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Kiplinger
Apr 10, 2020

Note to Millennials: 5 Tips to Help You on the Road to Retirement
It might be three or four decades away--but retirement is top of mind for many Millennials. That means balancing between plans for the future while paying for today.

Kiplinger
Apr 10, 2020

Tax Deductions Are Like Hairy Lollipops
Once you do the math and think through all the implications of a big purchase, you may find that write-offs can sound better than they really are. So, don't go crazy spending a lot of money just to save a little on your taxes.

Kiplinger
Apr 09, 2020

Warren Buffett's 11 Best Stocks of the Bear Market
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) puts up market-clobbering returns over the long-term, but more recently it's been a struggle. There's no sugar-coating it: The Oracle of Omaha has had a rough ride through the current bear market.

The S&P 500, which has recovered somewhat from the depths, was down 18.8% from the February market top through April 8. The average return across all of Warren Buffett's stocks, however, has been a loss of 28.0%.

The Berkshire Hathaway portfolio was built to deliver market-beating return over the long haul, not thrive in a global pandemic. Many of Buffett's best stocks of late are growthier plays that have turned tail. He's hardly alone in that, but particularly damaging has been Uncle Warren's vast holdings in financials, one of the market's worst sectors so far. His ownership stakes in major airline stocks have likewise been gashed.

Some of Berkshire's holdings, however, have held up considerably better than the overall market - and a number of them are newer positions, including a few stocks Buffett and his lieutenants picked up just last year.

Here are Warren Buffett's 11 best stocks of the bear market. Some of these stocks are tried-and-true, old-school value names you typically associate with the famed investor. A few of them, however, exemplify Berkshire's slow but sure shift toward more modern businesses.

SEE ALSO: 20 Best Stocks to Buy Now for the Next Bull Market

Kiplinger
Apr 09, 2020

Building Wealth as Parents During Uncertain Times
Parents have a lot weighing on their minds right now. Here are three truths they can rely upon, and three ways to shore up their finances during this time.

Kiplinger
Apr 09, 2020

One Size Doesn't Fit All with Pension Payout Options
Many factors come into play when weighing options at retirement. Let's run through all the possibilities to explore which might be the right fit for you.

Kiplinger
Apr 08, 2020

Is the Stock Market Closed on Good Friday and Easter 2020?
Stock and bond markets take a break for Good Friday, and bond traders get an extra day off

Kiplinger
Apr 08, 2020

2020 Election: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
With Bernie Sanders out of the race, we now know who will be slugging it out in the November general election: Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden. We also know that economic recovery, health care, and other costly initiatives will be heavily debated during the campaign--which means that tax policy has to be part of the conversation, too. After all, any new programs will have to be paid for somehow, and that usually means tinkering with the tax code.

President Trump has talked about issuing new tax proposals, but he hasn't announced any real plans yet. On the other hand, Biden has released several tax policy ideas as a candidate for the Democratic Party's nomination. Here's a look at a few of the higher-profile Biden tax plans concerning hot button issues of the day. (We'll report on any Trump proposals when they are released.) Start brushing up now, so you'll know who to vote for in November.

SEE ALSO: 20 Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Bull Market

Kiplinger
Apr 08, 2020

7 Best Growth ETFs to Reap the Recovery's Rewards
NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky used to say, "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been." During these trying times, these are wise words.

As it applies to growth stocks, you'll want to consider where these companies are going to be in six, 12 and 18 months. Easier said than done. It's impossible to know exactly where companies are going to be once the coronavirus finally dissipates. And that's what makes growth exchange-traded funds (ETFs) so appealing right now.

The economy is reeling. Economists are using data to help predict when the economy will bottom, and how low that bottom will be. Some, such as Goldman Sachs, have created custom economy trackers that pull various data points together to understand where the economy is headed - and more importantly, when it will bounce back. GS believes unemployment will peak at 15%, then the economy will experience a robust recovery by the end of the year.

Investors want to look ahead, not behind. But betting on individual growth stocks expected to benefit from this rapid rebound might be too risky a practice for many retail investors. Funds, however, can help you invest for growth without fearing that one company's unexpected collapse will cause you outsized portfolio pain.

These seven growth ETFs provide a variety of ways to ride an eventual economic recovery. Funds like these are extremely cheap, efficient vehicles that allow you to invest in dozens, if not hundreds, of growth stocks without having to trade them all individually in your account. They also allow you to be tactical, investing in sectors and industries you think are best positioned to rise out of this bear market.

SEE ALSO: The 20 Best ETFs to Buy for a Prosperous 2020

Kiplinger
Apr 08, 2020

7 CARES Act Tax Breaks for Businesses
While stimulus checks, small business loans and expanded unemployment benefits have gotten the lion's share of media coverage, there are also a number of important business tax breaks in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that haven't received a lot of attention. Most of the new tax breaks are only temporary. Several of them tweak or reverse changes made by the 2017 tax reform law. All are designed to get coronavirus-ravaged businesses and workers back on their feet as quickly as possible. No matter what business you're in, at least one of these seven tax breaks is likely to improve your bottom line and help you stay afloat.

(For information on new business tax credits for providing paid sick and family leave benefits, which were enacted as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, see Tax Credits Included in Coronavirus Paid Leave Law.)

