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Few investors understand the total cost of a fund, including tax, transaction and advice fees.
If you’re not getting a chance to buy Facebook Inc. shares before Friday’s IPO, you’re not alone. Some specialized exchange-traded funds will be on the sidelines along with most everyone else -- at least for a while.

With the Federal Reserve pledging to keep interest rates ultralow and geopolitical risk running high, investors seeking inflation hedges continue to pour money into commodities such as gold and oil. And exchange-traded funds, which are highly liquid and easily accessible, are the vehicle of choice. The wildly popular SPDR Gold Trust, for instance, now holds about $70 billion in assets, making it second in size only to the SPDR S&P 500 among ETFs.
In this Oct. 15, 2008 file photo, specialist Joseph Morelli works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as despair over the economy sent Wall Street plunging, propelling the Dow Jones industrials down 733 points.
A small part of President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan is dramatically impacting the municipal bond market, sparing investors from a glut of new issues and low prices.

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Q. I am 25 years old and have maxed out my Roth IRA contributions for three years now.
Jean Bernhard Buttner never had much tolerance for people who broke her rules, says Jack Dempsey, who worked for her investment advisory firm Value Line Inc .
A bill in Congress could force a major change in the way mutual funds are bought and sold through advisers.

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After several months of market treats, it’s hard to make the case that we aren’t overdue for a few tricks.

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The hottest investments in 2009 have been, in no particular order: Emerging market stocks, especially Chinese stocks Bonds Risky, debt-laden U.S. stocks Following the bludgeoning we took last winter, it's no surprise that investors have either sought lower volatility in the fixed-income market or have tried to regain some ground in more volatile ...
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