Table of contents: VOL. 35, NO. 2 - February 1, 2006
COVER STORY
This one's too risky. This one's too staid. Ah, this one's just right. Check out how MONEY made over the portfolios of five families. You'll learn a lot about striking the right balance in your own investing plan. (more)

Features
In every career, stuff happens. But if you keep your cool, you can turn a workplace disaster into an image-building triumph. (more)
Everything you need to know to polish your image with lenders, score better rates and guard against identity theft. (more)
Check out how MONEY made over the portfolios of five families. (more)
These five take-home lessons of the new science of neuroeconomics can make you a better investor (more)
The can't-lose proposition. The "next Microsoft." The chance of a lifetime. Why can't we resist chasing the big score, even though we lose time after time? The problem, science tells us, is in our nature. The solution is in our heads. (more)
Latest results for 275 of the most important bond funds. (more)
MONEY's annual report on the year's most important funds. (more)
Latest returns for the most important stock funds. (more)
Betting on which funds will soar in '06 is a loser's game. So be a winner: Buy what will serve you in the long run. Start looking right here. (more)
He entered a poker tournament on a lark and walked away with millions. You can bet your life he won't be one of those winners who fritter it all away. (more)
home
A summer home's grand garage creates space for family reunions. Or, someday, rental income. Even a spin-off sale. (more)
Or is it more like pffft as the air leaks from an inflated property market? Either way, every homeowner in America must readjust to the new realities in real estate. (more)
how we did it
We transformed our home from a run-down, hundred-year-old dump into a renovated Victorian gem. And we did it on budget. (more)
invest
BLUE-CHIP GROWTH STOCKS FOR THE LONG RUN (more)
Wall Street's Chicken Littles have it all wrong -- and there's money to be made betting against them (more)
The Answer Guy says not. Plus: Why your investment hasn't doubled. (Yet.) (more)
plan
Make sure you're prepared for any disaster (more)
And other frequently asked questions under today's crazy estate-tax law (more)
You think a root canal is painful? Just wait until it's time to pay the bill. (more)
After time off to raise kids, returning to work can solve a host of problems. First step: Rebuild your network. (more)
Rates are up sharply over the past year and a half, which makes whipping out the plastic a lot more expensive. These strategies should help. (more)
New research reveals it's how you manage your time and money that counts, not just how much you've got (more)
spend
Satellite radio has come of age--and it's great. It has peerless music, sports and talk shows. Here's the lowdown on how to tune in. (more)
Everything you need to know to keep yourself comfortable (and out of the poorhouse) when suiting up this season (more)
start
Pick better flowers, ditch your cell phone, and fix IRS form mistakes. (more)
Spotlight on tear-down sales. (more)
Money Ethics: He's about to make an error, but he's got a big ego. (more)
See results of a recent survey on marrying for money. (more)
How to find a lost savings bond from childhood. (more)
Real estate agents are reporting less buying activity. (more)
A veteran airline agent reveals how smart travelers can always avoid the middle seat (more)
Kids' online profiles can hurt job prospects decades down the road (more)
Many couples find time apart is healthy -- and are setting up separate accounts to pay for it. (more)
Just the gals? We asked women (with their husbands) at Radio City Music Hall. (more)
the numbers
Stock market crawls to year-end finish line. (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|