Table of contents: VOL. 34, NO. 5 - May 1, 2005
COVER STORY
Who says the American dream is dead? The path to wealth is as open as it's ever been, thanks to easy access to the capital every would-be millionaire needs. (more)

Features
Seven rules for getting what you want on your own terms (more)
Smarter than mutual funds, safer than stocks. Millions of Americans are in love with a low-cost, low-tax mutual fund alternative known as an ETF. Is this the fund of your future? (more)
This young Texas couple was determined to stage the wedding of their dreams. Six months later, they were $30,000 in debt and wondering if they'd gone too far. (more)
Four brilliant money managers, two top gamblers, a table in Las Vegas and a proposition: The laws of smart poker and savvy investing are one and the same. Pull up a chair and let's deal you in. (more)
Home
An outdoor room adds value (more)
Squeezed by high prices, young buyers are turning to relatives for help. Do it right and you'll limit any tax hits--and any family friction. (more)
The best offer great contacts and advice on getting deals done. The worst just want to sell you CDs. (more)


How I Did It
He saved, he sacrificed, he sent all three daughters to expensive private schools and college. Way to go, Dad (more)
Invest

Their goal: rural bliss. Their issue: unpredictable income. (more)
As rates rise, these strategies will keep you on track (more)
Forecasters worry that the market is too expensive. But you can still find stocks that are great values. (more)
Semiconductor stocks aren't for the faint of heart. Companies that make the brains for personal computers, cell phones, MP3 players and other electronic devices regularly cycle through booms and busts. But if you can stomach the ride, these stocks can pay off big when you buy at reasonable prices--like today's, for instance. (more)
Oil: Worst-Case Scenarios (more)

Plan

Companies are slashing retiree medical benefits. Here's what you can do about it. (more)
Pet coverage and other niche policies are usually bad deals, but there are exceptions (more)
... And other puzzlers. Maverick economist Steven Levitt explains why a lot of the things you thought you knew about money are wrong. (more)
Sue McElroy makes five times as much as her husband Tim. That's hard, even in our enlightened age. (more)
Credit cards get more expensive, while savings rates barely move (more)
Why history may not repeat--and how to cope (more)
People Who've already retired know what they would have done differently. Take a cue from these experts. (more)
Spend
Our expert zooms in on high-quality cameras in the right price range. (more)
Thanks to advances in cycling technology, what was cutting-edge in 2000 is now standard. The result: amazing bikes at prices that won't leave you flat. (more)
Once marred by violence, four beautiful countries want you back (more)
Start
If you think they're every savvy and frugal shopper's best friend, time to think again (more)
It takes more than a living will. Here's what you have to do. (more)

Bankruptcy has never been easy. Congress is set on making it tougher. (more)
Surprise! Air fares are now often lower than airport parking fees. (more)
STUDY: 83% OF LOANS HIDE JACKED-UP COSTS (more)
We all want options. But having too many of them can lead to bad decisions. Don't let it happen to you. (more)
RECENT ISSUES
FEATURES
To chart a course to your financial goals, it's essential to know your starting point. Take this quiz to see where you are, then follow some simple steps and strategies for getting to the next landmark. |more|