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Greetings, Joe6pack, and welcome.

<<I am looking for an optimal strategy for investing $400 each month with the objective of long term capital appreciation. I am 43 and my wife is 35 and we have one child who will need to start college in 2007. We are modest wage earners, own a few stocks, have a little equity in our house and expect an inheritance of around 300K sometime within the next 15 years.
I am finding the management of my discout brokerage stock portfolio tedious, and feel a monthy contribution to a DRIP or no-load would more suit my lifestyle, but I somehow can't resist thinking the inheritance allows me to take on the additional risk trying of trying to hit an occasional "homerun".
Anybody got'ny ideas?>>

Listen….Do you hear it? That's the sound of Pixy slowly counting to ten - twice! You want an "optimal strategy for investing," but you find the management of your portfolio "tedious." Do you know how those statements appear to my funny little mind? It's like my saying I want epicurean delights for dinner nightly, but I don't want to leave my house to get them nor will I cook them myself. C'mon now! You and you alone are responsible for investing your money. And you and you alone will make the best manager of those funds. Unless you want to waste needless $$$ by hiring someone else to do this task for you, IMHO you need to change your way of thinking. You can "hit an occasional homerun," and you can make steady progress all by yourself. But only if you care about your finances and how you handle them.

Take the time now -- not later -- to be sure about what you want to do. To that end, IMHO you will be well-served if you toddle over to your local library, discount bookstore, or even here in the Fool Mart and pick up some easily read, easily understood, inexpensive texts that will soon have you confidently investing in stocks using some simple systems that will take but an hour per year of your time (if you're slow) yet produce returns that put the majority of professional money managers to shame. I suggest and commend the following to you: "Beating the Dow" by O'Higgins; "The Dividend Investor" by Petty and Knowles; "The Motley Fool Investment Guide" by the Gardner brothers; "One Up on Wall Street" by Lynch; and "What Works on Wall Street" by O'Shaughnessey. All are well worth their low cost and the small investment in time it takes to read them. Get them and read them. Be assured you will be glad you did.

After you've done that, take some more time to explore the various nooks and crannies of Fooldom. A lot is discussed here, and you can pick up some valuable information. Ask questions on those things that confuse you. Folks are great about providing an answer.

But we won't as a rule let you get away without doing SOME work yourself and taking SOME interest in what you're doing.

So ends Pixy's "Dutch Uncle" tirade.

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