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Keeping up with the Wangs

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Fear and greed

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Walk the talk

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Watching Your Money

  • How to profit from the Obama economyHow to profit from the Obama economy

    Restoring the country's financial health will be one of the incoming president's priorities. These 5 sectors are likely to get the biggest boost.

  • Cost of the Bush era: $11.5 trillionCost of the Bush era: $11.5 trillion

    The outgoing administration has presided over 8 years of disasters and crises with some of the biggest price tags the nation has ever seen.

  • 5 things to do in the downturn5 things to do in the downturn

    If you find yourself out of a job or worrying that you're about to be, you have better things to do with your time than fret.

Hot Commodities

Brand Spanking

Your Biggest Investment

Twilight USA

  • Is America in a permanent decline?Is America in a permanent decline?

    The dollar is plunging. So maybe it's time to ask whether the era of US dominance is over for good.

  • Does Wall Street still matter?Does Wall Street still matter?

    With major banks and companies shifting jobs and operations across the pond, London is challenging New York as the global financial center.

  • The incredible plunging dollarThe incredible plunging dollar

    The US currency is now foundering -- meaning pricey European hotel rooms, $50 gas fill-ups and a bad case of the greenback blues.

  • End of the road for US automakers?End of the road for US automakers?

    When times were good, Detroit's Big Three minted cash with big gas guzzlers and protested fuel-efficiency mandates. Now gas prices are soaring.

  • America the cheap (for some)America the cheap (for some)

    With the euro strong and the dollar weak, pricey goods look cheap to foreign tourists. No wonder the US has become the world's bargain basement.

  • Art world battle: London vs. New YorkArt world battle: London vs. New York

    When London art fairs outdraw US ones and London auctions set international sales records, can New York still be called the undisputed No. 1?

  • 7 tips: Surviving a financial panic7 tips: Surviving a financial panic

    It's a bad time for big splurges -- and you probably shouldn't ask for a raise right now -- but it's a good time to find bargains.

  • 8 endangered US industries8 endangered US industries

    Looking for American-made socks, or a cigarette? Good luck. Like many traditional domestic industries, these are leaving home.

  • Comeback time for the US?Comeback time for the US?

    The global recession is likely to reshape our economy in several ways, positioning it for a future brighter than we might have expected.

  • Burger King's new menu: Ribs and grilled fishBurger King's new menu: Ribs and grilled fish

    As midrange restaurants take a beating, fast-food eateries are offering new items and trying to woo downsizing customers.

Mind Over Money

Money 911

Money and Happiness

  • 5 great ways to give happiness5 great ways to give happiness

    A gift card isn't going to show your best friend you love her. These smart tips help you beat mall stress -- and pick presents people really want.

  • Slash your grocery billSlash your grocery bill

    MSN Money columnist MP Dunleavey lays out an ambitious goal: To use smarter shopping and meal planning to cut her family's food spending in half.

  • Reality check: Is the simple life cheaper?Reality check: Is the simple life cheaper?

    We moved to the country when we had a baby, hoping to cut costs and improve our quality of life. The payoff was real -- and so were the surprises.

  • How to pay off $4 million of debtHow to pay off $4 million of debt

    Conquering debt can seem nearly impossible. But a determined group of women, using 2 powerful tools, is finding a way to defeat it.

  • 7 smart ways to buy happiness7 smart ways to buy happiness

    Money may be tight, but that doesn't mean you have to stop spending altogether. Rather, use these tips to get the most joy for your cash.

  • 5 money moves that make you miserable5 money moves that make you miserable

    Do you actually need more jeans? Do you blow your cash on vices? Does buying on sale really save money? It's time to change your bad habits.

Reinventing Retirement

  • 'Retirement': The new dirty word'Retirement': The new dirty word

    Today's 50- and 60-year-olds are rebelling against their parents’ version of retirement, transforming it into new careers and daredevil adventures.

  • Get your dream job . . . at 55Get your dream job . . . at 55

    For the new crop of 50- and 60-somethings, retirement doesn't mean they’re ready to stop working. It simply means changing gears.

