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How to Invest in a Broadway Show

by Luke Landes
Broadway show

If you’re interested in theater and have money you don’t mind losing, you may consider expanding your horizons by investing in a Broadway or off-Broadway show. Be prepared to lose money, though, because according to a variety of producers, only one show in five breaks even. When a play or musical is in the planning ... Continue reading this article…

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Customers Say Retailers Are Not Living Up to Durbin Amendment Promise

by Luke Landes
Cashier checkout at Walmart

Retailers, represented by the National Retail Foundation, promised that consumers would benefit when retailers, particularly small businesses, were to benefit from regulated interchange (swipe) fees charged by Visa and MasterCard. The regulation, commonly called the “Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act,” would lower the cost for businesses who were subject to an effective duopoly between ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank Switch Kit and Checklist

by Luke Landes
Broken piggy bank

With Wells Fargo changing their policies to be less consumer-oriented this week, I’ve received several questions about the logistics switching banks. In previous decades, closing your account at one bank and opening an account at another was a simple process. All that was required was to walk into one branch, ask to close your account, ... Continue reading this article…

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Amazon.com Retail Stores: Another Threat to Small Businesses?

by Luke Landes
Books

I was torn when Amazon.com, the online-only retailer for books, music, and movies, became popular. I liked the convenience, but it was clear that local brick-and-mortar bookstores would have difficulty competing with Amazon’s prices in the long term. I was swayed enough to the side against Amazon when I participated in a boycott of the ... Continue reading this article…

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TurboTax 2012 Online Review

by Luke Landes
tt-featured-img

This is a relatively long review of TurboTax 2012 Online, software for completing tax forms and submitting them to both the federal and state authorities. I’ve updated the review to reflect the changes to the software in 2012 (for filing 2011 tax returns). Recently, the IRS began accepting federal tax returned filed electronically. Even before ... Continue reading this article…

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Verizon Wireless Plans Then Rescinds $2 Fee for Paying Your Bill

by Luke Landes
Verizon Wireless

Update: Less than a day after a Verizon Wireless employee leaked a memo with this information, the company has announced that it will not be moving forward with the implementation of this $2 fee. The sad fact is we now live in a world where many companies have left their customers behind in the search ... Continue reading this article…

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Year End Reminder: Fund Your IRA Now

by Luke Landes

These last few weeks in December present a good time to prepare your finances for the coming year. My personal goal is to start January 1 on a good note, moving my life forward. In the grand scheme putting your finances in order takes a back seat to cleaning up your life as a whole, ... Continue reading this article…

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One Black Friday Tip to Rule Them All: Buy Nothing

by Luke Landes

For those in the United States, tradition and media influence have established today as a day for spending time with family, over-eating, and watching television. What could be more American than Thanksgiving Day? Fast becoming a tradition for consumers is Black Friday (and to a lesser extent Cyber Monday). Retailers have discovered a tendency to ... Continue reading this article…

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