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

September 2007

Shared Money: Combining Finances With Your Partner

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, I received a question from a reader, Lindsey. I’m not much of a fan of giving advice; there are professionals out there whose job is to provide sound financial advice. All I can offer is my opinion. Here is Lindsey’s question. What should you do if you and your partner decide to combine finances ... Continue reading this article…

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Quicken Premier 2008 Winners Have Been Contacted

by Luke Landes

I have sent an email to five winners of Quicken Premier 2008, provided to me for giving away to Consumerism Commentary readers by Intuit. If you entered the contest, check your email to see if you are a winner. Were you selected? If so, be sure to respond to the email by 8:00 PM Eastern ... Continue reading this article…

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The Declining Value of the MBA

by Luke Landes

Among the high-powered analysts and hedge-fund superstars, obtaining an MBA is losing its attraction. Even degrees from the most prestigious schools like Harvard and Wharton are viewed as a waste of time and money if the student could be earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as a stock analyst or millions as a ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Make Money in the Market Over the Long Term

by Luke Landes

It’s simple to paraphrase Ben Stein’s latest column on Yahoo Finance. If you have a long-term view, take advantage of short-term traders who panic in a recession. Buy and continue to buy through market downturns, and you’ll make more money in the long term. The evidence is overwhelming and consistent that if you buy when ... Continue reading this article…

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24 Hours Remain to Win Quicken Premier 2008

by Luke Landes

I’m giving away all five copies of Quicken Premier 2008 to commenters who respond to this post, and I’ll be choosing the winners in a little over 24 hours. Click on that link and leave a comment at the bottom of the page in order to be considered in the drawing.

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Database Breach at TD Ameritrade

by Luke Landes

About a year ago, TD Ameritrade customers began receiving spam sent to email addresses used only with that company. TD Ameritrade admitted customers’ contact information had been compromised. Reading in between the lines, the recent announcement of a database breach at Ameritrade seems to be the same event. From what I can tell from Ameritrade’s ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 8: Stay Close to Home

by Sasha

This is the eighth tip in a 10-part series on purchasing residential rental properties based on my experience. 8. Stay close to home. In my experience, absentee landlords tend to find out about and resolve problems less quickly, which in turn can make them bigger, more expensive problems. For this and other reasons, municipalities are ... Continue reading this article…

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This Month in the Archives: Robert Kiyosaki, Financial Advisors, and Overseas Surgery

by Luke Landes

If you’re a new reader to Consumerism Commentary, you may have missed some articles from September in prior years. Here are a few from the past. From the first half of September 2006: * Consumer Reports’ Unique Approach * Kiyosaki is a Liar? * Free Software to Make Your Computer Run Better, Stronger, Faster * ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Fall Season Edition

by Luke Landes

I am not a television junkie, but I appreciate good entertainment. Hence, I’m looking forward to the upcoming series of Heroes, House, and The Office. While I’m preparing by setting my digital video recorder to record all the new shows in glorious high definition, I’ll be reviewing some of the recent articles from the MoneyBlogNetwork. ... Continue reading this article…

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Responses to Your Thoughts and Questions About Quicken

by Luke Landes

On Wednesday, I announced the release of Quicken 2008 by hosting a giveaway. As of yesterday evening, more than 60 people have entered the “contest” for a chance to win one of five downloadable copies of Quicken Premier 2008. Some wrote in with interesting comments, so I’d like to address a few. Rue asked, “The ... Continue reading this article…

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Sold My Second Quarter ESPP Shares

by Luke Landes

This year, I’ve been contributing 10 percent of my paycheck to my company’s new stock purchase plan. At the end of each quarter, that quarter’s contributions are used to purchase company stock at 15 percent off the lower of either the quarter’s beginning or ending price. I’m only allowed to trade company stock during certain windows of ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Raises ATM Fees: How Do You Avoid?

by Luke Landes

At dinner last night, the conversation for some reason turned towards personal bank accounts and the banks that hold them. Bank of America has grown to a large presence in this area, and there were some complaints about their service. In particular, their fees are higher than other banks in some cases. Some at the ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 7: Look Out for Safety Issues

by Sasha

So you understand the construction of the home you are looking to purchase, including its foundation. The next step is to analyze the property from a liability standpoint, assessing potential safety concerns and budgeting to fix them as part of your initial investment. 7. Look out for safety issues. For anyone looking to purchase a ... Continue reading this article…

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Updated Capital One Credit Cards

by Luke Landes

Yesterday I was informed that Capital One changed their credit card offerings. I have updated the Guide to Capital One Credit Cards to remove the old cards and add the new, including Capital One® No Hassle CashSM Rewards, Capital One® No Hassle MilesSM Rewards, Capital One® Platinum Prestige, and Capital One® Platinum. Most of those ... Continue reading this article…

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Intuit Quicken 2008 is Here! And Here’s a Giveaway!

by Luke Landes

I’ve been beta-testing Quicken Home and Business 2008 for the past few months. Despite common sense, I’ve been using this development version for managing my real, active financial data. I have found the 2008 version to be an improvement over last year’s. I particularly like being able to download PayPal transactions for easy reconciliation, at ... Continue reading this article…

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Getting Closer to Cable a la Carte

by Luke Landes

Until earlier this summer, I had been living with less than 30 cable television channels, one third in a language not spoken by me. I reduced my cable subscription a few years ago in an effort to save some money. When I moved into my new apartment, I was offered free cable for a year, ... Continue reading this article…

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Read Fortune Magazine for Free Online

by Luke Landes

Green Life, Green Wallet emailed me with a link allowing curious financial readers to view the latest issue of Fortune Magazine for free. This free edition, which is basically a scanned version of the printed magazine, is sponsored by Zecco, and that sponsorship is very evident. The first click on the link, which will be ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 6: Beware of Houses Built on a Cement Slab

by Sasha

Simplicity, accessibility, and replaceability are important aspects of rental property construction, but at the foundation of your investment is the foundation itself. This week, a caution: 6. Beware of houses built on a cement slab. Not having a basement can cost you much more than storage space. In some places, like parts of Florida and ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

KMull is hosting the latest Carnival of Personal Finance at his blog. As always, there are lots of great articles this week. The host did a good job of highlighting some of the more interesting blog posts including Sasha’s 5 Romantic Outdoor Day Date Ideas Under $30, but there are a number of others that ... Continue reading this article…

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The Fall of the American Empire

by Luke Landes

David Walker, the Comptroller General of the United States, had some harsh words for his country last month. I’m surprised that I didn’t hear of this earlier; I’ve also been thinking about some of the issues Walker raised, but until now, I haven’t heard them echoed by anyone actually involved with governmental policy. His words ... Continue reading this article…

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