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Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 76418  
Subject: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/14/2007 6:10 AM
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Time to ask the question: Now what?

Those not yet retired can probably look to the future for market recovery and upward movement. However, this is an especially important question for those of us who ARE retired and who may be actually depending on some of our investments right now.

Please, let's try not to just state the obvious -- "stay diversified" or "hang on tight" and such. What are you DOING or BUYING (or selling) right now?

I certainly don't claim to know the answers, and I doubt if many on here have a crystal ball, either, but it seems to me we're at a significant juncture. Will we slide (or fall) into a true recession? If so, what happens to our investments? All of us who more or less try to actively manage, or at least watch, our funds and stocks are asking that question.
I do NOT think we will have a recession in the near future, so I'm buying carefully now.
I think we DO face a recession, so I'm shifting to "safer" investments (examples below).
I feel confident that my investments are well managed as is.
I have no idea, feel that it won't affect me, and don't much care.

Click here to see results so far.

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Author: hockeypop Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60402 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/14/2007 6:21 AM
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Good questions. I do think we'll have a recession but think my funds are well allocated. I'm 4 or more years from retirement.

I am using new money and some existing cash to adjust my portfolio to a higher percentage of international equity funds and perhaps some international bond funds. That's to reflect more the new realities of global investment than the recession though.

Hockeypop

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Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60403 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/14/2007 6:45 AM
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Hockeypup:

I'm retired now and am also a lot more into foreign funds than U.S. funds.

I hope we don't enter recession, but I suspect that this housing and mortgage mess is spreading far beyond just housing. Car loans, credit card debt, and so on are increasingly hurting us.

We'll see!

Vermonter

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Author: mrparrotfez Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60404 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/14/2007 11:07 AM
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I didn't vote because I'm not retired, but I'll give you my opinion based on what I'm trying to get through the head of my mother, who is. A big part of the question is how deep into retirement one is, and (delicately) what are your parents' lifespans (and how well has your lifetime health emulated theirs). In other words, there is a vast gulf of difference between a retiree of 62 and one of 80, especially if Ms. 62's mom lived to be 97 whereas Mr. 80's parents both passed in their seventies. In my mother's case, I have had to point out to her that her grandmother attained 94 and her mother is now 89 and still doing quite well, far better than grandma was at that phase of life.

That doesn't answer your question about recessions, but it hopefully provides another angle on how to view them. For one who is sixty and who expects to celebrate birthday #90, for example, that's a person who might ride out a recession if it came in the nearer term. That is a retirement span nearly equal to that person's working life. I guess what I'm driving at is that it's easy to divide life into moneyless youth, increasingly affluent working years of aggressive growth, and retirement years of conservative fixed income investing, thinking of working years as the bulk. Usually they're the largest number, but retirement can be a long time too (and certainly for you I hope it shall be). One cannot take anything with one, but on the other hand, it would be pretty annoying to run out.

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Author: Hawkwin Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60405 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/14/2007 11:17 AM
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Please, let's try not to just state the obvious -- "stay diversified" or "hang on tight" and such. What are you DOING or BUYING (or selling) right now?

How about this instead then.

If you are retired and you depend on your investments for part of your income, then you shouldn't be invested in a manner in which this market volatility will hurt you.

A good conservative growth allocation should come out fine from this mess. The one I have used in the past lost just 2% in 2002 and averages 5-6% over the 1, 3, 5, 10, and inception.

Stick with value, stick with high quality corp bonds - if you want growth over income, I would stick with developed international.

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60407 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/14/2007 1:34 PM
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My observation is that the stock market reacts to nine out of every two recessions, so I try to stay cool and stay the course with a well diversified portfolio of mutual funds.

cliff

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60408 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/14/2007 1:35 PM
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As my CAPs portfolio shows, I am continuing to hold those stocks that perform well, but watch them closely and will sell if they disappoint.

I am holding more cash than I usually do due to uncertainty.

Meanwhile the defensive stocks: KO, PG, CHD, CL, etc, are doing OK. They are not growing great guns, but at least holding values.

The real question is under what circumstances will you sell your index funds. If they plunge more than 15 to 20% from their highs and trend lines turn negative, I think you have to. Then bonds and money markets begin to look attractive at least until the market settles down and the rough times are over.

So I see no need to read the recession tea leaves. Just respond to the news promptly as it arrives.

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Author: LaughingRaven Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60409 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/14/2007 2:47 PM
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What are you DOING or BUYING (or selling) right now?

