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

November 2010

Night Owls Are More Intelligent Than Morning Birds

by Luke Landes

If I have to define myself by my productivity tendency based on the time of day, I would have to say I am not a morning person. I imagine my mother is nodding in agreement as she reads this article, as I didn’t make life easy for her while I was a teenager. Though I ... Continue reading this article…

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Takes Shape

by Luke Landes

In July, the federal government passed a sweeping new law to reform the financial industry. One of the biggest and most hotly contested aspect of this new law is the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. President Obama has tapped Elizabeth Warren to oversee the development of this new agency. The new director won’t ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 82: Credit Sesame and Betterment

by Luke Landes

Today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast, features two guests. In the first segment, Tom Dziubek talks to Adrian Nazari, founder and CEO of the online credit & loan analysis tool Credit Sesame. Adrian discusses how the website can help customers analyze their debt situation and assist them by presenting them with multiple loan options. In the second ... Continue reading this article…

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Frequent Flyers, Dangerous Investing Advice, and Supercharged Income

by Luke Landes

A week from today, I’ll be on my way to California. I’ll be visiting my family in Los Angeles and Orange County for Thanksgiving and to get away. It’s not all personal, though; I’ll be doing quite a bit of work on Consumerism Commentary while traveling. I’ll be writing, assisted by a few guest authors, ... Continue reading this article…

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Blue Cash from American Express Review

by Luke Landes

The offer you are interested in has expired. Read our review of American Express cards.

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Kim Kardashian Prepaid Debit Card: Worst Product of the Year?

by Luke Landes

Update: The Kardashian Kard has been taken off the market due to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s concern over the prepaid debit card’s over-sized fees. If you’re the type of person to be outraged by credit cards companies marketing to kids, you probably are not a fan of the Kardashian Debit Card (or “Kard”). This ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Annie Leibovitz a Failure?

by Luke Landes

Annie Leibovitz is one of today’s most famous photographers. You may have seen her name in the news recently for her financial problems rather than for her art. Although reports of her annual income included numbers north of $3,000,000, she was saddled with multi-million-dollar debt and exposed to legal problems. The photographer is mainly known ... Continue reading this article…

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Google’s 10% Raise: Fostering Talented Employees

by Luke Landes

Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, announced the good news to his employees. Everyone at the company will be receive a 10 percent raise to boost morale in an environment where Google employees are leaving for greener pastures. According to the Wall Street Journal article, internal surveys indicated that employees consider salary to be the ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips For Buying a Rental Property

by Sasha

This is an article written by Sasha, former Consumerism Commentary staff writer. In 2007, Sasha shared her experiences with purchasing and managing residential rental properties and the lessons learned. The articles were published in a series of ten. I’ve re-edited the pieces and consolidated the great advice into one article. Looking to diversify your investments ... Continue reading this article…

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A Return to the Gold Standard

by Luke Landes

Robert Zoellick, president of the World Bank, is concerned about the future of our global monetary system. Once upon a time, every dollar in the United States needed to be backed by gold and silver because these metals were said to have intrinsic value. If the world is losing faith in the U.S. dollar as ... Continue reading this article…

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S-Corporation Designation

by Luke Landes

Last year, I mentioned my accountant saved me $15,000 by re-classifying my self-employment income from a limited liability corporation (LLC) to an S-corporation. I glossed over the process; in fact, getting to the $15,000 in tax savings was a bit more complicated than simply filing as an S-corporation. I could likely have saved even more ... Continue reading this article…

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Black Friday Onslaught: Truly Frugal Holidays

by Luke Landes

With the first cold weekend after the summer, I can tell just by looking around that people everywhere have begun thinking about the holiday season. I’m not talking about Veterans’ Day or Thanksgiving; Christmas is the day on people’s minds as they erect their gaudy displays. The advertisements are not yet full-force on television, but ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 81: Sell Your Crap, Adam Baker

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Tom Dziubek talks to Adam Baker, founder of the Man Vs. Debt website and author of the Sell Your Crap series of guides. Adam and Tom talk about many topics tackled in the guides, such as admitting that you have crap in your house, finding the true value of ... Continue reading this article…

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Holiday Travel Deals, Consequences, Verizon Promo Codes

by Luke Landes

It has been a long week and I haven’t completed as many things as I would have liked to; however, I did mention to my supervisor at my day job that I plan to take an extended leave of absence. It’s not quite quitting, but this is what works for me for the present. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Blue Sky Preferred from American Express earn $200 statement credit

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. You’ve seen cash back offers from Chase, Citibank and Discover; here’s one from American Express. The Blue Sky Preferred® from American Express is offering new cardholders a welcome bonus offer 15,000 point bonus after you use your new card to ... Continue reading this article…

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Amway Class Action Lawsuit Settlement

by Luke Landes

I have a business opportunity for you. For the most part, you’ll be a salesman. You’ll sell overpriced, mediocre products to your friends and co-workers, people already in your trust network, with whom you can use their guilt and their desire to maintain happy relationships. The truth is the products don’t matter. It can be ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You Drop Out of College?

by Luke Landes

College can be an expensive waste of time. Not everyone has the capability or will-power to make the most of higher education. That’s perfectly acceptable. If you look at specific cases, a bachelor’s degree is often not worth the time, effort, and money. On average, college graduates earn more than those with nothing more than ... Continue reading this article…

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The Worst Investment California Has Seen

by Luke Landes

I wouldn’t gamble more money than I could afford to lose. I also wouldn’t spend my own money in order to win an election, but I’m not, and nor will I ever care to be, a politician. Even those living outside of California have heard, the former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman, spent more than ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, October 2010 ($463,930, +8.0%)

by Luke Landes

In July 2004, my car was my biggest asset, although my loan left me with no equity. That same car, as it lost value over time and as my finances generally improved, is now the least significant line on my balance sheet. One would think that the progression of net worth from $20,000 at that ... Continue reading this article…

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All The Ladies Are Interested Now

by Financial Samurai

This is a guest article by Sam, the author of the blog Financial Samurai and the founder of the Yakezie Challenge and Network. He writes a column for Consumerism Commentary every other Tuesday. What a difference a couple weeks makes! Craig has gone from depressed online dater to someone with a ton of self esteem. ... Continue reading this article…

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