Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance

December 2014

December issue of KPFM

Cover Story

The Best List

We name the best personal-finance products and services for your money.


Table of Contents


From the Editor

How we picked the best online brokers and the rest of our annual Best List, by Janet Bodnar

States Are Lowering Their Estate Taxes to Lure Retirees

Good news for heirs: Several states are increasing their estate-tax exemptions.

A Top Economist's Financial Rules to Live by

Alan Krueger explains the most common financial mistakes people make.

New Apps to Get Restaurant Reservations at the Last Minute

For a price, new tools give you an edge on snagging a hard-to-get table.

Retailers Speeding Up Holiday Deliveries in 2014

Following Amazon's lead, merchants are getting packages to you faster.

4 Reasons It's a Bad Idea to Borrow from Your 401(k)

The hit to your nest egg may be greater—and last longer—than you think.

Money & Ethics

Is cash an appropriate wedding gift?, by Knight Kiplinger

Your Mind and Your Money

Mannequin eye contact and other ways retailers get you to spend more, by Anne Kates Smith

Opening Shot

How to be a smarter investor, by James K. Glassman

Success Story

A former real estate portfolio manager joins her sisters to make artisanal cheeses.


The Best Online Brokers

Fidelity takes top honors, but most of these firms shine in one category or another.

6 Stocks to Cash In on the Capital Spending Boom

These companies will prosper as corporate America starts to upgrade and replace plants and equipment.

Going Long

The Fed's rate forecast is too high, by Jeremy J. Siegel

Pimco Funds: Hold or Fold?

With Bill Gross gone, you may want to seek alternatives for your bond money.

9 Things You Must Know About ETFs

Our Q&A will help you pick funds and show you how to buy and sell them.

Cash in Hand

4 ways the strong U.S. dollar helps investors, by Jeffrey R. Kosnett

ETF Spotlight

Hedge against higher interest rates with bank stocks via Financial Select Sector SPDR.

Practical Investing

My portfolio's highflier hits turbulence, by Kathy Kristof

Kiplinger 25 Update

What will higher rates do to the Kip 25 bond funds?

Rake in 6% With Preferred Stocks

The high yield of preferred stocks should be a garnish to your portfolio, not the main course, as you'll be taking on more risk.

Fund Spotlight

With Hennessy Cornerstone Mid Cap 30’s review system, stocks come and go.


Blazing a Trail to Retirement

When one spouse makes the move first, adapting to new roles -- and schedules -- requires compromise.

Guide to Picking the Best Health Insurance for 2015

Whether you get coverage through your employer or buy it on your own, use our strategies to make smarter choices during open enrollment.

Reverse Mortgages for New Home Buyers

Get a new home in retirement without a mortgage payment.

Get the Most From Your Charitable Giving

Consider where -- and when -- your donations will have the most impact.

Smart Year-End Moves to Trim Your 2014 Tax Bill

If you act before New Year’s Day, you can limit what you owe the IRS.

Be Strategic With Credit-Card Balance Transfers

Get the best interest rate and lowest fees.



6 things you must know about holiday tipping.

3 Simple Steps

Create a home inventory.