In Brief: Jul. 24, 2000

FLIP TAX Property flipping--buying a home, renovating it and reselling it at a higher price--is smart business. But a recent Senate investigation found that this practice--with a fraudulent twist--is on the rise in major cities. Shady brokers are flipping properties using inflated appraisals and falsified renovation documents. Be sure to check out mortgage lenders and brokers as well as the property, or hire a closing attorney.

FUNDS FOR PEANUTS With so many mutual funds out there touting $2,500 or higher price-tag minimums, a fledgling investor can be discouraged. But there are fund companies that allow investors to open accounts with...

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