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Kiplinger
Feb 20, 2019

13 Great Tech ETFs for Years of Stellar Gains
Tech stocks might have had the wind knocked out of them to finish last year, but the sector's standing as a long-term source of growth still looks clear.

The world is becoming ever more dependent on technology. If you have any doubts, ask yourself: How long have you spent on your smartphone today? Are you reading this article on it right now? Have you taken an Uber recently? Have a "smart" home-security system? Plan on listening to your smart speaker later? Those are just some of the most obvious advances in tech. Behind the scenes, data centers are increasingly powering American business, health records are going digital, retail is using big-data analysis to better deliver its wares ... you get the point.

The technology sector was brutalized in the fourth quarter of 2018. Almost everything was lower - the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index fell 14% - but tech companies more than carried their weight, dropping 17.7% to make them the third-worst-performing sector during that period. Likewise, though, tech stocks have been among the leaders of 2019's rebound, rallying more than 12%, which in turn has sent numerous tech exchange-traded funds (ETFs) skyward.

The problem with investing in individual tech stocks is the risk. The sector is rife with disruption, and even longtime winners can suddenly find themselves on the outs - ask Nokia (NOK) or BlackBerry (BB). But you can whittle down that risk by investing in large bundles of these stocks, via ETFs.

Here are 13 of the best tech ETFs to buy. These funds allow you to participate in the growth of the whole sector, or even smaller industry trends, while minimizing the risk of single-stock implosions.

SEE ALSO: The 19 Best ETFs for a Prosperous 2019

Kiplinger
Feb 20, 2019

Do I Need Extra Insurance for My Drone?
Before your drone takes to the sky, see if your insurer will cover any damages the unmanned aircraft may cause to others or their property.

Kiplinger
Feb 20, 2019

How to Prepare for Volatility and a Possible Recession in 2019
Investors should be ready for a bumpy ride. One step concerned investors can take to ramp down risk could be to buy into a stock market index that offers more stability than the S&P 500: the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index.

Kiplinger
Feb 19, 2019

Walmart (WMT) Has Found a Winning Formula
The mega-retailer's fourth-quarter results show strong brick-and-mortar performance, still-explosive e-commerce expansion

Kiplinger
Feb 19, 2019

10 Tax Breaks for the Middle Class
If you believe that tax breaks are reserved for hedge fund managers and companies with offshore subsidiaries, you're probably paying too much to the IRS.

Lawmakers have enacted dozens of tax incentives targeted at middle-class families. Taking full advantage of these tax breaks is particularly important for dual-income couples because there's a good chance they'll get hit by the marriage penalty--when two individuals pay more in taxes as a married couple than they would pay if they were both single. And they work together: Lowering your adjusted gross income (AGI) with one strategy could make you eligible for other tax breaks.

All of these breaks survived the most recent tax reform, and one, the child credit, got a big boost.

Take a look at these ten options and make sure you're not missing out.

SEE ALSO: The Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks and Deductions

Kiplinger
Feb 19, 2019

7 Great High-Yield Dividend Stocks That Nobody Talks About
It's hard to believe given how violently stocks sold off last quarter, but most corners of the market are already optimistically priced again. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is just 6% below its all-time highs and trades at a sky-high price-to-sales ratio of 2.1.

It's the same story in the income space. After topping out late last year, rising bond prices have clipped bond yields. As recently as late October, the 10-year Treasury yielded 3.2%. Today, it yields less than 2.7%. And most of the larger "bond substitutes" among large-cap dividend stocks and real estate investment trusts (REITs) don't yield much better.

If you want a respectable yield, you must hunt for it among smaller names that Wall Street tends to overlook. It's not for the faint of heart; small-cap stocks have less research coverage and tend to be more volatile.

But with this increased volatility comes the possibility of vastly better returns. A study by Dimensional Fund Research covering 1926-2016 found that small-cap value stocks returned 15.2% per year on average, nearly 50% better than the 10.3% returned by the S&P 500. This is consistent with work by professors Eugene Fama and Kenneth French and others who have explored the "small cap anomaly."

"Searching for high-quality value stocks in the small-cap space is a tried and true method that works over time," says John Del Vecchio, co-manager of the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF (HDGE). "It doesn't work every year or in every market. But over time, the numbers speak for themselves."

Here are seven solid, mostly smaller, dividend stocks that are off the radars of most investors, both professionals and individuals alike. Expect higher-than-normal volatility, but all pay high enough dividends - between roughly 5% and 12% - to make that additional risk worth taking.

SEE ALSO: 18 Dividend Aristocrats That Have Gone on Deep Discount

Kiplinger
Feb 19, 2019

How Changes in Income Affect Medicare Premiums
Medicare beneficiaries can see their premiums go up if their income rises, although for some that increase will be only temporary.

Kiplinger
Feb 19, 2019

31 Kirkland Products Retirees Should Buy at Costco
For many, retirement is a time to pinch pennies on everyday expenses. It might help explain why retirees are so fond of Costco. Research shows that older shoppers tend to prefer the discount warehouse club over popular retailers such as Walmart and Target. Further, baby boomers -- there are about 74 million of them alive today in the U.S. -- are more likely than millennials to renew their Costco memberships, which run $60 to $120 a year.

As a boomer and regular Costco shopper, I've learned over the years that some of the best values can be found in the warehouse club's own Kirkland Signature line of products. In fact, one in five products on Costco's shelves carry the Kirkland brand. Many of these exclusive items hold unique appeal to retirees as well as near-retirees like me. Oh, and don't let an empty nest discourage you from buying in bulk. Check expiration dates, stock up on items with long shelf lives, and remember that a surprising number of foods can be frozen. Take a look at our list of retiree-friendly Kirkland products from Costco.

