Identity Theft – More Tips on How it Can Be AvoidedWritten by Charles Essmeier
Recent security breaches at several credit card companies continue to worry Americans, as stolen financial information can lead to identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone obtains your Social Security number and/or other vital information and uses it to pose as you. By doing so, they can take advantage of your good credit history to open new credit card accounts or obtain loans. They get to spend money, but you get to pay bills. It often takes a victim a year or more to even detect that he or she has been a victim of ID theft; clearing up mess caused by an identity theft scam can take years and can harm you personal credit report indefinitely.
We have covered a few identity theft tips in previous articles, but here are some more things conscientious consumer can do to minimize chances of being latest victim of an ID theft scammer:
When engaged in online banking activity, avoid using short or obvious passwords. Names of children, family pets, favorite sports teams and like are obvious choices and are easily guessed by thieves. Many scammers now use “dictionary attacks” to obtain passwords, which will try every word in dictionary until password is cracked. If you use a common name or word, you are vulnerable. If you must use words from English language for passwords, use long ones. “TheNewYorkYankeesTotallyRock” is a better password than “Yankees.” If you can, use a mixture of letters and numbers. Longer is better.
Buy a shredder. Keep important documents, of course, but shred
Wal-Mart: Discount Store, Discounted Stock?Written by Dr. Charlie Tian
As GuruFocus (http://www.gurufocus.com/) updates stock buys and sells of gurus, Wal-Mart (WMT), discount retail giant, stands out as stock with a high ValueRank (7 out of 10). Just recently, Clipper Fund’s James Gipson and T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund’s Brian Rogers bought Wal-Mart.
Oakmark’s legendary fund manager Bill Nygren was first guru that bought Wal-Mart. He bought at price of $53 a year ago. Bill Ruane, Graham-and-Doddsville superinvestor recognized by Warren Buffett, bought about 700,000 shares Wal-Mart at similar price in fourth quarter of 2004. As stock price drifted down, he added another 380,000 shares, bringing his total holdings to 1.1 million shares. In last quarter, James Gipson purchased 2.8 million shares of Wal-Mart for his famed Clipper Fund, and Brian Rogers bought 4 million shares of Wal-Mart for his $19 billion T. Rowe Price Equity Income Fund.
The price of Wal-Mart did not go up, not yet. If an investor buys Wal-Mart today, he pays a lower price than what Bill Nygren and Bill Ruane had paid. If he is patient enough and holds stock until price appreciates (finally), he will beat these best investors on this investment.