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I'm 49 and new to investing -- about time! I want to close my current SEP (long story) which is worth about $30000 and start a new one elsewhere, probably with Vanguard, with $41000 for '04 (it's ready to go) and - I hope - $41000 or whatever the max is for '05. In addition, I hope to start investing above and beyond my SEP contribution.

Do I go with the Vanguard 2025 for my SEP and put all my money there, or is it better to start with something like the Vanguard Total Market Index Fund and diversify later (after I reach $100000?), or is it better to dive in and invest in a handful of funds and do my own diversifying instead of relying on 2025? I'm not sure if knowing I'm getting into taxable funds (right term?) within the year makes a difference.

A basic question. When we're talking asset allocation -- are we supposed to think in terms of one entire portfolio, or a separate portfolio for tax-deferred retirement savings like my SEP, and a separate portfolio for taxable accounts, for savings above the SEP limit? E.g., could I have a 60/40 split in my SEP but an 80/20 split, say, in my taxable accounts? I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'm trying to get this straight in my mind.

Thanks for any thoughts.

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