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Kiplinger
Dec 13, 2018

Ranking the Top Democratic Presidential Candidates for 2020
The 2020 Democratic presidential nominating contest is attracting unprecedented interest, as it's the first in decades to be truly wide open. Although there are more than 40 politicians, businessmen and celebrities weighing a bid, former Vice President Joe Biden is the only one for whom virtually all other candidates would step aside. And this far out, it's impossible to know whether there's another Barack Obama hiding in the mix, ready to catch fire and snatch the nomination from the heir apparent.

We'll rank the top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination, updating our list as hopefuls drop out and primary season lifts and crushes others. But for now, only 13 stand out enough to rank, which is why the remaining names are listed alphabetically as the countdown to Iowa's Feb. 3, 2020 caucuses commences. For our ranked contenders, we note where we placed them in August.

SEE ALSO: The Best and Worst Presidents (According to the Stock Market)

Kiplinger
Dec 13, 2018

8 Steps for Your Annual 401(k) Checkup
If your 401(k) has been on autopilot for months, take time now to give your retirement account its annual checkup--while you still have time before the end of the year to make some strategic moves.

The following steps can help you make the most of your opportunities to save, review investments and assess whether you're on track to reach your retirement goals.

SEE ALSO: Best Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans



Kiplinger
Dec 13, 2018

The 5 Best Stock Funds for Retirement Savers in 2019
The key to picking actively managed funds for the year ahead: Think defense

Kiplinger
Dec 13, 2018

6 Tips to Get Your 2019 Financial House in Order
Make a New Year's "date" to talk finances. The planning you do on Jan. 1 can pay off all year long.

Kiplinger
Dec 12, 2018

12 Aggressive Funds to Buy for a Still-Bullish 2019
The stock market suffered two massive bouts of selling and volatility in 2018. The Nasdaq fell into correction mode, and most of the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index's components slipped into either a correction or an outright bear market.

And yet, the bull market may very well persist in 2019, keeping aggressive funds in play as we head into the new year.

For all the market's problems, many fundamentals are fine. A still-expensive stock market did lose a little froth during the fourth quarter of 2018. Trade talks between the U.S. and China are threatening to take out one of the major headwinds on American stock performance. The economy is still growing, and the S&P 500's companies are pushing out profit beats at levels not seen in years.

There are plenty of risks, of course, including a collapse in trade relations with China, "yield curve" inversion and continued weakness in the housing market. But if the right dominoes fall, investors can capitalize on a rebound with the right mix of aggressive mutual, exchange-traded and closed-end funds.

"Even an aggressive investor needs to make sure they stay diversified," says Curtis Holden, senior investment officer of Tanglewood Total Wealth Management. "Consider 'pair trades' where aggressive investments complement one another as opposed to trades that are almost identical and will fall together if the original investment thesis was wrong."

Here are 12 of the best aggressive funds to consider as we head into 2019. All of them have spread their assets across dozens, or even hundreds, of stocks. Moreover, they specialize in various sectors, so you can buy a few and keep a balanced (but still attack-ready) portfolio.

SEE ALSO: 19 Best Stocks to Buy for 2019

Kiplinger
Dec 12, 2018

15 Best Jobs With the Biggest Paychecks
If you're hoping to rake in the biggest bucks, be ready to invest in yourself first. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher levels of educational attainment typically lead to higher levels of pay. For example, while workers with a high school diploma earn a median $712 a week, those with a bachelor's degree pull in $1,173 weekly, and those with a professional degree make a median $1,836 a week. (The median for all workers is $907 a week.)

More schooling means you're also more likely to be employed, which allows you to maximize your earning potential: The unemployment rate drops from 4.6% for people with just a high school diploma to 2.5% for those with a bachelor's and 1.5% for folks with a professional degree.

So what are the best jobs that come with the heftiest paychecks? Starting with a list of 773 popular occupations, we homed in on the most promising professions by focusing on fields that are not only collecting generous paychecks now, but are also projected to expand greatly over the next decade. Among our rankings for 30 of the Best Jobs for the Future, these are the 15 jobs that typically pull in the biggest salaries.

SEE ALSO: 20 Worst Jobs for the Future

Kiplinger
Dec 12, 2018

14 Tax Breaks You Won't Believe Are Real
Okay, admit it: As you've struggled with your tax return, trying to come up with some extra deductions to pump up your refund or reduce what you owe, you've taken a few flights of fancy. "Can I claim a deduction for all those blood donations at the Red Cross?" Nope. "How about a charitable contribution for all the time I donate to the church?" No, again. "Can I take my dog as a dependent?" Come on!

On the other hand, your fellow taxpayers have successfully claimed write-offs for many things that most of us wouldn't even imagine, ranging from cat food to body oil used by a professional bodybuilder.

Here are 14 of our favorites.

SEE ALSO: 14 Nice-Try Tax Breaks Rejected by the IRS

Kiplinger
Dec 12, 2018

14 Nice-Try Tax Breaks Rejected by the IRS
Over the years, taxpayers have concocted a lot of zany arguments to justify their tax breaks. We've come up with 14 of the most creative ones that the courts decided did not quite work.

