Jeff Brown's personal finance columns have appeared in many newspapers. He has blogged for The New York Times and PBS' Nightly Business Report. He also writes regularly for Knowledge@Wharton, the business journal at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
529 College Savings Plans: Not a Bad Last-Minute Holiday Gift
Sending cash to the child's parents is obviously the easiest option for grandparents or other givers — if the parents can be counted on.
Why It's Good That Homeowners and Appraisers Are Thinking Alike
Homeowners and appraisers have narrowed their differences in home-value views, a sign of normalcy since the depths of the housing market bust in 2008.
Owning a Home Stretches Lead Over Renting, but There's a Problem
In nearly all markets it again makes sense to buy a home. But those big rents you're paying is going to make it harder.
Here's Your Minimum Needs If You Insist on Actively Managed Funds
Index funds are clear winners due to low fees and tax efficiency, but if you really want to dabble in managed funds, here's how to do it.
Half of Housing Will Be Fully Recovered in '15 (and Half Won't)
Try hard enough and you can almost always see the housing-market glass as half full — but only by remembering how bad things were.
After Giving Thanks, Here Are Financial Presents We Need for 2015
What would we like to be thankful for next year? Not to be ungrateful, but not everything is perfect.
How to Avoid Another Tax Headache From Big Distributions
Many investors are paying for not organizing their portfolios in the most tax-efficient way. Reinvest in different funds or tax-favored accounts and reduce the problem.
Why Retirees Now Have to Question the 4% Withdrawal Rule
To get to a living-large lifestyle in retirement, you're going to need more flexibility than blind adherence to a money withdrawal rule.
'HELOC Creep' Means You're Going to Waste Your Great Home Equity
Homeowners who take out a home equity line of credit for one purpose but use it for another risk higher rates for low value.
Why You May Not Need Long-Term Care Insurance After All
Yes, you might need nursing-home care. But the most common figures about those needs don't tell the whole story.
Build Refinancing Rainy-Day Fund, Protect Against the Unexpected
If you've just bought a home and have a brand-new mortgage, the last thing on your mind is refinancing. But the unexpected does happen.
Why Old-Fashioned Taxable Accounts Are O.K. for the Young
There's no shortage of experts urging young workers to put all they can into 401(k)s and IRAs, but those vehicles have drawbacks.
How Near-Retirees Can Do Their Investing ‘Coasting’ Stage Right
Do you know about the coasting stage, geared to near-retirees who expect to live longer than their parents did?
Turn Your Useless Wedding Gifts Into Down Payment on a House
A young couple getting hitched once needed lots of things, and friends and family responded with household items such as dishes and silverware. Times have changed.
5 Reasons It's Good News When Increases in Home Value Slow Down
Homeowners can make more money when prices rise fast, but over time, owners and prospective owners are best served by a calm, orderly market.
7 Ways the Young Can Make Short-Term Homeownership Work
Renting is still the best option for many, but for some, buying a home is more a matter of minimizing risk.
Does Private Equity Deserve a Spot in Your Middle-Class Portfolio?
Private equity serves mainly big institutional investors such as pension funds and college endowments, but now it's eyeing your 401(k).
Cut Losses, Take a Tax Loss by Selling Your Money-Losing Stocks
Booking losses to trim tax is a respected strategy, and it pays to do it carefully before the last week of the year — when conditions might change.
Stock Market Right Now: Bail Out, Stand Firm or Invest More?
For a start, a stock investor might ask two other questions: How long a downturn can I stand? And how much return would I give up to reduce my risk?
Forced to Tap IRA? You Might Be Able to Save Big From Roth Conversion
Unfortunately, Uncle Sam requires that you start IRA withdrawals after turning 70.5, whether you want to or not, and to pay taxes if you transfer the money instead.