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I think lots of us are out here doing it on our own. I am a semi-retired engineer. When I was "retired from Phillips six years ago I took all my thrift money and put in into three mutual funds and a stock portfolio, roughly equal proportions. after the 3rd year I rolled the worst mutual fund into my stock portfolio. The next year I rolled the second into my stocks. I still have about 1/5 of my portfolio in Price's Science and Technology Fund, 1/4 in SPY, 1/6 in QQQ ( it has fallen that much)and 1/5 in DIA. I am also developing a 5 year bond ladder using Treasury Direct. Not the highest yielding, but surely the safest for my money.

The rest is in 12 stocks ranging from HD & WMT to YHOO & AMZN. New money (interest and excess retirement salary go into stocks.

I have owned stocks since 1953 and feel very comfortable managing my our retirement. My wife is less secure. This is the reason I started with the mutual funds - to satisfy her concerns. She is becoming less worried, and has actually started reading annual reports and discussing them with me. She has recommended a couple of stocks which we have purchased. It has taken her about 4 years to feel comfortable with the idea on doing our own management.

Don't believe anything a "money manager" tells you, until you know exactly how much money He will make if you follow his advice. Be careful because they are well known as expert obfusicators, if not our right liers.

Take it slow and don't jump in before you have learned enough to be comfortable. It really is fun when your portfolio goes up 25%. I will not discuss to other possibility, Just stop looking at the market when it goes into a tailspin.

Good Luck.

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