Kiplinger's Personal Finance

March 2010

March issue of KPFM

Cover Story

We Have Answers

You’d like to get back into stocks, but how? Or you want to earn more on your savings. Or maybe you just want to get away somewhere warm and cheap. We hear you, and we can help.

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Table of Contents

AHEAD

From The Editor

Get your money's worth from your next new car.

You're Hired. At Least for Now.

More employers will rely on temps and contract workers.

Money & Ethics

Say no to this lawyer's shakedown, by Knight Kiplinger.

Discovering Value

Buy and hold is risky, by Whitney Tilson and John Heins

Opening Shot

Emerging markets picks, by James K. Glassman

Your Mind, Your Money

Overconfidence game, by Robert Frick

Real Money

Financing a Roth conversion, by Mary Beth Franklin

Fixing Our Financial Flaws

A Wall Street veteran proposes ways to avert the next crisis.

Use 'em or Lose 'em

Gift cards are friendlier, as long as you remember to spend them.

Tax-Relief Hype

"Pennies on the dollar" pitches usually aren't worth a nickel.

Car-Rental Firms Punish No-Shows

Expect to pay a fee if you don't cancel your reservation.

Update: Health-Care Reform

Lawmakers agree that more Americans should be insured. But with two competing bills, the devil is in the details.

INVESTING

The Best All-in-One Bond Funds

Look for sweet returns with these five stellar flexible funds.

Mix It Up With ETFs

Use our preassembled portfolio of inexpensive exchange-traded funds.

Our Man Goes Undercover and Tells All

The free trading-education seminars he attended turned out to be short on wisdom and long on hard sell.

Promised Land

Beware the CEO's pitch, by Andrew Feinberg

Cash in Hand

What ails Treasuries, by Jeffrey R. Kosnett

Mutual Funds

Fidelity’s unsung heroes, by Russel Kinnel

Follow the Star Fund Manager Out the Door

Before you head for the exit, see who's waiting in the wings.

A Bargain Hunter Roars Back

Bets on stocks of small, obscure companies fueled Aegis Value’s revival.

The Little Bank That Could, But Didn’t

Shares of Smithtown Bancorp tanked because the bank’s bad loans soared.

MONEY

We Have Answers

You’d like to get back into stocks, but how? Or you want to earn more on your savings. Or maybe you just want to get away somewhere warm and cheap. We hear you, and we can help.

Where to Find Free Money

Billions in state coffers and millions in income-tax refunds go unclaimed.

Ask Kim

Kimberly Lankford helps you find a qualified tax preparer.

Cut the Lawyer Out of Your Will?

Preset forms are fine for simple plans. But complex estate issues may require a pro.

Saving Grace Period for Flex Accounts

Make the most of any money remaining in your 2009 FSA.

Long-Term Care You Can Afford

By taking more risk, you can snag a lower premium.

Air-Miles Cards for International Travel

Rack up points for overseas flights with these credit-card deals.

LIVING

2010 Cars: Where the Deals Are

Carmakers are no longer desperate for your business, which makes our advice on how to negotiate more valuable than ever.

Guide to Getting the Best Values

How to use our criteria for ranking the top cars when you go car shopping.

Curl Up With a Good E-Reader

Prices have come down, and the user experience has improved.

The Lowdown

What you need to know about Social Security, by Laura Cohn.

My Story

The electric company pays them.