smart spending

9 ways to build wealth in 2011

Balanced, diversified portfolio plus education
7 of 11
Karen Altfest

Karen Altfest, CFP, principal adviser and executive vice president of client relations at Altfest Personal Wealth Management, a fee-only financial planning firm based in New York:

"Have a balanced portfolio," Altfest says. "So many people think that as they get older, money will come from interest. The secret is (keeping) a well-balanced, diversified portfolio and learning what it all means."

Too many times, people take the "set it and forget it" approach with their retirement accounts, she says. But you shouldn't "let it get cobwebs because you can't deal with it," Altfest says. "Get help." Your goal for the year: Get educated about what's in your retirement accounts and why.

Tip for success: You don't solely want only fixed-rate instruments such as bonds and CDs, she says, because it takes more than compounding interest to build a retirement fund.




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