SEE ALSO: 14 Tax Breaks You Won't Believe Are Real

Kiplinger
Dec 12, 2018

5 Bargain Dividend Stocks to Buy Now
'Tis the season to go bargain hunting for stocks.

It might not feel like it, what with the Dow Jones Industrial Average having kicked off December by shedding nearly 1,200 points, but now is the time to do some holiday shopping in the market, especially in dividend stocks.

After all, as Warren Buffett likes to say, "Be greedy when others are fearful." And the way the market has been behaving lately, it's pretty clear that fear abounds.

The general retreat in share prices means valuations are down and yields are up. (Dividend yields and stock prices move in opposite directions.) That has made several large-cap, high-quality dividend stocks look mighty tempting.

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index currently trades at 15 times expected earnings, according to Yardeni Research. To find bargains, we scoured the broad-market index for large companies that trade for less than 15 times projected earnings. At the same time, we limited our search to dependable dividend payers with yields of at least 3%.

After taking long-term earnings growth forecasts and analysts' opinions into account, the following five names stood out as bargain dividend stocks to buy now.

SEE ALSO: 19 Best Stocks to Buy for 2019

Kiplinger
Dec 12, 2018

What to Do (and Not Do) When the Market Drops
Things are pretty wild on Wall Street right now, but before you make any moves, read this.

Kiplinger
Dec 12, 2018

Is the $1.5 Billion Lottery Winner Better Off Under New Tax Law?
Comparing the payouts under old tax laws and the Tax Cut and Jobs Act could be an eye-opening exercise for the rest of us.

Kiplinger
Dec 11, 2018

12 Stocks You Should Never Sell
Hopping in and out of stocks tends to do more harm than good to your portfolio. Fortunately, most of the time, investors are content to sit back and let time do the heavy lifting.

Every now and then, however, an uninterrupted market-wide rally (such as the one we saw in 2017) followed by a couple of major corrections (such as the ones we've seen in 2018) inspires a more active approach. Buying every dip last year was a bulletproof strategy; steering clear of this year's big dips would've left most investors far better off.

But broadly speaking, investors shouldn't embrace that short-term mindset. Buy-and-hold is a time-tested strategy that helps investors avoid trying to time the market (which even experts can't reliably do) and making poor emotional decisions.

With that as a backdrop, here are a dozen stocks to never sell. Many buy-and-holders are looking to reset their portfolios as the new year begins. If you hold any of the stocks, don't stop ... and if you're looking to buy, be ready to commit. Each company has plenty to success that their history of success should continue for years to come. And each operates in an industry that won't go away anytime soon.

SEE ALSO: 101 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond

Kiplinger
Dec 11, 2018

5 Tips for Investors to Weather Today's Volatile Stock Market
Wall Street has been insane lately, and if you're worried about it, here are five things you can do to help make sure you'll be OK.

Kiplinger
Dec 11, 2018

12 Best Things to Buy at Dollar Stores for the Holidays
If you want to save a few bucks preparing for the holidays this year, learn to cut corners at the dollar store. It's a boots-on-the-ground savings tactic many large families learned out of necessity long ago. Good thing, too, since Americans expect to spend an average $1,007.24 shopping for the holidays in 2018, up 4.1% from 2017, according to a National Retail Federation survey. The majority of the spending ($637.67) will go toward gifts, naturally. But a big chunk ($369.57) will be devoted to decorations, greeting cards, flowers, food and other non-gift purchases.

"Dollar stores are a source of bargains during the holiday season," says Courtney Jespersen, consumer savings expert for NerdWallet.com. "They're a great option for holiday decorating and seasonal accessories."

So whether decking your halls, prepping the holiday meal or ho-ho-ho-sting a seasonal party, see how your budget has a friend at the dollar store.

SEE ALSO: 14 Best Costco Kirkland Products for the Holidays

Kiplinger
Dec 11, 2018

8 Cheaper Alternatives to Expensive Gifts
If you have champagne taste on a beer budget, you know all too well the struggle to keep your spending in check, especially around the holidays. It's tempting to go big on expensive gifts you can't really afford, either for yourself or for the loved ones on your shopping list, rationalizing that a higher price tag guarantees a better product.

However, that may not be the case for every costly item you have your eye on, no matter the reputation of the manufacturer. With determination and a little guidance from us, you can find affordable alternatives to the priciest gifts you're considering that offer similar quality for a whole lot less money.

To point you in the right direction, we asked several smart shopping experts to weigh in on a wide range of expensive gift ideas, from the latest electronics to a foodie favorite of carnivores. Here's what they had to say.

SEE ALSO: 15 Worst Things to Buy During the Holidays

Kiplinger
Dec 11, 2018

If You're a Gig Worker, Here's How You Can Still Get Disability Protection
Company benefits are great to have, but if you're a contractor, chances are you're out of luck. And if you get injured or are too sick to work, you could quickly find yourself in hot water. However, those self-employment taxes you're paying come with a federal benefit ready to act as your safety net.

Kiplinger
Dec 11, 2018

Don't Settle for Anything Less Than True Diversification
The closer you are to retirement, the more important it is to make sure you've got your bases covered, because just having an appropriate mixture of stocks and bonds may not me enough to be truly diversified.

