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Good investing habits that make your primitive ape brain hurt

by Claes Bell on December 09, 2013

Good investing habits can make your brain hurtBy almost any measure, the average American is pretty terrible at investing.

Between 1993 and 2012, individual investors earned an average annual return of 2.3 percent, according to a study by DALBAR, a financial services market research firm. That’s not only terrible, it’s a lot less than the 8.2 percent they would have earned just parking their money in stocks of the 500 largest American companies and reinvesting the dividends.
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What do rappers invest in? Judging by their lyrics, gold and deposits

by Claes Bell on December 08, 2013

Judging from their lyrics, rappers invest in gold and bank deposits over stocks and bonds.Rap Genius, a one-stop shop for annotated rap lyrics, released a tool that allows you to search their entire archive of rap lyrics for certain words or phrases.

Being the type of person who looks to rap for insights on finance, the first thing I did was plug in different types of investments to see which ones rappers preferred, or at least rapped about.
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Sock-of-the-month club a cool new way to squander money, dignity

by Claes Bell on December 06, 2013

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be sock of the month club subscribersIf you’ve got a hundo burning a hole in your pocket and are looking for the dumbest possible way to spend it, have I got a deal for you.

A sock-of-the-month club is a subscription service for socks, and yes it is a real thing that exists. You sign up and pay on a monthly or per-year basis and get socks mailed to you that typically cost $12 to $14 a pair.
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Asked to donate at the register? Feel free to say ‘bah humbug’

by Claes Bell on December 05, 2013

Asked to donate at the register? Feel free to say noEver experience “donation shaming”?

It’s a common practice, especially during the holidays, for cashiers at grocery stores and big box retailers to ask you if you want to donate a few dollars to a charity along with your purchase.
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Big banks consider charging for deposits, are probably bluffing

by Claes Bell on December 04, 2013

Big banks consider charging for deposits, but there are plenty of alternatives.What if banks gave you a negative interest rate, actually charging for deposits, rather than paying interest? That’s what some banks are contemplating if the Federal Reserve stops paying them .25 percent interest on the gigantic reserves they hold at the central bank.
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How to get cops to pay attention to your property crime

by Claes Bell on December 03, 2013

How to get cops to pay attention to your property crimeIn 2006 my house was robbed in broad daylight by unknown individuals. They took my Xbox 360, my laptop and some of my wife’s jewelry, in addition to some other less valuable stuff.

I was dumb enough not to be carrying renters insurance, so I was out over $1,000 by the time all was said and done.
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Discounts at many stores are 1 part real price cutting, 3 parts BS

by Claes Bell on December 01, 2013

There’s something deeply satisfying about getting a good deal that goes beyond the actual amount of money you saved.

Walking out of a department store having saved 60 percent thanks to coupons and a big sale may make people happy, but most of it is B.S.
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Comments of the week, game console flipping edition

by Claes Bell on November 30, 2013

Game console flipping isn't without risks.Another week, another set of thought-provoking comments from readers.

Readers weren’t too keen on Black Friday. Asked whether they participate, Emm, a recovering Black Friday shopper, thinks it’s become crazier since the days when she showed up for doorbusters:
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