credit & debt

2009 Best List: Financial Resources & Advice

Click here for info on the best stocks, bonds and funds sites.

Morningstar.com For analysis and statistics on your favorite stocks and mutual funds, this is your go-to site. Loaded with nifty tools to rate your funds, the site also has videos on funds, the economy and market trends. For more-detailed insight, pay $174 for a yearlong premium membership.

Investinginbonds.com This free site shows price and early-redemption data for municipal bonds, as well as corporate, government and mortgage-backed issues. It’s a good choice for bond-market newbies. Set up by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, an industry group, the site also has market commentary.

Best Financial Minds Pundits who have a finger on the pulse of the markets.

Best Financial Analyst: Meredith Whitney, Meredith Whitney Advisory Group
Back in October of 2007, Meredith Whitney warned that Citigroup would have to raise capital, sell assets or cut its dividend. The call made her one of the early voices on Wall Street to sound the alarm about the coming financial crisis. Whitney’s record of many such prescient calls makes her far from a one-hit wonder. View some of her research free at www.meredithwhitneyllc.com.

Best Fund Manager: Bruce Berkowitz, Fairholme Fund
Bruce Berkowitz ignores the crowd to find bargains among the unloved and beaten down. An admirer of value-investing legend Warren Buffett, he looks to buy great companies that are selling at prices he thinks are cheap and that have experienced managers. His Fairholme Fund (FAIRX) returned 13% annualized from its December 1999 start through October 8, while the S&P 500 lost 1.4% a year.

Best Market Strategist: Liz Ann Sonders, Charles Schwab
Investment strategist Liz Ann Sonders has proved herself an expert in divining which way the economic winds will blow.

In the fall of 2006, for example, she warned Schwab clients about the housing-market bubble. Recently, she cautioned that “the easiest money has been made” in the stock market’s latest rally. You can read her commentary free at www.schwab.com.

Best Investing Newsletter: Buy and hold? Fuhgeddaboudit. Janet Brown’s NoLoad Fund*X newsletter selects mutual funds exclusively on the basis of momentum. Its record: 12.4% annualized over the past 20 years. Cost: $149 for one year.

Best IRA for Kids A first step on the road to riches. E*Trade’s IRA has no minimum-deposit requirement and no annual fees (www.etrade.com/nofeeIRA). If your child has earned income from a job, he or she can invest up to $5,000 in 2009.

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