Dividends4Life: Building a Do-It-Yourself Retirement Portfolio

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For retiree Carol Klonowski, 59, portfolio management has become a 20-hour-a-week job. Her efforts have paid off. Unlike the portfolios of many of her peers, Klonowski's investments have already recovered from their losses in 2008 and early 2009, partly because she started buying the stocks of large, dividend-paying companies including Johnson & Johnson and Kraft just before their shares came bouncing back.

Klonowski's strategy of managing her own investments is unusual among retirees. Many of her peers turn their money over to professionals or stick with funds designed to automatically become more conservative as they age. Target-date funds have become increasingly popular, with investors pouring $45 billion into them in 2009, according to Morningstar. But advisers say such tools can give retirees and soon-to-be retirees a false sense of security, and that successful investors are usually more involved in the decision-making process.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

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