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In the period of the bubble 2% did not matter. 20% - 2% = 18%. Compound 18% and you are rich in 30 years. Today however there are many people who believe 10% will be hard to get (things to average out) -- so If you get 8% over the next 10 years, take out 2% for fees, 2% for inflation (if you we are lucky), 2% for taxes and you have not got much left.

Do it your self and you get at least 4%. Work a little and you might get a lot more.

Do not ever pay anybody to invest your money in mutual funds. Go to the library and get Morningstar ratings. Stick with funds that are rated 4 or 5 stars, do not look at the returns over the last 12 months -(a high return over the last 12 months probably means lower then average over the next 12months -- things average out) At least when you are starting, stick with funds that have had the same management for a few years and do not go into sector funds (i.e. telecommunications, gold or internet) You need to learn about general investing before you try and guess which sectors will go up faster then the economy as a whole. There are two basic approaches -- value buy stuff that is low in price (the idea is somebody forgot to buy it) or to buy growth (the idea here is yes it is over priced, but it will continue to go up).

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