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MONEY

FAMILY FINANCE

Money Online
http://www.money.com
In addition to a broad range of useful and updated information from the printed magazine, this site offers three "interactive calculators" that could change your life. The retirement calculator can be scary at any age. The best-cities tool can tell if you live where you want to be. The college search can be humbling and useful as that decision nears.

FinanCenter
http://www.financenter.com
"Smart personal finance made easy" is the motto here, and you haven't seen online calculators until you've made a visit here. There are dozens -- on retirement, stocks, cars, homes, budgeting, bonds, more. Credit Shopping http://www.ramresearch.com You can shop for money rates from banks and credit cards here or at Bank Rate Monitor. The latter site offers many other consumer news and features.

Meta-Site: Consumer World
http://www.consumerworld.org/pages/money.htm
It's all here: links to pages that rate charities, figure your estate tax, explain savings bonds and list credit card rates, all from a consumer, rather than a sales, perspective. Don't overlook Consumer World's main page for other saver-savvy selections. -- Victoria Shannon

INVESTING

The Motley Fool
http://www.fool.com
This is still my first choice for the amateur investor interested in stocks. It teaches without being condescending; it advises without being a shill; it relies on both common sense and experience. This site is best for a leisurely stroll. Take your time, and be thoughtful. But prepare to be entertained as well.

Yahoo Quotes
http://quote.yahoo.com
This site is the best I've found for minute-by-minute updates of your portfolio and news affecting your investments. It's fast and focused: Plug in your holdings once, and update them forevermore with just a click. The easiest for sneaking a peek at the Dow at work.

Mutual Funds Interactive
http://www.brill.com
This provides a full-featured approach to our friends the funds -- but beware of investment columns doubling as advertising. MFI has moderated message boards targeted to particular audiences -- retirees, for example -- and good links outside of its site to hot spots like, say, Bloomberg's mutual fund news.

Meta-Site: Money's picks
http://www.money.com/websites
The magazine's site has nine sets of greatest hits, from "browsing points" to "calculators" with reviews and descriptions.
-- Victoria Shannon

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