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Rule Your Retirement has its own boards. You might try posting your questions there to get the personal response you are paying for.

If you are new to investing, you probably should be putting most of your funds into mutual funds--at least until you learn more about investing and get comfortable with picking stocks.

If you are concerned about the short term future of the stock market (today some people are very pessimistic and talking about down trend), now is a great time to put your money into bonds, fixed incomes, or CDs. But pessimism also is a sign that perhaps a bottom to the market is getting closer. That can make it a good time to accumulate stocks.

As to picking stocks, why don't you try your hand at a CAPs account. If you can make money there with play money, you can easily convert to cash later. Meanwhile, let the pros who run mutual funds pick stocks for you.
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