2011 in Review: Eight Stories with the Biggest Impact on Your Wallet

From gyrating markets to anemic interest rates, it's been a stressful year for your personal finances. Here's how to prosper in the future.

From Occupy Wall Street to market madness to insanely low mortgage rates, 2011 has been an eventful year for your personal finances. Here's a look back at the eight biggest stories that affected your pocketbook this year, along with practical advice for protecting your assets going forward. After all, while past performance is no guarantee of future results, you can always learn valuable lessons from the news.

Stock Market Volatility

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Michael DeSenne
Executive Editor, Kiplinger.com
DeSenne made the leap to online financial journalism in 1998, just in time for the dot-com boom. After a stint with Dow Jones Newswires, dreams of IPO riches led him to SmartMoney.com, where over nine years he held several positions, including executive editor. He later served as the personal finance editor at HouseLogic.com and AARP.org. In 2011, he joined Kiplinger.com, where he focuses on content strategy, video, SEO and Web analytics. DeSenne has a BA from Williams College in Anthropology—a major deemed the absolute worst for career success by none other than Kiplinger.