No. of Recommendations: 10
My father-in-law, more like a father to me in many ways, passed away almost 2 1/2 years ago. We knew very little about his estate until this last year of his life when he thought it was best we meet with him and his broker. To our surprise we discovered a portfolio of conservative stocks, mutual funds, and bonds of which 60% would be subject to death taxes.

It is strange, very strange, to consider the thought of receiving (or actually receiving) any form of compensation due to the loss of a loved one. For the first couple of years we still had trouble calling it "our money" (in fact I still see it as my wife's money and I manage it) and often refered to it as "Dad's money".

But we understand it is our/her money, our responsibility, and I have taken over the task of managing it as Foolishly as possible. My goal has been to honor his gift to us by intelligently choosing long term investments and to be accountable to my main stockholders: my wife and daughter.

For the most part I would say I followed a fair amount of the advice found in the posts in this board (even though this is the first time I've reviewed any posts). We did nothing with the portfolio for about 9 months and I spent most of that time reading Fool books, investing articles, posts, and other investing books. When we started to overhaul the portfolio (low interest bonds, poorly performing mutuals, stocks overweighted in two slow growth sectors) we bought big name tech stocks slowly over time (EMC has been our biggest winner to date). Since then we've added some strong small and mid caps for some better growth opportunities.

Although the actual dollars have provided us the potential to realize an secure, early retirement another gift it seems has been the opportunity to expand our world by connecting with investors and having the chance to own/follow companies leading us into an exciting future.

Hope this story has been helpful. Best wishes to those of you who are or will be in similar circumstances.


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