TOOL: Stimulus Check Calculator

Kiplinger
Apr 08, 2020

Hey, Retirees: Looking for a Tax-Free Source of Income?
In challenging times, federally insured home equity conversion mortgages offer an outside-the-box income option for those 62 and older.

Kiplinger
Apr 08, 2020

Live Like a Local When Traveling Abroad
There are multiple ways to live like you belong there, depending on your budget and how much responsibility you want to shoulder.

Kiplinger
Apr 08, 2020

Why Retirees Should Care about the CARES Act: How to Maximize Coronavirus Stimulus Package
The government's $2 trillion stimulus bill has something for pretty much everyone. Here's how retirees are affected and some steps to consider to make the most of this measure.

Kiplinger
Apr 08, 2020

The Coronavirus-Caused 529 Plan Tax Risk You Can't Ignore
With the coronavirus canceling college classes, you could be due a refund. But if you used 529 plan withdrawals to pay for tuition or room and board, you could be hit with a tax bill if you don't take this action within 60 days.

Kiplinger
Apr 07, 2020

20 Best Stocks to Buy for the Next Bull Market
The coronavirus crisis has effectively reset the board. While both the economy and stock market will someday return to their earlier-year strength, neither will look the same. That means some of the best stocks to buy right now might look much different from top picks just a few quick months ago.

The market might very well have another leg down. It's far too early to say we're out of the woods given that most of America is under quarantine and we have yet to see what first-quarter earnings and second-quarter guidance looks like. But we're getting late in the game for a truly defensive posture. That's closing the barn door after the horse has already bolted. While a few protective picks might be in order, now is the time to start planning for the next bull market.

Even professional bears are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I'm selectively buying in my personal accounts," says John Del Vecchio, co-manager of the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF (HDGE). "There were plenty of companies that went into this crisis on life support, kept alive by cheap debt. You're going to see a lot of these companies fail. But at the same time, a lot of high-quality blue chips are on sale right now at prices we may never see again in our lifetimes."

Many companies will be gutted. It might take years for airlines to return to pre-crisis passenger numbers, and they might go through bankruptcy or a government conservatorship in the meantime. Likewise, retailers and restaurants might be dealing with the fallout from lockdowns for months or years, as will their banks and landlords.

However, some of Wall Street's best stocks could come out of this with relatively minor scratches. Many have massive stores of cash that will help them weather short-term profit drops. Some might actually benefit from a coming recession by picking up market share when its competitors fold.  Many of these beneficiaries are tech stocks, but certainly not all.

Kiplinger
Apr 07, 2020

Build a Career As a Consultant in Retirement
The fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs are 50 years old or older. Learn what it takes to grow your own business.

Kiplinger
Apr 07, 2020

The Best- and Worst-Case Forecasts for This Coronavirus Recession
Here is a rough guide to how deep a decline we're facing, and how the eventual recovery may unfold.

Kiplinger
Apr 07, 2020

Coronavirus and Your 45-Day 1031 Exchange Deadline
You've successfully closed on the sale of your property and want to move forward with a 1031 Exchange, but what do you do now that you're stuck in quarantine or lockdown? Don't miss your 1031 Exchange Deadline due to the coronavirus. Take a look at these solutions instead.

Kiplinger
Apr 07, 2020

Superwomen Can Only Be Super When We Get the Support We Need
One secret to success that more women (even those with seemingly super powers) should embrace? Delegation! Here are some suggestions for working women on enlisting the help of others across the universe of their lives.

Kiplinger
Apr 06, 2020

Filing My Taxes Early Cost Me My Stimulus Check
"A smart person learns from [their own] mistakes, but a truly wise person learns from the mistakes of others." Here's one CPA's story of how doing the "right" thing cost him and his family $2,900.

Kiplinger
Apr 06, 2020

Buffett Pulls Back on Airline Stocks, But Don't Fret ... Yet
The Oracle said he wouldn't sell airline stocks getting crushed by coronavirus, but then he did. What does it mean?

Kiplinger
Apr 06, 2020

11 Best Tech Stocks for the New Coronavirus Norm
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has been a disaster for the stock markets. While all sectors have suffered record losses, some have been particularly hard-hit and face an uphill climb to recover. For example, investments in airlines, cruise lines and hotels have their work cut out for them. But it might be an ideal time to pick up certain tech stocks.

Technology companies have long been fantastic buys for investors seeking out growth. That's because many of these firms either latch on to or even create emerging trends, then find ways of turning them into profits: think e-commerce, streaming content and cloud technology.

The same thing is happening now in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Several tech stocks are showing their worth as COVID-19 changes the technology industry. Some firms are already enjoying considerable upside amid various shifts, such as the implementation of "social distancing," and should remain aloft as long as those efforts remain in play. In many cases, the momentum is expected to continue as these technologies become part of a "new normal."

Here are 11 of the best tech stocks to buy as the coronavirus outbreak changes the way Americans live, work and play.

SEE ALSO: 25 Dividend Stocks the Analysts Love the Most

Kiplinger
Apr 06, 2020

Retirees, Sell Your Home Without a Hassle
If you need a quick sale so you can move to a better or different situation, you have some quick-turnaround options.

Kiplinger
Apr 06, 2020

Donate to Charity and Cut Your Tax Bill
There are still ways to donate and cut your tax bill. We give you four.

