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Market Update: July 26, 2007

by Luke Landes

I wish I could have sold my second quarter ESPP shares when they were awarded earlier this month. By the time next month’s trading window opens, I won’t have made as much money unless things swing around fast. Dow down to 13,435.53, S&P 500 down to 1,473.04, Nasdaq down to 2,599.34. [CNN]

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Market Update: July 23, 2007

by Luke Landes

Bill Fleckenstein is seeing signs of a bubble. S&P 500 up to 1,540.92, Dow up to 13,934.56, Nasdaq up to 2,690.85. [CNN]

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Best Credit Cards for Airline Miles

by Luke Landes

If you use credit cards for regular expenses rather than excessive spending and pay your balance off each month, you should be getting something back for the money you’re making for the credit card companies. Some of the options out there include cash back, 0 percent APR balance transfers, 0 percent APR on purchases, and sign-up bonuses. ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Update, July 19, 2007

by Luke Landes

The Dow closed over 14,000 at 14,000.41 today. When do you think it will close over 15,000? One cookie to someone who guesses correctly. S&P 500 at 1,553.08, Nasdaq at 2,720.04. [Reuters]

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4 Great Rewards Credit Cards for Drivers

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available. Here are several credit cards the provide the best rewards for drivers through rebates on gas purchases as well as a few other benefits. It’s difficult to find good credit cards as the companies are pulling back their offerings. ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Records

by Luke Landes

Third day in a row with market records, but not on all indexes at closing. Toby thinks I’m crazy for thinking “bubble,” but I’m not really thinking it anyway. S&P 500 at 1,549.52, Dow at 13,950.98, Nasdaq at 2,697.33. [Yahoo Finance]

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Financial Lessons from Television Fiction: The Office

by Luke Landes

Now that my new cable company is providing me with the works for less than $15 a month, including a digital video recorder, I find myself wasting more time watching television while doing other work. One of the shows I can’t get enough of is The Office. While the characters are a bit exaggerated, there ... Continue reading this article…

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The World’s Most Expensive Cities

by Luke Landes

New York is no longer in this top ten list. It’s the world’s most expensive cities, and New York City has dropped several spaces thanks to the fluctuation of currencies. Here are the top 20. # Moscow # London # Seoul # Tokyo # Hong Kong # Copenhagen # Geneva # Osaka # Zurich # ... Continue reading this article…

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$250 Bonus for American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. I just received a notice that the American Express Business Gold Rewards Card has increased its sign-on bonus from $50 to $250. I’ve updated my list of credit cards with bonuses with the new information. The $250 bonus is in ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: Should I Have a Roth IRA?

by Luke Landes

While I like to answer readers’ questions to the best of my knowledge, please keep in mind that I am not a financial professional. If you have questions, feel free to contact me. Any questions for which I can’t provide a detailed answer, I often just open the conversation up for discussion, as I know ... Continue reading this article…

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Four Retirement Mistakes, Part One: Early Withdrawal

by Luke Landes

Reminder: So far there has been a very good response to the Consumerism Commentary reader survey. If you have not yet done so, please complete the survey so I can learn about you and improve this blog. Retirement savings compete with day-to-day expenses for your hard-earned money, so it’s a great accomplishment to put anything ... Continue reading this article…

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Trading Off Your Financial Security For Your Kids

by Luke Landes

An article on SmartMoney starts by providing an example of a family living on an income of $30,000. The parents in their young twenties struggle to pay their monthly bills, but spare no expense when spending on their child. For both her first and second birthday, the couple threw their daughter a birthday bash that ... Continue reading this article…

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Millionaires in the Making: The Cicottes

by Luke Landes

I haven’t written about one of these in a while, but the latest Millionaires in the Making from CNN Money looks interesting. It’s interesting to note that CNN changed the format of the series into a blog, allowing comments (if you’re willing to leave your city and state along with your name). Now, about the ... Continue reading this article…

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Roth IRA Phase-Out in 2007

by Luke Landes

This year, if you (as a single tax filer) earn more than $99,000 (modified adjusted gross income — MAGI), your eligibility for the tax-advantageous Roth IRA phases out until you don’t qualify at all at $114,000. Couples are at a little bit of a disadvantage compared to two single tax filers as eligibility starts to ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Need 80% of Your Current Income in Retirement?

by Luke Landes

If you’re planning for retirement, you might be concerned with determining how much income you’ll need to support your current lifestyle. I’ve seen 80 percent tossed around as this magic percentage. That is, if you make $100,000 in your current lifestyle (and manage your expenses appropriately), the fewer expensive you’ll have in retirement mean you’ll only ... Continue reading this article…

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Transferring My IRAs From TIAA-Cref to Vanguard

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Vanguard announced they have simplified their account fees. Effective on Thursday, here is the new fee structure. * All fund accounts with a balance of less than $10,000 will be assessed a yearly fee of $20. Now that’s straightforward. In the old configuration, my recently-opened 2006 SEP IRA would have been charged $20 anyway. ... Continue reading this article…

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Excerpt From Suze Orman’s New Book: Women & Money

by Luke Landes

Yahoo Finance is featuring an exclusive excerpt of Suze Orman’s latest book, Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny. If the book follows the standard formula, this excerpt is from the introduction and outlines the 8 qualities of a wealthy woman on which the rest of the book will expound. Here are ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Do I Share My Finances Every Month?

by Luke Landes

I’ve been asked this question several times over the past few years, by strangers and friends, most who don’t approve of my openness for one reason or another. Each month, I write with excruciating detail about my expenses and income, assets and liabilities, and my net worth. For example, here is my latest net worth ... Continue reading this article…

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Guest Post: Thoughts on Raising Money-Smart Kids

by Luke Landes

All this week, Consumerism Commentary is featuring articles written by others. This guest post comes from Golbguru, author of Money, Matter and More Musings. Recently, I have been reading excellent articles on the subject of kids and money. The most noteworthy among them being Allowances for Kids: Teaching Children the Value of Money by JD ... Continue reading this article…

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Guest Post: How Not to Buy a Car

by Luke Landes

All this week, Consumerism Commentary is featuring guest bloggers. In this post, KMC from Advanced Personal Finance shares a personal adventure with the local car dealership and the lesson learned. About six months ago, my wife’s car was rear-ended by a delivery truck while she was on her way to work. Fortunately, she was not ... Continue reading this article…

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