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Author: fidgetyfledgling Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 27417  
Subject: market timing (sort of) Date: 12/18/2012 9:40 PM
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Hi,
I'm new to Motley Fool and I thought that I'd say hello. Also, I have a question... already! Here's what's going on with me, in general, followed by the question:
I have been working professionally for about ten years and I've managed to save up some money (about $100K) in two different work-related 401k's. I have been investing in the mutual funds available in these work-associated plans, but the returns on my investments there have not been very good. Some of the main causes of this are: a lack of (good) available mutual fund choices, excessive plan fees and high mutual fund expense rates. The stock market plunge in 2008 didn't help much either, I might add.
I've decided to act foolishly and attempt to manage my own retirement money, to see if I can get better returns with the help of The Motley Fool "stock pickers" and, perhaps, the general foolish community. I have faith that this will lead to better returns but, if not, at least I tried to do something. If I end up old and broke some day, I'd rather this be as a result of my own mistakes than because of limited investment options and excessive retirement plan/mutual fund fees. So, this has brought me to The Motley Fool, where I have been impressed with the market-beating returns of the resident "stock-pickers" and the investment knowledge of the community here in general.
Following through with the aforementioned new plan, a few weeks ago, I withdrew the balance of the smaller of the two mutual funds and rolled it over to a discout broker's rollover IRA account. I then purchased a portfolio of 17 stocks that were recommended by David and Tom Gardner on TMF Stock Advisor. Of these seventeen equally funded stock picks, eight were "core stocks", two were "best buys now", two were "new picks" and the rest were just stocks that they had recommended that I liked. I came up with this portfolio from the info/discussion linked with "getting started" on TMF. These stocks that I "picked" seem to be doing well so far, but this portfolio is only a couple of weeks old.
This initial investment was all in TMF recommended stocks. I am hoping to end up with an approximate allocation of investments appropriate for my age and risk level. This is approximately 80% stocks, 10% bonds and 5% other, but I'm waiting to diversify my investments until the rest of the retirement account money makes it into my rollover IRA.
Since I put all of the first portion of my retirement into TMF recommended stocks, I am starting to have "dollar-cost averaging" concerns. Not so much with just this initial investment, but I have another check on its way to my rollover IRA that represents the majority of my retirement money. So, FINALLY, my question for you all is:
Given the aforementioned circumstances, do you think that I should put the majority of this larger (second) portion of my retirement money directly into the stock market, like I did with the first portion? Or, should I put it in something less volatile (like a Money Market Account) and then slowly buy stocks over a long range of time? My instinctive answer is, use dollar-cost averaging and buy in slowly... but then I have to pay brokers' fees every time that I place an order, so this would kill me with numerous trading fees.
What do you think I should do and, more importantly, why? How does all of this volatility associated with the "fiscal cliff/end of year tax avoidance sell-off" factor into this?

Wow!!! That was a way longer story than I'd anticipated, sorry.

Anyway, more than anything, just wanted to say hello and that I enjoy reading the posts on the boards around here. I hope people will respond to my "War and Peace - like" first post, lol. If not, hopefully I'll see you around later.

Best Regards,
FidgetyFledgling
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