I've already made every imaginable mistake so that you don't have to.

Rational Consumer

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Photo Credit: pexels.com Karolina Grabowska

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The premise that consumers have all the information readily available with which to optimize their purchasing decisions is at once both fundamental to economic theory and fundamentally flawed.
Among the goals of this site is to shrink that information gap.
This site will focus on consumer credit and purchases large enough such that they routinely involve credit.
If even one car shopper politely excuses him or herself from a four-square presentation at a car dealership then I will consider that month's hosting fees to have been well spent.
Would a newspaper article discuss combatting four-square presentations?
Maybe. Maybe not. Who are the remaining major advertisers in printed newspapers?
Flip through one while in the checkout line at the supermarket if you have not had cause to handle a printed newspaper in a while.
Perhaps your media market is different from mine, but in my experience even muckraking progressive newspapers suddenly begin to read like hagiographies when profiling local automotive dealership scions.
The name of this website is admittedly quite long.
As alternative way to get to this website, you can enter fedput.com to get to my companion website, then click on the link for this website once you get there.
Especially on mobile devices, that can be a lot easier than typing: therationalconsumer.com

A hagiography is writing that covers its subject as if he or she were a sainted figure. Long ago the meaning was presumably literal. In modern usage the term hagiography is generally intended as a comedic way of pointing out undeserved praise.

The intended audience of this website is people living in the United States.
As much as I believe every adult living in the United States should be familiar with the content of this website, a great many people in the intended audience will consider the topics covered to be niche subjects.
If you are a tourist visiting the United States, if you ask the people that you meet whether they find it useful to practice the "All Zero But One" strategy before applying for credit, the locals might consider you to be not merely from a different country but rather a different planet altogether.

Comments from readers can be highly beneficial to website owners and to website readers.
Unfortunately, for the following reasons this website does not have a comments section:

Issues such as the points above mean that for now the cost involved with moderating comments on this website is prohibitive.
That may or may not change in the future, but my money is on "may not".
I will be posting videos on YouTube as my time allows.
I invite you to comment on those videos but my moderation will be quite strict.


Videos

I have some good news and some even better news.
The good news is that I have a lot of text content on this website.
The better news is that even if you do not have time to read all the text, you can still take in a lot of content through my YouTube videos.
Just watching my videos will not make you immune to internet scams but watching my videos should help you build awareness of internet scams.
At the turn of the century, people needed to be aware of scam emails.
Now years later, the challenge is not to merely be aware of scam emails, the challenge is to identify legitimate emails sprinkled amongst the scams.
Regardless of how informative I think that my videos about scams may be, watching them can become depressing, so I have included other topics as well.
To paraphrase whoever expressed the sentiment first, my YouTube videos are like my children, which is to say I am prouder of some of them than I am of others.



My YouTube Shorts

Even more so than long-form YouTube videos, popular YouTube shorts tend to feature either:

By ignoring that successful formula, I may be scamming myself.
A YouTube short can be at most a minute long.
To meet that time constraint at times I needed to imitate an old Federal Express commercial.
If you do not get the reference, ask your parents.

Being Aware of Common Scams

Below I have 12 YouTube shorts relating to being aware of internet scams.
They are YouTube shorts, so they are at most 1 minute each.
In addition to watch time, let's round up the time to navigate to each video to a full minute each.
That is a total of 24 minutes if you watch all 12 videos.
Watching all 12 videos will not make you immune to internet scams but it should increase your awareness of these specific internet scams.

Internet

The section above is narrowly related to recognizing specific scams.
If I were to stamp out the most obvious scams such as those above, perhaps some scammers would stop being scammers, but it is more likely that they would adopt new scripts.
The purpose of this section is knowledge intended to help you recognize new scams and old scams that you have not encountered yet.
Why did I put "Scam email, unsubscribe?" in the section below and not the section above?
The catch is that it will take more than a YouTube short to build up the knowledge needed to understand the continuum from unwanted marketing to spam to scams.

Buying a Car

Credit

American Express

The YouTube shorts below are about American Express.
Please do not assume that the content in the videos below applies to credit card issuers other than American Express.
Other credit card issuers will have their own rules.
American Express is among the registered trademarks of American Express.
Neither my website nor my YouTube channel speak on behalf of American Express.

Investing

Sadly if you create a profile on an internet dating website, there is an overwhelming chance that you will be contacted by someone intent on running an investment themed scam.
My long-term goal with this section is to give you enough knowledge of legitimate investments that you can recognize investment themed scams.

Too Good To Be True

When triaging your email, one of the things that you need to be alert for is "too good to be true" claims.
Some claims, such as those in an email alleging that you are to be paid millions of dollars should be easy to recognize as too good to be true.
In contrast to scam emails, the power of an Irish passport is almost too good to be true, but it is in fact real.

Long-Form YouTube Videos

For my long-form videos I have listed each video's length in parenthesis so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you can invest the time in watching a given video.

Credit Cards: Longer-Form Videos

Internet and Internet Scams