SEE ALSO: 20 Secrets to Shopping at Costco

Kiplinger
Feb 19, 2019

An Easy Way to See If You Have Enough Saved to Retire
Cash flow planning is a crucial part of your retirement plan, and much of it can be boiled down to one math equation.

Kiplinger
Feb 18, 2019

15 Mighty Mid-Cap Stocks to Buy for Big Returns
Mid-cap stocks aren't as prolific as the market's best-known companies, nor as exciting as nimble newcomers. Rather, mid-caps - typically between $2 billion and $10 billion in market capitalization - are nestled between large and small caps, quietly doing their own thing.

But there's still much to be said for them.

Mid-caps offer a nice balance of risk and reward; most are beyond the inherent instability of smaller players but aren't yet experiencing the downside of unwieldy size. That's why the S&P 400 Mid Cap Index has not only outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index - a collection of many of the market's biggest players - over the past couple of decades, but also kept up with the small-cap-oriented S&P 600. Mid-caps are the happiest of happy mediums.

Investors may want to think about making a major, philosophical shift, with the possibility of a global economic headwind on the horizon. Many large caps, such as Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB), are actually struggling under the weight of their own size and dominance. Smaller companies, meanwhile, may find it tough to secure much-needed capital as lenders begin thinking defensively. But mid-cap stocks are in a sweet spot between the two extremes: stable enough without the need for new money, but small enough to fly under most competitive and regulatory radars.

Here are 15 mid-cap stocks that look like the top prospects within this often-overlooked sliver of the market.

SEE ALSO: 10 Small-Cap Stocks to Buy for 2019 and Beyond

Kiplinger
Feb 18, 2019

5 Hot Airline Stocks Ready for Takeoff
The airline industry would probably rather forget 2018. Most airline companies ended the year in the red as investors worried about high oil prices cutting into profits.

The same can't be said for 2019. Oil prices are now down to just over $55 from their peak above $75 back in October 2018. And airline stocks have started the year on a strong note with a solid round of earnings.

As a result, shares are now beginning to gain momentum again. That's despite the partial government shutdown, which Delta Air Lines (DAL) CEO Ed Bastian estimated cost the company $25 million in revenue for January.

"The industry continues to benefit from strong demand as Airline stocks across the board have reported better-than-expected results in their most recent quarter," top Tigress Financial analyst Ivan Feinseth writes. He says a strong economy, low unemployment and increases in consumer spending are driving record levels of airline travel. Not to mention these companies are sharpening their operations to squeeze out maximum gains when the going gets good.

Which stocks should you be watching? Here, we use TipRanks market data to pinpoint analysts' favorite airline stocks now:

SEE ALSO: 17 Stocks That Warren Buffett Just Bought, Trimmed or Dumped

Kiplinger
Feb 18, 2019

Get Your Grandkids in the Giving Spirit by Volunteering Together
Spending time together helping others is one of the greatest gifts a grandparent can give their grandchildren, and it pays off in so many ways. Here are some ideas to help get you started.

Kiplinger
Feb 17, 2019

A Dozen Great REITs for Income AND Diversification
One of the essential first lessons that investors learn is diversifying a portfolio reduces risk. That's because different assets often react differently to the same event. A downturn in one asset when interest rates rise, for example, may be counter-balanced by an upswing in another. By holding diverse assets, a portfolio becomes less sensitive to market swings.

Diversification is recommended not only across asset classes, but across geographies. This is especially true for real estate, since the value of a property is largely determined by the local economy. A real estate investment trust (REIT) that performs poorly in the U.S. may generate good overall results from the performance of its European and Asian assets.

Investors could be taking on unnecessary risk by limiting their holdings to US-centric REITs. Many large U.S. REITs recognize this threat and are diversifying their holdings across geographies. Global expansion not only trims geographic risk, but benefits overall performance by giving these REITs a foothold in faster-growing economies of Asia and Latin America, where an expanding middle class is fueling the creation of wealth.

Here are 12 mega-sized REITs - many with rising dividends - that also offer diverse international exposure and generous yields. We've also included an extra real-estate play that's not organized as a REIT but is worthy nonetheless.

SEE ALSO: 57 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2019

Kiplinger
Feb 15, 2019

17 Stocks That Warren Buffett Just Bought, Trimmed or Dumped
Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B, $202.78), sold a teensy bit of Apple (AAPL) stock in the fourth quarter of 2018, took new stakes in three companies, dumped one position just a few months after initiating it, and continued to go bonkers for bank stocks.

Indeed, the Oracle of Omaha made a total of 17 buys and sells during the three months ended Dec. 31. And because it can be instructive to see what Buffett has been up to, we took a closer look at Berkshire's latest changes to its equity portfolio.

We know what the greatest value investor of all time has been doing because the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires all investment managers with more than $100 million in assets to file a Form 13F quarterly to disclose any changes in share ownership. These filings add an important level of transparency to the stock market, and give Buffett-ologists a chance to get a bead on what he's thinking.

When Buffett starts a new stake in some company, or adds to an existing one, investors take that as a vote of confidence. On the other hand, if he pares his holdings in a stock, it can spark investors to rethink their own investments.

Here's the scorecard for what Berkshire Hathaway bought and sold during the last three months of 2018, based on the most recent 13F, filed on Feb. 14. (Keep in mind that not all "Warren Buffett stocks" are actually his picks - some smaller positions are believed to be handled by lieutenants Ted Weschler and Todd Combs.)