Kiplinger
Dec 10, 2018

The 5 Best Investments You Can Make in 2019
Everyone is looking forward to 2019 if only because 2018 has been so ugly. But investors will have to mentally sturdy themselves: Before we can talk about the best investments to make in 2019, we have to quickly explore what has gone wrong in 2018.

The year started with a bang. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index returned nearly 6% that month following an epic 2017 that saw the index pop by 22%. But after that, it got rocky. Stocks stumbled in the first quarter, rallied for most of the second and third quarters, then rolled over and died again in October. It hasn't gotten better since, and investors have had plenty to digest the whole way.

"Since January, I've talked about investors pricing the equity market for perfection," writes Rodney Johnson in the November issue of The Cornerstone Report. "Unburdened by the tax man, corporations have booked exceptional gains throughout 2018, regularly posting earnings 20% or more above what they earned in 2017. But now it looks like the good times are coming to an end."

Much of the massive gain in 2017 was likely powered by investors looking forward to the profit windfall following the corporate tax cuts at the end of last year. But that's a year in the past. Going forward, we'll be comparing post-tax-cut profits to post-tax-cut profits as opposed to higher post-cut to lower pre-cut. Meanwhile, stock prices are still priced for perfection. At 2 times sales, the S&P 500's price-to-sales ratio is sitting near all-time highs, and the cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio, or "CAPE," of 29.6 is priced at a level consistent with market tops.

Fortunately, the new year provides an opportunity to wipe the slate clean. So what might we expect in the new year? Today, we'll cover five of the best investments you can make in 2019, come what may in the stock market.

SEE ALSO: 19 Best Stocks to Buy for 2019

Kiplinger
Dec 10, 2018

Lock Your Credit Card If It Goes Missing
Locking -- rather than cancelling -- a card, will block purchases and other ways a thief could hurt you, while still allowing recurring payments and similar conveniences to carry on unaffected.

Kiplinger
Dec 10, 2018

Is This the New Bear Market?
The warning signs are all there, and so are the headwinds

Kiplinger
Dec 10, 2018

3 Ways to Instill Enduring Financial Values in Your Children
Leading by example is always a good idea, and the earlier you start, the better. These three lessons can get the whole family going in the right direction.

Kiplinger
Dec 10, 2018

Can My Boss Do That?


Kiplinger
Dec 10, 2018

Timeshare Nightmares: Don't Let This Happen to You
Hours-long, pressure-filled timeshare encounters leave two couples in tears. Consumers can learn a lot from their stories. Here's what to know about timeshares before getting talked into attending a sales presentation to get a free lunch or tickets to a theme park.

Kiplinger
Dec 07, 2018

7 Low-Volatility ETFs for This Roller-Coaster Market
Volatility is back, and that has investors on the defensive. Huge market swings over prolonged periods of time can be a nightmare, prompting investors to make rash decisions that ultimately hamper their portfolios. And that's precisely what low-volatility exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are built to battle.

Emotions can be an investor's worst enemy: Big declines trigger fear. No one wants to lose money, and they certainly don't want to lose more money. The problem? Some stocks sell off on their own merits, while others merely get temporarily caught up in the current, only to return to proper valuations once volatility has subsided. But anyone who bailed on the way down cemented their losses while leaving themselves out of the recovery.

These seven low-volatility ETFs help fight this instinct. Low-vol funds use different strategies to create portfolios that should be more stabile than the broader market. Not only can that help minimize losses during downturns, but the lack of volatility can help calm investors and prevent them from making rash exits from the market. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: The 27 Best Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans

Kiplinger
Dec 07, 2018

6 Smart Ways Taxpayers Can Save Money on Their Tax Bills
Time is running short to make a few last-minute adjustments. Take a look at a few possibilities that could save you money, if not this year then next.

Kiplinger
Dec 07, 2018

19 Best Stocks to Buy for 2019
Making money in stocks amid an uncertain market (see our 2019 outlook) will require careful choices. It will be difficult to top the revenue and earnings growth rates in 2019, for instance, and economic growth is expected to slow. That kind of environment requires investors to be discerning when it comes to their stock picks.

Investors looking for the best stocks to buy for 2019 should start with these 19 companies. These firms, ranging from a money-center bank to a bargain-basement retailer, have solid prospects in 2019. We've also listed five stocks you should consider parting ways with.

Check them out.

SEE ALSO: 101 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond

Kiplinger
Dec 07, 2018

Know These 3 Things Before You Invest in a Fixed-Indexed Annuity
To evaluate whether a FIA is right for you, you need to understand how you'd make money on the investment, how the insurer profits and how and at what point you can get access to your funds.

Kiplinger
Dec 06, 2018

7 Reasons the Stock Market Is Selling Off
It has gotten downright ugly out there. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index has been dancing in and out of correction territory and is down about 8% from its all-time highs at time of writing. It's also barely in positive territory in 2018.

It doesn't get any prettier when you look at other corners of the market. The tech-heavy Nasdaq is up a meager 4% in 2018, but of more concern is that it's down 12% from its late-summer highs, putting it well into official correction territory.

And when you drill down to the major players that have led the bull market in tech shares for years - the "FAANG" stocks Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Netflix (NFLX) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) - it's a bona fide bloodbath. Facebook has lost more than a third of its value from its highs, and Netflix isn't far behind. Apple has been sliced by a quarter. Amazon has shed nearly 20% of its value, as has Alphabet.

