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

August 2007

Market Update, August 14, 2007

by Luke Landes

Did you have a bad day today? Coming back from vacation, I found myself immersed in a number of new projects at work. In the mean time, the market keeps disappointing. Dow down to 13,028.92, S&P 500 down to 1,426.54, Nasdaq down to 2,499.12.

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Market Update, August 13, 2007

by Luke Landes

While I was on vacation, not once did I look at the state of the stock market or my investments to see how they were doing. I guess it’s better that way. Dow down to 13,236.53, S&P 500 down to 1,452.92, Nasdaq down to 2,542.24. [CNN]

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Capital One Does The Right Thing

by Luke Landes

Up until last week, Capital One was poorly servicing their credit card customers. Rather than reporting customers’ credit limits to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion as other credit card issuers do, Capital One would report the high-water mark. In this situation, if one’s credit limit is $5,000, and the maximum ever charged in one billing period ... Continue reading this article…

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Souvenir Tax Bill: Lucky Fan May Owe $210,000

by Luke Landes

If you haven’t been living in a hole and have any interest in sports, you may have heard that Barry Bonds surpassed Hank Aaron’s record and hit his 756th home run the other day. With all the footage from a plethora of angles of Bonds breaking the record, the news also showed a man in ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You Accept a Counteroffer?

by Luke Landes

Reader Aaron writes in with his latest workplace developments and a question. While working at my current job, I have been interviewing for a new position with the same company. The new position is at a significantly higher level with a title to match, a higher salary, a better commute, and what seems to be ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update: August 6, 2007

by Luke Landes

The Dow gained more points today than on any other day this year. A sign of more to come? Dow up to 13,468.78, S&P 500 up to 1,467.67, Nasdaq up to 2,547.33. [USA Today]

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Fidelity Investments to Offer High-Yield Checking

by Luke Landes

I am currently on vacation and may not offer posts as frequently as usual. More brokers are offering high-yield checking accounts to compete with ING Direct’s Orange Checking. Offering competitive checking accounts helps the brokerages increase their assets without having to pay a significant portion of its earnings out as interest. Right now, E*Trade is ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnivals are Up!

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary is included in two blog carnivals today. The Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted at Frugal Law Student, includes Another Case of Misleading Statistics, and the Carnival of Debt Reduction, hosted at Finance Psychology, includes Paying Off Debt: 6 Steps to Building a Better Snowball. Here are some of the articles I enjoyed from ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update, August 3, 2007

by Luke Landes

My trading window is open, but the company stock in my ESPP is down from where it was at the end of second quarter. I’ll need to make a quick decision to sell or hold for another quarter. Dow down to 13,181.91, S&P 500 down to 1,433.06, Nasdaq down to 2,111.25.

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$25 Bonus for Opening ING Direct Electric Orange Checking Account

by Luke Landes

After logging into ING Direct to view my account balances this morning, I noticed the bank is offering referral bonuses like they do for their savings account. I have $625 to give away, $25 to each of 25 individuals. I’ve written about Electric Orange a few times. Here are some of my prior posts about ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Waste Two Hours Every Workday?

by Luke Landes

This was a cross-cubicle conversation topic earlier this week. Salary.com apparently has time enough to waste which allowed them to complete the 2007 Wasting Time Survey. Across all workers, 1.7 hours of an 8.5 hour workday is wasted on tasks like arranging doctor’s appointments, socializing with co-workers, and using the Internet for personal purposes. As ... Continue reading this article…

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Bad Implementation: High Speed Mortgage Payoffs

by Luke Landes

There’s a new mortgage technique that’s gaining popularity in the United States. This is the first I’ve heard of it, and I don’t like it, even though the technique supposedly allows people to pay off mortgages faster, saving interest expense (but losing investment opportunity and the reverse effect of inflation). The premise users a home ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, July 2007 (Net Income: $4,646)

by Luke Landes

to get a complete picture of my finances as of July 31, 2007, please read my latest balance sheet if you haven’t done so already. This is the second part of my monthly reporting, the income and expense statement. This was another out-of-the-ordinary month. The lease on my new apartment began at the end of ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, July 2007 ($102,011, +2.4%)

by Luke Landes

If you’re new to Consumerism Commentary, this may seem like a strange concept. Every month I share my financial reports down to the dollar. It is a summary of all of my account balances as well as a rough estimate of the value of my larger assets. It is not a complete net worth report ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update: August 1, 2007

by Luke Landes

Perhaps August will bring some good news to the market and to my investment accounts. Dow up to 13,313.76, S&P 500 up to 1,466.97, Nasdaq up to 2,551.64. [CNN]

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Paying Off Debt: 6 Steps to Building a Better Snowball

by Luke Landes

The “snowball method” for paying off debt isn’t something out of the movie Clerks. It is a way to organize your outstanding debt in such a way that the funds you have available for paying off debt are optimally distributed in the manner that will allow you to pay off that debt quickly and cheaply. ... Continue reading this article…

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