Kiplinger's Personal Finance

April 2010

April issue of KPFM

Cover Story

Get the Best, Spend Less

Buy the gold standard -- the very best that money can buy. Or satisfy your "champagne taste" for food, cars, funds, phones and more with value-priced alternatives. You can't go wrong with our picks, no matter how much you want to spend.

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Table of Contents

AHEAD

From The Editor

No one is a more reliable steward of your money than you are.

A Challenge for Borrowers

Tighter lending standards imposed by banks are thwarting even low-risk home loans.

Interview: Investors Face a Tax on Trading

Experts square off on proposed financial-transaction fees.

Money & Ethics

Property-tax relief: Rate cuts are fairer than caps, by Knight Kiplinger

As Seen on TV: Debtors Beware

Debt-settlement agencies that promise relief can add to woes.

Money Funds Get a Makeover

But a new "safety premium" comes at a cost: lower yields.

Shareholders Unite Online

The Web makes it easier for investors to have a say.

My Point of View

How can the federal government bring revenues and expenses back into balance?, by Knight Kiplinger

Discovering Value

Why companies stumble, by Whitney Tilson and John Heins

Opening Shot

Bet on clean energy, by James K. Glassman

Your Mind and Your Money

Think like a squirrel, by Robert Frick

Real Money

Pay off a mortgage or save for college? by Thomas M. Anderson

INVESTING

Emerging Markets Hit the Big Time

We pick seven stocks with global reach or, like China Mobile, a vast untapped domestic market.

Vacation HomesHomes: Deal or No Deal?

A low, low price for your piece of paradise may be tempting. But add up all the costs before you ante up a down payment.

Going Long

Why stocks beat bonds, by Jeremy J. Siegel

Why You Need TIPS

Treasury inflation-protected securities should be a key part of your holdings. We tell you how -- and when -- to buy them.

7 Tech Stocks With Promise

Thrills and spills are a given, but the industry's prospects are surprisingly good.

It’s Not Just Gold That Glitters

New exchange-traded funds let you bet on platinum and palladium, too. And don’t forget silver.

Cash In Hand

Reinvestment riddle, by Jeffrey R. Kosnett

A Great Rate for Trading ETFs: $0

Fidelity and Schwab waive commissions on some exchange-traded funds.

A Play on Enhanced Productivity

Calamos International Growth is on a roll, thanks to a big stake in overseas technology stocks.

Mutual Funds

Stock jockeys try bonds, by Russel Kinnel

MONEY

Get the Best, Spend Less

Buy the gold standard -- the very best that money can buy. Or satisfy your "champagne taste" for food, cars, funds, phones and more with value-priced alternatives. You can't go wrong with our picks, no matter how much you want to spend.

Tax-Saving Secrets

New deductions and credits can slash your 2009 tax bill.

Battle Royal: Credit vs. Debit

They're worthy adversaries. The one you choose depends on your personality and spending habits.

New Credit Rules: A Mixed Blessing

You'll see more disclosures on your bill but have a tougher time getting a store credit card.

Should You Buy or Rent?

Renting may be smarter if home prices in your area will fall further.

How to Shed Student Debt

Programs that forgive federal loans can help ease the burden.

Tax Breaks for Military Families

Military service is a tough job, but it comes with privileges.

Ask Kim: Credit-Score Roulette

Kimberly Lankford weighs the pros and cons of closing dormant credit-card accounts and taking a refund-anticipation loan.

How to Earn More on Your Savings

It pays to pay attention because banks are tweaking rates all the time.

LIVING

3 Keys to Selling Your Home

It's still a buyer’s market, but we show you how to make a quick sale and get a fair price.

Prepping Your Home for a Sale

Give your home a face-lift and stage it to get a quicker sale and a higher price.

Price Your Home Right for a Sale

Be prepared to strike a happy medium, but don’t low-ball your initial price.

Protect Your Deal on a Home Sale

Contingencies protect you and your buyer, but they can also sabotage a sale.

Drive Time

Don’t count out Toyota, by Jessica Anderson

Net Movie Night

Online video services offer thousands of films and TV shows that you can download in minutes.

The Lowdown

What you need to know about ethical investing, by Elizabeth Ody

My Story: Not Quite Ready to Retire

Walter Gadkowski, an anesthesiologist, left his full-time job and now takes temporary physician assignments several months each year.