As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

November 2007

Warren Buffett: Don’t Repeal the Estate Tax

by Luke Landes

If you are lucky enough to inherit (for example) $10 million in property or investments from deceased relatives, you are also lucky enough to pass a good portion of that to the government in the form of estate taxes. It is kind of a strange concept. Why should that money be taxed? It is simply […]

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A Car’s Resale Value: Does it Matter?

by Luke Landes

When I purchased my Honda Civic a few years ago, I chose this particular car because it was economical and reliable. I knew that Civics hold their value well, but I wasn’t planning on selling the car for many years. Kelley Blue Book recently announced their awards for best resale value. If you need a […]

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My Picks From the Top 100 Undiscovered Websites

by Luke Landes

PC Magazine recently published a list of their editors’ picks for the top 100 “undiscovered” websites. The list spans a variety of categories from reference to music to health. Consumerism Commentary readers are probably familiar with a few of these sites, particularly those in the “money” category. Here are some of the highlights throughout. Hard […]

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Gift Cards: Customers Lost $8 Billion Last Year

by Luke Landes

Here’s another reason not to give gift cards or certificates as presents this holiday season (or any other time). According to estimates by TowerGroup, $8 billion was lost by consumers last year who let their gift cards go unused — expired, lost, or ignored. Consumer Reports also says that their latest survey shows that 27 percent […]

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Pros and Cons Of New 401(k) Auto-Enrollment Rules

by Luke Landes

Employees who do not specifically choose to do anything with the retirement plans offered by their employer are being targeted by the Labor Department. Under new rules, individuals who do not make their own choice will be automatically placed into 401(k) plans in which their investments will be allocated in a mix of stocks and […]

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Members Only: Discounts Offered When Flashing the AAA Card

by Luke Landes

I received a notice in the mail the other day reminding me to renew my roadside assistance service from AAA. For the last several years, I have been a member of AAA “Plus,” which offers the standard service and extra distance for free towing. I’ve decided to downgrade to the standard AAA plan. Before owning […]

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Against Social Multitasking: Be Where You Are

by Sasha

I had family visiting from California this weekend, and was very glad to be able to take time off from work and everything else just to be able to spend it with them. It’s precious time I’ll always remember. In the midst of our happy chatter over brunch this morning at a great local diner, […]

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Gay Men Earn 23% Less Pay Than Married Men

by Sasha

Are gay men discriminated against by employers? Yes, according to a new study which appears in the Journal of Labor Research. The study, co-authored by Bruce Elmslie, professor of economics at UNH Whittemore and Edinaldo Tebaldi of Bryant University in Rhode Island, contains an in-depth analysis of wage and labor data collected by the U.S. […]

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Reader Question: Forgo ESPP Share Discount?

by Luke Landes

JBW submitted a question to Consumerism Commentary alongside an earlier discussion of my own Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP) shares and I’d like to highlight the question here. I’m currently trying to decide what to do in terms of my employer’s ESPP. The discount is 10 percent and stock is bought on a monthly basis (the […]

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Pop Star Follies Part 2: Michael Jackson’s Foreclosure

by Luke Landes

We’ve been discussing Britney Spears’ reported poor financial management strategy lately. A recent court report described her overspending and lack of investment, although this may have been a part of her spousal support strategy. She must have financial advisers on her payroll, right? There must be more to the story. Nevertheless, I’m not stepping up […]

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