sdfewl,You said you are starting to manage your own investments and I say bravo and welcome to the Foolish way to early retirement. However, you also said "But, because of work, I must invest in mutual funds...". I would suggest (and Chipsboss will disagree) that investing in mutual funds is not managing your own investments. You are simply hiring a portfolio manager to invest your money for you. You only mentioned Vanguard S&P and if one is going to invest in mutual funds this is probably the best, however the same goal can be accomplished by opening an on line brokerage account and purchasing SPY. This is a unit trust that trades as a stock and can be purchased in shares on the exchanges. With this basic setup, as you become more knowledgeable about investing you can sell some SPY and purchase stocks. I understand your time limitations due to work, but this is no more time consuming than dealing with Vanguard. Foolish investment strageties and most Fools on these boards would tell you that stock investing doesn't have to be time consuming. Check out the MI boards and sites and you will find many mechanical methods that only involve trading once a year and take as little as 15 minutes a year to beat the S&P. Even if you decide one day to jump into individual stocks, a long term boy and hold philosophy and about 8 stocks will only have you trading about 6 times a year although the time spent trying to keep up with your companies can add up. You could even have good diversity with 4 stocks when that is backed up with SPY and a mechanical strategy or two.These are just some different vue points. Take them for what their worth and welcome to the best source of information on the web about investing for your future. I find time spent on this site to be much more productive and entertaining that watching TV and if find time spent managing my own assets to much more productive than work ever was and I owned my own business. If you can find it read about intercst's 3 for 1 rule for work. You may find you have more time than you think.Regards,Paul
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