Table of contents: VOL. 34, NO. 12 - December 1, 2005
COVER STORY
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Features
These seven credit cards beat all contenders in their class. One of them is just right for you. (more)
Another year of the AMT. (Sigh.) Then a pitched battle over how to get rid of it. (more)

Susette Kelo fought all the way to the Supreme Court to save her home. She lost, and now it's just her against the city that wants to take her land. (more)
It could be at the garage sale down the street. Or in a dusty box in the basement. But precious collectibles are out there, waiting for a sharp eye to discover them. Think it's all luck? Not entirely. (more)
YOU OR SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU WILL BE RUSHED TO AN EMERGENCY ROOM SOMEDAY. HERE'S HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU DON'T LEAVE POORER--OR SICKER--THAN WHEN YOU ARRIVED. (more)
home
A bigger kitchen and a new family room get to the hearth of the matter (more)
A homeowners association can be a force for good--or a power trip gone bad. Here's how to tell if it helps, not hurts, a property's value. (more)
Made some money in real estate? Use a 1031 exchange to roll over your gains. Just make sure you do it right. (more)

how i did it
At age 35, I decided to retire by the time I reached 50. I got there two years early. (more)
invest
Blue-chip growth stocks did nothing in 2005, but they remain your best long-term opportunity (more)
BLUE-CHIP GROWTH STOCKS FOR THE LONG RUN (more)
The fund industry is hyperventilating about the benefits of dividends. Don't lose your head. (more)
OUR LIST OF RECOMMENDED MUTUAL FUNDS (more)
This sports nut is taking a big risk with his career. He shouldn't do the same with his investments. (more)
THIS MONTH: Auto parts on sale...Shake-up at Fidelity...Can this legend catch up?...Clipper changes course (more)


plan
Potential employers can now secretly check you out online. Be sure you like what they see. (more)
If you want your child to grow up to be a hero, first be a hero yourself. (more)
Volunteer? It's so much easier to send money. But getting the kids involved can change everything. (more)
These six money savers expire Dec. 31. Use 'em or lose 'em. (more)
Dishonesty in the market-place costs us all the time. Here's how to stop buying the line. (more)
Yields are looking up, but the Federal Reserve's steady stream of rate hikes has hurt prices and kept a cap on returns (more)
A new theory suggests that you can comfortably save less now and spend more later. My take: Don't bet on it. (more)
start

THIS MONTH: 2006 Pontiac Solstice (more)
I Got a Present That's So Not Me. Is It Okay to Re-Gift It? (more)
A Late-Payment Penalty Gets Absurd (more)
Child identity theft (you read that right) shows how cracked the system is (more)

A veteran real estate executive shares tips for finding an agent who will sell your house your way. (more)
Former IRS boss Charles Rossotti thinks that if it were harder to cheat, you'd be a lot better off (more)
The gap year--an exploratory hiatus between high school and college--is getting popular. It's a good thing. (more)
We asked high school kids and parents at a White Plains, N.Y. college fair. (more)
the numbers
Most Funds Finish Month in the Red (more)
Third-Quarter Growth in GDP Offers Hope (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|