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BUSINESS
October 31, 2010 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
Howard Wolfe watched gold prices soar for several years before he finally decided to jump. Last year, the Mississippi retiree answered an advertisement for a company selling gold bullion. He wired $20,000 when the metal was retailing for $1,100. As of last week, gold was selling for more than $1,300. But Wolfe was not celebrating. The gold he bought was never delivered and he can't get the company to answer his calls. "I liked the company because they seemed kind of low-key," Wolfe said.
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BUSINESS
October 10, 2010 | By Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times
Most stock mutual fund categories scored double-digit gains in the third quarter, lifting 2010 returns back into the black. Equity markets worldwide surged in September as investors regained confidence in the global economy, or at least stopped expecting an imminent cataclysm. The average domestic stock fund, which had been down 4.7% year-to-date at the end of June, was up 5.3% as of Sept. 30 after rallying 10.5% in the quarter, according to Morningstar Inc. In a survey of 170 professional investors nationwide in late August, financial advisory firm Russell Investments found that 57% believed that stocks were undervalued.
BUSINESS
October 9, 2010 | By Tom Petruno, Los Angeles Times
Larry Wilcox, the former "CHiPs" TV star accused by federal regulators of securities fraud, has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges in the stock manipulation case. Wilcox, 63, could face five years in prison on one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud under a plea bargain reached with the U.S. attorney's office in Miami on July 2 and released publicly this week. The Justice Department filed criminal charges against Wilcox and nine other penny stock promoters on Thursday in Miami at the same time that the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil securities fraud charges.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2010 | By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times
The party in Beverly Hills featured an object that brought oohs and aahs from the celebrity-dotted crowd. It was fashioned out of an 83-carat sapphire, platinum, black leather and rubies. And it makes phone calls. Price tag: $70,000. But at least you don't have to buy it with a two-year plan. The Vertu Signature cellphone — each of which is handmade by one craftsman in Hampshire, England — is the top-of-the-line model from the Vertu company, which is owned by Nokia.
BUSINESS
May 7, 2010 | By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times
For years, the biggest fans of gold weren't taken very seriously. Now they're looking downright prophetic. After rising for three straight weeks, gold futures are hovering near the record of $1,217.40 an ounce set Dec. 3. If you invested $10,000 in gold two years ago, it would be worth nearly $14,000 today — for a return of just under 40%. While fans of the shiny metal have sometimes been dismissed as "gold bugs," the fact is that gold has been rising in value every year since 2001, when an ounce of gold was selling for $279.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2010 | By Richard Burnett
At least one-third of Kimberly Sterling's clients have sought advice in the last year about investing in gold. The Orlando financial planner has successfully discouraged all but one from doing so. That one investor insisted on having some gold in his portfolio, she said, despite her warnings. Eventually she referred him to a gold-commodities exchange-traded fund that has done well during the metal's decade-long run-up in price. But her firm, Resource Consulting Group, still wouldn't buy in. "Our bottom line is this: Gold is a bubble now, and it is too late to get in," she said recently.
BUSINESS
November 21, 2009 | By Tom Petruno
Gold remains in a powerful bull market as measured by prices in the futures market, where speculators can run rampant. But third-quarter data from the World Gold Council show that the surge in the metal's price to record highs ($1,146.40 an ounce as of Friday) hasn't been accompanied by record purchases of the real thing. The recent peak in buying of physical gold, in fact, was in the third quarter of 2008 -- before the financial system meltdown accelerated. The council's report put total global purchases of gold in the quarter that ended Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 22, 2009
BUSINESS
September 17, 2009 | Tom Petruno
Gold and other precious metals soared again Wednesday amid a buying stampede. Near-term gold futures in New York jumped $13.90, or 1.4%, to finish the session at $1,018.90 an ounce, a record closing high. Silver rocketed 43 cents, or 2.5%, to $17.41 an ounce; platinum gained $29.80, or 2.3%, to close at $1,350.10. "It's really a feeding frenzy," said Larry Young, senior trader at Infinity Futures in Chicago. Gold is up 7.1% so far this month, beating the 4.7% advance in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index.
BUSINESS
September 12, 2009 | Tiffany Hsu and Martin Zimmerman
Gold fever is back. The question is: For how long? The precious metal leaped above $1,000 an ounce Friday and stayed in four-digit territory, closing at record highs. The steady ascent of gold in recent months -- it is up more than 15% since April -- partly reflects a simultaneous slide in the value of the dollar against other currencies, analysts say. Some gold buyers are also worried about inflation and are skeptical about the ability of any currency to hold its value as they nervously watch the world's central banks flood the financial system with money.
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