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Advice From Dean Kamen: Work in Something You Love

by Luke Landes

Many Consumerism Commentary readers don’t know this: I was a band geek. In high school, I played clarinet in wind ensemble and marching band. This continued into college, where I decided to major in music education. In college, I performed in a variety of ensembles on a variety of instruments ranging from trumpet to percussion ... Continue reading this article…

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Where Did You Come From, Where Did You Go (July 2008)

by Luke Landes

Here are the most popular articles on Consumerism Commentary during the month of July 2008. The Correct Way to Pay Off Personal Debt: The Debt Avalanche 2007 New Jersey Homestead Rebate: Receive Up to $2,000 Just Like Apple’s MobileMe, But Free (by Smithee) Net Worth Competition: Don’t Compare Yourself With Others Four Day Work Week: ... Continue reading this article…

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The Real Estate Roller Coaster

by Smithee

I really enjoy good “data visualization”, which is a fancy, but more succinct way of saying “a way to look at information as more than just numbers.” Last year, before most of us were aware of the “mortgage crisis,” some enterprising individual took a list of average housing prices in the United States since 1890, ... Continue reading this article…

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Can You Be an Entrepreneur in Your Spare Time?

by Luke Landes

If anyone should be giving advice about how to become a successful entrepreneur, it would probably not be me. While I am earning money on my own outside of my day job, it’s not consistent or reliable. Part of the reason for this is that I never intended on becoming a business owner of this ... Continue reading this article…

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FAIL: 1st National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank

by Luke Landes

The FDIC has announced that two more banks failed yesterday, bringing the total this year to seven. 1st National Bank of Nevada and First Heritage Bank operate a total of 28 branches in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Neither of these banks was included in the list of the top ten banks likely to fail. Account ... Continue reading this article…

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Thrasher Funds on Today Show and Weekly Blog Roundup

by Luke Landes

As I write this roundup, the anchors of The Today Show mentioned they will soon present the founder of Thrasher Funds, an expensive mutual fund company designed to attract younger people towards investing, to offer financial advice for teenagers. I’ve noted before that the concept is good, but the execution is out of touch. It’ll ... Continue reading this article…

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Get Out of’s “Triple Advantage”

by Luke Landes is the heavily advertised company that offers “free” credit reports (if you sign up for a trial offer for their monitoring service with a monthly fee. They have huge billboards at Shea Stadium, where I will be tomorrow to see the (currently) first-placed Mets. Keep in mind that the place to get truly free ... Continue reading this article…

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HSBC Direct Extends 3.5% Rate Offer and More ING Direct Referrals Available

by Luke Landes

I received an email to inform me that HSBC Direct has extended its “promotional” interest rate on the online savings account of 3.5 percent APY to September 15, increasing this promotion by one month. I’m not sure what the difference is between a “promotional” rate and any other rate; as always, interest rates on savings account ... Continue reading this article…

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Advice From Robert Shiller: Don’t Be a Sheep

by Luke Landes

Robert Shiller, a professor of economics at Yale University, shares advice about investing he learned in graduate school. One needs to think antisocially to excel in investing, to resist the patterns of thinking that seem mysteriously to arrive simultaneously in the minds of millions of people around the world. People do not trust their own ... Continue reading this article…

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Stay Cool This Summer: Air Conditioner Alternatives

by Luke Landes

Rather than firing up the central air conditioning, you can keep it off or lower its power in the heat of the summer by exploring some of these low-cost alternatives. 1. Use fans. While fans don’t change the temperature of the air, they increase air movement, which will make you feel cooler by a few ... Continue reading this article…

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