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Alert Investor

Alert Investor


An Alert Investor is a smarter investor. Our goal is to provide an understanding of investing that forms the basis of smart participation in financial markets. We’re sponsored by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the largest independent financial industry regulator.

Recent articles

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3 Ways to Dig Out of Your Pile of Debt

There's no one-size-fits-all approach.

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Are You Leaving Money on the Table? Learn About the Earned Income Tax Credit

This tax break could be worth thousands, especially for low-income families with children.

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Need Cash ASAP? Slow Down and Think Before Getting a Tax Refund Advance

It may cost you more than it's worth.

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Don't Forget to Make Your Retirement, HSA Contributions by the Tax Day Deadline

It's not too late to make contributions toward 2016.

gold bars bricks ingots

Golden Rules for Investors: 8 Things to Consider Before Buying Actual Gold

Many people think of gold as a "safe" investment, but if you don't understand this asset, it's anything but.

wallet full of hundred dollar bills cash money

6 Tips to Boost Your Savings

Nearly everyone can find at least a little room in their budget for savings.

man shrugging confused surprised uncertain

What's Your Investing IQ? Take the Quiz

Less than 1% of respondents got a perfect score.

woman thinking about how to make money

Know Before You Borrow: 7 Questions Before Considering Peer-to-Peer Lending

These unique online lending platforms could help you get fast and easy access to cash -- but you need to understand what you're getting into.

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Save or Shred: How Long You Should Keep Financial Documents

Here are some documents you may want to hang on to for anywhere from a week to 30 years.

risk reward balance

Before You Say Hi to High-Yield Bonds, Read This

Don't let the hefty interest rates tempt you to buy "junk bonds" without fully understanding them.

college savings money in jar

Giving It the College Try: 5 Things Every Family Should Know About 529 Plans

These tax-advantaged savings plans may be the smartest way to save for college.

person smashing piggy bank with hammer

Cashing Out Your 401(k) Early? What You Should Know

It may be tempting to tap your retirement savings in order to cover near-term expenses, but there can be severe consequences.

Hidden Treasure: Why Modest-Income Taxpayers Should Learn About the Saver's Credit

This credit could reward you richly for doing something that's to your benefit.

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"Have It Your Way" Retirement Accounts: 4 Things to Know About Self-Directed IRAs

These tax-advantaged retirement accounts come with options and risks that you may not be aware of.

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11 Pet Names for Finance Fans

If you need a name for your new pet, there's plenty of inspiration in the world of finance. If you don't like these options, at least you'll learn something.

torn hundred dollar bill cash money ripped stock split

A Piece-by-Piece Guide to Stock Splits

A stock split does not change the value of a company, but it can have a number of indirect effects.

human network connection people peer to peer

Peer-to-Peer Lending: 7 Things Investors Should Know

Read up on P2P loans before you invest, because they're not for everyone -- and they may come with substantial risk.

jenga tower risk

The Lowdown on Leveraged and Inverse Exchange-Traded Products

These instruments are complex and sometimes extraordinarily risky.

board of directors

Get on Board: Understanding the Role of Corporate Directors

Even CEOs have to answer to somebody.

earth under microscope small world

Incredibly Shrinking Markets

The number of stocks on the U.S. market has shrunk by almost half in the past 20 years. What's behind the market's contraction?