The way I see it, reacting to a market drop by selling out of one asset class or market sector and buying into another is just another term for "chasing performance." If I planned to live off of my portfolio, I'd have it in slow and stable dividend-payers like BAC, GE, or UL. And I'd keep it there full-time, regardless of where I thought The Economy was going over the next few months. I might put <20% of my portfolio into growth investments, just to keep things interesting, but otherwise I'd have it in the kinds of stocks where the price doesn't matter, because I never plan to sell.

--
Raven
As of yesterday, BAC's dividend yield was ~5.90%

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Author: Darwood11 Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Global Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60410 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/15/2007 4:10 PM
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I'm not voting; I am in my 60s but as I am still earning sufficient income from "work" that I don't have to tap my retirement nest egg, I am not in the same situation of someone living on a pension or retirement funds. However, I certainly do have similar concerns.

I am at present more concerned with the possibilities of long term higher inflation, which seems to be a possibility of where we are headed. (That could be construed to be the same thing as a recession as the two often go hand in hand).

The bucket of mutual funds I have are often touted as doing well over the long haul; however, the data used to substantiate this statement was acquired mostly over the recent 20 year period of low inflation. Looking to the future, we may be entering a period period of high inflation similar to that of 1968-1985. I am not as confident that my bucket will do very well under those circumstances.

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Author: maracle Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60413 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/15/2007 7:25 PM
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Even with the current troubles in the market it is still up comfortably for the year, 6-8% depending on the index you pick. Even if there was a recession I don't see it being some kind of horrible apocalypse so I think averaging this year with the next most invests will fine. Maybe flat returns or down a percent or two, but that isn't so unusual.

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Author: pedorrero Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60415 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/15/2007 10:18 PM
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I didn't vote because my retirement income comes from funds I have little control over (a Trust, but very similar to if you were the beneficiary of a privately managed pension.)

The "correct" answer to your question(s) is, of course, a matter of opinion! The textbook answer would be to stay the course with your desired allocation (say 60/40 stocks, bonds) ... recession or not. Active trading either is [or isn't] a waste of time and money, depending on whom you believe.

I don't know if I could actually do so, but if I did have control, is I would maintain more hedge positions than the "textbook" asset allocation. For example, I would maintain small positions in gold and/or other "hard money" assets, maybe 5-10% of total. I've also been dubious of much of the debt floating around. I would keep most of my funds in pure U.S. Government assets, maybe some Euro bonds too. Let others fight over CDO's, Alt-A, or whatever the latest crap is. I pay taxes, so I'm going to take a hit when Uncle Sugar bails SOME of this garbage out, but at least my own portfolio wouldn't take a major potential hit.

In practice, I keep the bulk of my own money in inflation or disaster hedges -- gold coins in the safe deposit, and a paid-for house (seemed a good investment -- until recently!!!) So, in effect, I am hedging the "normal" stock, bond mix ...

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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60424 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/16/2007 2:06 PM
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Good questions. I do think we'll have a recession but think my funds are well allocated. I'm 4 or more years from retirement.

You and I are at the same place, Hockeypop

I am using new money and some existing cash to adjust my portfolio to a higher percentage of international equity funds and perhaps some international bond funds. That's to reflect more the new realities of global investment than the recession though.

I've been doing this over the past few years. Currently about 30% of my port is in foreign funds (all equities), about 2/3 developed markets and 1/3 emerging markets. I have heard recommendations as high as 40% for total foreign (1/2 developed, 1/2 emerging). Would you mind sharing with us what your 'goal' percentage allocation (of the equity portion of your port) to foreign equities is?

2old

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60426 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/16/2007 5:43 PM
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Please, let's try not to just state the obvious -- "stay diversified" or "hang on tight" and such.

Why? IMO, this is the best advice that can be given. If you want inferior advice, I guess that is your prerogative, but it does not make much sense to me.



Will we slide (or fall) into a true recession?

Maybe. But that does not mean the stock market will drop significantly. During the last recession -- March, 2001 through November, 2001 -- the S&P500 basically treaded water. In that same span, the Nasdaq went up.

As is often the case, the markets saw the recession coming and priced that into things *before* the country was actually in a recession. It is entirely possible this is the case today as well. For that reason (and many others), I think the advice you don't want to hear is easily the best way to proceed.

Acme

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Author: ziggy29 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60427 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/16/2007 9:28 PM
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>> >> Please, let's try not to just state the obvious -- "stay diversified" or "hang on tight" and such. << <<

>> Why? IMO, this is the best advice that can be given. If you want inferior advice, I guess that is your prerogative, but it does not make much sense to me. <<

Personally, I agree. I think that the original question was somewhat akin to asking, "How can I get healthier? Please don't state the obvious like diet and exercise."