SEE ALSO: 57 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2019

Kiplinger
Feb 15, 2019

2019's Most Surprisingly Hot Stocks
The market is off to one of its strongest starts in decades. And although 2019 got rolling with an advantage - coming off the worst December performance in ages - the rally doesn't look terribly strained just yet.

Even more surprising are some of the names leading the charge. High-profile stocks, such as the FANG tech companies, have enjoyed solid gains. But some of the biggest winners are names that have fallen off many investors' radars, or were never on them to begin with.

What's more heartening is that many of these new uptrends seem built to last for all the right reasons - they're either regaining relevancy, growing the bottom line or both.

Here's a look at 10 of the markets most surprising large- and mid-cap stock winners so far in 2019. Their underlying stories are taking a turn for the better, at least in investors' eyes, and all of them merit a closer look, if only for a mental note to reference at a later date.

SEE ALSO: 19 Best Stocks to Buy for 2019 (And 5 to Sell)

Kiplinger
Feb 15, 2019

5 Fallen-Angel Stocks That Have Been Oversold
Stocks that are cheaper aren't necessarily cheap. Sometimes, oversold stocks aren't necessarily the best stocks to buy. Sometimes, fallen angel stocks have fallen for good reason.

But in the broad market selloff in the fourth quarter, it does look like investors dumped some good names. Housing and construction stocks, for instance, seem to be pricing in a recession. Semiconductor stocks have plunged, with investors reverting from pricing in secular growth to believing the sector is the same old cyclical story. In both cases--and in many other stocks' cases--investors have sold first, and asked questions later.

These 5 oversold stocks are among that group. And all five are among the best stocks to buy right now, particularly for investors who believe the market has more upside coming in 2019. Each stock is down at least 30% over the past year. And each of these fallen angels has a path to recover those losses--and perhaps reach new highs.

SEE ALSO FROM KIPLINGER: 18 Dividend Aristocrats That Have Gone on Deep Discount

Kiplinger
Feb 15, 2019

How to Find the Perfect Balance Between Spending and Saving
It's the key to being able to enjoy life now AND in the future. It's also the basis for a successful retirement plan, and it all starts with setting your optimal saving rate.

Kiplinger
Feb 14, 2019

2019's Most Surprisingly Hottest Stocks
The market is off to one of its strongest starts in decades. And although 2019 got rolling with an advantage - coming off the worst December performance in ages - the rally doesn't look terribly strained just yet.

Even more surprising are some of the names leading the charge. High-profile stocks, such as the FANG tech companies, have enjoyed solid gains. But some of the biggest winners are names that have fallen off many investors' radars, or were never on them to begin with.

What's more heartening is that many of these new uptrends seem built to last for all the right reasons - they're either regaining relevancy, growing the bottom line or both.

Here's a look at 10 of the markets most surprising large- and mid-cap stock winners so far in 2019. Their underlying stories are taking a turn for the better, at least in investors' eyes, and all of them merit a closer look, if only for a mental note to reference at a later date.

SEE ALSO: 19 Best Stocks to Buy for 2019 (And 5 to Sell)

Kiplinger
Feb 14, 2019

The One Simple Move Keeping Americans From Getting Bigger Tax Refunds This Year
Many taxpayers are worried about getting smaller tax refunds this year (or owing tax on April 15 for the first time). If that happens to you, it might be because your withholding was too low last year.

Kiplinger
Feb 14, 2019

A Beginner's Guide to Deferred Compensation
How does it work? Should you go for it, or should you pass? Before you jump on this executive perk, dig a little deeper to understand the risks and rewards involved.

Kiplinger
Feb 14, 2019

6 Super-Agers' Secrets to Keeping Your Brain Sharp
If you're reading this while pedaling a stationary bike, sipping a blueberry smoothie and chatting with your gym buddies, congratulations: You just might become a "super ager."

Super agers are seniors who have cognitive abilities comparable to people decades younger. And a growing body of research suggests that we can all boost our odds of joining their ranks by tweaking our daily habits and rethinking our views on aging.

Physical exercise, intellectual challenges, strong friendships and a healthy diet can all help protect an aging brain, studies show. But it's not just about crossword puzzles and leafy greens. Read on to discover the secrets of the super agers.

SEE ALSO: 10 of the Happiest Places to Retire in the U.S.

Kiplinger
Feb 14, 2019

Active vs. Passive: The Case for Both and a Place for Both
Under certain market conditions, and when it comes to particular asset classes, one method tends to outperform the other. Here's a look at why and what it means to the average investor.

Kiplinger
Feb 13, 2019

Ex-Workers Get More Time to Repay 401(k) Loans
If you leave your job while you have an outstanding 401(k) loan, Uncle Sam now gives you extra time to repay it -- thanks to the new tax law.

Kiplinger
Feb 13, 2019

Is the Stock Market Closed on Presidents Day?
Both stock traders and bond traders have the day off on Monday to celebrate the birthday of George Washington.

Kiplinger
Feb 13, 2019

How to Leave Your Business: A 5-Year Plan
Building an exit strategy isn't something that comes naturally to most entrepreneurs, but it's an extremely important part of your business plan.

Kiplinger
Feb 13, 2019

Apple's 12 Biggest Product Flops of All Time
How do you define a business flop? We all have a broad idea of how to gauge failures and successes, but when it comes to a company such as Apple (AAPL), what constitutes a flop can be very different compared to everyone else.

Flops can be poorly designed products, an offering that failed to sell, a PR nightmare or a combination of some or all three. However, when you're one of the largest companies in the world, your measure of success on those fronts changes considerably. What might be deemed a monumental venture from a lesser-known company could be perceived as an abject disappointment at Apple because it doesn't meet what we've come to expect after its decades of technological brilliance.

