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Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Trusted financial advice and business forecasts for more than 75 years

Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 22:10:03 GMT


10 Best ETFs to Buy for Beginners

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:10:25 -0400

If you're just starting to invest your money, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are one of the best places to begin. Like mutual funds, these instruments allow new investors to easily invest in large baskets of assets - stocks, bonds and commodities among them - often with lower annual expenses than what similar mutual funds charge. But what qualifies a fund to be among the best ETFs for beginners? Target these qualities:

Low fees. Young people just now starting to invest have decades to work with. Thus, they have a lot of time to benefit from the cost savings of low annual expenses. For instance, over the course of 30 years, a $10,000 investment in a fund that charges 0.1% in fees and gains 7% annually will make over $17,500 more than a fund with the exact same performance but a full 1% in fees.

Wide exposure. As a novice investor, it's best to spread your bets rather than risk all of your money on a single, narrow investment. So, for instance, you may want to start out with a broad international fund that invests in several countries until you learn how to identify opportunities in a specific country. Once you gain experience, you can make more informed decisions about devoting some of your savings to concentrated investments.

Stable growth. Beginning investors may be more prone to making moves out of fear - such as when an investment suddenly moves lower, more quickly than the rest of the market. No fund is guaranteed to never experience a significant drop, and trying to avoid volatility altogether can keep you from significant gains. However, beginners should try to stick to "buy-and-hold" funds meant to integrate safety and stability without sacrificing too much growth.

The 10 best ETFs for beginners, then, will have some or all of these traits. Let's explore:

SEE ALSO: 15 Great ETFs for a Prosperous Year

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8 Reasons Why Your Estate Plan May Now Be Worthless

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 15:20:46 -0400

Most people hate reviewing their estate plans, and I can't say I blame them. From tax law and complex documents, to trusts and health care directives, the intricacies can be daunting. Plus, talking about life after death isn't anyone's favorite activity.

Unfortunately, these common stressors often prevent people from revisiting their plan once it's been drafted, creating the potential for substantial gaps that could dramatically affect how assets are distributed down the line.

To help you identify these gaps, and to help ensure that your wishes are carried out faithfully after you have passed on, here are eight red flags that can indicate a problem with your estate plan.

Plus, take our quick, 10-question quiz to test your estate-planning smarts.

Written by Casey Robinson, a wealth counselor at Waldron Private Wealth, a boutique wealth management firm outside Pittsburgh, Pa. Robinson has extensive experience assisting multi-generational families with estate planning, integrating trusts, tax planning and risk management.

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3 Steps Toward Building a Retirement Income Plan

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:15:19 -0400

Switching gears from saving for retirement to turning that savings into a retirement paycheck is a tricky proposition. Taking these steps can help bring your income plan into focus.

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7 Top Monthly Dividend Stocks and Funds to Buy

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 15:05:09 -0400

The mortgage is due every month. So are utility bills, car payments and the membership to the gym that many of us don't actually use.

That's not a major problem for many people because they get regular paychecks. But when they eventually retire, it would be nice to at least partially match income to their expenses.

Enter monthly dividend stocks. While bonds generally pay twice per year and most American stocks pay quarterly, a few select few stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and closed-end funds (CEFs) pay monthly, making them ideally suited for retirees living off their investments.

Naturally, you should be skeptical of gimmicky stocks, and you should never buy a stock simply because it pays a monthly dividend. Any investment you buy should meet your basic smell test for quality and should be attractively priced.

Thankfully, plenty of monthly dividend stocks make the cut. Today, we're going to take a look at a diverse lot of seven monthly payers. Three are high-quality real estate investment trusts (REITs), two are conservative ETFs, one is a dirt-cheap CEF and one is a more speculative business development company (BDC) trading at a deep discount. But all have one thing in common: They pay their dividends monthly.

SEE ALSO: 50 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

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5 Biotech Stocks That Are "Strong Buys"

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:58:23 -0400

According to top analysts on the Street, these five "Strong Buy" biotech stocks are primed for outsized growth in the next 12 months.

Biotechs often present intriguing, and potentially lucrative, investment opportunities. Share prices can explode on positive trial results or key regulatory approvals. However, buyers beware: These rewards can disappear just as quickly if critical data disappoints. To minimize this risk, we specifically searched for stocks with a high degree of confidence from Wall Street's top analysts.

In this case, we used the popular Trending Stocks tool to filter for best-rated stocks in the last week, regardless of market capitalization. The best part about this tool is that it clearly displays the upside potential from the current share price to the average analyst price target.

So we crunched the data and pinpointed these five compelling biotech stocks that are trending right now. All five stocks share a bullish Strong Buy analyst consensus rating. Note that this is based only on analyst ratings from the last three months.

