This chapter focuses on helping you roll up your sleeves and start building your portfolio. The information we present here will get you ready to take the next step in asset allocation's systematic, top-down approach to investing.
As we mention throughout this book, asset allocation is mostly about determining the right baskets of investments to have in your portfolio. In this chapter, we show you how to fill those baskets with specific individual investments. You want nitty gritty? Look no further.
We start by guiding you through the different investments on offer — the standard stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, along with real estate investment trusts (REITs) and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). We also cover annuities, options, structured notes, and exchange-traded notes (ETNs).
After describing what's out there, we take a look at the best ways for you to buy the various investments. Should you buy directly (on your own) or through a broker? Is leveraging a good choice for you? How about shorting? You can find the answers to these questions and more in this chapter's second section.
Finally, we examine the fees and expenses involved in buying securities. Some of the fees are clear, but some can be tough to dig out if you don't know where to look.
How do you tell the good investment choices from the bad, or determine how much they really cost? If you have ...