Here are some of Apple's biggest flops in its 43-year history. While Apple has churned out a litany of blockbuster products such as the iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBook, the company has taken risks to get those big wins ... and they didn't always pay off.

SEE ALSO: 10 Apple Products That Changed Everything (And 10 That Didn't)

Kiplinger
Feb 12, 2019

12 States That Won't Tax Your Retirement Income
You've worked hard all your life, and now you're retired (or will soon retire). Unfortunately, there's a pretty good chance that Uncle Sam is going to take a cut of your 401(k), traditional IRA or pension income. But what about your state? Will it take a bite out of your retirement income, too? Most states tax at least a portion of retirement income (not counting Social Security benefits). Your state might offer some tax breaks, but those breaks usually have limitations based on your age and/or income. Twelve states, however, completely exempt the most common types of retirement income--401(k)s, IRAs and pensions--from taxation. That's a huge plus for retirees living in those states. Take a look at the list. SEE ALSO: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

Kiplinger
Feb 12, 2019

Schwab Program Nearly Doubles Commission-Free ETFs to 503 Funds
Schwab adds 246 funds to commission-free ETF OneSource program, brings iShares into the fold

Kiplinger
Feb 12, 2019

Interest Rates Have Been Rising. Are Investors Ready?
There are several steps people might want to consider taking right about now. Here's how to evaluate your own investment, saving and debt situation and prepare for the changes ahead.

Kiplinger
Feb 11, 2019

10 Surprising Things That Are Taxable
If you work for a living, you know that your wages are taxable, and you're probably aware that some investment income is taxed, too. But the IRS doesn't stop there.

If you've picked up some extra cash through luck, skill or criminal activities, there's a good chance you owe taxes on that money as well. Here are 10 things you may not know are taxable.

SEE ALSO: The Most-Overlooked Tax Breaks and Deductions

Kiplinger
Feb 11, 2019

10 Tech Trends to Watch for in 2019
If you're going to invest for growth, it's almost impossible to avoid technology stocks. After all, technology is seeping into every aspect of our daily lives, becoming a bigger part of commerce, industry, health care and more - and the stocks that enable these shifts will continue to gobble up market opportunity at the expense of "the old ways."

But naturally, if you're going to invest in technology, you need to be aware of the highest-opportunity tech trends.

Just look at the past couple of years. The rise of cryptocurrencies, as well as their precipitous fall back to earth, set graphics cards maker Nvidia (NVDA) aloft before dragging it back down in late 2018. The plateauing of global smartphone sales finally caught up with Apple (AAPL), which had no choice but to keep hiking iPhone prices to stratospheric levels ... and ended the practice of reporting unit sales, which some experts fear is meant to mask a disappointing new trend. The list goes on.

What will shape the future of technology stocks in the year ahead? Here's a look at 10 top tech trends to watch for in 2019 - and the companies that may rise and fall as a result.

SEE ALSO: The 12 Best Tech Stocks for a 2019 Recovery

Kiplinger
Feb 11, 2019

Retirement Planning Is Different for Women. It Just Is. Here's Why.
With a longer lifespan and often less time building a nest egg, the stakes for women are higher in retirement, but these challenges don't have to sideline your planning.

Kiplinger
Feb 11, 2019

No Children? Why You Still Need an Estate Plan
Someone has to inherit your assets, and if you don't decide, state laws will do it for you. That means your awful Great Uncle Ed may inherit, while your beloved cousin Mary may get nothing. That's only one reason to get busy.

Kiplinger
Feb 08, 2019

Tap an IRA Tax-Free With an HSA Rollover
You can convert tax-deferred money in a traditional IRA into tax-free cash by rolling it over to a health savings account and using it to pay for medical bills.

Kiplinger
Feb 08, 2019

Student Loan Refinance Calculator
See how much money you can save by consolidating and refinancing your federal and private student loans.

Kiplinger
Feb 08, 2019

10 Top Consumer Stocks to Stuff in Your Cart
The rough end to 2018 put analysts on their toes as they looked ahead toward 2019. Some experts suggested that with U.S. GDP growth projected to slow, investors should rotate into more defensive sectors such as consumer staples and healthcare. However, others said the markets would surprise the pessimists with a robust recovery.

"Based on fundamentals, I don't think the pullback we had in this market was ever justified. Markets will do what they'll do. I think you have significant upside here," Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. equities strategist at Credit Suisse, told CNBC on Dec. 31. "Therefore, we would think that the bottom has been put in this market."

If you lean toward 2019 being a bounce-back year, consumer stocks are an excellent choice to ride the wave.

One metric that drives the share prices of consumer stocks is the strength of the job market. If Americans are employed and their wages are growing, that will help consumer spending. Well, the U.S. has trounced expectations in two nonfarm payrolls reports announced this year (December and January), which should go a long way toward strengthening consumer spending trends.

Here are 10 of the best consumer stocks to buy for 2019. Some of these stocks are more defensive in nature - better suited for a volatile year. A few others are more aggressive and could ride a bullish wave better than most.

SEE ALSO: 57 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2019

Kiplinger
Feb 08, 2019

33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act raised the federal exemption from estate taxes to $11.2 million per person, or $22.4 million for a married couple, so the vast majority of taxpayers won't have to worry about federal estate taxes. However, if your goal is to leave as much as you can to your heirs, then you should also pay attention to the state you choose for retirement.