With this in mind, let's delve deeper into why the Street is so bullish on these stocks right now:

SEE ALSO FROM KIPLINGER: 20 of the Best Stocks You Probably Haven't Heard Of

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New Medicare Cards Are Coming Soon

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 13:26:11 -0400

In April, Medicare will start mailing new cards that don't disclose Social Security numbers. But the rollout will take a year.

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10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Live In

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 11:13:28 -0400

The most expensive U.S. cities are usually expensive for a reason. Residents pay higher living costs in exchange for favorable geography, climate, culture or economic prosperity -- or all of the above. Of course, that doesn't make the most expensive cities the "best" cities to live in, at least not for everyone, says Jennie Allison of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, a nonprofit research and policy group.

"We all consider how much it costs to live in a particular city, with housing being one of the biggest determinants of that," Allison says. "However, a person or business needs to think about what local amenities are important to them too, whether it be local public transportation systems, walkability, access to natural amenities, and so forth."

To determine just how much the most expensive U.S. cities cost, we turned to the latest data from the Council for Community and Economic Research. Its Cost of Living Index measures prices in 269 urban areas for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services such as getting your hair done or going to a movie. Take a closer look at the 10 most expensive U.S. cities.

SEE ALSO: 10 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Live In

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10 Cheapest U.S. Cities to Live In

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:15:06 -0400

When it comes to cheap living, don't mess with Texas. The Lone Star State is home to four of the most affordable cities in America. But Texas doesn't have a monopoly on low living costs. Four other states make an appearance on our list.

If you're thinking about relocating to one of these cheap cities, weigh the pros and cons. A low cost of living is attractive, but the allure lessens if jobs are hard to come by, paychecks are small or the town offers little to do. Plan an extended visit to ensure the city fits your needs.

We compiled our rankings based on the Council for Community and Economic Research's calculations of living expenses in 269 urban areas. Its Cost of Living Index measures prices for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. (As for the miscellaneous category, think of expenses such as going to a movie or getting your hair done at a salon.) We did not include cities with populations below 50,000.

Take a look at our 2018 list of the 10 cheapest places to live in America.

SEE ALSO: 10 Most Expensive U.S. Cities to Live In

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5 States With No State Sales Tax

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 09:07:34 -0400

There are 45 states plus the District of Columbia that impose a state sales tax on retirees and other residents. In addition, local sales tax is collected in 38 states. The combined levy can be hefty. In Tennessee, for example, the average combined state and local sales tax is 9.46%.

That means there are just five states with no state sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. But if you're scouting out the best places to retire, don't judge a state on its sales tax alone. Tennessee ranks as one of the more tax-friendly states in the U.S., despite its high sales tax, largely because it doesn't impose a state income tax. Oregon, on the other hand, isn't tax-friendly for retirees. The Beaver State has a top income tax rate of 9.9% and taxes most retirement income. On the plus side, you can enjoy a nice glass of Willamette Valley pinot noir, tax-free.

Learn more about what you will really pay to live in the five states with no state sales tax.

SEE ALSO: 13 States That Tax Social Security

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You Don't Need a Financial Planner ... Unless ...

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 07:56:47 -0400

There are plenty of times when people can handle their investments, taxes and retirement planning themselves. Here's who can go it alone, and who should seek some advice. Which category do you fit into?

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Exercise Your Brain to Improve Memory in Retirement

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 14:31:26 -0400

Strategies to help retirees recall and remember people, places and things.

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Rush to Redeem Toys R Us Gift Cards Before Liquidation

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 14:10:38 -0400

The bankrupt retailer is going out of business and will honor gift cards for Toys R Us and Babies R Us only until April 15.

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10 Fintech Stocks to Own for the Next 10 Years

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:23:01 -0400

If you ask the average investor what the best fintech stocks to own are, my guess is that most would respond with some blockchain or cryptocurrency play.

However, fintech is so much more.

The money being invested in fintech companies of all sizes continues to grow as investors look to capitalize on one of the most significant secular trends to hit the financial services industry in the past 100 years.

Venture capital-backed fintech firms raised $16.6 billion in financing in 2017, significantly higher than the $3.8 billion raised four years earlier. The biggest growth is coming from Europe where $2.7 billion was raised by fintech companies in 2017, 121% higher than a year earlier.

So, the answer is to invest in European-focused fintech businesses, right? Not so fast.

Those numbers refer to VC-backed fintech companies. According to KPMGs Q4 2017 fintech report, $8.7 billion was invested in fintech on a global basis during the quarter and to over $31 billion for the entire year.

Globally, there are 25 fintech unicorns (valuation > $1 billion) valued at $76 billion. Many of these are still are private but there ways to get in on the action via the public markets.

