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Pam, have you made your Tax Year 2001 contributions to traditional IRAs yet? Remember, you can contribute a maximum of $2000/tax year per person to a traditional IRA or Roth IRA or any combination thereof, just as long as the total doesn't exceed $2,000/person per year. (The limit doesn't count rollovers or conversions. More information is in the "All About IRAs" that you can get to by clicking on "Retirement" on the navigation tab, then scrolling down to the "All About IRAs" link.)

If a "Total Stock Market Fund" would be consistent with your investment plan then, yes, it makes good sense. Some funds may charge you a "small balance fee" and/or custodial fee, so you might want to check out your expenses before committing money. (Vanguard has both a custodial fee and a small fund balance fee, but it is probably worth it--the Vanguard Total Stock Market Fund VTSMX is a great way to "own the [US stock] market".) This is also an excellent approach if you want to move towards index funds.

Another approach would be to stick with your current game plan and, even though the portfolio may be a little out of balance if you stick with your current funds, next year's contributions could be used to help move back towards the balance. (This is the approach I take with my taxable investments.)

Which approach is best for you really depends on your investment strategy and how you want to implement that strategy. Either way is far better than what half of my co-workers are doing (or, rather, are failing to do). 8)

--Mark (who would have been further ahead if his investment returns were Zero over the past 12 months) Young
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