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

Changes to Student Loans Coming July 1

by Luke Landes

While it’s great to avoid debt whenever possible, if you have to deal with federal student loans, including Stafford and PLUS loans, you might qualify for some better deals starting July 1. Interest rates will be at the lowest rates in years. If you can consolidate, lock in rates after July 1. They will be ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 8: Greg Grunberg on iPhone App Yowza!! and TalkAboutIt

by Luke Landes

Today’s Consumerism Commentary Podcast features an interview with Greg Grunberg, star of the NBC television series Heroes and drummer in Band From TV, a celebrity band to benefit charities. Greg, Tom Dziubek, and I discuss Yowza!!, the new iPhone (and iPod Touch) app for saving money co-created by Greg. We also discuss Greg’s roles as ... Continue reading this article…

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Consumer Reports Exposes Cool Surge’s Misleading Claims

by Luke Landes

The Cool Surge portable air conditioner claims, in full-page newspaper advertisements that look like newspaper articles, to reduce the temperature of an average room by “up to ten degrees” using as much energy as a 60-watt lightbulb. Other air conditioners often use 500 watts or more, so it sounds like this device might be worth ... Continue reading this article…

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President Obama Proposes Executive Pay Legislation

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, the White House announced new plans for letting investors have a say in executive compensation. With this proposal, shareholders of all public companies will be able to vote on the pay levels of the companies’ highest paid senior management. This sounds like a better plan than allowing the government to set absolute compensation limits, ... Continue reading this article…

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Microsoft Money Will Be Discontinued

by Luke Landes

Microsoft is ending its support of Microsoft Money, the desktop financial management software that feebly competed with Intuit Quicken. This comes as no surprise to me. Microsoft appeared to have given up on the Money product several years ago. Personally, I switched from Microsoft Money to Quicken in 2004. Although I was happy with Microsoft ... Continue reading this article…

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Forbes Gets it Wrong About “Online-Only” Bank Accounts

by Luke Landes

This morning an article appeared on Forbes.com with suggestions and warnings about online-only accounts. I have to disagree with an important statement by the author of the article, Asher Hawkins. Hawkins is offering misguided information regarding the number of withdrawal transactions a customer is allowed to make from an account designated as a ” savings” ... Continue reading this article…

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When Going Into Debt is Worthwhile

by Luke Landes

On a macro level, debt was a force behind the incredible economic expansion over the past two centuries, and the availability of debt at the family level played a role as well. Despite all that debt has brought society, many financial gurus and authors vilify debt and explicitly call the idea of borrowing money “evil.” ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Banks Allowed to Repay TARP Bailout Money

by Luke Landes

Ten banks have now been approved by the government to being repaying taxpayers for a portion of the more than $700 billion the industry has received from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in total. The stated purpose of the TARP was to provide banks with the capital to boost their balance sheets and ease ... Continue reading this article…

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Do You Get Satisfaction?

by Smithee

It seems like as long as we’ve had the Web, we’ve had support forums, usually for software, probably because you can’t depend on software to work the same way twice in a row. Sometimes the support forum is managed and moderated by the company that makes the product, and more often you can find one ... Continue reading this article…

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Let’s Stop Envying Millionaires

by Luke Landes

It is a shame that people are still fascinated with the idea of being a millionaire. According to an online etymology dictionary, the word “millionaire” was first seen in print in 1826, a year when having a net worth of one million dollars was an amazing accomplishment. An inflation calculator puts this into perspective; $1,000,000 ... Continue reading this article…

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