Kiplinger's Personal Finance November 2020

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).

United States
USD 4.99
USD 19.95
12 Números

en este número

3 min.
views on diversity

Kiplinger’s does a good job with diversity. Every month your magazine is filled with profiles and articles featuring people of different ages, genders, backgrounds, career levels and financial situations. In today’s hyper-political environment, some people will never be satisfied, no matter what you do. You have a fine magazine. Don’t let anyone pressure you into changing your editorial or hiring approach. Please stick to the financial topics and keep politics out. J.G.VIA E-MAIL No person should face discrimination on the basis of skin color or national origin. Past abuses are a stain on the U.S., and I see that the country is trying to make up for them. Discrimination also means not hiring a white person who is competent instead of a black person who is not as qualified in the name…

3 min.
a bumpy ride ahead

What’s up with the market? That’s a question I was hearing from friends, and more than a few readers, this past summer. Stocks have rocketed skyward since March—blithely ignoring the struggling economy—but the market finally succumbed to the laws of physics in September. The dose of reality came as we were putting the finishing touches on our cover story, “Sleep Tight Fixes for Your Portfolio” (see page 20). When we initially scheduled the article, the major indexes were underwater, and investors were still feeling bruised from the brief bear market in February and March. Then the Nasdaq hit a new high in early June, the S&P 500 emerged from its bear in mid August, and the Dow soon followed suit. But in early September the market sprung a leak. The big…

4 min.
what’s next for stocks

WELCOME TO THE WARP-SPEED, whiplash stock market. Following the shortest bear market ever, the S&P 500 soared 60% from its March 23 low to a record high on September 2. A reversal brought the benchmark down nearly 7% from a record high in just three trading days, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq falling from its apex into official correction territory, down 10%. Is the correction over? The bullmarket case remains strong, but so does the case for a very choppy market coming up. Many market watchers said the recent pullback was due, and some wondered how stocks had risen so far in the first place, given the economic suffering caused by COVID-19. “There is a widespread narrative that Wall Street bullishness is divorced from Main Street fundamentals,” says Leuthold Group chief strategist…

2 min.
watch out for covid cons

The North American Securities Administrators Association says it has disrupted more than 200 pandemic-related scams. Why the increase? Anytime there’s a major event that causes stress in people—a natural disaster, an economic collapse or anything that creates fear on a large scale—there’s a chance that there’s going to be a fraud component. We saw the same thing with Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. And the pandemic is a perfect storm for con artists. People are at home, they’re isolated, and they’re available. Scamkinds mers know that the economy is in turmoil, so they combine all those factors to make a friendly pitch. What kind of scams are you seeing? Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen everything from phony vaccines and fake cures to scams promising to double your retirement savings. We’re also seeing an…

2 min.
americans are stockpiling cash

AMERICANS HAVE GRADUALLY begun to reopen their wallets, but we’re still saving more than we have in decades. The personal savings rate, which measures the amount of money Americans have left over each month after spending and taxes, dropped to 17.8% in July after spiking to 33% in April, but that’s still the highest rate since May 1975. Some 45% of Americans say they’re saving more than usual, according to a survey by the Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That means a lot of pentup demand could be unleashed when the economy recovers. But it could be a long time before Americans return to their previous spending habits, and that has serious implications for an economy that relies heavily on consumer spending to drive growth. “There’s a…

1 min.
brace yourself for higher fees

COVID-19 IS RAISING PRICES ON EVERYTHING from refinancing your mortgage to getting a haircut, as businesses and institutions look for ways to cover the cost of operating during a pandemic. Mortgages. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the agencies that buy and guarantee home loans, will add a 0.5% surcharge on refinanced mortgages, effective December 1. Loans with balances of less than $125,000 will be exempt. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said the fee is needed to cover projected losses of at least $6 billion due to an increase in foreclosures and loan modifications. Colleges. Some colleges are charging an extra fee to cover the cost of testing and screening students for COVID-19. Earlier this year, for example, the board of regents for the University of…