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Investing 101: Updated and Expanded by Kathy Kristof

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Chapter 14. THE LAZY INVESTOR'S PORTFOLIO PLANNER

Now let's just say, for argument's sake, that investing is not your life. Sure, you want to have money, both now and later. And you know you have to invest in order to accumulate that money. But you don't get a huge thrill from considering the relative strengths of stocks versus bonds; the international markets versus the domestic. And the idea of spending every waking hour poring over financial statements and analyzing price/earnings ratios makes you want to hide out in the wine cellar—even if you don't have one.

Good news. You can invest as well as anyone and spend only about an hour or two a year doing it. Seriously. Give me ten minutes a month and I'll give you a portfolio that will stand the test of time.

What's the catch? There are two. First, the initial setup will take you a little longer than an hour—maybe even two hours. But you'll find that even the setup delivers benefits in the end. After that, it's just a matter of monitoring, and the monitoring is easy.

Second, this portfolio will not strive to beat the market. It will meet the market, and that's not half bad. But, if your goal is to brag at cocktail parties, this portfolio will be too boring to talk about. You'll have to brag about your kids' baseball skills. Or your spouse's cooking. Or your daughter's SAT scores. If somebody asks you about your portfolio, you should respond with a Mona Lisa smile and say, "It's clicking along, like it's supposed to." That, in truth, ...

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