TIPS adjust their value due to CPI). Some other interesting ratios are presented, the treasury yield curve on its own, and the spread between junk bonds and government debt.

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Mistakes We Make

Ever made a mistake in investing? Yeah, I bet you have. I have too.

The reasons that investors make mistakes are numerous and hard to detail, but the Wall Street Journal took a really good shot at it today. Covering everything from the pain of selling at a loss to mental accounting, it's one of the best personal finance articles I've read in a long time. Oh, and I read a lot. Everyone has biases which make mistakes possible, the question is how can we recognize them and adapt? Read on...

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Financial Lessons Learned The Hard Way

Recently I received an out-of-the-blue request from Keith Morris, the editor of the new LifeTuner Chat Carnival and the Community Manager for LifeTuner, to write an article for the upcoming carnival on "Financial Lessons Learned the Hard Way". First off, I'd like to thank Keith for tossing an invite my way and having the optimism to think that I might have something interesting to contribute. I hope I can offer you some first person narrative which you enjoy enough to finish. That's the thing about introspective pieces... I wonder the utility my experiences have to you readers? Well, let's toss aside the deep commentary and cornucopia of supporting links for a second and do some old fashion writing. Who's with me?

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Comparing Forms of Entitlement Programs, Part II

In my previous article, I compared some of the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of "welfare".  Near the end, it seemed that the Earned Income Tax Credit was clearly the best option, especially as compared to the only other possible method, that of the Living Wage.  There is one important, and significant, advantage to […]

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Infecting Others With the Personal Finance Bug - Stock Market Investing

Unlike the swine flu, the personal finance bug is a relatively hard bug to get. Unfortunately (for them), far too many people avoid putting any thought into their future until that 'future' is right around the corner. Investing is a topic that comes up a lot when I talk with people. How you field open ended questions like "How do I invest in stocks?" is a make or break question in which you need to figure out before your trust is deserved. I've come up with a step by step method which I use to narrow my confidant's thoughts and distill their true intentions. Read on, then leave me comments on your style.

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Comparing Forms of Entitlement Programs, Part I

One of the most contentious issues of the past couple of decades has regarded policy debates on how to benefit lower-income individuals (colloquially referred to as ‘Welfare’ programs). This article will not deal with the benefits or disadvantages of Welfare programs in general, but instead will compare the various forms of implementing Welfare. Also, I will show (in the next article) a very important unintended consequence that arises from the current preferred Welfare program, the Earned Income Tax Credit.

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