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Dow 11,000: What Should You Do Now?

It was less exciting than Dow 10,000, but still 11,000 is a milestone. I discussed what it means with Ukee and Liz of CBS3 this morning.}

A producer from a network news program once asked me, "isn't there something sexier than a risk tolerance questionnaire? You should tell people the 'hot' stocks to invest in now..."

Um, NO, I can't.

For the umpteenth time, there are no secret "hot" stocks or sectors that will save investors - apologies to Jim Cramer! I really thought that two stock market implosions in one decade might have cured the insatiable desire to find the easy way out, but evidently that's not the case, at least when it comes to TV producers.

After working with thousands of clients when I was a financial advisor, here is what you need to know:

  1. There is no wizard behind the curtain who holds the magic solution to your financial challenges and for the umpteenth time, there are NOT three, five or seven ways to find financial success
  2. You can be financially secure if you adhere to an important rule: know yourself and what you are willing to do in order to achieve your goals.
I know it's positively not sexy, but investment and financial success requires work, diligence and discipline. To help get you there, start with these steps:
  • Take a risk assessment test: this is meant to get you thinking about how aggressive your investment portfolio should be -- it's not 100% fool-proof, but it's a start
  • Use the risk results to build a diversified portfolio: there are lots of resources on line, like this one from Fidelity
  • Schedule a time each quarter to review where your account stands, which will force you to re-balance your portfolio
Milestones like Dow 11,000 are only numbers, unless you use them to proactively address your life. Don't wait until Dow 9,000 or Dow 12,000 to act.