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

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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These Banks Don’t Want Your Money

by Luke Landes

Note: The information in this article is no longer current. It was updated September 2, 2011 and originally published February 18, 2009. It’s true that high-yield savings accounts offer interest multiples above what you can usually find from your typical state or national bank. For example, a “high performance” money market account (savings account) at ... Continue reading this article…

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Obama Sends $75 Billion to Homeowners in Foreclosure

by Luke Landes

If real estate is truly the root of the economic recession, then this new proposal from President Obama should help. The plan calls for $75 billion to help 9 million homeowners who can no longer afford their monthly mortgage payments and are at risk for foreclosure. Here is how this plan would help. If you ... Continue reading this article…

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Quicken Online Adds New Cash Tracking Feature

by Luke Landes

This week, Quicken Online (reviewed here), a free service, has added a few new features to help you more accurately and efficiently track your spending and manage your finances. As credit card offer increasingly unfavorable terms and abandon rewards, and as fewer people qualify for credit cards, more are turning to spending using cold hard ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Your Home an Asset or Liability?

by Luke Landes

When is your house a liability? Does the fact that you have a mortgage make your house a liability? Or do you have to owe more than the house is worth? What is a liability, anyway? Well, it depends. Looking at your house from a financial perspective, which you should do because if you’re like ... Continue reading this article…

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