Jake,Are you doing TSP? If not, you need to start. That is a pre-tax deduction that builds up quickly.I think that the S&P index for the long haul is a good deal. While you would miss out on specific companies that, say double or triple in any given year, you also are avoiding companies that 1/2 or 1/3 in any given year. Supplementing this with good stocks would help you get the bigger returns. You could do both. You could very well beat the market, but you never know. Some headlines in the news today:Home Depot's profit jumps 14%J.C. Penney sparkles as Wal-Mart toils So a good portfolio of stocks is a good thing.Sharebuilder account so that I can buy individual stocksBe careful here, if you are buying stocks, you are going to be paying for the trades. That eats into your return. There is a military board here on the Fool at:http://fireboards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=22894785&bid=112957Come on over and check it out. fredinseoul
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