The picture doesn't get prettier overseas. Chinese stocks are in an official bear market, and the iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA), a proxy for developed international stocks, is flirting with bear-market territory.

We know it's ugly out there; the question is why. The first-quarter selloff shook out many of the less committed holders, meaning remaining investors should have been a little harder to rattle. And earnings still look strong, as does the health of the economy. So, what gives?

It's rarely just one thing. Selloffs almost always have multiple, sometimes overlapping, drivers. Here are seven of those reasons - including which ones could threaten the market further.

SEE ALSO: 7 Stocks Wall Street Is Souring on Right Now

Kiplinger
Dec 06, 2018

Create a Retirement Income Plan That Keeps You on Solid Ground
Having a solid plan to replace your regular paychecks will give you the confidence necessary to make the leap into retirement.

Kiplinger
Dec 05, 2018

10 Smart Steps to Minimize Taxes and Penalties on Your RMDs
After you turn age 70½, you need to start taking required minimum distributions from your IRAs and 401(k)s every year. But the calculations and rules can be complicated, and you'll be hit with a penalty if you make mistakes.

Here are 10 smart RMD moves to help you minimize taxes, meet deadlines and avoid penalties when you make these mandatory withdrawals from your retirement savings.

SEE ALSO: 10 RMD Mistakes to Avoid

Kiplinger
Dec 05, 2018

9 IRS Audit Red Flags for Retirees
In 2017, the Internal Revenue Service audited only 0.60% of all individual tax returns, and the vast majority of these exams were conducted by mail. So the odds are generally pretty low that your return will be picked for review.

That said, your chances of being audited or otherwise hearing from the IRS escalate depending on various factors. Math errors may draw IRS inquiry, but they'll rarely lead to a full-blown exam. Check out these nine red flags that could increase the chances that the IRS will give the return of a retired taxpayer special, and probably unwelcome, attention.

SEE ALSO: The Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks and Deductions

Kiplinger
Dec 05, 2018

5 Cheap "Diamond in the Rough" Stocks to Buy
Cheap stocks are few and far between. Goldman Sachs' bear market indicator - which analyzes trends in unemployment, manufacturing, core inflation, the yield curve and stock valuations - is at its highest levels since the late 1960s and early 1970s. By some metrics, such as the price-to-sales ratio, U.S. stocks are at their most expensive levels in history, even more expensive than at the top of the 1990s tech bubble.

"It is particularly scary this time around," says John Del Vecchio, co-manager of the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Beat ETF (HDGE), "because we're dealing with a historical bull market. This means that the coming bear market - and there will be a bear market again - is likely to overshoot to the downside too. There's a lot of excess to work off."

Meanwhile, the Fed and other major central banks are draining excess liquidity out of the system, and growth in most overseas markets is slowing. But perhaps worst of all is that we're now coming up on the one-year anniversary of the tax cuts. That means we're no longer comparing post-tax-cut earnings to pre-tax-cut earnings, so the comparables get a lot more difficult.

All the same, it's usually a mistake to sell everything and run for the hills. Many of the conditions in place today were also in place in the late 1990s. Then, as now, the Fed was getting more hawkish at a time when asset prices were exceptionally expensive, yet prices continued rising for years. Even after the bubble burst in 2000, many value investors continued to generate excellent returns for another two years.

Today, let's take a look at five cheap "diamond in the rough" stocks to buy. These are five stocks that are objectively cheap enough to potentially generate respectable returns no matter what the market throws at us.

SEE ALSO: 8 Stocks to Buy for 2019 (and 5 to Sell)

Kiplinger
Dec 05, 2018

18 Red Flags for IRS Auditors
Ever wonder why some tax returns are eyeballed by the Internal Revenue Service while most are ignored? Short on personnel and funding, the IRS audited only 0.60% of all individual tax returns in 2017, and the vast majority of these exams were conducted by mail. So the odds are pretty low that your return will be singled out for review. And, of course, the only reason filers should worry about an audit is if they are fudging on their taxes.

That said, your chances of being audited or otherwise hearing from the IRS escalate depending on various factors, including your income level, the types of deductions or other tax breaks you claim, the business you're engaged in, and whether you own foreign assets. Math errors may draw IRS inquiry, but they'll rarely lead to a full-blown exam. Although there's no sure way to avoid an IRS audit, these 18 red flags could increase your chances of unwanted attention from the IRS.

SEE ALSO: The Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks and Deductions

Kiplinger
Dec 05, 2018

15 Worst Things to Buy During the Holidays
It's all too easy to get caught up in the holiday shopping frenzy. Stores are blaring your favorite holiday tunes. Santa is camped out near the food court with a long line of kids waiting to take a photo. And retailers are trying their hardest to get you to spend by offering exclusive deals.

In fact, nearly 165 million consumers shopped in-store and online over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in November, according to the National Retail Federation. The big draw? Prices were marked way down on many hot-ticket items including TVs and smart home devices, while discounts on a range of other gifts were nearly as enticing. However, die-hard bargain hunters know that if you plan ahead you can find even better deals on many of those same products at other times of the year.

