Greetings, Humpback, and welcome. You wrote in part:<<So now being Foolish seems like a strategy that I can accept and am actually excited to be learning about being able to take care of my own retirement portfolio, which is still bordering on new to me.Thanks in advance for your valuable information.Now I have a couple of questions?Discount Brokers Currently I am paying $40 a trade. Not bad for an occasional trade for 100 shares. But too much for Fool 4 trades and the others that I will be initially making this year. I've look at a few brokers so far and have more info coming. Is a etrade broker like DATEK a possible alternative? I almost always have access to the Net.Also, for retirement I think I read maybe invest 30% of the money in the Foolish 4. Is that in the ballpark?>>Congratulations on taking charge in a Foolish way. Yes, a discount broker is indeed possible and helps keep your trading costs way down. Most Fools use one rather than pay the high fees of full service brokers. Why pay for a service you don't use? After all, Fools are doing the research and analysis plus making the decisions, so we don't pay for something we don't get.How you allocate your money is up to you. There is no magic number before or after retirement. We all struggle with that decision, but it basically boils down to how much risk we're willing to take. I suggest you read the series of 23 posts on retirement investing posted on this board starting at http://boards.fool.com/registered/Message.asp?id=1040013000079000&sort=postdate for some thoughts on the subject. The "Retired Ralph Redux" missives should be of particular interest to you.Welcome aboard and Fool on!Regards....Pixy
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