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Personal Finance Advice: One Size Does Not Fit All

by Luke Landes

It is human nature to search for Truths that describe the world we live in. This is one reason why personal finance gurus are so popular amongst a group of individuals that listens. Many of the more popular authors, seminar leaders, and cult favorites stick by their mantras, Grand Unifying Theories, such as “credit cards ... Continue reading this article…

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Compare Your Company’s 401(k) Retirement Plan

by Luke Landes

While researching companies for possible career moves — an occasional hobby of mine before all of my extracurricular time was spent working on Consumerism Commentary — it has been difficult to find reliable information about one of the biggest benefits companies can offer, the 401(k) retirement plan. As an outsider to the company, you cannot ... Continue reading this article…

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Consumerism Commentary Podcast

by Luke Landes

The Consumerism Commentary Podcast is a weekly personal finance show, hosted by both Tom Dziubek, a former podcaster with the Wall Street Journal, and Jay Frosting, who started his first podcast in 2005 for fans of novelty rock music. Each week, the show offers commentary about money management, getting out of debt, budgeting, consumer issues, ... Continue reading this article…

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Market Timing: You’re Doing it Wrong

by Luke Landes

A recent question-and-answer article from Money Magazine illustrates the problem with timing the market. While making money in the stock market is as “simple” as buying low and selling high, emotional reactions to the market often prevent that from being a feasible strategy. The question comes from an individual close to retirement, Heidi. She lost ... Continue reading this article…

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Schwab Brokerage Lowers Expense Ratios, Beats Vanguard

by Luke Landes

Here is some good news for investors. Schwab, competing for investment business with other low-cost mutual fund operations like Vanguard, Fidelity, and TIAA-Cref, has lowered the expenses on a number of their mutual funds. The Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPIX), which competes directly with the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Funds (VFINX), now sports a ... Continue reading this article…

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The Unownership Society

by Luke Landes

Seven years ago, when people I knew were buying houses they couldn’t afford with the philosophy that real estate prices always go up, and the go up fast, I was sitting on the sidelines. I had no money, no desire to settle down, and no belief that real estate in the form of home ownership ... Continue reading this article…

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CNN Will Grade Your Financial Health

by Luke Landes

CNN is featuring a short survey to help you determine your level of financial health. The result is presented in a form of a grade from F to A+. My result was an A; I lost points for not having any life insurance. The survey does not ask if there are any dependents. Right now, ... Continue reading this article…

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When Large Institutions Hoard Cash, Start Investing

by Luke Landes

Rather than lending and investing, banks are holding onto large amounts of cash. For large companies, particularly companies whose stocks trade publicly, now is a good time to keep cash on hand for excess liquidity and to look strong for investors and analysts. The liquidity allows the bank to be ready to strike when they ... Continue reading this article…

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