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

2008

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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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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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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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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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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What’s Going on With Wachovia, Citi, and Wells Fargo

by Luke Landes

This would-be acquisition is turning into a mess. First Citi agreed to buy Wachovia’s deposits with the help of the FDIC. Wachovia accepted this deal under duress, apparently. The FDIC warned Wachovia that if they did not agree to the deal, the government would seize Wachovia’s deposits. That left Wachovia little choice but to accept. ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, September 2008 (Net Income: $7,473)

by Luke Landes

While September wasn’t as bountiful as August, I’m still adding to my bottom line. Even though my balance sheet showed a decline, it was mainly due to unrealized losses in investments, not a lack of income. Each month, to accompany my balance sheet, I publish my income and expense report to keep myself motivated to ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, September 2008 ($171,916, -0.8%)

by Luke Landes

Every month, I publicly review my personal financial condition. If you’re wondering why I post under a pseudonym, Flexo, this is the primary reason. I’d prefer that those who know my in real life, except for a few individuals, are not aware of this information. Reviewing my finances online helps me be accountable for my ... Continue reading this article…

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Deadline for Income Tax Extension Filing, October 15, is Almost Here

by Luke Landes

If you’ve filed for an extension for reporting last year’s federal income tax, your deadline is quickly arriving. Here are some important resources to help you make that deadline. File your taxes for free. The Free File Alliance allows residents in most states to file for free as long as the taxpayer meets certain qualifications. ... Continue reading this article…

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Get a $50 or $100 Gift Card From American Express

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers expired and are no longer available. If you’re responsible with credit cards and looking for a bonus, look into the Preferred Rewards Green Card or the Preferred Rewards Gold Card from American Express. Both of these cards are charge cards, so if you use one of ... Continue reading this article…

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Considering Tax-Exempt Money Market Funds

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I mentioned I invested in the stock market at a low with money marked for an intermediate time horizon. I didn’t get the price I wanted, however. I initiated the $3,000 investment in VTSMX, the index fund following the total stock market, on Monday night following the stock market’s sharp decline. ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Anxiety Controlling Your Actions?

by Luke Landes

I don’t want to belittle the condition of the economy currently. Someone who is close to retirement may have just lost a significant portion of their intended source of income if invested solely in stocks. If you listen to the media and politicians, you might get the impression that the American public is “freaking out” ... Continue reading this article…

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The $700 Bailout Bill Proposed By the Senate is Not Good Enough

by Luke Landes

In the original version of this article, I was under the impression that the Senate had passed this bill already. It hasn’t; they have only just released the details to the public. A vote will come later. Over the weekend as I watched the Mets end a frustrating season with a disappointing final series, the ... Continue reading this article…

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More ING Direct Bonuses Available and Weekend Blog Roundup

by Luke Landes

Once again, I’ve refreshed the list of ING Direct $25 bonus codes. This bonus is available to anyone looking to open a new account at ING Direct, one of the most popular high-yield savings accounts. These bonus codes are provided by Consumerism Commentary readers. Thanks to everyone who has helped another reader by sending in ... Continue reading this article…

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