Kiplinger
Apr 06, 2020

Estate Planning Is More Important Than You Think
Estate planning ensures financial security for your loved ones if something should happen to you by protecting your hard-earned assets - such as your home, investments, retirement accounts and life insurance.

Kiplinger
Apr 06, 2020

The Real Reasons People Decide to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance
Before you dig into costs, benefits and contingency plans, step back and look at the big picture. This decision is bigger than budgets and life-expectancy tables. It's about your family and your wishes for them as well as yourself.

Kiplinger
Apr 05, 2020

30 Major U.S. Companies Hiring Now to Meet Coronavirus Demand
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic isn't just taking a terrible toll in lives, straining the healthcare system and disrupting daily life: It's eliminating American jobs at an unprecedented pace.

More than 10 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in March. Goldman Sachs predicts unemployment could reach up to 15% later this year. St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard isn't nearly so optimistic, believing unemployment could spike to 32% by next quarter.

However, if you've suddenly found yourself on the job search, some temporary relief might be on the way. A few sectors are seeing a huge spike in demand, and as a result, a number of companies are hiring right now, en masse.

Employment categories currently seeing a surge in hiring include grocery stores, food delivery services, package delivery drivers, freight trucking, cleaning services, call centers, e-commerce warehouses and logistics, nursing homes, manufacturers of popular shelf-stable food products, pharmacies and security services.

To help anyone out there trying to find a job, we've put together a list of 30 of the largest, best-known companies hiring now in response to coronavirus-sparked demand. This list includes what types of job openings are available, how many, and direct links to job application sites. Many of these companies have declared nationwide openings, there's a good chance that several of these places are hiring near you.

SEE ALSO: 11 Ways the Stimulus Package and Other Government Measures Could Help You in 2020

Kiplinger
Apr 04, 2020

12 Ways COVID-19 Will Change the Tech Industry
The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unfolding, but it's already clear that the outbreak will spark major changes in the technology industry, which has already been called on in a big way to preserve social community and workplace collaboration as billions of people are forced to stay home under some variety of lockdown.

Here is a collection of some significant tech shifts that bear watching.

SEE ALSO: 24 Major U.S. Companies Hiring Now to Meet Coronavirus Demand

Kiplinger
Apr 04, 2020

State Taxes on Unemployment Benefits: What Does Your State Do?
Millions of Americans are suddenly getting an unwanted crash course on the U.S. unemployment compensation system, courtesy of the coronavirus pandemic. How do I apply for benefits? How much will I get? How long will they last? These are some of the more pressing questions that newly unemployed people have right now. But, before long, another question will likely spring to mind: Will I have to pay taxes on my unemployment benefits?

When it comes to federal income taxes, the answer is yes. Uncle Sam taxes unemployment benefits as if they were wages. However, when it comes to state income taxes, it's a bit of a mixed bag. Most states follow the federal government and fully tax unemployment benefits. But some states don't tax them at all (sometimes because the state doesn't have an income tax). And a couple of states will only tax part of your benefits.

What does your state do when it comes to taxing unemployment benefits? Read on to find out. We also outline each state's income, sales, and property tax levels--and provide a link to the state's page in our full tax guide--so you can get a sense of the overall tax burden where you live.

SEE ALSO: 10 Things You Must Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

What Small Businesses Must Know About the SBA's New Stimulus Loans
CARES Act expands select loan programs administered by the Small Business Administration. See if you qualify.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

15 Super-Safe Dividend Stocks to Buy Now
The longest bull market in history has blown up in spectacular fashion, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic that has shut economic activity all around the world. As a result, investors have been sent scrambling to find the safest dividend stocks to buy.

Stocks are reeling, interest rates are plumbing the depths and the specter of defaults and bankruptcies are on the horizon. Income investors now more than ever need to be able to trust their dividend stocks. Hefty yields do no good if a company cuts or suspends its payout. By the same token, even the slimmest yield is immensely valuable if there's little to no chance it will come under duress.

In short, income investors need super safe dividend stocks right now, and we know some good ways to find them.

One option is to monitor the DIVCON system from exchange-traded fund provider Reality Shares. DIVCON's methodology uses a five-tier rating to provide a snapshot of companies' dividend health, where DIVCON 5 indicates the highest probability for a dividend increase, and DIVCON 1 the highest probability for a dividend cut. And within each of these ratings is a composite score determined by cash flow, earnings, stock buybacks and other factors.

These are 15 of the safest dividend stocks to buy right now. Each stock has not only achieved a DIVCON 5 score, but a composite score within the top 10% of all stocks that DIVCON evaluated. This makes them the crème de la crème of dividend safety - and more likely to keep the dividend increases coming going forward.

SEE ALSO: 19 Dividend Aristocrats That Have Gone on Deep Discount

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Investing in Stocks? Balance Sheets Are Everything
A firm financial footing is essential for any prospective investment, especially in the midst of a crisis

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

When I'm 64
As you near your 65th birthday, you'll face a slew of important decisions--and a deluge of mail.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Strategies for CD Savers
Shades of 2008: Certificates of deposit return to ultra-low interest rates.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

A Salute to Money Smart Moms
Today's mothers are in a perfect position to share their experiences in the workforce and as investors.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

How Buying a Home Helped One Couple Prosper
From rental living to owning a farmhouse on 22 acres, Tasha and William Kornegay are using homeownship to help build financial security.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

How One Couple Is Funding College for Their Four Kids
Matt and Suellen Sharp are hoping to help their quadruplets graduate from college with as little debt as possible.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

27 Solid Ways to Build Your Wealth
Building wealth is essential to accomplish a variety of goals, from sending your kids to college to retiring in style. But establishing a solid financial foundation will also help you survive stock market corrections and bear markets, recessions, health emergencies and other setbacks.