Here are my ten fintech stocks to own for the next ten years.

SEE ALSO FROM KIPLINGER: 50 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

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Do You See a Market Cliff Approaching? Make the Right Turns Now

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 08:32:57 -0400

If you've been nervous about the stock market lately, you're not alone. However, don't let your nerves lead you to do something you'll regret. How you should react depends on several factors, your age being a big one.

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How Much Can You Contribute to a 457 Plan in 2018?

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 08:30:59 -0400

State and local government workers can contribute $18,500 to 457 plans, up $500 from 2017. Some workers can make additional catch-up contributions.

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Health Insurance Options When Leaving a Job

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 17:14:22 -0400

If leaving a job means losing your health insurance, you can get coverage through a government health care exchange or another insurer, or you can stick with your employer's plan for up to 18 months.

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9 Times Life Can Throw Retirement Off Course

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 16:38:35 -0400

Learn how to navigate around the roadblocks that could rob your nest egg.

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5 Bank Stocks to Buy for a Rising-Rate Environment

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 14:18:43 -0400

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest rates three times this year. In fact, the CME Group's FedWatch tool even has been projecting a 25%-30% possibility of a fourth hike by the end of 2018. On the face of it, this could spell trouble for many dividend stocks that will have to compete with increasingly generous bond yields for attention. But bank stocks are one area of the market where rate increases would be welcomed with open arms.

Sure, in a small way, this is bad news for financial institutions that will have to pay customers more for their deposits. However, banks tend to pass only about a third of rate hikes onto customers in the form of higher interest on deposits. The real factor to consider is on the lending side of the equation. As interest rates improve, banks can charge more for loans. The difference between what banks pay out in interest and the interest they collect from loans is known as net interest margin (NIM).

Banks that can pass little of the rate hike on to their customers while earning much more from their lending operations should improve their NIM, and thus are strong targets in a rising-rate environment. Here are some bank stocks of varying sizes that should navigate this situation well.

SEE ALSO: 20 of the Best Stocks You Probably Haven't Heard Of

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How Much Can You Contribute to a 403(b) in 2018?

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:00:29 -0400

Teachers and nonprofit workers can contribute $18,500 to a 403(b) for 2018, but catch-up contributions and employer contributions can further boost retirement savings.

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How to Take Advantage of the New Tax Bracket Sweet Spots

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 10:20:35 -0400

While most everyone is getting a tax break starting in 2018, some taxpayers have bigger opportunities than others to make the most of it. Particularly those in the 25% tax bracket. How? Roth IRA conversions.

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8 Signs Your Estate Plan May Be Worthless

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 15:40:42 -0400

If it's been a few years since you completed your estate plan, chances are your documents could need some serious updating. Here are some key areas of your estate where potentially perilous gaps can crop up.

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36 Best College Values Competing in 2018's March Madness

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:12:09 -0400

Throughout the "March madness" of the annual NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, exciting college athletic programs will attract the attention of prospective students. Schools that perform well in the tournament -- especially so-called 'Cinderella schools' who do so unexpectedly -- often see a surge in the number of applications they receive the following year.

And, sure, cheering on a top-quality sports team during your time on campus can be an important part of the college experience. But you don't have to forgo quality academics and bottom-line value to attend a school with a basketball program that makes it to the Big Dance.

Only a little more than half of the 68 teams playing in this year's men's tournament also earned a spot in Kiplinger's 2018 rankings of the top 300 college values. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: See Kiplinger's 10 Best College Values, 2018

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6 Cheap Blue-Chip Stocks to Buy Now

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 15:27:47 -0400

Volatile markets can be a blessing in disguise for bargain hunters of blue-chip stocks. After all, name-brand companies don't go on sale every day. If it takes inflation fears, presumptive trade wars or a whiff of scandal to get good stocks at great prices, so be it.

But how do you find such blue-chip bargains? One way is to key on some fundamental valuation measures. Any time a big, quality name is trading at a price-earnings multiple that doesn't adequately reflect it earnings growth prospects, you have a potentially cheap stock on your hands. Put another way: If a stocks trades at 15 times estimated earnings, but analysts forecast those same earnings to grow at an average of, say, 25% a year for the next five years, something's up.

Now, it could be that whatever's up is not good. Sometimes a stock is cheap for a reason. Perhaps it represents equity ownership in a virtual Dumpster fire, for example. When it comes to quality blue-chip stocks, however, there's a chance the market is simply giving a patient, long-term investor a break on price.

Here are some big-name blue-chip stocks we found that aren't quite trading up to their growth prospects. They might be cheap for now, but they probably won't stay that way for long. 

