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

July 2007

4 Great Rewards Credit Cards for Drivers

by Luke Landes

Here are several credit cards the provide the best rewards for drivers through rebates on gas purchases as well as a few other benefits. It’s difficult to find good credit cards as the companies are pulling back their offerings. If you’re interested in making the most out of your money, jump on these offers before ... Continue reading this article…

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Second Quarter 401(k) Results Are In

by Luke Landes

According to the statement I received in the mail, my 401(k) investments returned a healthy 6.56 percent return (not annualized) over the second quarter. For the year so far, that’s 10.31 percent. I’m pretty happy with these results considering I changed my contribution instructions to be a little more conservative a few months ago as the stock ... Continue reading this article…

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Go to College Without Going Into Debt: An Example

by Luke Landes

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about options for going to college without going into debt, in response to an article about the near impossibility of doing so. Commenter “t” shared his or her experience: I also chose the state school route. I’m lucky enough to have grown up in a state (washington) with ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Records

by Luke Landes

Third day in a row with market records, but not on all indexes at closing. Toby thinks I’m crazy for thinking “bubble,” but I’m not really thinking it anyway. S&P 500 at 1,549.52, Dow at 13,950.98, Nasdaq at 2,697.33. [Yahoo Finance]

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Think You Pay High Fees?

by Luke Landes

UBS apparently offers some investment accounts for which the fees can constitute an effective $8,800 per trade. They’ve been sued by the New York Attorney General and will now pay $21.3 million to settle those charges. I can’t help but wonder, taking all the fees charged in the 3,000 affected accounts, and subtracting the $21.3 ... Continue reading this article…

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My Car Gets 15 Miles Per Chicken

by Luke Landes

If you’re tired of complaining about gas prices, no matter who is doing the complaining, you may be happy to hear about a new alternative fuel. Chicken fat (tallow) is the latest product to be considered for biodiesel. Tyson is hoping that the technology works out; corn prices increased to follow its energy-related demand, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Carnival of Personal Finance #109

by Luke Landes

The Carnival of Personal Finance is posted at the Mint Blog. I liked Net Worth vs. Cash Flow, Why Most People Get Returns Lower Than the Market, and Couples and Money.

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Financial Lessons from Television Fiction: The Office

by Luke Landes

Now that my new cable company is providing me with the works for less than $15 a month, including a digital video recorder, I find myself wasting more time watching television while doing other work. One of the shows I can’t get enough of is The Office. While the characters are a bit exaggerated, there ... Continue reading this article…

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Stupid Investment of the Week: Rich Dad Academy

by Luke Landes

Related: Analyzing a Kiyosaki cornerstone: Is Your Home an Asset or Liability?. Chuck Jaffe, a writer with MarketWatch, set his sights on the Teach Me to Trade seminar last year, and ordained the event his “Stupid Investment of the Week.” This year, he attended Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad Academy,” and came to the same conclusion. ... Continue reading this article…

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Another Day, Another Record

by Luke Landes

Another day, another record in the stock market. Records always make me think “bubble.” S&P 500 at 1,553.35, Dow at 13,916.19, Nasdaq at 2,704.22. [CNN Money]

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Personal Finance Blog Roundup, Philadelphia Edition

by Luke Landes

This weekend, I will be visiting King Tutankhamon in Philadelphia. I’ve wanted to see this exhibit for a long time, and it’s closing at the end of September. The exhibition is sold out later on, so now is the time to go. Here are some articles from other blogs that caught my attention this week, ... Continue reading this article…

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The Issue of Gas Prices: Complainers vs. Complainers

by Luke Landes

Just like any major media issue in this country, the issue of gasoline prices has two sides: those who complain about the prices, and those who complain about the complainers. The facts support both sides of the argument. Simply, gas prices have increased sharply over the past few years, but are still less than prices ... Continue reading this article…

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Congress: Tax Preparers Must Police Their Clients

by Luke Landes

Thanks to a new law signed in May, tax preparers, whether certified public accountants, lawyers, or your local H&R Block, can be assessed strong penalties for filing returns with “questionable or aggressive tax items” on behalf of their clients. This new regulation will go into effect for 2007 tax returns. The Wall Street Journal says ... Continue reading this article…

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Upcoming Downtime on Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary and a bunch of other sites I host like pfblogs.org, Carnival of Personal Finance, and Meta Best Blog Win will be down on Friday night (early Saturday morning) from 2:00 am for about 5 hours. The server is being moved to a larger facility in Los Angeles. Please bear with us. This move ... Continue reading this article…

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The Market Broke

by Luke Landes

The market broke all kinds of records today. My investment accounts are flying high (relatively speaking) for the time being. S&P 500 at 1,547.70, Dow at 13,861.73, Nasdaq at 2,701.73. [Bloomberg]

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College Graduates: Starting Salaries Jumped This Year

by Luke Landes

Here are the latest figures for average starting salaries. * Chemical engineering: up 5.4 percent to $59,361 * Computer engineering: up 4.8 percent to $56,201 * Mechanical engineering: up 4.6 percent to $54,128 * Electrical engineering: up 3.2 percent to $55,292 * Civil engineering: up 5.4 percent to $48,509 * Computer science: up 4.1 percent to $53,396 * Information science: up ... Continue reading this article…

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Flexo’s 2007 Goals: Status at the Halfway Point

by Luke Landes

Back in December, I set some goals for myself for the upcoming year. Now that 2007 is halfway complete, it’s a good chance for me to take a look and see how I am doing in these particular pursuits. Income goal: Earn $40,000 in revenue outside of my day job. Stretch goal: $60,000. According to ... Continue reading this article…

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A Parking Spot That Costs More Than Average House

by Luke Landes

The National Association of Realtors claims that the median price for sold homes in May was $223,700. Would you pay more than that for a parking spot? Perhaps this is an indication of how crazy the market is in Manhattan, where a parking spot at 246 West 17th Street is fetching $225,000 — and has ... Continue reading this article…

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Whole Foods CEO Internet Scam

by Luke Landes

The Chief Executive Officer of Whole Foods, John Mackey, has been posting on internet message boards, promoting his company’s stock (example) and pointing out the faults of others in the same category (example). I find it unlikely that a few messages affected the stock’s price to a significant degree, but that’s not the point.

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Be Grateful for Generation Y

by Luke Landes

Be grateful for Generation Y. They don’t settle for meaningless work, they don’t worry about being seen at their desks, they play well with others, and they don’t put up with jerks. [Penelope Trunk]

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