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

September 2010

Chase Online Banking Website Down

by Luke Landes

Chase’s website for online banking has been unavailable since Monday night. After opening, receiving, an activating a new Chase credit card, a process I completed this past weekend, and purchasing my first items with the card, I was looking forward to checking my activity online today. Unfortunately, the downtime has prevented me from doing so. ... Continue reading this article…

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An Oil Change Every 3,000 Miles is a Waste of Money

by Luke Landes

When I graduated college, my father surprised me with a car: a very used 1987 Toyota Celica. I didn’t know much about owning a car at the time, and the Celica required quite a bit of car. For example, it required not only replacing engine oil occasionally, it required filling engine oil from time to ... Continue reading this article…

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Use American Express Membership Rewards Points on Amazon.com

by Luke Landes

I’m a fan of alternative currency; that is to say, I’m interested in how concepts like “points” and virtual currency are adapted to real transactions. In a move that makes complete sense, American Express has teamed up with Amazon.com to allow Membership Rewards points as an additional payment method. If you have an eligible American ... Continue reading this article…

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Global Bank Reform: Basel III

by Luke Landes

Until I heard of Basel III yesterday, I didn’t know there was a Basel I or a Basel II. The three Basel accords exist to give banking systems around the world a framework in which they can operate successfully, and the latest of these accords introduces new requirements for managing risk. For the most part, ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 73: Saving Money at College, Flexo

by Luke Landes

On today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Consumerism Commentary founder Flexo about his tips on saving money at college. Among the items discussed, Flexo talks about saving money while eating, how to not get ripped off buying textbooks and, naturally, the financial essentials regarding credit cards, checking and savings accounts ... Continue reading this article…

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OptionsHouse Online Discount Broker Review

by Luke Landes

If you take a look at our best online discount brokers page, you’ll notice that OptionsHouse leads the way as the cheapest broker to place a trade with online. While commission structure is a motivating factor in choosing an online discount broker, it shouldn’t be the only factor. Customer service, trading tools, fees and overall ... Continue reading this article…

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Chase Freedom MasterCard offers $100 Bonus Cash Back

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, however this offer is expired and is no longer available. For a limited time, Chase is offering a $100 cash back bonus for new holders of the Chase Freedom® MasterCard. All cardholders can earn $100 cash back in the form of a statement credit after spending $500 on ... Continue reading this article…

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The Savings and Interest Rate Paradox

by Luke Landes

The Federal Reserve recently announced that consumer debt declined in July for the sixth straight month. The continuing elimination of personal debt is a positive development on an individual level. Consumers are buying less of what they don’t need and saving money whenever possible. At the same time that savings account balances are increasing throughout ... Continue reading this article…

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Transaction Account Guarantee Program

by Luke Landes

The typical FDIC protection is quite limited. Until the financial crisis, most types of bank accounts were covered up to a balance of $100,000. If a bank were to go bankrupt, the FDIC would ensure you would receive your cash up to that limit. The maximum was increased to $250,000 until December 31, 2013, at ... Continue reading this article…

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Obama’s Proposed Investment in American Infrastructure

by Luke Landes

President Obama proposed yesterday spending more than $50 billion over the next six years to modernize the transportation infrastructure in the United States. He is calling for renovations to or creation of 150,000 miles of roads, 4,000 miles of rail, and 150 miles of airport runways. The $50 billion would be an up-front cost, paid ... Continue reading this article…

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Qualifying for a Mortgage as a Self-Employed Individual

by Luke Landes

I mentioned recently that I’m considering buying a multifamily home in the area close to the local Ivy League university and renting out the units, and perhaps living in one unit myself. A quick search on Yahoo Real Estate reveals two are available, priced a $665,000 and $420,000. My current lease isn’t finished until July ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 72: How Rich People Think, Steve Siebold

by Luke Landes

On today’s episode of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Steve Siebold, professional speaker, mental toughness expert and author of the book How Rich People Think. In the interview, Steve discusses his definitions of “middle class” and “world class,” and how members of these two classifications differ when it comes to making financial ... Continue reading this article…

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Size of Lottery Doesn’t Matter, Winners Declare Bankruptcy

by Luke Landes

A new study by researchers as University of Kentucky, the University of Pittsburgh and the Vanderbilt University Law School shows that people who win $150,000 from a lottery are just as likely as those who win $10,000 to declare bankruptcy within five years. I’ve often seen statistics that show that lottery winners often blow their ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Like That Political Ad? Click On It.

by Smithee

I recently learned of a sort of fun game that you can play with the political establishment, regardless of whose ideas you want to be represented in Government. Maybe it’s the websites I frequent, but it seems like I’ve been seeing advertisements on many of them on a regular basis for more than two years. ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, August 2010 ($382,103, +3.4%)

by Luke Landes

If you follow the endless financial news, you might have heard that the stock market ended August on a sour note. My investments suffered like those of many investors around the world. The only investment I’ve been adding to for the last few months has been my 401(k) at regular intervals. I’ve been holding off ... Continue reading this article…

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Ten Tips for Entrepreneurs

by Luke Landes

I don’t like the term “entrepreneur.” It’s not because it comes from French, though the word does have an interesting etymology. The first time the word was used in English, borrowed from Old French, it meant a “manager or promoter of a theatrical production” (source). The word has a different meaning now. Anyone who runs ... Continue reading this article…

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