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Personal Balance Sheet and Net Worth, February 2009

by Luke Landes

Over the course of February, my “modified net worth” grew 7.5 percent despite yet another unremarkable month for the stock market. As of the end of the month, my bottom line — a variation of net worth — surpassed $200,000, but was still below my original goal for December 31, 2008. Every month, I post several ... Continue reading this article…

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After Ten Years of Renting, I Finally Have Insurance

by Luke Landes

I don’t know what I was thinking. I am getting older. I finished my undergraduate education with a graduation ceremony about years ago. Since graduating, I’ve moved from apartment to apartment, first with a $400 per month one-bedroom place near my college, then back to New Jersey, sharing rent with a variety of roommates. I’ve ... Continue reading this article…

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Quicken Home and Business 2009 Review and Giveaway

by Luke Landes

As of Tuesday, March 10 at 10:00 am ET, the giveaway of the free Quicken Home and Business 2009 is closed and no more entrants will be accepted. I’ve been using Intuit Quicken for the last few years to keep track of my savings, investments and expenses. After trying Moneydance, GNU Cash, and Microsoft Money ... Continue reading this article…

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Most Popular on Consumerism Commentary, February 2009

by Luke Landes

Monthly subscription reminder One of the best methods of reading Consumerism Commentary and staying up-to-date with the latest articles and posts is through RSS subscription. By subscribing to the Consumerism Commentary RSS feed with feed-reading software such as Google Reader or aggregators such as My Yahoo, you’ll always be aware of new content here. If ... Continue reading this article…

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My First Stock Purchase

by Smithee

So, I got this credit card that deposits 2 percent cash back into a brokerage account. I started using it for all my daily purchases, paying off the statement balance each month. At the end of January, my points on the card were redeemed for the first time, and a few impatient days later, I had ... Continue reading this article…

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8 Ways to Create Your Own Stimulus Check

by Luke Landes

In 2008, millions of people received checks or direct deposits from the government in an effort to stimulate the economy. The extra cash certainly helped many families and individuals, who, like the banks that received TARP funds later in the year, cushioned their bank accounts and paid off debt. Some used the found money to ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Claim the $8,000 Home Buyer Tax Credit of 2009

by Luke Landes

Claim the tax credit with Intuit TurboTax or H&R Block At Home. Are you claiming the home buyer tax credit with your 2009 income tax return? Read these new instructions. The credit has been extended and expanded to qualify for more people, including long-time homeowners. I’ve included some of the basic information below. Because the ... Continue reading this article…

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The Paradox of “Buy Low, Sell High”

by Luke Landes

If everyone could “buy low and sell high” when making investment decisions, everyone would be a successful investor. I would never give this advice to anyone. First, it is obvious to anyone who understands basic arithmetic. If you want to make money, you have to sell something for more than you paid for it. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Is “Buy and Hold” Still a Good Investing Strategy?

by Luke Landes

From the time I started investing for the long term, almost all the advice I’ve read has pointed towards buying stocks (usually in the form of index mutual funds) and holding them for decades, rather than following trends in the news and trying to buy and sell stocks frequently. The reasons for this strategy were ... Continue reading this article…

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Should You Walk Away From a House and Mortgage?

by Luke Landes

In the real estate boom, many homebuyers extended themselves financially to buy a house that may have been beyond their means. With the exuberant market, people were encouraged to buy with low introductory interest rates and interest-only loans, the belief that their income would increase to meet their payments, predictions that real estate prices would ... Continue reading this article…

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