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Financial Lessons from '09 to Help in 2010

As tough as 2009's been on the pocketbooks of many of us, there could be a silver lining: lessons to take from it that could help you in 2010 and beyond.

On "The Early Show" Thursday, CBS Editor at Large Jill Schlesinger pointed to five that could make a difference:

Always have six months of emergency reserves on hand

• Nearly 40 percent of the unemployed are out of work for more than 27 weeks

• Cash equals opportunity

Beware of credit card debt

• For years, consumers played musical chairs with their credit card debt but, when the music stopped in 2009, there was nowhere to go

• It will take years for consumers to pay down the debt they've amassed -- experts say three-to-four years is probably going to be par for the course.

Special Section: 2009: The Year in Review

Diversification works, after all

• Investors using the time-honored strategies of asset allocation and annual portfolio rebalancing (to get back to their intended allocation) did better than those who owned 100 percent stocks.

• If you held the three total index funds in a moderate portfolio of 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds, you were up more than over 3.13 percent over the last decade

• Those people who owned 100 percent stocks were down half-a-percent over the same span

Don't stop contributing toward your retirement

• Those of us who stopped contributing to their retirement fund out of fear missed out on buying at the bottom

• The best way to climb back from losses is to save more!

For details from Schlesinger on these lessons, click on the video below:

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