Elizabeth MacBride, CNBC.com’s Posts

Citigroup on Wednesday reported a quarterly profit $1.14 a share on revenue of $17.012 billion.

You’d think that when you reach retirement, the most logical step in the world would be to begin drawing on your retirement account. Not so fast. Planning your income stream in retirement is a complicated endeavor. Moreover, it’s a brand-new skill. You spent your working life accumulating assets. Now it’s time to draw them down …

Exchange-traded fund providers, including Vanguard, Charles Schwab and BlackRock‘s iShares, have been slashing the expense ratios on their index ETFs in the past two years, trying to one-up each other and win more of your investing money. The stakes are high among the ETF industry giants, as investors embrace the passive style of fund management in greater numbers. …

Ignoring your portfolio could come at a high cost if history catches you at the wrong moment. Now, as the economy hums along and the market rises, it is a good time to bulletproof your portfolio against the volatility that can strike at any time.

Gold prices rose again last week on news of the downing of Malaysia Air Flight MH17, the latest in a series of geopolitical shocks that have sent the price of the precious metal up this year. The price of gold rose 4 percent in the year preceding July 17. On news that the airliner had …

If an unkempt man pitching what looked like a souped-up typewriter walked into your office, would you have the wisdom to invest in his company? Mike Markkula did. He was an early investor in Apple and eventually one of its CEOs. Just as inspiration: If you’d taken a one-third stake in Apple back then and …

Two kinds of mail are delivered reliably in late spring: income-tax refund checks and college acceptance letters. Unfortunately, what isn’t so reliable is the cost of that four-year education—with college costs continuing to soar year over year, nearly 70 percent of college students carry debt upon graduation. If your child or grandchild will be heading …

Quick quiz: What technology niche is currently attracting a ton of IPO buzz for companies that don’t generate a cent of revenue? If you answered social media, you’re wrong. The pace of biotechnology companies going public without any revenue to speak of has been even more torrid than social media IPO offerings. Sixteen biotech companies …

Approximately 1.7 trillion dollars are currently invested in variable annuities, a number that is swelling as baby boomers seek income for their retirement years. Variable annuities are contracts between you and an insurance company, under which the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you. Another way to think of them is as mutual funds …

When Elaine Swope joined Golden, Colo.-based Jacobs Entertainment as human resources director six years ago, only about 25 percent of employees participated in its 401(k) plan, and the average paycheck deferral rate was just 6.81 percent, including the company match. Both numbers are up since then, to 33 percent, and 12 percent, respectively. Swope pushed …

If you think you can be a great investor, you’d better enjoy working with one of the principal tools of the trade: the 10-K. Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett has said he loves to curl up with companies’ annual reports. When asked how to get smarter, Buffett once held up stacks of paper and said he “read 500 …

Nelson Mandela galvanized the socially responsible investment (SRI) movement when he called for people and institutions to sell holdings that supported South Africa’s apartheid regime. It’s taken 30 years for the investment companies to start catching up to Mandela when it comes to emerging markets. A tiny handful of funds now allow investors who want …

For nearly 70 years, many investors and investment advisors used a basic formula to guide them in creating diversified portfolios: the 60/40 (60 percent/40 percent) stock/bond split. The strategy worked well: It returned 10 percent a year from 1990–2011. The question now—as the number of asset classes and strategies available cheaply to investors proliferates, and …

If you’re 55 and fearing that the only way to rescue your retirement is a time machine, you are not alone. You’re also not out of options. The typical household made up of Americans in the 55-to-64 age range has accumulated only enough retirement assets—$120,000—to produce $400 to $500 of income a month to add …