Get More Comfortable with Investing
Brought to you by PNC Investing and Retirement

Investing doesn’t have to be intimidating. Learning just a few key points may help boost your confidence.

A moderate investing approach could be appropriate for:
The appropriate asset allocation depends on:
Which of the following is considered the most aggressive investment vehicle?
Which of the following can help you diversify your investments?
How often, at minimum, should you review your investments?

Right!

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Do an Investment Inventory

Do you know what’s in your portfolio? Whether you’ve got a retirement plan at work, an individual IRA or other investment accounts, you should know what’s in them. You can use a site like Morningstar.com to check the performance, ratings and top holdings of your mutual funds. If you have any issues or questions, contact your plan administrator or the company that holds your investment accounts.

Session Q & A

  • There are lots of opinions about this, but it all comes down to personal choice. If you have the time and inclination to manage your own investments, there are many information sources that can help you do it. You can purchase investments on your own from a bank or investment firm, both of which provide additional investment guidance and services. If you’re less inclined to do it yourself, you can hire someone to help. Some advisors are paid on an hourly basis, while others take a percentage of your money to manage your investments. Whichever route you choose, it’s a good idea to get recommendations from friends and family, and talk with several advisors to find the right fit.

  • You can start investing in mutual funds for as little as $1,000. While about half the funds tracked by Morningstar require an investment of $25,000 or more to establish a new account, around 25% require only $2,500.

  • Load funds are mutual funds you purchase from an advisor or broker, which have a fee that compensates them for their time and expertise. There may be other fees associated with load funds as well. No-load mutual funds can be purchased directly from a mutual fund company. Many investors seek out mutual funds with lower expenses because they believe such funds will perform better over time and because fees won’t eat away at the overall return.

  • It depends on how you’re invested. Stocks can produce higher returns that may help offset inflation. However, they fluctuate with the market and may even lose value in the long term. You should make sure you have a well-diversified portfolio that matches your goals, time frame and risk tolerance.

  • 529 savings plans offered by individual states are a good way to save for college. They offer tax-free growth and investment options, and there are no federal taxes on withdrawals if the money is used for higher-education tuition, room and board or other expenses. Other tax-advantaged options include a Coverdell Educational Savings Account, or a custodial account, which has more limited tax advantages. You can also save in a taxable account that invests in stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Galia Gichon

Galia is a personal finance expert with 18+ years of professional experience, including nearly 10 years on Wall Street, and an MBA from Fordham University. Her company, Down to Earth Finance, offers individual sessions and seminars to address personal financial needs. Galia created the My Money Matters Kit, with tools including affirmations, tips and workbooks. She regularly guest lectures at universities, speaks at conferences and corporate events, and has been quoted by CNN, The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money and more.

Galia is a personal finance expert with 18+ years of professional experience, including nearly 10 years on Wall Street, and an MBA from Fordham University. Her company, Down to Earth Finance, offers individual sessions and seminars to address personal financial needs. Galia created the My Money Matters Kit, with tools including affirmations, tips and workbooks. She regularly guest lectures at universities, speaks at conferences and corporate events, and has been quoted by CNN, The Wall Street Journal, MSN Money and more.

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