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Look Out for Dot-Bomb 2.0

The red-hot success of recent IPOs by internet companies has investors feeling lucky. But like every bubble, Dot-Bomb version 2.0 will leave investors bruised and banker laughing. Here's how you can avoid getting burned, and cash in on the trends driving these stocks without taking on all the risk.

The Real Cost of Workers' Comp Fraud

It's not surprising that the insurance industry and workers' compensation lawyers are sounding alarms about the high cost of workers' comp fraud. They're not exactly objective observers. But while worker compensation fraud does hurt us all, the pain may not be quite as big as these entities make it sound.

Buying Bullion: Are Gold Coins Worth the Money?

With gold trading at around $1,600 an ounce, this most precious of metals seems to many like a smart investment. And if you have a television, you've doubtless seen ads encouraging you to buy physical gold. But think twice: Owning bullion can be more trouble than it's worth, and alternatives exist.

Five Reasons You Shouldn't Cut Up Your Credit Cards

Recently, Wall Street Journal columnist Brett Arends wrote about how he's giving up credit cards and going all cash. He cited some compelling advantages to dumping his plastic, but it may not be right for you. Here are five things you give up by switching to an all-cash lifestyle:

Childhood Impulse Control Determines Adult Success

A Stanford study begun in the late 1960s shows a strong correlation between adult success and a childhood ability to defer instant gratification in favor of larger eventual rewards. Read on to find out how to stop your inner four year-old from ruining your life as an investor.

For Investors, Lessons from the Death of Borders

Following Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Borders now has to liquidate its remaining stores. But there's a bright side to the big box bookseller's death: Its long and tragic tale provides plenty of fodder for investors. Use these lessons to ensure that your future investments have a happier ending.

Bank of America's $8.8 Billion Black Eye

"The largest loss in Bank of America's history." That's the sound bite from the bank's second quarter earnings report, which disclosed an $8.8 billion bottom-line loss. But now that BOA is atoning for its mortgage-related sins, there's a chance its stock may be undervalued.

Inside Goldman's Earnings Miss

Goldman Sachs reported second quarter earnings of $1.09 billion, or $1.85 per share -- results that are below expectations. While still the most venerable Wall Street Bank, Goldman's quarterly earnings underline a key trait of the investment banking industry: Results can be exceedingly volatile.

A Look Ahead: This Week's Earnings Reports

Earnings season has officially kicked into high gear: 39 companies have reported so far, with the S&P reporting an earnings per share surprise of 6.8%. The best results include increases in financials, consumer discretionary, and materials. Here are some highlights.

How to Spot Suspicious Quarterly Earnings

For many companies, meeting or beating quarterly earnings estimates matters more than anything else. All too often, the drive to perform bleeds into a temptation to cook the books. But astute investors can see behind the numbers to glimpse the truth. Here are a few of the major red flags.

Say Goodbye to IBM's American Success Story

In its first 100 years, IBM soldiered forward by dominating in America. But Big Blue's second quarter results -- particularly its strong growth in expanding markets -- show that the next 100 years will be all about global dominance.

Are There Any Bargain Stocks in Teen Retail?

Despite the dismal economy, some investors have been snapping up teen retail stocks, driving their prices higher. But the combination of high fashion and high prices doesn't necessarily earn a company a premium price tag, or a place in a well-managed portfolio. Keep these metrics in mind to separate the bargains from the poseurs.

Last Week's Biggest Market Head-Scratchers

Wall Street can be fickle, leaving investors scratching their heads in bewilderment. Some of last week's biggest surprises, blunders, and flat-out boneheaded moves included Netflix's misguided pricing hike, ill-timed IPO announcements by Norwegian Cruise Lines and Zillow, and Trex going the way of Lumber Liquidators.

7 Free Apps That Saved Us an Instant $68.14

You paid a lot for your iPhone, so why not use it to earn back some of that dough? Here are seven apps -- all free -- that can save you hundreds of dollars a year, on gas, groceries, and goods sold online. We took them for a test drive and slashed our shopping tab by nearly $70.

Supervalu: A Good Value in Grocery Stocks

The grocery market has been rough in the last decade as big-box stores have emerged as new competitors. But before you dismiss an opportunity in the traditional grocery space, here's why bargain-shopping investors should take a stroll down the aisles of Supervalu.