Our plan outlined here covers every aspect of your financial life, from investing to insurance to building credit. Most of our advice is basic, because a strong foundation sets you up to reach your financial goals. If you're just starting out, these fundamentals should stay with you throughout your wealth-building journey, although they will likely evolve along with your situation. Even if you have been practicing sound financial principles for decades, all of us can use a refresher every now and then.

See Also: Money Moves to Make Right Now in the Wake of the Coronavirus Outbreak

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

BBH Limited Duration: More Income, a Bit More Risk
The short-term bonds in this fund are stress-tested.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Can Rates Go Any Lower?
Rates can go even lower than they are now. In some European and Asian nations, negative yields have prevailed for years.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

IQ Merger Arbitrage Is All About the Deals
This merger-focused ETF can zig when the market zags.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Stay Calm Amid Bond Market Chaos
The risk is that you'll lock your money in a low-yield prison just in time for normalcy to return to the financial markets.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Don't Fall for Pandemic Cons
Scanners are stealing money with phishing schemes, fake remedies and inflated prices on products that are in demand.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Travel Planning in the Time of Coronavirus
Insurance may not cover canceled vacations, but airlines and hotels may be flexible.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

This Doctor Will Heal Your Portfolio
A physician turned financial planner says the coronavirus is an opportunity for you to tackle "fixable risks."

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

More Bad News for Savers
Savers searching for top yields should look to online banks, which offer significantly higher rates than brick-and-mortar institutions.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

The Pandemic Gives Borrowers a Break on Rates
Low rates reduce the cost of mortgages and other loans.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

When Will I Get My Stimulus Check?
That's the question on everyone's mind right now. For some people, it could be as early as April 9. For others, not until September. See when your payment is expected to arrive.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

How to Read an Annual Report
Focusing on the highlights can tip you off to important trends.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Small Businesses Should Jump on CARES Act Benefits Now
I've never seen anything like the CARES Act for small businesses. Here's how to take advantage of this economic stimulus opportunity.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Don't Leave Your Benefits Behind
When changing jobs, lock down health insurance and don't forget your 401(k).

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

How One Woman Became a 401(k) Millionaire
Saving early and implementing a smart investing strategy helped Alison Sowell make big gains over time.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Find the Right Rung on the Legacy Planning Ladder
Even simple estates need a plan, whether it be a will or possibly a trust. Putting your plan together is like climbing a ladder: Just take it one rung at a time.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Coronavirus Crisis Brings Estate Tax Opportunity
A confluence of financial conditions during this challenging time means that some families with very large estates may want to consider taking steps soon that could potentially help them avoid paying federal estate taxes later.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

Reshop Your Car Insurance
Finding the lowest rate to protect your vehicle and you can be a challenge.

Kiplinger
Apr 03, 2020

9 Great Deals You'll Find Only on Costco.com
Costco is well-known for its rock-bottom prices on bulk volumes of groceries and household items -- a great way to stock up to reduce the frequency of shopping trips that can expose you to the deadly coronavirus. And if you want to avoid stores entirely these days, you can shop Costco.com for many of the same items you'd find in-store and have them delivered directly to your home or business.

Even non-members can shop Costco.com. To buy groceries online as a non-member, you'll have to register directly on Instacart.com. You'll pay higher, non-member prices on most groceries, a delivery fee, and a $2 service fee. When buying non-perishable food and household items on Costco.com, non-members will pay a 5% surcharge on goods.

Most items that are available in-store at Costco will cost a few dollars more online -- even for Costco members. That's because Costco.com bakes shipping fees into the price of each item. You're paying for the convenience.

You'll find a larger variety of product options at Costco.com than you will in-store -- including entire categories of goods available only online. After all, even at Costco's massive brick-and-mortar warehouse club locations, space is limited.

We interviewed smart shopping experts to uncover surprising deals across Costco.com. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: 21 Secrets to Shopping at Costco

Kiplinger
Apr 02, 2020

A Brush With Warren Buffett
COVID-19 has turned off the party at Berkshire Hathaway's "Woodstock for Capitalists," but as ever, he has wise words for troubled times.

Kiplinger
Apr 02, 2020

Most of the Kip 25 Stay Out of the Doghouse
Every year, we look back at how our favorite low-fee mutual funds performed.

Kiplinger
Apr 02, 2020

7 Blue-Chip Stocks You're Selling, But Insiders Are Buying
As the media and investors whipped up a frenzy of COVID-19 panic selling in March, some corporate insiders (such as CEOs and directors) had an entirely different take. They calmly scooped up shares of their own companies at an insider buying rate we haven't seen in a decade.

Here's some useful market insight: When investors and the media are super-negative and insiders are buying in droves, that's often a great time to purchase stocks for the medium-term, which is at least two or three years.