#29

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Author: RetiredVermonter Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60428 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/17/2007 3:08 AM
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Acme:

I'm NOT saying "stay diversified" or "hang on tight" is bad advice. I agree, and I'm doing my best to do so. I was just wondering what else anyone might suggest under the current circumstances.

Vermonter

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Author: hockeypop Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60429 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/17/2007 9:49 AM
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I've been doing this over the past few years. Currently about 30% of my port is in foreign funds (all equities), about 2/3 developed markets and 1/3 emerging markets. I have heard recommendations as high as 40% for total foreign (1/2 developed, 1/2 emerging). Would you mind sharing with us what your 'goal' percentage allocation (of the equity portion of your port) to foreign equities is?

Current:

US LC/MC: 48%
US SC: 8%
Int: 24% (about 4% emerging markets)
REIT: 10%
Bonds/Fixed: 10%

I have a lot of cash/short-term from the sale of my home (about 30%) from the sale of my home, 1/3 going toward new home, 1/3 available for investment, and 1/3 will remain liquid for at least a year. That isn't counted in my retirement investments right now.

Goal:
US LC/MC: 35%
US SC: 10%
Int: 30%
REIT: 10%
Bonds/Fixed: 10%
Intern. Bonds: 5%

Age 61, DW 54, no plans to retire soon for either of us so we are more aggressive (and we have that cash -- wow did we "luck" out from our downsizing).

I'm probably too heavy in LC as compared to MC right now (Quicken doesn't break them out), but LC also gives me greater exposure to international too (isn't US LC now about 40% international revenue?).

I'll consider increasing International exposure beyond 30% and even a little commodities (not at these prices) if I broaden my asset allocation a bit.

Adventure!

Hockeypop

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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60430 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/17/2007 10:19 AM
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Goal:
US LC/MC: 35%
US SC: 10%
Int: 30%
REIT: 10%
Bonds/Fixed: 10%
Intern. Bonds: 5%


Thanks for that. I've got a bit less than you in REITs and Bonds/Fixed right now--the difference is basically in smallcaps (12%). I'm dripping back into midcaps right now via my 401K, as I had reduced my midcap position to zero.

I've got about 18% scattered across specialty funds in technology, energy and energy services, materials and industrials, which I have no way of knowing what capitalization category they fall into. I need to move some of that into REITs when I rebalance in February.

It's good to know what other folks are thinking about. Thanks again.

2old

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60431 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/17/2007 11:43 AM
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Scott burns says to add commodities to your mix.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/scottburns/columns/2007/stories/DN-burns_16bus.ART.State.Edition1.2a47918.html

Sounds good, but how does one do that? Are there commodoties funds?

The study he cites says equal portions of U.S. large- and small-cap stocks, international stocks, U.S. intermediate fixed-income, cash, REITs and commodities gave the smallest variance and 11.25% average returns.

cliff

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Author: alchook Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60432 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/17/2007 11:54 AM
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Are there commodoties funds?

There are commodities funds.

According to Andrew Tobias, they're better than commodities because you will only lose everything you put into them, as opposed to commodities, where you may lose even more.

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Author: bighairymike Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60433 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/17/2007 12:07 PM
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I've got about 18% scattered across specialty funds in technology, energy and energy services, materials and industrials, which I have no way of knowing what capitalization category they fall into. I need to move some of that into REITs when I rebalance in February.

------------------

I am struggling with the REIT question right now. It will soon be time to rebalance and since REITS and Small Cap have been beaten up this year, both are below my target Allocations. I have no problem shifting some money towards small caps but it seems premature to shift any into REITs. Shades of market timing I know but still it seems that REITs could easily continue to decline for another two or three quarters while all the bad news gets laundered.

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Author: dakeyras Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60434 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/17/2007 1:52 PM
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Sounds good, but how does one do that? Are there commodoties funds?
Yes.

