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You may find the following articles of interest.

 
Would You Benefit From Professional Management? 

Have you been trying to invest on your own?  After the past few years of stock market declines, are you wondering what to do next with your investments? 

Investment gains achieved during the 1990s convinced a generation of investors-many new to the markets-that professional advice and management added little or no value to results they could achieve on their own.  When the investment bubble popped in early 2000, many investors reconsidered the do-it-yourself approach, as they saw the value of their portfolios plummet. 

The appeal of investing without professional guidance can be seen most clearly in the day-trading phenomenon of the late 1990s.  Like first-time visitors to a modern art museum looking at an Andy Warhol painting and thinking,

"I could do that," many otherwise intelligent individuals quit their jobs to trade stocks through discount online brokerage services.  Making money looked easy.

These same individuals failed to define investment objectives and strategic asset allocation plans.  There was a general lack of portfolio methodology and planning.  Investors instead relied on Internet websites, news media and dinner party conversations to determine their financial futures.

The exuberant days of the 1990s have passed, but the attitudes they spawned have not.  Both individual investors and the media continue to look for the next "hot" trend-the sector that will spark a market revival and spur their portfolios to new heights.  That makes it more important than ever to look beyond the hype, and address the question of value and the benefits of professional management.
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Eight Common Mutual Fund Investing Mistakes 

Your expectations run high when you invest in a new fund. You have probably picked one with a five star rating, the manager looks brilliant, and the fundís firm appears to have a solid strategy and good research. Despite your hard work, no fund will deliver outstanding performance forever. Returns may fall behind, the managerís style might fall out of favor with current market trends, the manager might leave, or there could be a world crisis that drives you to transfer all your money to insured bank CDs. The ability to ascertain which of these problems should trigger a sale and a

corresponding investment into a new fund separates the successful investor from those who fall short of their objectives.

We have identified eight common fund investing mistakes, which include those that cause fund investors to sell too early and those that keep them holding on to fund investments too long.
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A Guide to Independent Investment Management 

Like many investors seeking financial independence, you want to protect and make the most of your money. Today's investing market offers more opportunities than ever to meet those goals regardless of your age, employment or amount you have to invest.

Yet with so many choices, where do you turn? Perhaps you've already sought occasional advice on some basics - for example, what stocks to buy and sell, or how to set up a retirement account. Now you may be ready for more personalized assistance from an experienced professional who can work with you for the long term. Many independent, fee-based investment advisors can do just that by providing ongoing management of your financial picture.

This guide has been designed to provide you with a general overview of how these professionals work, how they can help you and how to manage an ongoing relationship with an advisor.

  • Advantages of working with an independent investment advisor If a growing portfolio, time constraints or limited investing experience is leading you to seek professional guidance, consider engaging the services of an independent, fee-based investment advisor.
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  • Is an investment advisor right for you? Clients of independent investment advisors typically share similar financial needs and concerns and often must meet certain basic requirements. If you fall into any of the categories listed below, consulting an independent advisor may be right for you.
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  • How investment advisors work How do advisors approach their work? What will our meeting be like? How will I find out about the performance of my portfolio and if I'm on track with my goals?
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  • Interviewing an investment advisor Clarifying your financial needs and preparing comprehensive interview questions can help you select an advisor.
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  • Reviewing and evaluating an investment advisor As your financial needs and expectations change, reviewing and evaluating your portfolio performance and advisor relationship can help you continue to fine-tune your financial strategy.
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Top Wealth Management Mistakes 

You are an intelligent and well-educated investor. You are doing well in life. But do you still worry about losing it all? Or perhaps, you aren't worried and you should be.

Below are listed some of the biggest mistakes on the road to wealth. If you're truly going to be successful, you'll need to navigate carefully through the many hazards along the way. Read more

Retirement Planning:  Will You be Ready? 

What should you do with your 401(k) money?  How much can you expect from Social Security?  Do you have enough money to retire early?

If you are seriously considering questions like these, your retirement date is probably in the not-too-distant future. 

Whether it's months or years away, you'll want to think about some key issues.  Here are some of important items you need to consider as this new stage of your life approaches. Read more

Understanding Bond Mutual Funds:  How Do They Fit Into Your Portfolio?

Bonds offer many benefits for a diversified portfolio.  Despite challenging market conditions, fixed income investments continue to help control risk in equity-focused investment portfolios.

To help you understand bond funds and how they may fit into your own portfolio, let's take a closer look at these fixed income investments and how they compare to similar options. Read more


 

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