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Fools were out and about last week in an investing world jam-packed with actions and ideas. Here are three articles you might find useful as you decide how to invest your money.

Where to Make Money in HousingHousing: It's stressful when you need it, it's stressful when you have it, and it's stressful when you invest in it. Fool analyst Dan Caplinger has a suggestion for those who have given up trying to guess when housing will hit its low and start to rebound. Apartment real estate investment trusts could be a good way to play a trend toward renting, writes Dan.

Apartment developer Avalon Bay Communities (NYS: AVB) , for instance, works on both coasts and has a solid balance sheet, notes Dan. Its shares have risen almost 20% in the past year. Dan also points out the dividends that REITs are paying. Avalon Bay Communities yields 2.8%, according to Yahoo! Finance.


Read Dan's article for more advice on how to make money in housing.

5 Stocks to Own for 50+ YearsIf you're like Fool contributor Nick Kapur, your life isn't set up so that you can (or want to) dig deep into each investment opportunity that comes across your radar and then keep an eagle eye on how things pan out over the years. "I've got bigger fish to fry," writes Nick.

How does he balance that with the need to stay in the market? He looks for companies that he can buy and hold for perhaps a lifetime and even pass on to his children. Philip Morris International (NYS: PM) and Visa (NYS: V) are worthy stocks already in Nick's portfolio. Here's what he had to say about these two stocks:

  • "Smoking is a filthy habit. But if you're an adult and you've willingly decided to light up, so be it. And if you've decided you need to so badly that you're willing to pay 10 bucks a pack on the regular for it, even better. As an opportunistic investor, I'm not going to pass that up."
  • "I love the gatekeepers. Visa owns the channels that are being used to facilitate a massive (and growing) number of commercial transactions worldwide. I can't imagine a better competitive position to be in. Success is never guaranteed, but Visa has a head start."

Read the article to learn more about Nick's strategy and companies that fit the bill.

The Dow Is WorthlessReasoning that goes something like "the Dow" = "the market" = "the economy" is based on a bogus foundation, according to Fool analyst Dan Dzombak. "The Dow Jones Industrial Average is an index of just 30 stocks ... weighted by the stock prices of its component companies and nothing else," writes Dan, calling it a "relic of pen-and-paper times."

As an example, Dan takes a look at what would have happened if Apple (NAS: AAPL) had been included in the Dow, as many expected, to replace General Motors in 2009. Priced around $600 a share today and holding the title of largest publicly traded company in America, a Dow that included Apple would have already soared above 14,000, writes Dan. "Companies would be hiring more people and buying back stock in droves as confidence grew with the rising stock prices. Yet the fact that the Dow can be altered so heavily by just one stock is exactly why you shouldn't rely on the Dow."

If you watch the market, you should read Dan's article.

Want more help building your portfolio? Click here for free access to The Motley Fool report "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich." In it you'll find advice on the savings habits you need to build long-term wealth, along with the names of three stocks to help you put together a smarter retirement portfolio.

At the time this article was published Fool online editor Kris Eddy owns no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article.The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of General Motors, Apple, Philip Morris International, and Visa, as well as creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days.

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