Here's another bullish signal from insider trading: Many insiders are buying companies in the "wrong" places. They're decidedly going for stocks in energy, basic materials (such as chemicals) and consumer-facing businesses. These are all among the hardest-hit areas of the market, with more to lose in a prolonged recession.

This all adds up to the boldest "contrarian" insider trading buy signal that I've ever seen in the 10 years I've tracked insider activity as a starting point for investment ideas in my stock letter Brush Up on Stocks.

Here are seven blue-chip stocks that have experienced significant insider buying lately. Insider buying, like any other signal, isn't a guarantee of anything. So to improve our chances of success, we narrowed down a list of companies seeing heavy insider buying to make sure we're buying high-quality names. Thus, this list is made up of blue-chip companies with market values of at least $20 billion that boast enduring, powerful brands and/or some other barriers to entry.

SEE ALSO: 25 Dividend Stocks the Analysts Love the Most

Kiplinger
Apr 02, 2020

Retirees, Build a Financial Plan That's Based on You
Financial life planning helps retirees identify their core values and connect them with their financial decisions and life goals.

Kiplinger
Apr 02, 2020

What's Going on with Bonds During the Coronavirus?
To understand, you need to know a few bond basics. Here's a primer on how bonds work, and how disruptive events like the coronavirus and falling interest rates can affect their performance.

Kiplinger
Apr 02, 2020

Expecting the Unexpected: Navigating Illness and an Unplanned Leave of Absence
If illness puts you out of work for weeks, how will you get by? Now is the time to get your ducks in a row, just in case.

Kiplinger
Apr 01, 2020

Mark Zandi: The U.S. Economy Won't Recover Until We Have a Vaccine or Treatment
The chief economist of Moody's Analytics predicts the pace and shape of the recovery from the coronavirus-driven downturn.

Kiplinger
Apr 01, 2020

10 Things You Must Know About Filing for Unemployment Benefits
The COVID-19 pandemic has put millions of Americans out of work already, and as many as 14 million jobs are estimated to be lost by this summer. Designed to help them: unemployment benefits, a joint state and federal program that provides those out of work with temporary yet steady cash payments to help them financially while finding a new job.

For many laid-off workers, this may be their first time dealing with the unemployment-benefits system, which is itself under stress as a result of the astronomical increase in new claims filed. But there's good news, too: Legislation passed by Congress significantly increases payments and the length of time that they're available, and extends eligibility to the self-employed - so many gig workers and contractors will now be able to get unemployment benefits under the "Pandemic Unemployment Assistance" program.

Let us help you navigate unemployment benefits to get you the help you deserve. The sooner you apply, the better.

SEE ALSO: 11 Coronavirus Stimulus Measures That Could Help You in 2020

Kiplinger
Apr 01, 2020

Retirees, Pick the Perfect Financial Planner
When you're trying to get a handle on your money, from investments and savings to figuring out retirement and preparing for your future, you might need help from an expert in the financial planning world. But finding the right person can be more complicated than rebalancing your portfolio.

Perhaps you're thinking of a wealth manager. But there are wealth management firms, with estate planning and tax specialists, and then there's the junior employee at your bank listed as a "wealth manager." Maybe you need a financial planner--but is the planner a financial adviser, a financial life planner, or a financial coach? If your money and emotional issues are creating problems, like addictive spending, you could consider a financial therapist, who could be a financial professional who has some training in counseling, or a mental health professional with some training in personal finance.

If you finally find the right professional, you'll need to understand how you'll pay for the advice. Some planners offer subscriptions, similar to your annual gym membership dues, with prices based on the complexity of your situation or your income. Maybe your planner is fee-only for some services and also charges an annual percentage fee based on your assets under management. Or the planner charges you an annual fee, or a retainer, for financial planning and advice only. Or a commission on products sold. Or a blend of all of the above.

"There's a lot of confusion and for consumers it's very difficult," says Ruth Lytton, a financial planning professor at Virginia Tech. "There's a big range of providers, services and products, and you need to know what you are getting into."

It's never been simple or straightforward to pick a planner or adviser, but the process has become more complex because of the transformation of the financial services industry. Brokerages and investment firms such as Vanguard and Fidelity now compete to offer commission-free trading t

Kiplinger
Apr 01, 2020

Wealth Advisement Could Change Due to Coronavirus
Businesses of all types are adjusting to the new normal, and wealth advisory services are changing with the times, too. Some of these changes eventually might not be for the best.

Kiplinger
Apr 01, 2020

Are You Feeling SECURE about Retirement?
The SECURE Act has changed a lot of the retirement rules we've been living by for years. Take a look at the most significant changes and see how you might be affected.

Kiplinger
Mar 31, 2020

CARES Act Expands Tax Deductions for Charitable Giving
After the 2017 tax reform law, which nearly doubled the standard deduction, the number of Americans claiming the itemized deduction for charitable gifts dropped sharply (as predicted). The law also triggered a decline in charitable donations by individuals (again, as predicted). But with the coronavirus crisis upon us, we're going to need help from churches, food pantries, and other charitable organizations more than ever to climb our way back to normal. To encourage more charitable giving in 2020, the recently enacted government stimulus bill (the "CARES Act") provides some additional tax relief for donors. This makes it easier to give and save at the same time.

For more ways the CARES Act can boost your financial health, see 11 Ways the Stimulus Package and Other Government Measures Could Help You in 2020.