SEE ALSO: 50 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

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Girlfriend Getaways Gain Popularity Among Retirees, Preretirees

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 09:15:19 -0400

Many women over 50 are discovering the rejuvenating properties of vacationing with female friends.

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How Much Can You Contribute to a 401(k) for 2018?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:52:21 -0400

The 401(k) contribution limit increased by $500 to $18,500 for 2018. Workers age 50 and older can save an extra $6,000 for retirement.

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How Much Can You Contribute to a Roth 401(k) for 2018?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:57:14 -0400

The Roth 401(k) contribution limit increased by $500 to $18,500 for 2018. Workers age 50 and older can save an extra $6,000 for retirement.

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What Type of Giver Are You? To Do the Most Good, Find Your Giving Personality

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 08:03:05 -0400

Not all service is meaningful. In fact, contributing to a cause without first identifying what gets you excited could turn your charity work into an unpleasant obligation. You need to find the right charity for you. Here's how.

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Are You Investing or Speculating?

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 07:50:56 -0400

Here's how to tell the difference ... and when it's actually OK to speculate in the stock market.

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8 Features That Will Sell Your Home Faster

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 09:23:54 -0400

Homeowners are sometimes hesitant to upgrade when it's time to sell. After all, you won't be living there much longer, and home remodeling efforts only increase home values by 57% of the average project's costs, according to Remodeling magazine's 2018 Cost vs. Value report.

But think again, sellers. The cost of inaction can be far greater than the small loss you'll incur on any home-improvement projects. "Making small upgrades over time serves a seller immensely," says Brian Lewis, a real estate broker with reality firm Compass. These don't have to be break-the-bank alterations, either. "Even merely keeping the color palette up-to-date will go a long way. Getting stuck in time with your home isn't a smart move and is rarely rewarded financially at sale time," he adds. In fact, it may cause your house to linger on the market longer. As a result, you'll likely have to pay ongoing mortgage, maintenance and staging costs.

To make the most of your remodeling budget, focus on features that most home buyers really want to see. Updated for 2018, our slide show reveals several coveted home features sought out by today's buyers.

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10 Biggest Losers of a Global Trade War

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 15:51:07 -0400

Only time will tell whether a much-ballyhooed global trade war will end up becoming a reality. While President Donald Trump exempted Canada and Mexico from significant tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, he otherwise didn't back down, at least setting the stage for a commerce-based battle.

Canada's trade relationship with the United States still isn't exactly on a firm footing following an accusation from Boeing (BA) that Canadian-based aircraft maker Bombardier dumped underpriced jets in the U.S. market. Meanwhile, the European Union has threatened to impose stiff tariffs on U.S.-made peanut butter and orange juice should the United States press the matter. Russia is less than pleased with trade sanctions levied against it in August of last year.

Perhaps the fiscal brouhaha is already underway ... just in a very veiled fashion.

Whatever the case, with a wave of populism sweeping over most of the world's top country-based economies (Brexit was ultimately about money, and even China's President Xi Jinping brings his own unique brand of populism to the communist state), trade wars on some level are at least a real possibility going forward.

That naturally could have a significant effect on several popular publicly traded companies. Here are 10 stocks that could be most vulnerable to a prolonged, trade-based conflict.

SEE ALSO: 10 Top Stocks From President Trump's First Year

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The Top 10 Retirement Tips You Can Give Your Millennial

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:55:55 -0400

If you're a parent with kids in their 20s or 30s -- or any kids at all -- you're probably no stranger to worrying about their future, including their financial future.

As you watch your now-adult children venture out into the real world, though, you may see them focusing almost entirely on their financial needs in the here-and-now -- paying the rent, determining just how much health or renters insurance they can afford, etc. While learning how to manage their financial needs now is important, though, they also need guidance about how to secure their future.

There are certain underlying principles you can teach your kids now that, if followed, will help them secure financial independence in another 30 to 40 years. As a financial adviser, I have witnessed firsthand how people who approach their finances as a decades-long discipline will find themselves in great shape as they approach retirement. Conversely, those who bounce through life hoping things will somehow turn out all right might find their twilight years challenging.

The following are my top 10 savings tips you should be teaching your adult kids now.

Written by Jamie Letcher, a Financial Adviser with CUNA Brokerage Services, located at Summit Credit Union in Madison, Wis. Summit Credit Union is a $2.7 billion CU serving 163,000 members.

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The Top 10 Pieces of Retirement Advice You Can Give Your Millennial

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 08:51:33 -0400

Putting the right foot forward now will make all the difference later. Here's how parents can point their adult children in the right direction.

