personal finance news Headlines

  • Living on Your Investments? What Happens When a Bear Market Hits?

    Investors are often told to "stay the course" even as stock markets go through tough times. However, if you're retired, that advice could put your nest egg in jeopardy.
  • 10 Safe Blue-Chip Stocks You Want to Own

    When markets get jittery (like they are now), investors' thoughts often turn to so-called "safe stocks," to protect their portfolios against losses. Especially when there are numerous headwinds and no clear outcome in sight, blue-chip stocks have a particular appeal thanks to their diverse businesses, deep financial resources and relative stock stability. There are all sorts of sources of uncertainty, such as new leadership in the Federal Reserve and questions about how much more the Fed will...
  • Your Medicare Questions Answered

    Medicare plays a critical role in retirees' health care starting at age 65. But signing up for Medicare is just the beginning. You'll need to understand the difference between Part A, Part B and Part D, and make decisions about supplemental Medigap and Medicare Advantage coverage. You'll also need to budget for Medicare premiums and find doctors and medical facilities that accept Medicare. Confused? We're here to help. Read on to learn the answers to some common Medicare questions, courtesy of...
  • Memorial Day Sales 2018: What to Buy (and What to Skip)

    Memorial Day not only signals the unofficial start of summer, but it's also the first of the major holiday shopping weekends to occur during the warm-weather months. (Independence Day and Labor Day are the other biggies.) Shoppers who plan to take advantage of Memorial Day sales will want to make sure they've signed up for deal alerts from their favorite retailers so they don't miss out on coveted items, recommends smart shopping expert Trae Bodge of And while the deals will be...
  • 10 Surprising (or Surprisingly Common) Estate Planning Mistakes

    When it comes to wills, as a financial planner, I've seen a lot of sad, unfortunate or just plain weird things happen over the years. Poor estate documents can lead to people accidentally cutting loved ones out of inheritances, paying big tax bills unnecessarily and saddling families with expensive, head-scratching legal battles. Here are 10 mistakes -- some you can probably guess, but others you've probably never heard of -- people tend to make when planning their estates. Written by T....
  • Target-Date Retirement Funds: 5 Top Fund Families

    Investors are flocking to target-date retirement funds. These funds, which often are the default option in workplace 401(k) plans, received $70 billion in net inflows last year, bringing their total assets to over $1 trillion, according to a new report from Morningstar. Most investors don't have much expertise in building a portfolio of mutual funds. But target-date funds - which invest across several asset types, in different allocations, as you age - do it all for you. All you have to know is...
  • 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Working with a Financial Adviser

    Keep these three don'ts in mind when you meet with your financial professional.
  • With Finances, Keep It Simple, Stupid (Even If You’re Rich)

    The hot hedge fund or investment property your golf buddy is bragging about may sound tempting. But before you bite, understand the cons of complicated strategies.
  • 16 Best (And Worst) Buys at Aldi

    Aldi is rapidly expanding in the U.S. Already, the no-frills German supermarket chain has nearly 1,800 stores in 35 states offering super-low prices on brand-name knockoffs. Indeed, 90% of Aldi's products are exclusive store brands, and many mimic the packaging and taste of national brands. We found several great items at Aldi that deserve a spot on your grocery list based on quality or value - or both. But after checking in with shopping experts, as well doing comparison-shopping (and...
  • 7 Stocks Warren Buffett Just Bought, Trimmed or Dumped

    Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), absolutely adores Apple (AAPL). Indeed, the world's greatest value investor upped his company's stake in the iPhone-maker by 45% during the quarter ended March 31. Although the big increase in Berkshire's investment in Apple grabbed all the headlines, it wasn't the only important news to come out of the holding company's latest regulatory filings. (Large investors such as Berkshire Hathaway are required to disclose their holdings...
  • 5 Financial Tips for New Parents

    In between naps, feedings and burpings, here are five things you should do when you bring home your bundle of joy.
  • You Are Worth More Than Your Stuff