  • 7 common retirement mistakes to avoid7 common retirement mistakes to avoid

    Baby boomers will have different retirements than their parents did. But the advantages of travel and second careers have pitfalls, too.

  • 4 retirees who are living big dreams4 retirees who are living big dreams

    Instead of relaxing, new retirees are taking time to pursue dreams that range from hang gliding to Ironman races to . . . divinity school.

  • Quit your job; save the worldQuit your job; save the world

    For a generation of 50- and 60-somethings, getting out of the rat race has meant a chance to make a difference.

  • The new hot retirement spotsThe new hot retirement spots

    For this generation of active retirees, Tennessee is among the many new Floridas. And some leave a permanent address behind altogether.

  • 6 smart rules for retiring sooner6 smart rules for retiring sooner

    The new retirement model has demands of its own. Here's how to make sure you can cut back sooner -- without being destitute by age 87.

Strott on The Street

Launch Your Life

Big Risk . . . Big Money?

  • The smart way to get rich The smart way to get rich

    To get big rewards, you'll need to take some risks. But know your needs and time frame first.

  • Getting rich can take a lifetimeGetting rich can take a lifetime

    Patience isn't the sexy route -- but a slow and steady strategy is the most certain way to end up with a pot of gold.

  • Be your own hedge fundBe your own hedge fund

    Lessons from the pros: Diversify, watch your assets and treat your whole life like an investment portfolio.

  • 7 ways to get rich faster7 ways to get rich faster

    If you want to make big money, you may need to take big risks, but there are ways to make sure your payoff is worth the danger.

  • The biggest risk to your retirementThe biggest risk to your retirement

    If you're not keeping an eye on inflation, you're probably losing money right now. Here's how to be smart about protecting your nest egg.

  • Can you afford Wall Street's riskiest bet? Can you afford Wall Street's riskiest bet?

    Hedge funds are hot now, and exclusive -- you need a net worth of $1 million just to be allowed in. The risk can be high, but so can the payoff.

  • Investing: When to bet the farmInvesting: When to bet the farm

    Big payoffs often require big risks. Bet wrong, and you could lose everything. How do you assess whether a dicey investment is worth it?

Raising a Millionaire

  • Can you teach your kids to be rich?Can you teach your kids to be rich?

    Some characteristics of the wealthy are born, not bred. But there's plenty you can do to make your children smarter about money.

  • What God says about your moneyWhat God says about your money

    Once you've figured out what Christianity, Judaism or Islam preach about making and spending money, teach your kids early and often.

  • Allowance breakdown: How kids are spendingAllowance breakdown: How kids are spending

    America's youth will command more than $21 billion in pocket money by 2010, according to one study. Here's how they're dropping their cash.

  • 3 kid CEOs making big bucks3 kid CEOs making big bucks

    Forget lemonade stands: Today's young entrepreneurs have real businesses -- and bring in real money.

  • Can prep school make your kid rich?Can prep school make your kid rich?

    Prestigious private schools mix scholarship kids with children of the well-to-do. The question is: do they learn to succeed or develop greed and envy?

  • What the rich teach their kidsWhat the rich teach their kids

    They actually hope their kids learn that some things are more valuable than money. Here's what wealthy parents hope their kids end up with.

  • Rich kid, poor kid: What's $1 worth?Rich kid, poor kid: What's $1 worth?

    Teens of all economic brackets share a love of money, but that's where their financial attitudes begin to diverge.

  • The high price of raising an OlympianThe high price of raising an Olympian

    The expenses start early -- maybe when a child is in kindergarten -- and can total hundreds of thousands of dollars for parents of elite athletes.

  • Should your kids know your salary?Should your kids know your salary?

    Talking to your kids about your money can be tricky. The key, experts say, is to avoid drama and focus on the practical.

  • Boys, girls and the money divideBoys, girls and the money divide

    Young women are still falling behind when it comes to financial skills and savvy. Do they really still think that money is a guy thing?

  • Putting Santa on a budgetPutting Santa on a budget

    As times get tough, many families are planning to spend less on holiday gifts. Here are tips to help kids understand a less materialistic season.

