by CI Staff
Kiplinger is a personal finance and business forecasting website featuring several useful tools that can help individual investors with their investment decisions. Kiplinger’s website can be found at www.kiplinger.com. In order to navigate to its tools section, simply click on Tools at the top left of the home page.
You will notice a bevy of available tools, separated into broad categories such as investing, taxes, family finance and living. Within these broad categories, several smaller sections further separate the tools. While all of these tools will be useful to certain investors, there are several worth highlighting.
First, in the Stocks section, Kiplinger offers a simple, free stock screener. Data fields available are separated into 17 categories that include valuations, earnings estimates, dividends and balance sheet items. The stock screener offered also includes several Zacks proprietary items; in order to access these data fields, you must be a subscriber to Zacks premium membership. The Asset Allocation and Risk Tolerance questionnaire, found in the same section, can assist you in finding out how much of your funds should be invested in stocks. A series of questions will help you ascertain your risk tolerance.
Kiplinger’s mutual fund finder is similar to a screener. Based on the criteria that you set for fund type, performance, fees and management, the mutual fund finder will show you a list of funds that meet your requirements. The site also provides free annual prospectuses on several hundred companies and mutual funds, which can be delivered straight to your email account. Although annual prospectuses can be obtained from a company’s corporation website, it is convenient to have so many of them consolidated in one area.
The family finance category offers more tools than any other category. A household budget worksheet allows users to track their spending categories against monthly budgets. Furthermore, Kiplinger provides a section dedicated to various rates, including mortgage, home equity, auto, CDs and investments, credit cards and savings. A 529 college savings account comparison page is also available. The page offers information on tax breaks for 529 college savings plans and the best plans for each state.
Kiplinger Tools also offers a wealth of other financial calculators and tools, all of which are available free of charge. We have highlighted several of the more interesting and useful categories, but we encourage users to try the various tools that have not been mentioned.