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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/how-to-start-30414314.aspx

Subject:  How to start?? Date:  12/4/2012  11:04 PM
Author:  floridaInvestor1 Number:  26280 of 27548

Hello all,

I am new here and would like to ask for some advice from the most seasoned members. I am in my mid 20’s and have no experience in investing. Also, I don’t know any experienced or successful investors personally. I have been doing a lot of reading and I think I have been successful in following general advices on how to get ready to start investing; however, I have not been able to come up with an investment plan or strategy. Anyways, this is my current situation:

•No debt, no payments that charge any interest.
•34,000$ in savings.
•3,000$ in a simple IRA account (retirement funds from my previous job).
•My income and expenses allow me to save about 2,000$ a month.
•My employer offers 401k with 25% matching up to 5% of my salary, but I have declined to participate in this program as I didn’t see much of a benefit from it.
•Brokerage account funded with 5,000$, but I haven’t made any moves.

My question is: how should I start? Should I build a diversified portfolio by buying a few shares of a lot of companies and periodically add money to it? Or is it better to start with a lot of shares of 2 or 3 companies? What percentage of my saved money should I use? Would it be convenient to move my IRA money to 401k and join my employer’s retirement plan? I guess what I am looking for is some advice on how to best take advantage of my own money, or how to build an investment strategy that is suitable for my situation.
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