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Subject:  A question... Date:  3/18/2002  9:04 AM
Author:  cyclecat Number:  34006 of 96381

Hello -

I've been a fool for more than a year now and have taken several courses. I've learned a great deal, but still have a way to go. I'm at a crossroads now, and would love to hear from others who might be facing (or have faced) similar situations.

Currently, I have an IRA and two 401K, all of which are invested in S&P 500 index funds. I want to start a Roth IRA before April 15 and contribute to it each year (I figure I have about 20 years until I retire). Once I've done this, I plan to invest in several stocks, most likely through DRIPs, but I want to gain a little more confidence before taking that step.

For now, I'm deliberating as to the best way to invest the Roth IRA funds. I could invest them in another S&P 500 index fund, but was wondering if I should diversify a bit more. I could try another index, or perhaps a fool-friendly managed fund, but I'm not sure. Any thoughts from others who have been where I am? How did you make your decision?

A footnote: Despite my newly acquired knowledge, I realize I'm hesitant because of the way the market has been. It's one thing to invest money in a 401K plan through my employer; it's another to realize the available choices I have on my own. And, boy, have I made past mistakes (like keeping my 401Ks in balanced funds during the peak years of the 1990s---and switching them just before the markets plummeted!). I've learned valuable lessons through this process, but it still smarts.

It's empowering to be gaining info that helps me make more informed decisions, but I'm at this awkward stage where it sure would help to hear from others before I take this next step with the Roth IRA.

Thanks in advance,

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