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

Getting House-Purchasing Help From Parents

by Luke Landes

Many people I know are buying or have bought their first houses with help from their relatives. It’s great that parents and grandparents are able to help the new buyers out with getting their feet in the door that leads to a great wealth-building opportunity. There are, of course, some issues to consider if you ... Continue reading this article…

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401(k) Getting Whacked By The Market?

by Luke Landes

I’m sitting in a suite at the Renaissance Esmerelda in Indian Wells, California, not far from Palm Springs. It’s great to get away from reality for a few days, especially when family is covering the bill. I’ll be heading back to the Orange County area tomorrow, and back home to New Jersey on Saturday. I ... Continue reading this article…

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Off to Sunny California

by Luke Landes

In one hour, I’ll be leaving for southern California, where I’ll visit family and stay at Joshua Tree. Unfortunately, some of my time on vacation will be spent online since I’m in the middle of a course (Operations Management) for my master’s degree. I may end up blogging after all, but updates will be sporadic.

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Best. Deduction. Ever.

by Luke Landes

Marketplace is a mini radio show on National Public Radio. They air for a few minutes in the morning and a half an hour in the evening, after the markets have closed for the day. The program offers financial news and tends to have interesting discussions about the economy. As we’re coming down to the ... Continue reading this article…

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Friendly IRA Reminder

by Luke Landes

The deadline for funding IRAs for 2004 is coming up at the end of the week. If you haven’t maxed out your 2004 Roth IRA at $3,000 ($3,500 for anyone over 50 years old) then you have less than 72 hours to do so. At the same time, think about fully funding your 2005 Roth ... Continue reading this article…

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Wachovia Fees Going Up Again

by Luke Landes

Last September, I posted about Wachovia adding a $50 annual fee to its individual investor discount brokerage account. I was disappointed I couldn’t get it waived, so I decided that I would transfer my funds out in 2005 before getting charged another annual fee in September. The account termination fee was $75, so I’d be ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Looks Affect Your Income

by Luke Landes

After education and experience are factored out, good-looking, tall people simply make more — 5 percent more — than average-looking individuals. This study was released by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Not only did they discover that beautiful people make more than average, but below-average looks carry a 9 percent penalty. There could ... Continue reading this article…

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Buy a Toyota Prius New or Used

by Luke Landes

According to USA Today and Kelley Blue Book, a used 2004 or 2005 Toyota Prius can sell for $1,000 to $3,000 more than a new Prius. There is a waiting list for new Toyota Priuses, so those who want one right away are willing to pay a little more for instant gratification. The USA Today ... Continue reading this article…

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New RSS Feed and Audio Feed

by Luke Landes

I am now using FeedBurner to generate Consumerism Commentary’s RSS feed. If you already subscribe, you will see no change since the feeds are autoamtically redirected. I’ve also begun adding audio clips to some blog entries. They can be downloaded directly from this site or you can subscribe to them. They function as podcasts so ... Continue reading this article…

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How To Blog Safely

by Luke Landes

The Electronic Frontier Foundation — you might remember them as the group behind the Blue Ribbon Campaign if you were writing formative blogs or other websites in 1997 — have published an important article for people who write online. The organization exists to protect fundamental rights regardless of the technolog involved. Specifically, those of us ... Continue reading this article…

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