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

November 2005

Entrepreneurs Under 25

by Luke Landes

Yahoo has another interesting special feature, this time on young entrepreneurs. The feature includes stories of some individuals under 25 who have quickly become successful in their own businesses. There are several additional articles included in the special feature, but I wasn’t particularly impressed.

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Credit Card Solicitation to the Extreme

by Luke Landes

While we’re on the topic of credit cards, this story was submitted to me by one of my biggest fans. If you ride in elevators every day, like I do for my day job in a big corporate headquarters, then you’re familiar with the emergency telephone. The device is used in emergencies to call for ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Credit Report Affects Your Cards

by Luke Landes

If you carry a balance on your credit card from month to month (which I strongly feel should not be done if possible), be extra careful about negative items hitting your credit card. In the past, credit card companies would raise their interest rates to a card user who misses a payment or two. Missing ... Continue reading this article…

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Fight The Allure of Low Prices

by Luke Landes

The advice I hear most often is to stay away from high-priced mutual funds and go for the low cost index funds instead. The logic behind this is that you pay for fund management with no guarantee that the fund will beat its index. Extending this logic, one might think it would make sense to ... Continue reading this article…

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News Everywhere

by Luke Landes

There are many notable news stories today. Here’s a look: * Bank of New York confesses to money laundering and will pay $38 million to avoid prosecution. They probably made billions of dollars during the 1990s in their schemes involving Russia. As my coworker pointed out, that’s not such a bad return. * The car ... Continue reading this article…

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One Year of AdSense, Welcome Elliott Wave International

by Luke Landes

Here is how AdSense has done for me (in relative terms) since when I added ads to the site in November last year. This doesn’t include any of the revenue from other advertising programs I’ve experimented with. Speaking of experimenting with ads, I’ve added BlogAds to the site to determine if I’ll fare any better. ... Continue reading this article…

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Bad News For First Time Home Buyers

by Luke Landes

First of all, the numbers. The average “starter home” price nationally was $183,500 in the third quarter this year. With 10 percent down and a mortgage rate rate of 5.83 percent, the average during the same time period, a new homebuyer would need annual income of almost $50,000 to qualify for a mortgage. Here’s the ... Continue reading this article…

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News Is Free, At Least This Week

by Luke Landes

Here is good news for you if you are a fan of the Wall Street Journal. The online edition of the newspaper is free this week. Also, the paper is sponsoring a contest in which the winner will receive 25 hours of private jet travel.

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Reasonable and Customary?

by Luke Landes

This coming Friday, I’ll be the happy recipient of oral surgery. My third molars (wisdom teeth) have been slowly creeping towards the surface of my gums for the last ten years, and I’ve decided it’s time to get them yanked. My company’s health plan requires that these expenses are covered by dental insurance rather than ... Continue reading this article…

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Three Worst House Buying Excuses

by Luke Landes

According to MSN Money, here are the three worst reasons for buying a house: * It’s “better than the stock market.” “In the past 40 years, the average appreciation for homes has exceeded the inflation rate by only a percentage point or so. Compare that to stocks, which have bested inflation by 7 percentage points ... Continue reading this article…

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Fall Has Ended For Me

by Luke Landes

This has been the final weekend scheduled for me to volunteer with a certain organization. Since the end of September, one day a weekend — sometimes two days — was spent running marching band competitions for various high schools throughout New Jersey and New York. Normally I get a lot of personal satisfaction from organizing ... Continue reading this article…

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Google AdSense Referral Program

by Luke Landes

Today, Google introduced a referral program for AdSense. It works very simply: if John clicks on Jack’s referral button and signs up as a publisher, when John earns his first $100, Jack’s account will be credited $100. Honestly, AdSense has been the most consistent performer for all of the websites I handle, although I wouldn’t ... Continue reading this article…

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Amazon’s Digital Books

by Luke Landes

Amazon.com is planning on offering books in online form in addition to the physical objects. They will be selling online access to digital books, and it seems customers will be able to buy the entire book or a portion, such as a chapter. This is only part of the story. Amazon also plans on offering ... Continue reading this article…

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Hacking BusinessWire and Making Millions

by Luke Landes

Two Estonian traders have been charged by the US Securities and Exchange Commission for hacking into the computer system of a business news service and stealing PR announcements before release. The SEC claims the hackers used the stolen information to make $7.8 million through illegal trading. The SEC charged Lohmus Haavel & Viisemann with fraud ... Continue reading this article…

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Balance Sheet and Income Statement, October 2005

by Luke Landes

If you continue reading, you’ll see my balance sheet and income statement for the end of October, 2005. Progress has been slow this month. Some comments about my balances are below the chart.

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ING Direct – Now It’s For Real

by Luke Landes

This just in: ING Direct has increased the APY offered on its savings account from 3.4 to 3.5 percent. You can find more savings account rates here. My monthly review will be coming tomorrow or later this weekend. Subscribe to my RSS feed with your favorite reader to make sure you don’t miss it!

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The New Tax Proposal

by Luke Landes

I was thinking about commenting on the latest tax proposal from the president’s advisory panel, but I don’t think it’s a worthwhile topic yet. There will probably a number of changes before anything comes up for a vote, and then more changes after that.

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Netflix Settlement

by Luke Landes

Those who were members (or took advantage of the free one-month trial) of NetFlix prior to January 1, 2005 may be interested in becomg part of the class action lawsuit against the company. A plaintiff sued Netflix for false advertising involving their “unlimited movies” and “one-day delivery” claims and won. The settlement is unimpressive; the ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Plan Expenses

by Luke Landes

According to analysis by MSN Money, in some cases a low-fee 401(k) plan with no company match beats out higher-fee 401(k) plans with company matches, so it pays to be aware of your plan’s expenses. The article notes that one of the best 401(k) plans in existence is the government’s Thrift Savings Plan with an ... Continue reading this article…

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Dave Ramsey Profiled in NY Times

by Luke Landes

The New York Times has published a profile of Dave Ramsey, anti-debt guru. Dave has a radio show where individuals call in to discuss problems both financial and otherwise. Interesting to note, from the article: “As an evangelical Christian, he insists that his followers make regular donations to churches or other charitable organizations.”

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