Enlisting the help of several shopping experts, we identified 15 product categories that holiday shoppers should steer clear of, because they'll be available for much less right after the holidays or in the months ahead. Take a look at the list of some of the worst things to buy during the holidays.

SEE ALSO: 14 Best Costco Kirkland Products for the Holidays

Kiplinger
Dec 05, 2018

30 of the Best Jobs for the Future
The U.S. job market is looking good. Unemployment is near a 50-year low, and wages are even starting to rise after remaining stubbornly stagnant for years. But some career tracks lead to a more prosperous future than others.

To help identify which path is best for you--and your net worth--we made it our job to crunch the numbers. Starting with a list of 773 popular occupations, we narrowed the choices to 30 of the most promising professions by focusing on fields that are collecting generous paychecks now and are projected to expand greatly over the next decade. Also, though we favored jobs that don't necessarily call for a huge investment in education to get started, certain career paths prove lucrative enough to be worth the extra time and money.

Just remember to be honest with yourself before you commit to a career path, regardless of its promise. Don't pursue a tech job if you hate math or a health-care position if you're squeamish about blood and germs. Luckily, this list offers ideas in a variety of fields with a range of educational and training requirements. Take a look at 30 of the best jobs for the future to see which might suit you best.

SEE ALSO: 20 Worst Jobs for the Future

Kiplinger
Dec 05, 2018

2019 Real Estate Report: How Does the Multifamily Market Look?
If you're considering investing in a multifamily venture, or if you're already in the market, there are challenges and opportunities to watch for in the coming year. From rent trends to supply and cost factors, here's what to expect in 2019.

Kiplinger
Dec 04, 2018

7 Stocks Wall Street Is Souring on Right Now
There's a lot of talk about Wall Street's top-rated stocks. As 2018 ends and 2019 nears, everyone - including us - is talking about our favorite stock picks for 2019, or even the next decade.

But not every stock is a well-loved lunker.

There are numerous stocks with bearish, or at least increasingly bearish, Wall Street sentiment. Stocks where you should look before you leap. And with the market in such a precarious state right now, it makes even more sense to pay attention to those companies that are facing significant challenges ahead.

Here we used TipRanks market data to pinpoint the Street's worst-rated stocks right now. We scanned a database of more than 5,000 stocks to find the following picks - some of which represent stocks to sell, and others of which you may want to hold if you own, but certainly don't want to chase. All stocks, bar one, have an analyst consensus of "Hold" or "Sell." There's one exception, but as you'll see, sentiment is quickly turning against it too.

SEE ALSO: 10 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying (And 6 He's Selling)

Kiplinger
Dec 04, 2018

Stocks' Death Cross Is Another Overblown Fear
An ominous event in the S&P 500 likely will happen soon, but reports of the market's death are exaggerated

Kiplinger
Dec 04, 2018

Savor the Tastes of Local Culture in Retirement
In a new twist, some travel companies are adding exercise and culinary lessons to travel expeditions aimed at older foodies.

Kiplinger
Dec 04, 2018

Educate Yourself on Being a Caregiver
The road is rough, but these caregiving resources can help smooth your journey.

Kiplinger
Dec 04, 2018

When a Restaurant Meal Goes Wrong, What Are Your Legal Rights?
If a misleading menu description leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you might hope that the restaurant would help you out with a new dish or your money back. But you just may be out of luck.

Kiplinger
Dec 04, 2018

Where Do You Fall Along the Wealth Continuum?
Depending on how much money you have, you likely fit into one of three wealth categories. Each has its own special financial planning needs, and it's important to work with an adviser prepared to serve them.

Kiplinger
Dec 03, 2018

Make the Most of Potential Tax Deductions Under the New Tax Law
With some year-end planning, you may still find it worthwhile to file an itemized return to lower your 2018 tax bill.

Kiplinger
Dec 03, 2018

10 Best Energy Stocks to Buy for a 2019 Gusher
Energy stocks have had a difficult 2018. Mostly flat performance through most of the year turned into a tailspin in October as oil prices plunged from above $75 per barrel to below $50. That in turn has pinched oil companies that rely on elevated commodity prices to drive larger profits.

The headwinds are clear. Demand has slowed to a crawl, and supplies have piled up despite production cuts from several nations. Fears about U.S.-China trade relations have weighed, as have worries about sanctions on Iran.

It's no wonder why energy stocks have taken it on the chin.

But the skies are starting to clear as we head into 2019. OPEC and other nations are beginning to discuss additional output curbs, and with U.S. shale producers running at full capacity, there really isn't much room for them to pick up any slack. The U.S. and China have made progress on trade talks, too, including a 90-day moratorium on increasing tariffs.

Investors diving into the sector still need to be choosy. A rebound in oil is far from a certainty, which means it's necessary to put a premium on quality right now. Here, we look at the 10 best energy stocks to buy for 2019 - those that can best take advantage of the current energy environment.

SEE ALSO: 101 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond

Kiplinger
Dec 03, 2018

Is the Stock Market Closed for President Bush's Funeral?
The stock market will close on Dec. 5 in honor of the former president. Bond markets will also close.

Kiplinger
Dec 03, 2018

Paying Taxes Wisely: A Fresh Look at Tax-Efficient Withdrawal Strategies
Sometimes it pays to go against conventional wisdom. Here are two ways to possibly reduce taxes in retirement while extending the life of your nest egg by being smart about which accounts you tap first.

