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Planning Your Financial Future

By: William J. Lynott
Posted: February 24, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Editor’s note: Information in this article is provided for educational and reference purposes only. It is not intended to provide specific advice or individual recommendations. Consult an accountant or tax advisor for advice regarding your particular situation.

Arguably, saving and investing for a comfortable retirement has never been more difficult and complex than it is these days. The breathtaking roller-coaster ride that began with the improbable stock market gains of the 1990s and ended with the economic meltdown that began in October 2007 has left many business owners and professionals agonizing about what to do next. Realistically, there are no simple answers.

Rethink

One of the tried-and-true investing philosophies known as buy-and-hold—buying quality stocks and holding onto them during good times and bad—is no longer sacred in the minds of some financial advisors. “Not only is buy-and-hold dead, it was never alive,” says Matthew Tuttle, president of Tuttle Wealth Management in Stamford, Connecticut. “It worked from 1982 to 1999, but anything would have worked during that period.” And while there is no shortage of financial professionals in agreement with Tuttle, it’s also not difficult to find others who sharply disagree.

With no clear-cut consensus, it’s up to individuals to decide for themselves whether buy-and-hold makes sense in today’s economy. Fortunately, there are many other investment philosophies that still meet with near-unanimous approval from the pros.

Diversification

Most financial advisors agree asset allocation and diversification are the most important keys to successful investing in any economy. Allocating your assets skillfully among the various classes of investments is more important than your selection of individual stocks or mutual funds, according to the pros.