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

Simple Debit Card and Mint.com Debit Card: What’s the Fuss?

by Luke Landes
Piggy bank

I suppose I don’t understand Silicon Valley hype. I do, however, understand frustrations with the traditional banking system, and one techie start-up and one former start-up engulfed by one of the largest companies in personal finance management are taking the opportunity to see if they can replace some aspects of the financial industry. SmartyPig started ... Continue reading this article…

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You Can’t Take It With You

by Luke Landes
Beach

According to a recent study by the National Bureau for Economic Research, 46.1 percent of retirees die with a net worth of less than $10,000. There are two ways to achieve this outcome. The first is for those with a comfortable level of wealth in retirement. Wealth does an individual no good after he or ... Continue reading this article…

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Holding Old Company Stock, Still Waiting for Recovery

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I asked if you were better off now than you were at the start of the recession. I mentioned that I considered myself in a better financial position today — overall, there wouldn’t even be an argument — but there are small details that still bother me. Not every piece of ... Continue reading this article…

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American Express Credit Card Customers Are Most Satisfied

by Luke Landes
American Express AmEx

For this sixth year in a row, American Express has topped the results of a customer satisfaction survey conducted by J.D. Power & Associates. With a score of 807 out of 1,000 points, consumers who hold American Express credit cards are satisfied with their experience more than customers with cards from all other issuers. This ... Continue reading this article…

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Giving Tuesday: Turning Black Friday on Its Head

by Luke Landes

It’s approaching that time of year again. The holiday shopping season, with the massive retail marketing campaigns surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, will be the industry’s final major push in an attempt to turn consumer confidence around and inspire spending. Over the past two years, companies have seen the potential social media — communication ... Continue reading this article…

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Recovery From the Recession: Are You Better Off Now?

by Luke Landes
Broke money empty pocket

It’s easy for me to turn the pages of my life back to December 2007, at the very beginning of the recession that featured the failure of Wall Street, tightening of the credit market, and damage to worldwide wealth in real property and in the stock market. All I need to do to determine my ... Continue reading this article…

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HSBC Direct Confuses Account Holders With Fee Notice

by Luke Landes
HSBC

Millions of HSBC Direct customers received a strange email yesterday or the day before indicating a few changes to the bank’s fee structure. (HSBC’s former name for its Online Savings Account service is HSBC Direct; the new name will be HSBC Advance.) The statement seemed to indicate HSBC would be instituting a new, high fee ... Continue reading this article…

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Life Insurance: Who Needs It?

by Luke Landes
Life saver

Vote today for Consumerism Commentary or your favorite blog in the People’s Choice Plutus Award! Simply type www.consumerismcommentary.com into the ballot or click the button next to your favorite. Having worked for an insurance company in the past, I may be more critical of the industry than most. Don’t get me wrong. It’s very important ... Continue reading this article…

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Crowdfunding, From Start-Ups to Popular Musicians

by Luke Landes
Crowdsurfing

Starting a new business that has up-front costs can be one of the most frustrating things about being an entrepreneur. I suppose there are many people out there who don’t mind going to friends and family, begging for money, promising great returns, and ignoring the risk inherent both in starting a business and in borrowing ... Continue reading this article…

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Moving to Another Town to Find Singles (Rich or Otherwise)

by Luke Landes
Philadelphia Love

There are many reasons to move from one city or town to another. I would expect moving for a job is one of the most popular reasons. If you have a great job working for a company, but they decide, with or without your agreement, that you would benefit the company more working for a ... Continue reading this article…

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