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10. Borrow against other investment accounts
Pros: Anyone with an investment account can qualify for a so-called margin loan, which costs nothing to open. The rates are decent: typically 6.2% to 7.3% for accounts with at least $50,000 in assets.

Cons: It's a bad idea to borrow more than 25% of the value of your stockholdings (even though you're allowed to borrow up to 50%). That's because drops could trigger an automatic sale.

Say you have $100,000 in assets and borrowed half of that. If your portfolio falls 10%, you are now allowed to borrow only $45,000, or $5,000 less than what you borrowed. Assuming you don't have the cash on hand, your broker will have to sell double the difference, $10,000, to get you back in line with the 50% limit, lowering your investment account to $80,000. If the stock market keeps falling, this can be a vicious cycle of forced selling when stocks are already down.

NEXT: Borrow from strangers
Last updated August 22 2008: 12:36 PM ET
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