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avatar You are viewing an archive of articles by Luke Landes. Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View 's Google Profile.

Luke Landes

Lies Annuity Salesmen Tell: A Dateline Undercover Investigation

by Luke Landes

Last year, a reader wrote into Consumerism Commentary with a story about how her elderly father was convinced to buy a variable annuity, locking away his money until after his likely passing. He had wanted to talk to a financial adviser, but found his way to Banc of America Investment Services. Recently, Dateline took a ... Continue reading this article…

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Unintended Consequences and Money

by Luke Landes

Ethanol: a study of unintended consequences As recently as two years ago, ethanol was considered by many to be the solution for this country’s reliance on imported oil. Ethanol can be produced domestically, and it costs no more to make a car that runs on ethanol than it does to make a car that runs ... Continue reading this article…

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Many Exchange-Traded Funds are Not All They’re Cracked Up to Be

by Luke Landes

I own shares in one exchange-traded fund, iShares Dow Jones U.S. Telecommunications Sector Index Fund (IYZ). I picked up the shares with free money from a Sharebuilder bonus, and since it was free money, I decided to attempt to choose an investment narrower than my typical investing philosophy would normally allow. Rather than a broad ... Continue reading this article…

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MoneyBlogNetwork on Emergency Funds and Latest Carnival of Personal Finance

by Luke Landes

This morning, I published an article outlining 50 tips to help add a little something-something to your emergency fund. This article is part of the April MoneyBlogNetwork Group Writing Project, in which a number of bloggers are working together to write about emergency funds from a variety of perspectives. As of right now, 16 bloggers ... Continue reading this article…

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50 Tips to Help Establish Your Emergency Fund

by Luke Landes

One of the first steps to cleaning up one’s financial situation before embarking on the journey to become financially independent is the establishment of an emergency fund. An emergency fund, in its most basic form, is an accessible savings account where you keep cash for true emergencies, like the loss of a job or a ... Continue reading this article…

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SmartyPig Smartly Drops $25 Redemption Fee

by Luke Landes

A few weeks ago, I previewed the SmartyPig savings account, an interesting way to collaboratively save money for goals while earning interest on that money. I like the ease of sharing goals with friends and family and allowing them to contribute, but the redemption options were limited. By design, SmartyPig prefers that once you reach ... Continue reading this article…

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Jonathan Clements Exits: The Essence of Money

by Luke Landes

Jonathan Clements, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, is leaving journalism. He published his last article on Wednesday, a reflection on fourteen years at the Journal and 26 years writing professionally about money. In the article, he looks at the essence of saving and investing. Why bother? A number of visitors touched on these ... Continue reading this article…

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ING Direct Referral Program: Now Capital One 360

by Luke Landes

Update: ING Direct is now Capital One 360. The referral program still exists. There is more information in this review of Capital One 360. If you have $250 and are willing to become a customer of ING Direct, you have the opportunity to earn $525 on top of your deposit. It will take some work, ... Continue reading this article…

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The Frugal Lifestyle: Are We Missing Out on Life?

by Luke Landes

Life is short, and I believe it’s important to do and accomplish the things that make us happy while we can enjoy it as much as possible, healthily and with full wits. Is this philosophy at odds with the idea of frugality? A reader recently wrote in with this question for other Consumerism Commentary readers: ... Continue reading this article…

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If Monthly Budgets Don’t Excite You, Try This

by Luke Landes

I have never been a fan of a monthly budget. In early 2002, when I admitted I was spending more than I was earning, I forced myself to enact categorical limits for my expenses. It helped for a short time, but it wasn’t long before I found myself with a new spending philosophy and more ... Continue reading this article…

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