Kiplinger
Dec 03, 2018

A Risk That Could Cost You Everything: The Dunning-Kruger Effect
You don't know what you don't know. (And once you realize what you didn't know, well, it may be too late.)

Kiplinger
Dec 01, 2018

15 Best Amazon Prime Perks for the Holidays
You pay dearly for your Amazon Prime account, $119 a year after the latest $20 price hike. The holiday season is prime time to tap that bad boy for more than the free two-day shipping you may have initially signed on for.

That's because Amazon Prime has a slew of benefits beyond two-day shipping for members to utilize, from unlimited streaming music and movies to exclusive deals not available to the great unwashed. Here, we've highlighted 15 of those Prime perks that are perfect for the holidays. Have a look.

SEE ALSO: 14 Best Costco Kirkland Products for the Holidays

Kiplinger
Nov 30, 2018

Does Medicare Cover That?


Kiplinger
Nov 30, 2018

10 Small-Cap Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond
Shark Tank investor Kevin O'Leary believes that small-cap stocks are the perfect investment over the next few years as trade issues get sorted out and tax cuts deliver their full impact.

"I say there is 20% more cash to come to these companies in the next 24 months through tax reform, so I am staying on this trade," O'Leary told CNBC back in August. "I am betting they continue to outperform not only the S&P 500, but maybe even emerging markets. There is tremendous value to be unlocked in small caps in America."

That call hasn't exactly looked great in the short-term, with the small-cap Russell 2000 Index dropping 12% over the past three months. But that's the nature of the beast - higher risk, higher reward - so I still couldn't agree with O'Leary more.

While certainly more volatile and risky, small caps (typically between $500 million and $2 billion in market value, though definitions vary across information providers) add the potential for explosive growth that many established blue-chips simply can't match. After all, it's much easier to double revenues from $1 million than to do the same from $1 billion - and the same kind of performance expectations tend to hold true for shares of smaller companies versus larger ones.

Here are the 10 best small-cap stocks to buy for 2019. Each has high potential to beat the S&P 500 for at least the next 12 to 24 months.

SEE ALSO: 12 Blue-Chip Stocks With Red-Hot Growth Estimates

Kiplinger
Nov 30, 2018

How to Endow a Scholarship
There may be contribution minimum requirements to set up a scholarship in your area. Here's what you need to know.

Kiplinger
Nov 30, 2018

8 Stocks to Buy for 2019 (and 5 to Sell)
In an uncertain market (see our 2019 outlook) making money in stocks will require careful choices.

We think these eight companies, ranging from a money-center bank to a bargain-basement retailer, have solid prospects in 2019. We've also listed five you should consider parting ways with. Data is as of November 9.

Check them out.

SEE ALSO: 101 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond

Kiplinger
Nov 30, 2018

Keys to Lock In Lifetime Retirement Income
Guaranteed income for life, and the peace of mind that comes with it, is within reach. Here's how.

Kiplinger
Nov 30, 2018

A Better Way to Tell a Correction from a Bear Market?
You could go by the usual definition, but dive a little deeper into the market and you might get a better indication of what's going on before making any stock moves.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

How to Avoid Paying 17 Pesky Fees
Fees aren't just annoying--they're expensive. A few monthly surcharges can add up to hundreds of dollars a year. That's money you could use to save for retirement, give to charity, or enjoy a really nice dinner or two.

The good news is that most of these fees are avoidable, especially if you're willing to make a couple of phone calls and threaten to take your business elsewhere. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: The Personal Finance Quiz

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Using 529-Plan Money for College Overseas
If you're son or daughter plans to attend college abroad, here's what you should know.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

What You Need to Know About Taxes on Rental Income
Before renting out your home, familiarize yourself with the tax implications.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

How to Save on Prescription Drugs
Employers and insurers are offering more online tools and smartphone apps that steer you to the lowest drug prices.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

New Strategies for Smart Borrowing
Rising interest rates and new tax rules mean taking a different approach to how you shop for loans and manage your debt.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

6 Ways to Improve Your Yield on Cash
Yields on most savings vehicles, such as bank deposit accounts and money market mutual funds, track the Federal Reserve's federal funds rate. For seven miserable years, from 2008 to 2015, the fed funds rate was tantamount to zero--and that's about what you got from your savings.

As the Fed has raised its benchmark rate, savings rates have risen with it. "This is a huge revelation to my clients," says Jonathan Pond, a Newton, Mass., certified financial planner. "They are actually earning money on cash."

Kiplinger expects the Fed to raise rates three times in 2019. Although interest rates on savings are still low, they have caught up with inflation and beat the dividend yield of Standard & Poor's 500-stock index. And although cash may not yet be king when it comes to yields, it's important to remember that the income it generates comes with little or no risk--providing a bit of respite from volatile stock and bond markets.

We found a number of options that will be a big improvement over your piggy bank.

