You're asking good questions and any planner who's guiding you into a large allocation of equity index funds would make me get up and run right now too. I've read Mauldin's newsletter for over a year now and I've read a good portion of his book and ole John makes a lot of sense to me. Folks who say "you can't time the market" need to look at historical graphs of index performance over long periods of time. It's crystal clear - SELL STOCKS WHEN THE PE IS HIGH, BUY STOCKS WHEN THE PE IS LOW. Warren Buffett wrote a several great articles for Fortune Magazine between 1999 and 2002 describing why the stock market was historically expensive and why the stock indices would return a mid-single digit rate over the first 10 or so years of the new millenium. Here's another good book- Bull by Maggie Mahar (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060564148/qid=1108099052/sr=8-2/ref=pd_csp_2/103-1761441-7245426?v=glance&s=books&n=507846)Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits by the legendary Phil Fisher (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0471445509/qid=1108099148/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-1761441-7245426?v=glance&s=books) is recommended by Warren Buffett.I also recommend reading everything you can that Buffett writes. Great stuff!!One investment idea for the equity portion of your portfolio is to select funds that did well in the post-Internet bubble pop. You may be familiar with these, but if not here's a list of a few funds and fund families that did well from 2000 thru 2002 and that have experienced managers with long histories of good returns.- The Clipper Fund - http://www.clipperfund.com/ Mgr. James Gipson- Third Avenue Funds - http://www.thirdavenuefunds.com/ Mgr. Marty Whitman (four funds in the family all have done VERY well)- Longleaf Funds - http://www.longleafpartners.com/ Mgr. Mason Hawkins (four or so funds in this family as well. Currently closed to new investors, but a great track record).- The Fairholme Fund - http://fairholmefunds.com/home.htm Mgr. Bruce Berkowitz. Relatively new fund, but Berkowitz has been managing money for over twenty years. A very good fund.I own all of these funds, several of them for many years. These are disciplined, investor friendly fellas who know where to hide when the bears are prowlin'. FYI, big bear markets like the mid-70's sink pretty much all ships. Even the Sequoia Fund run by Buffett's friend Bill Ruane took a big bath in the mid-70's crash. Sometimes the waves are so strong that everybody gets wet...
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