Twelve states and the District of Columbia levy their own estate taxes, sometimes called death taxes, and some have much lower thresholds than Uncle Sam. In addition, six states have inheritance taxes. Maryland, whose nickname is the Free State, has both.

The good news for retirees focused on estate planning: There are 33 states that have neither estate taxes nor inheritance taxes.

SEE ALSO: All 50 States Ranked for Retirement

Kiplinger
Feb 08, 2019

37 States That Don't Tax Social Security Benefits
Some retirees are surprised to learn that Social Security is taxable. The federal government taxes up to 85% of your benefits, depending on your income. Most states, however, exempt Social Security from state taxes. The list of 37 states that don't tax Social Security includes the nine states with no state income tax, as well as some states that also rank as the most tax-friendly states for retirees, such as Georgia and Pennsylvania.

But beware: Some states that exempt Social Security benefits take a big bite out of other types of retirement income. Maryland, for example, excludes Social Security benefits from taxation, but distributions from individual retirement accounts are fully taxed. Weigh all state taxes when researching the best places to retire. For each state, we've included a link to our full guide to state taxes on retirees.

SEE ALSO: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

Kiplinger
Feb 08, 2019

Social Security Scams Are a Growing Threat
As scammers get more aggressive, some types of Social Security fraud are growing exponentially. Here's what you can do to safeguard your personal data and keep fraudsters from stealing your Social Security benefits.

Kiplinger
Feb 08, 2019

Don't Let the Fear of Spending Spoil Your Retirement
Tapping into your nest egg can be a scary proposition, but at some point you're going to have to take the plunge. What are you waiting for? If you've saved and you have a plan, then you've earned a little fun.

Kiplinger
Feb 07, 2019

Social Security Scams Are a Growing Threat to Retirees
As scammers get more aggressive, some types of Social Security fraud are growing exponentially. Here's what you can do to safeguard your personal data and keep fraudsters from stealing your Social Security benefits.

Kiplinger
Feb 07, 2019

57 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2019
Long-term income investors know that yield isn't everything when it comes to dividend stocks. Steadily rising payouts pay off down the road, too.

Not only do rising dividends lift the yield on an investor's original cost basis, they're indicative of a firm's ability to withstand the economy's - and the market's - inevitable ups and downs.

"Dividend growers tend to be quality franchises built to weather diverse market environments," BlackRock portfolio manager Tony DeSpirito and now-retired BlackRock PM Robert Shearer wrote in a 2015 report. "If you think about it, these are generally high-quality businesses with ample free cash flow, and that's precisely what's needed to grow the dividend. So you have a very attractive combination of quality franchises, solid balance sheets and positive trends in cash flow and earnings."

The Dividend Aristocrats are companies in Standard & Poor's 500-stock index that have raised their payouts every year for at least 25 consecutive years. They are a host of household names that offer size, longevity and familiarity, providing comfort amid market uncertainty.

Here are the current 57 Dividend Aristocrats - including several new faces that were just added in January 2019. These have been among the best dividend stocks for income growth over the past few decades, and they're a great place to start if you're looking to add new dividend holdings to your long-term portfolios.

SEE ALSO: 20 Top Stock Picks the Analysts Love for 2019

Kiplinger
Feb 07, 2019

Social Security Scams Are a Growing Threat to Retirement
As scammers get more aggressive, some types of Social Security fraud are growing exponentially. Here's what you can do to safeguard your personal data and keep fraudsters from stealing your Social Security benefits.

Kiplinger
Feb 07, 2019

6 Things You Can Get at Costco Without a Membership
If you're pinching pennies and don't want to fork over $60 to $120 to cover the cost of a Costco membership, you're in luck. You can still take advantage of a few of the warehouse club's popular member perks (hello, food court!) without having to officially join.

We highlighted several such Costco benefits that don't require a membership. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: 20 Secrets to Shopping at Costco

Kiplinger
Feb 07, 2019

When Lawyers Refuse to Pay a Client's Doctor Bill
It's more common than you might think in personal injury lawsuits, and doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists don't have to stand for it.

Kiplinger
Feb 06, 2019

12 Ways to Lower Your Auto-Insurance Premiums
Your car insurance bill is probably one of your largest regular expenses--especially if you have teenage drivers.

To trim your premium, ask your insurer for a list of discounts, and let it know if you qualify. For instance, some insurers offer discounts of 10% to 15% for those who make a living at certain professions, such as educators, lawyers, accountants, physicians and law-enforcement personnel. You could get a 10% discount for belonging to an alumni association or another organization, or you might receive a discount for carpooling or for having a hybrid car.

Here are 12 popular ways to help you cut your premiums by hundreds of dollars every year.

TAKE OUR QUIZ: Car Insurance: Are You Covered?

Kiplinger
Feb 06, 2019

How Investors Can Prosper With Technical Analysis
Even the most basic knowledge of stock charts can help you make better investing decisions

Kiplinger
Feb 06, 2019

Test Your Annuity Acuity: An Advanced True/False Quiz


Kiplinger
Feb 06, 2019

What to Do with All Those Old 401(k)s and IRAs
It's about as fun as herding cats, but rounding up all your IRAs and 401(k)s into just one or two accounts can really simplify your financial life.

Kiplinger
Feb 06, 2019

Your 401(k) Can Help Those in Need After You've Retired
Saving money in a 401(k) or an IRA is a great way to save on taxes while you build a generous legacy for your favorite charity.

Kiplinger
Feb 06, 2019

Own a Gun? Careful: You Might Need a Gun Trust
Make a mistake when inheriting an IRA and you might face tax consequences. Make a mistake when inheriting a gun collection, and there's a chance you could face felony charges. So, anyone who owns a gun may want to consider adding a gun trust to their estate plan.

