Basic Principles of Investing

Putting It All Together

Investing is an ongoing process; it is not something you do once and forget about. Make a commitment to remain active in managing your portfolio in order to maximize your returns. Use this checklist to stay on the right track:

  • I have money set aside for emergencies.
  • I've taken care of my retirement needs first.
  • I know my risk tolerance.
  • I know my time horizon.
  • I've written down my investment goals.
  • I have my asset allocation, and I am taking steps to make my investments fit into it.
  • I've read the sections on different types of mutual funds.
  • Taking my risk tolerance into account, I am investing in a variety of stock and bond mutual funds, diversifying to get the best return for the least risk.
  • I'm keeping the statements I get concerning my mutual fund investments.

No one's portfolio is ever perfect. Where you are now and where you should be may be quite different. Remember to consider dollar-cost averaging. You may want to move slowly from where you are to where you should be; divide the amount that needs to be moved into quarters and move one quarter every six months. Staying on top of your asset allocation is a key to successful investing.

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