  • The making of Ivanka TrumpThe making of Ivanka Trump

    Don't expect scandal headlines from The Donald's offspring: He and his ex-wife raised their ultrarich kids to be disciplined and hard-working.

  • 4 young execs making it big4 young execs making it big

    These entrepreneurs, ages 13 to 22, are cashing in with small businesses. Some are even helping keep the family employed.

Art Goes Boom!

Fear and Greed

Walk the Talk

  • Investing tips: Save the planet, make a buckInvesting tips: Save the planet, make a buck

    Here's how to think smarter about socially responsible ways to increase your money.

  • The cost of eating greenThe cost of eating green

    Local is the new organic -- and a great way to cut your carbon footprint. But unless you get creative, you'll end up paying more.

  • 10 easy ways to 'green' your house10 easy ways to 'green' your house

    Among our tips: Power down, put up a clothesline and go a little retro.

  • Wal-Mart: Jolly 'green' giant?Wal-Mart: Jolly 'green' giant?

    In an effort to go from retail villain to eco-hero, the chain is saving with its new sustainability program. Now it wants shoppers to change, too.

  • Pay zero in heating billsPay zero in heating bills

    Futuristic 'green' buildings fight global warming, offer perks to residents and workers, and can cut power costs to almost nothing.

  • Ethanol reality checkEthanol reality check

    Does it make sense to fill your car's gas tank with corn? Not necessarily. It may not make sense to invest in it, either.

  • 13 stocks to fight global warming13 stocks to fight global warming

    Among these companies' accomplishments: Solar star power, bright lighting ideas and a hot new coffee cup.

  • Would God buy that stock?Would God buy that stock?

    There are subsets of socially responsible funds based on religious principles. Investors are guided by their beliefs, but do they translate into profit?

  • How to give away $500,000How to give away $500,000

    Through the growing trend of giving circles, the collective power of small donations can make a big difference.

Middle Class Crunch

  • The squeeze on the middle classThe squeeze on the middle class

    For a generation of workers finding it ever harder to afford homes of their own, the American dream seems to need readjustment.

  • How to fix: The US tax systemHow to fix: The US tax system

    When even the ultrarich are saying that they should be paying more in taxes, you know the system is out of whack.

  • Middle-class reality check: The 'essential' indulgencesThe 'essential' indulgences

    It's not food and rent that are busting our budgets, say experts. It's those little luxuries that we now consider basic needs.

  • How to fix: America's energy woesHow to fix: America's energy woes

    Oil addiction is squeezing the middle class, with the costs now including climate shifts. Can a race toward green technology solve both problems?

  • The child-care crisisThe child-care crisis

    When parents work, someone needs to mind the kids. With costs reaching $14,650 a year, day care can eat most of one parent's wages.

  • How to fix: Health careHow to fix: Health care

    The middle class is getting hammered by health costs. It's time to start paying doctors for the one thing that really matters: Patient health.

  • America's health insurance crisisAmerica's health insurance crisis

    The middle class is burdened by a system that covers too little, costs too much and leaves people afraid of falling through the cracks.

  • How to fix: Credit woesHow to fix: Credit woes

    America's middle class is facing a debt crisis. To solve it, the US needs to rein in credit card companies and home lenders.

  • America's killer commuteAmerica's killer commute

    To afford a middle-class lifestyle, many workers are trading in time at home for time on the interstate.

  • How to fix: EducationHow to fix: Education

    Our schools are failing the next generation of Americans. How can they be fixed? Universal pre-kindergarten is a start.

  • Retirement? FuhgeddabouditRetirement? Fuhgeddaboudit

    What with car, mortgage, child-care and college costs, middle-class workers are finding they may never have enough money to quit the daily grind.

  • How to fix: RetirementHow to fix: Retirement

    Many middle-class Americans will have to depend on their own retirement savings. But here's the problem: We aren't saving enough.

  • Why you might never own a homeWhy you might never own a home

    Houses used to be an essential part of the American dream. But for many families, a home of one's own now seems out of reach.

  • How to fix: US jobsHow to fix: US jobs

    Want more middle-class opportunities for American workers? For starters, we're going to need more immigrants.