Kiplinger
Feb 05, 2019

14 States That Won't Tax Your Pension
Congratulations if you're one of the lucky few who still have a traditional pension (a.k.a., a defined benefit plan). But once you've retired, remember that Uncle Sam generally taxes payments from pensions as ordinary income.

Will your state tax your pension income, too? It depends on where you live. Most states tax at least a portion of income from private-sector defined benefit plans. Your state might have a pension exclusion, but chances are it's limited based on your age and/or income. However, a handful of states don't tax pension income at all, no matter how old you are or how much money you have. Good for you if you retire in one of those states!

But, of course, just because a state doesn't tax your pension doesn't mean it won't tax some other form of income you're counting on in retirement. Alabama, for example, doesn't tax pensions or Social Security benefits, but it will tax distributions from a 401(k) plan. Bottom line: Make sure you check out a state's overall tax environment for retirees before relocating there for your golden years.

Take a look at the 14 states that don't tax pension income (states are listed alphabetically).

SEE ALSO: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

Kiplinger
Feb 05, 2019

Timeline: Kiplinger's Retirement Report Turns 25
From the Retirement Protection Act to tax reform, much has changed for retirees over the past quarter-century.

Kiplinger
Feb 05, 2019

25 Best College Majors for a Lucrative Career
College is often considered the surest path to a lucrative career. After all, while you can find some promising jobs without a college degree, the majority of the

Kiplinger
Feb 05, 2019

How to Report an IRA Charitable Distribution on Your Tax Return
Your IRA administrator will send you a 1099-R, noting your entire distribution; you need to report it to Uncle Sam -- and call out what portion was used as a qualified charitable distribution -- on your 1040.

Kiplinger
Feb 05, 2019

Start Trimming Your 2019 Tax Tab Now
As you complete your 2018 tax return, turn some attention to your tax plans for 2019. Although tax reform triggered a slew of major changes in 2018, the landscape has settled this year. In terms of tax rules, "2019 will look very similar" to 2018, says Kyle Stuckey, a certified public accountant with JFS Wealth Advisors. Once you know your tax burden for 2018 and determine how the new rules affect your personal tax situation, get a jump-start on trimming your 2019 tax tab.

See Also: 18 Red Flags for IRS Auditors

Kiplinger
Feb 05, 2019

Mizuho's 9 Best Biotech Stocks to Buy for 2019
Biotech stocks are a staple among growth investors. The rewards can be staggering - prices on biotechnology shares can literally double overnight - but the risk is just as high. It's not unusual for these stocks to be cut in half or worse if drug-trial data disappoints or a drug application is rejected.

Thus, proper due diligence is critical, and that includes tapping the experts for information about these often difficult-to-gauge stocks.

Mizuho Securities has recently put out an analyst report highlighting its top biotechnology picks for 2019. And thanks to analyst ranking service TipRanks, we can see that the report's author, Managing Director Difei Yang, has a strong track record of stock recommendations. Yang is ranked in the top 250 out of more than 5,100 tracked analysts.

Yang writes, "We favor innovative and ground-breaking therapies in 2019; emerging technologies such as gene therapy and cell therapy could command substantial premiums from large cap pharma/biotech if impressive results are shown in historically difficult-to-treat conditions."

As Yang points out, pharma M&A is off to a strong start in 2019 with a number of blockbuster deals. They include Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY) $74 billion acquisition of Celgene (CELG), and Eli Lilly's (LLY) $8 billion buyout of Loxo Oncology (LOXO). "In our view, the transactions underscore the persistent need by large pharma to fuel continued growth and replenish R&D pipelines via M&A," she writes.

Here are Mizuho's top nine biotech stocks to buy right now. Many of them can stand on their own but look even better as potential buyout targets.

SEE ALSO: 19 Best Stocks to Buy for 2019 (And 5 to Sell)

Kiplinger
Feb 05, 2019

Financial Tips, Thanks to the Year of the Pig
Are you a pig? If so, congratulations, you're honest and kind. However, you might also be lazy, impulsive and naive. All of us can improve ourselves and our financial pictures by keeping these pig-inspired tips in mind.

Kiplinger
Feb 04, 2019

6 Ways Retirement Has Changed Over the Past 25 Years
Twenty-five years ago, Kiplinger's Retirement Report launched to help readers enjoy a richer retirement. Our first issue, published in February 1994, offered guidance on timely issues of the day, such as how to take advantage of the home-sale-profit exclusion (then $125,000) and how to comply with new rules that for the first time required a receipt for charitable donations of $250 or more. Some advice, such as how to figure tax on Social Security benefits, proved to be evergreen. In celebration of our 25th anniversary, we asked some top financial and retirement experts to share their thoughts on how retirement has evolved in the past 25 years and how it might change in the years ahead. See Also: Are You Really Ready to Retire? 8 Steps to a Happy Retirement

Kiplinger
Feb 04, 2019

The Kip ETF 20: The 20 Best Cheap ETFs You Can Buy
Investors have literally thousands of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to choose from. Considering most portfolios only need a handful, that makes picking the best ETFs a daunting task.

More than a dozen funds track well-known basic indexes such as the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Russell 2000. Scores of other ETFs try to beat those benchmarks by carving out certain types of stocks or bonds, or by emphasizing things such as value or share-price momentum - anything to give them an edge.

We've picked The Kiplinger ETF 20 with an eye toward low fees, making this a list of the 20 best cheap ETFs to use to reach your investing goals. Our selections will give you anything from broad market exposure to narrow tactics meant to help you fill specific gaps in your portfolio. Check out our analysis of these 20 high-quality ETFs.

