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

March 2011

American Express Personal Savings Review

by Luke Landes
AmEx Logo

By far, the most requested review on Consumerism Commentary that I have yet to write is for the American Express Personal Savings Account. American Express offers one of the highest interest rates available with this savings account, making it very attractive from the surface. Once you own an account, how does it hold up against ... Continue reading this article…

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In-Home Photography Studio and Hiring a Maid Service

by Luke Landes

I’ve rearranged my dining room to function as a small photography studio. I haven’t had much time, but this metamorphosis should give me more opportunities to practice photography. Since this might involve people visiting my home, I finally stopped procrastinating and called a maid service. Upon some recommendations, I found a local office of Maids.com. ... Continue reading this article…

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Replacing Dollar Bills With Dollar Coins

by Luke Landes
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While politicians, political commentators, and opinion-yellers are knocking heads and locking horns in Washington, D.C. in an attempt to determine how to spur the economy while cutting the budget deficit, there is an old debate about currency that refuses to die. For the most part, the public isn’t excited about the idea of eliminating paper ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 98: Introducing Adaptu

by Luke Landes

Today’s guest on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast is Mark Brundage, co-founder of Adaptu. Adaptu is an online financial life planning and management service. Consumerism Commentary Podcast #98 Introducing Adaptu: S04E20 / 122 Adobe Flash required Download – RSS – iTunes Table of contents [00:00] Introduction from Bryan J Busch [00:38] Interview with Mark Brundage – ... Continue reading this article…

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The Power of the Coupon Compels You

by Luke Landes
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My birthdate is public knowledge. I’ve entered it on credit card applications, brand loyalty program forms, and websites like Facebook. Computers all over the world know when my birthday is coming, and companies use this information to help fake a personal relationship. It’s not a bad approach, but it certainly is fake. No individual marketing ... Continue reading this article…

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Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card earn $100 Cash Back

by Luke Landes

The Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card is included in the list of the best cash back credit cards, and with the latest offer of $100 bonus cash back after making $500 in purchases during the first three months of account opening, it might deserve the top spot. The Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card ... Continue reading this article…

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San Antonio: City With the Most Credit Card Debt

by Luke Landes

Experian is a credit reporting bureau, but it may be more accurate to characterize the company’s business as one focused on consumer information. The data they collect on people, even those with no relationship with the company, are substantial. This information was used to determine that the average consumer owed more than $4,200 in credit ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, February 2011 ($620,556, +6.3%)

by Luke Landes

My life without salary is continuing to move myself forward financially. Even considering overall income, I earned more in January than I’ve earned in any month prior to that point. February, though I’m waiting for some final details, was a very good month in terms of income, but still about average when compared to the ... Continue reading this article…

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Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card Review

by Luke Landes

Credit cards can be dangerous tools for those not prepared for their power, emptying wallets and bank accounts quickly. Companies have interesting methods of marketing some of the most dangerous or expensive cards, either with a cool design, interesting construction like carbon fiber rather than plastic, or a unique sign-up bonus that belies the real ... Continue reading this article…

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Saving Face for Buy-and-Hold Investing

by Luke Landes

Two years ago, Michael Brush from MSN said, like many other financial columnists, that the buy-and-hold investment strategy, or the long-term efficacy of that approach, is a lie. This echoed a lot of the prevailing popular thinking at the time. The stock market was at an all-time low. People who believed in buy-and-hold investing, which ... Continue reading this article…

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Fifth Third Bank Changes Debit Procedure

by Luke Landes

Some good news has come out of the class action lawsuits dealing with overdraft fees. The lawsuit against Fifth Third Bank still has one more hurdle to overcome, but most likely, customers who have paid overdraft fees for debit card transactions may see some or all of these fees refunded. Also as a result of ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Buying Low and Selling High is Impossible

by Luke Landes

One of the investing pitfalls I’m trying to avoid is buying when the market is high and selling when it is low. That’s a certain way to lose money during any economic environment. The best solution, other than investing what you can, when you can, regardless of the state of the market, is to move ... Continue reading this article…

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