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When Your Friends Become Social Sellers and Multi-Level Marketers

by Luke Landes
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I can’t completely fault companies like Amway, Mary Kay, and Lia Sophia. They know that friendship results in two important qualities: trust and guilt. These two qualities are important to companies because they make the process of selling products much easier. I find it relatively easy to politely decline — and hang up on if ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 153: Life Happens

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan J Busch talks with Mitch Weiss, author of Life Happens: A Practical Guide to Personal Finance from College to Career (available from Amazon.com on the Kindle). They discuss many of the topics young people need to know in order to avoid the pitfalls of personal finance. Consumerism Commentary ... Continue reading this article…

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Reader Question: Resolving a Dispute With a Brokerage

by Luke Landes

From time to time, Consumerism Commentary readers contact me with questions. I am not an investment professional or a financial planner, and I don’t offer advice related to investing other than my general thoughts on the topic. The questions I receive range from basic investing details like government-regulated limits for investment account types to how ... Continue reading this article…

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Prenuptial Agreements for Cohabitants

by Luke Landes
Relationships couple

I’ve discussed whether couples should sign a prenuptial agreement before marraige recently. A good prenup can protect both individuals in the couple if a marriage were to result in irreconcilable differences. Signing a legal document of this type could be helpful if the couple owns substantial assets or if there is a wide disparity in ... Continue reading this article…

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TIAA Direct High-Yield Savings Account

by Luke Landes
TIAA ATM

Just when you thought the era of new online banks splashing into the market was over, TIAA-CREF is on the hunt for customers’ deposits. TIAA-CREF Trust Company, FSB was established in 1998, and the bank just began offering deposit accounts in the last month. The products, under the name TIAA Direct, are intended to compete ... Continue reading this article…

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Taxpayers Earned $25 Billion on Treasury’s Mortgage-Backed Securities Bail-Out

by Luke Landes
United States Treasury

At the height of the recession, President George W. Bush and the congress authorized a bail-out of banks and investment companies headed for failure. In a similar plan to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government authorized the Treasury moved forward with the plan to stabilize the financial industry, and to an extent ... Continue reading this article…

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Mets Will Pay $162 Million to Settle Madoff Suit

by Luke Landes
Jose Reyes Mets

As a Mets fan, though these days I try not admit being so, it’s bittersweet to see the organization settling its legal troubles relating to Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. On the one hand, if the owners of the Mets were found guilty of ignoring the possibility of fraud, it could have spelled the end of ... Continue reading this article…

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The Dangers of Motivating Kids Through an Allowance

by Luke Landes
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Parents who offer their young children an allowance or pocket money are helping to introduce the concept of money at an age when they are susceptible to ideas they will hold for the remainder of their lives. It’s a good idea to allow kids to gain exposure to to concept and application of income and ... Continue reading this article…

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Podcast 152: LearnVest

by Luke Landes

Today on the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Bryan J Busch talks with Ainslie Simmonds, Chief Marketing Officer of LearnVest. They discuss the free and paid features of LearnVest, how people are using the service and what sets it apart from other methods of financial planning. Consumerism Commentary Podcast LearnVest: S06E21 / 176 Download – RSS – ... Continue reading this article…

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How Do You Preserve Your Money?

by Luke Landes
Money Bags

Preservation of capital is an important aspect of any financial plan, but in today’s economy, this is impossible without taking on some risk. At one time, you could confidently place any money you might need within one year in a high-yield savings account and be relatively confident that your money could buy at least as ... Continue reading this article…

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