Kiplinger
Mar 31, 2020

19 Dividend Aristocrats That Have Gone on Deep Discount
In times of market turmoil, one group of stocks that investors can count on to deliver reliable income growth is the Dividend Aristocrats: an elite group of companies that have produced at least 25 consecutive years of dividend hikes.

During the 2010s, these high-quality stocks returned an average of 14.75% per year, besting the S&P 500 by 1.2 percentage points. A big reason for the Dividend Aristocrats' outperformance, especially over the long term, is the high dividend component of their returns.

Studies by Standard & Poor's have shown that more than one-third of the long-term total return of stocks comes from dividends. In the case of the Aristocrats, many of them traditionally don't boast attractive yields for new money. But investors that stick with them over the long haul are rewarded with growing "yields on cost" over time.

Reliable payouts also help make this group less risky than most other stocks. For instance, volatility of the Dividend Aristocrats' returns during the 2010s, as measured by standard deviation - a measure of how widely or narrowly prices are dispersed compared to an average - was more than 9% lower than the S&P 500.

That doesn't make them invulnerable from market downturns. A number of Dividend Aristocrats have gone on discount, losing 10%, 20%, even 30% of their value since the start of the bear market. But they offer more than cheap prices - they offer real value, both in higher-than-usual yields as well as snap-back potential once the market rebounds.

Here are 19 Dividend Aristocrats that should appeal to investors who want safety and reliably rising dividends at discounted prices.

SEE ALSO: 64 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2020

Kiplinger
Mar 31, 2020

11 Ways the Stimulus Package and Other Government Measures Could Help You in 2020
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is crushing the U.S. economy. The stock market is tanking (we're now in a bear market), businesses are closed, unemployment claims are spiking, consumer spending is down sharply, 2020 GDP estimates are dropping fast, and a recession is on the way. We're in a bad place.

But the federal government has made several moves that we all hope will turn things around. Congress and the Trump administration worked together on stimulus legislation, the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates, and the IRS provided relief to taxpayers. Other government agencies and institutions are pushing forward with additional measures to stop the bleeding and get the economy back on track. It will take time, and we have a bumpy road ahead, but action is being taken.

While some of the economic stimulus will prop up businesses, many initiatives will flood the economy with cash and directly benefit ordinary Americans who are facing a financial hit. There are also other ideas being discussed at the highest levels of government that could be rolled out later. Here are 11 coronavirus stimulus measures already in place that could help you financially in 2020. They all won't necessarily apply to you, but one or two of them could significantly impact your financial health.

TOOL: Stimulus Check Calculator

Kiplinger
Mar 31, 2020

When It Comes to Retirement, Look for a Plan, not a Pitch
Pick your plan, and your planner, with your eyes wide open. The ability to dig beneath the surface of a pitch can be a retirement saver's best friend.

Kiplinger
Mar 31, 2020

Financial Opportunities for Wealthy Families During the Coronavirus Crisis
Making smart decisions in times of panic isn't easy, but those who keep cool heads, follow the plan and take some calculated steps could help grow their wealth for generations to come.

Kiplinger
Mar 30, 2020

7 Oil and Gas Stocks That Have Entered Dangerous Waters
Oil stocks, natural gas producers and other commodity-based firms stand apart from one another based on factors such as where they're located and how efficient their operations are. But much of their success boils down to this simple idea: The higher the price of the commodity, the bigger the profits.

Unfortunately, the inverse is also true, which is why many energy stocks are getting pummeled right now.

Oil prices were already struggling with the fallout from the U.S.-China trade war and its effect on the global economy. But the coronavirus' economic ripple effect across the world - combined with Saudi Arabia's volley against other oil producers - has sent West Texas Intermediate (U.S. crude) oil prices to around $20 per barrel. Those are lows not seen since February 2002.

The specific issue: Oil prices (and natural gas, for that matter) are well below the cost of production for even some of the leanest companies out there. Thus, many energy producers are losing money simply by virtue of operating their businesses. Mounting losses, rising debts, cut dividends and even bankruptcies are all on the table.

Here are seven oil stocks and natural gas producers that are in considerable danger at the moment. While it's understandable that investors might want to seek out values in the beat-up energy sector, these are seven stocks to avoid.

SEE ALSO: 15 Dividend Cuts and Suspensions Chalked Up to the Coronavirus

Kiplinger
Mar 30, 2020

5 Strategies for Retirement Immunity Despite Coronavirus Crisis
Whether you're worried your job may be on the chopping block or you've seen your retirement investments take a big hit, there are ways to help protect your financial future right now.

Kiplinger
Mar 30, 2020

How to Get Your Estate Plan Done While Under Coronavirus Quarantine
If you are quarantined or under a lockdown and can't get to a notary, how can you get your will, trust and other documents executed? Don't give up. There are ways to get it done without leaving home.

Kiplinger
Mar 28, 2020

Will You Get a Bigger Stimulus Check If You File Your Tax Return Now?
It depends. You'll have to compare numbers from your 2018 and 2019 returns...but we have a tool that makes this much easier.

Kiplinger
Mar 28, 2020

Will You Get a Bigger Stimulus Check by Waiting to File Your Tax Return?
Perhaps. Use our Stimulus Check Calculator to find out.