    How a life insurance salesman inspired me to seek greater meaning and explore the true meaning of the word "legacy."
  • What the New Tax Law Means for Small Businesses

    The most sweeping tax overhaul in three decades brings lots of good cheer for businesses, ranging from a lower corporate tax rate to big tax savings for asset purchases. But there are also some deductions that disappear and other breaks that are pared back to offset part of the massive cost of the tax cuts. Here's a look at some of the key provisions in the new tax law that affect small businesses. Unless otherwise stated, most of these apply beginning in tax year 2018. [EMBED TYPE=WIDGET...
  • Where Millionaires Live in America

    A million dollars isn't exactly what it used to be, but it still earns you entry into an elite group of Americans. Only 5.8% of the country, or about 7.2 million households, qualifies as bona fide millionaires. That means they have investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding the value of real estate, employer-sponsored retirement plans and business partnerships. New York and Los Angeles are home to the most millionaires in America because of their large populations and lucrative...
  • 10 Small-Cap Stocks With Large-Cap Potential

    Small-cap stocks. They fly under the radars of most investors, who struggle to look past behemoths like Apple (AAPL) and familiar names like Facebook (FB). Small-cap stocks that are well worth owning are out there though. They're just usually overlooked because they can't get enough people's attention. Investors willing to look under a few unturned rocks, however, can sometimes find buried treasure. To that end, here's a run-down of the top 10 small-cap stocks to consider right now as the...
  • Federal Bank Holidays 2018: Is My Bank Open Today?

    Find out if your bank is likely to be open on New Year's Day, MLK Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
  • What to Do with an Old Life Insurance Policy

    Is that life insurance policy you bought decades ago still serving a good purpose once you retire, or could you be doing something better with it?
  • 10 Shaky Dividends That Could Harm Your Retirement

    More than a third of the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index have hiked their dividends in 2018, and none have cut their payout, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior industry analyst for S&P Dow Jones Indices. An improving economic backdrop and U.S. tax cuts have pushed first-quarter corporate earnings up by more than 15%, per data from FactSet, creating an environment that is conducive for generous dividend increases. Despite this, several companies in the market are...
  • Withholding Taxes From Social Security

    Older taxpayers can avoid a big bill at tax time or a penalty for underpaying taxes by having the government withhold taxes from their Social Security benefits.
  • Your Social Security Questions Answered

    What's the best age to claim Social Security benefits? Do you need to pay taxes on Social Security? What's a delayed retirement credit? Is a spousal benefit the same as a survivor benefit? Social Security can be confusing, so whether you're already a retiree or just someone planning for retirement, you naturally have questions. And you should be asking questions. Social Security is a critical component of a well-rounded retirement income plan that might also include savings in IRAs, 401(k)s and...
  • 3 Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances

    It's time to take out all your investments and try them on to see if they still fit.
  • How to Plan Ahead for a Disabled Child’s Inheritance

    If your child relies on Medicaid services, how can you ensure that when you die the money you leave them doesn't cause them to lose that vital support system? A Supplemental Needs Trust could be the answer.
  • 35 Ways to Earn up to 11% on Your Money

    Since the Great Recession, many investors' portfolios have been a tale of feast and famine. Stocks have racked up hefty gains, while the lowest interest rates in a generation have meant paltry returns on bonds, cash accounts and other fixed-income investments. Now, income investors are facing a sea change. With the U.S. economy rolling along, the Federal Reserve has pushed its benchmark short-term interest rate to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%--the highest since 2008--and has signaled more hikes to...
  • 10 Stable Stocks to Buy Now for a Wobbly Market

    The past several weeks have been frustrating for investors. While an eight-day win streak for the Dow Jones Industrial Average showed we're clearly not in the throes of a bear market, things largely still aren't very bullish, either. We're still in the midst of a garden-variety correction, and as many traders have been reminded, corrections are a process rather than a short-lived event. The current process might not be completed just yet. Indeed, after an incredible unfettered runup over the...