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

August 2007

The Second Step to Cleaning Up Your Finances

by Luke Landes

The Dough Roller tagged me to write about my one piece of money-related advice if I had to choose just one. I’m not at advisor, so I don’t consider my ramblings advice, but I can share what has worked for me. Recently, I shared my favorite tip and the first step to cleaning up your ... Continue reading this article…

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Seven Home Equity Tips, Part 4: Know Your Interest Rates and Terms

by Luke Landes

The most basic piece of knowledge one needs in order to be in control of their finances is the importance of awareness. Many people will go through their lives blissfully ignorant of their own financial details. Why? For one, ignorance is bliss. The more financial trouble you are in, the easier it is to ignore ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One to Get Out of Wholesale Mortgage Business (and Lay Off 1,900)

by Luke Landes

Just a week ago Capital One did the right thing by changing its policy about reporting true credit limits to the agencies that calculate credit scores. Hot on the heels of this positive change is another change that could be a good change for the company. Cap One is eliminating its GreenPoint mortgage company, which ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The 114th Carnival of Personal Finance can be found at The Simple Dollar. More than 70 articles are featured, including these favorites in addition to Trent’s Editor’s Choice: Emergency Funds: How Much is Enough?, How to Not Ask for a Raise, and Why You Should Keep Your Money Invested in a Declining Market.

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I Got a Relatively Good Deal on Bedroom Furniture

by Luke Landes

I have been struggling for the past month or two to find decent, basic bedroom furniture for a good price. I’ve tried the department stores (JCPenny, Macy’s and Sears), Ashley Furniture, Raymour & Flanigan, Peir 1, and some other stores, but everything was out of a reasonable price range or was horribly cheap. After expressing ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Housewarming Edition

by Luke Landes

Here are several interesting articles from the MoneyBlogNetwork and beyond this week. Cathy from AllFinancialMatters and Chief Family Officer evaluated the current stock market. What do you do now? She sticks with index funds and dollar cost averaging. When the market was at the top a little while ago, I changed my 401(k) contributions to ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update, August 16, 2007

by Luke Landes

The market bounced back today after a sharp decline. Dow down to 12,845.78, S&P 500 up to 1,411.27, Nasdaq down to 2,451.07. [CNN]

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Seven Home Equity Tips, Part 3: Learn About Home Equity Loans and HELOCs

by Luke Landes

If you’re going to borrow against your home equity, you might want to understand the different options are available. David Bach in a recent column outlined the differences between home equity loans and lines of credit. Home Equity Loans. Generally called a second mortgage, this type of loan allows you to borrow a set amount ... Continue reading this article…

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My Vacation Spending in Boston, Newport, and Salem

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, my girlfriend and I returned from vacation in Newport, Rhode Island and Boston and Salem, Massachusetts. I mentioned earlier I was dreading opening up Quicken and analyzing my receipts. The other night, I held my breath and took the plunge. Here are some of the results. Two audio-tour tickets to the ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update, August 15, 2007

by Luke Landes

Remember when the Dow closed over 14,000 on July 19 and I entertained some guesses as to when it would pass 15,000? Now we’re below 13,000. Dow down to 12,861, S&P 500 down to 1,406.7, Nasdaq down to 2,458.8.

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Seven Home Equity Tips, Part 2: Use Equity to Build Assets

by Luke Landes

If a home equity loan is not ideal for paying off credit card debt, what other options are there for making the most of the cash that would otherwise be locked away? David Bach has a suggestion, and it is his second tip out of seven for dealing with your home equity. 2. Use home ... Continue reading this article…

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Seven Home Equity Tips, Part 1: Don’t Pay Off Credit Card Debt With Loan

by Luke Landes

Does it make sense to use a home equity loan to pay off credit card debt? As with anything, the answer is sometimes. While proponents of certain mortgage payoff acceleration loans might disagree, David Bach is offering some good reasons to let your home equity build without the burdens of extra loans or lines of ... Continue reading this article…

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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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Unrespected Careers: Real Estate Brokers, Bankers, Accountants, etc.

by Luke Landes

A co-worker of mine has had an awful time dealing with her real estate agent. It’s not my story to tell, so I won’t, but her experience is helping to turn me off from dealing with real estate agents at any point in the future. They’re not all the same; many of my close friends ... Continue reading this article…

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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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Flexo’s Facebook Profile

by Luke Landes

I now have a Facebook profile. If you’re into the social media thing, connect to me there and add me as a friend if you are a frequent reader.

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An Example of Excellent Customer Service

by Luke Landes

KMC from Advanced Personal Finance shared a stroke of genius by a USAA customer service representative. When he called the bank to undo a theoretically costly mistake, the representative offered to fix the problem in a way he didn’t even know was possible. While KMC simply wanted to un-cancel his oldest credit card, the employee ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Catching Up Edition

by Luke Landes

While I was able to check email and even post a few articles while away on vacation, I’ll be spending all of this coming week trying to catch up with the news, comments, and emails that have been left over the past few days. I’m afraid to open Quicken and start recording my expenses for ... Continue reading this article…

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We Have Retuned From Boston a Little More Informed About History

by Luke Landes

I’m writing a quick note to mention that I am back from Boston, but my vacation isn’t officially over until Monday. Thanks for all your suggestions; we followed almost all of them.

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