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I can see that you have received a lot of good information here.

I would add that you should sit down with your fiancee and decide what your goals are in life. Really explore what is important to the two of you and WRITE IT DOWN. Sorry for the shouting but it is important to have a written plan so you both agree what it is that's important.

Once you both have agreed with the plan, then it should be much simpler to figure out how to implement it. Remember, "If you aim at nothing, that is what you will surely hit".

I would say you want to get 2 or more opinions from certified financial planners, check out their web site or the yellow pages for possible referals.

I agree that going to friends for advice, when it is their job, may not be the best thing. You will put a lot of pressure on them to separate their friendship from their job. On the other hand, once you have a plan and know what you want to do, then you could approach them with what it is you want to do. Remember, if you change your lifestyle they will notice and then this can raise other issues with them.

As to understanding how money works, I would reccomend a good book to read "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", sorry I can't remember the author, I have lent my copy out.

Also, check out the possible tax ramifications of investing in mutual funds that may be about to issue capital gains distributions.

Another concept to understand is dollar cost averaging - this fits with the idea of do not make quick decisions. Park the money in a money market fund and do incremental purchasing over time as you decide on your investment strategy.

I don't want to get too long winded, as you can see, there are many issues here, take your time, park the money and make your plans.

Good luck,
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