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

June 2009

Flexo’s Investment Portfolio, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Although I post my financial reports each month to keep myself accountable for my financial decisions, I have moved to summarizing my investments rather than listing all the details. My reports now simply separate my investments between retirement and non-retirement accounts. An important part of anyone’s finances is how investments are allocated among stocks, bonds, […]

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New Consumer Financial Regulation

by Luke Landes

The White House is proposing a realignment of the financial regulation that failed to prevent the latest recession, but will the proposals help protect consumers? There is a long way to go between the President’s proposal and the enactment of a law, but here are the highlights as the plan stands today. The Financial Services […]

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FDIC Steps In to Keep Ally Bank’s Interest Rates Lower

by Luke Landes

The American Bankers Association (ABA) has not been happy with Ally Bank. A few weeks ago, the organization on behalf of its member banks sent a letter to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation complaining about Ally’s interest rates. With Ally planning to receive bailout funds through its enrollment in the government’s Treasury Liquidity Guarantee Program […]

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Facial Recognition is for More Than Your Photos

by Smithee

Most of the time when you hear the term “facial recognition,” it’s used by people trying to attract you to a new digital camera, or software, or a plugin for Facebook. On an individual level, it’s little more than a way to help your camera focus, or group and search your photos. But if you’re […]

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Changes to Student Loans Coming July 1

by Luke Landes

While it’s great to avoid debt whenever possible, if you have to deal with federal student loans, including Stafford and PLUS loans, you might qualify for some better deals starting July 1. Interest rates will be at the lowest rates in years. If you can consolidate, lock in rates after July 1. They will be […]

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Podcast 8: Greg Grunberg on iPhone App Yowza!! and TalkAboutIt

by Luke Landes

Today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast features an interview with Greg Grunberg, star of the NBC television series Heroes and drummer in Band From TV, a celebrity band to benefit charities. Greg, Tom Dziubek, and I discuss Yowza!!, the new iPhone (and iPod Touch) app for saving money co-created by Greg. We also discuss Greg’s roles as […]

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Forbes Gets it Wrong About “Online-Only” Bank Accounts

by Luke Landes

This morning an article appeared on Forbes.com with suggestions and warnings about online-only accounts. I have to disagree with an important statement by the author of the article, Asher Hawkins. Hawkins is offering misguided information regarding the number of withdrawal transactions a customer is allowed to make from an account designated as a “savings” or […]

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When Going Into Debt is Worthwhile

by Luke Landes

On a macro level, debt was a force behind the incredible economic expansion over the past two centuries, and the availability of debt at the family level played a role as well. Despite all that debt has brought society, many financial gurus and authors vilify debt and explicitly call the idea of borrowing money “evil.” […]

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10 Banks Allowed to Repay TARP Bailout Money

by Luke Landes

Ten banks have now been approved by the government to being repaying taxpayers for a portion of the more than $700 billion the industry has received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in total. The stated purpose of the TARP was to provide banks with the capital to boost their balance sheets and ease […]

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Let’s Stop Envying Millionaires

by Luke Landes

It is a shame that people are still fascinated with the idea of being a millionaire. According to an online etymology dictionary, the word “millionaire” was first seen in print in 1826, a year when having a net worth of one million dollars was an amazing accomplishment. An inflation calculator puts this into perspective; $1,000,000 […]

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