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Al Jacobs
Professional Investor

A. B. Jacobs is a professional investor with four decades of first-hand involvement in intricate business and investment activities.

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Investing and Finance Articles by Al Jacobs Investing and Finance Articles by Al Jacobs

Welcome to the Great Depression
Al Jacobs on Depression and Recession
Americans awoke to learn that the “Great Recession,” plaguing the economy over the prior several years, had ended. Of even greater consequence, its official end occurred in June 2009, fifteen months earlier. The source of this welcome news: none other than the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the nation’s most prestigious nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying the science and empirics of the American economy.
::: Read Economic Article
Survival in Tough Times: Smart Shopping
Al Jacobs Smart Shopping in Tough Times
When economic times are good, you may be inclined to shop with little regard for price or value. But when conditions turn sour, as they have for many Americans, it’s another story. The advertising industry is devoted to identifying what citizens consider significant. Even more so, the market manipulators create those choices. With customers now in short supply and lesser sums to be spent, the competition is as fierce as it is grotesque. As your dollars must be stretched longer and harder, you’d better spend each of them wisely.
::: Read Frugal Shopping Article
The Subprime Aftermath: Lessons Learned
Al Jacobs How to Deal with the Subprime Loan Crisis
Though not quite as contemptible as an obscene four-letter word, the term “subprime loan” comes close. Those two words acquired a stigma over the past year as the real estate market essentially collapsed. It’s the rare financial analyst that fails to remind us how subprime lending resulted in nationwide misery. Unfortunately, after uttering that accusation, many counselors are remarkably imprecise as to exactly what constitutes a subprime loan.
::: Read Subprime Loans Article
The Importance of Financial Awareness in your Children
Al Jacobs Tips for Teaching Children about Money
The following set of questions and answers is an interview I recently gave to a children’s magazine. Although my financial commentary is normally aimed in a different direction, the questions were challenging and my answers seem appropriate for any adult audience. As you read my responses, you’re invited to think of the youngsters in your life, as you consider how you might interact so to be of help.
::: Read Financial Awareness Article
How to Make Sure You Don't End Up Broke
Al Jacobs Tips to Retire Rich Information
A fundamental question that every financially concerned individual must face is this: Will my money expire before I do? It’s not a trivial matter, for the prospect of arriving at advanced age with no assets was never more accurately expressed than by character Lamont Sanford in the television series “Sanford and Son,” when he exclaimed: “There’s only two things worse than being poor—it’s sick and dead.”
::: Read Retirement Article
The Hows and Whys of the Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown
Al Jacobs Sub Prime Mortgage Information
During this past month the nation learned of the collapse-in-progress of the sub-prime mortgage market, which it appears will be promoted as this season’s spectator sport. Each day we view another victim in this saga: a former sub-prime loan processor who lost her job, a condominium owner now six months behind in his mortgage payments and facing foreclosure, or a shareholder of Accredited Home Lenders whose stock value fell 65% in a single day. What are we to think? Who is to blame? What must be done?
::: Read Mortgages Article
Why I Don't Invest in Mutual Funds
Al Jacobs Investing in Mutual Funds Tips
For more than four decades I’ve involved myself in investments, including stocks and bonds, real estate, mortgage lending, and variety of enterprises, some of them hard to describe. However, there is one endeavor that I’ve systematically avoided. It is the mutual fund. At the risk of alienating the investment world, I offer the following observation: Mutual funds are not a particularly profitable way to invest. Let me share with you my biases on this subject.
::: Read Mutual Funds Article
7 Ways to Tell If You Are on the Trail to Success
Al Jacobs Road to Success Guide
At some point in most people’s lives comes a realization that the dreams of youth and more sober aspirations of early adulthood may never come to pass. A childhood fantasy to become a famous movie star, a teenage obsession to excel on the athletic field, or a young worker’s aspiration to be a millionaire, are among the hopes that remain a distant vision. But as years pass and illusions fade, each of us must come to terms with the success we achieve—or fail to achieve.
