Science Says 
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Good investing habits that make your primitive ape brain hurt

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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 Investing 
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Should you invest in Bitcoins or are they just Beanie Babies for nerds?

Should you invest in bitcoins are or they just like these beanie babies?If you’ve never heard of Bitcoin, you probably will soon. Bitcoin is an electronic currency beloved by technology enthusiasts and privacy advocates that happens to be prone to sudden, huge run-ups in value.

The currency can be used to make purchases at a few online and brick-and-mortar stores — as well as the vast online black market of which the recently busted Silk Road was a part.

But what it’s mostly good for right now is speculating.

Three months ago, a single bitcoin would get you $121 on the open market. Yesterday it closed at $600, reaching an all-time midday high of $901. As you can imagine, speculators have been having a field day with Bitcoin, and some early adopters have quickly become very rich.
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 Bank Notes 
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When I’m saving, ‘Time Is on My Side’

Time is on my side when I'm savingThe Rolling Stones’ “Time Is on My Side” (actually written by American song writer Jerry Ragovoy) may not seem at first glance like a song about money, but the more I look at the lyrics, the more I think they could be written from a lender to a debtor.
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 Personal Finance 
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Comments of the week, renters insurance is cool edition

We had a lot of great comments on a bunch of different posts. One of my favorite types of comments are readers sharing their own experiences, and we got plenty of those on posts about renters insurance, bedbugs and financial pitfalls for veterans.

Here’s one from reader Huskervball testifying to the importance of renters insurance:

We had a killer tornado. Many apartment buildings were demolished. The importance of renters insurance was overwhelmingly clear.


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 Personal Finance 
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When do you need a financial adviser?

Do you need a financial adviser?Not everyone needs a financial adviser or planner, but there have been a couple of times during my financial journey when a guide would’ve been nice. So when do you need a financial adviser necessary? I wasn’t sure, so I asked one.

“Everyone is different, so I can’t say yes or no to everyone having a financial planner,” says Matthew Watt, financial consultant at Heymont & Company in Los Angeles. “I would like to think everyone should want a financial planner, but that’s naive and biased of me. I provide value for people who are too busy to manage things on their own or need a second opinion.”

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 Your Take 
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Your take: Is investing in IPOs smart, or strictly for muppets?

Is investing in an IPO smart, or strictly for muppets?Lots of people lined up yesterday to buy shares of brand-spanking new Twitter stock. Initially priced at $26 a share, Twitter stock was going for $45.10 when trading began, and at one point was up near $50.

Big pops like this are pretty common with high-profile IPOs (short for initial public offering); many rank-and-file investors can’t wait to get in on the new hotness and quickly drive the price up, buying in at price points so high they’ll probably never make much money on the stock.


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 Investing 
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Should you invest like a girl? Women investors may have natural advantages

Women investors may have some natural advantages over their male counterpartsLike almost every other aspect of a person’s life, gender exerts a powerful influence over the way we invest and the ultimately, the returns we achieve.

Numerous studies,  including one performed at UC Davis, indicate that “boys will be boys” when it comes to overconfidence in their abilities. On the other hand, women are more likely to make investing decisions that benefit them in the long run, although many women could stand to take on a little more risk.
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 Government 
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Takeaways from the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis

After 16 days of stupid, the government is finally open for business againLast night the Senate and the House of Representatives reached a deal that will fund the government until Jan. 15 of next year and extend the debt ceiling enough to cover U.S. borrowing through Feb. 7. While that gives us another stupid Washington catfight to look forward to early next year, it at least ends the current government shutdown and avoids a disastrous U.S. default, for now.

So with 16 days of government shutdown fun and a debt ceiling crisis behind us, it’s time to take a look at what we learned. Here are some of the big takeaways.


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