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

2005

Stupid Investment of the Week

by Luke Landes

On MarketWatch, Chuck Jaffe presents his Stupid Investment of the Week. In this case, it is the STAR Trader Workshop. If workshops like these have superfans, I am the farthest from one. Luckilly, Chuck lost only time and not money by attending an introductory workshop. This seminar, as advertised on television infomercials, is supposed to ... Continue reading this article…

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Vacation In Total

by Luke Landes

So, how much did I spend on my vacation to Williamsburg, Virginia? Let’s take a look.

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No Tips, Service Charge Instead

by Luke Landes

A fancy restaurant in New York City is eliminating tips and opting for a mandatory service charge of 20 percent of the bill. The restaurant has a noble mission. The cooks are struggling at minimum-wage jobs while waiters, also minimum-wage workers, retain all the benefits of the tips. However, I’m not sure that this is ... Continue reading this article…

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Competitive Online Bank Accounts

by Luke Landes

For those who read this blog — or, for that matter, any blog dealing with personal finance — there are no suprises in this article from CNN Money, Online savings accounts duke it out. The article discusses ING Direct and its newer rivals in the higher-interest online-only savings bank scene, Emigrant Direct and HSBC. An ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival of Personal Finance #8

by Luke Landes

Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance (basic introduction, schedule) and welcome to Consumerism Commentary (about, best of) to any new readers! This is the eighth installment of the Carnival. In this issue: Designer Pets. Free Money Finance discovers the latest craze for dog owners, crossing poodles with other breeds, giving us wonderful breednames ... Continue reading this article…

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Balance Sheet, July, 2005

by Luke Landes

I apologize for the lack of updates today. I’ve been completely swamped at work, as things tend to be at the beginning and the end of the month. There’s a new supervisor in my department, and I’ve been showing him the ropes. The table that follows is my latest personal balance sheet, as of July ... Continue reading this article…

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The Golden Ratio and the Market

by Luke Landes

There are a lot of crazy theories about movements of the stock market. Take a look at Elliott Waves for instance. Supporters believe the tenets of Elliott Wave Analysis like a religion, while those who disagree believe the theory is bunk. Have you ever heard of the golden ratio? It is related to the Fibonacci ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival #7

by Luke Landes

The Carnival of Personal Finance #7 is up at In Cash Flow We Trust. Some notable posts: About Jonathan of MyMoneyBlog, Ways to Burst the Real Estate Bubble from My Open Wallet, Brown-Bag it to Half a Million on Hello, Dollar! (a site for which I can picture Carol Channing belting out the title song), ... Continue reading this article…

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The State of the Web

by Luke Landes

As blogging became more mainsteam — first in 2000 with Blogger, then after 2001 with all the political blogs that arose from seemingly nowhere — new business models developed. On one front, bloggers have convinced the corporate world that blogs should be an integral part of a company’s marketing and public relations plan. It’s a ... Continue reading this article…

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Time to Quit Your Job

by Luke Landes

How do you know when it’s time to quit your job? I’ve left jobs before, whether it was because it was time for me to do something else or because it was due to a “mutual agreement to move in separate directions.” But how do you know if you’ve stayed too long in a less-than-ideal ... Continue reading this article…

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Hands Off The 401(k)

by Luke Landes

Hewitt Associates, the same company that processes my company’s accounts payable, has performed a survey regarding 401(k)s. They discovered that almost half of workers leaving their jobs convert their 401(k)s to cash. This is despite the fact that in addition to income tax, there is a steep penalty (10 percent) for cashing out the tax-deferred retirement ... Continue reading this article…

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Current Checking and Savings Rates

by Luke Landes

The table containing the latest checking and savings account rates has moved. Please update your links.

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Wallet of Plastic

by Luke Landes

It’s widely believed that the more credit cards you have, the better your credit rating. MSN Money, with the help of some experts, debunks that common misconception and recommenhds having two to six credit cards, and using them wisely: Keep your debt ratio low. Don’t carry a balance higher than 30 percent of the credit limit. ... Continue reading this article…

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Welcome

by Luke Landes

Welcome to all new readers coming from the Wall Street Journal Sunday Edition. [Alternative link to article.] You may be interested in an introduction to this website or a list of what may be the best of Consumerism Commentary. My latest balance sheet and expense report is here and you can browse entries by category ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Clubs?

by Luke Landes

Marshall Loeb mentions the popularity of money clubs, akin to the investment clubs of the 1990s. Much like other sorts of support groups, money clubs offer the unique opportunity of belonging to a group of people with similar desires, who can encourage, inform and brow-beat you as needed. (This sounds very much like the community ... Continue reading this article…

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Property Taxes

by Luke Landes

I am not a homeowner right now for many reasons. Here’s another reason to add to the list: sky-high property tax. Yes, I pay some property tax now, hidden within my rent bill. Landlords pass the cost of taxes onto tenants. Because of the high cost of buying and owning a home, finding money for ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival of Personal Finance #4

by Luke Landes

This week’s Carnival of Personal Finance was masterfully hosted by Jon at Smart Money Daily. Take a look! Here are some highlights: * You Can Save a Bundle Without Having a Large Income. That’s what I’m striving for; although having a higher income would certainly help me. * Money Goes To Where It Is Needed ... Continue reading this article…

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Extreme Frugal Living and Farming vs. Hunting-Gathering

by Luke Landes

More accurately, it’s extreme poverty. That is the best way to describe living on one dollar a day in a pre-industrialized (farming) community. Now imagine this family, earning one dollar a day, has six children to support. Forget about television (much less cable) and internet. Forget about cell phones (or any phone, for that matter). ... Continue reading this article…

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Letting Terror Affect Your Investment Strategy

by Luke Landes

When terror strikes, it’s easy to think about September 11 and the poor performance of the stock market following the event. It may be better to wait this one out before running for the hills and cashing out. It’s better not to make hasty decisions based on world events. CNN Money offers that same advice. ... Continue reading this article…

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Can’t Buy Me Happiness

by Luke Landes

Here is some common sense from Jeanne Sahadi: If financial success is important to you, and you are not as successful as those around you, you are not going to be as happy as someone who doesn’t care as much about financial success. In fact, setting financial success as a goal can make some people ... Continue reading this article…

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