Keeping up with the Wangs

  • Land of 1.3 billion shoppersLand of 1.3 billion shoppers

    China's consumer class is booming. But now that shoppers are learning how to spend their yuan, companies need to figure out how to sell to them.

  • Shopping 101: China's consumers catch onShopping 101: China's consumers catch on

    For consumers who grew up with almost no choice, savvy shopping isn't a leisure activity -- it's a survival skill.

  • China's new love: The carChina's new love: The car

    Today’s Chinese consumers are hustling to get wheels of their own. That's good news for dealers but bad news for commuters.

  • What's on the shelves in China's Wal-Marts?What's on the shelves in China's Wal-Marts?

    Forget about the frozen food and bulk toilet paper. Wal-Mart shoppers here are more likely to find live crabs, 'black chicken' . . . and a blow-dry.

  • '4 Manhattans a year''4 Manhattans a year'

    Fueled by an economic boom and accelerating migration from rural areas, China's cities are exploding upward and outward.

  • What do Chinese teens want?What do Chinese teens want?

    Millions of only children -- ambitious, modern and spoiled rotten -- are coming of age. Marketers are still figuring out what makes them tick.

  • Luxe life in ChinaLuxe life in China

    For the surging millionaire class, status has an ever-increasing price tag.

  • Taking on CokeTaking on Coke

    A Chinese beverage maker fights back against the multinational giant.

  • Notebook: Not my father's ChinaNotebook: Not my father's China

    My father left a country that no longer exists. Now I have returned to see what has taken its place.

Buy Me Love

Extreme Luxury

  • The $800 haircutThe $800 haircut

    Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow are among the boldface names paying Orlando Pita $800 to cut their hair. Shear lunacy, or worth the buzz?

  • The $100,000 showerThe $100,000 shower

    It's more than a pricey stream of water. Think of it as your own personal massage therapist and a custom work of art.

  • The $36,000-a-year personal conciergeThe $36,000-a-year personal concierge

    Pampering may not help you grasp the meaning of life, but finding the time for a more relaxed way of life is the ultimate luxury.

  • The $5,000 home-cooked dinnerThe $5,000 home-cooked dinner

    Can an instant gourmet kitchen make you an instant master chef?

  • The $1,150 dateThe $1,150 date

    Fancy massages for two, plus dinner in bed? Fabulous -- but none of it compares with hearing my honey say thank you.

  • $5,250 for eternal bliss?$5,250 for eternal bliss?

    Royalty and celebrities rub elbows at a retreat in the Himalayas, where nirvana-seeking guests can drop a fortune on learning yoga and meditation.

  • Designing the $100,000 babyDesigning the $100,000 baby

    New reproductive technologies are giving would-be parents more options -- if they can cough up enough money.

  • What's in a $1,000 omelet? What's in a $1,000 omelet?

    Some New York restaurants try to create menu items with 4-digit price tags. But can a fancy omelet really be worth so much?

  • Luxury decor: A $2,400 coconut?Luxury decor: A $2,400 coconut?

    A sexy seed from an African island resembles a woman's tush and commands a 4-digit price. What's that all about?

College Crunch

  • Planning for HarvardPlanning for Harvard

    The best way to guarantee that you can afford your child's expensive education is to start planning early.

  • Raising a mini-mogulRaising a mini-mogul

    At age 10, Tarik has been helping his single mom save for his college since he was barely out of kindergarten.

  • The financial-aid road mapThe financial-aid road map

    For many families, paying for a college education is out of the question. Here are tips and tricks for navigating the tuition assistance system.

  • Honey, I shrunk the savingsHoney, I shrunk the savings

    Need help paying your kids' tuition? It's time for them to start taking some financial responsibility for their education.

  • Saving for college? Do your homeworkSaving for college? Do your homework

    If you've started a college fund, you get an A for effort. But it's equally important that your higher-education spending decisions make the grade.

  • The 529 lowdownThe 529 lowdown

    College-savings plans help you save a for your kid's education, but they're not for everyone. Here are five tips for picking the right one.

  • 5 ways to beat big tuition5 ways to beat big tuition

    College costs seem overwhelming? Here are smart but unconventional ways to finance your education.