SEE ALSO: The 19 Best ETFs for a Prosperous 2019

Kiplinger
Feb 04, 2019

9 States Where You Can File Your State Tax Return After April 15
You probably already know that most Americans have to file their 2018 federal tax return by April 15, 2019 (as we told you earlier), but do you know when your state tax return is due?

For most states with an income tax (there are nine states with no income tax), the state return is also due on April 15 this year. However, some states give you more time to file -- up to an additional month in Louisiana, for instance. States' filing deadlines may depend on how you file or pay your taxes, so pay close attention to the rules.

We recommend filing both federal and state returns at the same time - and as early as possible. State returns typically "piggyback" off the federal return, so it's usually easier to do them at the same time. There's also a better chance of avoiding discrepancies if you do them together. Plus, you'll usually get any refund quicker and avoid tax identity theft problems if you file early.

However, we know there are procrastinators out there who will wait until the last minute to file their taxes. (And if you owe money to your state, why cough it up any sooner than necessary?) If you're one of those people, having a couple of extra days, or weeks, to file your state return can help. It gives you more time to focus on getting your federal return off before the April 15 deadline and then to get your state return just right. Remember, it may take a little longer to work through your returns this year as you figure out the new tax rules.

If you still can't file your state return by the due date, you can probably get a filing extension, but you'll have to pay the tax owed (or at least most of it) by the original due date.

Here are the 9 states where the filing deadline for 2018 returns is after April 15, 2019 (from earliest due date to latest). Take a look.

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

Kiplinger
Feb 04, 2019

When Leaving a Job, What You Say Has Consequences
Tempted to go out with a bang on the last day of a really bad job? Think again before you open your mouth.

Kiplinger
Feb 01, 2019

Discover the Secrets of Super Agers
Diet, exercise, a positive attitude and strong friendships are the keys to health and longevity.

Kiplinger
Feb 01, 2019

18 Dividend Aristocrats That Have Gone on Deep Discount
The Dividend Aristocrats fared better than many other stocks during 2018. This group of dividend royalty delivered a 3.3% decline for the year including income, less than the 4.4% drop for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index.

The Dividend Aristocrats, for the uninitiated, are a subset of the S&P 500 that have increased their annual dividends without interruption for at least 25 consecutive years. And these 50-plus superstar dividend stocks are noteworthy for several reasons:

Their yields are generally higher than the index, averaging 2.5% throughout 2018 versus 1.9% for the S&P 500. They've also outperformed over the longer term. During the 10-year period ending Sept. 30, 2018, the Aristocrats returned approximately 13.6% annually, compared to 12% for the S&P 500. Risk also was lower. Volatility of returns (as measured by standard deviation) averaged 13.6% for Dividend Aristocrats versus 14.4% for S&P 500 stocks. However, sometimes even great stocks get knocked back a little. These 18 Dividend Aristocrats have posted double-digit price declines over the past year, with most of them still recovering from the fourth-quarter broad-market drubbing. The upside for any investors considering putting new money to work in these dividend stocks: Many are close to multiyear lows, and several yield more than 3%.

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

Kiplinger
Feb 01, 2019

5 Ways Your Financial Adviser Should Hold You Accountable
Achieving your goals requires much more than just choosing the right investments. To keep you on track, financial professionals sometimes need to step in with some clear coaching and a little tough love.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Adding Caution to the Kiplinger ETF 20
We've traded VanEck Vectors Fallen Angels High Yield for iShares Ultra Short-Term Bond to tamp down risk among our favorite exchange-traded funds.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Thanks for the Memories: The Bull Market Nears 10-Year Mark
The bull market was born 10 years ago in March. We highlight some high (and low) points.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Are You Really Ready to Retire? 8 Steps to a Happy Retirement
Last year, Nick Crisci felt more than ready to retire. After working nonstop for 46 years, the 69-year-old feared the stress of his information technology job was affecting his health. Crisci, who lives in Pflugerville, Tex., prepared for retirement by whipping his finances into shape--paying off his mortgage and shifting some of his investments into Treasury bills to create a cash cushion. He also envisioned how he'd spend his days in retirement: gardening, reading, playing with his grandkids and working on his stamp collection.

But all that preparation didn't make the transition easy. Since his November 2018 retirement, he has focused on staying busy, getting involved with his homeowners association, joining a senior community center and taking tai chi classes. But "it's not fun yet," he says. "I feel tired, not retired." And the recent market downturn has further undermined his confidence. "I'm sitting here thinking, 'How long will it take to recover from this?' " he says. "Did I pick the wrong time to retire?"

Even with years of preparation, retirement can be a daunting prospect. Can your portfolio withstand a market crash in your early retirement years? Will you still have a sense of purpose when you're no longer heading to the office every day? How do you know that you're really ready--both financially and mentally? To ensure a successful retirement transition, you'll need to tackle those questions and many more. But the process doesn't have to be intimidating. Follow these eight steps to ensure you're prepared--financially and mentally--to retire.

