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

Consumer

‘Tis The Season

by Luke Landes

Jennifer Mulrean over on MSN Money put together a nice article regarding results for a holiday shopping related survey. Here are some interesting tidbits: * Most respondents are giving gifts to between six and ten people. * 300 respondents (out of more than 2,000) are giving no gifts. * A plurality (21 percent) of respondents are ... Continue reading this article…

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Residual Value

by Luke Landes

I like to see this as vindication for my purchase… Honda has been named by the Automotive Lease Guide as being the best brand for residual value for the second year in a row. That means its cars hold its value over time. However, if the results are divided into categories, the Nissan Altima displaced ... Continue reading this article…

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Blu-Ray to Go the Way of Betamax?

by Luke Landes

4 studios back new DVD format It seems like the movie studios are putting their weight behind Toshiba’s HD DVD format, a specification vastly inferior to the tech-preferred Sony Blu-Ray. Simply, the storage capacity of a dual-layer Blu-Ray disc is 50GB while the maximum a HD DVD disc can hold is only 30GB. Since the ... Continue reading this article…

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The Lottery

by Luke Landes

The Motley Fool has some tips on how to teach kids about the lottery. They suggest showing children some sort of physical manifestation of what the odds are really like. I think that’s a great idea for demonstrating how money is wasted. While we’re talking about the lottery, MSN Money also has an article about ... Continue reading this article…

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For Smokers

by Luke Landes

Aside from the obvious health risks, the financial impact of smoking regularly has some pretty rough implications if you do the numbers, according to Hilary Smith and MSN Money.

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Fast Forward and Get Rich?

by Luke Landes

Scott Burns from MSN Money preaches the benefits of TiVo. In this article he claims that a TiVo device pays for itself in the value of your time saved after 12.5 hours for the $100 price to buy the device and after an additional 6.5 hours for each monthly fee of $13. His assumption is ... Continue reading this article…

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Honda Civic Hybrid Has Best Gas-Mileage

by Luke Landes

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Honda Civic Hybrid beats out the Toyota Prius for best gas-mileage (61 mpg city/66 mpg highway versus 60/51). The non-hybrid Civic is the best gasonline-only vehicle with 36/44. In my driving experience with my manual-transmission 2004 Honda Civic LX, I usually get between 32 and 37 mpg, and ... Continue reading this article…

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Nike Brainwashed His Child

by Luke Landes

Pay attention to what and how your children are learning. Robert Brokamp at The Motley Fool was horrified when his son associated Nike with the Olympics. He would rather see his children have the most reasonably price clothes instead of the coolest.

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Random Acts

by Luke Landes

Do you perform random acts of money kindness? Have you ever been the recipient of something unexpected? Besides always tipping generously at restaurants, I try to help people out when they’re in dire need. I’m going to try to keep that article in mind and do more when I can.

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Popular Day

by Luke Landes

There were many interesting articles on CNN/Money today. Here are a few summaries. The majority of Americans claim they would continue working if they were to suddenly come into lottery winnings of $10,000,000. 59 percent of people under the age of 50 said they would continue along their career path. If this statistic is ever ... Continue reading this article…

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How To Excessively Spoil Your Kids

by Luke Landes

F.A.O. Schwarz (website, like the company, being restructured) is a children’s toy retailer. Perhaps you have heard about their bankrupcy. The company’s new strategy is to market toys to the children of the superrich. This item on the right is a toy Mercedes, with the price tag of $15,000. My Honda Civic didn’t cost much ... Continue reading this article…

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Unimaginable Material Wealth and Worshipping the Idle

by Luke Landes

Here is an article that discusses American materialism. The comments that follow the article are just as interesting. If guilt and materialism are two sides of a single very American coin, it’s a coin that has achieved new currency in recent years, as hand-wringing and McMansions vie for our souls like the angels and devils ... Continue reading this article…

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As Retail Stores Grow, The Economy Doesn’t

by Luke Landes

America gets overstored. – Dec. 19, 2003 I usually don’t like this author’s articles, but this one is interesting. His point is that retail stores grow, but only at the expense of the demise of others. The thing about retail , however, is that within the confines of overall consumer spending growth, it’s really a ... Continue reading this article…

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Stealth Inflation

by Luke Landes

MSN Money – How ‘stealth inflation’ sneaks up on your wallet Guess we’re in a period of no inflation? Guess again. Consumer prices are rising, but it doesn’t come through in statistics. Items cost more because of increased fees, necessary or not. So while base prices are only rising a little, while wages stay the ... Continue reading this article…

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Without The Home Video

by Luke Landes

Admit It: You, Too, Are Paris Hilton If average Americans of even 30 to 40 years ago could see us today, they’d think we were all spoiled just as rotten as any young Trump, Newhouse, or Bloomberg. There’s a good point here. The expectations for living of the general population just keep getting higher. Is ... Continue reading this article…

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Shopaholics

by Luke Landes

Are you a shopaholic? – Oct. 31, 2003 I spoke with a small army of experts and self-admitted compulsive shoppers across the country. They soon dispelled any lingering notion that shopaholism is a make-believe disorder afflicting only bored housewives and “Sex and the City” types. The addicts I spoke with conformed to stereotype in one ... Continue reading this article…

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Time to Think About Gift-Giving

by Luke Landes

Fool.com: Couples and the Christmas Cash Crunch Have you budgetted for the holiday season? Planning on going into debt to pay for all the people in your life who deserve the kind of Christmas you used to have? There are some good tips in this article to help you get through the holiday season without ... Continue reading this article…

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Free $50 For Signing Up

by Luke Landes

Thank you for all the comments and questions you have been sending in. A reader from Portland wrote to ask: Can you recommend any high-yield savings accounts? I can. I’ve been very happy with ING Direct. They constantly offer some of the highest interest rates for savings accounts and have no minimum balance or other ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Haggle If You Don’t Want

by Luke Landes

Hate haggling with auto salesmen? Don’t – Save on a Car If haggling with a car dealer makes you nervous or uncomfortable, you can still get a good price on cars if you do your research. The above article contains some tips that might come in handy.

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Getting the Best Buys

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine posted an in-depth smart spending guide. The detailed article gives many, many tips for getting deals on cars, electronics, the internet, travel, and lots more, without suggesting you compromise your desires. I plan on coming back to this every once in a while to make sure I’m not forgetting anything before making big ... Continue reading this article…

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