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Senior Scams: A 'New Friend' May Signal a Big Problem

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 13:08:07 -0400

From lavish spending to social withdrawal, what to look for to ensure an aging loved one isn't a victim of elder financial abuse.

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3 Things Married Women Need to Know About Their Money

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 12:37:50 -0400

About nine in 10 women will have to go it alone, financially, at some point in their lives. When that happens, they need to be ready.

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One of the Toughest Questions for Wealthy People to Answer

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 07:49:18 -0400

If you're rich, you need to be prepared for the day when your child asks you this question. Your ability to answer could be key to helping your family's wealth last for generations.

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9 Global Stocks to Heat Up Your Portfolio

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 16:50:36 -0400

It's not that the recent volatility of the U.S. stock market hasn't created a ripple effect that worked against -- and then for -- companies based in other countries, it's that our wild swings haven't necessarily been mirrored overseas. In other words, you may have seen a different impact on your portfolio with a few more stocks that aren't domiciled in the United States.

Some overseas names shrugged off the early-February meltdown, while other global stocks took an even bigger hit, making them big-time bargains now.

To that end (and to shield yourself from future unknowns unique to the U.S. marketplace), here's a look at nine global stocks you might want to add to your portfolio sooner than later. Doing so adds another level of diversity to your aggregate holdings.

Bonus: A little more exposure to foreign stocks means you're less subject to any volatility stemming from the United States' highly charged political environment in place right now.

SEE ALSO FROM KIPLINGER: 50 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

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10 Warren Buffett Stocks With the Fastest-Growing Dividends

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 07:54:29 -0400

Many investors are familiar with some of the iconic businesses Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) has held stakes in for many years, or even decades. From Coca-Cola (KO) to Wells Fargo (WFC), a lot of these dividend stocks have now reached a more mature stage in their lifecycle, providing predictable income, but far from stellar payout growth.

However, Berkshire Hathaway isn't just invested in sleepy blue chips. It also holds a group of dividend-paying stocks that have potential to continue raising their payouts at a fast clip going forward.

These companies tend to have lower payout ratios (the percentage of earnings paid out as dividends), faster long-term earnings growth and management teams who are committed to returning higher amounts of capital to shareholders each year.

Let's take a closer look at 10 Warren Buffett stocks with the fastest-growing dividends, many of which should continue rising at a double-digit pace.

SEE ALSO: 50 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2018

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How Much Can You Contribute to a Roth IRA for 2017?

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:04:43 -0400

The Roth IRA contribution limit is $5,500. If you are 50 or older, you can save $6,500 including a $1,000 catch-up contribution. Income limits apply.

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How Much Can You Contribute to a Traditional IRA for 2017?

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:00:15 -0400

The IRA contribution limit is $5,500. If you are age 50 or over, you can contribute an extra $1,000 as a catch-up contribution, for a total of $6,500.

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Hefty Income Hikes Medicare Costs as Surcharges Kick In

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 13:30:18 -0400

Medicare premiums for Part B and Part D can increase significantly for beneficiaries with high earnings. Here's how to avoid income-based Medicare surcharges.

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Finding Romance Later in Life

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:21:19 -0400

Many seniors who are divorced, widowed or simply still single don't want to spend retirement alone. Here are tips for dating after 60.

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7 Ways to File Your Taxes for Free

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 16:15:39 -0500

There are more ways than ever to prepare and e-file your tax return at no charge. Most of the major tax-software providers offer free versions of their products for taxpayers who file a Form 1040EZ, and some extend their free offers to taxpayers who file a Form 1040A.

Even if your tax return is more complex--you have a lot of investments, for example, or income from a side gig--you may qualify for a free program. But before you start plugging your numbers into any program, read the fine print and disclaimers. Some providers offer a free federal tax return but charge a hefty price for a state tax return. Others make money by using the information you provide on your tax return to promote products and services.

Keep information security in mind throughout your tax prep and filing. Use a strong password for your software log-in (not "password" or your dog's name). Be wary of e-mails purporting to be from your software provider; so-called phishing e-mails are used by scammers to obtain your personal information. Don't click on links included in e-mails. If you need to communicate with the software provider, do it through the provider's website.

Start filing--free!


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New Limit for Health Savings Account Contributions

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 16:07:59 -0500

Using a new measure of inflation, the IRS has reduced the amount that people with family medical coverage can contribute to a health savings account in 2018.

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6 5G-Ready Telecom Stocks to Boost Your Portfolio

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 15:55:40 -0500

Telecom stocks are favorites of income investors because of their sometimes generous yields. However, as leading telecommunications firms begin rolling out 5G technology, investors may find new reasons to own these stocks.

5G is the fifth generation of mobile wireless technology and a major step up from previous versions. 5G will greatly accelerate download speeds, improve response times and enable networks to connect to many more types of devices.

