Better Buy: Costco vs. Lowe’s

It’s a tough matchup. Costco (NASDAQ:COST) is the king of the warehouse shopping world, edging out Walmart‘s (NYSE:WMT) membership-based venue Sam’s Club. Home-improvement name Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) may not be as big as rival Home Depot (NYSE:HD), but CEO Marvin Ellison — a former Home Depot executive — is turning up the heat on the company’s competition. Both are perfectly fine holdings for most long-term investors.

If there’s only room for one in your portfolio, there are a couple reasons that Lowe’s is the better buy right now. Let me explain.

Man plotting arrows, one rising faster than others.

Image source: Getty Images.

Why not Costco?

Don’t misread the message. Costco doesn’t face an existential crisis. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, the retailer was riding high on several years of unfettered growth. The last time it struggled in a big way was during 2008’s fallout of the subprime mortgage meltdown, and even then, it fared

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Prime Day 2020 Deal: AeroGarden products up to 40% off at Best Buy

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

AeroGarden Harvest Grey



Amazon


Winter is fast approaching, but an AeroGarden makes it easy to take your garden indoors. Select models are currently up to 40% off at Best Buy as part of their early Black Friday sale, a two-day event happening right now in tandem with Amazon Prime Day 2020.

AeroGarden’s Bounty is now only $249.99, a savings of $150 from its usual price of $399.99. It holds up to nine of your favorite crops with dimmable lights to mimic sunrise and sunset for natural growth, while vacation mode keeps plants healthy when you’re away from home.

Or, grow 12 plants of up to three feet in height with the AeroGarden Farm 12XL for just $419.99. Typically priced at $699.99, that’s 40% off for fresh produce all year long.

To use an Aerogarden, you simply pop

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Is Home Insurance Required When You Buy a House?

If you’re buying a home, one question you might wonder is this: Is home insurance required when you own a house?

In many cases, homeowners insurance is indeed mandatory—and even in cases where it isn’t absolutely necessary, it’s still a good idea. To help you understand why, we’ve put together this Home Buyer’s Guide to Home Insurance, which will help walk you through what you need to know from beginning to end.

In this first article, we’ll introduce you to what homeowners insurance is, why it’s often essential, and what can go wrong if you don’t have it.

What is homeowners insurance?

With home insurance, as with other types of coverage (including health insurance), you pay a relatively small amount of money either monthly or annually in exchange for the promise that your provider will help you pay for unexpected costs you might incur as a homeowner.

What can

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5 pieces of advice for anyone who wants to buy a second home

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

Buying a second home isn’t a quick process — it takes time, and a lot of planning.

Financial planner and co-founder of Facet Wealth Brent Weiss has seen several clients buy second homes, and says there’s one important thing to have before you start.

“The No. 1 thing that people need to do is have a plan around it,” he says. “If you do it right, it becomes a really amazing part of your financial plan, and it’s a successful moment for you.”

In order to build a solid plan, there’s a lot that needs to happen before you even start thinking about the home itself.  

Find out what a

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Real Estate Market: Rent or Buy a House During Covid? Home Hunters Explain Moves

Maybe it’s too many months living and working in the same cramped quarters. Or the ultra-low mortgage rates. For some, spending less during the pandemic means they finally have enough saved for a down payment.

All that is prompting people to ask themselves whether now is the time to buy a home — even as the long-term outlook for the real-estate market remains uncertain.

There’s been a burst of home buying across the U.S., especially in suburbs outside cities where people were cooped up during the spring Covid-19 lockdown. In August, contracts to buy single-family houses in Greenwich, Connecticut, nearly tripled from a year earlier. Contracts were up 57% in nearby Westchester County.

Homes Get Scarce

The supply of single-family homes in the U.S. is getting tight

Capital Economics Ltd., U.S. Census, National Association of Realtors

The U.S. market is so hot that the supply of homes for sale is

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AutoZone and Three Other Retailers to Buy for the Election

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AutoZone is on Wells Fargo analyst Zachary Fadem’s list of best ideas..


