Investing

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Kristina Jonathan, an Atlanta-based digital-marketing consultant, has no interest in keeping up with the proverbial Joneses. For years Johnson, 38, has lived frugally, investing in real estate, maximizing her 401(k) plan savings and reducing expenses. Andrey Artykov | Getty Images By Johnson’s own account, she has amassed a net worth of nearly $1 million and …

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The improbable story making the rounds today of the 17-year old whiz kid of Wall Street who is rumored to have made $72 million trading the markets, while still in high school, is being widely disputed. Mohammed Islam, the alleged teenaged prodigy, said he had no idea where that dollar figure came from and that …

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Crude oil is hitting new lows, with WTI falling as low as $58.80 per barrel in early Friday trading. This, in turn, has crushed energy stocks. But one big trader seems to believe that the selling has produced a fat opportunity, and is now betting millions on an energy turnaround. In a large trade Thursday …

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A pedestrian walks past a sign displayed at eBay headquarters in San Jose, Calif., Sept. 30, 2014.

As activist investors help push spinoffs to record levels, it pays to remember some history: It can be very risky to hold onto spinoff companies after they are let go. “Investors will be surprised to learn that 4 in 10 spinoffs don’t generate any value over year one,” said Ryan Mendy, COO of consulting group …

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House vs. Stocks?

Even as the stock market soars to record highs, federal regulators are announcing new, cheaper ways for cash-strapped borrowers to buy a home. With the catastrophic housing crash of the last decade still glaring through the rear view mirror, the government is again pushing home ownership as the best way to build wealth, but is …

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An attendee walks through the Smith and Wesson booth during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits in Houston, May 3, 2013.

Smith & Wesson faces a double-barreled threat: Weak weapon sales and leverage. The gun manufacturer said Thursday night that sales fell 22 percent in the quarter through October because of weaker sales of a variety of firearms. In turn, the company cut its full-year sales target to a range of $504 million to $508 million, …

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Shrek and Jeffrey Katzenberg attend a DreamWorks event

The house of Shrek is a shambles. After going public to much fanfare 10 years ago, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation has become one of the biggest disappointments on Wall Street. And recently, the signs have only gotten worse. In the last few months, Japan’s Softbank and toymaker Hasbro each reportedly looked at buying the computer-animation studio …

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Barclays became the first big Wall Street firm to upgrade a major oil stock in the wake of the crash in prices, a tentative sign that there may finally be some value in the energy patch following a slaughter in the sector’s shares. Barclays upgraded BP to “overweight” and called for the company to slash …

Holiday retail winners

Dominic Chu tells us which consumer focused-auto stock are traditionally big winners during the holiday season.

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They’re bullish on the economy. They favor liquidity. And despite the record run for U.S. stocks over the last five years, they’re not prepared to surrender their oversized cash cushions just yet. Indeed, the superwealthy don’t invest like the rest of us—perhaps because they don’t have to. The “average” ultra high-net-worth (UHNW) individual with investable …

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In the digital era, there’s not much left to prop up DVDs, aside from Redbox kiosks. Can anything prevent them from tipping over? Perhaps surprisingly, physical DVDs still account for the majority of U.S. home-video entertainment spending, with an estimated $7.3 billion in sales and $4.2 billion in rentals in 2014, according to research and …

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It was the export announcement that shook the global economy. On Oct. 9, Germany announced that its exports fell by 5.8 percent, the largest monthly drop in five years. Over the next five days, the S&P 500 plummeted nearly 4 percent, leaving investors wondering, once again, if the world was heading toward another recession. When the …

CalSTRS investment strategy

Find out how the head of CalSTRS, the nation’s second largest public pension fund, is investing in this market.

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Nov. 7, 2014.

A brief pause in the pace of companies buying back their own stock likely will reverse in 2015, with companies expected to crank up the repurchase machine. Buybacks probably will increase 18 percent to $707 billion next year, according to an analysis from Goldman Sachs that also projects only a modest growth in business investment. …

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Talk to people over age 70 and, chances are, they’ll tell you they started taking Social Security benefits early. But talk to financial advisors, and they’ll say doing so is not necessarily the wisest decision. “If you can delay taking the benefits, then do,” said certified financial planner Bill Schretter, owner of Life-Legacy Services. “Don’t …