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

How to Qualify for a 1% APR Mortgage

by Luke Landes
Mark Zuckerberg

While there are great advantages to buying a house with cash, sometimes the benefits of using other people’s money outweigh those advantages. While debt is often rightly characterized as bad for one’s personal finances, there are situations in which it can be less bad. If you can qualify for a mortgage that starts out at ... Continue reading this article…

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Earning a Living With Rental Properties: Should You Be a Landlord?

by Luke Landes
For Rent

If you have the option, owning assets that produce income is a better financial strategy than owning assets that generate expenses. If you own a house or apartment for your own residence, for example, you need to pay for maintenance, repairs, taxes, mortgage interest, landscaping, utilities, or a homeowner association fee that covers some of ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Choose Between a Traditional and Roth IRA

by Luke Landes
Gray's Sports Almanac

How are your prognostication skills? Do you have a direct connection to the spiritual world or an uncanny ability to predict the future? Someone with these skills and an individualistic drive, and perhaps an advance edition of Gray’s Sports Alamanac, could ensure the financial stability of his or her future. The rest of us without ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Going Public Ever a Good Idea for a Company?

by Luke Landes
Peet's Coffee

Facebook recently went public. Mark Zuckerberg and the other owners might not have wanted to open the company up to a wide pool of investors, but the company had grown so large in terms of the number of private shareholders that it would have needed to release its financial statements publicly anyway. Through this process, ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Pursuing a PhD or Professional Doctorate Worthwhile?

by Luke Landes
Professor

I’m at a point in my life right now where I have some flexibility with my personal choices. Thanks to growing a business, I’m able to look at a wide array of options in front of me — things to to do that will keep me busy, intellectually stimulated, and financially self-supporting, in addition to ... Continue reading this article…

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Planning to Work Into Retirement

by Luke Landes
Beach chair

In a world where employees can’t rely on long-term relationships with their employers, most of which no longer offer relatively safe retirement protection through pensions, planning for retirement, at least for the younger demographic in today’s workforce, is substandard. People do start thinking about their future as time goes by, but often, the appropriate planning ... Continue reading this article…

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Plutus Awards, Education Vs. Skills, Grown-Up Jobs, and More

by Luke Landes

This September, the Plutus Awards will be coming to the Financial Blogger Conference. Consumerism Commentary is part of a wide community of blogs focusing on personal finance, money management, personal investing, and retirement. Personal finance blogs provide an alternative to traditional financial media, and the audience for this alternative type of media has expanded greatly ... Continue reading this article…

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Capital One to Pay $210 Million Including Refunds and Penalties

by Luke Landes
Capital One

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau struck Capital One hard this week. The consumer protection agency has found that the credit card company improperly marketed add-on products to its customers. Because of this behavior, Capital One has agreed to pay refunds to 2.5 million customers totaling about $150 million, in addition to a $25 million penalty ... Continue reading this article…

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Stating the Obvious: Don’t Share Pictures of Your Credit and Debit Cards Online

by Luke Landes
NeedADebitCard Twitter

I’ve shared a lot of personal financial information over the years at Consumerism Commentary. This site’s original purpose was to hold myself accountable for the financial decisions I would make, and I did so for many years by publishing monthly reports that included my net worth. From these, readers could determine bank account balances, credit ... Continue reading this article…

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Credit Card Users May Pay an Additional Fee

by Luke Landes
Credit cards

When retailers and credit card issuers argue about fees, does the consumer win? The consumer is generally ignored in these discussions. Businesses are controlling the dialogue. Businesses, particularly small businesses that rely on profit margins more than volume, were successful in getting regulators to restrict “swipe” or interchange fees. The fees credit card transaction processing ... Continue reading this article…

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