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

With the presidential election just over three weeks away,

Wells Fargo

took a look at what the results could mean for the retail sector. The bank found that the best bets are in home improvement and auto parts.

Analyst Zachary Fadem noted that Democratic nominee Joe Biden, now leading in the polls, has pledged to return corporate taxes to their level before the 2017 tax cuts, at around 28%. While that might be a concern for investors, he said retailers have advantages that could help offset the pain.

If limits on state and local tax deductions are also removed, he said, many consumers may spend more. Potential new tax credits, such as for child care, could also put more money into the pockets of low- and middle-class consumers, funds they might use for

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2 Stay-at-Home Tech Stocks to Buy Right Now

Some technology companies have had the unique opportunity to help businesses of all sizes weather the coronavirus pandemic. And some of these tech stocks have thrived as people around the world spend more time at home than ever before. 

Investors who are looking for a couple of investments that are tapping into the stay-at-home trend should consider snatching up shares of Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM) and Limelight Networks (NASDAQ:LLNW). Here’s why these two stay-at-home tech stocks are worth considering right now.

A person on a video call.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Zoom Video in on this investment opportunity 

I was a bit skeptical about Zoom’s stock when it started gaining attention months ago as the U.S. lockdowns began. My hesitation was that there are plenty of other video communication tools available from tech heavyweights, so how could Zoom’s services beat them all? 

Boy was I wrong. Zoom’s stock is up an astounding 611% so

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How you can buy a home with a low-down-payment FHA mortgage

Many people consider homeownership part of the American dream — but can’t dream of landing a traditional mortgage. That’s why FHA loans exist.

These loans that are backed by the Federal Housing Administration are popular with first-time buyers and those with lower incomes. While you might need a credit score of 620 for a conventional loan, you could be approved for an FHA loan with a score of 500. And you could be eligible for a down payment of only 3.5%.

They’re not just for new buyers, either. You can use your FHA loan to refinance your mortgage or even repair an older home.

Sound appealing? FHA loans do offer some attractive features, but they may not be right for everyone.

How do FHA loans work?

Jirapong Manustrong / Shutterstock

Congress established the Federal Housing Administration in 1934 to help borrowers get a mortgage, especially those who would otherwise

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Buy Netflix (NFLX) Stock for Long-Term and Stay-at-Home Growth?

Netflix NFLX doubled its own subscriber growth estimates in the first quarter, boosted by the initial shock of the early lockdown period, and followed that performance up with another big subscriber beat in Q2. The streaming TV firm has been at the forefront of the next wave in entertainment for years and now the coronavirus has seen Hollywood push back nearly all of its theatrical releases, which could benefit Netflix.

So let’s see what to expect from Netflix’s third quarter results that are due out on October 20, and try to help investors determine if it’s still time to buy NFLX for the long-haul…

The Only Game in Town

Netflix added 15.8 million paid users around the world in Q1 to crush its 7 million guidance that it provided before the coronavirus changed things dramatically. NFLX then pulled in over 10 million in the second quarter to blow away its

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Red hot home prices have more consumers saying now is a bad time to buy

People wait to visit a house for sale in Floral Park, Nassau County, New York.

Wang Ying | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Anyone out hunting for a house knows that bidding wars are no longer the exception, but the rule.

Demand for housing has been unusually strong, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and supply is historically lean. That is a recipe for high prices, which are now beginning to take their toll on potential homebuyers’ confidence.

The share of buyers who say they think it’s a good time to buy fell in September, from 59% to 54%, according to a new survey from Fannie Mae.

Home values were up nearly 6% annually, according to CoreLogic, a data analytics firm. More consumers now expect those price gains to grow.

The percentage of respondents to the Fannie Mae survey who says prices will go up in the next year increased

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