Kiplinger's Personal Finance

December 2012

December issue of KPFM

Cover Story

Hits and Misses of 2012

Credit cards, airlines, mutual funds, banks, cars and more. We help you target the best and avoid the worst.

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Table of Contents

AHEAD

From The Editor

The next debt bomb, by Janet Bodnar

Prepaid Cards Flooding the Market

New cards offer lots of choices, but the fees can be tricky.

High-Frequency Trading Kills Market Confidence

Recent glitches have turned up the heat on computerized traders.

Money & Ethics

Should parking rules favor the handicapped?, by Knight Kiplinger

More Employers Hiring From Within

Companies are having a tough time finding external applicants with required skills.

New Fees on Cruises

Ships are hitting passengers with a la carte charges.

Opening Shot

How to invest in housing, by James K. Glassman

My Point of View

What our print readers want, by Knight Kiplinger

INVESTING

5 Funds to Catch a Rally in Emerging Markets

The stocks are cheap, and growth prospects for developing nations dwarf those of established countries.

Going Long

The case for Dow 17,000, by Jeremy J. Siegel

5 Jewels Among Junk-Bond Funds

Some funds yield better than 6%. It's hard to top that these days.

Vanguard Health Care Fund Gets a New Boss

Don't expect major changes at the nation's largest health care fund.

8 Stock Picks to Bet on Beating Cancer

These biotech companies are making important strides in treating many forms of cancer.

Value Added

Hedge with these funds, by Steven Goldberg

Cheaper Indexes, Cheaper Funds

Vanguard will change the benchmarks it uses for index funds and exchange-traded funds to cut costs and save money for investors.

Kiplinger 25 Update

It's been a bumpy year for Harbor Commodity Real Return Strategy Fund.

Cash In Hand

9 dividend rebuilders to buy now, by Jeffrey R. Kosnett

A Preferred ETF for a Fat Payout

This PowerShares fund generates a 6.5% yield by investing in preferred stocks.

Practical Investing

A year-end assessment of my stock portfolio, by Kathy Kristof

Fund Spotlight

Causeway International Value fund bought European stocks when everyone was selling them.

MONEY

Last-Chance Tax Savings

These year-end maneuvers will trim your tax bill no matter what Congress does.

Compromise on Long-Term Care?

One option: Figure out how much you can afford to pay on your own, and buy insurance to fill the gaps.

Home Equity Lending on the Rise Again

If you have at least 20% equity in your house and good credit, you're a prime candidate.

Protect Your Assets From Greedy Heirs

Some common estate-planning tactics could leave you vulnerable.

Gift-Giving Made Even Easier: Digital Gift Cards

You can send a gift card via text, e-mail or Facebook.

Ask Kim

Kimberly Lankford answers readers' questions about stock gifts to grandkids, retirement accounts for the self-employed, and more.

Retail Credit Cards to Help You Save

If you manage credit cards from retailers wisely, you can reap savings.

LIVING

Hits and Misses of 2012

Credit cards, airlines, mutual funds, banks, cars and more. We help you target the best and avoid the worst.

Drive Time

When it's time to hang up the car keys, by Jessica Anderson

The Lowdown

6 things you need to know about phone scams.

9 Great Gadgets for Less Than $100

From iPhones to e-readers, nine holiday gifts that won't bust your budget.

My Story

A former financial planner posed with members of her retiree community for a racy calendar to raise money for a good cause.