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Author: theHedgehog Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 75523  
Subject: Re: Evaluation Date: 8/10/2006 12:14 AM
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Hi LACRetiree,

My thoughts on your portfolio is to liquidate the whole thing and start over. Firstly, if your advisor is authorised to trade your funds for you, then revoke that authorization. While you're there, ask for a list of all the surrender fees and fee expiration dates that would be applicable on each of your funds. Examine it yourself and decide whether it's worth waiting for any of the fees to expire (if applicable). Then, sell as much as you can without losing a lot of money, but wait for any nearby expiration dates, if any. There may not be any surrender fees for your annuities. One place I looked said not, but I didn't pursue it.

In any case, unload it all. Leave the money in the cash or money market section of your IRA account for awhile. Spend some time at the Beginning Investers FAQ here on Fool at: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=11107803. Take the time to go to the Fool's School at: http://www.fool.com/school.htm?ref=G02A06.

Then after all this is accomplished, you should be able to develop some realistic goals for your investments. You'll probably want to give some strong consideration to either index funds from Vanguard or index ETFs. You'll also probably want to consider putting 60% or 70% of your funds in a CD ladder spread out over the next 5 years or so. Doing this, you should be able to withdraw between 3% and 4% per year to take your trips, while still conserving most or all of the $215,000 (or whatever) that you are able to realise by liquidating your current investments.

I have to admit that I don't know a lot about IRA accounts, and what you're allowed to hold in them. It may also depend on where the account is held. You may even have to move the account somewhere else to get unfettered access to Vanguard index funds, etc. There are a lot of people who can help you with IRA specifics, but I suspect that they are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of your existing funds and perhaps an unwillingness to come out and tell you to dump it all.

In any case, I wish you the best, and I hope that this post hasn't offended you in any way. Good luck, and welcome to the first day of taking over your own financial future.

Hedge
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