Wide-ranging applications for 5G in new markets such as video streaming, smart manufacturing and driverless cars will fuel revenue gains for companies providing 5G service and technology. Networking giant Ericsson (ERIC) predicts a 5G market surpassing $1.2 trillion within 10 years. Facebook (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg envisions "killer applications" for 5G in virtual reality games, and other techies think 5G will drive major advances in telemedicine and robotics.

5G-ready telecoms, then, will be able to keep pace with exponential growth in data demand, trim costs and tap into new sources of revenues. They also will benefit from significantly reduced operating costs. Ericsson estimates that 5G networks can deliver mobile data at a tenth of the cost of basic 4G service.

These six technology and telecom stocks are poised to benefit from 5G rollouts over the next two years. In the meantime, these companies are rewarding investors with good-to-great dividend yields.

SEE ALSO: The 18 Best Stocks to Buy for 2018

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State Death Taxes Continue to Die Out

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 12:17:54 -0500

Only 17 states, plus Washington, D.C., still have estate taxes or inheritance taxes (or both) on the books.

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Alaska Court Just KO'd Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 08:11:12 -0500

If you have assets you want to protect from lawsuits, you might want to try something other than a DAPT in the wake of a recent court ruling. A foreign asset protection trust will be safer, instead.

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The Ins and Outs of Buying Long-Term Care Insurance

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 07:28:30 -0500

Think about this coverage not just as insurance for long-term care, but for your retirement nest egg itself. With that in mind, here are some tips.

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My Investing Misstep

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 17:50:25 -0500

My Schwab account ballooned to $100,000. That's when the greed and day-trader mentality took over.

To Save More, Tap Into Your Emotions

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 17:05:15 -0500

Objecs that have special meaning to you could be the key to identifying your savings goals.

What Was Your Biggest Financial Mistake?

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:51:25 -0500

Kiplinger readers share how they managed to bounce back from a major financial mistake.

28 Ways to Stop Wasting Money

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 16:11:52 -0500

It's a pretty good bet that you have leaks in your budget--car insurance that costs too much, bank account fees, home-energy wasters or mutual funds with high expense ratios. Each of those leaks in isolation won't damage your finances, but all of the drips can quickly add up to big bucks--maybe even thousands of dollars a year--going down the drain. We identify typical leaks and show you how to fix them so you can keep more money in your pocket.

SEE ALSO: Time-Tested Tactics to Build Your Wealth

What You Need to Know About Bitcoin

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 10:52:54 -0500

Investing in cryptocurrencies is dicey. Instead, consider the underlying technology.

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5 “Oddball” Dividend Stocks With Big Yields

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:50:30 -0500

It's not the easiest market out there for income investors. With bond yields being depressed for so many years (and still extremely low by any historical standard) investors have scoured the globe for yield, which has pushed the yields on many traditional income investments - namely, bonds and dividend stocks - to levels far too low to be taken seriously.

Even after rising over the past several months, the yield on the 10-year Treasury is still only 2.9%, and the 30-year Treasury yields all of 3.2%. (Don't spend that all in one place!) The utility sector, which many investors have been using as a bond substitute, yields only 3.4%. Yields on real estate investment trusts (REITs) are almost competitive at 4.4%, but only when you consider the low-yield competition.

Bond yields have been rising since September, due in part to expectations of greater economic growth and the inflation that generally comes with it. This has put pressure on all income-focused stocks. This little yield spike might not be over just yet, either - especially if inflation creeps higher this year.

And this little yield spike might not be over just yet, particularly if inflation creeps higher this year. "Yields breached and stayed above 2.95% last week and recently passed the 3.19% barrier that was last reached just after the November 2016 election," says Lance Gaitan, bond trader and editor of Treasury Profits Accelerator. "If inflation finally rears its ugly head, long-term Treasury yields have a good chance of moving up toward and even above 3.95%."

Even if bond yields top out today and start to drift lower rather than higher, yields just aren't high enough in most traditional income sectors to be worthwhile. So today, we're going to cast the net a little wider. We're going to take a look at five quirky dividend stocks that are a little out of the mainstream. Our goal is to secure high yields while also allowing for fast enough dividend growth to stay in front of inflation.

SEE ALSO: 20 of the Best Stocks You Probably Haven't Heard Of

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Smart Moves for Your 2017 Tax Return

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:36:18 -0500

This is may be your last chance to claim some tax deductions. We help you make the most of them.

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7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy a House

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:32:54 -0500

By avoiding homeownership, you're actually committing to something -- spending more money on rent, not building equity.

