In these tumultuous times in the global financial markets and the 24/7 flow of information and misinformation, the individual investor is not well served by following the buy-and-hold mantra promulgated by financial institutions, mutual funds, and brokerages over the past 50 years. As of November 30, 2009, the inflation-adjusted total return of the S&P 500 for the past 10 years is still negative and has been for over a year. That means that those who retired in 1999 and put their hard-earned retirement money in a market index such as the S&P 500 (because it always goes up, right?) have not earned a penny in the past ten years. If they pay an annual fee for account maintenance, do not reinvest the dividends, or have a systematic ...

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