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Podcast 132: Bank Transfer Day

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan speaks with Kristen Christian of Bank Transfer Day about why she got tens of thousands of people to agree to move to a credit union. They discuss why banks keep adding fees after posting significant profits, clearing up misconceptions about who can join a credit union, how to ... Continue reading this article…

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Should Hedge Funds Receive Special Treatment?

by Luke Landes

The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has advised the managers of super-secret hedge funds, investments of the most wealthy, that they will soon need to disclose more information to the regulators. Highly leveraged hedge funds contributed to the economic collapse, but the pressure to increase oversight has been mostly ignored by the industry. In response ... Continue reading this article…

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Obama’s Student Loan Plan

by Luke Landes

By executive order, President Obama has made a few minor changes to the student loan industry designed to help students and former students with unmanageable student loan debt. Anyone who began their undergraduate studies in 2006 probably did so with the reasonable assumption that they’d have a job after graduation. By the time these students ... Continue reading this article…

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EverBank Checking Account Offering $60 Cash Limited Time Bonus

by Luke Landes

As I’ve pointed out recently, banking customers have grown accustomed to the concept of free checking. Thanks to profits in the banking industry from a variety of sources, banks could justify offering checking account services, including debit cards, without charging any fees. The industry has changed over the past year, and many banks, particularly large ... Continue reading this article…

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Steve Jobs: The Billionaire Next Door

by Luke Landes
Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs may not have been as wealthy as his arch-nemesis Bill Gates, but after his successes with Apple and Pixar, he was one of the world’s richest men. Forbes recently listed Jobs as 39th on the Forbes 400, a list of the richest people in America, with a net worth of $7 billion. The ... Continue reading this article…

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Boost Your Human Capital: Public Speaking

by Luke Landes

Your personal human capital is an essential part of evaluating your overall worth. Human capital has a number of definitions, but in this case, it refers to a measurement of who you are, particularly in relation to how you might be seen as valuable to an employer or a client. This isn’t the only way ... Continue reading this article…

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Under-reporting Personal Household Debt

by Luke Landes

If you want to know how much credit card debt Americans have, don’t ask the borrowers. For years, economists have sought debt data from both borrowers and lenders for credit card debt and four other debt categories. Borrowers report their debt balances by responding to household surveys, like the Survey of Consumer Finances. Lenders report ... Continue reading this article…

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Banks Offering Remote Deposit

by Luke Landes

Almost ten years ago, the government passed a law that made electronic images of paper checks just as legitimate as the paper checks themselves. As banks implemented the law, it saved time and money by allowing banks of first deposit to scan checks after a customers deposit them for verification with the originating bank. With ... Continue reading this article…

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Wells Fargo Sent Statements to Wrong Customers

by Luke Landes

The fourth largest bank in the United States by assets, Wells Fargo, admitted last week that many of its customers received statements with other customers’ banking information included. In this security breach, those affected might have received a statement with a stranger’s account number, transaction detail, and in some cases, Social Security number. Other affected ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 131: The $60K Project

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan and Flexo talk with Sarah from The $60K Project about how she and her partner Mike paid off many thousands in debt in less than a year, what they learned along the way, and what they want to do now that they can afford to take some risks. ... Continue reading this article…

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Materialistic People Less Happy in Marriages But Have More Money

by Luke Landes
Wedding Couple

Money and things have never been important to me. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? (That is, assuming the statement is about you, the reader, not me, Flexo.) If you do agree with this statement, according to a new study released by Brigham Young University and William Paterson University, you would be more ... Continue reading this article…

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CitiBusiness World Card Offering $100 Bonus

by Luke Landes

The offer you are interested in has expired. Read our Citi Card reviews.

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401(k) Contribution Limits for 2012

by Luke Landes

Thanks to inflation, the maximum amount of money you may contribute to your 401(k) in 2012 will change. This applies to 403(b) accounts, as well. For 2009, 2010, and 2011, the maximum you may designate to your 401(k), not including your employer’s matching contributions, was $16,500, but in 2012, this will finally increase to $17,000. ... Continue reading this article…

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Citi Settles Lawsuit for $285 Million

by Luke Landes

Without admitting any wrongdoing, Citigroup has settled a major lawsuit. The Securities and Exchange Commission claimed that Citi misled investors, and to settle the claims, the financial behemoth was ordered to pay $285 million to customers. The issue focuses on collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) in 2007. The bank packaged subprime mortgages, loans with a good ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank Transfer Day

by Luke Landes

Kristen Christian has declared November 5, 2011 to be Bank Transfer Day. Fed up with the big banks’ claims that regulation would make the institutions unprofitable, and with research to back that up, Kristen started a movement on Facebook to encourage more people to withdraw money from large banks and use these funds to open ... Continue reading this article…

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Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card Offers Round Trip Flights

by Luke Landes

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

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Boost Your Human Capital: Get Involved and Volunteer

by Luke Landes
Habitat for Humanity

Consider your personal human capital as an addendum to your net worth when evaluating your overall worth. While your net worth is a good financial measurement, your human capital is a good predictor of how you’ll handle opportunities to grow in the future. In an unsteady economy, those with better developed human capital have an ... Continue reading this article…

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The Best Financial Advice I’ve Ever Received

by Luke Landes

People frequently ask me to share the best piece of financial advice I’ve ever received. Most recently, this was a common theme at the Financial Blogger Conference in Chicago. One company in attendance, creditcards.com, filmed and edited a video of various personal finance bloggers sharing their best piece of financial advice. I think it’s important ... Continue reading this article…

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What I Learned as a Financial Planner

by Neal Frankle

The following is a guest post from Neal Frankle, a Certified Financial Planner in Los Angeles who owns the financial blog Wealth Pilgrim. Neal has been a financial planner for the past twenty-seven years and is writing this article on Consumerism Commentary to share what he has learned from his experiences with clients over these ... Continue reading this article…

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Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan

by Luke Landes
Herman Cain

In the latest CNN poll, Republican Party hopeful Herman Cain is statistically tied with Mitt Romney with support of 25 percent to 26 percent of Republicans asked, but two thirds of the respondents haven’t made up their minds. Likely a big contributor to Cain’s surge from from 9 percent to 25 percent is his 9-9-9 tax reform plan. This ... Continue reading this article…

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