SEE ALSO: 6 Ways to Beat Rising Interest Rates

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Keep Your Options Open as a Stay-at-Home Mom
When taking time off from the workforce, it's important to preserve your earning power and plan for retirement.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

A New Way to Pay Down Your Student Debt
Companies and rural areas offer tax breaks and other benefits.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Fidelity Strategic Income Bets on U.S. Economic Growth
This member of the Kiplinger 25, the collection of our favorite no-load mutual funds, balances government bonds and high-grade corporates with higher-yielding picks to beat its benchmark.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Play Defense With Utilities Funds
After years in the cold, this sector is starting to heat up.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

The Upside of a Market Downturn
When share prices stumble, you can take advantage of buying opportunities.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Online Reviews You Can Use
To find reliable advice, you may need to disregard over-the-top (or fake) complaints and praise.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Choose a Cheaper Wireless Plan
If you haven't re-shopped your wireless phone plan in a few years, you're probably paying a steep price for your loyalty.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Social Security: Now or Later?
Delaying benefits will increase the size of your checks, but it's not the best strategy for everyone.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Young & Scrappy -- And Saving for Retirement
No excuses. You don't need a 401(k) or employer match to save.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

These Retirees Volunteer Abroad
They've crisscrossed Europe doing everything from picking grapes to teaching English.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

To Save More, Imagine Your Retirement
Now make your dreams come true by saving more in your tax-advantaged plans.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

What a Bear Market Does to Your Brain
Normal market cycles can stir up your emotions and push you to invest unwisely, but being aware of your behavioral biases can help you focus on your long-term plan.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Don't Fall for a Phisher's Bait
Every type of business is a potential target for scammers using email to steal personal information or do serious damage to computer systems.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Getting a Loan Could Get Easier
UltraFICO will benefit young people and retirees with limited credit history.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Buying Health Insurance? The Outlook Is Brighter
As you navigate new low-cost choices, weigh the risks.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Here Come the Hot IPOs
Investors could buy shares in big-name firms, including Uber and Lyft, in 2019.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Stand By Your Bonds in 2019
"Income Investing" columnist Jeffrey R. Kosnett predicts that a diversified portfolio of bonds will hold steady through the upcoming year.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

James K. Glassman's Top 10 Stock Picks for 2019
I am making a contrarian pick: the New York Times. The industry is said to be dead. But the Times is figuring out how to make money.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Alicia Levine: It's Time to Play Defense
Chief strategist at BNY Mellon Investment Management offers her insight on what investors can expect in 2019.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Where to Invest in 2019
Making money in stocks won't be a walk in the park. You'll need some protective armor to shine in a market facing a thicket of risks.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

12 Blue-Chip Stocks With Red-Hot Growth Estimates
Much of the market was shelled in October and November - even no-doubt blue chips that typically can take a beating. But the economic undertow still is mostly pointed in the right direction.

Economic growth continues to be robust, unemployment is lean and the Federal Reserve finally looks like it's at least considering a slightly dovish stance on interest rates. And while the Democratic takeover of the House had some investors worried about gridlock, some experts view it through bullish-tinted glasses.

"We think markets likely view this outcome as positive since it removes the risk of an all-Democratic Congress," Evercore Managing Director Terry Haines told Bloomberg, "and the increased Republican Senate majority offers additional assurance that the 2017 tax cuts would not be rolled back in 2021 in the event of a Democratic president."

In that light, it's easy to assume the best and start seeking out aggressive, high-growth, high-risk names. But it's incorrect to think only risky stocks are capable of producing strong growth. Sometimes big, well-established old-school names are surprisingly capable of putting up some big numbers, too: all the reward potential, with much less risk.

Here are 12 top blue-chip stocks that still sport impressive growth and/or profit estimates - even against the backdrop of a (very) mature economic growth cycle.

SEE ALSO: 101 Best Dividend Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Bitcoin Tax Payments Allowed in Ohio
Businesses can use bitcoin to pay 23 separate taxes in the state.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

Choose Agents for Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy Carefully
To avoid family squabbles later, think hard now before giving a loved one decision power over your finances and your health.

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees, 2018
These 10 states impose the lowest taxes on retirees, according to Kiplinger's 2018 analysis of state taxes. All of them exempt Social Security benefits from state taxes. Most exempt at least a portion of other retirement income, such as pensions and withdrawals from tax-deferred retirement plans. Most also have low property taxes. That's important because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limits the amount you can deduct in state and local taxes on your federal return to $10,000 a year.

Take a look at the most tax-friendly states for retirees. We list the best last.

SEE ALSO: Best States for Low Taxes: 50 States Ranked for Taxes, 2018

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Retirees, 2018
These 10 states impose the highest taxes on retirees, according to Kiplinger's 2018 analysis of state taxes. One treats Social Security benefits just like Uncle Sam does--taxing up to 85% of your benefits. Six others tax Social Security benefits if your earnings exceed specific income thresholds. Exemptions for other types of retirement income are limited or nonexistent.

In several states, property taxes are on the high side, too. Making matters worse: The tax overhaul capped the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes at $10,000. That won't affect people who claim the standard deduction, but if you itemize and live in a state with high income and property taxes, the cap will effectively increase your taxes.

Take a look to see how you'd fare as a retiree in these states. The worst comes first.

SEE ALSO: Best States for Low Taxes: 50 States Ranked for Taxes, 2018

Kiplinger
Nov 29, 2018

The Bodacious Benefits of a Donor Advised Fund
From a bevy tax breaks to the opportunity to involve family members and future generations in a legacy of giving, donor advised funds add leverage and flexibility to a comprehensive financial plan.

