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Thanks for the input. I'm just learning myself. I know that most visitors of this site suggest index funds b/c of low fees and getting as close to the S&P as possible. Do you think an index fund is risky for a 70 year old man?

Are individual stocks are out of the question?

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The basic question becomes, what does he need per month to live on. Obviously his sandwich shop has been his biggest investment/retirement savings his entire life. How much could he "pay" himself per month and have some one manage the shop for him? Then his needs will be made up, if any, from the 50k left.

At 70 and in good health, he could live anywhere from 10-20 years. Some of his money needs to be in stocks or S&P index. These days, it's not unreasonable to pick individual stocks if you've got 5k per stock.

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No, not at all. A Vanguard index fund would be 1 of the recommendations for the Growth part of the portfolio you're creating/helping to create.

Here are some URLs to give you more info on funds:

You also ought to read TMF's info about funds.

You could type in "index funds" or "mutual funds" or "basics of investing" on 1 of the search windows here on TMF, either here on this board, or on the main/home page. There are some good tutorials on investing basics that you should read 1st.

Since your're just getting started, a "NO-load" (i.e., no SALES charge/fee) mutual fund, (like a Vanguard index fund) would be the best way to get going.

Given the relatively short amount of time you have before your dad gets ready to consider retiring, I would just get into the mutual funds & then as time progresses, consider stocks, once you've got an idea what to do. While you're/he's learning, the money will already be at work & diversified. An S & P 500 index fund, for example, is diversified across the Standard & Poors (S & P) index of 500 stocks...plenty of diversification there & no guess work...


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