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

Going Into Debt Gives Away Your Power

by Luke Landes

Debt fuels the financial industry. Without the profit that lenders of all types earn by collecting interest and other fees, the economy wouldn’t be able to hum along. When the economy struggles, the industry does what it can to maximize what it earns from its borrowers, and some companies seem to be more comfortable than ... Continue reading this article…

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Individualized Coupons Aid Price Discrimination

by Luke Landes
Grocery store

I’m not a fan of allowing companies to track every purchasing decision I make, but I’ve sacrificed some of my expectations for privacy in return for convenience. I use my credit card for most purchases, and over the years, credit card issuers could have created a database with my transaction history and could theoretically use ... Continue reading this article…

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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Speaks With Teachers

by Luke Landes
Ben Bernanke

Yesterday, Ben Bernanke spoke to teachers across the United States in a video-conferenced town hall-style meeting. Several teachers were invited to participate in Washington, while others attended the meeting from distant locations aided my modern technology. I wasn’t able to watch the live broadcast of the meeting, but I watched the hour-long recording this morning. ... Continue reading this article…

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Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card: Two Weekend Nights

by Luke Landes

Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, this offer expired and is no longer available. If you travel frequently and are interested in earning points to redeem for stays at Hilton’s family of hotels, car rentals, vacations, or experiences, you may be familiar with the Hilton HHonors program. The Hilton HHonors program awards its members ... Continue reading this article…

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Invest for the Future Without Wall Street

by Luke Landes
Future

Reminder: Time is running out to vote for Consumerism Commentary and your favorite financial blogs in this year’s Plutus Awards. Take a moment — after reading this article, naturally — to show your appreciation for the best writing about money management and personal finance outside of mainstream media. You can be forgiven if you’ve lost ... Continue reading this article…

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ING to Consider Selling ING Direct Canada and ING Direct UK

by Luke Landes
ING Direct

To satisfy European regulators, ING Group, the Dutch former parent company of popular online bank ING Direct in the United States, is “reviewing strategic options” for its other online banking divisions, ING Direct Canada and ING Direct UK. Those “strategic options” could include a sale of those branches. Earlier this year, Capital One completed its ... Continue reading this article…

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The Average Raise Next Year Will Be 2.9 Percent

by Luke Landes
Board room

According to the U.S. Compensation Planning Survey and research by the compensation consulting firm Mercer, companies plan to offer employees an average pay raise of 2.9 percent. While Mercer hasn’t announced this result in a press release as of today, CNN is reporting this information, calling this an increase from actual pay raises in 2011. ... Continue reading this article…

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Sales Tax for Online Purchases

by Luke Landes
Modem

Today, the voting for the Third Annual Plutus Awards is open. If you are a fan of Consumerism Commentary, please vote for this site as the “Best Single-Author Personal Finance Blog.” Also take a moment to vote for all of your favorite personal finance blogs. Bloggers can also vote for their favorite financial products and ... Continue reading this article…

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Mutual Vs. Public Insurance Companies

by Luke Landes
Nationwide Mutual

A former boss of mine, high up the corporate ladder in an insurance company, often complained about his own industry. “Insurance companies make money by not providing a service to their customers.” That is, insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and paying out the least amount of benefits possible. Of course, there’s a tough ... Continue reading this article…

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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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