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Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance April 2021

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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).

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

in this issue

1 min.
kiplinger.com

AUDIT RED FLAGS Limit your chances of an IRS audit by steering clear of these 22 tax-filing tactics that can attract unwanted attention to your return. kiplinger.com/kpf/redflags UNDERSTANDING ‘SHORT SQUEEZES’ Kiplinger explains the investing phenomenon that fueled the surge in GameStop’s stock—and has imperiled many individual investors. kiplinger.com/kpf/squeeze BEFORE YOU RETIRE We guide you through 11 critical financial moves to make in the decade before you stop working. kiplinger.com/kpf/before Sign up for our Kiplinger Today e-newsletter at kiplinger.com/links/ktoday. FACEBOOK: KiplingerPersonalFinance TWITTER: @Kiplinger INSTAGRAM: @KiplingerFinance HOW TO REACH US: Subscriptions. For inquiries about ordering, billing or renewing a subscription, or to report address changes, please have your mailing label handy to reference your account number and visit us online at kiplinger.com/customer-service or call 800-544-0155, Monday through Friday between 7 A.M. and midnight, Saturday between 8:30 A.M. and 7 P.M., and Sunday between 10:30 A.M.…

3 min.
working remotely

In my management career, I found that letting the employee decide where to work was generally best (“From the Editor,” Feb.). We had a diverse workforce with diverse activities, and the factors leading to the decision were unique to each person. I think working remotely works best if management is able to establish mutually agreed upon production goals that are understood by management layers and faithfully measured. When performance is known, unacceptable results are also known and can be mutually resolved. I found that productivity and staff retention are maximized over the long run when rigid requirements that stress people’s personal life are reduced. When employees are in control, they generally excel. I hope more companies recognize this after working through this unfortunate year. CHUCK ADAMS SANTA FE, N.M. Pet insurance. As a…

3 min.
gamestop lessons

My son recently divulged some shocking news: He has been clicking around on Kiplinger.com to educate himself about stock investing, and he just purchased shares in two companies. Ian is a millennial high school teacher with a lot of interests, but personal finance hasn’t been one of them (despite my efforts to bolster his financial literacy). But the GameStop saga inspired conversations with friends who are stock investors, and he took the plunge into stocks. I was pleased with at least one of his picks: Apple. I am a bit skeptical about his other, a small bet on a Canadian cannabis company. We agreed to have more talks soon about his, ah, budding portfolio. Investors young and old were riveted by the stock market’s crazy week in late January, when GameStop…

3 min.
meet the new cops on the money beat

DURING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S four years, the financial services industry enjoyed a “hands-off” approach to regulation, with regulators focused more on investor education than enforcement. That’s about to change. Gary Gensler, President Biden’s nominee to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission, established himself as an enforcer when he headed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration. During his tenure at the CFTC, Gensler cracked down on financial derivatives, which were criticized for the role they played in the 2008–09 financial crisis. Gensler’s record suggests he may support tougher requirements for brokers and other financial advisers. As head of a Maryland state financial protection commission in 2019, Gensler recommended that the state mandate that all financial planners who give investment advice adhere to the fiduciary standard, which requires them to put…

1 min.
assessing the gamestop fallout

One of the first items the Biden administration’s regulators will need to confront is whether current laws and regulations are sufficient to deal with the fallout from the GameStop trading frenzy, which enriched a few investors at the apparent expense of many others (see “Briefing,” on page 18). The Securities and Exchange Commission, under acting director Allison Herren Lee, said in a statement that it was monitoring the extreme volatility in GameStop and a few other companies that were caught up in a smackdown between traders and short sellers. Lawmakers have called for hearings on the subject. But the questions facing regulators and Congress are complex, vast and sometimes contradictory. Hedge funds that engage in short selling—a bet that stock prices will fall (see “Street Smart,” on page 43)—may come under…

3 min.
what you’ll need to pack for summer travel

Scott Keyes is the founder of ScottsCheapFlights.com. As more people start traveling, will they be required to provide proof that they’ve received the COVID-19 vaccination before getting on a plane? I don’t think we’re going to see it as a requirement for domestic travel, because even at the height of the pandemic, you could get on a plane without even proving that you’d tested negative for the coronavirus. I think proof of vaccinations will be required for people who want to travel to destinations that have been off-limits to Americans, such as Japan, Australia and most of Europe. The tougher question in my mind is whether proof of vaccination will be required for international destinations that are currently accepting Americans, such as Mexico and parts of the Caribbean. My sense is they likely…