Karen: My company offers a 401(k) plan. Do you think I should have one?
Jimmy: Yes, definitely. I had a 401(k) account when I worked for McQ Corp, and when I started working on my own I converted it to an IRA.
Karen: I really don’t understand any of these investment options. I talked to an investment specialist at my bank, but I left her office just as confused as when I went in.
Jimmy: Look, you want to have a diversified portfolio of lower-risk and higher-risk investments. On the low-risk end, put money in bonds, CDs, or a money market account. You want to balance that out with some riskier investments that may bring a higher return, such as mutual funds and stocks.
Karen: Wow, all of that just went over my head. I don’t know a CD from a bond.
Jimmy: It’s really simple. Your choice ranges from a fixed return to a variable return, and the variable investments carry different levels of risk.
Karen: My head hurts. Are you sure I really need all of these investments?
Jimmy: Not all of them, but it would be smart to invest your money in something.
Karen: Not if I spend it all first, right?
Jimmy: Right. You know what they say: “A fool and his money are soon parted!”
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