features

Take Home the Gold: How to Invest in Olympic Collectibles

In theory, Olympic mementos seem like a good investment. After all, there will be only one 2012 London Olympics, and the souvenirs created for it will never be made again. But how much Olympic swag will actually increase in value over the years?

Who's Minding the Twitter? Big Companies' Most Painful Mis-Tweets

Businesses love how Twitter lets them connect in a personal way with customers. But because of tweeting's casual and irreverent style, some companies get lulled into a false sense of intimacy -- right up until a poorly thought out tweet gets them into serious hot water.

This German Woman Has Lived Without Money For 16 Years

As we edge closer to a cashless society, some consumers are quietly challenging the idea of money in the first place -- by giving it up completely. Meet Heidemarie Schwermer, who gave up a cushy career to do just that.

What's So Special About This Starbuck's Mug?

On the verge of bankruptcy last fall, the American Mug and Stein Company got a new lease on life, courtesy of Starbucks. In part, it's Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz trying to support U.S. employers. But he's getting a lift from the simple economics of labor.

The World's Richest Woman: How Gina Rinehart Earns her Billions

Most of the richest women in the world have one thing in common: It was their husbands or fathers who actually earned the wealth. But while Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart inherited $75 million from her dad, it was by her own efforts that she multiplied that sum -- 386 times.

Weird-Mart: Tales of the Bizarre from the Walmart Aisles

Is there something about Walmart that attracts weird events, or is it just that there are so many Walmarts for oddness to happen in? Either way, we wish that Rod Serling could don a blue vest and introduce this collection of bizarre incidents that have played out in the Land of Low Prices.

The 10 States That Pay Out the Biggest Lottery Jackpots

On Friday night, a Mega Millions jackpot of more than $500 million is in the offing. Somebody may win big. Now, the only guaranteed winners of lotteries are state treasuries. But we're betting you're more interested in your own odds of winning a lottery, and where the payouts are best.

The 'Secret' American Laws You Have to Pay to See

Hiring a lawyer may cost a bundle, but at least it's free to check out the legal code and determine exactly what the law is. Except when it's not: Welcome to the odd and expensive legal realm of codes and standards.

Super PACs Are Super-Fly! Music Video Explains It All

Are you a bit confused about super PACS, those new political operations that have somehow taken over the U.S. election process? Well, in the spirit of Schoolhouse Rocks, ProPublica brings you "Oh, Super PACs," a 1970s-style video that answer all your questions.

A Boat, A Scot, and the World's Most Expensive Whisky

In honor of its 125th birthday, Glenfiddich -- the world's top-selling single malt scotch is auctioning off the most expensive whisky in the world. Only eleven bottles exist of Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve, a 55-year-old scotch.

Leap Day Money: 6 Fun Financial Facts From Feb. 29

Leap Day is essentially an astronomical cheat used to keep the Gregorian calendar synced up with the Earth's orbit. Yet while it's only a quarter as common as the other days of the year, it has had its fair share of financially significant events.

Mitt Romney's Money Man: Who Is Frank VanderSloot?

We've profiled two mega-wealthy benefactors behind GOP candidates for president: Sheldon Adelson, who bankrolls Newt Gingrich's super PAC, and Foster Friess, whose millions support Rick Santorum. Now we turn our attention to Frank L. VanderSloot, the billionaire backing Mitt Romney.

Super PACs: New Rules, But an Old Political Game

Pundits have lately focused on the growth of super PACs -- and the power of the mega-rich men who fund them -- but the current business-sponsored presidential contest isn't unusual: There's a long and rich tradition of election-buying in American history.

Money and Power: Richest and Poorest U.S. Presidents

Being a U.S. president is a well-paying gig -- but it didn't pay off for all of them. Turns out, getting your face on our nation's currency doesn't always mean that much currency flowed your way. Here's our look at the White House's biggest fiscal winners ... and losers.

Investing in Love? For Better ROI, Try Niche Dating Sites

If the arrival of Valentine's Day is finding you tired of your footloose-and-fancy-free lifestyle, it might be time to make an investment in your love life. Niche dating sites, a rapidly growing segment of the online matchmaking industry, are a good way to go.

The Man Behind Santorum: Who Is Foster S. Friess?

To run for president in this election cycle, it seems, you must have the backing of a super PAC, often heavily supported by a single super-wealthy benefactor. We've all learned lately about Newt Gingrich's billionaire sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson. Now it's time to meet Rick Santorum's No. 1 fan, Foster S. Friess.

All the Heart, Half the Cost: Your Budget Valentine Ideas

In search of gifts that say more about the heart than the wallet, we asked our readers for inexpensive but meaningful ideas for Valentine's Day. They came through with a number of fine ways to demonstrate your love without busting your budget.

Wrecks to Riches: Hunting Billions in Sunken Treasure

In the Mediterranean waters near Giglio, treasure hunters are preparing to dive after the lost loot of the Costa Concordia. But the riches that went down with that cruise ship pale next to what one wreck hunter thinks he's found off the coast of Massachusetts: $3 billion in platinum.

Food of Love: Valentine's Day Dining by the Numbers

A romantic dinner is a Valentine's Day staple, and lovebirds are once again making reservations to dine with their special someones. (And guys, you're running out of time!) So which are the top choices of cuisine, and how much will the check be when it comes to the table? Read on...

Why the U.S. Should Get Rid of the $1 Bill

According to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, if America gets rid of its $1 bill and replaces it with a dollar coin, the U.S. will save $5.5 billion on printing costs over the next 30 years. That's a whole lot of dollars.

Doing Good to Do Well Gets a Legal Boost in California

You might not yet have heard of "B corporations" -- these companies with the dual missions of boosting social good and generating profits are a relatively new idea. But thanks to a recent California decision to make that social mission legally binding, the idea is poised to really take off.

Romney's Best Tax Break: Let's Talk 'Carried Interest'

Mitt Romney paid a lower tax rate on his $21.6 million income in 2010 than the average U.S. family. It's no secret how: He made his money from investments, not wages. But even people who favor low capital gains taxes might not approve if they understood more about a neat little income category he benefited from called "carried interest."

Son of a 'Kodak Man' Recalls the Good Times and Bad

Once, Kodak was one of the world's most recognized brands -- it's little yellow film boxes were everywhere. Now the the film is a relic, and the company that benignly ruled Rochester, N.Y., for a century is in Chapter 11. A Kodak kid reminisces: