The ability to stay ahead of the market is a rare skill, which is why many investors' ideas don't pan out. The ones who have a history of executing on their winning calls become renowned stock market gurus, and of course, very rich. There are people who have a knack for the analysis and devote their lives to it, and then there are those who are lucky enough to be the first to know when the news hits the tapes– those people can make out big too.

I've tried keeping on top of the finance publications for the latest market events, but by the time the news reaches my screen, the market is already back at equilibrium. I knew there were people who reaped the benefits of true inefficiencies like post-earnings announcement drift, but as an individual investor, how could I be one of the first to get my hands on such information to gain a competitive edge against the broader market?

So I asked a close friend how he and his team pinpoint and capitalize on market inefficiencies with the money he's been successfully investing for one of the largest hedge funds in New York for over a decade. Of course, hedge funds provide very little visibility, but my friend told me one of his personal sources of information,

Real Money, a membership-based website run by some of the most successful hedge fund managers, and financial advisors in Wall Street history. It's where my friend looks for breaking market news stories that impact the market, and to discover winning calls made by the site contributors, and investment strategy advice before the news hits the public outlets.

The team at Real Money is not made up of just journalists, but of professional chartists, analysts, day traders, money managers and financial advisors handpicked by Jim Cramer through his connections in the business. They've got day jobs and skin in the game, and many share the same ideas with members as they professionally execute or advise their clients on.

You'll get actionable trading advice, and stock ideas from Bruce Kamich, an accomplished chartist for many bulge bracket firms, and HUGE portfolio managers like Chris Versace, David Katz, and of course Jim Cramer, one of the most successful hedge fund managers in Wall Street history, delivered exclusively to members in real-time. You can communicate directly with the site contributors and professional money managers on the site to gain stock market knowledge and investment advice from professionals, and they'll respond inline. It's a forum of in-depth market analysis, actionable stock leads, and original, market-moving stories written by financial professionals handpicked by Cramer himself. Real Money provides exclusive information, real-time stock advice, and a look into how investment decisions are made by professionals. You can subscribe here free for 14 days with no obligations.

The site contributors don't just report the market news, but rather the stories that the market isn't seeing – clues that investors should know about, and ideas they're professionally making hay with. Cramer's "Fill or Kill" team, named for Fill or Kill orders (orders placed to buy or sell a large volume of stock that must be executed immediately, or not at all), doesn't just report the market news, but rather research and analyze the stories that the market isn't seeing—clues that give investors additional information to help them stay ahead. They create market-moving content reporting on the information they receive from Cramer, board members, management teams, and TheStreet like Doug Kass, Jack Mohr, Bruce Kamich, other team members and site contributors. This content often gets picked up by the public finance publications after-the-fact.

As a recent example, the Fill or Kill team launched an investigation about the qualifications of Lululemon's longest-standing board member, Rhoda Pitcher. Those qualifications could never be verified and after the team broke story, Pitcher stepped down, and later the news hit the public outlets, Lululemon's stock price dropped. Real Money members had this information first. Likewise, shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) dropped 7% in one day after Real Money short seller Andrew Left revealed his short position. Real Money members that follow Andrew, and acted on this idea were able to stay ahead of the curve.

The sheer volume of actionable ideas are displayed in the Real Money Ideas section, which you can follow to see whose ideas panned out—including buy price, strike price and the contributors' returns on each, and the ideas link out to the articles written on them which provide the analysis behind each decision. With this knowledge, you can decide who you want follow.

Real Money provides you with access to information that the average investor doesn't see as quickly, and a real-time market education from the best pros in the business for just $3/week. Some misjudge the amount of depth in the service, but if you take the trial you'll see how much valuable info and dialogue there is, and how many strategies it will cover. The content goes beyond market news and public knowledge.

Update: The folks at TheStreet are extending a special offer for our readers! Follow this link to get a Free 14 day trial to Real Money with no obligations! (And it's only $3/week if you choose to continue with membership!)

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Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.

via Tiffany & Co.

When the new Tiffany's campaign was unveiled, reactions were mixed.

Tiffany's, the iconic jewelry brand which does not (despite what some might be misled to believe) in fact serve breakfast, featured Jay Z, Beyoncé, and a rare Basquiat painting in their recent campaign.

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Road trips can be a lot of fun — but they can also drain your wallet quickly if you aren't careful.

From high gas costs and park admission fares to lodging and the price of eating out every night, the expenses can add up quickly. But at the same time, it's very possible to do road trips cheaply and efficiently. Without the headache of worrying about how much money you're leaking, you can enjoy the open road a whole lot more. Here's how to save money on a road trip.

1. Prepare Your Budget, Route, and Packing List in Advance

If you want to save money on a road trip, be sure you're ready to go. Try to count up all your expenses before you hit the road and create a budget. It's also a good idea to plan your route in advance so you don't end up taking unnecessary, gas-guzzling detours. And finally, be sure to pack in advance so you don't find yourself having to buy tons of things you forgot along the way.

2. Book Cheap Accommodations — Or Try Camping

All those motel rooms can add up surprisingly quick, but camping is often cheap or free, and it's a great way to get intimate with the place you're visiting. You can check the Bureau of Land Management's website for free campsites. Freecampsite.com also provides great information on If you don't have a tent or don't want to camp every night, try booking cheap Airbnbs or booking hotels in advance, making sure to compare prices.

Camping camping road tripConde Nast Traveler

If you're planning on sleeping in your car, a few tips: WalMart allows all-night parking, as do many 24-hour gyms. (Buying a membership to Planet Fitness or something like it also gives you a great place to stop, shower, and recharge while on the road).

3. Bring Food From Home

Don't go on a road trip expecting to subsist on fast food alone. You'll wind up feeling like shit, and it'll drain your pocketbook stunningly quickly. Instead, be sure to bring food from home. Consider buying a gas stove and a coffee pot for easy on-the-go meals, and make sure you bring substantial snacks to satiate midday or late night cravings so you can avoid getting those late night Mickey D's expeditions.

Try bringing your own cooler, filling it with easy stuff for breakfast and lunch — some bread and peanut butter and jelly will go a long way. Bring your own utensils, plates, and napkins, and avoid buying bottled water by packing some big water jugs and a reusable water bottle. Alternatively, try staying at hotels or Airbnbs with kitchens so you can cook there.

4. Avoid Tolls

Apps like Google Maps and Waze point out toll locations, so be sure to avoid those to save those pennies. (If it takes you too far off route, you might have to bite the bullet and drive across that expensive bridge).

You can also save on parking fees by using sites like Parkopedia.

Road Trip Road TripThe Orange Backpack


5. Save on Gas

Gas can get pricy incredibly fast, so be sure that you're stopping at cheap gas stations. Free apps like GasBuddy help you find the most affordable gas prices in the area. Also, try going the speed limit on the highways — anything faster will burn through your tank. Be sure that you don't wait till you arrive at touristy locations or big cities to fill up.

6. Get a National Park Pass

All those parks can get really expensive really fast. If you're planning on visiting three or more parks, it's a great idea to get an America the Beautiful National Parks Pass. For $80 you can get into every National Park for one year.