In This Chapter
Establishing your financial goals
Handling life changes
Managing a windfall
Following a prescribed investment pattern
This chapter is where the rubber hits the road. If you read the other chapters in this part of the book, where I discuss the details of money market, bond, and stock funds and everything in between, the concepts and individual funds may be swirling around your brain like random pieces of paper in a city alley during a windstorm. (Chapter 10 covers several important investment selection topics as well, including asset allocation. If you haven't read that chapter, please do so now — otherwise, you may be less able to make use of the guidance in this chapter.)
In this chapter, I talk through some real live cases. (Of course, the names and details have been changed to protect the innocent!) This chapter should bring a lot of things together for you; I at least hope that it calms the whirlwind.
My goal in going through these cases is to illustrate useful ways to think about investing in funds and to provide you with ideas and specific solutions to investment situations. You may think that you'll benefit most from reading only those cases that seem closest to your current situation, but I encourage you to read as many cases as your time allows — perhaps even all of them. Each situation raises somewhat different issues, and your life and your investing needs will change in the years ahead.
Don't worry if your circumstances ...