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

2012

How to Optimize Your Retirement Investing Priorities

by Luke Landes

The law in the United States is designed to encourage each working citizens to save for his or her own future. Through tax advantages, there are subtle incentives for investing in certain types of accounts. These incentives encourage financial literacy, boost use of the economic machine of the financial industry, and shift the burden of […]

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Traditional and Roth IRA Contribution Limits for 2016 and 2017

by Luke Landes

You have more time than you might think to contribute to your traditional and Roth IRAs. Rather than an end-of-year deadline, you have until you file your taxes to make that contribution. Federal taxes for 2016 will be due on April 17, 2017, so this is the deadline for establishing and contributing to your 2016 […]

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Are Class-Action Lawsuits Good for Consumers?

by Luke Landes

Over the past few days, thousands of Bank of America customers have begun noticing unexpected credits in their checking account transaction activity. Thousands more will see the credits when their receive their paper statements for November, and even more will receive checks in the mail. The long battle with Bank of America over overdraft fees […]

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Credit Life Insurance: You Don’t Need It

by Luke Landes

Occasionally, Consumerism Commentary readers send in questions or stories they’d like to share with a wide audience. These questions and stories come to me through email, via Facebook, and through this website. Recently, a new reader who discovered Consumerism Commentary due to my multi-year coverage of Bank of America (primarily the articles pertaining to the […]

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Price Gouging: How to Know and What to Do

by Luke Landes

Price gouging is often a problem after natural disasters, but what appears to be gouging might not always be a plan by unscrupulous business owners to take advantage of needy consumers. During regular operations, there is rarely a need for a business to increase prices sharply for its customers. Businesses generally, but not always, pay […]

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Aftermath of Sandy: Check Your Insurance Coverage Before the Storm

by Luke Landes

I hope all Consumerism Commentary readers affected by Hurricane slash Extra-Tropical Storm slash Low-Pressure System Sandy are alive and safe and have avoided damage. I lost power for sixteen to eighteen hours, and although I live near a canal, flood waters didn’t reach me. Many of my local friends are still without power, and my […]

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Resist Planned Obsolescence or Accept the Financial Consequences

by Luke Landes

Products of all types — cars, incandescent bulbs, your iPad and iPhone — are designed with planned obsolescence in mind. The need or desire to replace products quickly and a shorter product life-cycle are a consistent drain on wealth. In the previous generation, the latest television sets were big household expenses, just like they are […]

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Track Your Finances on Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

I wrote recently about how sharing my financial progress publicly on a monthly basis enabled me to better evaluate my life, make better decisions, and grow my wealth faster than if I had kept my progress to myself. Over time, not only did the public display of my net worth and income motivate me, but […]

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Better Bargains With Foreclosures and Pre-Foreclosures

by Luke Landes
Zillow Pre-Foreclosure

I’ve taken a cursory look at the possibility of investing in real estate near where I live, with the intent of buying a property for rental. The numbers don’t work well in my favor. I’ve confirmed this with friends experienced with renting their properties in the area; most would not do it again if given […]

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Mortgage Fraud: U.S. Government Suing Bank of America for $1 Billion

by Luke Landes
Bank of America

I never liked the term “hustle” when used to discuss making money on the side. The word has the slight connotation of fraud or taking advantage of someone, and moving quickly to do so. Now, the word “hustle” is going to be linked to something more specific and decidedly negative. This was the name of […]

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