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

March 2011

The Best Secured Credit Cards of 2017

by Luke Landes

Even though credit card companies make money on consumers who use them poorly, a consumer with poor credit will have a very hard time getting approved for an unsecured line of credit. One of the few ways someone with a bad credit history can improve their credit score is by signing up for a secured […]

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Working With a Financial Adviser: Whom Do You Trust?

by Luke Landes

This is a new series on finding, selecting, and working with financial advisers and planners. A few days ago, a friend asked me on Twitter whether I had any articles on this topic. While I had a few old posts marginally related to financial advisory, I didn’t have anything in-depth. People consider working with financial […]

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Chase Increasing ATM Fee to $5

by Luke Landes

Chase Bank can’t seem to stay out of the news. Last week, I mentioned that the bank was considering limiting debit card transactions to $50 or $100 as a protest against the industry’s regulation of interchange (swipe) fees. Today, there is news that the bank has increased the ATM fee for non-customers to $5 in […]

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How Much Money Do You Need to Feel Wealthy?

by Luke Landes

Last week, I wrote about a study that evaluates the most important issues for wealthy people, and a new study released recently, sponsored by Fidelity, also takes a look at the attitudes of the super-rich. If I were to have $1 million in investible assets — the value of what I have available to invest […]

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Chase Sapphire Card $100 Cash Back

by Luke Landes

Chase’s latest move is to consider limiting debit card transactions to $50 or $100. This plan may never be implemented, but regardless of whether it does, credit cards are often better choices than debit cards. If the plan is implemented, debit card users may need to consider using credit cards more often. Merchants will be […]

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How to Financially Survive a Disaster

by Luke Landes

When one thinks of earthquakes in the United States, California is usually the main target. The San Andreas fault line is well-known for powerful quakes. There are others located within the United States that, although they haven’t caused severe seismic activity in the most recent century or two, could produce earthquakes resulting in severe damage. […]

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Moving Away From Banks and Other Companies “Too Big to Fail”

by Luke Landes

The FDIC is progressing in its development of new rules that will apply to financial firms — not just banks — deemed “too big to fail.” The rules would establish procedures for unwinding companies whose failure would pose a threat to the economy, when that failure appears to be imminent. The government organization approved a […]

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Lending Money to Friends and Family

by Luke Landes

I try to keep the issue of money out of my personal relationships. Many people I know outside of those I know only online — my friends and family — read Consumerism Commentary. For the most part, they’re not interested because, I assume, they’d rather keep the issue of money out of our friendships — […]

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CoinStar is a Rip-Off

by Luke Landes

The whole premise is almost absurd. It reminds me of children on a playground — one invariably tries to trick another by offering three quarters in exchange for a dollar bill. Even kids are smart enough not to fall for this trick. For some reason, however, people are content using CoinStar machines. For a whopping […]

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Safe Donations to Victims of the Tsunami in Japan

by Luke Landes

Updated March 16, 2011. If you have been paying attention to the media, you most likely saw terrifying footage of tsunami waves destroying much of the eastern coastal areas of Japan, particularly Miyagi prefecture. Friday’s earthquake measuring 9.0 magnitude on the Richter scale triggered massive waves that leveled homes and farms, left thousands missing, forced […]

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