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What I Bought When Stocks Tanked

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:29:54 -0500

Our "Practical Investing" columnist happily seized the moment to buy two stocks that had been on her wish list for a long time: Costco and Boeing.

The Silver Lining of Rising Interest Rates

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:28:34 -0500

Investors may be jittery about the Fed's plans to bump up rates this year, but you may be able to benefit.

Plumb Equity Fund Looks for Bargains in Large Growth Stocks

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:27:25 -0500

This small fund looks for big stocks with staying power.

What to Do When the Bull Market Stumbles

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:46:39 -0500

Corrections like the one in early February made plenty of investors nervous, but they can offer a good time to reset your investing strategy.

Primecap Odyssey Growth Is All Action, No Talk

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:24:11 -0500

The managers of this Kiplinger 25 fund prefer to stay out of the limelight.

Small-Business Success Story: Greenway Farms of Georgia

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:03:24 -0500

A former sheriff and assistant D.A. go back to their roots, raising livestock on 132 acres.

Where Home Prices Are Headed in 2018

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:02:47 -0500

A tap on the brakes from the new tax law may be just what the market needs.

Charitable Giving Under the New Tax Law

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:00:26 -0500

The new tax law may discourage donations. But you can still support your causes and reduce your tax bill with these strategies.

Lottery Winnings' Impact on Social Security

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:57:58 -0500

The sudden windfall won't reduce your benefits. Here's why.

Get Help With Medicare Coverage

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:57:52 -0500

Many of you wanted to know what kind of coverage I chose. That's still a work in progress.

The Power of Living Within Your Means

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:57:15 -0500

Budgeting is work, but it allows you to spend your money on what you value most.

What's It Going to Cost You to Live There?

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:56:43 -0500

Home prices are just one factor you should consider when choosing a city.

Beware Closing Cost Scams

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:56:01 -0500

Home buyers are being tricked into wiring their money to crooks.

Popular National Parks Get Pricier

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:55:19 -0500

The entrance fee to some popular national park locations will jump by 50%.

What's the Penalty for Canceling a Rewards Credit Card?

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:55:06 -0500

Why you might want to hold on to that account.

Insurance for Home Sharers

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:52:24 -0500

Home-sharing services and your homeowners policy may cover liability and damages by tenants, but the insurance may fall short.

Invest in the Private College 529 Plan

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:49:31 -0500

How you can use the money at colleges in the plan, and even at those who aren't.

Keep Health Care Out-of-Pocket Costs in Check

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:46:38 -0500

We asked patient advocates who focus on helping consumers with their medical bills to share some secrets.

How to Make a Complaint and Get Results

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:43:40 -0500

Keep your cool, create a paper trail and take it all the way to the top if you need to.

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How to Get In on a Class-Action Lawsuit Against Equifax

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:42:34 -0500

Here's some guidance on whether to be a part of the lawsuit or go solo.

Should You Invest in Commodities?

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:14:22 -0500

Investments in crops, metals, energy, currencies and other tangible things tend to go up when stocks and bonds go down.

10 Funds That Can Beat the Market for Another Decade

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 16:48:05 -0400

It's difficult to find funds that can consistently beat the market over time. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is barely scraping above breakeven in 2018, sure, but it averages 8% gains annually. The bar has been set even higher of late, with the index up 15% over the past year and 19.4% during calendar 2017.

If you want to do much better than that, you have a trying path ahead. Yes, many funds out there have beaten the index over shorter time frames. But it's difficult to find long-term outperformers, even more difficult to find ones that look primed to continue doing so in the years ahead, and almost impossible to do without taking on a little more risk.

"You have to weight your portfolio differently than that of the greater market (e.g., the hierarchy of the S&P 500, which overweights the largest companies)," says Tim Courtney, chief investment officer of Exencial Wealth Advisors. "The question then becomes how you should weight your portfolio to do that? The bottom line is, if you want to beat the market, you have to be willing to take on more risk by weighting more towards riskier companies."

There are other ways of taking on risk to beat the market, however, such as investing in certain closed-end funds. Some CEFs leverage debt, trade options or use other mechanisms to generate higher returns. While these methods sometimes can backfire, the most agile managers are able to squeeze the most upside out of these strategies while taming the downside.

The following 10 funds have not only beaten the S&P 500 over the past decade, but are built in such a way that they could continue to outperform over the next 10 years. Any investor that is interested in both strong returns as well as income are likely to find both in spades across this selection of funds.

SEE ALSO: The 25 Best Low-Fee Mutual Funds You Can Buy

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12 Things Home Buyers Will Hate About Your House

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 11:43:58 -0500

As a home seller, you don't want to let the small stuff sabotage your sale.

