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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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Do You Blame the Market’s Downturn

by Luke Landes

Do you blame the market’s downturn today on Ben Bernanke’s comments? Does he really control the market in the short term or are his comments inconsequential? S&P 500 at 1,546.17, Dow at 13,918.22, Nasdaq at 2,699.49. [Yahoo Finance]

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New York Philharmonic

by Luke Landes

My girlfriend, some other friends, and I will be attending tonight’s free New York Philharmonic concert in Central Park. We’ll be in the “VIP” section thanks to our friend who works for the organization. Hopefully it will be a nice evening — I’m looking forward to the music and fireworks.

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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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Second Quarter 401(k) Results Are In

by Luke Landes

According to the statement I received in the mail, my 401(k) investments returned a healthy 6.56 percent return (not annualized) over the second quarter. For the year so far, that’s 10.31 percent. I’m pretty happy with these results considering I changed my contribution instructions to be a little more conservative a few months ago as the stock ... 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 Market Broke

by Luke Landes

The market broke all kinds of records today. My investment accounts are flying high (relatively speaking) for the time being. S&P 500 at 1,547.70, Dow at 13,861.73, Nasdaq at 2,701.73. [Bloomberg]

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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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I’ve Surpassed My First Significant Milestone

by Luke Landes

If you’re an astute visitor to Consumerism Commentary (and visit the blog rather than reading the RSS feed in your own reader) you may have noticed that my net worth widget in the upper right hand corner of this page, which measures the computation I now call my modified net worth, has surpassed $100,000. At ... Continue reading this article…

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Again, Credit Cards vs. Debit Cards: Identity Protection

by Luke Landes

My post the other day on 5 Good Reasons to Avoid Debit Cards stirred up some discussion on the lack of consumer protection offered by debit cards. The bottom line is that after a fraudulent charge on your debit card, your money is gone from your checking account until first you notice a transaction was ... Continue reading this article…

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NetFlix Lowered its Price

by Luke Landes

Back in January I was seriously considering canceling my Netflix subscription. I wasn’t making much use of it for a while, but they continued to charge me every month. Rather than getting rid of the service, I simply decided to watch the movies more often. I’ve been an active user ever since writing about my ... 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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Poisonous Toothpaste in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland

by Luke Landes

If you purchase Colgate toothpaste in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Maryland, take a good look at the packaging first. In some discount stores, counterfeit products are showing up. These fake products are said to contain a poisonous chemical. It should be fairly easy to tell whether the product is legitimate. The fakes include ... Continue reading this article…

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Four Retirement Mistakes, Part Three: Taking a Check

by Luke Landes

When planning for the future, one or two small mistakes can undo years of progress. A recent article from Kiplinger takes a look at four very speicific mistakes that can be made in managing retirement accounts. I’ve already looked at the unintended consequences that early withdrawal and interrupting annual payments could have. This is the ... Continue reading this article…

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Net Worth of $100,000: Not Looking Good for This Month

by Luke Landes

When I reviewed my finances for the end of May 2007, I predicted I would be breaking the six figure barrier around the end of the first week of June. That didn’t happen, and it looks like I’ll be putting off that milestone for another month or so. Thanks to the fact I signed my ... Continue reading this article…

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Four Retirement Mistakes, Part Two: Interrupting Annual Payments

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. I’ve been reading a Kiplinger article outlining four retirement mistakes, and so far I’ve written a little about ... 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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