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

January 2008

The Keynote Index Fund: Buying and Holding AAPL Beats Market Timing

by Luke Landes

What if you invested in Apple (AAPL) the day before each of Steve Jobs’ keynote addresses at Macworld and sold the day after? Matt Haughey researched historic stock prices and designed the Keynote Index Fund. A fund of this style would return an average of 2.2 percent immediate (not annual) growth over two days. According to ... Continue reading this article…

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New $25 Sharebuilder Bonus Promotional Offer

by Luke Landes

Updated June 28, 2010. If you’re a long-time reader of Consumerism Commentary, you may remember that I earned over $175 in bonuses over a year ago by using a number of promotional offers for opening accounts at ShareBuilder. Now that ING Direct has acquired ShareBuilder, they’re bringing back the $25 bonus. Simply open a new ... Continue reading this article…

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Toll Hikes Coming to N.J. Turnpike, G.S. Parkway, A.C. Expressway, and Route 440

by Luke Landes

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine announced yesterday a plan to raise money in New Jersey to issue bonds in a public benefits corporation that will manage the toll roads. The bonds will be paid back through a series of toll increases. Starting in 2010 and every four years until 2022, toll prices on the New ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Balance Rental Property Income with Deductible Expenses

by Sasha

2007 may be my worst tax year ever. Not only did I fail to qualify for the full energy credit and fall out of touch with my tax accountant, but I made it worse by having a great year with my rental properties. A great year which I did not sufficiently offset, and that’s my ... Continue reading this article…

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Midweek Roundup: Welcome Consumerist Readers

by Luke Landes

Thanks to the editors of The Consumerist who directed their readers towards Sasha’s 5 Stupid Financial Mistakes in 2007 and Four Factors That Determine the Value of a Coin. Please feel free to subscribe to the Consumerism Commentary RSS feed to be notified whenever new articles are posted here. Here are some articles I’ve enjoyed ... Continue reading this article…

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15 Credit Cards With the Best Rewards

by Luke Landes

Looking for the best credit cards? Read this updated article. Liz Pulliam Weston asked credit card experts for their recommendations for making the most of the rewards that the issuing companies offer. I’ve done well with my Citi Dividend Platinum Select and now my American Express Blue Cash for Business, but it’s interesting to see ... Continue reading this article…

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Ken Jennings’ Quote of the Day and What Would You Do With $1.5 Million?

by Luke Landes

Ken Jennings was popular for a while as a major winner on Jeopardy. In the tournament, he went home with $2.5m. A windfall like this can inspire inaction or poor decisions. Ken Jennings has advice for those in this position: “Put your money somewhere not idiotic and leave it alone as much as possible.” What ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The 134th edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance is online at Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life. It’s hard to find time for all the great articles, and they are abundant this week. Start with Mrs. Micah’s top ten picks, but don’t miss 25 Reasons to Love Credit Cards, Credit Card Companies Want ... Continue reading this article…

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$100 to $200 Bonus for Opening a Chase Checking Account, March 2012

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note:  These offers are no longer available.  See the bottom of this article for a new $100 bonus for opening a Chase checking account. If you’re looking for the best online checking accounts, including Ally, ING Direct, USAA, and others, read this article. A new Chase branch opened across the street from my apartment ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Underutilizing Financial and Tax Advisors

by Sasha

In 2007, I actually sought a financial advisor, developed an asset allocation model, and started to track my finances more closely than ever. All good moves, but after reallocating some of my investments, I made my third mistake: 3. Underutilizing Financial and Tax Advisors I mentioned that I developed an asset allocation model with my ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Stupid Financial Mistakes I Made in 2007: Failing to Establish a Spending Budget

by Sasha

Unlike my first mistake, Failing to Utilize the Energy Tax Credit, my next mistake is one where I at least have a second chance. It’s not too late to fix this one for 2008. 2. Failing to Establish a Spending Budget I tried to spend less, consider my purchases more, and get the best deals ... Continue reading this article…

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Four Factors That Determine the Value of a Coin

by Luke Landes

I recently wrote about some changes coming to the presidential dollar series released into circulation by the U.S. Mint. Jeremy asked: My wife and I received two fancy rolls of uncirculated coins of a 2007 series in a plastic display case as a gift this Christmas. For now they are just going to sit in ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Find (and Keep) Your Money

by Sasha

Lost and found has been one of the big themes in my life lately. After finding bonds I’d forgotten about for years, I realized that I’d misplaced some very sentimental and irreplaceable valuables and spent an entire day searching. It was a very bad day until about 6 p.m. when I finally located the items. ... Continue reading this article…

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Presidential Dollar Coins: New Designs in 2008 and Future Changes

by Luke Landes

There’s some news about the relatively unpopular “presidential” golden dollar coins. I’ve been using these coins almost every day, but I have not run into anyone else doing so. Most people I know haven’t even seen the coins. If you want to pick them up from the bank, pay attention to the release schedule: February ... Continue reading this article…

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More Children are Budding Philanthropists

by Luke Landes

I’ve had charity on my mind lately, and it seems to be affecting what I write about. During my normal reading, I came across a Washington Post article about what is apparently an increase in philanthropy among teenagers and younger children. Young children and teenagers across the nation are getting involved in philanthropy more than ... Continue reading this article…

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Morning Roundup: Goals Across the Web

by Luke Landes

Now that I set my financial goals for 2008, I have to start taking steps to achieve them. This is only the second year I’ve set goals like this for myself, and after good results last year, I’m feeling confident. Do you set goals for yourself? Feel free to share them within the comments, particularly ... Continue reading this article…

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Monthly Reminder: Subscribe to Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

By subscribing to our RSS feed, you’ll always be aware of new content here, whether from me or Sasha. The feed contains full articles, so you only have to visit the website directly when you want to leave a comment or ask a question. If you use Google Reader for reading news and blogs like ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, December 2007 (Net Income: $4,252)

by Luke Landes

Earlier today, I posted my year-end balance sheet for 2007. This is a companion to that report. Below, I list my expenses and income for December 2007 and the entire year, as well as some numbers from prior years for comparison. The balance report lists the state of my various accounts, while the income statement ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, December 2007 ($122,596, +1.5%)

by Luke Landes

It’s time to close the books on 2007, a successful year for me in terms of financial growth. As I do every month, I’m taking some time to publish financial reports in order to track my progress publicly. I’ve been posting these reports online since July 2003 in order to keep myself accountable for the ... Continue reading this article…

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Buy Holiday Items Now and Save Lots

by Luke Landes

Now is most likely the best time for finding great deals on holiday items like Christmas tree ornaments and decorations. While I’m inclined to say that holiday tchotchkes are generally overpriced to begin with, I’ve spotted discounts up to 75 percent off of the regular price over the past few days. Most people, particularly those who ... Continue reading this article…

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