In Brief: Aug. 14, 2000

DIY 401k Self-directed brokerage options are gaining popularity, according to a study by Cerulli Associates. This option lets employees use their 401(k)s to trade stocks or pick mutual funds outside the sponsor's list. Keep in mind, though, that some plans have limits on the amount you can trade, and the extra fees for trading and commissions could pinch returns.

E-CASH P2Ps (person-to-person payment services), like PayPal and eMoneyMail, are becoming the standard method of settlement on Web-auction sites. Buyers deposit money in an online account that transfers funds to the seller when a transaction is completed. Unlike credit cards, though, most...

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