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Microsoft Money Will Be Discontinued

by Luke Landes

Microsoft is ending its support of Microsoft Money, the desktop financial management software that feebly competed with Intuit Quicken. This comes as no surprise to me. Microsoft appeared to have given up on the Money product several years ago. Personally, I switched from Microsoft Money to Quicken in 2004. Although I was happy with Microsoft ... Continue reading this article…

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Forbes Gets it Wrong About “Online-Only” Bank Accounts

by Luke Landes

This morning an article appeared on Forbes.com with suggestions and warnings about online-only accounts. I have to disagree with an important statement by the author of the article, Asher Hawkins. Hawkins is offering misguided information regarding the number of withdrawal transactions a customer is allowed to make from an account designated as a ” savings” ... Continue reading this article…

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When Going Into Debt is Worthwhile

by Luke Landes

On a macro level, debt was a force behind the incredible economic expansion over the past two centuries, and the availability of debt at the family level played a role as well. Despite all that debt has brought society, many financial gurus and authors vilify debt and explicitly call the idea of borrowing money “evil.” ... Continue reading this article…

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Majority of Bankruptcies Due to Medical Bills

by Luke Landes

Not only are most personal bankruptcies due to medical bills beyond the ability of the consumer to pay, but most of the households declaring bankruptcy for this reason do so despite having health insurance coverage. Researchers from Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and Ohio University reported 60 percent of personal bankruptcies in the United ... Continue reading this article…

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Pros and Cons of Interest-Only Mortgage Payments

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Consumerism Commentary reader Ryan suggested I write about interest-only mortgages. There is no such thing as an “interest-only mortgage.” Wouldn’t that be nice, though, to have a mortgage that did not require you to pay any principal back to the lender? Unfortunately, when you become a borrower, your lender will insist upon receiving interest ... Continue reading this article…

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Comparing the Visa Black Card with American Express Platinum and Centurion Cards

by Luke Landes

American Express created a frenzy among the wealthy when it decided to take advantage of rumors of an exclusive black-colored charge card, used by movie stars and music celebrities for purchasing jets and other items beyond the financial reach of us mere mortals. In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Card, a black charge card ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Income, and Expenses, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Every month, consistently for the past few years, I take the opportunity at the beginning of the month to develop financial reports. The first report I post every month outlines my “modified” net worth, basically a balance sheet including my bank accounts, investments, the approximate value of my car, and my credit cards. Following the ... Continue reading this article…

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Best of Consumerism Commentary, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary Podcast At the end of April, I began working with Tom Dziubek to create the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. During the month of May, we produced five episodes of the podcast, including interviews with Dr. Bonnie Eaker-Weil, Liz Pulliam Weston, Matt Wallaert, J.D. Roth, Kerry Taylor, and several others. The Consumerism Commentary Podcast is ... Continue reading this article…

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