As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

September 2005

401(k) Withdrawal Break for Victims

by Luke Landes

Those affected by Katrina will be allowed to withdraw money from their 401(k) plans, free of any penalties. The IRS has decided (and will announce shortly, according to the article) that they are going to allow this. In situations like those that Katrina has wrought upon thousands of people, simple cash or otherwise liquid emergency ... Continue reading this article…

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Gas-Guzzlers Downshift

by Luke Landes

Coult it be that American consumers have started turning thier backs to gas-guzzling monster machines? From CNN: * Large SUV sales are 11.2 percent lower than they were at this time last year, according to AutoData. * In the “beige book” released Wednesday, the Federal Reserve reported a shift to vehicles that use less gas. ... Continue reading this article…

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Site Outage

by Luke Landes

We appear to be back online, if a little slow. It seems the power outage in Los Angeles — blame Wil Wheaton if you want, but the official excuse is that someone “inadvertently cut a power cable” — had this site (and many, many others) out of commission for several hours. Hopefully the sites are ... Continue reading this article…

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Katrina and Home Price Gouging

by Luke Landes

In Baton Rouge, home prices soared 20 percent as displaced persons began buying houses at a feverd pitch, in cash, not caring what they pay as supply is too low for demand. According to the CNN article, Baton Rouge residents have put their homes on the market to take advantage of the surge in demand, ... Continue reading this article…

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Wachovia Reaches for More Auto Loan Customers

by Luke Landes

Wachovia’s purchasing Westcorp and WFS in order to grow its auto loan business.

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Lucky Number 13

by Luke Landes

The Carnival of Personal Finance #13 is now available at Smart Money Daily. My post about the credit card grace period is included. Many good articles from other bloggers are included as well.

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Honda Civic 2006 Redesign

by Luke Landes

I drive a 2004 Honda Civic, but the new 2006 models look rather nice. I won’t be upgrading any time soon, but take a look at the new dashboard. Me like shiny lights. Our test car came with a very smooth automatic, but we’d prefer the manual for an extra measure of power. Fuel economy ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Adds Account Linking Feature

by Luke Landes

This may be old news, as I don’t know when this feature was added, but it is definitely appreciated. I was reading the seven simple solutions for managing your money from Kiplinger, and it inspired me to automatically deposit my paycheck (through Direct Deposit) into an savings account rather than my checking account. I found ... Continue reading this article…

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Hedge Funds in August

by Luke Landes

So the Barclay Group, which monitors hedge funds states that hedge fund investments gained 1.01 percent in August while the stock market fell 1.5 percent. While the 1.5 percent drop is before fees, there is no information regarding the net return of the hedge funds. Considering the high fees involved, the real returns may be ... Continue reading this article…

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ShareBuilder $50 Promotion Updated

by Luke Landes

Click here for the latest Sharebuilder promotion, a $50 bonus. I have been participating in ShareBuilder’s $50 bonus promotion which offers the free cash to those who open a new account online with a certain coupon code. Originally, I funded the account with $50 from my checking account and invested in $46 worth of IYZ, ... Continue reading this article…

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Katrina Donations Scams

by Luke Landes

There are an increasing amount of Katrina-related donation scams out there. Please, please educate yourself before giving. If you are not already familiar with the organization to which you choose to give, a certain amount of due diligence should be done. Check ScamBusters as a starting point. The Better Business Bureau can only be trusted ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Card Grace Period

by Luke Landes

After I learned to stop using my credit card for buying things and paying for expenses, I learned how to use my credit card deals for buying things and paying for expenses. By this, I mean I realized that I can use the credit card as a tool, especially if it offers a rebate like ... Continue reading this article…

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What More Could Be Said

by Luke Landes

The country is obivously still reeling from Katrina. While talking about anything else makes little sense, with every blogger already writing about the event, evaluating governmental response, placing blame, and/or declaring on how they will give money to support those seeking refuge, I feel like the topic has been talked out. The logical conclusion of ... Continue reading this article…

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Investing After Katrina

by Luke Landes

Here are some articles that touch on how to concentrate investments post-Katrina. Jim Jubak says stay away from sectors that will take a strong hit due to rising energy and commodity prices in addition to retailers that rely on low-income consumers. Instead, head towards companies that stand to gain the economic shift that Katrina has ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekend Accomplishments

by Luke Landes

I hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend. It’s been a difficult time for thousands of people with regard to the Katrina catastrophe. I hope every reader and their families are safe. Sometimes, we have to remember that there are more important things in life than reading and writing blogs. Before I left for the weekend, ... Continue reading this article…

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Income Statement, August 2005

by Luke Landes

In conjunction with my August balance sheet, here is my August income statement, followed by some notes.

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Balance Sheet, August 2005

by Luke Landes

Once again, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the monthy progress report. The good news is my balances went up this month. The bad news is that it wasn’t by much. If I get around to posting my income sheet for the month, we’ll be able to see where the problems lie. I keep adding ... Continue reading this article…

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Price Gouging at the Pump?

by Luke Landes

Hurricane Katrina, as it shut down refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, is cited as the reason for the sharp increase in gas prices in the last 48 hours or so. My faovrite gas station has its prices blocked out on its display board, and I assume this means they are no longer selling unleaded ... Continue reading this article…

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Scottrade Experience Thus Far

by Luke Landes

A few weeks ago, Richard asked: I have been having an “issue” with Schwab over their $45 inactivity fee & $95 termination fee. Next week I shift over to Scottrade. How is Scottrade treating you? Do they allow dividend reimbursement of stocks in your portfolio? (I heard they once did not.) I am looking forward ... Continue reading this article…

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