SEE ALSO: 15 Reasons You'll Go Broke in Retirement

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

What I Learned When Stocks Tanked
Our Practical Investing columnist, Kathy Kristof, invests in a "smart" index fund that hasn't proven all that bright through the recent dark days of the market.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

The Magic of Moving Averages
This technical indicator can help predict where stocks are headed.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

What's Next for a Turbulent Market
Investors wonder if it's sink or swim for stocks. Our take: time to bottom-fish.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Mutual Fund Rankings, 2019
U.S. markets fared better than overseas counterparts.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Buy These Free-Range Bond Funds
There's more to bond investing than picking funds that adhere closely to an index or cling to the apparent safety of Treasuries.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

2019 Mutual Fund Guide: Profit from These Trends
Funds are lowering expense ratios -- and more than ever are free. Here's how to take advantage of this changing landscape.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Home Prices Take a Breather
Prices will continue rising, but more slowly, as the housing market regains some balance between buyers and sellers.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Our Guide to Saving on Your 2018 Taxes
We help you navigate the ins and outs of the new tax law and get the biggest refund--or lowest tax bill--possible.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Annuities Pitched With a Free Dinner? Be Wary
When a financial adviser invites you to a free meal, complicated, high-cost flavors of annuities are often on the menu.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Emergency Funds Can Reduce Stress
Your savings can bail you out of a situation you may not think of as an emergency.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

How to Avoid Cashing Out Your 401(k)
It's easier to transfer your savings to your new employer's plan.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Find a Financial Planner Who's a Cool Cucumber
Don't panic, and look for an adviser who will look out for your best interests.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

The Government Shutdown's Real-World Cost
For hundreds of thousands of federal workers, this is a true test of financial preparedness.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Virtual Credit Card Numbers Cut Fraud Risk
Randomly generated numbers linked to your account means you won't have to carry your card.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

How to Afford Long-Term Care
Your options range from conventional coverage to tapping your life insurance benefits.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Tax Breaks for Charitable Work
Here's why it's important to have a detailed log of your expenses while working with a charity.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Fighting a Drug Coverage Denial
These workarounds should help curb the Rx stalemate.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Know the Benefits of a Roth 401(k)
Determine whether it's important for you to have tax-free money in retirement.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

How to Opt Out of Credit Card Offers


Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Retirement Tips for a Long Lifetime
Women face all the financial challenges that men face--plus a longer life span.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

He Learned to Trade for Profit - and Can Teach You, Too
Raymond Rondeau says technical analysis, plus emotional discipline, are the keys to investing success.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Relief for Student Borrowers
These workarounds may help borrowers who are ill, whose school closed, or who have other college debt issues.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Services to Speed TSA Security: What's Worth It?
CLEAR uses biometrics to speed you through airport screening, but it's pricey.

Kiplinger
Jan 31, 2019

Be Tax Smart About Leaving Assets to Your Heirs
The way you withdraw money in retirement can affect the next generation's tax burden. Sometimes it's best to go against conventional wisdom when it comes to when to tap taxable, tax-deferred and tax-free retirement savings.

Kiplinger
Jan 30, 2019

Betting on March Madness Is Big Business
Gambling on college basketball's Big Dance is no longer confined to the office pool. Several states now allow legal sports betting. Before the tournament kicks off in Dayton, here's what you need to know.

SEE ALSO: Taxes in Retirement: How All 50 States Tax Retirees

Kiplinger
Jan 30, 2019

9 Stocks That Smart Managers Like Now
Benjamin Graham, author of The Intelligent Investor, the value-investing bible, likened the stock market to a man with wild mood swings. One day Mr. Market would offer to sell you his business at a ridiculously high price; the next day he'd offer it at a crazy discount.

During market declines, mutual fund managers are paid to look out for fire-sale stocks. Many used the downturn that began last September to snap up new holdings or add to positions they already owned.

We asked a few smart bargain hunters to share where they're finding good values now.

SEE ALSO: 11 Great Stocks to Buy and Hold for the Next Decade

Kiplinger
Jan 30, 2019

Go Into Show Business With These Value Stocks
When times are tough, people are still willing to spend a buck to be amused.

Kiplinger
Jan 30, 2019

Thanks for the Memories: The Bull Market Hits 10-Year Mark
The bull market was born 10 years ago in March. We highlight some high (and low) points.

Kiplinger
Jan 30, 2019

RBC Capital: 5 Tech Stocks to Buy Before Earnings
Earnings season is here, and the technology sector is entering the spotlight. Tech stocks will be reporting over the next few weeks, and based on some omens from the first few results, it could be ugly. For instance, Nvidia (NVDA) has thrown up yet another profit warning, citing weakening conditions in China, among other things. And Apple (AAPL) just reported its first decline in both sales and profits for a holiday quarter in the iPhone era.

Every company has the potential to deliver a surprise announcement that catches the market off-guard. The key is identifying the ones likeliest to please Wall Street. So, which tech stocks are primed to outperform this quarter?

RBC Capital's Mark Mahaney (Track Record & Ratings) is a Top 30 analyst among the 5,000-plus analysts ranked by TipRanks. He has an impressive 65% success rate and 21.3% average return. And he has released a report setting out his expectations for top technology stocks going into the print.

Here are the best tech stocks to buy before earnings, based on the bullish expectations of Mahaney and RBC. But these aren't just earnings plays, nor are quarterly results make-or-break moments for these companies. All five stock picks are top ideas in general that boast serious growth potential for 2019 and beyond.

SEE ALSO: 19 Best Stocks to Buy for 2019 (And 5 to Sell)

Kiplinger
Jan 30, 2019

4 Simple Habits to Build Wealth Faster
Sure, making a lot of money helps, but research shows there are four behaviors that can be even more important to building true wealth.

Kiplinger
Jan 30, 2019

What Millionaire Investors Should Do in 2019
When you look at all that went on in 2018, it appears clear that my best advice for 2019, based on my financial predictions, would be to batten down the hatches.

Kiplinger
Jan 29, 2019

Child-Care Tax Breaks for Working Parents
Working parents may be able use their flexible spending account along with the child and dependent care credit to save on taxes when paying for child care.

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