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I can't add much more than Bill has already described in his post but here's a couple of thoughts for you.

30? Starting late?!? Good grief are you kidding me?!? You've got a good 30 years of investing there! Plenty of time so don't get down!

Bill laid out the formula for you so I would follow that. Don't worry about the "huge mistake" factor. You're already taking care of that by asking the question.

I've read that Index Funds are the best type, but will they yield more than directly investing myself?

Not sure exactly what this means. You can certainly invest and Index Funds and you can do that yourself. I would definitely recommend this for someone who is starting out then as you get more experience you can explore other areas. The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index along with the Total Bond Market Index are two good places to start.

HTH.

Jesse
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