No. of Recommendations: 1
I've read the 5 steps/things for retirement here and have a few questions for you guys. Actually, more than a few, but I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

41 years old
3 kids (ages: 11, 12 and 15)
only debt is mortgage
2 credit cards (both paid in full each month)
1 of those credit cards is a principal reward card (pays 1% of all purchases towards mortgage principal)

~ $65k/annual gross
$25k in money market savings acct (6 months of expenses)
A 529 account established for each kid 8 years ago (current balances: $6500, $7500, $16k)
$38K in a 401K
$30k for retirement investing (this was $200k, but I lost half in the past 2 months through the market/managed fund I had and needed more for a new home downpayment and furnishing the home)

No need to lecture on the evils of managed funds -- been there/done that and I've finally seen the light (only ~4% growth/year in the past 8 years through them).

Money will be a bit tight, but my goal is to put back at least $4k/year in retirement. Some will be through the 401K, but I also want to contribute to my own stock portfolio. I recently subscribed to The Stock Advisor and have made a list of about 12 companies that look appealing to me. However, I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing, or maybe not in the right order. What would be the 'best' thing to do with the $30k I have to invest? I realize "best" is a relative term.

I really don't like losing money, but at the same time, I also know that now is a great time to buy quality stocks. I am definately a long term investor. But, given that my entire nest egg totals only $68k, is putting half in my own selection of stocks in my best interest right now? Or should I split the money and put half into stocks and the rest into someething less volatile for diversification? I'm not looking to tap the money for at least 25 years -- probably closer to 35, so I think my tolerance for risk short term is pretty high.

Anyone have any wonderful insights/opinions they'd like to share with me? I'm totally new to this and would love to hear all sides.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rather lengthy first post!
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