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

October 2008

How to Get the Latest News and Opinions in Personal Finance

by Luke Landes

Thanks very much to all the readers and contributors who have helped make Consumerism Commentary a complete community for the past five years. In the span of those five years, the “blogosphere” has exploded with thousands of new blogs that write about personal finance, the economy, budgeting, and every money-related topic you could possible conceive ... Continue reading this article…

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Warren Buffett is Buying American Stocks Right Now, You Should Too

by Luke Landes

Warren Buffett, a rock star in the world of investing, has noticed the pattern of panic in the stock market recently and is using this volatility to his advantage. I am still buying into the market; the only change I’ve made is to buy more stocks, even if I don’t get the price at the ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a House in Any Market Condition

by Luke Landes

When you sell one house and buy another, the overall market conditions don’t matter as much. Unless the two houses involved are in areas with drastically different market conditions, you are exposed to the buy side and the sell side at roughly the same time. Whether it’s a “buyers’ market” or a “sellers’ market,” you ... Continue reading this article…

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Income Tax Filing Deadline is Today for Those Who Have an Extension

by Luke Landes

This is a reminder in the form of an article I posted a few weeks ago. If you’ve filed for an extension for reporting your 2007 federal income tax, your deadline is today. Here are some important resources to help you file today without a penalty. File your taxes for free. The Free File Alliance ... Continue reading this article…

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Smithee Update: October 2008

by Smithee

I’ve been naughty. I went a little nuts a few weeks ago and bought a whole bunch of audio/visual equipment. I didn’t do this just for fun, though. It’ll probably end up looking like an investment someday. I got a mixer and a bunch of microphones that we’re going to use to create alternative movie ... Continue reading this article…

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John McCain’s Proposal to Ease the Economic Crisis

by Luke Landes

Following Barack Obama’s proposals announced earlier, Republican candidate John McCain has outlined the steps he would take as president to help spur the economy in the United States. 1. Eliminate taxes on unemployment benefits. Like the Democratic candidate, McCain suggests eliminating taxes on unemployment insurance to make sure that those individuals out of work have ... Continue reading this article…

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Barack Obama Proposes Six Ideas to Ease the Economic Crisis

by Luke Landes

Each major presidential candidate is making his presence known and ensuring his name is constantly in the media as next month’s election approaches. Recently, Democratic candidate Barack Obama announced six action steps to help heal the economy in this country and across the world. Five of these are “new” ideas, and one was originally proposed ... Continue reading this article…

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Quicken Online Will Now Be Free

by Luke Landes

Starting today, Quicken Online (review) will be free for all customers. Quicken Online is the web-based financial software that replaces many of the features of the desktop versions of Quicken and competes with Mint (review), Geezeo, and several more emerging web applications. Until now, customers who wished to use Quicken Online were required to pay ... Continue reading this article…

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Pay to Be a Financial Expert on Television

by Luke Landes

Last week, I had doubts about the advice provided by a so-called financial expert on the local prime-time network news program. Offering advice in public is a difficult task to do well. You have to appeal to your audience by suggesting solutions appropriate for the bulk of the listeners, a group that can vary in ... Continue reading this article…

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Updated Latest Savings and Checking Account Rates (and Blog Roundup)

by Luke Landes

There’s no doubt that the banking industry has had a tough time over the past month. Interest rates have fluctuated. Most notably, ING Direct’s Orange Savings Account is now at 2.75 percent APY (1.5 percent as of May 29, 2009) and Washington Mutual’s Online Savings Account is now tun by JP Morgan Chase and offers 3.0 percent APY. ... Continue reading this article…

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Exclusive: Earn a $25 Bonus at E*TRADE Bank

by Luke Landes

Note: As of October 28, this deal is no longer available. I’ve been waiting for the right time to open an online savings account at E*TRADE Bank. My company stock is held at E*TRADE, and as soon as I sell my stock purchases from the past twelve months, I will move the proceeds into a ... Continue reading this article…

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Economist’s Advice on the Local News Program

by Luke Landes

Here’s what an economist had to say about investing on ABC 7 Eyewitness News tonight: Third quarter 401(k) statements are reaching homes now. Don’t look at your statement. If you put more money in your 401(k), put it into Treasuries. If you are thinking about stocks, think again. They look cheap now, but they’ll be ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Drops Rate to 2.75% APY

by Luke Landes

I warned yesterday that more banks were likely to follow Chase’s lead in lowering interest rates for savings account customers. A few minutes ago, I received an email from ING Direct to inform me that the interest rate offered on the Orange Savings Account has been reduced to yield 2.75 percent. Over the past few weeks, ... Continue reading this article…

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Mostly Jargon-Free Economy Reporting

by Smithee

One of the most well-received stories about the 2008 financial meltdown is the This American Life episode titled “The Giant Pool of Money“. It’s from “way back” in May and goes into great detail without sounding like Ben Stein’s bored teacher character from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. Don’t worry if you find Ira Glass off-putting; ... Continue reading this article…

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Washington Mutual (Chase) Drops Interest Rate as Expected

by Luke Landes

February 5, 2009 update: The following information has expired. Washington Mutual no longer offers these rates. Less than a month ago, Washington Mutual increased the interest rate offered on the bank’s savings account to 4.0 percent APY. This came as the bank was trying to attract capital. Since then, WaMu was in danger of failing and ... Continue reading this article…

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Knight Kiplinger’s Solution to the Economic Crisis (and America in General)

by Luke Landes

Knight Kiplinger is the editor in chief of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine and Kiplinger.com, and in the November issue, he has published an editorial that gets to the core of what must be done to adapt to today’s economic reality. A link to the online edition of the article was sent to me by a ... Continue reading this article…

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The Market Collapse in Terms of Champagne

by Smithee

If you’re still confused, as I was, about what exactly led to the failure of just about everything financial, here’s a video made by a Senior Editor at Marketplace, explaining what happened with a clever metaphor: Crisis explainer: Uncorking CDOs from Marketplace on Vimeo.

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My Recent Experiences With Buying the Market on Dips

by Luke Landes

Last week, I suggested considering tax-exempt money market funds as an alternative to high-yield savings accounts. As an example, I looked at one of the best options for me, the Vanguard New Jersey Tax-Exempt Money Market Fund (VNJXX), citing its 4.83 percent 7-day yield. Today, a week later, the yield is already down more than 100 ... Continue reading this article…

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How Money Professionals are Reacting to the Stock Market Within Their Own Portfolios

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine has interviewed eight professional money managers to determine how the current economic crisis is affecting their own financial and investing decisions. In many cases, the professionals are not making modifications to their plans. In a few cases, the professionals believe staying the course is the right decision but they’ve made some small changes ... Continue reading this article…

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Changing Your 401(k) in a Treacherous Market

by Luke Landes

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, a measurement of the stock market at large, ended below 10,000 yesterday. That’s the lowest closing since 2004 and it’s quite a drastic change from a year ago, when the market closed above 14,000, the highest watermark for the Dow. It’s tempting to just stick my head in the sand. ... Continue reading this article…

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