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Good luck. The advice you have been given is excellent. I found myself in a similar situation about 30 years ago after a traumatic injury and lawsuit.

Being a cautious sort, I worked with a broker whom I knew personally for a while and studied hard. There weren't any discount brokerage firms at the time. This was long before the Motley Fool was started or index funds were invented. I learned the hard way to avoid options trading and speculation. I didn't lose anything but the broker made more than I did.

You are already in the right place. TAKE ADVANTAGE of the MOTLEY FOOL RESOURCES. Ignore the come-ons from the investment community, friends, relatives, and your local banks.

I just saw an announcement of a new service on the Motley Fool - the MillionDollar Account - that Tom Gardner is putting together (maybe not the exactly correct name but close.) You might consider following it.

Another very good choice is the Stock Advisor service within the MF community. I have followed it since its inception and invested in some of their recommendations. Most are doing fine with no serious blips. Putting the bigger chunk in an S&P index fund would also give you a pretty stable base from which to grow.

Regarding deposit insurance issue: Most brokerage accounts are insured up to $50million by industry backed insurance - not Uncle Sam. They are at least as good.

I also agree with the advice - pay yourself back too. Indulge yourself a bit - but not too much!!!
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