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

January 2006

False Tax Returns Cost NYC Millions

by Luke Landes

From the Associated Press: Two accountants have been indicted on charges of tax evasion and helping hundreds of their clients file false city and state tax returns, resulting in the loss of millions of dollars. These accountants, Jeffrey C. Rosner of Queens and David E. Cohen of Staten Island, charged up to $500 per tax ... Continue reading this article…

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Apparently I’m Retiring Soon

by Luke Landes

Somehow I managed to get on the mailing list for AARP, the Organization Formerly Known As The American Association Of Retired Persons But Now Known By Acronym Only. I probably put down a fake date of birth on an unrelated website that asked me for my age many years ago, and now every few weeks ... Continue reading this article…

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Saving is Anti-American

by Luke Landes

A survey released by ACNielsen today has determined again that Americans are the world’s worst savers (among developed countries). Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of Americans have no money left once they’ve paid for their essential living expenses and spent their discretionary dollars. That puts the United States at the top of a list of ... Continue reading this article…

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Tuesday Reading

by Luke Landes

Here are some articles I’ve found interesting today: CW network to replace WB and UPN [CNN] How much you can save by renting a car away from an airport rather than by an airport [USA Today] Keeping your cool when $#!7 happens on the job [Money Magazine] Invest to take advantage of the coal boom ... Continue reading this article…

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The Number is Anti-American

by Luke Landes

I talked about The Number by Lee Eisenberg on a number of different occasions, including an in-deplth look at the book in a five-part review. Here’s a fresh look at the “memoir,” written by Paul Farrell from MarketWatch: Eisenberg’s book is an extremely entertaining read. I loved it… But in the end, the book is… ... Continue reading this article…

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McDonald’s Corporate Responsibility

by Luke Landes

McDonald’s has begun publishing a “Corporate Responsibility” blog. This should be interesting to follow, but something about it seems disingenuine.

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Perhaps It Was Gold-Plated

by Luke Landes

If you had $25,000 to spare, you could have purchased William Shatner’s kidney stone. William Shatner was Captain Kirk on the original Star Trek, and he also plays a character in some show about a law firm in Boston. Most notably to me, with the help of Ben Folds, Shatner released a fantastic album called ... Continue reading this article…

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Financial Sharing Within Couples

by Luke Landes

Marshall Loeb sent his readers an early Valentine with his article about financial information that couples should share. By couples, he’s referring to those who are married or sharing ownership of financial accounts. Number One: “Married couples and those with joint investments or accounts should know the names, addresses and contact information of each other’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Local Kids Take On Rupert Murdoch

by Luke Landes

A brother-and-sister pair in Montgomery, New Jersey, not far from me, secured some start-up capital from their millionaire older brother, a 27 year old who made his first fortune from his dorm at Harvard. Their plan is to take on Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace — a horribly coded and organized (but popular) website now accused of ... Continue reading this article…

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What To Do When Your Bank Is Merging

by Luke Landes

Marketwatch has published an interesting article with advice for customers whose banks are going through a merger. I’m no stranger to this phenomenon. When I was 16, I had my first bank account with New Jersey National Bank. It was sooner or later bought by or merged with CoreStates (Dec. 6, 1996), then First Union ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Transferred to Debt

by Luke Landes

Over the weekend, I decided to use $2,000 of the money I made from freelance web consulting last year to speed up paying off my car loan. Even though my car loan has a lower interest rate (2 percent) than my some of student loans (~4 percent), it’s more important for me to reduce the car loan. ... Continue reading this article…

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Blogger Podcast

by Luke Landes

Scott has been putting together interview podcasts featuring personal finance bloggers. So far, he has published his interviews with MyMoneyBlog and Frugal for Life. Scott asks some great questions and it’s very interesting to hear what my colleagues in the blogging world have to say. Over the weekend, I was also interviewed for the podcast. ... Continue reading this article…

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Home Prices More Overvalued

by Luke Landes

Local Market Monitor is a research firm in the real-estate sector, and they’ve produced a report about the overvaluation trend. According to the firm, overvaluation is getting worse, and houses are priced above what the firm believes is the “fair value.” According to an article by Les Christie at CNN, home prices are accelerating even ... Continue reading this article…

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Introducing the MoneyBlogNetwork

by Luke Landes

Next month, I will have been “blogging” for six years. (Before that, I frequently updated websites with updates in reverse chronological order manually, so I guess that’s not considered blogging as I didn’t use specialized software for it.) In any case, the best part of blogging is being involved in communities. Some of my friends ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The latest Carnival of Personal Finance has been posted on Be Capitalism, a blog by the original author of Capitalist Blogger. Check it out. Included in this week’s edition are my thoughts on a happy retirement as well as a plethora of fine finance features.

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Best Of The Week

by Luke Landes

If you missed these great stories on other blogs this week, now is the time to catch up: * Free Money Finance takes a look at advice from David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire, in An Early Start on the Road to Riches. * JLP from AllThingsFinancial discusses the Five Step Strategy for Getting ... Continue reading this article…

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New Emigrant Direct Credit Card

by Luke Landes

There have been rumors if this for a long time, but Emigrant Direct has finally announced their new credit card. This is a “platinum” MasterCard that offers up to 1.25 percent cash back on all purchases with no yearly limit. The rewards are deposited directly into your Emigrant Direct account twice a year. If you ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Offers 4.75%

by Luke Landes

ING Direct is looking to win back defectors who have left the bank in search of higher interest rates. The “Orange One” is now offering 4.75 percent APY on new deposits from January 19 until April 15. In order for the funds to qualify, the money must be from an external source and be deposited into ... Continue reading this article…

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New Salary Figures for MBAs

by Luke Landes

According to USA Today, the average starting salary and signing bonus for new graduates with a fresh master’s degree in business administration (MBA) have jumped to $106,000 in 2005. $88,600 of that is for salary alone. Not all employers are paying so much for MBAs; the bulk of the numbers come from consulting firms and ... Continue reading this article…

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How To Become As Rich As Bill Gates

by Luke Landes

This essay is several years old, but I’ve just come across it now, at 2:00 in the morning on January 19, 2006. How do you become as rich as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft? William Henry Gates III made his best decision on October 28, 1955, the night he was born. He chose J.W. ... Continue reading this article…

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