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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-applaud-your-efforts-to-get-advice-but-imho-some-18465997.aspx

Subject:  Re: Asset Allocation for Retirement Date:  1/21/2003  9:13 PM
Author:  8128 Number:  35598 of 76080

I applaud your efforts to get advice but IMHO some of your questions can only be answered after the fact. No one knows what will do well over the next 10 to 20 years. Historically diversification has proven to limit both the downs and ups. If one could know in advance the one or two best stocks you would invest only in them and forget diversification. Whether or not you consider your two accounts as if they were one account may depend more on individual personalities. If you make them different then you can be sure that one will do better than the other. If yours does better than your wifes or vice versa will that cause emotional problems for the marriage, particularly if you end up steering your wife into second place in this race. Legally this money is, and must be, in separate IRA accounts but in reality you two can choose to consider it as one combined account if you so choose; it's your choice.

As to what to invest in, no one anywhere knows that answer. You pays your money and you takes your chances. History is on your side over the long run but there have been and will continue to be those who do better than average and those who do worse than the average. Buying index funds gets you whatever the index gets less the management fee. Buying individual stocks gets you whatever the stock you choose gets. This is not a trivial or cute answer, it is reality. Nobody is hiding the truth from you. We all do what we hope will work out well for us and none of us knows the result until after the fact. Consider what you do carefully and educate yourselves as best you can re investing. It will help but not guarantee you anything.

Good luck to you and all the rest of us.

Jim Sullivan aka 8128
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