5 Things to Watch Next Week: Potter Mania, Earnings

There's no such thing as a summertime lull when earnings season is upon us. Next week will bring plenty of headlines -- among them box office receipts for the last Harry Potter film and quarterly results from Apple, Cintas, and Microsoft.

'Ask the Expert': Netflix Price Hike, More 'Angry Birds'?

if(typeof AOLVP_cfg==='undefined')AOLVP_cfg=[];AOLVP_cfg.push({id:'AOLVP_1063988965001','codever':0.1, 'autoload':true, 'autoplay':false, 'playerid':'61371448001', 'videoid':'1063988965001', 'width':284, 'height':160, 'stillurl':'http://pdl.stream.aol.com/pdlext/aol/brightcove/ame/201107/18/12630/2011_0718_dailyfinance_netflix__8_640x360.jpg', 'playertype':'inline','videotitle':'The Netflix Price Hike','videodesc':'Daily Finance','videolink':'#'});We encourage you to "Ask the Expert" ... Stock-, investment- and market-related questions are pouring in ... So, we're chasing down people on the front-lines, including Chris Hill of Motley Fool. He's a straight-talker, the irreverent host of the nationally syndicated Motley Fool radio show and we...

Is It Time for Unions to Sober Up?

In this economy, many Americans feel grateful to have jobs in the first place. The nation's high unemployment rate makes recent video of some of Chrysler's unionized workers drinking and smoking pot on the job all the more galling. It's time for unions to stop protecting slacker employees.

Wal-Mart Finally Embraces Its Gritty Image

Great selection, low prices, and tolerable shopping conditions have long been recognized as Wal-Mart's winning formula. Fortunately, the company itself is starting to see it that way too. It hasn't been easy to attain, but Wal-Mart's self-knowledge should be good news for investors.

At Last, Citigroup Starts to Pull Through

It took a while -- three years, really -- but Citigroup, by far the weakest of the big banks coming out of the recession, is starting to pull through. After this morning's second-quarter earnings report of $3.3 billion, or $1.09 per share, investors have several things to rejoice over.

Google Smashes Earnings, Just Getting Started

Given Google's increasing centrality to our digital lives, it might shock you to learn that analysts had been rushing to trim down their estimates for the company's earnings in recent months. That was a mistake: Last night Google delivered second-quarter earnings that sent its shares skyrocketing.

How to Make Investing a Family Affair

Teenage boys talking about business and investing? It happens in this household. The Bush family has even made a household contest out of following the market. But mother Joan, who says that the investment education goes in both generational directions, is hoping for tangible returns.

Is the AT&T and T-Mobile Merger at Risk?

AT&T threatens to become the Moby-Dick of the mobile world if it succeeds in swallowing T-Mobile whole, but this controversial merger is far from a done deal -- political pressures and consumer objections threaten to imperil it. And there's more at stake here than a marriage of two companies.

Enjoying Your Latte WIthout Worrying About Dying Penniless

If you read enough advice columns, one fact will come through loud and clear: Personal finance experts hate lattes. But you don't have to give up your favorite addictions to reach your financial goals. And if you turn cutting costs into a crusade, you risk cutting into your quality of life.

Hot Stocks for a Cool Market: lululemon athletica

Yoga and fitness apparel specialist lululemon athletica has earned the awe of stock watchers and customers alike. While the general market has gained a respectable 5% in 2011, lululemon is up more than 70%. Looking five to 10 years down the road, this could become one of the world's great athletic brands.

Is There an Enron SItting In Your Portfolio?

Enron may be the most infamous, but it's just one of many instances of financial chicanery in recent corporate history. Examples of such shenanigans are rich, ripe, and recurring, right up to the present. Learning to spot potential black holes -- which we'll help you do in this series -- will allow you to avoid bad investments and purge your portfolio of ticking time bombs.

Hot Stocks for a Cool Market: Annaly Capital

A stock that does well when the rest of the market tanks -- that's the appeal of Annaly Capital management. While other stocks wilt under the heat of unemployment and an uncertain economy, Annaly thrives under these conditions. Then there's the company's dividend yield: a cool 14.2%.

Hybrids' Surprising Problem: So-So MPG

The soaring price of gas in recent years has made hybrid cars more attractive with each trip to the pump. But before you drive a hybrid off the lot, consider new findings from the Union of Concerned Scientists, which show that many hybrid models don't save consumers as much money or fuel as they might expect.