Kiplinger
Nov 28, 2018

22 Best Sector Funds to Buy to Juice Your Portfolio
Sector funds can be a good choice for investors of several stripes. They can help aggressive investors who want to maximize their exposure to a part of the economy they expect will outperform. Sector funds also can be used to position portfolios defensively during market downturns.

When you invest in a sector via a mutual fund, exchange-traded fund or closed-end fund, you can capture profits from a particular market theme or economic-cycle stage while avoiding the risk associated with holding too few stocks. You also avoid the high transaction costs that would be required to build a basket of similarly-themed securities.

For instance: Investors who believe health care costs will rise in sync with America's aging population may do better betting on a broad health care sector fund rather than taking a risk on a couple pharmaceutical companies and a health care provider. During periods of rising interest rates, consumer discretionary funds and financial ETFs often perform well due to increased business borrowing and consumer-related spending. Defensive sector funds can help investors ride out economic storms thanks to their stability and income potential.

The stock market is most commonly divided into 11 major sectors, each representing a key segment of the economy. So, here are 22 sector funds - two funds from each sector to consider. Each fund addresses a major market theme, has a long track record and maintains a broad, well-diversified portfolio.

SEE ALSO: The 27 Best Mutual Funds in 401(k) Retirement Plans

Kiplinger
Nov 28, 2018

5 Last-Minute Tax Moves Fit for Retirees
The clock is ticking to make tax-saving moves by year-end. Whether you've been procrastinating or strategically waiting to fine-tune your 2018 tax planning, the time to act is now. Consider these last-minute moves before midnight arrives on December 31.

SEE ALSO: 20 Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks and Deductions

Kiplinger
Nov 28, 2018

Looking for Guaranteed Lifetime Income? Join the Club
In case you didn't know, there is such a thing as a lifetime income club. Of course, it goes by another name: annuities.

Kiplinger
Nov 28, 2018

Holy Doughnut Hole: Medicare Part D Costs and Deductibles for 2019
As seniors weigh their prescription drug coverage during annual enrollment, it pays to review the basics of how it works, how much it costs and how the "doughnut hole" may affect them.

Kiplinger
Nov 27, 2018

What's My Social Security Full Retirement Age?
Precisely when you become eligible to receive your full, unreduced Social Security retirement benefit depends on the year of your birth. Use our calculator to determine your full retirement age.

Kiplinger
Nov 27, 2018

How to Choose the Right Trustee for Your Estate
Who is the right person to watch out for your interests after you're gone: A family member, a member of your financial team, a bank, a professional trustee? To find the right answer, ask yourself the right questions.

Kiplinger
Nov 27, 2018

Paying Cash Can Help Exit Medicare Drug Doughnut Hole
Counting your out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions under Medicare can get you out of the coverage gap faster.

Kiplinger
Nov 27, 2018

Afraid to Retire? How to Put Those Fears to Rest
Second-guessing your decision to finally retire is an all-too-common occurrence, even for the wealthy and well-prepared. When the worries start to stack up, here's how to knock them down.

Kiplinger
Nov 27, 2018

Make Time to Help a Caregiver Out (or Just Say Thanks)
Chances are pretty good that you know a caregiver who could use a break. As National Family Caregivers Month winds down, here are some practical ways you can show your support to these very important people.

Kiplinger
Nov 26, 2018

7 "Strong Buy" Stocks to Buy With 30%-Plus Upside
This shaky stock market has lost almost all of its momentum. But if you're looking for lucrative returns in growthy stocks, you're still in luck. The market still offers plenty of high-upside stocks to buy - they're just not all in plain view.

While you can pick up some fundamentally strong stocks at discount levels right now, this approach isn't entirely without risk. A stock that's falling won't necessarily rebound, even if we get a broad-based lift such as a Santa Claus rally; some will just keep on selling off. The question is, then, how can you sort the studs from the duds?

Here, we will look at seven stocks to buy that have significant Wall Street support right now. Each of these companies' shares have "Strong Buy" analyst consensus ratings, which shows that Wall Street's top minds broadly agree that these are quality stock picks. Moreover, they boast upside potential of 30% or more, calculated from the current share price to the average analyst price target.

SEE ALSO: The Kiplinger Dividend 15: Our Favorite Dividend-Paying Stocks

Kiplinger
Nov 26, 2018

Medicare Premiums to Rise Slightly in 2019
A possible workaround: See if you qualify for a Medicare surcharge waiver.

Kiplinger
Nov 26, 2018

Where Should I Put My Money Now?
Senior editor Anne Smith joins the show to talk investor moves in an uncertain market. Ryan and Sandy review holiday tipping protocol and share tales of their wackiest PR pitches.

Kiplinger
Nov 26, 2018

It's Giving Tuesday: How to Make Your Gift Really Count
Impact investing is a way to do more good with your money. With the season of giving upon us, here is how that works and some specific examples of how you can make a difference as you share your blessings.

Kiplinger
Nov 26, 2018

4 Ways to Turn Your Generational Gripe into Greater Financial Security
Baby Boomers and Millennials need to quit sniping at each other and start working together. The traits that make each generation different may just make them uniquely qualified to help each other.

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