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Are obscure stocks worth the risk? (access required)

My pharmacist son-in-law likes to research small, unknown stocks that trade below $10 a share and invest in a few hundred shares of each. He has had a few big wins, but over the past decade I think his many small losses have used up most of his big gains.

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What grade should F Funds get? (access required)

I work for Social Security and have their Thrift Savings Plan. I would like to transfer some of my money from the very conservative and guaranteed G Fund that just pays about 2.2 percent to the F Fund that pays 4.28 percent but isn't guaranteed even though the money is in bonds.

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Need TIPS? Don’t go for the gold (access required)

I asked my broker about a good inflation hedge, and he pushed us to invest $25,000 in American Century Global Gold Fund. My wife and I are very concerned about inflation when we both retire in nine years at age 67. We have a $141,000 portfolio of income/growth stocks you recommended in the past, and we reinvest all the dividends as you recommended.

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Intel is swell as long-term investment (access required)

I'm a married, 37-year-old, self-employed plumber with three children and have barely managed to keep my head above water these past few years. Because I'm a conservative investor, the broker for my small pension plan wants me to buy $5,000 of the Goldman Sachs Growth & Income Fund, which is up over 12 percent for this year.

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Forget about college; make that son a soldier (access required)

We told our son that if his high school grades were good, we'd pay for his college education. We consider his 3.36 grade point average very good. However, my job was downsized last March, and now we don't have the income to pay the $30,000 annual sum to cover the costs of tuition, fees, books and room and board.

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