::: Read Personal Finance Article
Investment by Default
Al Jacobs Investing in Mutual Funds Article
No discussion of securities in the first decade of the twenty-first century may ignore what is now the most powerful and profitable marketing tool of the industry: the open-end investment company known as the mutual fund. Since formation of the first such company in the United States in 1924, acceptance by the public grew to become universal.
::: Read Investment Article
Intellectuals Beware
Al Jacobs Intellectuals Beware Article
“Do you really have to be a genius to become financially independent?” Perhaps it’s time that we consider exactly what role native intelligence plays in achieving monetary success. Although the modern public school establishment may contend otherwise, we cannot all be at the top of the class.
::: Read Personal Finance Article
Observations of a Bubble
Al Jacobs Real Estate Bubble Article
The subject of real estate is seldom discussed today without mention of the omnipresent housing bubble. From all reports, it seems certain to burst, bringing with it a cornucopia of misfortune for millions of souls. Judging from the incessant flow of articles and commentary, it is a national obsession. Publications of such stature as Reuters and Businessweek and persons as prominent as Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan are regularly addressing the problem.
::: Read Full Investment Article
The Mutual Fund - A Critical View
Al Jacobs Investing Mutual Funds Article
Not long ago I received an inquiry from a visitor to a website on which I’ve functioned as the financial consultant over the past year. The questions, short and to the point, read as follows: “What should I look for in a fund? I recently rolled over a 401(k) into an IRA and right now sitting in a money market account (I’m peeved at my advisor about that). I’m looking for some good aggressive growth funds. One more thing: The IRA is about 6K. Should I put it in one mutual fund, or a couple, or a hundred? Thanks, Kelly.”
::: Read Full Investment Article
A Thimbleful of Prosperity
Al Jacobs Investing + Personal Finance Article
My financial newsletter as well as a regular flow of articles, stress the importance of amassing assets. In these writings I discuss savings and retirement programs, corporate stocks and bonds, rental real estate, mortgage lending, and a variety of other more or less sophisticated methods for achieving wealth. My belief has been that, provided with guidelines and encouragement, any person can learn to master the techniques needed to become prosperous.
::: Read Full Financial Prosperity Article
The New Bankruptcy Law (in America)
Al Jacobs Investing + Personal Finance Article
For a brief historical background, the concept of bankruptcy is relatively modern, dating in this country to 1800 when Congress adopted the first national bankruptcy law, modeling it after a British statute of the time. Prior to that time, unpaid debts were treated as criminal offenses throughout the world. In ancient Rome, creditors were literally able to divide the body of an insolvent debtor or to enslave him and his family.
::: Read Full Bankruptcy Article
Wrestling With the Establishment
Al Jacobs Investing + Personal Finance Article
Have you done any business with a large multinational company recently? And if so, during the transaction did you have that feeling of confidence which comes only in the presence of grandiosity, as eloquently expressed in the slogan adopted by a mammoth northern California savings & loan association some years ago? "Big . . . Safe . . . Friendly."
::: Read Full Investing Article
25 Signs That Show You Know How to Handle Money
Al Jacobs Investing + Personal Finance Article
The ability to master your money is not something that just happens. It takes time, training, and temperament.. Whatever the average citizen knows about saving and investing did not come from the classroom. This is understandable, of course, if only because the typical classroom teacher is equally mystified by the world of money. Nonetheless, there are those among us who have figured out how it all works, and what it takes to prosper
::: Read Full Investing Article
5 Magnificent Ways to Waste Money
Al Jacobs Personal Finance Article
This is dedicated to those among us whose wealth is so abundant that they need advice on how to dispose of it. In connection with the guidance I’m about to offer, I can claim no original inspiration, as the methods are not novel. I’ll also concede that many individuals without money to burn also practice these spendthrift techniques, though exactly why persons not rolling in dough behave in such a fashion remains a mystery
::: Read Full Personal Finance Article

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