Simple, solid strategies for investing money

Simple, solid strategies for investing money
News from Los Angeles Times:

Investing has been a massive exercise in frustration for millions of Americans over the last decade or so.

Two market crashes in 12 years drove many people away from equities. Now key U.S. stock market indexes are at or near record highs again, after a strong 2012 rally that has spilled into 2013.

The average domestic stock mutual fund rose 15% last year, the third annual gain in four years. Meanwhile, the hunger for perceived safety has driven interest rates on bonds and other fixed-income securities to record lows. It’s a backdrop that seems to cry out for a complex, headache-inducing game plan.

But in fact, the best strategy for many people may be just the opposite: Focus on the basics. Mainly, keep sight of the things you can control to reduce your mental stress and improve your odds of long-term success.

Here are four strategies for keeping it simple:

Keep it balanced. You say you can’t decide how to build and maintain a diversified portfolio? Then don’t bother. Let someone else do it for you. That’s the beauty of “balanced” mutual funds — portfolios that always own a mix of stocks and bonds.

A balanced or “allocation” fund is the simple, elegant solution for people who know they want to be in financial markets for the long haul but don’t have the time or interest to devote to closely…………… continues on Los Angeles Times

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In Investing, No Need for Sudden Death
News from New York Times:

“AMERICA loves a winner,” Gen. George S. Patton Jr. told the troops in 1944, and he was surely right. The general also declared, “America will not tolerate a loser.” He was wrong on that one, but how could he have known about the Mets?

Frank Deford, the sportswriter, has drawn another conclusion about our national preferences: Americans don’t like losing, but what we really can’t stomach is a tie.

In a tongue-in-cheek radio commentary, he noted the oft-repeated observation that “a tie is like kissing your sister,” adding that “if there is one thing the red states and blue states can agree on, it is that.”

In 1996, college football eliminated ties, and the National Hockey League banished them in 2004. Ties are still frequent in soccer — but that may explain why that beautiful game is more beloved abroad than in the United States. Our distaste for ties, Mr. Deford says, “is one thing that sets us sons of liberty apart from most of the rest of the world.”

Playing for a tie may go against the grain of most American sports, but it should be central in investing. That’s becaus…………… continues on New York Times

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