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category_outlined / Business & Finance
Kiplinger's Personal FinanceKiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance February 2019

Written to help you do a better job of managing your personal and family financial affairs and to help you get more for your money. You get ideas on saving, investing, cutting taxes, making major purchases, advancing your career, buying a home, paying for education, health care and travel, plus much, much more. Special issues cover the latest information about car buying (December) and Mutual Funds (March and September).

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kiplinger
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12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time3 min.
the neglected generation

I was born in 1957, at the peak of the baby boom, and I have felt the effects of that population surge for most of my life. Classrooms were crowded: My sixth-grade class had 42 kids, and my junior high needed temporary classrooms. When I started my career, competition for jobs was intense. But I also benefited from being a boomer. My family rode the economic expansion between the 1950s and early ’70s that was fueled by the population boom, and when I got my first fulltime job (with the Kiplinger organization), I was able to sign up for the profit-sharing and pension plans. I bought my first home in 1987, and I have been rewarded by steadily rising home prices ever since. Demographics play a big role in personal finances.…

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reminiscing about sears

I read Mark Solheim’s article about the end of Sears with interest and sadness (“From the Editor,” Dec.). Before retiring, I worked for a printer that printed the Sears catalog. I remember when the call came from Sears in January 1993 to stop the presses. My guess is that at least half of my income was earned printing those catalogs, hence my sadness at its loss. Had Sears understood the internet revolution, as did Amazon.com, I think it could have leveraged its vast buying power and distribution capabilities and become what Amazon is today. WARREN LINDEN ALPHARETTA, GA. I can’t fully agree with you that Sears’s troubles started with the “rise of Walmart and Home Depot.” They certainly didn’t help Sears, but the true problem with Sears was its upper management not…

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also kept taxes at bay

Still Going Strong And, just like that iconic structure, municipal bonds are still going strong today as a way for investors to invest in civic projects, while earning income that’s free of federal taxes and potentially state taxes. Many US investors use municipal bonds as part of their retirement planning. Here’s why: Tax-Free Income Income from municipal bonds is not subject to federal income tax and, depending on where you live, may also be exempt from state and local taxes. Tax-free income can be a big attraction for many investors. About Hennion & Walsh Since 1990 Hennion & Walsh has specialized in investment-grade tax-free municipal bonds. The company supervises over $3 billion in assets in over 16,000 accounts, providing individual investors with institutional quality service and personal attention. Our FREE Gift To You In case you want to…

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falling stocks can ding the economy

A STOCK MARKET DROP is painful for investors, but the aftereffects can be a punch in the gut for the economy overall. A key risk to economic growth in 2019 is that a falling stock market could cause people to pull back on spending, which is ominous, considering that consumer spending has powered nearly three-fourths of the growth during the current economic expansion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. “The correction in stock prices, if sustained, will do some damage to economic growth in 2019,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics. Consumer spending has been turbocharged by the so-called wealth effect, an economic yardstick that measures how changes in household wealth affect how much people spend. Given the rise in stock holdings and home prices, the wealth effect…

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vetting a broker is harder than it looks

Colleen Honigsberg is an assistant professor at Stanford Law School, where she studies corporate and securities law. Many investors use Broker Check.finra.org, a search tool managed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, to investigate complaints and disciplinary actions against brokers. Is it true that a lot of these actions have been erased or expunged? If you’re a broker, clearing your infraction record is surprisingly easy. We found that 70% of expungement requests were granted by Finra arbitrators between 2007 and 2016. Finra’s website says expunging records is an “extraordinary remedy,” so I was shocked that the success rate was so high. Sometimes, a recorded infraction is truly an error, but we found that errors accounted for only 5% of granted expungements. In our review, certain arbitrators granted expungements for…

access_time1 min.
id thieves exploit snail mail

Informed Delivery, a free service provided by the U.S. Postal Service, offers a convenient way to track your mail—but it could also make you more vulnerable to identity theft. When you sign up for Informed Delivery, the USPS will e-mail you scanned images of your unopened letters, including credit card statements and utility bills, before they arrive in your mailbox. The service also lets users see the delivery status of a package, provide delivery instructions and set up a redelivery. Here’s the catch: Anyone can sign up for Informed Delivery, using their own e-mail address and your name and mailing address. That means an identity thief could, say, open a credit card in your name, sign up for Informed Delivery to track when the card hits your mailbox, and steal it before…

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