Here are a few to start evaluating:

PCRRX Allianz PIMCO Commodity Real Return
PRRDX Allianz PIMCO Real Return-D
MDCDX BlackRoc Commodity Strategies-A
MBCDX BlackRoc Commodity Strategies-B
MCCDX BlackRoc Commodity Strategies-C
MACDX BlackRoc Commodity Strategies-I
CRSOX CreditSu Commodity Return Strategy Commo
CRSAX CreditSu Commodity Return Strategy-A
CRSCX CreditSu Commodity Return Strategy-C
DXCLX Direxion Commodity Bull 2x
SKNRX DWS Scudder Commodity Securities-A
SKSRX DWS Scudder Commodity Securities-S
QRABX Oppenhmr Commodity Strategy Total Ret-B
QRACX Oppenhmr Commodity Strategy Total Ret-C
QRANX Oppenhmr Commodity Strategy Total Ret-N
QRAYX Oppenhmr Commodity Strategy Total Ret-Y
PARRX Pimco ADM:Real Return
PCRAX Pimco Commodity Real Return Strat-A
PCRBX Pimco Commodity Real Return Strateg-B
PCRCX Pimco Commodity Real Return Strateg-C
PCRDX Pimco Commodity Real Return Strateg-D
PCRIX Pimco INST:Commodity Real Return
RYMEX Rydex Commodities Strategy-A
RYMJX Rydex Commodities Strategy-C
RYMBX Rydex Commodities Strategy-H

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Author: hockeypop Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60435 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/17/2007 2:25 PM
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I've got about 18% scattered across specialty funds in technology, energy and energy services, materials and industrials, which I have no way of knowing what capitalization category they fall into.

You know about Morningstar X-Ray, to help determine the allocation of funds and stocks? (free subscription) It's pretty neat.

http://portfolio.morningstar.com/NewPort/Free/InstantXRayDEntry.aspx?dt=0.7055475

Hockeypop

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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60436 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/18/2007 11:21 AM
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You know about Morningstar X-Ray, to help determine the allocation of funds and stocks? (free subscription) It's pretty neat.

Yes, it's a great tool. Unfortunately, I hold those specialty positions within an annuity. Although those 'funds' have ticker symbols, their ticker and info is not made 'public', so Morningstar has no data on them. (Hey, there's another reason not to have an annuity ;-)

The same goes for 4 of the funds held within my 401K (although they're index funds, so they fall pretty easily into their own categories). :-(

2old

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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60437 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/18/2007 11:41 AM
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I am struggling with the REIT question right now. It will soon be time to rebalance and since REITS and Small Cap have been beaten up this year, both are below my target Allocations. I have no problem shifting some money towards small caps but it seems premature to shift any into REITs. Shades of market timing I know but still it seems that REITs could easily continue to decline for another two or three quarters while all the bad news gets laundered.

I'm struggling now also. The 20% haircut I've taken in 2007 on REITs does not make me a happy camper. I actually sold half my REITs on 5/15 and the other half 7/15. Those were both great moves. (Yes, market timing) Unfortunately, on 9/30 I went back in for half of my original position because they looked like they were in a recovery. Since then I've lost 20%. :-(

I follow the REIT index pretty closely. Maybe I'll wait on the REITs until they look healthier--right now it looks like they might be due for an additional 15% loss. OUCH!

2old

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Author: 2old4bs Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60438 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/18/2007 12:05 PM
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I'm going to check out the funds that dakeyras posted. There are also ETFs for commodities. State Street has one for gold only and REITs. You can look them up here:

http://statestreetspdrs.com/precise/library

Barclays also has GSG and Deutsche Bank has DBC:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/14222-barclays-new-commodities-etf-now-trading

Here is a list of commodity ETFs and ETNs:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/30369-commodity-etfs-and-etns

Disclaimer: I haven't investigated any of these, but I intend to. I'm only hoping I can find one that excludes energy, since I hold energy in a specialty energy fund. (Some of them seem to be heavily weighted into energy.) Maybe if I buy one ETF for all the metals (making sure it includes copper), and another for agriculture, I can continue with my energy fund.

2old

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Author: hockeypop Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 60439 of 76418
Subject: Re: Poll: What now, fellow retiree inveestors? Date: 12/18/2007 5:45 PM
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Yes, it's a great tool. Unfortunately, I hold those specialty positions within an annuity. Although those 'funds' have ticker symbols, their ticker and info is not made 'public', so Morningstar has no data on them. (Hey, there's another reason not to have an annuity ;-)

The same goes for 4 of the funds held within my 401K (although they're index funds, so they fall pretty easily into their own categories). :-(

2old


I don't take the time to get too fine a mix either, partially because I'm not into that much fine tuning.

But I do know that TIAA-CREF for instance creates value numbers every day, even within their annuity lines, and their prospectus also shows their breakdown between large, mid and small cap, as well as international vs. US (which Morningstar measures). Also, if it's an index, then you should be able to find a mix in the related index.

Hockeypop

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