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

When Will You Get Your Stimulus Check?
The official government response is that people will start getting money in just a few weeks. But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

15 Dividend Cuts and Suspensions Chalked Up to the Coronavirus
Most investors buy dividend stocks for the consistent income they generate. Whether we're talking about Achievers, Aristocrats or Kings, or just plain ol' dividend payers, their income provides certainty in an uncertain world.

That is, of course, until the dividend cuts and suspensions start rolling in.

The global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench into corporate dividend programs as companies of all sizes scramble to raise cash and fortify their finances. As the coronavirus has gained momentum here in the U.S., dividend investors have become concerned about the sustainability of their regular income payments - and rightly so.

Inevitably, just like the Great Recession of 2008, companies one by one have begun suspending or cutting their dividends as part of their plan to fight the negative effects of this pandemic on their businesses.

Here are 15 dividend stocks that have recently announced dividend cuts or suspensions, and what they plan to do to keep operations running until they get through to the other side. As you'll soon see, some industries have been more swiftly and severely impacted than others.

SEE ALSO: 25 Dividend Stocks the Analysts Love the Most

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

How Much Stimulus Check Money Will You Get?
That's the question on everyone's mind. However, there's not an across-the-board answer. Here's why.

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

Survival Tips for Small Businesses on the Edge Awaiting Stimulus Help
The CARES Act could put money in Americans' pockets soon, but those checks and the relief for small businesses may not come soon enough for some. To hold them over, here are some strategies to try in the meantime.

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

A Hidden Benefit of the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill: You Can Wait to Take Your RMD
Legislation is expected to waive required minimum distributions from retirement savings accounts for 2020.

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

Hey, Landlords: Let's Pay It Forward During This Coronavirus War
We all should be asking ourselves what we can do to help others during this difficult time. Forgiving rent is a good place to start.

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

10 Facts You Must Know About Recessions
A recession is the scariest creature in the average investor's closet of anxieties. Even though the last recession ended more than a decade ago, people fear recessions because they can mean lower home prices, lower stock prices - and no job.

Any number of things can cause, or exacerbate, a recession: an exogenous shock, such as today's COVID-19 crisis (which now has even Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell admitting that we might currently be in a recession) or the Arab oil embargo of 1973; soaring interest rates; or ill-conceived legislation, such as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930.

Recessions are parts of the warp and woof of a dynamic economy, albeit unpleasant ones. If you're prepared for a recession, there will be plenty of opportunities when the recession ends. Thus, the more you know about recessions, the better. Here are 10 must-know facts about recessions.

SEE ALSO: Where Is the Stock Market Headed? 14 Wall Street Pros Sound Off

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

5 Tips for Retirees Worried about Today's Market Volatility
While we can't control the stock market, we do have control over many aspects of our retirement savings. Here are five ways to help tackle market uncertainty and market volatility for retirees and those close to retirement.

Kiplinger
Mar 27, 2020

Coronavirus Coping Tips for Family and Finances
Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic is scary. But there are ways to channel that anxiety in a positive direction.

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

37 Retailers With Store Closures or Reduced Hours Due to the Coronavirus
In an effort to help keep customers and workers safe, these retailers have opted to either shut their doors or scale back operations.

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

7 Stock Picks That Analysts Are Actually Upgrading Now
The stock market is a mess of bearishness and volatility right now. But despite the carnage, a sizable number of stock picks are starting to look better in the eyes of Wall Street's pros, and they're starting to compile some analyst upgrades as a result.

The Federal Reserve has introduced aggressive measures and Congress is finalizing a $2 trillion rescue package. That's at least providing a sense that there might be a backstop in place to prevent a total implosion of GDP over the next two quarters. But the hit to corporate profits still is hard to quantify at this point. We know it will be bad once the first-quarter earnings reports start trickling in next month. We just don't know how bad.

"We have zero visibility on the earnings front," says Sonia Joao, a financial advisor based in Houston, Texas. "We're hoping for the best but bracing for the worst and trying to keep our portfolios weighted toward higher-quality names."

Nonetheless, Wall Street's pros are starting to see a brighter picture for a few stock picks. Part of this is simply a function of price: No matter how bad the economic picture looks, at some price, most stocks are worth owning. And in some cases, stock prices have fallen far more than even a worst-case scenario would suggest.

"We don't necessarily need things to look good," says Doug Robinson, principal of San Francisco-based Robinson Capital Management. "We simply need for the outlook to go from awful to less bad. That's enough to see meaningful improvement in the sentiment toward most stocks."

Here are seven stock picks that have earned analyst upgrades amid the market chaos. An analyst upgrade is not holy writ - it's an educated guess. But it's an educated guess by the professionals that study the companies and know their financial situation inside and out. Thus, this list is a great start-off point for investors looking to put some cash to work.

SEE ALSO: Where Is th

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

15 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Coronavirus Quarantine Time (Now That Sports Are Gone)
You're stuck at home for the next few weeks, and local bars and restaurants are closed. There's no March Madness to watch. For many Americans, this is our reality for the next several weeks -- or longer. And to make matters worse, you're swimming in financial dread as you fear (or perhaps have already experienced) job loss and helplessly watched the stock market plunge suddenly into bear-market territory. So, OK, go ahead and have a Netflix or Hulu binge-watching session -- you deserve it.

