Table of contents: VOL. 35, NO. 12 - December 1, 2006
COVER STORY
See forecasts for the stock market, real estate, energy and more. Plus: the moves you can make to benefit. (more)

Features
The best gifts at the best prices at five retailers you can't avoid (more)

A bit less pain at the pump, but high global demand will keep oil and gas prices up (more)
In 2007's economy, big growth companies have the best chance of posting solid earnings increases. It just so happens they're also the most undervalued stocks on the market. (more)
Too many homes are on the market, and prices are falling fast in a lot of cities. Here's how to navigate what's likely to be the worst year for real estate in nearly two decades. (more)
With interest rates changing course, cash payouts are heading down and a fixed mortgage is still a great deal (more)
With inflation under control, next year will be kind to the owners of financial assets like stocks and bonds, and hard on the owners of things. Like houses. (more)
A bad case of gridlock means there's little chance you'll see true tax reform next year, but you can reap some key retirement benefits from what Congress got done in 2006 (more)
Get all you have coming to you next year with this clip-and-save guide to the new laws, key deadlines and smartest moves (more)
Chris and Kelli Schenkel love their big family but wonder how in the world they'll pay for all those kids. (more)
Ever been so mad at someone that you swore you'd take the bum to small-claims court? Here's what would happen if you really did. (more)
cashingout
DON'T MISS THESE HOT TIPS FROM THIS MONTH'S ISSUE (more)
home
It took a year, but Erika and Greg Tansey got the house they wanted, doubled its value and gained some hard-won insight into the rules of renovation along the way (more)
Pulling cash from your house has become more risky and more expensive. Tread carefully today. (more)
Two realtors managed to sell their own home in just five days (more)
invest


OUR LIST OF RECOMMENDED MUTUAL FUNDS AND ETFs (more)
If you're starting to look for mutual funds you can live off, be careful: Some cash cows aren't all they're cracked up to be (more)
In the meantime, Miguel and Michele Suarez have tuition, another baby and 30 years to go. (more)
Despite a weakening economy, top-quality stocks are reporting robust profit gains (more)
BLUE-CHIP GROWTH STOCKS FOR THE LONG RUN (more)
Wall Street keeps share prices down so big gains seem easy to come by. Instead, look for a stock's value. (more)
plan
You have a generous spirit, a year-end deadline and a million charities competing for your money. What's a donor to do? (more)
In year two of the Part D drug plan for seniors, you'll find more choices and, possibly, bigger savings (more)
Families are spending thousands on private counselors, SAT prep and other extras to get their kid into a top college. Maybe it's time to just say no. (more)
More and more have reward programs. And you can't beat the interest rate. (more)
Five ways to present fiscal lessons without looking like the Grinch (more)
Hard to believe but true: The government offers employees a great plan, and you'd do well to emulate it (more)
These strategies will cut your taxes and prep you for the new year. But you have to act by Dec. 31. (more)
Too long in your job without a promotion? Try this. (more)
start
WORTH THE RISK? WE DO THE MATH. (more)
The Teacher Turned 403(b) CrusaderDan OtterAlbuquerque (more)
IS YOUR RÉSUMÉ ONLINE? WATCH OUT. (more)
Settling his father's estate, a son questions family members' claims. (more)
How I gave up a six-figure salary for a chance to help those who have nothing BY ED SPEEDLING, 64, PHILADELPHIA (more)
Why good boys and girls buy their presents with cash (more)
Good news for the average investor: You can do better than the über-rich (more)

Net lending pioneer Chris Larsen will let you be the banker at his "eBay for money" (more)
Even if your child is in perfect health, picking a guardian can be tough. We asked some parents how they did it. (more)
Chances are you know a child who requires extra care. There's a right and a wrong way to give your support. (more)
the numbers
As Market Rallies, Stock Funds Shine (more)
Energy Rebounds; Exxon, Intel Stand Out (more)
what do you know?
You're not getting older, you're getting better tax breaks. Take this quiz to see what else happens as you and your family go through the years. (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|