These 12 problems are among the biggest buyer turn-offs, according to industry studies and interviews with real estate agents and home-staging experts who deal with buyer preferences every day. Most of them are easy to fix without spending a ton of money. Take a look.

SEE ALSO: SLIDE SHOW: 7 Features Home Buyers Want Most

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Dividend 15 Stocks: A Mixed Bag

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 11:17:00 -0500

Our picks trailed the S&P 500 index as the market's love went to companies with the fastest earnings growth.

7 Growth Stocks with Great Promise

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 10:32:44 -0500

Shares of large companies have been leading the charge in the stock market over the past year. But small- and mid-cap stocks, which account for a wide swath of the market, have some appealing options as well.

Definitions vary, but small-cap stocks often are considered to be the shares of companies worth $1 billion to $2 billion in market value (share price multiplied by shares outstanding). Mid-caps traditionally range from $2 billion to $10 billion in value, though many mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in this arena hold stocks with market capitalizations of up to $25 billion.

Compared with many of their larger, multinational cousins, small and midsize firms tend to conduct much of their business in the U.S. That makes them prime beneficiaries of the expanding economy. But some firms are doing more business abroad, too, benefiting from strength in Asia, Europe and other foreign markets that are growing at a healthy clip. The new tax law could be a boon, too, letting profitable firms pay a 21% federal income tax rate, down from 35%. That will lift their earnings and leave more cash to plow into their businesses, raise dividends or buy back shares.

We've identified seven small- and mid-cap stocks you should consider. Some might look a bit pricey, but they all have strong growth prospects over the long run.

SEE ALSO: 50 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2018

Pension Possibilities: IRA Rollover? Buy an Annuity? Or Take the Payout?

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 09:45:40 -0500

Making your decision on the type of payout you receive in retirement requires considering these four factors.

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8 States with the Highest Income Tax Rates

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 08:23:30 -0400

If you're looking to lower your tax bill in retirement, you'll probably want to think hard before retiring to one of these eight states. California, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Vermont have the nation's highest top state income tax rates. Income taxes also run high in Washington, D.C. California has the highest income tax rate at 13.3%.

Keep in mind, though, that some of these states exclude some retirement income, which softens the blow. New York, for example, has a top income tax rate of 8.82% but excludes public pensions and up to $20,000 of other types of retirement income. Oregon, on the other hand, taxes most retirement income at its top tax rate of 9.9%.

SEE ALSO: 13 States That Tax Social Security

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New Baby on Way? The 8 Financial Steps You Should Take to Prepare

Thu, 08 Mar 2018 07:50:10 -0500

Congratulations! Now get busy. From health insurance to car seats, here's what expectant parents should do to get ready for their new arrival.

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Are You Paying Off Credit Card Debt the Wrong Way?

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 13:30:24 -0400

Employ this strategy to get your debt down and extra cash in your pocket.

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Using a Health Savings Account to Pay for Long-Term-Care Insurance

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 14:31:35 -0500

You can tap an HSA to pay for long-term-care insurance, but the amount you can withdraw tax-free depends on your age.

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Top Tax Software Programs for Your 2017 Tax Return

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 13:59:02 -0500

Late last year, Congress passed legislation that will cut tax rates, limit or eliminate some popular deductions, and double the standard deduction. As a result of the changes, the percentage of taxpayers who itemize deductions is expected to drop from about 33% this year to less than 10% next spring, when returns for 2018 are due.

But none of those changes will affect your 2017 tax return, for which the old rules still apply. If you've always itemized and your tax situation hasn't changed, you'll still want to itemize this year.

Fortunately, tax software can help you identify all the tax breaks you're eligible to claim in a fraction of the time it takes to fill out a paper return. And if your tax situation is uncomplicated, you may be able to file your return electronically at no charge.

For this year's tax-program review, we used a hypothetical taxpayer who is single, has no dependents, claims the standard deduction, and had $1,200 in self-employment income in addition to income from a job reported on a Form W-2.

Most tax-filing programs require those who have self-employment income to upgrade to a more expensive version, even if you don't itemize. It's important to review each program's terms before you start plugging in your numbers.

Keep in mind, too, that as the April 17, 2018, tax-filing deadline approaches, some software providers will increase their prices--either for their software or to file a return. That's a good reason to file as early as possible.


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7 Reasons Bitcoin Is Doomed

Fri, 09 Mar 2018 14:47:16 -0500

A crash in this and other cryptocurrencies is inevitable.

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The Scary Facts About Social Security's Future

Wed, 07 Mar 2018 08:02:35 -0500

Have you read the fine print on the Social Security benefit statement estimating what you'll get when the time comes? It lists a scary caveat that essentially means what you see may not be what you get. You need a Plan B.

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