But when you're done watching, it's time to fight back. Money-smart Kiplinger readers will see this unprecedented period of home detention as an opportunity to get ahead with their finances -- to beat the market, to build defenses against scammers, and to pad their bank accounts. Take a look at 15 personal-finance projects you can undertake from home in the next three weeks.

And for more information on day-to-day developments, sign up for A Step Ahead, our e-newsletter that gives you daily insight and guidance on how to navigate major disruptions and challenges to business, the economy, and financial markets.

SEE ALSO: 10 Coronavirus Stimulus Measures That Could Help You in 2020

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

When It Comes to Coronavirus, Can My Boss Do That?
From enforcing temperature checks to testing for COVID-19 and whether the results of those tests must be kept private, here's what lawyers have to say on new workplace issues cropping up.

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

Small Financial Changes to Help Build Your Wealth Faster
To grow your wealth to its full potential, start implementing these best practices today.

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Stimulus Check
The $2 trillion stimulus package agreed upon by lawmakers and the White House will, among other things, provide a direct payment of $1,200 to millions of American adults, plus $500 for most children. The package will also extend unemployment benefits for millions of people who have lost their jobs, including freelancers and gig workers.

Many families will need to use their checks to put food on the table or keep the roof over their heads. But if you're working, consider putting your stimulus check to work.

"The beauty of the situation is there are no stores open, so it is much more difficult to waste your stimulus check," says Andrew Marshall, a certified financial planner in Carlsbad, California. "Instead of buying something you really don't need, put it toward a goal you have."

Here are 6 ways you can make your stimulus check work for you or help your community. (If you want to know how much you will get, use our handy Stimulus Check Calculator.)

SEE ALSO: 11 Coronavirus Stimulus Measures That Could Help You in 2020

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

Your 2020 Stimulus Check: How Much? When? And Other Questions Answered
People have a lot of questions about the economic stimulus checks that were just approved by the Senate. We have answers.

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

Stimulus Check Calculator
Find out how much your economic stimulus check will be using this handy tool.

Kiplinger
Mar 26, 2020

Inside Tips on Handling Coronavirus Business Insurance Claims
Business owners should be digging out their insurance policies to see what coverage they might have to help with losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Two attorneys share what to look for and what to say to the insurance company.

Kiplinger
Mar 25, 2020

Coronavirus Drugs Already in the Pipeline
It's not just chloroquine. Other existing medicines are being brought to bear against COVID-19. We look at what drugs have promise against COVID-19, and when they will get here.

Kiplinger
Mar 25, 2020

8 Dividend Consumer Stocks to Buy for Income & Growth
Consumer stocks have been a mixed bag for investors in this bear market.

On the one hand, consumer staples, which provide life's necessities, have held up far better than the broader market as Americans stock up for what could be weeks spent indoors. But consumer discretionary stocks - companies selling clothes, burgers and cars - have been every bit as bad as the S&P 500, if not worse.

But there are several consumer stocks to buy on both sides of the aisle now: staples that should continue to perform well as long as the outbreak keeps a grip on the country, as well as discretionary plays that have been knocked down into value status and have higher yields - and higher upside potential when the economy rebounds - as a result.

Here are eight large-cap consumer stocks to buy for income and growth. These companies boast varied mixes of dividend and upside potential. Some of them are bounce-back plays, while others are steady Eddies that investors can hold to protect against additional market declines. However, all of them have seen their dividend yields become at least a little richer over the past few weeks.

SEE ALSO: 25 Dividend Stocks the Analysts Love the Most

Kiplinger
Mar 25, 2020

The Legal Risks of Couples Living Together
A marriage license isn't just a piece of paper. It's a legal document offering legal protections.

Kiplinger
Mar 25, 2020

You Just Lost Your Corporate Job Due to the Coronavirus Crisis. Now What?
From how to make the most of your severance pay to pension plan payouts and stock options, you have a lot of variables to take into consideration right now. These decisions come with opportunities to weigh and pitfalls to avoid.

Kiplinger
Mar 24, 2020

Where Is the Stock Market Headed Now? 14 Wall Street Pros Sound Off
Getting a handle on the stock market's direction is becoming increasingly difficult as volatility has ratcheted up and daily moves of 5% or more have become commonplace. The S&P 500 has already lost a third of its of its value from its Feb. 19, 2020, peak, and some (though not all) analysts see even lower prices ahead.

Economists and market strategists are predicting that the 2020 bear market could descend as low as 60% losses as the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak begins to look very, very real. Small business owners are being forced to close up shop en masse. Many U.S. manufacturers, including the "Big Three" automakers, have halted production at their North American facilities. Airlines, cruise operators and hotel owners have seen their businesses rapidly dry up. Crude oil prices are in a deep bear market.

Meanwhile, European and U.S. stimulus packages designed to back businesses and consumers alike have barely moved the needle. But those governments - and many more across the world - still are preparing even more measures to throw at the coronavirus effort.

So where does the stock market go from here? Here's what 13 Wall Street investment bankers, analysts and financial advisors had to say about what's coming for America's stocks, the economy and corporate earnings.

SEE ALSO: 25 Dividend Stocks the Analysts Love the Most

Kiplinger
Mar 24, 2020

SECURE Act Basics: What Everyone Should Know
The rules on retirement have recently been rewritten. Here are the biggest changes and how they could affect you.

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