Beginner Investing/Investing Advice


Hi Paul-
I hope you can offer some advice.  I'm 51, taking classes online for a job that first paycheck should be end Jan.2013- making only $8.00/hr to start. I have $113K in savings, and 16K in ROTH IRA's. One maturing now I'm transferring to savings, one doing 10% avg. for 2 years (index fund), and one only about 1% maturing later next year. I would like to save for retirement and have my money work harder for me. I like the idea of index funds like VFINX. I've heard dividends are the way to go too. My expenses currently do not exceed $1k/mo. total. I feel I should be able to invest at least $50K.  Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your kind time and help.  Have a wonderful day!

  Thank you for your question! Congratulations on your savings and investing plan.  Its too bad most people in this country cannot live within their means like you do.  Even with modest income, your savings are impressive.
  I think your ideas are fine. The only suggestion I have would be to look into ETF (exchange traded funds) versions of index funds, instead of mutual funds. They typically have lower fees. Yes, dividend strategies are very popular right now, the offer a slightly less risky way to invest directly in stocks, as the dividend payments can help offset at least a small portion of a decline in stock value. There are dividend oriented mutual funds and ETF's out there, thats the way to go rather than trying to pick dividend stocks yourself.   I would not do this exclusively, but a combination of an index ETF and a dividend oriented ETF would be good.
  One their thing to consider: Bond ETF's.   Depending on the exact ETF, these should return on average slightly less than the other two over time, but have less volatility and risk.  A good third component to your portfolio.  There are different kind of bond funds, you could certainly invest in more than one:  International funds, emerging markets (more risky), US large cap bond funds (least risky for bond funds), US Aggregate bond funds, US small cap (more risky but higher returns), you get the idea.

I hope this helps, please do not hesitate to reply if I can offer anything additional,

Paul Henneman
ValuEngine Inc

Beginner Investing

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Paul Henneman


I can answer any questions on investment strategies. Specifically, my expertise lies in long term investment strategies designed to beat market performance while reducing risk. Not get rich quick schemes, but solid investing strategies. DO NOT SEND ME YOUR HOME WORK QUESTIONS! Over one half of the questions I receive are clearly students in finance or economic classes asking for answers to their homework questions. Most of these come from India. I won't answer them, do your own work. However, I welcome all investors trying to negotiate how to invest in stocks, mutual funds, ETF's, and other investments.


15 years in a leadership role at a financial research company. We sell research to institutions such as Wells Fargo, Fidelity, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, Bank of NY, Scotia Bank, and others.

Florida International University, University of Florida

Past/Present Clients
Wells Fargo Advisors, Fidelity, Scotia Bank, Thomson Reuters, Capital IQ, Factset, Bloomberg, Bank of NY, CBSMarketWatch, Hoovers, Multex, Yahoo Finance, Zacks, Earthlink Finance, numerous large institutions and hedge funds, subscribers to

©2016 All rights reserved.