Weekend Linkage: Buy and Hold, Overdrafts and the Internet Revolution

by Jason Unger

As we get into the middle of August and closer to the end of summer, we’ll start to get back into the swing of things. And as employment numbers “get better” — meaning less people are filing for unemployment — and the stock market ticks back up, perhaps brighter days are right around the corner.

So, as the more things change, the more they stay the same.

That’s the theme for this first link, from investment house (and my Roth IRA/IRA custodian of choice) Vanguard: Buy and hold is dead! Long live buy and hold!

Judging by some of the chatter on the financial news networks and postings in the blogosphere, “buy and hold” is dead, a chestnut burned to a cinder in the past year’s stock market inferno. The claim is provocative. It’s also misleading.

While we’re open to thoughts on “taking profits” through buying and selling, we know that buy-and-hold long-term investing through low-cost index funds is the best way to consistently successfully make money in the market.

At Fiscal Fizzle, Wojciech has a piece on How The Internet Changed Personal Finance. He points to four key ways:

  1. Online Banking
  2. Investing and Stocks
  3. Widely Available Financial Education
  4. Increased Competition

You know I love posts like this, since Automatic Finances is all about using freely available online tools to automate your money. Without the Internet, we couldn’t do what we do.

Finally, check out this useful Q&A from the Federal Reserve Board on Protecting Yourself from Overdraft and Bounced-Check Fees. It’s a good explanation for how they happen and how you can avoid them. (Our advice? Keep a financial cushion in your main checking account.)

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