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I'm not sure if this is the proper place to address this, but I'm at the point where I need to ask if it makes any sense to continue my subscription to Pro. My wife and my portfolios combined only amount to less than a quarter of a million dollars at this point (we're both crowding 70 years) and my TD Ameritrade account only has a total of 7 equities and a small amount of bonds and no cash represented by the following:

Stock - % of Portfolio - Gain

Stock A - 6% - 62% gain

Stock B - 5% - 280% gain

Stock C - 13% - 205% gain

Stock D - 10%- 238% gain

Stock E - 9% - 121% gain

Stock F - 25% - 115% gain

Stock G - 14% - 135% gain

Zero Coupon Bonds - 13%

My wife's portfolio has eight equities, ranging from gains of a low of 8% to a high of 575% with approximately the same total value as mine and 11% in cash. All stock equities in both accounts are in multiples of 100.

Two problems that I can see are:

1) Does the potential returns on such a small portfolio justify the fee?

2) Specific to my account, does it make any sense to sell all or part of a block of 100 shares in order to obtain cash just to buy options?

I take full responsibility for neglecting these accounts the last couple of years and not doing any active investing. For several years, I enjoyed following the market but other interests have made it more of a chore now.

Some others' insights on the best strategy for the near future would be welcome at this point.

Doug
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I can't remember how much the PRO subscription is, I just recall that I had looked at it at the time they rolled it out and decided it wasn't worth it to me.

You can still get something out of the Fool for free, even if the articles are delayed from the time that they come out to the various subscribers. For my part, while I will always love MF as the place that helped me get started in investing, I have mainly gravitated to Seeking Alpha, which has a much wider variety of topics, more in-depth coverage, and does not subject me to the breathless hype that Fool now has, exhorting me to get a subscription.

Of course, if you are not really interested in following stocks much anyway, perhaps neither is good. You could simply buy some stable dividend payers or ETFs and watch them ride, or write covered calls on what you have.
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I'm not sure if this is the proper place to address this, but I'm at the point where I need to ask if it makes any sense to continue my subscription to Pro.

Well, this board is actually focused on how to live well in retirement on less, thus the name "Retire Well on Less", but I'll give it a shot. You would get more specific advice for MF Pro (although probably more biased toward keeping the subscription) if you went to the MF Pro board. Also, please keep in mind that I have never paid for a subscription like this, and don't intend to do so, so my advice is probably biased the other way.

I take full responsibility for neglecting these accounts the last couple of years and not doing any active investing. For several years, I enjoyed following the market but other interests have made it more of a chore now.

This right here tells me that you are probably better off not paying for any subscription, and just putting your money into Vanguard LifeStrategy fund, a Vanguard Target Retirement fund, or a few Vanguard ETFs.

To answer your specific concerns:

1) Does the potential returns on such a small portfolio justify the fee?

Can't tell from the information you posted, since you gave no context of timeframe, no context of the split between you and your wife's balances, nor any context of how much you actually followed the recommendations.

That said, you can figure it out for yourself by taking the current combined balance for the accounts, subtracting the MF Pro fees that you've paid, and subtracting the original balances to get the net gain since you started using MF Pro. Then, look at something like VASGX (Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth fund) https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundIntExt=I... and see how much your original balance would have grown to over the same time frame. If your account balances are higher, then the fees seem to have been worth the cost. But keep in mind, (1) past performance does not guarantee future results and (2) if you've neglected the accounts for the past couple of years, did you really use the advice? Or if you'd been following the advice, would your performance have been different?

2) Specific to my account, does it make any sense to sell all or part of a block of 100 shares in order to obtain cash just to buy options?

Issue 1: Not sure why you're stuck on 100 share blocks. WAAAAYYY back in the day, before discount brokers became common, it was cheaper to trade in 100 share blocks (aka 'round lots'). However, in this day and age, you can easily get the same price for a 1 share trade as for a 100 share trade. If your broker doesn't offer this type of pricing, I would strongly suggest moving your account.

Issue 2: OPTIONS? Really? If you find keeping up with your current accounts too much of a chore, why would you even want to consider options?

AJ
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I don't have a subscription to "Rule Your Retirement" but it sounds like that might be a better option if you are not planning to add additional funds to your current portfolio. Also, it sounds like you've done well doing nothing (which is more often than not, the case) so I would be very careful before making any drastic changes that you might really reqret. In just five - seven years, if you do nothing at all, you could very well have twice the portfolio you do now, just by doing absolutely nothing!

Peace,
Dana
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No. of Recommendations: 5
"Does the potential returns on such a small portfolio justify the fee?"

Absolutely NO!!!

2) Specific to my account, does it make any sense to sell all or part of a block of 100 shares in order to obtain cash just to buy options?

Heavens NO! Options are a way to lose your shirt unless you really want to invest a ton of time and research. By the time you get around to reading the MF breathless reports everything has changed.

MF is all about selling you on their fee based services. NO,no,no and again one more time, NO.
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