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Hi lehi,

I lost a lot of my gains too. I've been retired 10 years. I didn't sell many of my stocks and some like ACAS I should have sold. I bought some others like MOS near the bottom and have gotten back to about down 10%.
Thankfully I have a defined pension as well as my SS so I haven't had to draw on my investments yet.

With my record, I can't give advice so carefully study my statements.
That said, I have become more concerned with the debt and possibility of inflation that debt carries with it. Bernanke's QE2 was practically a guarantee the Fed would create money with the following printing of it by the Treasury. Seeing no serious willingness by either party to halt the spending (read vote buying), I'm looking for inflation and higher interest rates. So I have been investing in dividend paying securities, mostly preferred stocks, and some othere, all with floating rate interest payments.

One I own is AEB , a preferred stock issued by a Dutch insurance co., has its distribution paid so that the annual floating rate distributions will be reset quarterly and will be the greater of 4.00% or the three-month LIBOR plus 0.875%. AEB was 20.75 today which is 17% less than the face value of the issue.

Another I don't own, GJI pays so that the floating interest rate of the certificates will adjust for each distribution date and will be equal to the Treasury Bill Average plus 0.50% with a minimum interest rate of 3% and a maximum rate of 6%. GJI was $25.50 which is 2% above the face value of the issue.

One more I own is JFR, a floating rate closed end fund issued by Nuveen which is paying 5.8%. You can check it on Yahoo or Morningstar as well as at Quantumonline.

So you see there are all kinds of payments available.

Others are GSA, HBApD, PFL, JFP. You can get information about these issues and others like them from a free information service. the main thing I try to do is buy high quality issues like BBB or above, though sometimes I speculate. Of course the safety comes with a cost and you might have to even pay more than the usual $25 face value of the issue as in the case of GJI. These issues can also lose value like any other investment. The main purpose for me in buying some of these is income that is protected from inflation to some extent and which pay more than TIPS. Always watch for call dates too.

There are always good companies like JNJ paying good dividends for income. Like any income portfolio, diversification is probably a good thing.

I would check with a knowledgeable investor or advisor who can tell you a lot more than I can.
I have been writing as if you were not familiar with these type investments; if you are an expert with them please forgive me.

Any way that's what I have done with about 5% of my savings and I plan to increase it to close to 20%.

Best of fortune to you,

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