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Proceed slowly and surely with that windfall


Have you inherited money recently or received an insurance settlement or other windfall? "Do nothing aggressive for a while," Financial Planning Perspectives advises. "If the inheritance is in cash, put it into low-risk money market funds or CDs."

In a survey, the newsletter noted, it was "found that 40 percent of baby boomers who have received at least a $50,000 inheritance made a financial decision in less than a week.

"Whatever the form of monies received, take time to focus on what you want to do with the money: invest it for retirement, buy a new home, make charitable donations or pay off certain debts. Talk with your financial planner to help you make the wisest choices with your new wealth."

MONEY MATTERS: "The Dow Jones utility average is the leading gainer for the year to date," says Moneypaper. "The Dow Jones industrials and the mostly high-tech Nasdaq composite are well below their highs."

"A study of 66,000 households with discount brokerage accounts found that investors who traded most frequently earned seven percentage points less than the least active traders." (Money magazine)

"Convertible bonds can be a boon to investors. Even in 'down' times, they churn out interest income, which guarantees investors some return on principal." (Individual Investor)

"Use dollar-cost averaging to stretch your investment. To maximize returns, stay invested for at least five years." (CNBC-TV)

"Regarding retirement, the hardest thing is simply being patient. Most important rule: you're investing for the long term, not to get rich tomorrow." (American Funds Group newsletter)

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