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Welcome to Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes
Profile Photo

If you are new to Consumerism Commentary, start here. My name is Luke Landes, and I am the founder of Consumerism Commentary. I started this website in 2003 to hold myself accountable for my choices pertaining to my financial condition. Over the subsequent years, Consumerism Commentary has grown into one of the most popular blogs ... Continue reading this article…

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5 Most Annoying Banking Fees

by Luke Landes
Grabbing money

Fees and surcharges seem to be an unavoidable part of living in a world where banking is big business. If you keep your financial situation simple, diligently shop around, and keep an eye on your money, you can avoid may of the more common fees. In theory, you could increase your fee-avoidance ability by keeping ... Continue reading this article…

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Banks Raise Interest Rates, Savers Give Up Hope

by Luke Landes
Savings

This week, several banks raised interest rates for diligent savers taking advantage of so-called high-yield savings accounts. American Express Bank, a cousin of a credit card company you’ve probably heard of that reorganized as a bank holding company to better position itself for government protection and balance sheet building, raised its interest rate. Ally Bank, ... Continue reading this article…

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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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The Poor Are Priced Out of Checking Accounts

by Luke Landes

Reminder: This is the last week 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. It’s no surprise that low income ... 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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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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