investing basics

Millions of Us Are Throwing Away Free Money

In these tough times, why would anyone pass up money for nothing? Inquiring minds at FINRA want to know -- because many of us are. According to research by Aon Hewitt, nearly 30% of 401(k) participants are not contributing enough to scoop up their full employer match.

11 New Rules for Fiscal Survival in a Weak Economy

That simple wait-and-see game plan we adopted when we believed recovery was just around the corner? Not cutting it anymore -- if it ever did. It's time for new strategies to win in the New Normal. Here's a rundown of ideas that once worked to which it's time to say goodbye, and the current wisdom for replacing them.

Eight Stocks to Put on Your Bargain-Price Wish List

Who says volatility is all bad? The fearfully stumbling stock market means that some excellent stocks are trading at or near fire sale prices. For investors with the patience to wait for the right moment, here are eight companies to keep an eye on -- or to snap up right now.

How to Protect Yourself From Investing Scams

On the one hand, the volatile stock market has some investors looking for "safety." On the other, stock market losses have led some to desperately seek fat returns elsewhere. Either way, you could wind up in trouble, because scam artists are ready to prey on the desires of both.

A Rookie's Guide to Investing in Emerging Markets

The U.S. stock market's recent gyrations have many investors ready to look overseas for better returns. But it's a complicated world out there, which is why many less-experienced investors are still sitting on the global sidelines. Here's what you need to know make investing in emerging markets a little less scary.

How to Pick a CD That
Works for You

As the stock market continues to spook investors, many are fleeing to the safety of bank certificates. Here's why they're looking good now and how to pick the right one for you.

How to Survive the Stock Market's Wild Ride

The stock-market roller coaster of the last couple of weeks -- culminating with Thursday's 500-point plunge on the Dow -- has been enough to make even the most stoic investors sweat. Experts offer opinions on how you can turn uncertainty into opportunity.

Are Annuities the Right Choice for Your Retirement?

With memories of the stock market's 2008 tumble still fresh in investors minds, many are scared of stock and are seeking "guarantees" instead of chasing returns. Because of this, for many, annuities have never looked more tempting. But is an annuity a good choice for you?

What Everyone Ought to Know About Roth IRAs

Though it has been part of the retirement investing landscape for more than a decade, many people still don't understand the Roth IRA, or what it can do for them. DailyFinance's Sheryl Nance-Nash clears up the myths and misunderstandings about this tax-advantaged savings vehicle.

Five Ways Women Sabotage Their Financial Futures

While both men and women are prone to a variety of costly financial blunders, many women seem to be plagued with a gender-specific set of tendencies that sabotages their relationship with money. Here's are women's most common financial missteps -- and how to avoid them.

Peering Into the Peer-to-Peer Lending Boom

For those who can't get bank loans, the new business of peer-to-peer lending can be a lifesaver. Internet companies connect people who need to borrow with individuals willing to lend to them directly -- for a fair profit, of course. Here's how it all works.

ETFs in 2010: The Winners, the Losers and the Warnings

The investment world's love affair with all things ETF did not wane in 2010, as their share of the market rose to $940 billion. But popular doesn't mean easy, and it doesn't always mean profitable. Along with the best and the worst performers, a few reminders about how to use these popular investment vehicles safely.

Active ETFs: Still the Next Big Thing?

Active exchange-traded funds -- a sort of hybrid between a regular ETF and a mutual fund -- were supposed to give investors the best of both worlds. But these newfangled ETFs have so struggled to find their place. Some pros, however, still see a bright future.

Fearful Investing Is Hazardous to Your Financial Health

Many investors are taking steps to make themselves feel safer in this uncertain economy: jumping out of stocks, buying bonds, or even dabbling in the high risk end of the pool looking for bigger returns. But that sort of short-term strategy could jeopardizing your retirement.

Why Dividend Hunters Have MLPs in Their Sights

The big attraction is tax-favored dividends. MLPs can be generous because they don't have to pay federal income taxes if they pay out most of their cash flow to shareholders. Many MLPs now annually pay in the 6% to 10% range. But, alas, they're not for everyone.

Is Your ETF Heading for the Investment Graveyard?

With nearly 900 exchange-traded funds holding more than $780 billion in assets, life in the ETF arena is a matter of survival of the fittest. With all these niche products, how can you tell if your ETF is a survivor or a soon-to-be financial failure?

ETF Basics: How to Dissect an ETF Fact Sheet

You're thinking of investing in an exchange-traded fund, but what are the odds you're going to read the whole prospectus? Don't buy blind: The ETF fact sheet can give you much of the key information, if you know how to look.

Gold's Pullback Offers Investors Opportunities

The economic turmoil rocking Europe has been fueling the price of gold. The shiny metal, considered a safe haven investment, could be on track to hit $1,200. During Tuesday trading,gold fell from its five-month high as the dollar strengthened, creating an opportunity for bullish gold investors.